Convoy S21D w/ legendary Nichia 219b :) - Review & comparison w/ Nichia 519a, E21a & other lights with Nichia LEDs incl. Emisar D4V2, Convoy S21F. (Summary & measurements on P. 1)

I took the 2 lights out for my nature walk tonight and my impression follows. These Convoy’s are bigger/longer than Emisar D4V2 but still fit in pocket pants easily. I have a preference for the small form of D4V2 but then D4V2 has only 18650 battery, and the larger thermal mass (Convoy being a larger light) of the Convoy dissipates heat better, leading to less step-downs. Both lights turned fairly warm but not too hot to hold. They are as expected very floody with low level throw. I installed the metal clip (see link in post #1above) to keep them from rolling off the table.

219b: Most of all, continues to impress with its ability to make shades of colors stand out. Light grey vs dark grey of barks, light green vs dark green of leaves. Every color, every shade stands out clearly. The rosemary plant for example: small blue flowers stand out against green leaves more clearly and beautifully.
519a: Clearly brighter than 219b. The warm yellow-golden tone is very soothing to my eyes. This is the light I would use if I am not trying to see the different shades of brown soil and grey barks :innocent: .

Convoy hit a home run with these lights and I recommend both, without reservation. I believe they are the first 21700 lights with Nichia 219b/519a. Personally I wish they have on-board USB-C charging but then they wouldn’t cost 30 bucks. If you are new to this hobby or don’t have any Nichia light, these 2 and especially the 219b should be very nice addition to the collection, IMHO.

Pic of the metal switch and clip from Convoy (see discussion in post #1 above). For me the metal switch is a must-have for the 12-Groups Convoy UI as it makes both “click” (full press) and “tap” (half press) so much easier to engage. Especially the half press since there is a now a “built-in” FIRM stop at half press, the fixed outer metal ring. They are also VERY pretty.

Thanks for sharing. I really like the dedomed 519a 3000k. Looks like rosy 2400k

S2+ snap on clip and screwable clip both fit that host. I recommend the one with screws.

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The beamshot of Convoy 219B looks “richer” than the Wurkkos TS21. I think Convoy has now dethroned that TS21 as giving the most accurate and pleasing rendition of the the room.

What are these Emisar’s doing here in a Convoy thread? One reason: Nichia E21a 4500k, not avail w/ Convoy. Of all Nichia LEDs, E21a is for me the most elusive and mysterious to learn about. Do a google search and I would see all sorts of opinions, and of course, they don’t agree.

Owners wax poetic about its quality “E21A 4500K appears as a perfect neutral with flawless tint to me…”

Or hate it “Just got my first 219b sw45k and ran it next to e21a 4,500 and the e21 is pretty sad next to it.”

More “The 4500K E21A, on the other hand, needs the frosted optic. It isn’t as apparent in these photos as it is in real life, but there’s very strong tint shift in the spill: some areas are fully yellow-green, while others are so rosy that they look brown.”

Next post I will have picture comparison of these LED’s.

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Thanks everyone for your help & comments. These next 2 shots come from 2 very famous Nichia’s in the equally famous Emisar D4V2. Squint your eyes and maybe you could see a slight yellow tint in E21a.

Do you have a preference for one over the other? I believe a few flashaholics have wanted to know the difference between these 2 LED’s, and here they are fully exposed on the Wall of Truth :slight_smile: .

Note that E21a comes with frosted optic which makes it look dimmer.

When you replace with clear optic brightness improves but now there is a yellowish green ring in the beam.

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While we are on E21a discussion, some additional notes in case there are Emisar owners lurking here :+1: :slight_smile: .

