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)


IOW there is a price to pay, a give and take whichever direction you take. Like nearly all of my hobbies, or life :confounded: ?

Also adding the following based on my (limited) experience - what do you think?
TIR optic tends to “beautify” the beam, picture perfect clean hotspot and spill. If you don’t like beam artifacts stay with TIR, and for perfection goes one step further, FROSTED TIR , but brightness may suffer.
Reflector doesn’t hide artifacts such as extra rings besides the classic hotspot and spill. My Reylight Pineapple Copper, presently the only vendor brave enough to use smooth reflector with 219b 4500K, has so many rings on white wall hunting I stopped counting. Not the fault of the light, just the way it is with reflector.

Sorry guys *!@#^ Aliexpress tricked me again with the “tricky” discount code advertisement ; it’s for $140 purchase. So no discount, but doesn’t Simon post discount code on his BLF thread? (I’ve not used one.)
S21D vs H2: S21D quad LED with TIR will have much brighter beam and less artifact than H2, which has single LED with Reflector albeit Orange Peel. OTOH if you need a headlamp…. of course it’s the one and only H2 :+1: .

Yup, everything has limits, want a more diffused beam, willing to use less Lux? etc

I personally tend to avoid fuzzy beams, diffusion, frosting, etc… If there are artifacts, I live with them or move on… but I generally dont add filters, films, or diffusion. Otoh, I really like Pebbled Tir… (consistently inconsistent, I am… lol)

as far as reylight, the one I worked on had a perfect beam. I actually use it as an example of what good looks like:
look at the first two images in this album: Beam profiles - Album on Imgur
(those are all single LED, I dont use quads, and seldom use triples)

For owners of Emisar D4V2 wondering about the difference between D4V2 and S21D, I have a more concrete answer with arrival of the Oppel Lightmaster.

First, wrt quality of beam, from picture below I see beautiful beams from D4V2 with quad 219b LED and 10622 clear TIR. When you are near perfection like D4V2, there is nothing the S21D could improve upon IMHO.

Where the S21D is better, is prolonged brightness. In real life use, I have noticed that the D4V2 starts bright but then becomes too dim to use for me as a walk light. Photographs also show a dimmer, smaller beam versus S21D. With the Lightmaster Pro, I now could roughly quantify the stepdowns of D4V2 vs S21D 219b 4500K using ceiling bounce method. The number is percentage of lumens of max Turbo start. The 2 lights start at roughly same brightness level, but watch the difference in subsequent stepdowns.
D4V2: 100% start, 40% at 2 minutes, 28% at 5 minutes, 22% at 10 minutes
S21D : 100% start, 85% at 2 minutes, 68% at 5 minutes, 39 % at 10 minutes
Roughly, 90 seconds after Turbo start, Convoy’s lumen values are twice those of D4V2’s.

BTW, prolonged brightness seems to be the hallmark of all Convoy flashlights I have, big or small. They do all run hotter than other lights (60° C at the head is par for the course), and they do seem to stay bright. Conversely, very rapid/significant stepdowns seems to be the behavior of my small Nichia lights with Anduril, Wurkkos TS21(even worse) and D4V2. PS Still love all my Emisar’s, for many reasons :+1: :slight_smile: .

Btw the D4V2 has max stepdown temp set to 55 C.

When I have time maybe I will rerun the test with max temp set to 60 to equalize the equation.

Also maybe rerun at one level below Turbo (lower starting brightness) to see if that helps the light to not stepdown to such a low level.

Those results are no surprise. Convoy’s rather basic heat management usually results in relatively high and stable sustained brightness.

(NB this post will be edited as I acquire more lights.) I first got into this hobby with headlamps, and remember Sofirn D25L with fondness as it was first time that I saw actual description of the LED used, Samsung LH351D, on Amazon. Hence the realization that I needed to investigate. (That was about 20 flashlights ago. :person_facepalming: )

The hobby obviously took a left turn from max brightness to max beautiful beam. I’ve read hundreds of reviews, bought a few excellent lights, but this headlamp hobby seems to be at the end of the road now with Convoy H2 and the ultimate LED lol, Nichia 219b 4500K. Only Convoy would be brave and nutty enough to do something like this, and the result is - how could it get any better?

WRT brightness, as with all the Convoy lights I have, prolonged brightness is the hallmark. It makes Convoys lights the very best for walk light for me.

