Average dude reviews - Nicron N7

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nydude
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Average dude reviews - Nicron N7

*(Disclaimer) Hi, I’m gonna try and put together a little series of average dude reviews. These are reviews for the potential non-flashaholics that may wonder in. Some of you guys do such great and detailed reviews but they are sometimes hard to follow and sometimes I just want to hear if something is pretty cool or kinda blah. I know a bit about flashlights, but don’t mod, or program, and can’t tell which emitter i’m using just by looking at it. Also, maybe the manufactures here want a “muggles” perspective. So that’s what up! *

The Nicron N7 (rotating head single AA/14500 tactical flashlight?) I’m kinda loving this thing. Lots of little design points to appreciate every time I pick it up. Got lucky and bought it on Amazon Prime “Day” for like $9.70 delivered. Couldn’t resist. Totally worth it! Also, been craving L-shaped lights recently.

Color: The very first thing I noticed was the awesome color/anodization. It’s a metallic blue, but in some light there may be a little tiny bit of green/grey. It’s a bit like what I imagine the ocean looks like on the Transformers home planet (Unicron?). Really cool. Hope it translates in the pictures.

Beam: The paper that came with the N7 said it was a tactical flashlight. The promo pic is of a dude hiking in the snow with this clipped to a chest strap, which I think is photoshopped on!!! Not that I care. The beam is a nice color, with a smooth reflector, creating a solid, small hotspot. I always think of smaller throwy hot spots as more tactical so that’s cool.

Shape: It’s an L-shaped light and is very comfortable in the hand and to point. I assume it could be a headlamp, bit it didn’t come with a band or anything and I don’t know where to get one that would fit. The head can also rotate to be a straight light which I like as an option, but I’ve got lots of straight lights and probably will rarely do it. The head rotation by the way is tight but smooth enough. Was thinking about trying some silicone lube but don’t want to mess anything up (any advice on that?)

Magnet: Wow I’m torn on this. The tail magnet is the strongest that I’ve ever had on a flashlight. Including much more expensive Olights and JetBeams. It easily holds the N7 in place and I could probably hang an additional headlamp on it. However, I’m not aware of any tactical applications for the magnet. It’s strong, but I doubt it will stay on the side of your AR while you’re ripping 5.56 :)! Would maybe like to see one with a tungsten carbide glass breaker on the back.

Clip: Clip is tough. Stainless steel I think. It’s placed midway on the body of the light. Some people have mentioned that this type of clip placement is annoying for pocket carry because the light is half way out and can fall. For those people just flip the clip to the tail and pocket carry upside down. Personally, I like the middle placement, it clips on almost any strap or pocket or belt at most any angle and stays snug.

Button: It’s a great button. Firm, rubber, shallow, very effective, and comfortable, as well as easy to index. It can do this because it does not have “momentary on” like many tac lights have. So far it’s actually my favorite top button on any flashlight I own.

Settings: Super easy. Starts on high, then medium, then off. No low/moonlight. Long press for blinky and SOS. No memory. I guess starting on high is right for either tactical or work lights, though for edc I like to open on moonlight or be able to. Mostly because half of what I do is looking for stuff on the night stand or in a tent in the middle of the night.

Bezel shape: I really like it! There are just two precise cut outs at the top and bottom that allow light thru so you don’t forget it on if you place it head down, it seems protective, and looks cool.

N7 distinction: This is so geeky of me. I love this because totally random and unrelated “N7” is the armor/weapon distinction in my favorite video game series MassEffect!!

So this light does a lot right for a very good price. However, it does feel like a cross between a “work” light than a “tactical” light. Maybe they can do two versions, one “work” light with an orange peel reflector and a magnet for working on a car or under a sink, and also one “tactical” light with a smooth reflector and a glass breaker/spike at the bottom. As long as the tactical version keeps the N7 distinction somehow!! Also, what would be extra great would be a hidden moonlight mode and an included glow in the dark defuser.

That’s it. Thumbs up! Have a great day.

Edit: As was pointed out in the comments which I didn’t notice at first, held directly in my ear there is a a medium high pitched buzz on low. No sound on high. Also I don’t see any visible PWM, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Edit 2: Ok I’ve used and traveled with this a bit more and while I still really really like the smoothness and placement of the button, but it absolutely will bump into something and turn on whether it’s in a bag or clipped to you. So you’ll want to remember to do a physical lock out by twisting the bottom a little. They even recommend this on the amazon page.

Still a great light.

Edited by: nydude on 12/26/2019 - 17:58
d_t_a
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Hi, can you show a picture of the LED used?

There’s usually no information about what LED is used. But in one online reference, it says “Samsung LED” used, but is it the LH351D?

The Nicron B74 which is a very similar flashlight, uses a Cree XPL-HD LED.

Scallywag
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I might have to grab one just to rip it apart. And to justify the 4-pack of Shockli 14500s I've been eyeing

LightObsession
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Thanks for the thorough and effective review.

I’ve almost bought these a couple times, but the mode sequence and only two levels stopped me. Some members of my family might get along well with them, though, so I still might order some the next time they’re on sale.

I bought a Rofis R1, instead with a large discount a couple weeks ago and Just ordered a Rofis R2 this morning for $20 with a 50% off Vipon coupon and a Prime sale price of $38.

icpart
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I also want to add to the review of nydude additional info about Nicron N7. I received mine today.
The boost driver is not the best. When it is on low there is audible noise from it. Also in low mode there is cisible low frequency PWM control. On HIGH there is missing the sound and visible PWM. Also when tried to use flat 14500 there is missing contact with taicap. So if you want to use N7 with 145000 battery just use that with button top or use solder blob.

nydude
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d_t_a wrote:
Hi, can you show a picture of the LED used?

There’s usually no information about what LED is used. But in one online reference, it says “Samsung LED” used, but is it the LH351D?

The Nicron B74 which is a very similar flashlight, uses a Cree XPL-HD LED.

Wow guys thanks! I didn’t realize anyone responded to this. Sorry for the late reply. Here is a pic of the LED but not sure if this is helpful… and not sure how to disassemble or if I want to try.

nydude
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icpart wrote:
I also want to add to the review of nydude additional info about Nicron N7. I received mine today. The boost driver is not the best. When it is on low there is audible noise from it. Also in low mode there is cisible low frequency PWM control. On HIGH there is missing the sound and visible PWM. Also when tried to use flat 14500 there is missing contact with taicap. So if you want to use N7 with 145000 battery just use that with button top or use solder blob.

Interesting. I didn’t notice any sound or visible PWM until I just read this and held it directly in my ear. The is no sound on high but a medium high pitched buzz on low. Still cant see the PWM. Will edit the review.

I’m using a protected button top JetBeam 14500.

icpart
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nydude wrote:
icpart wrote:
I also want to add to the review of nydude additional info about Nicron N7. I received mine today. The boost driver is not the best. When it is on low there is audible noise from it. Also in low mode there is cisible low frequency PWM control. On HIGH there is missing the sound and visible PWM. Also when tried to use flat 14500 there is missing contact with taicap. So if you want to use N7 with 145000 battery just use that with button top or use solder blob.

Interesting. I didn’t notice any sound or visible PWM until I just read this and held it directly in my ear. The is no sound on high but a medium high pitched buzz on low. Still cant see the PWM. Will edit the review.

I’m using a protected button top JetBeam 14500.


Yes there is very visible PWM on low when you swing fast the flashlight. For battery I managed to work with flat 14500 maybe because the contact with battery was not very good. You are also lucky, my driver is very pitchty and I can hear it from 1m.
wle
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one good way to see PWM is to move your fingers in front of the light, quickly.

it is better than moving the light around, imho.

wle

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Whitedragon101
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Does this really output 600 lumen or are those internet lumen?

nydude
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wle wrote:
one good way to see PWM is to move your fingers in front of the light, quickly.

it is better than moving the light around, imho.

wle

Thanks Wle, will try that. I’m sure it has more to do with me than the light.

fluke
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It has PWM on low mode.

nydude
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Whitedragon101 wrote:
Does this really output 600 lumen or are those internet lumen?

