Emisar D4S review

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AlexGT
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What about the clip used in this 26650 light? Can we find the supplier?

https://www.fasttech.com/product/5707401-btu-pk26-led-flashlight

Frumious
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Comparing the Emisar D4S and the BLF Q8 in Alaska:

Let me apologize for two things before I start:
1) Someone might have already posted a comparison of these two lights in this thread. I have not had the time to go through the previous 44 pages.
2) I don’t have photos to show what I will try to describe.

Here in Alaska the nights are getting very long and cold, making this a great time to get outside and try out my new Emisar D4S in vast dark wilderness beyond the edge of town.

The few nights ago I had taken out my D4S (XP-L HI V2 3A @5000K), comparing it with my other Emisar lights: the D4, D1 and D1S. My takeaway from those trials is that I can put away my D4 and D1 as the D4S has the brightness of the D4 and throw of the D1. The D1S throws a longer distance. I’ll keep that one around.

But it occurred to me the D4S seemed similar to the BLF Q8 in terms of light output (lumens, flood and throw). How similar?

Last night I took my D4S and BLF Q8 (XP-L HD V6 3D @4750K) to my favorite remote testing spot, the base of a shear rock cliff that is about 300 meters long and 100 meters tall. I stood at one end of the base of this cliff, comparing throw, flood, brightness and tint knowing I would not be disturbing any humans, the nearest living miles away. (I once bothered a curious moose and another time a massive Great Horned owl. Sorry fellas.)

The beams of the two lights are indeed very similar. Both provide a useful combination of a broad hot spot giving plenty of throw plus abundant spill/flood. In fact, that much flooding light (at turbo levels) reflecting on white crystalline snow can be too dazzling. Both lights throw a beam the full 300m length of the cliff with almost the same apparent brilliance. The Q8 is a teeny-tiny bit brighter than the D4S but it’s just about a tie. Batteries: Q8: 4-18650 Sony VTC6; D4S: 1-26650 Orbtronic 5750mah high drain. Freshly charged.

The tint of the Q8 (4750K) is a bit warmer than the D4S (5000K). Both look nice.

The biggest differences between the two lights are:
1) Physical size and weight
2) How they handle their generated heat and
3) Batteries

Size and weight: The D4S is pocketable in my denim jeans. At 242g with battery, and only 4.1” short, it is almost an EDC – though it is not a shirt pocket carry. The Q8 needs a much bigger pocket – like the one in my overcoat. The Q8 is also too heavy (608g with batteries) to leave in my overcoat pocket. My car’s glovebox is a good place for it.

Heat handling: The D4S gets warm fairly quickly – though not as quickly nor as hot as the scorching D4. Quick heat renders the D4 less than practical. Not so the D4S: It can run at around 800 lumens without overheating (remember: I live in cold Alaska. You may need to ramp the D4S a bit lower to keep it cool). The Q8, with its greater mass, is a champ at heat dissipation. It takes a long time to get warm; it never gets hot.

Batteries: The four 18650 batteries in the Q8 will outlast the single 26650 in the D4S. But the D4S/26650 lasts a long time (compared to lights with a single 18650).

And the winner is…..? Which light will I use the most? Which will I reach for first? Which will stay closest to me?

In terms of short to mid-duration light output (bright bursts up to a few minutes), both lights are equally capable. They are excellent flood AND throw lights.

So, for me, it comes down to carrying convenience. And here the D4S has the clear advantage. It is smaller and much lighter than the Q8. It goes where I go more easily. It also fits in my hand perfectly.

I predict Emisar will sell a lot of these.

Other thoughts on the D4S: The auxiliary emitters are nice (mine are cyan). I keep them on their low setting although the high setting creates a nice Blue Moon mode. I also purchased the magnetic cap. It is a strong magnet. It holds the light at any angle. It is fond of my key ring.

PBWilson
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Thanks for this head to head comparison. I’ve been looking for something as powerful as my Q8 but in a smaller size. I thought I’d need a larger light with perhaps a XHP70.2 emitter but it seems that the D4S (even with the tradeoffs) is a contender.

