[Review] Niwalker Aurora C11 - EDC and general purpose light

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WalkIntoTheLight
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[Review] Niwalker Aurora C11 - EDC and general purpose light

This is a review of the Niwalker Aurora C11 flashlight. This is a 1 × 18650 flashlight, meant for EDC or general-purpose use.

There is also a (long-winded) video review of the light I put up on youtube, here:




Niwalker is a flashlight company that designs high-output flashlights with simple but versatile user interfaces. You can see more of the company profile and flashlights at niwalkerlight.com. This light was sent to me by Niwalker for review purposes.

The Aurora C11 is a flashlight that takes a single 18650 cell, either flat top or button top, but longer protected cells will not fit. Max cell length is about 67mm. Since the light requires a high-drain cell to reach maximum output, this probably isn’t an issue.

I think the best thing about this light is the user-interface. It reminds me of the Fenix LD12 interface. There is a tail clicky for turning the light on/off, and an electronic side switch for changing modes. The light has mode memory, so once you select a level you like, you can just use the tail switch to turn it on and off. This is an excellent user interface for novices, as it is both intuitive and flexible.

One other feature of the user interface I like is that the side-switch also works as a momentary turbo. Press and hold the side switch, and the light will boost to maximum output for as long as you hold the switch. Once released, it drops back down to whatever mode you had it on before.

The C11 has 6 different output levels, well-spaced, going from 1 lumen up to about 1150 lumens. These measurements are my own, using a Samsung 30Q battery. They match up fairly close to the official specs, with the exception that the official turbo output is listed as 1300 lumens.


Output levels are as follows:

  • Level 1 (moonlight): 1 lumen
  • Level 2: 35 lumens
  • Level 3: 90 lumens
  • Level 4: 250 lumens
  • Level 5: 660 lumens
  • Level 6 (turbo): 1150 lumens


I find that the turbo mode will gradually decline to about 900 lumens after a few minutes. This may be the result of thermal protection, which is mentioned in the official specs. After reaching 900 lumens, the light will maintain a very constant output until the battery begins to die.

When the battery reaches about 3.3v, higher output modes are no longer available. There is an LED in the side switch to indicate when the battery needs recharging. It gives you plenty of warning.

Throw is a decent 220m, or about 12000 candella. This is a little more throwy than what might be considered a “floody” 18650 light, but I’d still call this a floody light.

The light only comes in cool white, and has a color temperature of 6500K. It uses a Cree XP-L V6 emitter. The beam profile is pretty standard for a domed Cree emitter: a nice hot spot, some green in the corona, and a purplish spill.

The reflector is smooth to achieve extra throw, but there are no issues with artifacts unless you are white-wall hunting. The lens has an anti-reflective coating to improve transmission of light.

One nice feature of this light is the micro USB charging port. While flashaholics might not have a need for built-in charging, many users find this feature very convenient. Just plug in any micro USB cable (the light comes with one), and the battery will fully charge to 4.204 volts. The side switch is red when charging, and green when finished. If you choose to charge your batteries to a lower voltage for longer life, then you can charge externally.

The USB charging is a little strange, though, probably because the mechanical tail switch must be “on” for the charging circuit to complete. You must turn on the tail switch after plugging in the light. Another oddity is that the light turns on moonlight when you plug the cable in. You can either leave it that way, or turn it off by depressing the side switch. So, while many users might like the built-in charging, they may be somewhat confused by it.

The light is 145mm long, 28mm wide, and weighs 81g without a battery. It is on the longer side of most EDC lights, but carries well on the outside of a pocket using the included clip.

The package includes a lanyard, spare o-ring, pocket-clip, and micro-USB charging cable. The pocket clip can be used in either a forwards or reverse direction for clipping. Because of the cover for the USB charging port, I recommend the clip be rotated to one side of the light so as not to interfere with the cover. The clip can be removed, if desired. The package was extremely well wrapped and protected, so I don’t think there would be any issue with it getting damaged in the mail.

The light came with threads well lubricated. It has good knurling and type III anodizing that looks clean and sharp.

The flashight is water-proof IPx7 rated. Splashing, hard rain, etc., is all okay. You can drop it in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes, but don’t leave it there. Frankly, I’m a little surprised it is rated that high for water-proofness, as the USB charging port is only protected by a rubber cover that is fairly easily removed. Personally, I’d be a little more cautious, and assume it shouldn’t be submerged.


Pros:

  • Nice and intuitive user-interface. Especially good for anyone who isn’t a flashaholic.
  • Momentary turbo, by holding down the side switch. Great for when only a quick burst is needed.
  • Strobe modes are hidden.
  • Built-in USB charging, or you can charge separately if you wish.
  • Does not overheat easily. Can maintain turbo at normal room temperature indefinitely, though at around 900 lumens. The light will get hot, but hot too hot to hold. Head is around 50C.
  • Mode levels are well regulated.
  • Very efficient, runs a long time. Seems much better than a linear driver or FET driver used on cheaper lights.


Cons:

  • No apparent low-voltage protection, except for the side-switch LED visual cue (turns red). You get plenty of additional warning as you start to lose higher modes. Indicator flashes red below 3.0v. The light will run for hours after this on low modes, without discharging the battery too far. But, the lack of low-voltage protection means you should not leave this light on unattended. Doing so could be a safety concern when using the built-in charger.
  • Only available in cool white.
  • Doesn’t tail-stand very well. If they designed the tail switch 1mm shorter, it would stand fine.


Finally, some random pictures. Smile









That’s all for now. Thank you for reading.

TopDog
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Nice review, I like your presentation. I came here after seeing the YouTube video, so I subed to your channel. Looking forward to more great reviews.

WalkIntoTheLight
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Hi, I just found out from M4DM4X, there a groupbuy discount for this light. If you’re interested, check out

https://m4dm4x.com/niwalker-c11-groupbuy-31-99/

SKV89
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Eventhough it is 6500k, the tint looks so yellow in your video. Too bad there is no NW version otherwise I would buy it.

WalkIntoTheLight
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SKV89 wrote:
Eventhough it is 6500k, the tint looks so yellow in your video. Too bad there is no NW version otherwise I would buy it.

Yes, color in the video is very misleading. It is definitely a traditional cool white tint.

Bastarrdo
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On the pictures the LED looks like a xp-l2 or i am wrong?

Is the head easy to open or is it glued?

WalkIntoTheLight
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Bastarrdo wrote:
On the pictures the LED looks like a xp-l2 or i am wrong?

Is the head easy to open or is it glued?

The specs say it’s an XP-L. Is there an easy way to tell the difference?

The head just unscrews, so it’s easy to open. I find for my personal taste, the LED is too cool, so might make a good candidate to replace with a warm LED like a 5A or even a 7A tint. I like the user-interface, so a warm LED would make this really nice for warm freaks like me.

Bastarrdo
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Xp-l has white corners when you look from above. Xp-l2 has “yellow” corners.

WalkIntoTheLight
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Bastarrdo wrote:
Xp-l has white corners when you look from above. Xp-l2 has “yellow” corners.

Thanks. It has yellow corners, so I guess it’s an XP-L2.