My Noctigon KR4 Review; Six Months Later.

Many interesting things have happened this year. A global pandemic, strange politics, and my decision to take up the hobby of reviewing flashlights. Another thing the pandemic has lent me is more time to play with, and even build, flashlights. During the summer, the Noctigon KR4 was released. It is basically a differently designed D4v2 with a slightly more efficient driver. I have always been interested in flashlights, but this was my first real enthusiast flashlight. Since I bought it in July, I have learned a lot about what I value in a flashlight. Here is my review and opinion after six months of ownership. Six sections are included: Design/Build, Carry, Battery, LED/Optics, and UI/Performance.

1. Design/Build

This flashlight looks very premium. It is made out of anodized aluminum (though there are now titanium, brass, and copper versions available); the coating has only scratched once or twice. The light feels very solid. It has a nice weight to it, but is not too heavy for most people. One thing I appreciate about this light is the grip. I hate knurling, as it looks cheap and is uncomfortable. But the KR4 is very grippy without looking bad, thanks to the machined rings around the tube.

The head of the light has two small cooling fins, and features two gold-plated springs under it.

The bezel on the head can be unscrewed, and there is an option for a stainless-steel one.

The tail has a multi-sided polygon design to prevent rolling, and it does a great job at that. It also features a sizable, gold-plated spring.

The threads come pre-greased and are large and square-cut. They are very smooth, but can collect a bit of gunk in-between.

Inside the tube is a thin, aluminum spacer that goes around the battery.

The button on is a large e-switch, and is very easy to press. ‘Noctigon KR4 Quinta’ is labeled above it.

Another advantage to this flashlight is that it can be used with an 18350, provided you purchase the optional 18350 tube. This setup is very compact!

2. Carry

This section is probably the most controversial area for me. I have a hard time figuring out exactly what use-case this light is geared for. It is way to bulky for me to EDC, but not quite big enough to make it a super useful outdoor flashlight. I mostly use it for nighttime walks. But it cannot be denied that this is a chunky light, chunkier than the D4v2 for sure, and it doesn’t exaclty disappear in the pocket. I personally would never EDC this light, but I know many who do. When first released, the clip situation on this light was a disaster. I’m sorry Hank, but the design was terrible. It was so bad, that to make it usable, I had to put it in my vice and reshape it with a hammer.

It still is far from perfect, as about an inch of the light sticks out of my pocket. But to my satisfaction, Hank at updated the clip design about a month or two ago to be more functional. So, I will probably purchase the new clip soon. Here is an image from the website.

There is also a lanyard ring included.

The switch design is much better for pocket carry than a side switch. I still turn lockout on when I carry it because it does activate accidentally sometimes. The switch doesn’t protrude from the back of the light at all.

3. Battery
18650 and 18350 are the only batteries to be used with this light. One must use unprotected cells, because protected cells are much too large to fit.

The batteries must be high drain. This is because the KR4 pulls a lot of current; the battery needs to have the least amount of internal resistance possible or else it could be dangerous.

4. LED/Optics

Since it is an enthusiast flashlight, the KR4 has many LED options, all with different output levels:

Nichia 219C in both 4000k and 5000k (3000lm).

Cree XPL-HI from 2850k to 6500k (4300lm).

Nichia E21A from 2000k to 5000k (1200lm).

Luminous SST-20 from 2700k to 6500, and even 660nm red (3000 or 4200lm, depending on color temperature).

The light I purchased has the SST-20 4000k LEDs. These LEDs have great color rendering, but the least output (besides the E21A). The KR4 has 4 LEDS with a Carlo 4-Up optic on top.

As mentioned before, the bezel can be unscrewed easily to provide the ability to change the optic or the LEDs.

The topic of optics is interesting for this flashlight. Carclo currently offers four different optics that will fit in this light. They range from pure flood (10624) to all spot (10621). I have all four of these. If one will be using this light predominantly indoors, then the 10624 or 10623 would be the best options. The 10624 is ever-so-slightly floodier than the 10623. The 10621 is mostly useless for me, because it has no spill at all. Plus, the hotspot doesn’t even throw very far to make up for that. The 10622, which is the stock optic, is by far superior. It has a very defined hotspot, but enough spill to make it useful for outdoor walks and even indoor tasks. Here is the 10621 (top) and the 10624 (bottom).

