Wurkkos WK30 Review

This content originally appeared on Reddit on May 8th, 2021.

The Boring Stuff

I purchased this light from Amazon for $33.92 during a sale. The price at the time of writing is $37.99 after the 5% off coupon on the product listing. The “normal” price is $40 but there always seems to be some kind of sale or coupon going on. Here is the official product page where it is available for an even lower price, but with slower shipping.

*The dimensions shown here are wildly inaccurate

What comes in the box?

The box is printed white and yellow cardboard with Wurkkos branding on the top and a sticker on the bottom declaring which model of light is inside. The light comes in a bubble wrap sleeve that does an adequate job of protecting it. Included in the box is the light itself, a battery, a micro-usb charging cable which I seem to have misplaced, two spare O-rings, a basic lanyard, a little paper reminding you to remove a protective sticker from the battery, a spacer that allows you to use an 18650 cell, and the manual.

Size

Emisar D4V2, Noctigon KR1, Wurkkos WK40, Convoy M1, Convoy Z1
MeasurementOfficial (mm)Measured (mm)
Head Diameter36.936.9
Minimum Body Diameternot specified29.1
Minimum Tailcap Diameternot specified31
Maximum Tailcap Diameter25.133
Length113113.5
Charge Port Widthnot specified12
Tailcap End Recess Diameternot specified26

Above I’ve referenced the dimensions listed in the “description” section of the official product page. The dimensions listed on the specs image on the product page are wildly inaccurate. Perhaps these are for a different light?

User Interface

StateActionResult
offclickwhite (mode memory)
offholdeco
offdouble clickred (no memory, starts on low)
offtriple clickuv (no memory, starts on low)
offquadrouple clicklockout
lockoutquadrouple clickwhite, mode memory
whiteclickcycle mode (eco-low-med-high)
whitedouble clickblinkies (no memory, starts on strobe)
white blinkiesclickcycle mode (strobe-SOS-beacon)
white blinkiesdouble clickwhite (mode memory)
redclickcycle mode (low-med-high)
reddouble clickblinkies (no memory, start on blink)
red blinkiesclickcycle mode (blink-police flasher*)
red blinkiesdouble clickred (mode memory)
red or red blinkiestriple clickwhite (mode memory)
uvclickcycle mode (low-high)
uvdouble clickwhite (mode memory)
any (except off)holdoff

What I’m calling the “police flasher” mode is alternating red and white strobes. It reminds me of police car lights, but with white instead of blue.

I *think* I included everything. This UI is pretty complex but it’s not all that hard to use. Normally I like UI’s that utilize one click on/off and hold to change modes. I think that would be nice here, but changing modes through the blinkies via a hold would be hard, so I get why they used click on, click to change mode, and hold for off. I really like that Wurkkos included shortcuts from off to eco, red, and UV in addition to the memorized white mode. Not having to cycle through different colors makes this light fairly friendly to use.

Output & Modes

Lumens: I have no way of measuring lumens, but Wurkkos claims a 1200lm high mode and that seems reasonable to me.

Candela & Throw: With a fresh cell, I measured 2200 candela (93.8m of throw) using the Ceilingbounce app on my phone. That’s pretty close to the ~2500cd claim and a phone isn’t necesarilly the most accurate thing so I’d say the 2500cd claim is perfectly reasonable.

Levels:

Here’s an output graph showing the relative brightness of the four white levels. Mode spacing is pretty good here. My only complaint is that eco is far too bright. They claim 5 lumens and I wish it were more like 0.5 lumens. It’s not unbearably bright, but I wouldn’t be comfortable using it in a movie theater or in the middle of the night to get up and go to the bathroom, for example. It would be too disruptive to other people.

Red has three levels. The lowest mode could stand to be lower. I never use the medium mode and don’t see why it’s needed. High is pretty bright. They claim it’s 200 lumens but it feels significantly brighter than that. It’s bright enough that it’s a little uncomfortable to look at a white object that’s lit up red, even when the same object is fine to look at when lit with 200 white lumens.

UV has two levels. I never use low and I don’t see why it’s needed. High is fine and it does the trick, but it’s not “blow you away” bright. It’s worth noting that there is some visible light. On low the visible light is very purple. On high the visible light is nearly white and is a lot brighter. I haven’t found a good way of putting a ZWB2 filter on this light to eliminate the visible light. you obviously don’t want to block the white or red emitters too.

The switch lights up green or red for a few seconds after turning the light to indicate charge level. In UV mode, after the red/green has turned off, it turns blue and breathes in and out to make sure the user knows it’s turned on and in UV mode. It stays on until you switch the light out of UV mode or turn it off.

Runtime

Here are more detailed graphs. The lumen scale on the chart is based on the manufacturer’s advertised specs since I don’t have a way of testing lumens, so take the actual numbers with a grain of salt. Relative output is the point here.

High white mode lasts for exactly 3 minutes and then settles down to a stable approximately 675 lumens. Total runtime is about three and a half hours (not including several more hours of eco). White medium is extremely stable and lasts until about 5 hours and 15 minutes. It then stays in eco mode for a whopping 8 hours before LVP (low voltage protection) kicks in and turns the light off. I measured the cell at 2.85V when the test ended. Low is also impressively stable and lasts for nearly a full day at 22 hours.

I didn’t do an eco mode runtime test because the advertised runtime is twelve days and ain’t nobody got time fo dat. I didn’t do red or UV runtime tests because I couldn’t get my phone’s ambient light sensor to detect those wavelengths.