Weights of headlamps with battery:
Fenix (16340 battery) - 1.9 oz - 55 gm
Skilhunt H04R RC 3.4 oz - 97 gm
Sofirn D25L 3.7 oz - 105 gm
Convoy H2 4.4 oz - 126 gm
Coast XPH30R - 4.44 oz - 126 gm
Fenix HM65R-T 4.83 oz - 137 gm

Skilhunt HO4R RC: Flux 350 lm. Throw 84 m. The star of the 18650 shows because of its extreme light weight. Mine has Nichia 519a 4500k version which has gorgeous beam color that’s on the golden yellow side, but output is on dim side. Magnetic charging is a plus (quick) or minus (not USB-C means another wire on the desk and during travels) depending on how you look at it. The headband it comes with is beautiful and designed in such a way that it could be removed quickly.
Convoy H2: Flux 580 lm. Throw 155 m. (3500k throw = 146 m) Overall this is the most favorite of all my headlights. I have two H2’s:, one with Nichia 219b 4500k and second one with Nichia 219b 3500k. Considerably brighter, and heavier, than Skilhunt. Headlight above 4 oz needs a headband with overhead strap. You have a choice of 4 straps: Convoy ($6), Skilhunt 1, Skilhunt 2, and Olight.
Sofirn D25L: This is consistently one of the most comfortable headlamps to wear. It has a fantastic floody field that is very useful and is my favorite for work around the house. My D25L model has LH351D and unfortunately I lost the tint lottery here: this is the greenest LED in my collection (similar to SST20 4000k in its green tint, meaning very bad). But still I use it very often because of its non-glaring and wide floody beam.
Coast XPH30R: Throw 211 Turbo, 144 High. A zoomie and I actually love it. It’s the best for camping for example where you could adjust to flood while preparing diner and change to throw when walking to water source. I place specs for Hi level because this light step-downs and doesn’t recover well when you use Turbo mode. Hi is much better.
Fenix HM65R-T: Flux 710 lm (the SST40 LED) Throw 143 m. Dual LED: Luminus SST40 White and XP-G2 R5 Neutral White. Probably my least favorite headlight, because of its weight and cost and poor design. The headband is cumbersome and does not have overhead strap, a big problem for me for this very heavy light. To make matter worse, you can’t remove from the light from the headband if you like to try third party headbands. I don’t like the dual LED design and rarely use the flood part, but this is personal preference/YMMV. Beam colors are so so. Construction quality is first rate and output is great, but personally I would pass on this one.
Fenix 50R v2: A little light weight gem for use around the house. Cree XP-G3 S4 “White” is cold bluish.

I over-exposed the shot to show the faint ring outside of the traditional hotspot and spill of Convoy H2 4500K. Don’t think of it as a flaw, think of it as bonus extra spill :stuck_out_tongue: . Kidding aside, yes visible on OCD white wall hunting, but invisible in real life use (it’s too faint and outside field of vision). HIGHEST recommendation.

Reading from Opple Light Master Pro.

Nichia 219b 4500K
CCT 4775
Ra 95.2
x 0.3486, y 0.3287
Duv –0.0135

For me 219b 3500K always threatens to take the crown from 4500K big brother.
The 4500K is brighter subjectively and makes colors pop, but 3500K has a very warm, more comfortable beam color.

I don’t know why 219b 3500K is not talked about as much, but I love it both in Convoy H2 and Emisar D4V2. If you’re new to Nichia, after 219b 4500K, this might be the next LED I recommend, over 519a 4500K.

Please note my close-up beamshots as in the post above always “intensify” colors (increased saturation). In real life use, once the light beam is spread out over a much larger area, it looks a lot less intense/saturated. So you just have to imagine that the beam color of 291b 3500K becomes more of a nice warm golden tone, with rosy tint, especially if you compare it against the some greenish LED’s like LH351D and SST20/40.

Nichia 219b 3500K
CCT 3484
Ra 95.5
x 0.4001, y 0.3732
Duv –0.0067 :+1:

cannga, do you have any lights with 519A 3500K? If so, how do you like that compard to the 219b 3500K?

I have a 219b sw30 (3000k) installed in a Thrunite TH20. Gorgeous tint, but the headlamp underdrives the LED… where max setting is rather weak. But, it makes a great close-quarters task light.

Anyway, I’m in frustration-ville right now, because I can’t for the life of me find my TH20 or D25L… must be tucked away somewhere when my mind was focused on something else. Very tempted to go for a Convoy H2, but not in a big hurry. I am going to keep an eye out for the next discount round, maybe in the fall?

Sorry I do not have 519a 3500K, only 4500K.

Based solely on my experience with 219b, 519a, E21a all at 4500K, I have this feeling (repeat: feeling, meaning speculation/YMMV :slight_smile: ) that whatever secret sauce or phosphor formula that was in the 219b, that results in that unique color and tint, may not be seen again in subsequent LED’s. 219b 4500K from so many years ago and no longer made remains the “gold standard” for many (not all, but many) hobbyists wrt beam color/tint.

For me, E21a was close, but has a more obvious yellow tint shift. 519a has an entirely different tint/more yellow beam color with higher Duv, etc. IMvHO, if you are trying to decide between 519a 3500K and 219b 3500K, my vote would be 219b because IMHO it’s the “best” until proven otherwise or particular personal preference dictates. 219b 3500K also has the very best possible rating R9080 in case you don’t already know. It’s a beautiful LED that I think any Nichia hobbyist would appreciate.

Has anyone tested the XPL HD version of the S21D yet? I’m interested to know max and sustained lumens.

