[The Lite Review]: Nitefox K3 Review (AAA)

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mcorp
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[The Lite Review]: Nitefox K3 Review (AAA)

Preface

The original review can be found on TLR's website: Click Here

Yet another "budget-friendly" but quality gift light for yourself or loved ones?

The K3 runs off a single AAA battery - which probably is the most common battery format besides the AA battery.

Let's put this light through its paces and see if the first impression holds true.

>> Click HERE to check out how you can get this light at 30% OFF <<

Note: only 30 single use discount code are available & expires 28th Feb 2018.

Packaging & First Impressions

This is what the light will come with as shown below.

  • Comes in a small rectangular minimalist plastic box.
  • A transparent rubber band is used as a double precaution - probably to ensure the box does not open itself during shipment.
  • The threads and o-rings were mildly lubricated. Threads were rather smooth and clean (no gritty feeling) – great for twisty lights.
  • Ample threads for a twisty light to remove any likelihood of the head unscrewing off  from the body and dropping off by accident.
  • Anodizing of the light is uniform without any missing specs.
  • The provided clip can be reversed installed. Hence, attachment of the light to a baseball cap for hands-free usage is possible.
  • Clip has sufficient tension to ensure that the light will stay clipped to any material to prevent the light from falling out.
  • Key chain provided is of good quality and should withstand day-to-day abuse without issue.
  • Battery compartment holds Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloops, GP ReCyKo+, Energiser Ultimate Lithium (L92) and (Energiser and Duracell) alkaline batteries without any fitment issues.

Front:

Back:

Box Contents:

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Body Material: Black HAIII Aluminium
  • LED: XP-G2
  • Battery Format: 1 x AAA (1.2V NiMH rechargeable/1.5V lithium primary batteries/1.5V alkaline [not recommended]) ONLY
  • Output & Runtime:
    • Moonlight (0.1 lumens / 120h)
    • Low (15 lumens / 6.5h)
    • High (150 lumens / 0.5h)
  • Max Beam Distance: 45m
  • Beam intensity: 513cd
  • Waterproofness: IPX-8 Standard (2m)
  • Impact Resistance: 1m
  • Dimension: 70mm (length) x 14mm (body diameter)
  • Weight: 12g (excluding batteries)
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • Accessories Included:
    • 1*Diffuser
    • 1*Clip
    • 1*Key Chain
    • 1*Split Ring
    • 1*Holster
    • 1*Spare O-rings
  • MSRP: ~$10 (Black Color) & ~$13 (Red Color) [See Where to Buy for special discount]

UI (User Interface)

UI for this light is great for keychain or pocket duty due to its ease of operation.

Switching ON and OFF is done by twisting the head of the light. Twist the head clockwise will activate the light. Likewise, twisting the head anti-clockwise will deactivate the light.

Mode changing (MOONLIGHT, LOW and HIGH) can be done via the twisting action as above. After the light is switched ON, a quick twist anti-clockwise (till the light goes off) and clockwise again (within 1 to ~15 seconds) will bring the light into the next mode. Repeat till the desired mode is achieved.

To activate Strobe - quickly rotate the light ON-OFF-ON under 1 second.

The mode memory lasts for ~15 seconds. After which, the light will reset to MOONLIGHT upon first activation.

All twisty activation of the light can be done with one hand.

No SOS mode is available.

Form Factor

The light is extremely small and is barely bigger than the AAA battery it uses to power the light. So much so that it could even disappear from view in a clenched small sized hand.

Owing to its light weight and size, it will slip into a pants coin pocket or any place you would like to carry it and you wouldn’t notice it is there till you actually need it.

With the clip attached, it will prevent the light from rolling freely on its sides and still enables it to tail-stand perfectly. The light is still able to tail-stand perfectly even with the key chain attached.

Owing to the ample knurling on the light, it can be activated with one hand easily, even with wet hands/gloves.

Beam Style/Beamshots

For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is somewhat predictable due to the shallow Light Orange Peel Reflector and emitter used. As such, it is a predominantly floody beam light sufficient for most close range duty.

The above beam profile is a rough interpretation of what is seen when white wall hunting. The beam has a slight squarish spill with a wide circular hotspot and the corona blending almost entirely with the spill. It also helps that the XP-G2 is perfectly centred in this sample. There is a slight ring in the beam when whitewall hunting but not visible in real world usage.

All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (MOONLIGHT: 1.6, F3.5, ISO100, LOW & HIGH: 1, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB).
Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.

Control shot:

MOONLIGHT (0.1 lumens):

LOW (15 lumens):

HIGH (150 lumens):

Mode (Output) Spacing

Mode spacing appears to be progressively brighter to the eye and the modes are well spaced enough to be able to know which mode one is currently in. With that in mind, TLR tend to view mode spacing as battery life indicators (amount of runtime left) rather than the specific output (lumens).

The MOONLIGHT mode stated to be 0.1 lumen, appears to around ~2 lumens instead. It is a tad too bright for night-adjusted eyes and midnight snack runs but would make it a decent bedside light, besides being on a keychain.

Tint & CRI

Nitefox did not disclose the tint (color temperature) and/or the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LEDs used in their light. For this light, a guesstimate would be in the 6000K and 70CRI ballpark.

However, due to the emitter used, there are tint shifts throughout the beam profile. The hotspot is almost creamy white whilst the corona possess a slight yellowish tint; and the spill having a slight purple tint.
This is however, not as noticeable in real life.

Waterproofness

The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on Turbo.

No signs of water intrusion in the head or body was seen.

Lockout Capability

Being a twisty light, it has no electronic lockout but mechanical lockout is possible as needed.

A quarter turn (anti-clockwise) of the head from OFF will enable mechanical lockout.

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own EDC or to gift to our loved ones out from one's pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For this light, it is a absolute YES; as it makes for an excellent backup light and gift.

The provided diffuser fit perfectly on the light and provided great soft flood lighting like a lantern would (we found ourselves using this accessory a lot during the review period - excellent for reading and up-close stuff). At this price point, we were hard pressed to find any flaws. If we were to nit-pick, it would be the slight variance in actual output on the MOONLIGHT mode.

Here is a size comparison between the K3 against a slightly pricier AAA backup light - the Fenix E01 we reviewed previously.

As with all gears, two is one and one is none.

Stay safe,
The Lite Review


Disclaimer: Light was provided for by Nitefox (manufacturer) for this review. No other compensation was provided.


Where to Buy Links

Click HERE to check out where to get this light at a special limited discount.

The Lite Review (click for my Review website!)

Edited by: mcorp on 03/01/2018 - 10:04