This appears to be a very well regulated light. In both high and medium modes, there’s a dropdown that lasts about 10 minutes before the eco mode dropdown. I suppose that might be considered a sort of low voltage warning.

Build

Here are some more detailed photos of the light. The overall build on this light is good. There are no fit nor finish issues worth noting. If I had to pick something, I’d say the cooling fins are a little sharp and could use some chamfering.

The design is fine, but there are a few things I’d change. For one, I’d add some knurling on the body tube and make it a little thicker. It’s a little slippery and the walls seem disproportionately thin compared to the light as a whole. I would also add a pocket clip. Obviously this is kind of big for an EDC light, but I do think it would be nice to include some kind of basic clip just to keep it in place. A clip would also serve to keep the light from rolling and will help locate the switch.

The light is quite round and the only thing that keeps it from rolling straight off a table is a tiny little tab on the port cover, which doesn’t stop the light if it already has any momentum. It’s also a little tedious to find the switch in the dark. It’s not hard, but you just have to keep rotating the light in 60 degree increments until your thumb lands on the switch instead of cooling fins.

The body tube is a little bit too spacious for the included battery so there’s some cell rattle. I fixed this by just adding some tape to the inside of the body tube. It would be nice if it were the appropriate size from the factory, but I guess the extra width allows for rewrapped cells to fit. It’s also not reversible which seems silly to me considering each end is *almost* identical. It would be nice to have a magnetic tailcap too.

The back of the driver PCB says “Sofirn” which is fun. I don’t really understand why Sofirn and Wurkkos are separate brands.

Emitters

The emitters are the main selling point of this light. The high CRI 5000K LH351D white emitter produces the most neutral white floody beam I’ve seen yet. It’s just great. The dome appears to be not quite clear. On other domed emitters like the red one or my various SST-20 4000K’s, I can clearly see the edges of the phosphor through the dome. On this LH351D it’s just a yellow blob. Not a problem, just something I noticed.

The Red emitter gets surprisingly bright. It’s a little smaller than the white emitter which makes it have a tighter hotspot. It looks very similar to SST-20 4000K’s that I have, but it’s obviously red. The website says it’s made by LG.

The UV emitter is quite small. The phosphor is almost exactly the same size as an Osram CSLNM1 so even with the small reflector it’s quite throwy. There’s an interesting brass shroud around the emitter. Consequently, the reflector hole for the UV emitter is larger than the holes for the other two emitters, so the reflector can only fit one way.

Beamshots

More detailed white beamshots. It’s really nice and floody with a very neutral tint and color temperature. There’s zero tint shift that I can detect. Normally I like 4000K better, but this is just such pure white that I can really appreciate it.

More detailed red beamshots. Red has a little bit tighter hotspot thanks to the smaller emitter. It gets surprisingly bright, brighter than the 200lm spec would make you think.

More detailed UV beamshots. UV is fun to play with. There’s quite a bit of visible light which is a shame, but it doesn’t really detract from its usefulness or fun factor. It’s got a pretty tight hotspot thanks to the super tiny emitter. The spill makes stuff glow plenty well but the hotspot makes glowy stuff really pop.

Batteries & Charging

Battery: The included cell is a 5000mah, Wurkkos branded, unprotected, flat top, 26650 cell. It’s a fine choice for this light as far as I can tell. The light does include low voltage protection (LVP) so a protected cell isn’t necessary. It’s worth noting that the product photos show a protected button top cell. I tried it with both an 18650 cell in the included adapter as well as a 21700 cell which didn’t fit in the adapter and both worked fine. The product page also says it’ll work with two CR123A’s in a pinch, but I’m not sure you’ll be able to get them to make reliable contact with so much room in the body tube, even when using the 18650 sleeve.

Charging: Charging is facilitated by a micro USB port on the side of the light covered by a rubber flap. I don’t love rubber flaps but this one is OK. It’s quite secure, even difficult to pull out or put back, so I don’t think it’ll be coming loose by accident. USB-C would have been nice here but it’s not a big deal. The switch blinks red while the light is charging and glows green when it’s done.

It’s possible to use the light while plugged in (with or without the battery or body tube), but the UI changes a fair bit. Here’s a UI chart for when the light is plugged in

StateActionResult
offclicklow
offholdeco
lowclickoff
ecoclickoff

This UI is VERY simplified compared to the unplugged UI. It’s not bad for lighting up the inside of a tent or something while your light is charging though. Since it works without the body tube you can just plug the head in and hang it from something via the charging cable for an overhead light.

Conclusion

What I like:

  • Low price!
  • Good build quality
  • Very neutral color temperature and tint on white emitter
  • Red is quite bright

What I have mixed feelings about:

  • I don’t like hold for off, but I understand why they used it.
  • I don’t like rubber flaps, but this one’s pretty good and the integrated charging & included battery make the light a complete package.

Improvements I’d like to see in the next version:

  • USB-C charging
  • A pocket clip
  • Improvements to the body tube
  • Less visible light from the UV emitter

I bought this light because I wanted a Noctigon K9.3 with red secondaries, but it was too expensive. I also wanted a UV light, but couldn’t justify buying a dedicated one. This light filled both of those roles. I think it’s a good light and it met my expectations in every way. If you want to try out a red or UV light, or you want a light with different emitter channels, this is great high value option that’s punching well above its price. I think it makes a good general purpose flashlight, even ignoring the secondary emitters.

Thanks for reading!

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