Nichia 119D and 219F tested

Nichia 119D SM505, Nichia 219F SM505 D340, Nichia 219F SM305 D320

After the very succesful and high performing 219C, Nichia has brought out 2 successors sofar, the 119D/219D, and the 119F/219F (the 219 version has the standard 3535 footprint while the 119 version is the same led with dual solder pads without thermal pad in between).

Clemence, who is a led and flashlight fanatic but who also runs a small lighting business,, and is official Nichia dealer, has kindly sent me samples of the 119D (5000K 70 CRI) and of the 219F (5000K and 3000K, 70 CRI). According to him these successors are aimed at the streetlight market where Nichia is loosing market-share to the Cree XP-G3 which is cheaper and performs better than the Nichia 219C. The newer 219D and 219F are higher binned than the 219C and I assume are cheaper too. Here is my test of one led each. Mind that these are all “engineering samples”, the leds that finally hit the market may or may not have undergone design differences.

The test is a bit overdue, the 119D/219D has been on the market for a while and in my posession for months, and I received the 219F a month ago already.


First some tint data. For the three led samples I measured the tint straight above the led and in the hotspot when a S2+ reflector was placed on top of the led. In general I find that the tint from a reflector hotspot is very close to the tint of the bare led at 60 degrees, and that almost always, compared to straight above the led, increases the duv (a measure for the distance to the Black Body Line).

119D SM505, above bare led

119D SM505, hotspot from S2+reflector


219F SM505 D340, above bare led

219F SM505 D340, hotspot from S2+reflector


219F SM305 D320, above bare led

219F SM305 D320, hotspot from S2+reflector

Lots of graphs, but the summary I think is that the tints of these leds is nothing special and that these leds actually have fairly large angle-coupled tint shift, even though the beam from the S2+reflector does not look nearly as ugly as the latest Cree leds.


The output test was done like most of my emitter tests over the last years. I described it in detail in my XP-L test (found via my sigline), with the minor difference, that should not matter significantly for the results, that I used my Integrating sphere no. II instead of no. I.
In summary: 1) just one led of each type was tested, reflowed on a DTP copper board (but the 119D was on a Virence high performance board) 2) I used my large version II integrating sphere with high quality luxmeter, 3) the output numbers and voltages were measured with the led close to ‘steady state’ for each current, so warmed up and settled (I take a minute before each current increase), you should be able to get these numbers in a well heatsinked flashlight. Mind that these are output numbers of the bare led; in a flashlight there will be losses from light obstructions, lens and optic, 4) output is in ‘djozz-lumen’ defined as 1/550 of the output of my Sunwayman D40A on high setting, which I hope is close to the real lumen (recent comparisons show that it is actually between 7 and 11% high), but at least is consistent over all my previous emitter tests done in integrating spheres, so all my output data over the past years can be directly compared.

I added my measurements of a XP-G3 and a Luxeon V2 for comparison in the graph because they are also fairly recent 5000K leds with the same die size.

The performance of the 119D was already predicted to me by Clemence who did an output test himself of the 119D and 219D: very competitive performance up to 2A (which is the current range that these leds are intended for), but maxes out much earlier than the 219C and other the brands leds and at 6A it free-falls down to zero (with led damage).

To my surprise the 219F SM505 was even worse: a very sharp free-fall at 4A with large led-damage. I had not planned to test the 3000K 219F but wanted to know if the bad performance was a freak incident ( bad led or bad reflow). But the SM305 performed exactly the same.


These newer 119/219 version do have higher bins than the 219C, and are within their specifications competitive with other high performance leds in the same class, but they do not like being overdriven much and I wonder if that also has implications for their lifetime in the normal applications of these leds (like street lighting).

For how we use these leds in flashlights, they do not add much to the performance of leds that are already available, like the XP-G2/3, Luxeon V2 and SST-20. Perhaps if they are driven regulated at the correct current (3A sounds still safe) they may be somewhat useful.

I should point out that for emitter swaps into major-brand factory flashlights, it’s not a big issue that these crash at 4A. Excepting a couple recent SST-40 lights from Fenix, the Olight M3XS-UT and a few other unusual cases, most big brand lights using 3 volt LEDs have buck drivers with regulation to around 3A max. That would work great in combination of the low forward voltage, reducing heat and allowing the emitters to stay in regulation longer.

Well, I would call Emisar and Mateminco major brands. They don’t buck.

