One to Watch: Astrolux K1
Tony Sculimbrene 04.20.18
The past 15 years have been incredible for gear. In particular, the flashlight market has boomed and we are now getting lights that do things that were unimaginable just a few years ago. The BOSS 35 can be programmed like the Manchurian Candidate with a few pulses and flashes of light from a YouTube video. The Muyshondt Beagle sports the double emitter array from the McGizmo Lunasol line and does so on a production scale. And there are a dozen or so lights that output 1000 lumens and are the size of your thumb. It’s one hit after another.
But for all of this insanity, the really crazy thing is what has happened to the bottom of the market. Lights are getting nicer, with more features, and better emitters all at prices that seem bonkers given what was being sold just a few years ago. When the D25AAA came out two years ago, we all marveled that Eagletac could put out a Hi CRI light for under $30. It was a spec beast and had performance to go along with that label. It was an incredible light. But now, two years later, it seems comparatively primitive. The Astrolux K1 is a great example as to why.
Astrolux is an overseas brand sold through overseas mass market sites like Bang Good. They are generally not available on Amazon. So finding a K1 might be a bit of a challenge or at least a test of faith in terms of credit card privacy. But the specs here are incredible.
The light outputs 365 lumens from a Nichia 219a Hi CRI emitter. It is rechargeable using a micro USB port. It sports two buttons, one to toggle from on to off and back again and another to change modes. It also has a power indicator built in to the buttons.
The light has two secondary beams, an infrared beam and UV beam. I am not sure how useful these two secondary light sources are, but they certainly can’t hurt (well, the UV beam could probably give you a bad sunburn if you were a moron about it, but that is another issue). All of this comes in a package a bit longer and a bit thinner than a Zippo. Pretty amazing, right? But as they say on late night kitchen knife infomercials, but wait there is more. This light sells for $16.95.
That is an incredible price given the features. The D25AAA was a spec beast when it has 1/3 the lumens output and 1/3 the emitters. This thing is the D25AAA times three for half the price. The answer to the complex math problem is simple: good for the consumer.