1. Emisar E21a LED is driven by CC 5 amp, versus CC 9 amp for the Emisar 219b vs 8 amp for Convoy 219b.

2. E21a is noticeably dimmer than 219b when both at Turbo level.

3. Hank uses Carlo Optic’s frosted/floody 10623 for the E21a light, but the clear/throwy 10622 for the 219b. I bought extra Carlo Optics from Hank (10621, 10622, 10623) and asked him for advice regarding trying the clear TIR optic for E21a. He said E21a version may have some slight dual tint issue with the clear optic, and if I do switch to the clear optic for E21a to make sure to press the optic a bit so that it sits closer to the MCPCB, then the beam should be fine.
The Carlo Optic site has beam shot examples if you are interested (scroll down to see pictures of beam shots from various LEDS): 10.0mm Narrow Spot Plain TIR LED Lenses | Carclo Optics

4. In the 2 pictures above, one way I could tell which is which is one beam shot is more floody, that’s the Emisar with E21a and the floody TIR. The other shot if you try hard enough :slight_smile: you could faintly make out the spot in the middle of the picture, that’s the Emisar with 219b and the throwy TIR.

5. Would you be surprised if someone says the E21a LED might even use the same phosphor as 219b? (Someone did.) The pictures above seem to support this. Any expert here would like to comment on this?

Above from Convoy thread.

For those new to this like me, the number after D is the output in lumens at the rated power, which for Nichia 219b is 700mA. So for the 219b 4500k Convoy (the first line), D220 means 220 lumens at 700 mA. Higher is better. Anyone pls correct as needed.

This I assume would be the LED in my (and soon, yours :slight_smile: ) Convoy S21D.

Jon, whom I didn’t know might also be a shutterbug :+1: , did an excellent analysis of my pictures by cropping the red hat. Why the red hat? For those not familiar, most lights quote the “general” CRI number that shows rendering of 8 pastel colors (and not strong red), CRI 95 for example. With Nichia you often see the number 9080 for the famous 219b 4500k LED. 9080 means the general CRI is at least 90, and the red CRI (rendering of “strong” red) is at least 80. This is the best possible rating and is the reason why we sing its praise.

One of the most important/common question I’ve seen as far nutty Nichia fans are concerned, is how the new 519a compares to the legendary 219b? The crop above leaves no doubt that they are in fact very different from each other, at least in this Convoy batch of 519a. Besides the red, look at the white window screen in the background, and how golden/yellow it is with 519a, and magenta with 219b.

I think cropping (shutterbugs call this pixel peeping :innocent: ) is an excellent idea. Thanks Jon; I will be doing more of it. Lastly, for a good discussion of CRI, Ra, R9 see this article R9: More Important Than CRI?. Some new lighting standards call for… | by Greg Yeutter | Medium .

Sadly the Convoy S21D is terrible ugly .

LOL let’s just say the look is “industrially functional” :innocent: . I’ll write detailed impression of 219b Convoy vs Emisar later, but S21D is the brightest light in my small collection of Nichia’s and the only one that I feel is actually useful in my walk. That is, leaving “boutique,” edging towards “functional.” At 30 bucks it’s a steal, and at 30 bucks something has to give. Despite of the look, I still recommend it without reservation. It’s THE 219b light to buy and deserving backbone of any enthusiast’s light collection IMvHO.

thanks for the kind words

I actually have no photography experience, and dont own a camera… I just have been comparing my flashlights to each other, and taking photos of them with my iPhone (auto white balance), for several years.

Over time Ive come to realize that R9 CRI is the single most important selection criteria, for me. Followed by Tint.

Beam color comparison photos like this one:

show Tint and CCT, but they do not show CRI. (although all the lights Are high CRI R9, 9080 LEDs)

To illustrate CRI in a photo, a white wall wont work, I need to actually use the light to illuminate something with Red pigments… If the LED does not produce Red, then things with Red pigments will not show their true colors…

here is one of my first, most dramatic comparisons of Color Rendering…

Chicken ala CRI:

Recently I realized that White Balance is not just about white, its also about Tint. iow, D55 uses a higher DUV than the Incandescent reference used for the BBL below 5000k… hence the jog in the BBL at 5000k in this next image (I was comparing the Tint DUV and CCT of two different nominal 3000k LEDs)

btw, when I use the word Tint, I mean DUV, not CCT… the majority of time when someone talks about “tint”, they are misusing the term to mean Color Temperature… easily confused factors, but they are independent. To add to the confusion, photos, and our eyes, see Tint and CCT in combination, as “color”.

