Astrolux WP4

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Astrolux WP4 review: LEP flashlight test

Astrolux WP4 specifications

Brand/modelAstrolux WP4
LEDShine through LEP
Max. Lumens310 lm
Max. Beam intensity / distance425,000 cd / 1303m
Battery config.1*18650 / 1*18350
Onboard chargingN/A
Modes2
BlinkiesStrobe
ReflectorN/ASmooth
WaterproofIPX6
Review dateJuly 2022

Introduction:

Today we’re reviewing the Astrolux WP4. This is a pocketable LEP flashlight. Instead of using a LED as the light source, LEP (Laser Excited Phosphor) flashlights use a blue laser to light up some phosphor. This produces a normal white colored light that’s very focused, reaching a long distance. Hence the name “white laser” that some manufacturers give these lights.

With a normal LED flashlight you’d need something about 60mm (2.4”) wide to reach as far. The Astrolux WP4 is about half the diameter. This results in a pocketable flashlight that creates a hotspot about 20cm (8”) from 5m (16ft) away.  
We’ve reviewed lots of Astrolux flashlights in the past – over 20 of them. Astrolux is Banggood’s house brand, which uses other manufacturers to build the lights. In the case of the WP4, it’s built by Mateminco and sold as the Mateminco FW2, which we reviewed a few months ago. The Astrolux version is slightly different and can sometimes be found at a lower price.

Package quality.

Astrolux flashlights are low cost, thanks to them not overspending on things like packaging. That means the WP4 box is a no frills cardboard box, with foam insert.

Inside you get a few accessories:

  • Astrolux WP4 flashlight
  • Manual
  • 18350-size body tube (the standard one is 18650)
  • Lanyard
  • 2 spare O-rings
  • Pocket clip

Flashlight in use

As soon as you take the WP4 out the box, the first thing you’ll see is that the white tail switch sticks out. This means it’s easy to find and activate but looks a bit obtuse. The switch is reverse clicky, so an accidental half-press doesn’t do anything while it’s off.

Picking it up, you can feel that the anodisation is smooth. With the shallow knurling too, the light is a little slippery. Due to its size I can’t imagine dropping it though.

The light will roll off a table unless you attach the pocket clip. The clip itself has good retention and allows for pocket carry. In fact this must be 1 of the only flashlights with a pocket clip that throws over 1km. The 18350 body tube doesn’t include a slot for the pocket clip but it still mostly works with it, just not as neat or as strong retention.

The tail cap has a small hole for the nylon lanyard. This is a pretty standard lanyard – nothing special.
As a pocket LEP flashlight, it’s great for pointing things out at a distance. For example inspecting machinery across a room or seeking a path when out for a walk. Normally these would require a sizeable light like the Noctigon K1 but the WP will slip into a pocket easily, especially with the 18350 cell option.

Build Quality, and Warranty

Astrolux may be a budget manufacturer but that doesn’t mean that they compromise quality.

The anodisation didn’t seem to have any blemishes but does feel a bit slippery. The threads on the tailcap are anodised and very smooth, with an O-ring for ingress protection. The threads at the head end are not anodised but still have an O-ring.

The Matemino sample that Marco reviewed included glow in the dark tubes (poor man’s tritium slots), which look pretty cool. The Astrolux doesn’t have these but did come with a pocket clip and lanyard, so I think we’re even! It does look a bit odd without glow tubes inserted – you could either add some in yourself or leave them empty.

Astrolux provides a warranty for the WP4: 15 days unconditional return, 12 months warranty and lifetime paid warranty.

LEP, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

If you’ve read a few LEP reviews on 1lumen, you’ll know that they either use a mirror to reflect the laser or they shine the laser through the phosphor. The WP4 is the shine-through type. Marco is the LEP expert and according to him, the shine-through type results in a smaller flashlight than the mirror type. This is all behind a glass bezel, which should protect the lens.

There’s also a little glow-in-the-dark material behind the lens, though this doesn’t glow especially bright.

The actual light output is very focused (it’s a LEP!) and although it’s white light, there’s a slight green/yellow tint to it.

