The Best Affordable Automotive EDC LED Flashlight Is? Not This One!!!

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] A perfect < $30 Christmas gift for each and every car owner, car enthusiast, rideshare driver, and everyone else? Not even close.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – November 27, 2018

    I have recently been looking for a new Every Day Carry (EDC) LED Tactical flashlight to replace a now dead EDC and the variety found is almost endless. After a few days of reviewing hundreds of owner reviews, write-ups, and video reviews, I think I may have found it.

    Meet the WowTec A1S.

    Before I made an actual purchase, I was leaning towards the Fenix PD35 TAC Tactical Flashlight for $57.95 after a 20 percent coupon to replace a generic Chinese POS that died last month.

    I was looking at the “As Seen on TV” Atomic Beam and Bell and Howell garbage plus the hundreds of knockoffs, numerous Chinese LED light garbage, and a number of higher end LEDs including some of the very latest CREE LEDs in lights from Fenix, FourSevens, Olight, StreamLite, SureFire, and Thrunite to name a few.

    My own LED flashlight needs included a smaller EDC form factor, onboard rechargeable Li-Ion – hopefully included, reasonable dispersion pattern – read decent flood, a strong and focused Lumens output to see addresses on buildings and homes from the curb or half way down the street, and a crowned head to smash glass if I ever were to need it.

    The vid that moved me towards the WowTec A1S or ATactical A1S was this head to head comparison by Tim from EverydayTacticalVids.

    The WowTec is affiliated with Thrunite and includes a real CREE LED capable of outputting out an incredible 1,150 Lumens with the included 3,400 mAh 18650 rechargeable battery.

    This light includes the following:
    • Cree XP-L V6 LED
    • Natural White (NW) or Cool White (CW) LED
    • 3,400 mAh 18650 rechargeable battery
    • USB to Micro-USB charging cable
    • 5 Low/Mid/High/Turbo/ Strobe modes
    • IPX7 Water Resistant – 1 meter for up to 30-minutes
    • 1.5 Meter drop rated
    • Anti-reflective hardened glass lens
    • Reverse polarity protection design to protect from improper battery installation
    • Crowned head for defense or vehicle glass breaking
    • Low power indication
    • Direct access strobe mode
    • 2 pair of O-Rings
    • 30 days worry-free money back, 1-year limited warranty for battery, and 2-year limited warranty for flashlight
    • Thick hardened aluminum body
    In any case. I ordered two from Amazon for $29.95 each and hope they are not only a great replacement – consider the negative reviews on Amazon – but make great Christmas gifts if these two are as good as others have attested. The ability to choose a Natural White (NW) or Cool White (CW) LED output was an over the top addition. Of course I chose the Natural White for better color rendition at night despite losing a bit of light throw distance.

    The best 1,000 Lumen EDC LED flashlight available for < $30 USD today. I will let you know how it turns out.

    BillLin and TheStepChild like this.
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I highly recommend checking out , especially the recommended lists on the sidebar.

    I use a Convoy C8. It's got a bigger reflector that makes not great for EDC, but the body is the same size, and they make smaller ones that would be great. Also uses one 18650 battery. 1000 lumens and a really great throw. Also cheaper at $17.99.

    When I say great throw, I can clearly identify whether the varmint 150 yd out is a possum or a raccoon.
    rhwinger, BillLin and xcel like this.
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I see the ThruNite TN12 is mentioned more than once on the recommended list. If this is really a clone of that, good find.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    My Convoy C8 has a large reflector but the body is similar size. I can mount it on my scope for varmint hunting.

    The large reflector gives it a very good spot pattern. Just what you don't want for an everyday light. This is better for my purpose, yours is better for yours with its wider flood style pattern.
    xcel, EdwinTheMagnificent and BillLin like this.
  5. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I'm still using the Eureka NiteGuide 210 from our camping adventure way back in 2011. I probably can't identify varmints from 150 yards away, but I compared it with a friend's 1000 lumen Olight and decided that I don't really need the extra light output for what I use it for.
    xcel, BillLin and PaleMelanesian like this.
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    The Convoy I got is an upgrade from the Eureka. That's my #2 light, still going strong.