and as many will confirm, the colors in a photo, are not necessarily identical to the apparent colors we see with our eyes. This is one of the most confusing aspects about Tint, CCT, and CRI discussions. I dont expect photos to be identical to what I see with my eyes. My perception of color is strongly altered by the White Balance of my Brain at the time of observation…

here is a glaring example (both photos of the exact same light, but at different times of day):

@cannga, thank you for all your contributions… extremely informative, and rich in detail :wink:

btw, some thoughts about why the sw45k became the Gold Standard for High CRI… imo it is because it was one of the first 9080 LED to become available. Because it has very Pink Tint, I initially associated Pink Tint with High CRI… but Ive since learned that the 519a has CRI R9 that is just as good as sw45k, but without the Pink Tint.

iow, I mistakenly ASSuMeD that Pink Tint equals High CRI… which is not correct. It is possible to have an LED with High CRI R9, and still have no Pink Tint… in fact, the SST-20 is a 9080 LED, but with Green Tint… and the 519a is also a 9080 LED, but without the green and without the pink Tints…

imo, the 519a replaces LH351d, and SST-20, and even sw45k whose Pink Tint is unnecessarily low DUV… Ive become a huge fan of 519a… though I still like tint below the BBL… and the dedomed 519a gives me that too…

I also like warmer CCT lately, Im using lights mostly at night, whereas the sw45k was originally most useful to me as a daytime EDC. I tent to use warmer LEDs at night, and cooler LEDs during the day. The neutral Tint of 519a 4500k is arguably a “better” option during the day, than the hyper pink Tint of sw45k. I think this is partly because the Tint of 519a is closer to the Tint of daylight, than sw45k.

spoilt fer choice :wink:
pause wall of words… LOL

Now we come to the interesting part, how does Convoy S21D Nichia 219b compare to Emisar D4V2 Nichia 219b?

Convoy S21D w/ 219b sw45k
Beam & color/tint quality: Floody and bright for a Nichia light. Brightest in my small collection of Nichia’s and this plus the other Convoy S21D (with 519a) are the only ones that I feel are somewhat useful for our evening walk. That is, S21D is leaving “boutique,” edging towards “functional.”
As for color/tint, for all practical purposes it’s the same between Convoy and Emisar.
Construction & cosmetic: “Functional,” in an industrial way :innocent: . One example: there is really no knurling to speak of and flashlight therefore just a tad slippery. Doesn’t feel solid like my Olight (the best among my lights) but then the cost of 1 Olight equals three (!) Convoy S21D’s so I’m not complaining.
Design & Use:
21700 battery, which means a larger body than Emisar, but still only about size of my Olight M2R and still pocket-able.
The LiitoKala 21700 battery that comes with the light shows 4877 mAh and internal resistance 52 with my Opus. I don’t know max current draw of this battery but it works fine.
No Anduril, which is a plus or minus depending on your point of view. I prefer Anduril.
No Anduril also means nutty hobbyists cannot play with settings such as thermal regulation’s max T (factory setting is 55 C per Simon), but then judging by the result, maybe we don’t need to.
Rear switch only - I prefer side switch for this type of light but again, personal preference.
Comment The Convoy at 30 bucks is an incredibly compelling flashlight. A deserving backbone for any light collection if beam quality and color are priorities. Nichia 219b sw45k LED is discontinued so who knows how long supply will last; if you’re interested I would buy it quickly. IMHO if there is one Nichia light that you should buy, it’s this one, primarily because of its lasting brightness. The give away price and 21700 battery don’t hurt either.