Agreed 100%. Many of my frequently used lights got the 219b sw35 treatment, especially my small keychain light. Much easier on the eyes in the dark. Others are getting the 519a 3500k now, including a SC31 Pro and my FM18500/P60 jobby. That 519a combined with convoys 12-mode omnivore driver has really brought that FM back to my favorites list. Nothing like a somewhat mini 6P that has almost as much capacity as an 18650 light while still being able to run AA/NiMH/L91 if the occasion requires.

Wow, great thread. Does anyone have a beamshot comparison between the S21D 8a vs . S21D 12a with the same emitters?

Thanks John - hope it’s been helpful. Btw I have the following TIR optics for S21D and though no picture yet, just want to touch on this topic for those buying the lights. The optics are listed in order of decreasing central/hotspot brightness, and increasing “floodiness”:

1. Sofirn Clear 10 Degree (from IF25a)
2. Convoy Clear 10 Degree
3. Convoy Beaded 10 Degree
4. Convoy Beaded 30 Degree
5. Convoy Beaded 60 Degree

Sofirn spec is not known, but I’m labeling it around 10 Degree because the beamshots are very close to the two Convoy 10 Degree optics. The two 10 Clear optics are my most favorite because I crave brightness in my Nichia lights. The Sofirn 10 Clear appears a little brighter on photographs, but measures very close to Convoy 10 Clear. I don’t see the point yet of the 10 Bead optic but pls give me some time to think about it lol .

Please note a 10 Degree optic helps with more hotspot brightness but it’s not turning S21D into a thrower by any stretch of imagination. If you want a thrower with beautiful Nichia beam color? Have to go for Convoy GT-FC40 4500K light.

If you like a more floody beam then I would go for 30 Bead. This optic has probably the best balance between flood and throw character of the 5 optics.

If you are an OCD white-wall hunter :+1: and want to see the most beautiful beam devoid of artifacts, if diffused and dimmer in comparison, then 60 Bead. (Though you may not notice this “beauty” advantage in real life use.) Overall, my two top choices would be either 10 Clear for throw or 30 Bead for flood. All IMHO as always.

Beam shots of the 5 optics; hope what I discussed above makes more sense now. Comparing optics with photography is somewhat tedious but necessary. Such an objective test is the only way because I don’t trust my visual memory. The only visual memory I trust is instantaneous A:B comparison, which is not possible when comparing different optics with only 1 light.

Between the two floody optics, I prefer 30 Bead over 60 Bead because 30 Bead’s gain in central brightness outweighs the 60 Bead’s gain in peripheral brightness (not large enough). But of course YMMV.

Btw the picture below is one of my most favorite flashlight shots because although it took some effort, it so clearly illustrates the progression from 10 Clear to 60 Bead. Lastly, Convoy optics are available as a 4 pack
And the Sofirn IF25a optics is here Quad Optic Lens for IF25A . Both extremely inexpensive and and fun to try.

Excellent thank you. FWIW, the 10 degree has plenty spread. The 60 degree would be closer to a light bulb.

Thanks again.

Thanks very much for your effort on comparing optics, Cannga. I’ve got IF25 and I’m on the fence of buying S21D 219B. How is the throw of 219B compared to SST20 under the same lens?

Very welcome guys. Once I loved Sofirn IF25a so much I bought two. Among my small lights, IF25a if a little “industrial” looking is otherwise similar to Emisar D4V2: best form, best “solidness,” best fit in hand, best button. Then I went into Nichia and CRI/R9 madness, and haven’t used the Sofirn much since :person_facepalming: .

When it comes to brightness and throw the Sofirn IF25a with SST20 4000K wins. When it comes to beam color/tint/beauty, then it’s all over, Nichia by TKO in first round. SST20 4000K looks very green in comparison and once seen, cannot be unseen. I would very highly recommend you give S21D 219b 4500K a try, and maybe ask Simon for a gift: 10 Clear and 30 Bead pair with the light (pls don’t tell him I said this - grin). IMHO getting a 219b 4500K light is THE “next step” :slight_smile: for anyone new to this hobby.

Throw numbers - I just freshly learned how to do just yesterday, your question gave away my secret lol. Thank goodness my numbers seem to come very close to those of more experienced reviewers. I will post throws for all 5 optics for Convoy S21D later. Note that in real life use, good visibility for me is about 1/3 to 1/4 of throw numbers, meaning neither of these lights is what I would call a “thrower.”
IF25a w/ Luminus SST20 4000K LED: 246m
Convoy S21D w/ Nichia 219b 4500K LED: using same Sofirn optic 170m

Thanks for the throw numbers. I didn’t expect that you’d have them in numbers, so that’s even a plus for me.

After seeing Simon having 10 Clear lenses for sales, I was kind of thinking that it was the same lens as IF25 as appearance-wise they look very identical, but as you’ve tested, they’re not.

Think I will go for 10 Clear and 30 Bead pair.

Not sure if you’ve already written somewhere, but if you were to choose just one emitter, which would you choose between 219b 4500k and 519a 4500k?