Nicron B74 Review

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everydaysurvivalgear
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Nicron B74 Review

Nicron B74 Review

!DSC_7153!

Hey folks I am back with a new review its been a while! Today we will be reviewing the Nicron B74 this is a fairly new light to the market so we will put it through it paces and see how it does. I already like the light because it doesn’t have some silly name that I can’t pronounce.

The Nicron B74 was sent to me for review by Gearbest so I will a purchase link and discount here. The discount here applies to all colours and is cheaper then the group buy price.
Nicron B74
Coupon: NICRONB74CREE
Price: $18.99 USD

What is included?

  • Nicron B74
  • 14500 battery
  • Micro USB cable
  • Clip
  • Instructions
  • Warranty card

!DSC_7144!

Build & Design
When reviewing a new flashlight from a company I have never heard of before and or buying a flashlight from a new company. Its always a gamble to see what the results will be. I am pleasantly surprised to see the amazing build quality of the B74.
The overall fit and finish of the B74 is amazing it defiantly feels like a premium light. The Nicron B74 stands out in every way which is good its a very unique looking flashlight and earns point in this department.

!DSC_7164!

So many lights look generic and the same so its good to see companies stepping outside the box and changing up a flashlight design. All of these added design features also make the B74 a versatile and practical light.
The B74 is an adjustable head flashlight but that is not the only difference. The tail cap is a hexagon shape which makes it a super easy to change the battery even if you are wearing gloves. This also gives the B74 a unique look considering most tail caps are round!
The aggressive knurling looks really cool but also offers a lot of grip.
The amount of grip on the B74 is better then any light of similiar size and the texture of knurling feels awesome.

!DSC_7151!

The B74 features a reversible clip so you can double up the Nicron B74 as a headlamp if you are wearing a hat or helmet (I don’t mean condom but we probably could use some light down there lol). The Nicron B74 has an inbuilt none removable magnet which sits on the outside of the tail cap and looks really cool. Who doesn’t love shiny stuff?
Even the head on the Nicron B74 is a unique shape it is shaped with cutouts that act as grips which in turn makes it easier to angle the head one handed.
I think for the most part I will let the pictures do the talking.

!DSC_7193!

The B74 is available is 4 colours but my colour is the stock Gray colour which by its self already stands out and look more premium when compared to standard black anodizing. Nicron say the colour is gray it appears slightly gray and slightly light black its a completely different colour to all my other lights. Almost gun metal gray.

The anodizing grade is not stated which is a first for a flashlight company. Nicron do state “good quality anodizing” Seeing as its sold in various colours it will be using a different style of anodizing then what is normally used. The B74 is still made out of air-craft grade aluminum alloy.

!DSC_7184!

I can say for sure on my light the anodizing is very good it is well finished and looks perfect it has no nicks or marks from the factory. I have EDC the B74 for a week and I have had no issues as of yet with marks on the B74.

The threads are very well cut and came lubricated from the factory the threads are of good size a bit thicker than is usually found on this size light. The B74 can only be opened on the tail cap this is done to make single handed angling of the head easier. Trust me i learnt this the hard way!

The main feature that will attract people to the B74 is the angle head design. The B74 is capable of rotating to a 90 degree angle. The head turning action is smooth and clean and can easily be moved with one finger. I think the action is neither too lose or tight.
Single handed operation is super easy! (That’s what she said?)
The head feels like it has less play in it then the first Rofis flashlights.

!DSC_7167!

The Nicron B74 uses a single side switch which sits on top of the B74 when the head is flat.

The switch position changes to the side of the B74 when you angle the head. Well the switch stays in the same place but angling the head changed the direction of the reflector. Soooo in turn you have to move the switch to the side to make it all straight again. Riddle me this.
The switch itself feels good and has a good amount of grip and offers great feedback. My only issue is that the switch is not flat so it can be easily activated when stored in your pocket and Nicron did not add a lockout feature to the B74.

You will need to lockout the B74 by undoing the tail cap slightly it only needs to be loosen the smallest amount because the B74 has anodized threads.
If you like to pocket your EDC I think the reversible clip maybe the savior on the B74 as this will allow the switch to sit outside your pocket.

!DSC_7179!

Size wise the B74 is a larger 14500/AA style flashlight but it does have the advantage of being able to angle the head to minimize size. The angle head design does add size to the B74 but when the head is angled the B74 is smaller then the Blitzwolf BW-ET1.

