I was one of the very lucky Illumination Supply 1k giveaway winners and my choice was a Nitecore P16, as I've never owned a 18650 thrower torch. This is by far the nicest light I've ever owned, so hopefully I'll be able to retain some perspective :) I'll start with the unboxing, just because I took the pics so I might as well use them..
This was an exciting moment:
short work with a pair of scissors:
and it's free! LED is a bare XM-L2 T6 3C that Calvin very generously threw in as I'm a bit averse to CW lights (more on that later):
light balance was a bit off on my camera and I was in too much of a rush to get this thing outside, sorry!
with clip attached (handy to stop it rolling):
with it's very fancy lanyard attached. It can still tail stand without the additional base, although its not as stable. The image is supposed to be rotate, but I guess Photobucket is fibbing:
close up of the lens/ reflector. The lens is so antireflective it's hard to tell that it's there. Almost blemish free and I had to look very hard to find a tiny smudge:
in pieces. Threads are absolutely beautiful and o-rings are greased:
firefly/ moonlight mode:
now onto the beamshots. The first is taken at 2s exposure, the rest at 1s. By way of comparison, I have included beamshots of my EDC (or EDN, EveryDayNightstand) a Fasttech C20 with XM-L2 TC 3C at 2A (I think) and a 10deg TIR optic. Not a very fair comparison, as you'll see :)
Dayum, that's bright!
now at 1s
it makes me sad for my EDN :(
Although it clearly throws like stink, it's still a very useable beam at close to mid distances. Not quite as nice as my EDN, but still perfectly useable. For a reflector based light, it's easily the most pleasant beam I've seen.
Before I broke it (more on that in a bit), I spent some time playing with it and annoying the neighbours/ wife (ha, try watching The Voice with this on strobe!). Although it has a slightly odd configuration of buttons, as my brain is wired to use JUST ONE BUTTON, I soon got used to turning it on and off with the tail cap and changing modes with the side switch. I did occasionally forget and tried turning it off by holding down the side switch, which just reminded me of the hidden strobe modes.
UI - other than the occasional brain fart on my part = excellent. 4 light levels is about as many as I'm willing to unicycle through and the levels are spaced just about perfectly. Low is very very low and perfect for sneaking to the fridge for a midnight snack without walking into the recently rearranged furniture. One up from low is useful for non-sneaking around tasks. Mid is bright enough to be useful outside without being too close to the one before it or high and high is just awesome. The hidden strobes are nicely hidden (press and hold side switch, then tap to change strobe mode) and the locator beacon is very cool, even if I hope I'll never have to use it.
Tail cap readings - I only thought to test high and it was a smidge under 3A according to my HF test meter with 14GA leads. I'll measure the other modes once I've fixed it.
Complaints? Main one for me is tint. It's handy for seeing what my kids would look like if they ever turn into zombies, but rather yuck otherwise. Second, and a niggle at that, is that this is button top or flat top+magnet 18650 only. Oh, and Nitecore really don't want people tinkering with their lights.
Overally, I'm extraordinarily happy with my new light and I'll be even happier when the new reflector arrives to replace the one I melted after heating the head with a propane torch to loosen the red loctite :)