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)

(EDIT 4/17/2022) An admirable 11 days after ordering, the clips are here from China.

Accessories review. All 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. It’s a little too small.
Screw-on Clip Perfect for my need. Fits S21D, M21B perfectly, does fit M21F and likely E, but would help if the screws are a little longer for absolute secure attachment. Ok I hope what follows makes sense: For the Convoys with the side switch, M21E and M21F, 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. For the M21E the holes are perfectly placed so I use screw-on. For the M21F the holes are not, so I use the clip-on, after I’ve bent the clipping arms outward.
Metal lighted switch IMHO mandatory :slight_smile: for S21D and M21B. For switch color I chose blue because of less current drain vs orange (9.4 mA vs 14 mA). Give a wonderful nice tactile click, night and day better than the rubber version. For me, this metal switch 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 the metal switch. 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 might be a little hard if you don’t have this device .

I posted this on another thread but thought it would be even more relevant to this thread. 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, AFTER you get the 219b :innocent: .

Kidding aside, 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.

Both LEDs look great, but I agree, the 219B just looks better. But I think that’s due to the negative DUV of the 219Bs vs the close to the BBL of the 519As. I have found that a little rosiness helps a lot with making things look better.

Thanks for posting all these great photos cannga!

You’re welcome and thanks. It sure is a fun hobby :+1: :slight_smile: .

I updated my Convoy accessories review above. Posting pic of the beautiful metal switch and clip. The metal switch not only looks so much better than rubber switch, but more importantly functionally it also makes using the 12 Groups UI easier (see explanation above). The click feels better and makes a nice click sound. And… it actually could still tail stand, just don’t put it next to your Faberge egg.

This review was incredible!

I just popped my "cri cherry" with my first light in years, just bought (my dad) a 4500K 519a S2 and it blew my mind, everyone at home was somewhat puzzled by how different things looked under this "small light". They kept looking at things under our old SSC-P7 light and switching to the S2, especially at the wooden floorboards. Their reaction was kinda funny because they know nothing about flahslights, leds, cri or even color ccts. Shortly after I went to purchase an S21d with the 519a's and they where out of stock, perhaps getting a 4500K and another 2700/3000K one since i liked it alot.

I'm surprised to know the S21d on 219's to be so bright. I would still keep on the 519a given the extra brightness and efficiency being a factor for me but you made me consider just getting everying in front of me now ahaha. They only thing i wished my 519a S2 did was to run on the "100%" for longer and cooler. The S21d may get me that extra brightness under manageable and runtimes.

I was wondering a few things:

  • light-up switches, how do they work? in which instances do they keep on? on the pics they seem to get permanently on? (noob question)
  • A friend on Reddit told me the S21d might work with Simon's "5a 6V boost driver". Is ordering/modding that possible?

Sure yes me too only recently “popping the CRI cherry” :confounded: & thanks. I am new to this hobby and am actually learning and testing as I’m posting, so questions like yours are helpful. The blue light stays on when light is off, and turns off when the light is turned on. This helps to find the flashlight in the dark, besides looking so much prettier.

But for me the important function of the metal switch is it’s a godsend for the 12 steps because it makes “tap” (the half press) and “click” (full press) more distinct and so much easier to engage IMHO. Older fingers tend to become more difficult, maybe a little painful, to move at acute angles, so for your dad if he’s old it will be a great help. Also IMHO, if I were to give this light to a friend or relative, I would be tempted to set it to the step number 12 (the last one) to make it simple. Just on and off to Turbo level.

BTW the 12 Steps UI is not my favorite. Maybe someone could tell me a better way but especially for battery check, it’s torture. J/K but really, say you are at 35%, to go through the different levels then strobe and biking to check battery, then SOS and another round of level to back to where you are is not the best way. And then you get 1 to 5 flashes instead of actual voltage like with Anduril. At least Simon’s newer lights have abandoned this weakness by using a different UI. These lights (the M21x models with GT-FC40) use 5 clicks to see actual battery level, similar to Anduril 2 Advanced.

Sorry I don’t know much about drivers to comment. Any expert here feel free to jump in. All my notes are on lights bought from Aliexpress Convoy store, unmodded. I have this vague impression that Convoy is more aggressive with keeping brightness up (less severe step-down) vs my Olight M2R Pro Warrior for example, but without instrumented testing, I can’t be sure.

Thank you for your detailed review and replies, it's quite helpfull, especially with your quality pictures. They are an awesome illustration of how the tint difference appears at real use.

You’re welcome & thanks.

This next observation is only for the hard-core pixel peepers among us :slight_smile: , in case you missed it the first time around. In real use, I’ve noticed Nichia 519a always seems to be brighter than 219b. From the 2 pictures below, it appears it’s not the central area of 519a that’s brighter, but it’s the periphery, the “spill” area (in parenthesis because these S21D’s are very floody and don’t really have hotspot and spill per se).

I don’t understand why this is so since the optics are the same. Both are domed LED of the same size no? Anyone would like to explain?

The die sizes (area of light-emitting surface) are different. The 219B die is a bit over 2mm^2, while the 519A die is around 4mm^2. With a larger die, you can expect a greater percentage of the output to become "spill" rather than "throw".

Thank you for explanation - now it makes sense. The two LED’s are so similar visually (1.5 mm vs 2 mm each side) I did not take into account once you square that seemingly similar size, the area is actually almost twice as big.

The lighted switches (like the ones you can buy from Convoy) are only on when the flashlight is turned off.

For me 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.

It looks like those switches keep the light from tail standing. Is that true?

They could tail stand but it’s not stable, especially for the bigger M21B. For example on a heavy dresser is OK but table probably not. A side hit on the table will make them fall.

Thanks for the info. I guess I will pass. I like the way the switches look, but need a good dependable tail stand.

White wall shot showing difference in illumination between 519a and 219b in Convoy S21D. This was taken about 2 minute into a run-down from Turbo. No ventilation was provided. Taken with Canon DSLR in RAW format, 5000k white balance.

In addition, the difference in beam tint between 519a and 219b is pretty obvious. Both being Nichia, maybe I did not expect such significant change but “vive la difference” :slight_smile: .

BTW specs from Convoy - Flux: max 2000LM (219B) / 2600LM (519A)

I have new toys for the S21D twins: clear optic from IF25a that could be used in place of Convoy’s stock frosted optic. Brighter hotspot, less spill: It should make the light more useful for my evening walk, especially for the floody and bright 519a.

The IF25a optic’s diameter is very slightly smaller than stock, but still fit without any problem as the posts are in the same spot and height identical. The LEDS are still in center of each optic (9 mm center to center). Where to buy - 69 cents each :slight_smile: :+1: : Quad Optic Lens for IF25A

Will get some shots on the wall of truth.

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If you want a lighted switch and tail standing for the M21B, just replace the stock switch with a 20mm light switch for convoy M21A M21B M21C M26C L2 L21A L21B S21B.