[Review] - Niwalker ES2 - Dual Head (Cree,Seoul,Luminus,Nichia,Osram,Samsung) - by Lock

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[Review] - Niwalker ES2 - Dual Head (Cree,Seoul,Luminus,Nichia,Osram,Samsung) - by Lock

Hello everyone… today we see the Niwalker ES2: powerful multifunctional flashlight equipped with two interchangeable heads and powered by a single 21700 cell.
Here the link of the company, here the link of the flashlight.

Packaging and Content
The Niwalker ES2 comes in a small square-shaped rigid cardboard box. Inside, arranged neatly, we find all the accessories. In my case the package includes:
• Niwalker ES2 light
• Spare O-rings
• User manual
• 1x CREE XPL HD V6 head
• 1x CREE XPL HI V3 head
• 3x CREE XPL HI V3 head
• 3x Seoul 365nm UV light head

Main features and technical specifications

  • LED equipments available: 
    • 1x Osram CSLNM1.TG White LED
    • 1x Osram CSLNM1.TG Green LED
    • 1x Osram CSLNM1.TG Blue LED
    • 1x Osram CSLNM1.TG Orange LED
    • 1x Osram CSLPM1.TG White LED
    • 3x Samsung LH351D 4000K CRI90
    • 3x Luminus SST20 NW CRI95
    • 3x Nichia NVSL 219BT 3500-4500K CRI90
    • 1x CREE XPL HD
    • 1x CREE XPL Hi
    • 3x CREE XPL HD
    • 3x CREE XPL HD
    • 1x Seoul 365nm UV light
    • 3x Seoul 365nm UV light
  • Maximum single head power: up to 3572 lm using the 3x XPL HD V6 CW head
  • Constant current design offers maximum power and high runtimes
  • Electronic multi-function tail switch
  • Battery: 1x21700
  • Memory Mode for access to the last level used
  • Thermal protection against overheating
  • Body made entirely of military aluminum with type III hard anodizing
  • Wide dissipation fins for the dispersion of the produced heat [/b]
  • Waterproof according to IPX8 standard
  • Dimensions: 
    • Length: 119mm
    • Head Diameter 51mm x 33mm
    • Body diameter: 27.8 mm
    • Tailcap diameter 31.5 mm
  • Weight: 150g without battery, about 220g with 21700 battery

The body and the materials
The Niwalker ES2 is a powerful and compact multifunctional flashlight. Its main peculiarity is to have two interchangeable heads that allow infinite configurations. It is in fact possible to use heads with completely different characteristics: for example, it is possible to mount a head that produces a flood beam (e.g. 3xCREE XPL HD) and one that produces a beam a little more throw (e.g. 1xCREE XPL HI), or mount a head with High Cri tint (Nichia) and one with Cool White tint mixing the colors when turned on at the same time.

Among the accessories available for purchase there are also heads equipped with LEDs that produce Red, Green and UV light. In short, the combinations are so many.

In addition to this, the Niwalker ES2 has a respectable interface, with many interesting functions, first of all the possibility of being able to select and use the two heads independently. 
The use of the basic functions "on, off and brightness variation" is simple and intuitive.

All the heads are equipped with TIR (Total Inner Reflection) lens which in the case of triple LEDs would seem to be the famous “Carclo 10507”.

Under the lenses, only for those with triple LEDs, it is also possible to install g.i.t.d. gaskets of different colors. All very intriguing!

The build quality is excellent, beautiful knurling on the body which increases the grip and also the knurling on the heads which facilitates disassembly operations. 

The thicknesses are abundant, the light is very compact and also quite heavy. The feeling is of absolute strength, it almost seems to hold a small block of solid metal in your hands.

Under the head the deep and thick dissipation fins stand out. They work very well on medium to high levels. At the Turbo, for example, if you use 3xCREE XPL heads, given the considerable powers involved, the heat will increase dramatically in two / three minutes. If the temperature rises excessively, the thermal stepdown intervenes to protect the LED, circuit and battery.

The particular shape prevents rolling on inclined surfaces.

The interface management switch is located in the queue. It is metallic, with a short stroke, particularly responsive and slightly recessed. 
The Tailcap is flat so the use of the flashlight in tailstanding is allowed. Two elongated holes allow the insertion of wrist straps or small carabiners.

The ES2 is essentially divisible into two parts: Head (with the two interchangeable heads) and body.

The contacts with the cell are guaranteed, at the positive pole, by a very thick and protruding golden button while at the negative pole by a large particularly rigid golden spring.