Size specs

  • Weight: 56 grams (without the battery)
  • Length: 112mm
  • Width at widest point: 21mm
  • When head is angled
  • Length: 96mm
  • Head: 38mm

As an EDC flashlight durability is a concern but the Nicron B74 has you covered. The B74 has all the usual specs you would find a modern day flashlight these include the following.

  • 1m drop resistant
  • IP65 rain resistant
    Drop resistance is average but as the B74 is using a boost driver this is to be expected. Most AA flashlight will suffer this issues as they are using a boost driver.

!DSC_7219!

Performance
The Nicron B74 is in the sweet spot for performance it outputs a good amount of light. The B74 is neither the best nor worse performer in the 14500 class but the B74 does hold its own compared to other 14500 lights. Output wise the B74 has a max output of 480 lumens with a 14500 rated by Nicron. For some reason Nicron has no numbers for the output with a AA so I will add my own measurements here. Okay so my measurements are similiar to Nicrons i got 547 leumsn with an IMR 14500.
I also got 240 lumens with an Eneloop pro on high mode.
I think for a EDC light running on a smaller cell this is a fair output. With a good compromise between output and run times on high mode.

!DSC_7240!

The B74 is using a Cree XPL V5 so you get a good LED for the price. Efficiency at this lower output should be really good on the XPL. Also using a Cree XPL leaves room for improvement If you want to mod the B74 in future. You could easily reflow a NW LED if that is what you.
The tint is on the cooler side probably around 6500k so its not to bad better tint than if they would have used a similar binned XPL-HI. Have a look at the picture below of the B74 vs the Mi7.

!DSC_7222!

As for the driver it appears to be a fairly simple boost driver the B74 will work with 14500s and all AA like NiMH, NiCads(if any one still uses them?) alkaline batteries. It does appear to have reverse polarity protection but don’t hold me to that. I only tried with an Eneloop.

I didn’t notice step down in my use but because the output is rated to last 1.5 hours their would need to need be some step down. Overall the B74 handles the output heat easily and doesn’t get to hot.

Modes and Output with 14500

  • High Mode: 480 lumens at 1.5 hours
  • Low Mode: 120 lumens at 5.5 hours
  • Strobe: 480 lumens
  • SOS: 480 lumens

Output measured by me

  • High mode: 547 lumens

Modes and Output measured by me with AA Eneloop

  • High mode: 240 lumens
  • Low mode: 80 lumens
    My light measuring source is not calibrated to measure output this low so I can not guarantee the outputs with a standard AA. In person the B74 looks brighter than all the lights tested except for maybe the Blitzwolf.

!DSC_7262!

I will add some AA run times in a few days when I get a chance to bum around.

The B74 is using an SMO reflector so the throw is okay for a smaller flashlight. The beam pattern is nice and uniform with a smaller hot spot in the middle but the beam pattern is fairly wide for this size light.

  • 3000cd
  • 110 meter

!DSC_7196!

UI
The UI on the Nicron B74 is the best UI I have ever seen. I love a simple light I mean I am a simple man just look at all my spelling errors lol. To be honest I prefer this style of UI the B74 could use a lower mode but not because I would use it purely just to get extra run times in emergencies. Strobe some what takes care of this issue.

The B74 only has 4 modes high and low mode plus a hidden strobe and SOS. How easy is that? No fancy clicks and clacks to remember.
The B74 has no memory mode but seeing as its only 2 modes that is no issues. The B74 starts on high mode every time that may be an issues for some people so keep this in mind.
Please note you do have cycle modes to turn the light of not really much of an issue.

!DSC_7265!

Included 14500
The Nicron B74 comes with an included 14500 that is branded Nicron it has a built in USB charging port on the battery. So although the B74 doesn’t have a USB charger you can still charge the battery on the go. The included cell is rated at 750mah which is around where you would expect for a 14500.
I tested the capacity of the included battery with my Liitokala Engineer 500 and got this results.
780mah

!DSC_7203!

Overall
Overall the Nicron B74 is a super simple and easy to use flashlight that is well built. The B74 looks very stylish while still being super versatile. Being able to use regular of the shelf batteries is hard to beat in any flashlight.
I think if Nicron made the side switch flat the B74 would be the best EDC on the market right now its one of the best. Remember the side switch issue is easy to work around by simply locking out the tail cap.

All these pics where taken at ISO800

B74 High mode 547 lumens (14500)
!Nicron lithium first then Nimh last 7!

B74 low mode 120 Lumens
!Nicron lithium first then Nimh last 7!

B74 to tree 100m on high mode. It only just makes it.
!Nicron lithium first then Nimh last 7!

