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)

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.

2 Thanks

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.

1 Thank

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)

1 Thank

^ Thank you, Cannga — the TS30S is now top of my list! :sunglasses:

I’ve been looking to pick up the S21D in 3500k 519a but now I see this S21E with integral C charging… Sure its lower output but still brighter than my backpack zebralight. Anybody want to sway me one way or the other???

In the following picture note how hotspot becomes brighter (more throwy) at same time that tint shift appears and spill decreases (less floody) as we move from Carlo 10623 to 10622 and then 10621. Also the interesting difference between E21a and 219b: both has tint shift, but it appears “earlier” and more severe in E21a , resulting in Hank needing to use frosted 10623.

For 219b lights Hank uses 10622, a clear optic. For E21a however he switches to 10623, which is frosted and results in a beam that is for me, way too dim. D4V2 has more aggressive thermal stepdowns than Convoy in the first place, and starting that dim is not good for me. 10623 also drops overall brightness as well as throw using ceiling bounce method (down 16% from 10622). This is not something I see with the various Convoy optics wherein overall brightness stays the same between the 5 optics.

10622 versus 10621 for 219b 4500K: The little gain in throw from stock 10622 to 10621 is not worth it because now I see the appearance of a yellow tint shift. I also like the larger spill (more floody) of 10622, and the more gradual and pleasant transition from bright hotspot to spill to darkness. 10622 in this Emisar light creates a most beautiful beam.
10623 versus 10622 for E21a 4500K: This one is a little more difficult. 10623 decreases throw AND brightness so much that I am willing to trade to 10622 despite the appearance of tint shift with 10622.

The S21D has a big step up in max and sustained lumens over the S21E. The latter does have a better UI, a bit smaller, and charging.

Guys, are we picking up the Ti T3 or naw ;D

White wall hunting beamshots could only tell so much. How does it translate into real life scenes? Here are some actual pictures comparing the three 10 Degree optics:
Sofirn 10 Clear
Convoy 10 Clear
Convoy 10 Bead

The comparison between Sofirn 10° Clear vs Convoy 10° Clear optic is very interesting. They measure identical, the throws are identical, but photographically the Sofirn is just a touch brighter. But this could be shot to shot variation and it is so close I won’t argue if you see differently. Either of the two 10 Clears are winners for those wanting more distance.

I think it’s a matter of time until my neighbors complain about these beamshots into their yards. :person_facepalming: :confounded:

Great shots!

Thanks snfx. White wall beamshots have their role, but nothing could replace a real-life shot.

I added the same picture of the hill using Convoy 30° Bead optic to the collection above for comparison. In that series of 4 pictures, as the optics go from narrow to wide, it’s a very nice confirmation to see how the periphery, garage door on far left and olive tree’s branch on near right, becomes brighter (flood), at the same time that central brightness is decreasing (less throw/hotspot brightness). These series of pictures on this page are really the most fun flashlight “work” for me so far.

For me, this kind of floody view with 30 bead is useful if the light is used mostly close-up, such as inside house, at camp site’s dinner table, etc. It’s less blinding (less hotspot, more periphery). The 30 bead is a nice compromise between 10 Clear and 60 Bead. If anyone is ordering new S21D, I would ask for the gift pair Convoy 10 Clear and Convoy 30 Bead to start.

BTW I am aware some of these posts are for Emisar D4V2, but one, we have “cross” owners lol, and two, what’s interesting for D4V2 should be equally interesting for Convoy connoisseurs IMHO. Anyway, found something interesting while perusing the Carlo Optic web site

It seems you could predict the nature of the optic by this ratio the arrow is pointing at. The higher candela (hotspot brightness representing throw) per lumen (“overall brightness” in simplified terms) means it’s a more throwy optic. By comparing this spec for the same LED by different optics, for example 10621 versus 10622 versus 10623, you could tell which optic has most throwy before testing. For example 7.6 for 10621, 7.2 for 10622, but only 3.2 for the frosted 10623.

This was how I could tell by spec the difference between 10621 and 10622. It wasn’t clear otherwise. It also confirms my observation why frosted 10623 is so dim for me. That is a big jump from 7.2 to 3.2, and I wonder if something in between the 2 would be a more moderate compromise.

The other way to tell visually is that little circle in the middle of each of the 4 small “lenses”. For the same optic series, that circle seems smaller with more throwy optic. But this “method” is more difficult and you have to be a little nutty to be curious about things like this :confounded: :smiley: .

Yet another thing I learned that makes this hobby more fun: AR coatings are not all the same, and they don’t reflect the same color using the light bulb reflection “test” (I just stand under a ceiling light bulb and look for reflection of the light bulb in the flashlight’s lens as if the lens is a mirror. AR coating changes the color of the light bulb reflection.).

I am curious how Duv would differ among the 4 lenses I have:
1. Convoy S21D lens, the latest per Simon with “green tint” - green reflection.
2. UCL Acrylic lens for Wurkkos TS30S - purple reflection
3. UCL Glass lens for Wurkkos TS30S - blue reflection.
4. Wurkkos non AR coated - no change in color.
The question is how to do the amateur level “test” in a reliable manner, not to screw up :slight_smile: as the other lenses are large and obviously don’t fit on S21D.

The UCL lenses are from and highly recommended - about 3-4% improvement in transmission vs non AR coated.

That’s a nice view!

The tested lenses are larger so what I did was taking off the S21D’s OEM lens, then placed the tested lens by holding it, recorded the number, then put back OEM, recorded another number. I did about 4-5 runs or so for each lens, sometimes more. The flashlight was set at 35% brightness and let sit for 15 minutes or so before measuring. I decided to use the middle-of-the-road 30° bead TIR optic this time.

With flashlight mounted on tripod (hence no shaking), I’ve found the Opple Lightmaster Pro (aka Series 3) to be incredibly consistent in its reading of Duv (and brightness & Ra etc.). It reads the same x,y coordinates down to the fourth significant figure between different runs. As such it is a great meter to do comparison work; just remarkable considering how cheap it is. I recommend it extremely highly for anyone into LED collecting.

Duv values for Convoy S21D with Nichia 219b 4500K
The color refers to a reflection of ceiling light bulb, NOT any tint I could see.
Home test for fun, please take result with a grain of salt. There might also be some correction as I double check data.

1. No lens: –0.0127
2. Convoy AR Green-reflection lens : –0.0124 CCT 4471
3. Wurkkos Non-AR: –0.0123
4. UCL AR Blue: –0.0123
5. UCL AR Purple: –0.0102 (Duv change: ~0.0020 more positive) CCT 4365

I find it interesting that the lens with the highest transmission rate, UCL Purple, is also the one that affects Duv the most. Next - beamshots to see if this difference matters in real life scenes.

Great info!

Green reflecting coating is supposed to prevent green tint from getting thru.

As we see from your test, Blue reflecting coating works Just as Well!

The Acrylic w Purple coating lets the most green get through, thereby raising the DUV by 0.0020 compared to the green and blue coated glass. It may not be the fault of the coating, since Acrylic transmits more light than glass, it may also be transmitting more of the Green tint, thereby raising the DUV.

What kind of clamp do you use on your tripod?