The threads are wide and sliding, they are not anodized but physical lockout of the interface is still possible since the power supply circuit is not closed by the threads but by a thin metal cylinder inside the body. 
The latter will in fact make the stop on the circular negative contact on the head of the torch and then close the power supply circuit.

The contacts with the interchangeable heads are guaranteed by a protruding button on the side of the head while, on the other side, by a flat non-protruding button or by a spring. I did not understand why some heads have a flat contact and others a spring. 
The threads of the heads are not anodized.

In each thread there is an o-ring which prevents water and dirt from penetrating inside the light. 
The ES2 is classified as waterproof according to the IPX8 standard.

The lens of the UV head in my possession is dark and I believe it serves to further filter, at the desired wavelength (365nm), the light produced by the three UV LEDs.

There is no charging port on the ES2.

The HAIII type anodizing and the slightly matt finish are well done. The lettering is well centered but it doesn't drive me crazy. That "ES2" printed in large in the center of the head (font a bit too simple) and the writing "Niwalker" facing forward (upside down with respect to the other writing) leave a little to be desired.

Given the high absorption, it is advisable, for this model, only and exclusively to use cells of High Drain quality.

User interface
The Niwalker ES2 has as its main feature the possibility of replacing its two heads, and therefore of being able to be equipped with the LED or with combinations of LEDs that we like best. In fact, it is possible to choose from a multitude of accessory heads with colored LEDs, a cold, warm, Hi CRI and even UV color.

Single or Dual Head
The heads of the ES2 can be switched on simultaneously but also individually. So it is possible to use, for example, only the right head, or only the left one, but also to switch them on simultaneously with the possibility of mixing different colors and beams. The solutions are really many.
To select which head to use, proceed as follows:
• Double click on the switch and keep it pressed to access the Options Mode
• At this point, in a cyclical manner, the torch heads will start to activate on Low mode. Releasing the switch will then make the selection.
• For example, if you only want to use the right head, just release the switch when it is activated during the Options mode. Similarly, if you want to use the two heads at the same time, the switch must be released when we see them both active during the Options Mode.
• After selection, the head will deactivate and the flashlight will exit Options Mode to enter Standby mode, then ready for use.

Direct access to the Turbo
From Standby, Firefly, Smooth and Stepped modes, double-click the switch to quickly activate the Turbo. In the manual, in this regard, we read this: "Since the turbo power is very high, the lamp will heat up quickly, so it is not advisable to use it for a long time".
In any case, a thermal control system is always active and the torch, if too high temperatures are reached, will automatically reduce the output.

Special Mode
• With three consecutive clicks you can access the Voltage Detection
• With a further two clicks it is possible to access other different modes: Bicycle Mode, Candle Light Mode, Beacon and Strobe.
• A hidden option is also available for Candle and Bicycle modes: long click on the switch to adjust the brightness

Low Power Reminder
When the battery has a residual capacity of less than 20%, the LED will flash 5 times every 30 seconds, to warn the user that it is time to recharge the cell.

Flash Alternately
• From standby Mode, six consecutive clicks to enter alternate flash mode. The flashlight will enter a stroboscopic mode by altering the ignition of the two heads. (I tried this when the 3xCree XPL HI and 3xSeoul UV head were mounted on the flashlight, and it really felt like a club. XD)
• Press and hold the switch to adjust the brightness
• Simple click to switch to OFF mode

4 clicks to switch from Standby to Lockout mode and vice versa. Three flashes will confirm that the interface has been locked / unlocked.
When the flashlight is locked, each function will be disabled and a single flash will be emitted on the Low level when the switch is clicked.

Stepped Ramping e Smooth Ramping
From flashlight turned on with a triple click you pass from "Stepped Ramping" to "Smooth Ramping" and the other way around. The transition from one mode to another takes place without any signaling by flashing.

Stepped Ramping, from Low to High level, has 9 selectable output levels, all well spaced. To switch from one level to another, just hold down the switch.

Smooth ramping does not have predefined output levels, but it is the user who selects the brightness simply by stopping the ramping on the level most suitable for his purposes.

Ramping takes about 3 seconds to go from the lowest to the highest level.

Reaching the maximum or minimum is not signaled as seen in other flashlights, for example with a flash.

Obviously, both increasing and decreasing ramping is available for both modes.3

The turbo in both cases can always be recalled quickly with a double click.

