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 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?

Just to clarify (if you already know then never mind/ignore this): First, the Convoy 10 Degree Clear optic is actually very similar to the Sofirn 10 Degree Clear optic. And second, the Sofirn flashlight has better throw mainly because of the LED (Luminus SST20), NOT the optic or the lens. In other words for this comparison a. the optics are the same and b. the lens is only very slightly different (AR vs non AR), therefore the cause of the difference is the LED —->Luminus SST20 has better brightness and throw than Nichia 219b. But yes, bottom line is 10 Clear + 30 Bead optic pair is a good start for S21D.

My order of choice would be:
1. 219b 4500K
2. 219b 3500K
3. 519a 4500K

Head to head comparison 519a is colder (higher CCT) and more greenish (more positive Duv), whereas 219b 3500K is warmer (lower CCT) and more rosy/reddish (more negative Duv). My order is that way NOT because one LED is “better” than the other, just that the 219b 3500K has a unique and beautiful beam color with its warmth, saturated look, and rosiness. Simply put I just like it almost :slight_smile: better than all other lights I have. Until proven other wise (because of personal preference or whatever), I personally would explore all CCT’s of 219b first before I venture to other Nichia’s. Very subjective and IMHO (emphasized the O); you can’t go wrong with either.

Thanks a lot.

If you follow this thread from beginning, you would see my own progression from newbie, to Olight’s green hell, Nichia, then finally these very interesting measurements and comparisons with the great Opple Light Master Pro. I’ve learned a lot thanks to BLF.

Followed are throw measurements of the Convoy optics. For anyone new to this like me, throw measurement essentially reflects how bright the hotspot/central brightness is and more or less “ignores” the flood component of your beam. You put a light sensor some distance away, in my case 6 meters, place the flashlight so the center hotspot lines up exactly with the sensor, then measure the brightness 30 seconds after a “Turbo” start. Lights with higher central brightness win.

The progression from high throw numbers to low throw numbers means central hotspot brightness decreases obviously, but… peripheral brightness increases. That’s the trade-off (there’s a price to pay for every thing in flashlights :slight_smile: ).

1. Sofirn Clear 10 Degree 170 m
2. Convoy Clear 10 Degree 170 m
3. Convoy Beaded 10 Degree 157 m
4. Convoy Beaded 30 Degree 144 m
5. Convoy Beaded 60 Degree 113 m

The Sofirn 10 Clear is a touch brighter than Convoy 10 Clear photographically (I could eyeball brightness with my RAW software - will post pics later) but the two measure identically, confirmed with multiple attempts.

I have no picture to post, but followed is a shot of my most favorite place to visit, Italy’s Cinque Terre - @Argo.

Considering the timing, you ramped up extremely quickly. But then, you also benefit from a major mother lode of info & choices today (when I started it was a painfully anemic playing field and back then there was zero luxury on being tint picky). Some newbie people on BLF went crazy and bought up like every light they could find that had any appeal, but you seem to have been more methodical on your progression. I’ve actually learned a good bit from your explorations because you document them well. Thanks!

If you had it to do all over again, which two lights would you pick up first this time around?

I love this kind of question because it forces me to think about what is most useful and what is most fun in this hobby for me. Two lights is not enough and life is short so I really need to have 4. And were I to start new today they would be as followed. (EDIT: please don’t be surprised if there are changes in this list. Mistakes discovered, knowledge improves, opinions change, etc.)

1a. Convoy S21D with Nichia 219b 4500K HERE. For me, the gold standard for objective CRI & R9 accuracy, and subjective color rendition that all other LED’s should be compared to. For those into photography, Nichia 219b 4500k is the LED that creates the most “pop” in pictures. Other than the fact this is a short range floody light (not a thrower), it is the first LED/light to buy in a collection if color accuracy is a priority. This floody beam is absolute perfection for work around the house (throw light is blinding for close up work). And the rosy tint is most beautifully appreciated in the even spread of a floody beam, so yes IMHO S21D is the perfect host for 219b. Note IMHO this is THE first light to buy for hobbyists who are OCD about color accuracy, but not necessarily muggles. Muggles who care more about output and throw will not appreciate this light. For those I think you would give 1b, Wurkkos TS30S.

1b. (tied with 1a) Convoy M21E or M21F with Getian GT-FC40 4500k HERE. The only bright medium-range thrower on the market with Nichia-like color quality, and perhaps more useful than similar size Nichia lights because of much better brightness and throw (324 m per my measurement). This is the all around every day light and the perfect gift light because it does so many things so well. Getian GT-FC40 has fantastic high CRI beam color that no doubt imitates Nichia in real life viewing. The tint is between 219a and 519a, but more towards 519a’s sunset yellow than 219b’s rosy tint. My own M21E sporting Duv of –0.0064, closer to the legendary Nichia than any other throwy LED in existence. The M21F has a smaller head (fits pocket easier) and has a balanced beam between flood and throw, whereas M21E has more throw (324m M21E vs 276m M21F) but less flood, and is slightly bigger. Either is a big winner with no competition as a walk light IMvHO :+1: .

1c (tied with 1a & b) Wurkkos TS30S with SBT90.2 HERE. In some hobbies, car, photography, stereo, etc., once in a while a product, whether by luck (kidding) or by talent, hits that magical perfection level. This humble $60 light is such a unicorn and has proven to be a FORMIDABLE competitor to all the newer lights in my collection. The Wurkkos rocks my Opple meter by clocking 1 km throw (holy macaroni). The 4500 plus lm output means fantastic brightness, but more importantly, this brightness is well sustained once Tmax is properly set. That all of this is in a smallish form that fits jacket pocket is the magic of modern LED and flashlight technology. The beam profile is “balanced”: some super throwers have an extremely bright hotspot but little to no spill, resulting in a very narrow field of vision, the Wurkkos OTOH strikes a perfect balance between good-size hotspot (throw) and good-brightness spill (flood) click here. I use this light often during my evening walk and the beam is an absolute thing of beauty: a bright central beam piercing darkness like a light saber. The beam color at ~5100K is very nicely warm (as opposed to harsh flat blue) and has a green tint that I forgive in a thrower LED and, as OCD picky as I am, not a hindrance at all in actual use (vs white walling). Nothing on the market comes close, not at 60 bucks.

4. Budget “super-lights” - Wurkkos TS32 with 12 Nichia 519a and SFT40 HERE. The 15000 lumen of TS32 Nichia 519a goodness is UNLIKE anything I’ve ever seen. It has a golden creamy (meaning not too yellow) tone and is so very very bright and floody (why it’s often described as “wall of light”). Note that this 519a 5000k is most beautiful in Turbo mode; the lower brightness has some green tint and more positive Duv. In the context of comparing against these other 15000 lm super-lights, it has very clearly the most beautiful warm-colored wall-of-light, with the best color rendering as a result of its 98 CRI. 519a 5000k is less yellow than 519a 4500k, and I welcome this change. Combining twelve hot 519a’s with the throwy, cool, bright SST40 central LED is an ingenious move, a result of this light being born and bred in BLF by hobbyists. The 519a stepdowns very quickly so I would suggest to use light with SST40 throw on Turbo or high, and 519a only on medium, with occasional burst of Turbo for the ultimate OMG Nichia hit.

For more lights if you would like, I have a few to mention. Sorry I can’t narrow it down because I love all of them.
5. Nightwatch Super Valkyrie with SFP55.2 LED
6. Convoy S21D with Nichia 519a 4500k or 219b 3500K. Tough choices between these two. The longer I play with flashlights, the more I enjoy a warmer tone. IMHO my flashlight adventure is NOT complete without a low CCT light. Although there are many 3500K LED’s, I would like Nichia 219b version because for me it has a most beautiful warm golden tone with rosy/reddish tint. It seems like the secret sauce that is Nichia 219b series has not been seen again, not in the Nichia’s I have, 219c, 519a, or E21a. 219b 3500k has a “saturated” warm tone that I sometimes prefer over the legendary 219b 4500k. 4500k has a colder, more sterile look by comparison.
519a is recommended because of how different its beam color is from 219b, and yet it still has spectacular CRI specs ( Ra 93.6, R9 82, R12 80, Duv 0.0009). While 219b has incredible and un-matched color rendering, sometimes the magenta tone of 219b might be too much for me :-), and 519a’s beautiful and relaxing golden tone provides a relief. I love having both because for me it’s like having different wines or food from different restaurants, all good yet different. I guess it’s called having fun with a hobby :innocent: .

PS Replace Convoy S21D with the beatiful Emisar D4V2 if you want a smaller form with 18650 battery that fits better inside hand, and has beautiful styling and knurling. Convoy S21D does maintain brightness longer than D4V2. All subjective and IMHO. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the beamshots and sharing your journey, cannga. I should be getting my S21D before the end of the week. I think I'm as passionate about driver efficiency and sustainable lumens as you are about the 219b 3500k and 4500k. I refuse to even consider lights with linear or FET drivers anymore, which is saving me a lot of money on the bright side. As much as I appreciate the existence of Sofirn, Wurkkos, Convoy, and Noctigon/Emisar, I also feel like they've contributed substantially to the proliferation and longevity of linear and FET drivers for 3v emitters, at the cost of switching drivers becoming the norm and standard for 3v emitters, outside of the big brands.

^ Thanks for sharing that cannga.

I agree, there is something special about the Nichia 219b. I have a few from 5000k down to 3000k. I do appreciate warm white, with about 3500k to 4000k to be my “sweet spot.” I do have one R9050 sw30k and it’s so much like incandescent. One day when I get around to finally reflowing LEDs, I’ve got a few of those in waiting to be installed in a triple.

I’ve been looking for a modest form factor single cell long thrower. Right now I have an old Nitecore EC4GT that has decent throw for its size (475 meters). I love the form factor, 2x18650 in parallel creating a rectangular body. I’ve been looking for something that can throw at least as far while also delivering a broader hotspot. My Sofirn SP33v3 falls about 200 meters behind the EC4GT but has excellent spill… despite the tint being cooler than I like. Anyway, I wanted to try something newer. First, I considered getting something on the inexpensive side, like the IF22A. But then I saw what Convoy was doing and that drew me to nearly buying an M21E. Then I thought maybe I should give Emisar a go. But after seeing the TS30S specs with SBT90.2… the price is very attractive. I just wish it came in 5000k.

Good news: the CCT of SBT90.2 in my Wurkkos TS30S is ~5200K. The beam of SBT90.2 will surprise a lot of people. For a super thrower it is suprisingly warm. Golden yellow slightly green, like the color of the LED itself. The only other thrower that has similar warm beam is Olight M2R Pro Warrior XHP35 HI, which is around 4700K. Very pleasant, except the green here could be a touch much depending on LED lottery (I have 3, all different colors). Although green tint doesn’t bother me as much in throwers - subjects being so far away.

The other two throwers that I have, Sofirn IF22a ~6400K (w/ SFT40) and Nitecore MH12S ~5900K (SST40) both have steely harsh blue beam that obliterates colors. Stay away from those 2 if that would bother you. In addition stay away from IF22a unless you are looking for a very narrow beam with hardly any spill, as a result of the 5 Degree TIR used. For me that kind of beam is unbalanced and the light therefore not my favorite, but of course that’s strictly personal preference.

Wurkkos TS30S will obliterate M21E and IF22a both in brightness and in usefulness of beam (wide, bright beam). IMHO the only competition for a SBT90.2 light is another SBT90.2 light. I looked at Convoy L8 but didn’t go for it because it is getting too large, costs twice as much, and uses that 26800 battery (I wanted to stay with 27100). Larger reflectors tend to create tighter smaller brighter hotspot (better throw) but may sacrifice spill (less flood). In retrospect I love the hotspot/spill balance of the Wurkkos so Convoy may not be an “upgrade” outside of throw. Hope this helps and sorry way OT to discuss Luminus and Cree in a Nichia thread lol.

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As you know by now Convoy has released a goodie bag of TIR Optics to use with your Convoy S21D. The goodie bag includes 4 optics total, and in the order of decreasing throw and increasing flood they are: 10 Clear, 10 Bead, 30 Bead, 60 Bead.

For anyone new to this, decreasing throw means the hotspot in the middle of the beam becomes less bright, at the same time that the periphery becomes brighter and larger (covers more area). That is the tradeoff between hotspot/throw and spill/flood, like tax, unavoidable. You could see this very clearly in the beamshot below.

Personally and for example, if I like to see further ahead for safety reason, such as during my evening walk, then I prefer the Convoy 10 Clear because its brighter central hotspot means further throw. OTOH, if I am doing close up work, for example repainting the brake caliper of my car, then the floody 60 Bead is much nicer. In this situation a bright hotspot such as with 10 Clear is blinding. The throw measurements below show how optics directly affect how far a light shines (throw). The Sofirn 10 Clear is the optic on Sofirn IF25a that just happens to also fit in Convoy S21D. I’ve also included Emisar throw numbers for comparison.

PS If you are buying a S21D from Aliexpress, at the time of ordering just send a nice note to Simon and asks if he could gift you some extra optics (and please don’t quote my name lol). A pair of 10 Clear and 60 Bead or 10 Clear and 30 Bead would be a nice start IMHO.

S21D with 219b 4500K
1. Sofirn ~10° Clear 170 m
2. Convoy 10° Clear 170 m
3. Convoy 10° Bead 157 m
4. Convoy 30° Bead 144 m
5. Convoy 60° Bead 113 m

S21D with 519a 4500K
Convoy 10° Clear 157 m (using same optic, 519a less throwy than 219b)

Emisar D4V2 219b 4500K
Carlo 10621 Clear 140 m
Carlo 10622 Clear 137 m

Emisar D4V2 E21a 4500K
Carlo 10621 Clear 174 m (using same optic, E21a is more throwy than 219b)
Carlo 10622 Clear 170 m
Carlo 10623 Frosted 111 m (frosted optic makes “hotspot” (central area of beam) of D4V2 w/ E21a very dim)

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