Nitefox UT20

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Lick
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Nitefox UT20

I reviewed the Nitefox UT20 and I love it. Its one of the best starter lights you can have for pretty much all you need if you aren't an enthusiast and even with a lot of stuff that flashlight enthusiasts will love!

(I received the flashlight to review, and was not paid for this review) 

 

First of all it looks white, a bit cool but not cool white. When I was talking about LEDs to regular people, they indicated they preferred incandescent for indoor lighting a lot of them were very prejudice against them, saying LEDs were very illuminating and bright but too cold and dead looking. This does not make stuff look dead, its not really neutral, its a bit cold, but its nothing that I found unpleasant. I think it is 5000k Its also got a lot of great features. The threads are nice and smooth, thick and well greased. It can tailstand on my model, I read in another review that it did not. Its not the steadiest but its nothing to worry about. I suppose either mine is new stock or its different tolerances.

I immediately noticed that it had a lot of great accessories. I never had a grip before, the included grip is great! I have it permanently on. The anonizing is very good quality, and I also liked the feel of the tail switch. Mine did not come with a battery, but they also sell a kit that does. It has a holster which is a great holster! You can charge it in the holster if you put it down tail first, but you must remove the grip if you do it this way. I use it in the holster with the grip headfirst. They have a really nice indicator/button for switching modes in non tactical mode. It goes from moon-low-med-high. It is a smooth reflector and not ringy unless you go white wall hunting and spinning it. I had used it until my 18650 was at 3.18v and at that point the med and high were the same. The modes are good, you can hold to strobe then go to tactical mode, but I don't use that, I actually don't know what its for or what good it is since its a lot of strobes and whatnot that I never use. There is mode memory as well, so it will always remember the last mode you used. I'd prefer it reset or reset after a certain time, but its just there forever.

I used it outside and I really really liked it. It was fun to go to a park and shine it as far as I could! I think that the turbo stopped working at one point because the medium and high were the same brightness so I am not sure if this is it on turbo or medium, but as you can see, its plenty far and plenty bright!

The charging port charges the 18650, it changes color when its charging.

I would highly recommend this flashlight. It has a few things I dislike, all with the UI although its a bit nitpicky and not a big deal, they're all preferences. I'd prefer it to have no mode memory or have the ability to turn it off. Some people like to start it in low mode all the time (me usually) and others want it to stay on the last made they used (me sometimes). For a light like this it would be better to be able to choose memory on/off. The other thing is the med high issue I had when it wasn't strong enough to put it into turbo. I suspect its not a linear driver and could be a FET, but I haven't looked at the driver. I would prefer if the last mode would not be cycled into if the brightness didn't change, but if you keep it mostly charged (which isn't hard since it has a port on it) you would never have that problem, and it could be confusing for some people if a mode was missing, although its equally confusing for it to cycle into two of the same modes. As a tactical light, its better now since you want it to be reliable and not go into low when you wanted it brighter or at least the same brightness.

For the $20 right now, its a great buy. 

https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-Flashlight-Tactical-Handheld-Portable/dp/B074M69D6T/

 In this price range (my closest estimates) compare it to the classic BLF A6 and the Convoy S2+ and it comes on top of both. Why? The A6 has worse build quality (finer threads, more rattling, small imperfections) and the UI is better, but the moonlight gives it a purple tint that the UT20 doesn't suffer from, and the convoy S2+ if its got the 3/5 this one beats it, and the metal switch might be a preference, but this doesn't get as hot, and the build quality is similarly good except it comes with USB charging. Compared to those two, aside from the slightly longer length (not noticeable with the e switch in use), no tint choice and the mode memory, the accessories (clip, grip holster), charging port, UI, excellent build quality and 2 year warranty makes this a very easy product to recommend. 

Pictures here, mostly shots across a lagoon (sorry they're blurry I guess my phone is getting dated or I was really shaky)

 https://imgur.com/a/h9I0klF

My package came looking a bit wet, the paper had some streaks. I saw that there was some water marks on a piece of paper that was included on it, but it was just the paper and not the warranty/instructions nor the flashlight itself. Probably just a fluke, I just wanted to mention it in case someone who might think it came water damaged. 

Edited by: Lick on 07/20/2018 - 04:01
Lightbringer
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Yeah, it’s an all-around nice puppy.

Come to think of it, the insert I got seemed stained, too. Didn’t think much of it, as everything else was A1.

But the “high/medium” thing is normal. Once lights pull out of regulation as battery voltage declines, their highest mode isn’t so high anymore, but lesser modes can still be fully regulated, and stay the same. I run down alkaleaks in my SP10A and right before it cuts out completely, there’s little (if any) difference between high and medium. It’s lights with crappy drivers (eg, just parallelled ballast resistors) that kinda keep the same spacing between modes, even if overall brightness with a mostly-dead cell is only a small fraction of full-cell brightness.

And yeah, everything was nicely lubed, smooth threads, surprisingly good quality for the price-point. Even though I got one gratis for review, I went’n‘got another one as a spare.

Oh, and those Fasttech deep-carry clips go perfectly with this light, but you’d probably have to ditch the “tactical ring”. I hate those things anyway, so no big deal. Chances are, that and the come-with clip came off before I even put the battery in.

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Lick
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Hey lightbringer, I saw your review on it earlier and I agree. I kinda wish that after a voltage drop it wouldn't cycle to high again, but its probably harder to implement. Were you able to open the LED/reflector part?

 

I am pretty sure it is a FET driver, it isn't regulated and its pretty nice! Have you tried to see how far it throws?

Lightbringer
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Don’t think I tried getting it open. Hmm. I pretty much just use it as-is…

Only glitch I had is that the retaining ring on the sideswitch loosened and came out in my pocket. Good thing it wasn’t holstered, especially with a holster that has an open-bottom. After I eventually figured out where the ring came from, and — Holy Crap! The switchcap is almost coming off! — I put it back and snugged it up as best I can. If I can get some non-permanent Loctite™ I’ll probably do it right.

Nah, I don’t do “throw” measurements, as I have no idea what’s the “official” way to do it. Can barely find any unlit areas here anyway, so getting any beamshots at all is a royal pain.

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Lightbringer
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Actually, it can be nicely regulated, but just pull out of regulation as the battery voltage decreases. Even an S2+ with N×7135 can lose that 0.1V headroom the 7135s need, and current will decrease on high.

What makes you say it’s got a FET driver?

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Lick
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Update: I modded this light to have 219C, I broke the cree LED trying to dedome it, there are artifacts and there is a ring now in the light but it works fine still. The plastic ring crumbled but still use the pouch. This light is a fine light, the outputs are well spaced, wish it had a way to reset to moonlight mode but it isn't a big deal.