Emisar D4V2 w/ 219b sw45k
Beam & color/tint quality: Floody with a central hotpot that is brighter than Convoy at Turbo start, but after just a couple minutes, step-downs occur and brightness begins falling behind Convoy. The useful part of the beam becomes very small and hence not much area is covered (you could see the difference between the 2 lights in the beam shot below). This is observed in a D4V2 that has been calibrated and max temp limit raised to 55.
Construction & cosmetic: This is one of the most popular lights for hobbyists for good reasons: it’s pretty, construction quality very nice, a notch above Convoy. The auxiliary lights are fun. I enjoy taking pictures of this light. This is a great gift light.
Available in 4 anodized colors, plus brass, copper, titanium material available. All very pretty. Keep in mind copper and brass are very heavy. Almost too heavy.
Design & Use:
18650 battery, which means a very nice small light that fits nicely in the hand. But, will a 21700 be coming?
Anduril 2
Side switch: One of the nicest I’ve used, clicks nicely and clearly. I have one with the raised ring around button option, and I don’t like it at all.
Comment Emisar sells 219b and E21a lights in several different CCT’s. This means you ARE going to end up with an Emisar one of these days :slight_smile: . To be at Emisar’s web site (oddly named makes me feel like a kid at a toy store Christmas time. I applaud Hank’s effort to supply us with such a dizzying array of fun lights.

Both owners, Hank of Emisar and Simon of Convoy, responded promptly to my multiple questions. Customer service is top notch for both. All above discussion is IMHO & I could be wishy washy so opinions likely will change.

Beam shot during run-down from Turbo. Convoy 519a and 219b are brighter and the beam cover a larger area.

The lights to either left or right side (not the 2 in the middle) have a small brighter white spot at the medial edge of the beam. That’s a reflection artifact from the plastic background and not part of the beam.

I’ve often mentioned the Nichia 219b’s remarkable ability to distinguish different colors & shades. For example, things I see on the trail: light grey vs dark grey vs brown of the barks, light green vs dark green of leaves, flowers. Every shade, every color stands out and makes me aware of how beautiful the trail is (Palos Verdes Nature Preserve).

I hope the following set of pictures from my front yard best capture this quality. It’s not the green tint of Olight’s XHP35 or Sofirn’s SST20 that I am trying to show (that we already know), it’s how that tint obliterates shades and throws a yellow-greenish blanket over everything. Note the pastel purple plant at left forefront of the picture that is captured so extremely well by the Nichia. Just looking at this front row of small plants make me realize what an offender :innocent: my beloved Olight is with respect to accurate color rendition.

The flashlights are different from one another as far as being throwy or floody, and that’s why some pics are dark at the edge. Pics shot in RAW with fixed White Balance 5000k. T tried to set exposure such that central area is similar among the shots.

Thanks for sharing these pictures. To my eye, crops clearly show 219b’s rendering “details” better.
Would love to see more pictures like these comparing 219b/519a though :wink:

You’re welcome. LOL I was afraid someone is going to ask about the popular 519a. It was the one LED I didn’t do. 519a has sort of a golden glow and less magenta than other Nichia’s at same CCT. I agree it would be a very interesting comparison.

Will re-take pictures including 519a and E21a later when it’s dark (funny hobby, can’t do anything unless in the dark :slight_smile: ) .

I only take pictures during the day, thats why you can see the hosts:

This set of picture shows 219b at its finest. In particular, the lavender color of the plant is reproduced the closest to how it looks in real life. 219b has extremely high R9 (strong red) CRI, so to me it’s no surprise that no other LED reproduces red, lavender, etc. quite like 219b. This is its unmatched quality.

The lavender plant lost its “pop” with 519a, OTOH the bark of the tree is more true to life with 519a than with 219b. I love 519a’s more golden-brown tint because it provides a break from 219b’s very strong magenta tint, such as the bark of the tree.

SST20 has a strong greenish yellow tone that I have not noticed until I do back to back comparison with Nichia. The magenta color of the plant nearly vanishes in this picture unfortunately. To compete with 219b, SST20 needs filter help IMO.

BTW there seems to be some “anniversary sale” that gives $7 off. If so the S21D light with Liitokala 5000 mAh battery is now ~$30. That’s about $10 less than what I paid since I bought Samsung battery. I’ve tested that Liitokala battery - no change in brightness vs my Samsung, and the capacity is close to 5000 mAh.{"sku_id"%3A"12000027589268680"}&pdp_pi=–1%3B40.8%3B-1%3B-1%40salePrice%3BUSD%3Bsearch-mainSearch

EDIT: This $7 discount requires min purchase around $80 US.