Well, I’ve got no equipment to measure it, but to my eye I’d say yes or close to it using the 14500 battery. It’s significantly brighter than a couple other lights using AA’s. I did try comparing it to a Jetbeam 1 mk running an identical Jetbeam 14500 battery which says it puts out 480 lumens and they looked pretty similar, with the Nicron maybe having a slightly hotter hot spot, but also maybe the 1 MK had a very slightly brighter flood area.

It’s bright for this size light with the right battery and get’s a thumbs up from average dude, especially if you can get it on sale. Just remember to physically lock it out if you are going to throw it in a bag or something.

delusional
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My protected KeepPower 14500 has too short a button to contact the positive electrode. Needed just a tiny drop of solder on it.

I like this light a lot. Just enough light in a small package with the selectable L shape and that plenty strong magnet make it my automotive repair light of choice.
I initially didn’t like the magnet for pocket carry, as it attracts things you don’t want it to attract, but almost by accident I have found many uses for the magnet and pocket carry.
For instance, it’s a bit of a hassle to put the keys in my pocket for a short trip from the car to the door, then get the keys back out…. Now I just place them near the magnet sticking out of my pocket for a short trip.
Then one day I was searching for a stud to hang an item on a wall, found that the light will stick to the screw if it isn’t too deep. Now I can stick it to the wall just about anywhere. It’s best to remove the tailcap and use it to find the screw, then put it back together.

It’s definitely in an early lead for this year’s gift list.

Woke up to this one day…

Good morning OCF&BD,
I’ve created a new disorder for you. OCF&BD
Obsessive Compulsive Flashlight & Battery Disorder – and of course, there is no known cure, because you keep recharging yourself.

Markovich357
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I find it a good light though. It has a nice light output and doesn’t heat much. I think it’s around a bit less 5000k color temp. Comfortable light for me. Also have decent throw but the fact that it handles heating well really amazed me. I can use it for around 15mins and still not that hot maybe because it’s samsung LED? IDK. Lol

Newbie. Will usually ask questions.

arow55
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Got one. Liked it so ordered 2 more. Under $13 on Amazon.

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Over here in Singapore, the Nicron N7 is called B74e. During the recent 7.7 Sale, I bought one more and got one free for just S$20 or about US$15 without battery.

Using a 14500 battery, the light is bright, as good as Sofirn SP40; and it doesn’t heat up much. But when using an AA battery, the light is rather dull.

The switch is sometimes difficult to operate. The magnet in the tail-cap is good and strong.

The adjustable head of the flashlight is a nice design, a good selling point.

For just arounds US$10, it is an excellent buy.

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I just saw this review. Nice job. ✅

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I’ve got both the B74 and B74e.

B74 uses XPL-HD,
B74e uses Samsung (LH351B?)

B74 has 3 brightness levels (Low-Med-High)
B74e has 2 brightness levels only (Low-High)

One thing noted for this light is that it appears to be designed to be used with longer protected 14500 batteries (when ordering the B74 with 14500 battery included, the included battery is a protected 14500 battery with a built-in micro-USB charging port, and this makes the 14500 battery quite long (it’s one of the longest, if the not the longest 14500 battery I’ve encountered).

Given the above, I’ve tried some shorter button-top 14500 batteries (and even some regular AA batteries) — when using these more regular batteries while the flashlight is ON, then try to stick the (turned-ON) flashlight on a magnetic surface, the light has a tendency to power off or flicker — my guess is that the shorter AA or 14500 battery will get “sucked” by the magnetic tailcap while it’s getting attached to the metal surface, and this makes the positive side of the battery temporarily lose contact with the driver head portion, thus turning off the light or flickering while getting magnetically attached.

sarge12
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I have 5 of these gems. They are very simple but highly utilitarian. Only 2 brightness levels plus a hidden strobe and SOS. These are truly handy to have on hand in a car or motorcycle. The magnetic base and swivel head are great for working under a car hood or changing a tire…plus they are very inexpensive, while not cheap feeling. I highly recommend this light.

arow55
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d_t_a wrote:
I’ve got both the B74 and B74e.

