There’s nothing about this light, on the surface of it, that is compelling. It’s big and kind of ugly looking. But, then you take a closer look and realize that for about $40 you get a light, with a battery and a built in charger.
Oh, and actually it’s three lights in one.
It’s still kind of silly, but the value proposition is getting better and better. The WK30 is a UV/Deep Red/White light all in one package, and it’s actually not that tricky to use it. For the price, this is one hell of a gateway into the flashlight world for a lot of people.
LEDs & Power
Ok, so there’s three LEDs:
- Samsung LH351D 5000K 90CRI: this is the white LED in the light and if you have yet to see this particular LED it is one of my current favorites out there. It’s a very clinically white feeling light — it feels clean. None of that green/red/blue hue to the color, it feels pure. It’s oddly satisfying, and that’s coming from someone who generally likes rosy and warm colored LEDs.
- CREE XPEBRD-L1-R20 P3 3535: this is the red LED at 623nm (the SST-20 ‘Deep Red’ is at 660nm). It’s a solid red light.
- LG 365nm 120º: this is the UV LED and it’s the best UV LED I have on hand. Really good LED but my comparison basis is only two others I have used. It throws the UV light pretty well if you use these for bug hunting or something.
You only get one of each, but the outputs are really great from each of them. The red LED is great, but a bit bright for my tastes. And the white tops out at a claimed 1200 lumens — so it will blind.
On the power side this is done with a 26650 with MicroUSB (boo) port to charge it, but you can buy it light only if you want. This battery is beastly. In addition to the 26650 it can take a 18650 or 21700 battery and Wurrkos notes: “able to use 2x CR123A batteries emergency”. So that’s a neat addition to the light.
It’s basically setup to be an around the house, go to light, which can handle anything — it’s rated IPX8 on top of it all.
It’s really weird but somehow it all works together well.
Size and Carry
It’s massive, you cannot carry it in your pants pocket. It’s a cargo pants pocket light. I literally made a section just to say that. I do not like the size of it for anything other than leaving it on a flat surface somewhere to grab when I need it. And I am terrified I’ll drop it on my toes, so I keep a wrist strap on it too.
Ok, here’s how all of this works in practice:
- One click: on to white
- Two clicks: on to red
- Three clicks: on to UV
- Four Clicks: un/lock out
- In any of the modes a single additional click adjusts the brightness.
It is dead simple, and yet it has one of the worst flashlight UI designs: hold to turn off.
No, you should hold to adjust and click to turn off which is not how this light works — to be clear. This is almost a deal breaker, but the utility is massive, so I forgive this light. But let me be clear: tap to turn off, not hold to turn off is the ideal. Because hold to turn of is a pain in the ass and completely breaks the user expectation of how something works.
The biggest benefit I’ve had with this is the throw on the UV light, which is impressive — if you’ve been wanting a good UV light then this is the best I have right now. It’s great. That it also has a really good white LED and a solid red LED is just bonuses. I’ve only used it for small things here and there, but it is the light I keep next to the front door — great versatility.
For about $40 you get a light ready to go out of the box. There’s’ nothing else you need, and it’s all three lights which are useful. It’s a great deal, but it’s a light that stays at home in one spot. It should have USB-C charging and fix the way you turn off the light — but those are minor complaints given the low cost overall and the stellar white LED choice.