Nichia 219 questions

So I feel like moving to the next stage in my BLF education/addiction, high CRI flashlights.

In order to do so, I feel I should pursue getting one with a Nichia 219 emitter. However, the only ones I see talked about are modded lights sold by members. Is this the only way to go or are there commercial flashlights sold with this emitter? Which ones?

If I'm looking for a nice powerful flood with neutral tint or high CRI, is the Nichia the way to go or should I be looking at a Cree XML T6 or S6? Not all T6's are neutral, though, right? How do I ensure that a particular light has a high-CRI bin?

What difference will I see going from a neutral tint to high-CRI?

With Cree emitters you either get high CRI or you get a neutral emitter. Their high CRI emitters have a warm tint of about 3000K. Their neutral tint emitters are not high CRI. The Nichia 219 is both high CRI and neutral, between 4000 and 4500K.

The easiest way to get a light with a Nichia 219 in it is to get one of the Malkoff 219 drop-ins with an appropriate host. Alternatively, anyone with some experience modding lights can swap one into most lights that don’t have potted electronics.

The Nichia is both neutral and high CRI. Warmer than daytime sunlight but closer than a high CRI Cree. It’s not as bright as a Neutral XM-L. It’s similar to an XP-G in neutral with the advantage of high CRI. If that output is enough it’s the light quality winner.

Correct that not all T6s are neutral. That’s just an output code. Cree doesn’t make runs of T6, U2, etc. They make XM-L, add phosphor, and then bin the results. Some are brighter than others. IIRC the phosphor mix is the only difference although individual Color bins are still just statistical chance. Different phosphors do have on effect on total brightness but there’s some overlap in the flux bins that results. There are no obvious ways to look and know what bin you are getting. If a vendor merely says T6 assume you are getting a more common Cool White LED. The best way to ensure you get the bins you want is to either buy the LED yourself and mod it or work through a trusted vendor. If you want neutral make sure it specifies neutral. Unlike flux bins that’s at least relatively obvious one you turn the light on. (Not that any budget dealers would inflate the flux binning in a light… :wink: )

I have made quite a few Nichia 219s drop ins and lights and while the color rendition is great the output is not. A well driven XPG is slightly brighter than a Nichia 219 and a well driven XML simply bows them both away. In my opinion an XML T6 in 3C tint is a very good compromise to a Nichia 219 while the color rendition is not as good it is almost pure white and has almost twice the total light output. For an AA/14500 light a Nichia 219 makes sense to me, but for a full size light it doesn’t seam like the lack of output is worth the compromise.

I agree with Erik on that. The 219 is gorgeous but it's just not that bright. If you are a lumen junkie you may not like it. I put one in a TR-801 to make a high CRI pocket 18650 light. While it impressed the hell out of me for overall usefullness, I recently showed it to a friend and he was not the least bit impressed by it. I was hoping he'd like it and he'd want me to build one just like it for him but it was a no-go. I ended up selling him an XM-L C8 instead and he is totally blown away by it.

I'd recommend you start out by having Erik build a 219 dropin for you @ 2.1A and putting it into a 501A with 16340 for a sweet little pocket light. It will get your high-CRI feet wet just to see if tint really matters to you. If not, you still have a great pocket light that will be bright enough for 95% of your needs. Grab a bigger light if you want hella lumens.

I recently got a D25C mini with that 219 in it and the tint is very addictive. I could see there being an issue with huge output needs, but generally 200-300 is more than enough for EDC needs in my book.

I really want to get one in my V10A now.

Could be a candidate for the perfect light, IMO. :wink:

Illumination supply does a nice 20mm triple with matching optics - three 219s do very well in comparison to an XML and can be driven with the same drivers.

That’s a real good point, Dan! Have to break out the calipers and see if one will fit into a UF2100 or similar along with the 20mm optics. :wink:

I have a drop-in that I made using a 3-mode 1.4A driver and a Nichia 219. It’s one of my favorite lights. I’ve always thought the XM-L was a little too bright (I know, blasphemy).

Just to add to the topic, I really want to drop a 219 into a trustfire t2 as an alternative edc. So a few questions and hopefully the answers help.

Cam you get nichia 219’s on 16mm stars or do you have to flow emitters onto bare boards? Failing that, that 3up / 20mm optic is looking really tempting, I like the look of the t2 host, a triple with 3a drive current could be an awesome flashaholic pocket rocket…… Hmmmmm

Or, can you trim a 20mm star down to 16mm? Or am I procrastinating too much and I should just buy some bare 219’s, some 16mm boards and just pull my finger out?

You can get them on 10mm boards. I tried filing a big star down to 16mm and wound up wiping out the solder pads. Wasn’t worth the trouble. You’d probably do better reflowing onto a 16mm board if you can’t use the 10mm board.

I have two Trustfire F20’s that I have modded. One of them has the Nichia 219 in it and the other has a xpg2 4c in it. While the nichia is great it suffers in the brightness department. While the xpg2 4c is not as good as the nichia in color rendering but it holds its own it absolutely blows it away in brightness! All things being equal since I am using the same factory driver and the same battery in both lights.

I like the nichia at work because it is not as bright but I like the xpg2 outside because it throws better and is brighter.

My 2 cents

How bad would it be to just use the 10mm board and center it best you can? Why do you need to use a 16mm board? Is it just for better heat transfer?

I too am late to the Nichia bandwagon and need to get one (or ten) ordered up. Thinking to emitter swap one into a Trustfire F20. Glad you chimed in on yours apt323!


P.S. Like your new avatar JohnnyMac. Is that a self-portrait? :) jk jk


Thats what I used in the F20 on a 10mm board

Yeah, nothing at all wrong with the 10mm board. Just a bitch to center. :wink:

Garry brought up a good question . How does one center a 10mm board in a 16mm ( or bigger ) space ?

When I did my AA S-1 swap i 'eyed' it , and my eye apparently isn't too good at this sort of thing .

I still love the mod , even though I believe the emitter is underdriven @ 700 ma ...

By the way JM , that avatar is hilarious .

' Moron Light ' .

Funny indeed .

Put the reflector over it to check and see if you have it right (not sure if that works for this particular light).

Hey, it’s all you for posting the cropped pic out of the “deleted” thread. :bigsmile: