[Review] Nitecore EC4GTS ... 1,800 lm + Diecast + Turbo Boost UI

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[Review] Nitecore EC4GTS ... 1,800 lm + Diecast + Turbo Boost UI

Here’s a +1 for the EC4 family, the new EC4GTS featuring upgraded 1,800 lumens.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight Review CivilGear 048 

Link to product page: https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/ec4gts

 

Overview

Overall, the star of this light is the great performance, stays above 50% initial output the whole time!, thanks to the heat-dissipating die-cast construction. The UI is great as it has lots good short-cuts and TURBO boost. My only misgivings is the thread on the body for the tail cap and that the indicator light is a bit dim. 

Quick Specs

20180905171823_51865[1]

Features

20180905171825_26959[1]

 

Included

  • EC4GTS light
  • Holster
  • Lanyard
  • Manual
  • Warranty Card

 

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Options

For the 1800 lumen option, this is it, but there are many other EC4 type models which can fit many other needs.

Price

Current price is about $90 USD (see purchase links at the very end of the review)

Look & Feel

Outside

I really like the feel of this style as it feel smooth but has a little grip without being abrasive. The rounded corners gives this a friendly look but the head fins show that this light means business. The switches are tactile and easy to feel around for; there is also a slight ridge between the switches so you know which one you are on.

 

Inside

The opening and closing makes me a bit nervous as I feel that if I tighten the cap too tight, the tube wall threads may strip. Plus, you kind have to push the cap down a little to engage the threads, but if you don’t push enough when you tighten you may catch on the thread. Inside there are spring and flat contacts; the spring contacts actually have dual springs to help reduce resistance. Also inside, there is a graphic to show battery orientation, a nice touch.

 

Accessories

Not much came with the light but nice there is a holster which can be attached 3 ways. I also noticed that the inside of the holster is slightly rubbery which should keep rain from soaking through.

 

 

Optics

LED specs

The light uses one CREE XHP35 HD.

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Beam Profile

The light has a very narrow spot of 8 degree FWHM beam angle (very narrow!). This is the angle at which light output has reached 50% of maximum. The total spill beam angle is about 50 degrees.

Currently, these readings are strictly sensor recorded, and are not adjusted based on human perception of light.

 

Tint

The EC4GTS is on the left and has a little bit of yellow center with cool spill. On the right is the Nichia 21b in the NItecore MT06MD penlight.

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Output Levels

The mode spacing is fine for me, I’m usually pretty easy to please; has ultra low and 5 modes so lots of options.

 

 

 

Outdoor Beamshots

 All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO.

Power

Battery

The light does NOT come with cells so you will need to pick some up. Uses 18650’s button top; the manual says you cannot use flatops or any CR123As or their rechargeable versions. 

Indicators

There is an indicator light under the power switch which is used for indicating power, drop-and-find, and lock out.

Battery Check

When the light is off, a single tap on the mode button will check the reminain power and the light will blink: 3 times for power greater than 50%, 2 times for power less than 50%, and 1 time for less than 10%. 

Low Voltage Warning

When the power is very low, the indicator will blink rapidly

Drop-and-find

With the light on, press and hold the power to turn off the light, this will also turn on the perpetual drop-and-find mode and the indicator light once every 2 seconds. When the light is turned on, the drop-and-find will be temporarily be disabled, but once the light is turned off regularly, by single click of the power, the drop-and-find mode will be resumed. To turn off this mode, turn the light on, then press and hold the power button again, this will turn off the light and the drop-and-find mode.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight Review CivilGear 047

 

Performance

Runtimes

TURBO holds pretty very well for almost 7 minutes seconds and decreases to 67% about 310 min later; the final drop is at 2 hours from ~50% down to ~3%. I initially did a turbo reset but because it was later on in the runtime, the light did not recover due to lower power available. There is quite a sudden drop at the very end which doesn’t give the user much warning but the blinking indicator light should keep the user informed. 

NITECORE-EC4GTS-RUNTIME_CIVILGEAR_REVIEWS

Temperature

A max body temp of 125°F and out-the-front temp of 176°F was observed for starting in turbo with no resets and no fan cooling. The body temperature is a bit warm but not out very much under control. 

BATTERIES USED FOR TEST

The below batteries was either provided or recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure that you carefully research any cell you are considering using before purchasing.

  • Brand: Nitecore
  • Model: NL1834
  • Positive Contact: button-top
  • LVP: non-protected
  •  
  • Voltage: 3.7
  • Capacity: 3400 mAh
  • Cell Length: 69.2mm

 

PWM Check

There appears to be no significant PWM on any constant mode. For comparison, the last graph shows PWM varying from 0 to 120 lx on the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.

 

Strobes

Strobe frequency is about 17hz

NITECORE-EC4GTS-STROBE (1)

Flashing/Beacon

Frequency is about  1 flash every 2 seconds.

NITECORE-EC4GTS-BEACON

User interface

The light uses 2 buttons (power and mode) and are both single-stage electronic switches. There are various shortcuts, which I like, and an electronic lock-out is most welcome in this body style.

Cool feature is the momentary TURBO boost mode by holding the mode switch. 

The only trade-off the of this UI is that there is now is that strobe can only be activated when the light is already ON, but I think this is OK since this is not a tactical flashlight.

One thing to mention is that if you use the shortcut to ultra low or turbo but turn off the light right after, that setting is not remembered; you have to cycle the light normally to ultra low or turbo for it to be remembered; generally kind of like this since there are already shortcuts to these ends, but it is something you should know.

One area of improvement is the “drop & find” mode. If you enable it but then turn on and off the light normally, you loose it. If I’m walking in the woods, I want it on that whole time and I don’t want to have to do a long press on the power button to turn it off every time! Also wish the indicator light was brighter.

NITECORE EC4GTS USER INTERFACE DIAGRAM CIVILGEAR 01.pptx_1

 

Conclusions

 Highlights

  • Strong output over time, pretty much always above 50% output, thanks to diecast construction
  • Smooth body but still looks technical especially due to heat fins and the 
  • Has 1/4″ thread at the tail for tripod use
  • Robust UI with shortcuts to ULow and TURBO, plus momentary TURBO
  • Switches are very tactile 

 Comments

  • Tail cap mechanics, body thread feels a little vulnerable to striping due to initial misalignment
  • Could use a little more knurling on the wide sides
  • The shortcut to ULOW does not save if you turn the light right off and on again

Purchase

The current price for the light is about $90 USD and if you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, amazon gives me very small % of their profit):

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2RRxlfQ

 

Notes

Disclaimers:

  • CivilGear Reviews received this product for testing and providing an honest review.
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for writing this review.
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com