Thanks for the test djozz!

Their output is not higher than the XP-G3 and lack the marketing advantage of being “Genuine Cree” (the masses know fake Cree bad and genuine Cree good, they don’t know of other LED manufacturers unless they also make TVs and smartphones). I don’t see flashlights manufacturers using the 219F. Fomolov already had issues with the 219D in turbo mode, I doubt they would upgrade to something worse.

From a Laymans eyes.

The Cree. give clean strong beam lights. with most range.
Very “stark”.
Nichia. Seem to me. to be concentrating more on the colour.
More “natural” the better.
With LESS actual output beam strength.

I have several torches. Same. with Nichia and Cree LED’s.
That’s the results. AND the reason I buy each.

Throw and Stark brighter. V. less bright and much more natural colours.

Seems a bit strange to try and compete in a max output market,
with a known LESS output item??.

They are known for what they are. and bought because of it.
Unless after a thrower.
Myself. I buy basically Nichia.

Nichia is VERY conservative and idealistic. They don’t care about overdriving. Showing them how their old 219C can be overdriven to more than twice their rated spec only resulted in not so happy response.
They concentrates to maximize both output and light quality WITHIN rated current. 219D designed to perform very good at very low cost. 219F made with their best die and silicone dome mix which unfortunately burns at much lower temp. Hence the sharp drop after peaking.
219F will be 219C replacement for good. Don’t expect brute power out off Nichia. They’re delicate.


FYI, for those likes to overdriving yet still prefer Nichia LEDs, 319A or 319B is your best bet.

Thanks for testing these LEDs for us Djozz.


After seeing these results, I would expect a similar ‘snap’ for 319B at a limit of just up to 1A higher than observed with 219F.

Unless they will make something outstanding with these (large CCT range, like with E21A, and/or CRI better than E21A), I think, not many users will appreciate these LEDs.

This irreversible damage (‘snap’) occuring in the moderate overdriving range seems unacceptable for me. This won’t leave much margin for errors.

Cree is your friend then. I too, feel anxious about my next 319B engineering sample :frowning:


I would say in flashlights the only Cree emitters I’d describe as having a “clean” beam are the HI/dedomed versions of their emitters.

If they’re cheaper and can do the same job they will absolutely be competitive. Most LEDs in the world aren’t being used for flashlights but rather area and street lighting where you have many more emitters running at lower power.


E21A and Optisolis are the by far the most interesting and useful things Nichia has released in the eyes of the flashlight community lately, problem is zero people other than Clemence are DOING anything with them.

Not zero. There’s also Folomov using E21A.

Cree is only friend of me on a few special cases (I like XHP35 HI, and any not .2 series Cree of 90 CRI is still pretty decent for me). I am still dedicated fan of Nichia E21A and SST-20 95CRI :slight_smile:

Uhhhh IDK how I managed to forget that when my L1 literally showed up two days ago. :person_facepalming:

Would love to see an 18650, 4xE21A light from them but their rep said on r/flashlights that it would be hard to market/sell apparently due to the reduced output.

I’d go crazy for a standard light or headlamp with that setup if BLF could ever get an interest list going to make it happen.

If you don’t mind a slight bit of green (compared to very rosy emitters like 219B) the LH351D are great too. If you want a bit more throw in a tripl or something the 351C have tested highly as well but I haven’t used them myself.

I’m still not sure if I’ve just gotten lucky with the SST-20s I’ve tried or I’m actually way less picky about green-shift in a high-CRI emitter than I thought.

djozz and clemence, thank you both for this collaboration for making very good data on these leds. Maybe next time I will get chance to use them in my next project!

Those leds are so purdy :slight_smile:

Until the high CRI variant launched the 119/219F don’t appeal much to us BLFers. I expect an improvement in the final product. To me it’s very similar pre production problem such as the spiegelei in early 144AM/AR. Let’s hope.
But 119/219D is a formidable rival for XPG3 (in streetlighting) at almost half the price of 119/219C.


OMD!! I was thinking those are real eyes until I zoomed in…


looks like they stopped leaving performance(money) on the table.
and as far as flashlight hackers go with their finances we are not even detectable in their bottom line.
the most any mfr gains from us is possibly pr when they produce good stuff.

219f-v1 High CRI, R8000, R9050

High CRI R8000, R9050

For me the big appeal of 219f is 1800k 70 CRI alternative to HPS