The SST-20 does have a slight green tint indoors, especially on the lower modes. This can be easily fixed with some Lee –1/4 green filter paper. The top photo below shows the beam after filter paper was installed; the bottom photo shows the beam before.

Another neat feature of the KR4 is the auxiliary LEDs. I use them on red for navigating my house at night. There seven colors (white is not pictured).

Going back to the main four LEDs, this light can output up to 4300 lumens, but for only about twenty seconds. One can change how aggressively the KR4 steps down from turbo with the fancy software, which I will discuss in the next section.

5. UI/Performance

One of the largest selling points for this light is the Anduril UI. Anduril is an open-source software created by our very own ToyKeeper. This software does it all, and I mean everything. It has ramping, battery check, thermal step-down, bike flasher, party strobe, the list goes on (see below).

If you’re looking for a very feature-rich light, this is for you. But I have a love-hate relationship with Anduril. It has every bell and whistle that you could ask for, but that makes it very complex. And while it is very easy to memorize how to work the UI, for me, this software is just too much. Too many clicks, too many modes that I would never use, too many ways for me to accidentally toggle a random mode. Thankfully, ToyKeeper is working on version two of this software, which has a great many improvements. Here is the thread about Anduril v2: Anduril ... 2?
Performance is another selling-point for this flashlight. 4300 lumens of illumination is no small feat for a light this small, but it’s not really 4300 usable lumens. When you turn on turbo, there is a short burst of 4300 lumens. But, the light quickly dims that down to about 1300 lumens. I mostly use my KR4 at around 1000 lumens but, being an 18650 light, the runtimes are still not superb. I get probably around two hours of usage at 800ish lumens. That is an estimate from my usage; other reviews have much more scientific tests.

Here I will answer your burning question (well, maybe not burning), ‘Should I buy this light?’ That is difficult to answer. You really need to think about what you need in a flashlight. The KR4 is a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ It carries decently enough to maybe be an EDC; it is bright enough for most outdoor situations; and, it has an adequate throw for most scenarios. It does not really excel at any one thing. And that is the beauty of it: one light that works well at almost any task you throw at it. It is not a perfect EDC, it is not a perfect outdoor light, but it can do both, and that it impressive on its own. So, if you’re looking for a light that works great in most situations and has amazing build quality, all for $50, this will be a great fit for you.

I have to “copy post link” to get it to work. Look for that in Imgur.

Good review.

KR4 is my light of the year. It grows on you the more you use it. Helps that I have 2 with very different configs :smiley:

Just got mine today and it stopped working. I was using it normally while working on the car and now it won’t turn on. The aux LED is on low, and I don’t know how it switched from blinking to low on its own. I tried unlocking although I didn’t put it in lockout mode. I changed the battery and tightened tailcap and still nothing. Any advice is appreciated

have you tried taking the head and tail off and then reassembling it back together, mine randomly stopped working and that fixed it for me.

Yea I tried that as well

With such chunky body I’d love if it would accept 21700 cells.

Do you still have the issue? I have had the same with mine.

In my case, the tail cap needed to be screwed in tightly. So, when the tail cap is screwed in, the main LED’s flash as the negative makes the contact. Then, I make sure it is tight even further. I think it is the negative connection, but it could be the signal path, too. I doubt it, however.

Yea, Hank emailed me and suggested I file down the tube on both ends because he thinks it’s a connection issue. I’ll give it a go when I get home.

Before you do, please measure the length. Maybe others could report their measurements too to estimate variance. I don’t have one but am interested.

Sounds good. Will do

I filed down the tube that is around the battery. The tube was exactly 2.5 inches, and I filed down 1/32 of an inch. The light is functioning now although there is about a half second delay when turning off the light. I don’t recall the delay prior to all this. Hopefully this fixes any further issues

This is an awesome light. FW3onlybetter. NoDa775 you added some great pics. Your review has me wanting to try the other Carclos. I kinda wish it came in that warm beer metallic ano the D4V2 comes in.

I’m glad you liked the review! The other Carclos are definitely worth a try.

Thanks , very nice review. I personally prefer the 18350 configuration with this light .

It’s hard to confirm which finish this KR4 is, some photos it looks grey, others more a faded cyan. Which colour is this one?

Great review.