I’m debating the merits of these two lights for my next work EDC. My current work EDC is a Solarforce P60 light with an XM-L2 S6 3000K 90CRI, that I carry in a holster on my belt. I work QC at a manufacturing plant and the primary use for the light is working on / inspecting vehicle engine compartments and underbody. The secondary use would be to illuminate component parts for inspection. So I do not typically need much throw. But high CRI is important to me.
I’m looking at either:
Astrolux S41, Nichia 219B quad, plus 18650 tube, or
Convoy S2+, Nichia 219B triple, with (undecided) driver.
The advantages of the Astrolux S41 as I see them:
Better platform for high-output, with the large copper head/pill
Higher overall output (not always useful, but nice for my ego)
Lower overall cost ($36.50 for S41, ~$45 for S2+)
The advantages of the S2+ build:
It would be my first build, so it would be new / fun / learning experience
More mod-friendly if I want to try a different optic/emitter/driver in the future
That metal button switch looks really cool and I want to try it, lol.
I didn’t list delivery timing as an advantage of the S2+, because even though it would normally be available much quicker through mtnelectronics, the 3x 219B MCPCB is currently listed as out of stock.
Question: can either of these lights be made with non-PWM low/medium modes? It is not a requirement, but I sometimes use the flashlight to take picture/video, and the PWM of my current P60 EDC creates visible lines in the image when used on anything other than high mode.
Edit: I forgot to mention - I am also planning to buy a Brinyte B158 and mod it with XP-L HI and FET+1 driver. So the second bullet point of the S2+ being my first mod is “kind of” an advantage. I can still do the B158 as my first mod.
I was going to build/buy something like this. First the S2+ or similar, but the S41 was my final bet. It is what I would choose right now. However a few days ago Nichia announced the 219c 90cri 5000K, and the XPG3 5000k 90 cri, and then the array emitters from Nichia also with +90 cri. So I will pause because as I see it the future of high CRI should be very bright. (pun intended)
I have the Nichia 219b in a SK68, and SK98 beaters and the light is amazing in color. However it is weak, so a quad die should be the norm in a S41 with 18650 ultra high drain. Or wait for the next generation, like me.
No, runtime is not really an issue. I’m not on the line doing inspection for a as my primary job for a full shift. I only show up for troubleshooting / as needed, so some days of heavy us I may use the light for 2 hours at varying intensities, other days I might not use it at all. I have a charger and a couple cells at my desk so I can always charge or swap cells easily.
Right: S41 with XP-L HI V2 3A on Tpad Quad and Carclo
Left: My Green tinted S41 that had 2 emitters dedome themselves and I replaced them with 219C
Don’t kid yourself on the Solidness of the S41 head. Its pretty much hollowed out. XP=L HI get hotter Faster than the Nichia but I have the Tpad soldered to the Head now and the other is just thermal paste and screws.
S2 uses a nice hunk of copper spacer compared to the S2+ also.
Yes mtnE, reflowed in parallel. If you use Carclo optiics you will need to reduce size to 22mm OD.
And I do recommend the carclo over the manker optic with t pad soldered to head.
Manker optic is the cause of the faulty emitters on these lights.
I put XPL HI’s in my S41 using all the original parts, just reflowed LEDs onto the stock MCPCB. It was only pulling around 6 amps. Bypassed the switch, still pulling around 6 amps. Then I swapped in a MTN-17DDm driver and it’s up to just shy of 7 amps. The only thing left to replace is the MCPCB with the TPAD version that is supposed to have bigger traces and see if that does anything. I’ll hopefully get around to that in the next few days.