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Wurkkos FC12 review: flashlight test
Wurkkos FC12 specifications
|Max. Lumens||2,000 lm|
|Max. Beam intensity / distance||29,833 cd|
|Onboard charging||Onboard USB-C|
|Review date||June 2022|
Long gone are the days when you had to choose between Maglite or pay dearly for the premium Streamlight. If you are in the market for a tactical flashlight, the options nowadays seem limitless. Zebralight, Sofirn, FourSevens and the like can all give you nearly as much or more output as the “leaders of yesteryear” and manage to do it without breaking the bank. Wurkkos is one such brand, one that allows you to obtain higher light output and a more premium feel than something you would get at a gas station without requiring you to take a second mortgage on your home.
If you have opened any Wurkkos flashlight, you can guess as to how this packaging is done up. Like those before it, and most likely after, you get the very familiar Wurkkos orange and white box, which is flap opened from the front. Once opened, you are greeted by the FC12 in the top half (battery already inside but protected by a small plastic disc). Beneath that, you have an “accessories section” that has everything else you could need to start using this light right away. Tucked away neatly are the USB-C cable (Not Branded), the user manual,a two-way pocket clip, a small bag with two spare o-rings and a lanyard, if it suits you.
- Wurkkos FC12
- 1*18650 3000mah cell
- 2* Spare o-rings
- USB-C Cable
- Pocket Clip
Flashlight in use
This torch is made from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum, and with a slightly glossy finish to the anodizing, you will be relying more on the machining than a grippy texture to maintain a hold. For an 18650 light with a tailswitch, it is longer but wears smaller than I anticipated it would. It has a two way clip and the center tube is reversible, so finding a spot to keep it mounted on your bag or in your pocket is no difficult task. If you like to tail stand your torches, I have bad news for you. Unfortunately, the tailcap switch does protrude out slightly from the back of the light and with larger, deeper thumb cuts around the switch, it is unlikely you would be able to keep this tailstanding, especially if you have equipped the optional landyard.
The tailswitch is a forward click type switch, allowing temporary use of your last mode. The mode switch is a reverse click style with a stiff rebound, making your mode changes very intentional. Having a secondary switch that cannot completely shut off the light, the main use of this flashlight would definitely be in a tactical scenario. If you could control the light output from either switch, I feel that its usability would increase drastically.
Build Quality, and Warranty
As stated earlier, this is an aircraft grade 6061 aluminum light an as such, the finish of the machining is fantastic. I could not find any burrs or imperfections (that I didn’t put there myself after 9 months of use). The scallops in the handle are very smooth, and topped with a slightly glossy hard anodizing. Knurling or a blasted finish on the aluminum would make it infinitely more grippy, but as it stands, it is still very easy to hold. The thin frame and deep scallops in the handle make sure of that. The head and tail pieces are both o-ring sealed and have precise square cut threads that seem to ward off grinding noises, even after many openings and closing of the body. In addition, the FC12, along with all Wurkkos offerings, includes a 1 year warranty against manufacturer defects.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The emitter in this light is the Luminus SFT-40 and I have to say, for such a small LED, there is quite a bit of light output. In fairness, I understand that a higher temperature can look brighter and I would have guessed the color temperature to be around 6000k or maybe a little higher. After reviewing the spec sheet direct from Luminus, it is known that the SFT-40 only comes in a 6500k variant. Being a much cooler temperature light, you do make a sacrifice on the color rendering. You don’t get the same true to life colors you would expect from a warmer light, but the output still allows you to see everything you need, maybe just a slight variation of it. Additionally, at lower settings, you will notice a little bit of a green tint to your beam, but it appears to diminish more at higher output.
This LED in particular looks like a dedomed SST-40, and a lot of the same attributes from that light carry over. The entire head is this light is the same 6061 aluminum the rest of the body is comprised of, with no threads for a strike bezel. Inside the head, however, you get a long very smooth reflector that puts a rather distinct hotspot in your beam. This is expected when you want a good throw.