    The varmint thing is because I keep sheep, and we have LOTS of coyotes around here.
    xcel, EdwinTheMagnificent and BillLin like this.
  7. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    This is what I keep in the door pocket of my car. Also functions as a weapon in a pinch.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Of the two that I received a few hours ago, the first I opened and fired up was FUBAR. The beam was sporadically lighting, the rear switch would not light it up sometimes, when in on mode, the front push button would only sometimes toggle it on and through 4 very dim modes including the Strobe and SOS. I would twist the barrel and sometimes it would light up and die within seconds, etc. Cheap Chinese crap like action despite a very bulletproof build. I charged the included 18650 Li-Ion battery for an hour and it still showed the red light - not fully charged, placed it back into the EDC light and it continued to perform like it did when I first fired it up. Meaning FUBAR. I have to return that one now. :(



    The second box was perfect. I pulled it from the box, unscrewed the end cap, pulled the paper insulator between the Li-Ion battery and end cap contact, screwed on the end cap, and fired it up. All 4 modes plus the strobe and SOS work as advertised right out of the box. I shut it down while set on Medium. I fired it up and the Medium setting is default as advertised.

    I was using it from within the Elantra and on the second or medium level, 240 lumens, the beam was easily good enough to see home addresses and make out any detail necessary in the dark out to about 25 yards. High and Turbo are bonuses and super bright. Going from 18-hours from full to flat on the medium level of brightness to 5 hours on high - 460 lumens, and just 3-hours on Turbo - 1,100 lumens, is a waste of battery but for a minute or two if you need it, damn that is a lot of light coming from such a small EDC. As in damn, that is a lot of light!

    The construction is solid with 6061 hardened to T6 aluminum and it has the anti-roll flat edge up near the LED to keep it from rolling off the surface you have placed it on.

    I am charging the second lights battery now with it showing the small Red LED on top of the battery while charging.

  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The first bad light is on its way back through Amazon while I took the exact same light in its place. Scheduled for delivery by the 12th.

    It took well over an hour to charge that Li-Ion. I plugged it in last night and for an hour and a half it was still taking a charge. This morning when I woke up the little LED on top of the battery had gone from Red to Green indicating a full charge. I sure did miss having an EDC LED in the car and this one has incredible throw for how small it is. Thank Cree and the big power Li-Ion battery technology that made this happen.

  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Skip this EDC LED light. I received the third and it had the same problem as the first.

    I am sorry for even posting this as the light is a POS if 2 of three ordered though 2 different orders are bad. I changed the OPs title to reflect it.

  11. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Thanks Wayne for being a guinea pig for us!
    xcel, BillLin and EdwinTheMagnificent like this.
  12. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator has good flashlight reviews, from relatively cheap ones to house payment level ones. Cheap batteries/chargers are the main concern for me. Look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Note series phone that got recalled, and the laptop batteries from several years ago. I went to Post Office yesterday and they flat refuse to ship anything with lithium ion batteries in it. I had my 4 year old phone battery replaced last weekend and took it to a place that swears they used an OEM Motorola battery. Didn't want some cheap POS from EBay going nuclear in my pocket. When I say my phone is "the bomb", that's not supposed to be a description of what it does when I'm carrying it.
    EdwinTheMagnificent and BillLin like this.
  13. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I have a couple of the A1 model. The USB rechargeable battery is the bulk of the cost. The flashlight itself costs $5 more than the replacement battery. There have been a couple of times when the A1 did not immediately come on; took a bit of jiggling. It's been working fine lately. An unscientific feeling I have is that the flashlight has been working better with the setting left at the mid-output level. The failures I had earlier were with the setting at the lowest output possible. I like the priority strobe mode but I can't say I'll have a real use for it.

    I have many batteries of that form factor and the number grows, so the convenience factor (of the USB rechargeable battery) does not apply to me. I bring a charger when I travel and I usually have a spare battery handy.

    I can certainly appreciate that sentiment.

    Edit: My most recent battery purchase was a pair of Panasonic NCR18650B.

    I've also bought cheaper ones before that boast outrageously high capacities that I don't trust.

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