Dimensions and size comparison

Dimensions: 

Astrolux WP4MillimetersInches
Length (18650)1345.3
Length (18350)1044.1
Head diameter32.11.26
Body diameter24.90.98

Weight

Astrolux WP4GramsOz.
18680, without battery:1103.9
18650, with battery1555.5
18350, without battery913.2
18350, with battery1154.1

Flashlight size comparison with its competition

Group 1: Size compared to Astrolux WP2

  • Astrolux WP2
  • Astrolux WP4

Group 2: Size compared to 18350 throwers

  • Lumintop Thor II
  • Astrolux WP4
  • Manker MC13

Group 3: Size compared to 18650 throwers

  • Lumintop Thor II
  • Astrolux WP4
  • Manker MC13
  • Manker MC12

Group 4: Size compared to 21700 throwers

  • Astrolux WP4
  • Sofirn IF22
  • Convoy S21B
  • Amutorch XT45

Group 5: Size compared to LEPs / zero spill flashlights

  • RichFire LEP
  • Asrtrolux WP4
  • Convoy Z1 (zoomie)
  • Alonefire X40 (Fresnel)

Driver & User Interface:

The WP4 has a single rear switch, with a pretty basic interface. Click to turn on/off and tap to change brightness. It’s a rear-clicky switch, so a “tap” is the same as clicking to turn the light off, then on again quickly.

The tail switch is lit up with a red and blue light when the light is off, making it easy to find in the dark.

Available modes: Low, High, Strobe

From OFF:

  • Single click:  turn on

From ON:

  • 1 click:  turn off
  • Tap: switch low/high
  • Double tap: strobe

Mode memory:

  • Next mode memory!

Shortcuts:

  • None

Strobe/blinkies

  • Yes

Lock-out mode: 

  • None (aside from unscrewing the tailcap a quarter turn

PWM

  • None

Additional info on the UI: 

  • The light always turns on in the opposite mode to the one you just used! This isn’t great but not a huge deal on a 2-mode LEP. This may be due to the lighted tailcap as the Lumintop Gift-G1 has the same issue. I’m pretty sure that you could swap the tail switch to a normal one and not have the issue.
  • Strobe can be activated a bit too easily but with daily use I didn’t accidentally activate it.

Batteries & Charging

The light came with an Astrolux branded 18650 cell, which was a nice surprise. The is specced as 2500mAh and max 18A, which is fairly low end. Likely more than enough for a small LEP though.

There’s no built in charging, so you’ll need your own battery charger.

You can also swap in the shorter body tube and use 18350 cells.
Marco broke his Mateminco FW2 by using protected cells in the light. Don’t try to use protected cells in this one either! Button tops should be OK but do take care and don’t tighten the tailcap too tightly.

Performance test

Lumen measurements:

Lux meter: All lux and lumen measurements are from my home made integrating sphere, calibrated with a S2+ measured by Maukka. Measurements are done with a UNI-T UT383S lux meter and Adafruit TSL2591 connected to a Raspberry Pi (using RuTiTe by bmengineer). Expect them to be within +/-10%.

DMM: Current readings were taken with a Precision Gold PG10B DMM for low currents and a Mustool X1 clamp meter for high currents.

Cell: I used Astrolux’s provided 2500mAh cell. You should be able to get an extra 40% run time with a high end 18650 cell.

Lumen measurements (for each mode)

ModeAmps at startSpecsLumens @turn onLumens @30 secLumens @10 minutes
Low0.91A79757368
High3.40A310240220166

Parasitic drain:

  • I couldn’t measure the parasitic drain, due to the lighted tailcap

Runtime graph

ModeSpecified runtimeMeasured runtime (ANSI)Time till shut off
Low3h 2 min2h 12 min2h 12 min
High1h 18 min50 min50 min

ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.

Throw numbers: Peak beam intensity 

Throw was measured indoors at 10m at 30 seconds with a UNI-T UT383S lux meter.

ModeSpecsCandela measured MetersYards
Low170060825902
High1303m / 425kcd447,172 cd1337m1463

Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).

Beamshots

The distance to the building is 170m. Photos were taken with a Pixel 6 Pro, set to 1/12s shutter speed and ISO 400, F1.85. 

  • Astrolux WP4
  • Alonefire X40 (Fresnel)
  • Lumintop Thor II (LEP)
  • Sofirn IF22
  • Convoy Z1

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Banggood. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Thows a decent distance
  2. Takes 18350 or 18650 cells
  3. Pocketable, including a pocket clip

Cons

  1. Next mode memory
  2. No glow in the dark tubes included
  3. Runtime isn’t great

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Dave
Author: Dave

4 stars: ★★★★

The whole idea behind LEP flashlights is that they give you lots of throw in a small package. Just 5 years ago I would have never expected to see a flashlight that throws this far and also fits in a pocket. To the eye, it’s not that far off a big flashlight like a Noctigon K1.

The only annoying thing about it is the next mode memory.

As it’s a LEP, the WP4 costs more than most LED flashlights but compared to other LEPs it’s very well priced, especially for the performance.

Some people think LEP flashlights are just a toy but there’s certainly use cases for them. Slip the WP4 in your pocket just in case and you’ll frequently find yourself using it to point things out, scan the horizon or light up an object from a few hundred meters away.

Flashlight For Sale

Coupon code: BGAWP4

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