[Review] Reylight Brass Nichia 219 High CRI 1xAA/14500 flashlight review

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WalkIntoTheLight
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[Review] Reylight Brass Nichia 219 High CRI 1xAA/14500 flashlight review

This is a review of the “ReyLight Brass” flashlight. It is a 1xAA / 1×14500 EDC light, with a tail clicky interface, and 4 mode levels of output. Oh, and a Nichia 219 LED!

The light was provided by Banggood for review purposes. You can find the light on their site here:

http://www.banggood.com/ReyLight-Brass-219CT-9050-4Modes-Mini-EDC-LED-Flashlight-AA14500-p-1085617.html?utm_source=bbs&utm_medium=rob&utm_content=chendongling

I also have been given a discount code, which can be used to buy the light at a cheaper price. I’m not allowed to post it openly, but can give it out to anyone who wants it. Just PM me for the code.

Overview:

This is a solid, well-made light, with a fantastic high CRI neutral white tint. It is constructed of brass, so feels slightly heavier than similar sized aluminum lights, yet I find this gives it nice solid feel in the hand.

It comes in a gift box, so would make a great present to introduce someone to the world of flashlights that don’t emit an angry blue light like most department store lights. Or, just a nice EDC light if you’re looking for a high CRI tint. The beam tint and profile is excellent, as you would expect from a Nichia 219 light.

What it is not, is a high-powered light. At least, not when using a AA battery where it tops out at about 100 lumens. If you decide to use a 14500 lithium-ion battery in it, it will output much more light, topping out at almost 400 lumens. However, my testing provided in this review is using a AA Eneloop. I will mention output on a 14500, but many people will probably use AA NiMH batteries or AA alkalines. But the option for higher output is there, for those that desire it.

An overview of the specs are as follows. I give more details later in the review, as well as a comparison to other lights. Note that I am providing my own measurements here, not the manufacture’s specs. However, I find the specs supplied by the manufacturer to be close to my own measurements. You can find the manufacturer’s specs in the site link above.

Pictures follow these specs.

Modes: 4 (moonlight, low, medium, high). Switch is a slightly-recessed tail reverse-clicky. The light always comes on in moonlight. Half-press to advance modes, or turn off and on again within a couple of seconds.

LED: Nichia 219C (though they might really mean 219B, I’m not sure), 4000K neutral white.

Size: 93mm long, 20mm in diameter.

Weight: 85g without battery, 111g with an Eneloop installed. Note that a Zebralight SC5 (another popular 1xAA light) weighs 85g with battery, so this light is about 30% heavier due to the brass construction (rather than aluminum).

Construction: Solid brass. Waterproof and drop-proof. Ridges for grip on body and head. Threads are nicely cut, and came lubricated. Stainless steel pocket clip and key ring (they can be optionally removed). IIRC, pocket clips must be steel, because brass doesn’t have the springiness needed for a clip.

Battery type: 1xAA NiMH (or alkaline), or 1×14500 lithium ion. Button top required, and there’s plenty of room for slightly oversized 14500’s. You will get much more output from a 14500 battery, but with corresponding reduced run-time.

Output on AA NiMH: high 90 lumens, medium 25 lumens, low 5 lumens, moonlight 0.02 lumens. Graph included below. Output is not flatly-regulated on a AA battery, but will be more flat on a 14500. All modes produce output (dimming to moonlight levels) until the battery depletes to 0.85v. On a fresh alkaline (higher voltage than NiMH), you get slightly over 100 lumens, but run-time is worse on high than NiMH of course (it’s better for the other modes).

Note that the moonlight mode is quite dim. However, I find it just about the right level of brightness for the middle-of-the-night when directly illuminating nearby objects. Enough to see, but not enough to degrade your night vision. If you’re familiar with Zebralight lights, it’s about the same brightness as the second-lowest setting for moonlight on most of their models.

