L3 Illuminations L10 model is an AA light, purchased with 4 modes in Natural finish.
I’ve been excited to get my first Nichia 219 led based light, so this is my first experience with this high CRI led and with L3 products. It came in a nice plastic box with extra o-rings and split rings for key carry (mine will ride inside my wallet).
Finish - With the natural finish I expected more of a silver with black accent as seen in the pic above. The finish is more of a uniform dark grey with some brown tone in it. Still very nice. My wife really liked the orange after seeing all of the available colors, so we may order another.
Beam - I was concerned in that another BLFer reported a dark corona between the hot spot and the spill, but that isn’t evident in my sample. I also feel my LED is well centered in the fairly deep reflector, so that and/or depth of the LED to the reflector may be part of reported differences. The beam is decidedly more yellow than my Thrunight T10 XPG, probably helping to deliver the higher CRI.
Comparing the beams of these two similar lights, the general size and shape seem pretty similar. The XPG seems to have a bit more throw and is definitely brighter with both lights on high when compared on a wall or across a small dark room. The Nichia will make a fine primarily indoor or backup light (which is as I intended).
CRI impact - Colors do pop better as demonstrated by others. My wife and I were comparing colors in her closet. I find the cool white colors to be acceptable, but there is a lot more white over the color while the Nichia just seems to reflect the colors with a better white balance and more natural color as the result.
T10 vs L10 - The L10 is about 2mm shorter than the Thrunight T10. The head is about 0.5mm thinner also. Plus the L10 has a reflector that seems to be ~1.5mm deeper by guess (and probably narrower by the smaller head difference). The deeper reflector is impressive given the shorter overall length, and may be needed to offset the slightly narrower width.
While both will tailstand, the L10 is more stable due to the large ring at the tail vs. the fan tail of the T10. However the lanyard recess in the tail ring on the L10 does present some sharp corners that could be a problem if carried loose in a pocket. Hopefully they will round them in future versions. Build quality seems acceptable, though perhaps thinner than with the Thrunight T10.
The L10 head has more length in the threads, and its head tighter to the body, so it doesn’t need to be turned out as far to keep the head from accidentally lighting if the head is tipped.
Modes - The L10 always starts in the firefly mode. The Nichia low is VERY low. It is much lower than my T10 and I will only find it useful when my eyes have adapted to no other light. The low is a useful level for very close work. The medium seems comparable to the T10 medium. The high is similar, but somewhat less bright to the T10 high.
Since it will take longer for my eyes to adjust, I probably won’t use the firefly in the L10 as often as I have with the T10 (particularly when entering darkened movie theater). But I like having it in my always-with-me backup light for long run time in the event of being stuck somewhere with no other light. That’s why I carry a backup light in addition to an EDC light chosen on what I’m wearing and otherwise will have handy in the car or day bag.
EDIT: No beamshots, but my impression outside are the same as indoors earlier today. The XPG throw is more focused with less spill than the Nichia. At ~120 feet the brightness of the XPG is slightly stronger than the Nichia. But the Nichia flood in the <50’ level is better than the XPG. Up close the Nichia colors are still beautiful, but at mid and further distance the XPG brightness tends to be more attractive in its utility.
And a few more thoughts:
1. The firefly is still VERY low. It will likely only be useful after much dark adaptation, or for use in extreme stealth situations.
2. With 4 modes and always starting on firefly it is some work to get to high; I’ve found this is helping me to use only enough light rather than always going to high.
3. This first experience with the Nichia is not likely to move me more to neutrals, or turn me to a tint snob. I like it, but I still see it in something of a niche role. Especially outside, I still prefer a bright and throwy light. One nice thing about the warmer light outside is that the floody spill is less annoying than it is with the brighter whites.