Below is a summary of the interface and a summary of the Main Features

Tint, beam and beamshot
As we have seen, all heads of the ES2 have a quality TIR lens. Obviously the beam produced by a head with triple LED is more flood than the beam produced by a head with a single LED.

The beam produced by heads with the same lens and different LEDs are quite similar to each other, there is only some slight difference due precisely to the type of LED used. 

I was able to ascertain this for example by comparing the two heads in my possession (1x Cree XPL-HI and 1x Cree XPL-HD). The difference in terms of beam width and shooting between the two is present but not so evident especially with the naked eye. Obviously the HI decupulated led showed a higher pull.

THE "Moonlight" level is very convenient to use the flashlight for very short distances without disturbing the view when for example you are in total darkness.

Below are some shots of the Turbo with the ES2 in 3xCREE XPL-HI + 1xCREE XPL-HI configuration

Beamshot 1

Beamshot 2

Beamshot 3

Beamshot 4

Beamshot 5

Beamshot 6

Beamshot 7

Final considerations
The Niwalker ES2 is an interesting flashlight from various points of view: it offers infinite configuration possibilities thanks to the two interchangeable heads and all the accessory ones available for purchase.

Impeccably built, with quality materials and abundant thicknesses, it has a beautiful matte anodization and knurling on the body and heads. The lettering didn't convince me, they certainly could have done better.

The weight is abundant, and the size of the head makes it a bit bulky to carry comfortably in your pocket.

The user interface is complete and vaguely reminiscent of Anduril. Many interesting functions. Possibility to use the two heads independently, direct access to Turbo, Stepped and Ramping Mode, Memory mode, Strobo, Beacon, Candle Mode and Bicycle Mode (the latter two functions are also dimmable)

The temperature control works effectively and protects the torch from overheating.

Powerful, compact, robust and configurable flashlight at will. In short, a product definitely to be recommended !!

Thanks for reading!!!

Henk4U2's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 20 min ago
Joined: 02/13/2014 - 17:52
Posts: 4400
Location: The heart of the Netherlands (GMT+1)

That is some light! I was a bit overwhelmed by your description of it.
And I must admit I was also a bit overwhelmed by the pricetag on it.
I suspect this light was designed for a specific purpose.
But I doubt all of the objectives can/will be met.
Because TIR lenses and 365nm UV beams usually are not the best of friends.

What you did not mention: on their website, they want about $100 for it.
Fair enough, but the heads you mentioned cost about $70.
Are these heads standard equipment, or does that make a light that costs $170?

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

xevious's picture
Last seen: 17 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 3142
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

Fascinating flashlight. I’ve never seen a model with interchangeable heads offered. This does open up a lot of possibilities. I’m presuming driver components are built-in to each module and then the UI board is in the head base. Conceivably, as new emitters become available, you just purchase the upgraded module and install it.

Incidentally, the link goes to an ES2 Plus… and it’s $99.99 WITH a bundle of interchangeable heads. You can then purchase other options. This light is also being sold as an ES2A on Amazon USA for about $40. The product page doesn’t mention interchangeable heads, but one reviewer does. Also, someone here bought it and confirmed they do unscrew (LINK). Niwalker on Amazon doesn’t seem to be selling any interchangeable heads there. I guess if you don’t like the bundle offered on the Niwalker store, you could buy the ES2A and then select your heads of choice with Niwalker… except their website seems to offer the optional heads only with flashlight purchase. Maybe they could make a custom order.

Last seen: 8 months 6 hours ago
Joined: 10/28/2018 - 23:26
Posts: 38
Location: Missouri

Yes, they will make custom heads – I just had them make four triple nm1’s in red, green, blue, and orange.

xevious's picture
Last seen: 17 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 3142
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

jimF wrote:
Yes, they will make custom heads – I just had them make four triple nm1’s in red, green, blue, and orange.
Interesting. So, as I understand it then, they likely will sell existing heads sold separately if you deal with them in person instead of the website. How much did it cost to have custom heads done? And was there a discount for getting 4 heads altogether?
Last seen: 8 months 6 hours ago
Joined: 10/28/2018 - 23:26
Posts: 38
Location: Missouri

You have to ask them via email. They had me order it at the cost of the triple nm1 heads and put a comment in with the order. No discount. All came anodized black (not color anodized though didn’t think to ask about that) though each had a colored turboglow gasket for red/green/blue/orange to tell them apart.

Tell you what though, triple green/blue/orange generate an insane amount of heat. Possibly why they offer colors in singles.