Dimensions and size comparison
Flashlight size comparison with its competition
From left to right: Surefire 6P, Wurkkos FC12, Convoy S21B
Driver & User Interface:
- Moon, Eco, Low, Medium, High, Turbo
- SOS, Strobe, Beacon
- Holding Main switch while activating the tailcap switch: Moonlight mode
- Press and Hold: Ramps up when in stepless mode
- 1 click: Advances brightness mode in stepped / Nothing in stepless
- Double click: Turbo
- 3 clicks: Strobe / SOS / Beacon
- 4 clicks: Switches between stepless and stepped
- Shutting it off with the tail switch, it will retain the last mode, even with the battery removed.
- To Moon: Activate the tailswitch while holding the main switch
- To Turbo: 2x clicks of the main switch while the light is on.
- To Strobe: 3x clicks while the light is on.
Low voltage warning:
- The flashlight has a voltage indicator built in to the main switch. It will be green if your battery is at or over a 30% charge, red if you are under 30 % and the red will start to flash if a battery change/charge is required.
- With the light on, three quick presses of the main switch will activate a tactical strobe, alternating between a fast and slower strobe effect. If you double click the main switch with the strobe running, you can change the mode between an SOS and beacon as well.
Batteries & Charging
The FC12 includes a built-in USB-C port on the head, that while using the provided cable, will charge the battery from its low voltage point (2.7V) to full in around 3 hrs 52 min and 06 seconds. One thing I noticed, is that the charge current, which started at 1 Amp, dropped significantly at around the 75 percent mark, to 250 mA. The included button top fits in with heavier spring pressure and I have tested a few flat top cells as well with success. I would not recommend a protected cell, due to the increase in spring pressure.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
For getting my measurements in regards to the output, I used an integrated sphere. This was my first sphere, so it took quite a bit of calibration and testing to get things to the point where I feel they were accurate figures. In addition to the integrated sphere, I used the ceiling bounce app (I have an EXTech SDL400 on order) for these measurements.
|Mode||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 min|
First 10 minutes only.
The total runtimes of each mode proved somewhat challenging with the FC12. In each mode, it appears the FC12 is designed to provide light as long as possible, regardless of how useful it may be for the application. If the temperature gets too hot, it will throttle back the current and simply produce less light. The same stands true for voltage, if the battery is low it will continue to reduce current until it runs moon mode for days… and days. On one particular instance, I was running moon mode for 144 hours, when I decided to call it. I can only assume the figures that Wurkkos has were based on the draw of the mode at an average output.
I measured the throw at a distance of 5 meters, continuing to use the ceiling bounce app (again, this is just temporary), but I suggest that these numbers are fairly accurate. I was surprised at how quickly the throw numbers were affected during Turbo mode, as at the 30 second mark, my numbers were quite a bit less than its rating. Initially, they slightly surpassed the ratings from Wurkkos themselves.
|Eco||117 cd||343 cd||37 m|
|Low||1483 cd||1,654 cd||81 m|
|Medium||4783 cd||6,459 cd||161 m|
|High||13466 cd||13,063 cd||229 m|
|Turbo||29833 cd||22,253 cd||298 m|
The only interesting thing worth noting is that, unexpectedly, the high mode continued to throttle and ramp back up the current to increase the light output, something I would have expected to see with Turbo mode. Maybe if I continued to run past 10 minutes, this would have happened, but not up until that mark.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produce a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).
Included are beamshots for the Wurkkos FC12 in Medium, High and Turbo Mode. Also included are beamshots of the Convoy S21B on High and the Surefire 6P. Range to the home is 70M. All photos were taken with my OnePlus 9 Pro at ISO1500.
Disclaimer: I bought this flashlight with my own money. Nobody paid me to review this flashlight, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Beat the ratings during testing
- out-the-box solution with USB-C charging
- Too busy for a true tactical light
- Needs higher CRI
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
3.5 stars: ★★★⋆
A fully functional Tactical light that over-delivers in some areas, but falls just a little short of what you’d expect in other areas. But at less than 30 dollars, this, like other Wurkkos lights I have tested, continuse to remain a dependable solution for anyone looking for a ready to go torch. If it had a higher CRI emitter with a touch lower temperature, I would bump this up to 4 stars. In its current configuration, I would still give this a respectable 3.5 stars.