The other modes are nicely spaced, and give you a range of choice depending on the situation. High is good for lighting a path outdoors, but you won’t be spotting things in the distance with it, unless you choose to use a lithium-ion battery. I find this light more useful as an indoor general-purpose light, and I’ll save the 1000 lumen lights for outdoors. It would be nice if the high was brighter on a AA, but that’s the trade-off for the high CRI tint. IMO, I’d rather have nice high CRI tint than a brighter output in an EDC light.

On a 14500 cell, outputs are 390, 120, 12 and 0.3 lumens. You get about a 4x increase in brightness on all modes.

Run-time on AA (to 50% original brightness): high 90 minutes, medium 6.5 hours, low 85 hours, moonlight 20 days. Graphs for high output below, medium is similar but out to about 7 hours. Note this is with a regular 1900 mAh Eneloop battery. About 25% longer run-times will be achieved using a battery with a higher capacity, such as an Eneloop Pro. The Pro might give slightly flatter regulation, as well.

Throw: 50 meters (to 0.25 lux), on a AA battery. (650 lux at 1 meter.) 100 meter throw on a 14500 battery.

Heat: Due to the brass construction, heat is dissipated well. It stabilizes temperature at about 35C, barely warm. On a 14500, the light will get much warmer, but the thermal mass of the light will easily handle it, especially since run-times will be much reduced.

Tint: 4000K high CRI neutral white. No tint shift to either green or magenta, you’ll just get an even white accross the entire beam. Very nice!

Beam pattern: Floody, but with a reasonable hot-spot. About what you’d expect in a small light.

PWM: This light does use PWM, on all mode levels. It does not appear visible to my eyes, but is detectable in camera at very fast shutter speeds.

Lens: The glass has an anti-reflective coating.

Clip: Deep pocket carry, works fine. I find it useful as an anti-roll device, although there are flat spots on the tail that prevent roll if you choose to remove the clip. The clip also functions as a lanyard attachment, with a small hole on the clip near the tail of the light.

Tail-stands.

Current measurements (on a full AA Eneloop battery):

Stand-by: none (mechanical switch turns off power completely).
Moonlight: 4.0 mA
Low: 23 mA
Medium: 296 mA
High: 1.22 A

Current drops very slightly as the battery depletes, and combined with the lower voltage, results in gradual dimming as the battery depletes. A 14500 battery would do better, due to its flatter discharge curve. But overall, the dimming is not very noticeable to the eye until the battery is close to depleted.

Operation:

Simple mechanical push-button. Full press to turn on or off. Half-press to advance modes. Alternatively, if you turn the light off and on again within 2.5 seconds, it will also advance to the next mode. Mode advance is moonlight -> low -> medium -> high -> moonlight.

My impressions:

Pros:

- Extremely nice high CRI tint. 4000K CCT. No colour shift across the beam.

- Well made. Good solid feel to the light. Brass gives it a nice premium look.

- Switch operates well. Good feel to it. Not too hard.

- Modes are well spaced, and it’s nice to have a moonlight mode (I’m always a fan of moonlight mode).

- It comes is a box suitable for gifting.

Cons:

- Output is limited on a AA battery, and is not flatly regulated. You can use a 14500 cell if you require higher output and flatter regulation.

- The light uses PWM for mode regulation. Though, it’s not visible to my eyes, it might be visible to some people that are sensitive to it.

And now, for some pictures.

First, the gift box.

Contents:

Various pictures of the Reylight.

Here it is compared to several other lights, for size.

This is the beam shot, alone:

Here is the beam compared to another popular Nichia 219 light, the original version of the Astrolux A01 (on right).

Here is the beamshot compared to the Zebralight SC5w (on right), which is also a 4000K tint. However, note that the Cree XML2 4000K is noticeably green compared to the Reylight.

This is a output graph of running the light on high, until dead. I also did run-time tests for other modes, but they all look similar.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading. If there’s interest in showing a brief video of the light in action, I can make one.

Edited by: WalkIntoTheLight on 04/02/2017 - 15:57