B74 uses XPL-HD,
B74e uses Samsung (LH351B?)

B74 has 3 brightness levels (Low-Med-High)
B74e has 2 brightness levels only (Low-High)

One thing noted for this light is that it appears to be designed to be used with longer protected 14500 batteries (when ordering the B74 with 14500 battery included, the included battery is a protected 14500 battery with a built-in micro-USB charging port, and this makes the 14500 battery quite long (it’s one of the longest, if the not the longest 14500 battery I’ve encountered).

Given the above, I’ve tried some shorter button-top 14500 batteries (and even some regular AA batteries) — when using these more regular batteries while the flashlight is ON, then try to stick the (turned-ON) flashlight on a magnetic surface, the light has a tendency to power off or flicker — my guess is that the shorter AA or 14500 battery will get “sucked” by the magnetic tailcap while it’s getting attached to the metal surface, and this makes the positive side of the battery temporarily lose contact with the driver head portion, thus turning off the light or flickering while getting magnetically attached.


I guess a spacer would fix that .
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 Oddly, this is probably my most-used light since I keep it at work and need it almost daily.  I never noticed the whine until I saw it mentioned in another review, but it's there...can't hear it in normal use, though.  I think I got mine for $8 on Amazon before it got wildly popular.  The price now is ridiculous (I think I saw it for $18.99 on prime day...).  It's a good little light and the emitter is wonderful but it's still a cheaply made light.  That said, I've had no problems from mine and the tail thread anodizing is holding up fine (I lock it out every time for pockets or sitting on my monitor stand unattended), swivel hasn't become loose or sloppy.  The magnet works great and even works great on thin wire rope or 1/2" emt conduit.  These angle lights are great for sticking under the hood of the car because you can adjust the beam wherever you need it to be.  Replacing fluorescent bulbs in cantankerous light troffers, installing keyboard trays beneath office desks, doing crap up inside suspended ceiling tiles...it's just so handy and plenty bright enough.  I put a little disc of DC-Fix on it to smooth it out and it's even better but as-is the Samsung emitter is very good.  My one complaint is that I'd like it to come on in low first, and a third mode would be great.  A couple years ago they updated it but I don't know what they did exactly.  The negative reviews on Amazon - after weeding out the irrelevant ones - are numerous enough to point out that they clearly have some QC issues, and that reinforces my opinion that it's priced way too high now. 

I also got the Rofis R2 around the same time, for about $42 I think.  It is a MUCH better made light but I actually like and use the Nicron more.  The head on the Rofis is so incredibly stiff that I have to use two hands to adjust it and no amount of lube or working it back and forth has helped.  That's probably a sign of great construction I guess, but I swear I worked it at least 2,000 times and it's as tight as it ever was...doesn't loosen up with heat from running the light, either.  So the Nicron wins there...plus the squared head and hex tail on the Nicron help it not to roll away, moreso than a pocket clip does sometimes.  The clip on the Rofis was better so I put it on the Nicron.  Ignoring the external magnetic charging on the Rofis (and that they seem to have gone out of business?) it's better made in many ways but for the price and the function drawbacks and a weaker magnet, the little Nicron at 1/3 to 1/4 the price is a no-brainer.  It's a shame that you can't get into the Nicron without destroying it.  If Nicron would put a couple more bucks of engineering into this model it could be just perfect and I'd happily pay for that.

arow55
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For $13 think I will get my money worth from mine.

Correllux
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No doubt.  On the batteries, I haven't ever had it lose contact and flicker like that (my Convoy M3 certainly does, though, sans magnet).  Mine is first generation, so maybe that matters.  Generally run the gold Vapcell in it but I've used alkaline and eneloops in it, plus a usb-port Nitecore cell and they all fit fine.  I put a flattop Vapcell H10 in it and it seemed to work fine but I didn't knock it around.  It'd be easy enough to poke a little piece of foam down there under the spring.

arow55
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First one from Amazon a week ago had no pwm or buzz. Two I got today had both and a different tint.