High mode on the tree the tint is good for a cold white.
!Nicron lithium first then Nimh last 7!

High mode with Eneloop AA (240 lumens measured by me)
!Nicron lithium first then Nimh last 7!

Low mode with Eneloop AA (80 lumens measured by me)
!Nicron lithium first then Nimh last 7!

This time i done 2 sets of comparisons one with a 14500 and one with AA cells.

B74 on the left and Klarus Mi7 on the right. You can see the tint difference between similiar binned XPL HD and HI emitters
!Klarus Mi7 nimh!

B74 Left and Jetbeam Jet MK1 Right once again the B74 does well and is clearly brighter and has a better tint. I am not a fan of under driven XPG2s.
!Jet mk1!

Nicron B74 on the left and Blitzwolf BW-ET1 right Proper NW LED on the BW-ET1 for comparison.
!Blitzwolf!

These pics are taken with 14500s

B74 Left and BW-ET1 Right with a 14500 the brightness gap closes.
!Blitzwolf lithium!

B74 left and MK1 right
!Jet mk1 lithium!

B74 left and MI7 right
!Mi7 lithium!

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Regards Chris!

Edited by: everydaysurvivalgear on 05/28/2018 - 14:59
wle
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i have a nicron black light 1xAA, and it is very well made
for $10 it is unbelievably good

wle

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everydaysurvivalgear
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wle wrote:
i have a nicron black light 1xAA, and it is very well made
for $10 it is unbelievably good

wle

Yea i was looking on Aliexpress they have a dual AA light that interest me. I think we need a custom BLF double AA light.

everydaysurvivalgear
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I added a video if any one is interested.

Phlogiston
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Thanks for the review Thumbs Up

It looks like a nice light. If they bring out a NW version, I’m definitely interested.

eas
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Has anyone managed to get into the head of this light? I got an N7 from Amazon, which is, at the very least, the same host. The body tube was glued to the head. I got it loose without too much trouble. The diver was press fit (and not squarely), I got it loose. There were two screws in the driver cavity. I removed them, and the (plastic) angle joint and top of the head slid free.

I’m still left without a way to change the emitter, which I’d really like to do, or, at the very least, properly center the stock emitter.

I thought maybe the other half of the angle joint was glued, but I realize that even if it were, the front must open up somehow, because othewise there would have been no way to install the reflector and lens. I don’t see any joints though. I may just have to try and see if there is a hidden glued or threaded joint near the bezel, but I was hoping someone else had already tried, and succeeded.

.

eas
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Well, I think I’ve answered my own question. The lens is plastic and it seems to be pressed in and probably glued. Yech. I guess I can just rip it out, and then fit a glass replacement and glue that in.

.

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I just got this and this is amazing.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

d_t_a
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Just re-reading ths review of the Nicron B74.

I’ve had the Nicron B74 purchased from Gearbest sometime around December 2017. The described UI is different.

On my B74, there are 3 brightness levels (low-medium-high).
(I don’t have a lumens meter, but using Lux values and “guesstimating” the lumens, probably something like 70-180-550 lumens for low-medium-high, using a 14500 battery).

Visually, the spacing between Low and Medium brightness levels is a bit close. Perhaps a slightly lower Low mode would be better.

The UI is not the same:
- From Off, hold for about 2 seconds to turn the flashlight On.
- While On, single-clicks will advance the brightness levels (Low-Med-High). It has mode memory. (will remember which mode when it was turned Off)
- Hold the button for about 2 seconds to turn the flashlight Off.

There are no Strobes nor SOS modes.

Looks like Nicron changes the UI entirely while retaining the same model number. (I notice they also have a Nicron N7 and Nicron B74e, that looks very similar, but not exactly the same as the B74).

Petr J.
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I also have a Nicron B74. Gold and blue versions. I also have a Nicron N7. All have the same user interface. High, low. While holding down the button, it is strobe / sos. B74 purchased at Gearbest in April 2018, N7 at Aliexpres in 2018 and 2019 (four pieces as gifts).
The B74 is my favorite flashlight for every day. Powerful magnet, large button, angle head, battery with micro USB charging, AA cell option. I have been using it very often since April 2018 and is absolutely reliable.

d_t_a
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Possibly older UI version of B74. So it looks like they updated it.

Quick clicks while Off, doesn’t turn on the flashlight nor activate any “hidden” strobe mode.
(has to be a “Hold” for maybe ~1second to turn On/Off..

Also noticed that on my B74 tailcap, it has ‘FC CE RoHS” marking, but not “date code” like the ones above…