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)

Comparison of Convoy 219b and 519a with pictures of the front garden. I like and recommend both lights btw; at $30 a pop they are simply irresistible. :slight_smile: A great start for anyone curious about high CRI lights.

It’s interesting to note that without a lightly colored background such as my living room’s light beige wall (versus dark green background of this picture), the magenta tint of 219b is not as easily noticeable. In addition, differences between LED are more subtle. The easiest way for me to tell which LED is which is the flat grey surface of the palm tree. Here the more yellow tint of 519a is more obvious.

Looking at the hot pink geranium flowers, 219b somehow just seems to make the flowers stand out more from the leaves. More depth and 3D, color differences more distinctive - just my subjective opinion so if you don’t see it, I won’t argue :-). It will be interesting to do a crop comparison.

Crop of above picture. Shot w/ Canon DSLR in RAW format, WB 5000k, exposure matched as best I could to not favor one LED or another. I have a clear preference but both LED’s are excellent - if you like a warmer tone go for 519a, but do get the 219b FIRST :innocent: .

Based on my own real life observation (not photography) if you want to see subtle shade of color changes and to see flowers “pop” against leaves etc., the 219b 4500k is unmatched imho. In the Convoy S21D host the bright floody field is an added bonus - at 30 bucks an incredibly compelling value and the best of all the lights I have bought.

PS If you are buying S21D or M21B, be sure to also purchase the rear lighted metal button and the screw on metal clip from Aliexpress Convoy store - both are just a couple bucks each but are mandatory :slight_smile: imho.

Convoy Accessories Review - IMHO YMMV

Clip-on Clip A little too small at 22 mm diameter so I could see a little air gap between clip and light. I would have preferred probably 25 mm. Fits S21D, M21E (after bending clipping arms outward a little). Might fit M21B and M21F but I didn’t try because it’s tight and I didn’t want to scratch the finish. I much prefer the screw on clip (better in every way IMHO), but if this is what you like, I would bend the arms outward a little so that it doesn’t scratch the light’s finish.
Screw-on Clip Perfect and IMHO one of the best, much better than clip on clip IMHO. Fits S21D, M21B perfectly, and thankfully also M21F and M21E. Note a subtle point: I prefer to keep the clip at 9 o’clock position (90 degrees to the left of the switch) so that it doesn’t go under my right hand grip. This is not always possible with the screw on clip because that depends on position of the holes.
Metal lighted switch IMHO mandatory :slight_smile: for S21D and M21B. For switch color I chose blue because of less current drain vs orange. The metal switch has a wonderful nicely tactile click, more defined in its action and night and day better than the rubber version. For me, it is especially critical for the 12-GROUPS UI used in these lights because in this UI both click (full click) and tap (half press) are important, and the tap is so much easier with it. The metal switch has a built in half-way stop for the tap’s half press and it makes all the difference IMHO. Install takes 5 minutes, completely plug and play. The most challenging step is to remove the retaining ring which is very tight and would likely be difficult if you don’t have something similar to this needle point pliers .
Please note the spec current drain listed by Simon is wrong by a factor of 20 (!!) I have measured the drain and it is ~0.5 mA, not 9.4 mA (way way too high for a a switch light). I brought this to Simon’s attention but don’t know if he will correct it. 0.5 mA is between the low mode (~0.1 mA) and high mode (~1 mA) of an Anduril switch light.

More throwy replacement optics
Click HERE for discussion of the 5 optics available: Sofirn 10 Degree Clear, Convoy 10 Clear, Convoy 10 Bead, Convoy 30 Bead, Convoy 60 Bead. Sofirn and Convoy 10 Clear and the Convoy 30 Bead are my fav’s. Convoy 60 Bead has diffused and beautiful beam, but dimmer.
Convoy to buy:
Sofirn to buy: . The beam has a more defined and bright hotspot so this is the most throwy of all the optics. The fit is nice and tight, nothing loose.

In case you are new to this here are what I’ve bought and used

Convoy S21D with Nichia: If no longer available check out
Emisar D4V2 with Nichia: Emisar D4V2 High Power LED Flashlight - LED Flashlights . Also available at with less options for button & material choice, but completely legit and faster shipping from Hawaii. Note: Personally I don’t like the raised ring around button.

Samsung 40T 21700 Flat Top Battery for Convoy: Samsung 40T 21700 4000mAh 35A Battery - INR21700-40T

Samsung 30Q 18650 Flat Top Battery for Emisar D4V2*: Samsung 30Q 18650 3000mAh 15A Battery | INR18650-30Q

Opus BT C3100 v2.2 charger from legit AliExpress store:

XTAR MC2 charger much less expensive XTAR MC2 2 Bay USB Battery Charger - Portable Micro USB Charging

The Samsung 40T and 30Q are high current and un-protected, both highly recommended for these lights. The yellow Litto something (what with these names lol) battery came with the Convoy M21B light.

Opus BT C3100 from AliExpress is about half the cost of same thing on Amazon. The seller I quoted is legit and the thing came in around 10-12 days IIRC. AFAIK Opus is one of the few chargers that could test internal resistance and capacity accurately and highly recommended.

Opus BT C3100


Well…Apparently the beam shots didn’t make it.

The Convoy store is temporarily closed due to lockdown which is why they appear unavailable.

The S21D with 519A is awesome, a good rival for the E70 GT-FC40.

Pardon me for the delay. There’s someone else in the household and she may not like me to sit glued to the computer all day. Anyway for me the wait for the arrival of these new Convoy’s was excruciating because I so much want to compare 219b versus 519a. Everyday I checked tracking and every few days I asked Simon where lights are and how come it’s on this so and so state for so long. It ended up taking a little longer than other stuffs, about 20 days (vs 10 days for the charger for example) and when the lights finally got here I felt like a kid on Christmas day.

All shots as usual were taken in RAW format with fixed camera’s White Balance, 5000k, and in complete darkness. There was no other light source except the flashlight and the pics not infrequently were taken in the middle of the night (because I am crazy when it comes to hobbies?). The fixed white balance hopefully means all my shots at different times should make valid comparison with each other.

I like to take pictures of lights on the “wall of truth:slight_smile: (one end of my living room). These shots ruthlessly expose differences, for me much better than the small white-wall beam shots. I put my son’s USC cap in the middle of the pic in case someone wants to see R9 strong red’s rendering. So… decide for yourself but yes I was surprised at the big difference, so much so I am thinking I should re-do the shots tonight. The famous magenta tint of 219b is clearly visible. Whereas 519a has a warm golden tint with a hint of magenta. 219c 5000k is a little “cold” but daylight accurate. The LED’s are all different, why it’s such a very interesting hobby and I like them all for different reasons.

congrats on your lighting options

those are really nice photographs!

thanks for taking the time to share

tint differences aside, in terms of CCT, it makes sense that the 5000k LED looks whitest at 5000k White Balance

I dont think you need to retake the photos, unless you want to demonstrate what happens when our brain is white balanced to 3000k, at night, as opposed to 5000k, during the day…

warning, you may feel a need to buy some 3000k lights soon… lol
slippery slope, enjoy the slide :wink:

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.

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.

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.

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