AlexGT
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Thanks for the comparison, I was also looking for something like the Q8 but smaller. Smile Beer

Can’t wait to get mine!

d_t_a
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Will add my own video beamshot test comparisons (each Youtube video is around 20 seconds long) for each of these flashlights:

 

(direct ground distance of flashlight to the building on the opposite side is around 125 meters or 400 feet, as checked with Google Maps; but since it's more of a diagonal up, I'd expect around 150 meters diagonal distance)

(tests done with fully-charged batteries: around 4.15+ v ;  the Sofirn & BLF Q8 use 4x VTC6 [not "new" ones but have been using them for testing for the bigger part of this year]; while the D4S use cyan INR26650-50A [supposed to be similar to Lii-50A])

(recorded the D4S twice)

 (indicated "lumens" are not my measured lumens but the "manufacturer rated lumens")

 

1) Emisar D4S (quad Nichia 219C 5000K CRI90, "3000 lumens")

 

2) Emisar D4S (quad XPL-Hi, V2-3A, "4300 lumens")

 

3) BLF Q8 (quad XPL-HD V6 3D, NW, stock, except updated to Anduril, "5000 lumens")

 

4) Sofirn (quad XPL-Hi, CW, stock, except updated to Anduril, "5000 lumens")

 

5) Emisar D1 (XPL-Hi, V2-3A, "1250 lumens")

 

notes: Sofirn Q8 is a lot more throwy

AlexGT
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Awesome videos d_t_a Thank you for sharing…!!! Smile Beer

Coscar
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AlexGT wrote:
Awesome videos d_t_a Thank you for sharing…!!! Smile Beer

I agree………. Thumbs Up Beer I also really enjoyed your post Frumious….. almost felt like I was there in Alaska at the base of the cliff with the moose and owls…. Coooool! Still in the low 80s here during the day ~~
I havent ordered my D4S yet but I do have a D1S that is lonely for a floodier brother for EDC.
BTW, Welcome to BLF! Beer Beer

Im not a Pessimist …. just an Optimist with a lot of experience


A little John Prine

Frumious
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Thanks for these videos d_t_a.

My Q8 is the stock BLF – the same as video #3. My D4S has the same emitters as both #2 videos.

I notice in the first of the two #2s there appears a substantial and quick drop of brightness. That drop is not so noticeable in the second #2 video.

Perhaps because it is cold up here, temperature activated step-down does not happen as quickly. Also, I read instructions in one of TK’s posts for how to raise the activation point of the temperature step-down from its low factory default. This would also extend the time the D4S stays at max lumens. I had planned on doing this but after the cold trial did not see the need. I now think I will do it anyway.

Thanks again.

Frumious
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Coscar –

Thanks for your welcome. There is real nice camaraderie here on BLF. Everyone helps each other.

Yes, Alaska in winter, with its lonnnnng dark nights, is a great place for flashlights!

I went out again tonight and witnessed an extra bonus: pale green waves of Northern Lights!

DB Custom
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Yes, Frumious, nice little essay there on how these compare. I’m not surprised you found them so close in overall performance, nor am I the least bit surprised that it’s the run time and heat that creates the division between the two.

I was surprised to see your report, a friend of mine just got back from Alaska and he really enjoyed his week long excursion. Lights, especially really good lights, are notably essential for that climate. Glad you found the right ones and that you’re enjoying them. Is it safe to leave the Li-ion’s in the glove box? I mean, overnight temps can be brutal… not something I’ve ever had to worry about so I’d likely forget and maybe kill a good light or at least a good set of cells.

Welcome aboard! (hide your wallet!)

radellaf
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Due to the way the aux LEDs are implemented, it can only have three levels — high, low, and off. To do a medium mode, the light would have to stay awake to quickly pulse the LEDs on and off, and that would cost more power…

I don’t recall seeing it mentioned elsewhere: how is low on the aux LEDs implemented? 2nd digital out pin and resistor?

—-

Still loving my green/cyan XP-L 4k (can never remember the color code), which spends most of its time in aux hi as an expensive nightlight. The FET gets very little use, as the 7135 mode is so much brighter than the D4, that it’s usually enough. It is the best tint of any light except maybe the SC600m3hi. I guess the HI is a nicer beam than the 2, and four of them evens out the corona even further. Lanyard spike isn’t annoying me as much. Sorta wishing I got the magnet tailcap.

BlueSwordM
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@DB Custom, as long as you don’t charge them in the cold, no problem at all. Also, get him some high drain cells, or even high drain 30A ones.

The lower the internal resistance, the less cold will affect performance.

TKDR: DON’T CHARGE CELLS IN THE COLD.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

radellaf
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Don’t charge cells in the cold.

That is important advice for anything that uses LiIon batteries. Laptop, phone, whatever. It may sense the temperature and disable or limit charging, or it may not. I really don’t need an unhappy 26650 cell in the house. Also why I wish for a 21700 Emisar, since IDK if we’ll ever see one of the big mfg making a 26650. Wish we would, it’d probably be 6Ah.

Frumious
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DB Custom wrote:
…. Is it safe to leave the Li-ion’s in the glove box? I mean, overnight temps can be brutal… not something I’ve ever had to worry about so I’d likely forget and maybe kill a good light or at least a good set of cells.

Welcome aboard! (hide your wallet!)

Thanks for the welcome DB Custom!

Good question about Li-ions in a cold glove box. I had to think about that for a moment. No, that is not a problem. In fact, one of the hot selling items up here is a Li-ion car jump-starting battery that you leave in your car all winter. It is amazing how small these are – about the size of a small paperback book. I charge it in the fall and it holds its charge through the winter.

Frumious
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BlueSwordM wrote:
…as long as you don’t charge them in the cold, no problem at all. Also, get him some high drain cells, or even high drain 30A ones. The lower the internal resistance, the less cold will affect performance.

TKDR: DON’T CHARGE CELLS IN THE COLD.

Thanks BlueSwordM. I did not know the connection between internal resistance and the effects of cold on battery performance. Fortunately, most of my batteries are high drain. I’ll keep the others out of the cold.

strayz
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Hey, look another Alaskan!

I use my D4S a ton more than my Q8 as the Q8’s are sitting inside each of the doors (front and back) right now. I don’t like how much pocket space they use in my jacket. For smaller pocket carry it is still the D4 because, well crazy lights are fun.

funkychateau
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The Q8 badly needs a wrist strap. Walking out and getting into my truck with my hands full (pool cue case, drinking cup, truck keys, maybe a snack, and the Q8), I’m really scared I’m going to drop the Q8 on the pavement.

strayz wrote:
Hey, look another Alaskan!

I use my D4S a ton more than my Q8 as the Q8’s are sitting inside each of the doors (front and back) right now. I don’t like how much pocket space they use in my jacket. For smaller pocket carry it is still the D4 because, well crazy lights are fun.

Frumious
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Hi Strayz. Small world isn’t it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more Alaskans on this site. Can’t do without good flashlights up here during the dark half of the year. And this site is terrific for learning about portable lights: headlamps, fat bike lights, rifle lights, camping lanterns, search lights….you name it, we need good lighting gear. I have a friend who goes ocean diving in the dark winter – he needs lights.

I’m a fan of the Q8, but size matters. The D4S is a handier size. And, yes, its a crazy, fun, bright light.

Skylight
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Is there a chance that Emisar will make a short tube for the D4S? I know that with a 26350 it can’t be that bright but in some situations size counts more than output and you will not use it on full turbo many times. However I like the “fatty” look similar to the Fitorch P25. And of course I have 26350 batteries and not many lights that need them.

d_t_a
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Frumious wrote:
Thanks for these videos d_t_a.

My Q8 is the stock BLF – the same as video #3. My D4S has the same emitters as both #2 videos.

I notice in the first of the two #2s there appears a substantial and quick drop of brightness. That drop is not so noticeable in the second #2 video.

Perhaps because it is cold up here, temperature activated step-down does not happen as quickly. Also, I read instructions in one of TK’s posts for how to raise the activation point of the temperature step-down from its low factory default. This would also extend the time the D4S stays at max lumens. I had planned on doing this but after the cold trial did not see the need. I now think I will do it anyway.

Thanks again.

Thanks for the feedback.

The D4S (XPL-Hi) was just a few days old when I did that video, I had not calibrated the thermal configuration yet. But we’re in a hot tropical climate (it’s stll arond 30 degree Celsius ambient temperature here right now, in the evening). While reviewing the D4S video, I notice the brightness stepped down quite quickly (I hadn’t noticed it when I was capturing the video with my digicam), which is also why I did the video twice, to show the brightness when in Turbo.

fixed it
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radellaf wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
Due to the way the aux LEDs are implemented, it can only have three levels — high, low, and off. To do a medium mode, the light would have to stay awake to quickly pulse the LEDs on and off, and that would cost more power…

I don’t recall seeing it mentioned elsewhere: how is low on the aux LEDs implemented? 2nd digital out pin and resistor?

As far as I know, using the internal pull-up resistor of the MCU. Which is why it’s a fixed level which can’t be adjusted higher. You could change high level fairly easily by changing the resistor on the aux board.
zeroflow
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fixed it wrote:
radellaf wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
Due to the way the aux LEDs are implemented, it can only have three levels — high, low, and off. To do a medium mode, the light would have to stay awake to quickly pulse the LEDs on and off, and that would cost more power…

I don’t recall seeing it mentioned elsewhere: how is low on the aux LEDs implemented? 2nd digital out pin and resistor?

As far as I know, using the internal pull-up resistor of the MCU. Which is why it’s a fixed level which can’t be adjusted higher. You could change high level fairly easily by changing the resistor on the aux board.

Not just as far as you know. That’s the way it is implemented.

High = Pin set to output and pulled high
Low = Pin set to input and ~30..60k PullUp enabled.

ToyKeeper
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Zeroflow’s description is correct. The high/low/off thing is something I stumbled upon kind of by accident back in 2014. I’m not sure it’s meant to work that way, but it works, so I’ve been using it ever since.

funkychateau
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I noticed today that the D4S is now also offered with another emitter, XP-L HD. Has anyone tested/reviewed the D4S yet in this configuration?

And will this emitter also be offered for the D4 series?

PBWilson
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I saw that too. So many options available now.

I think I’ll make my decision once I see some side-by-side beam shots and throw measurements. HD vs HI…hmmmm…which will I choose?

nokoff
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The HD they have now is going to be for wide flood. Similar to the Nichia but brighter due to the V6 flux bin. The XPL HI will outthrow it and have a more defined, yet still wide, hotspot.
It’ll be interesting to see beam shots. If you have a short but wide backyard it will light it up without penetrating. brightly, maybe 150-200 feet is my guesstimate. I have the D4S in both Nichia and a V3 HI. The Nichia doesn’t light up the darkness beyond 125 feet. The XPL HI reaches, brightly, much farther, double the distance of the Nichia. I really like the XPL HI in this quad torch, it’s a wonderful choice. The HD may gain some traction with those who don’t want the reach; it has its uses too.

Now if only they would offer it in 3000k I’d buy two more!

Nokoff..still Made in China 山寨主義

PBWilson
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Good information! Thanks.

Micmania
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nokoff wrote:
Now if only they would offer it in 3000k I’d buy two more!
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funkychateau
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I have a question about the magnetic tailcap.

Is it just a standard tailcap with a magnet added between the spring PCB and the aluminum end cap? If so, does that mean that the added internal thickness prevents the cap from screwing on as far as it would without the magnet? How bad is the gap?

Or is the magnetic tailcap actually deeper by the thickness of the magnet, keeping the complete thread engagement but slightly lengthening the flashlight?

eas
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There is no additional gap with the magnetic tailcap. I indexed my tailcap to the head and there was just enough room to do it by sanding down the tube at both ends. Any more and the flanges at either end of the body tube would have interfered with the head and tailcap.

I doubt their are two different metal caps though, that sounds expensive for no real payoff. Instead I’d guess that there is a spacer or something used on the non-magnetic tailcaps. I’m not sure though. I only have the magnetic variety.

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