Which one would you recommend? Niwalker MF5SV1 vs BLF Q8

There’s a GB for 3 new Niwalker lights I found interesting. Not knowing much about Niwalker I decided to check them out here and found some very favorable reviews.

The issue is that the light I like seems like it actually ends up being very similar to the Q8 except for the price!

New Niwalker MF5SV1:
2x XHP70.2 + 1x XHP35 HI
15,000 luemns with Ansi rated 10,000 lumens* with 850m throw 440kcd
*WalkintoTheLight reiewed the nearly identical MM18JR and found that it produced 13,500 lumens even though it was rated 10,000 ansi

I really like the Niwalker dual led design giving the ability to choose flood, throw or both (really like this solution compared to a zoomie!)
I know nothing about Niwalker but they seem to be very well reviewed here on BLF?
Can anyone see a difference between this MF5SV1 and the MM18JR?

Big question:
Sure the output is higher than the Q8 but they’re almost the same size and the throw is very similar which means is there any chance people would think it’s worth almost double what I can get a Q8 for?
MF5SV1 niwalker page
MM18JR niwalker page
MM18JR maukka review
MM18JR walkintothelight review
Freeme Niwalker GB

The MF5SV1 is in another completely different class than the Q8.

It has a boost driver, 2x XHP70.2s and an XHP35HI, much higher lumen output, better stock springs, a carrier strap, much higher lumen output.

The massive advantage of the Q8 though is that it uses the NarsilM UI, very easily moddable, easy to get high CRI LEDs.

Other than what BlueSword mentioned already, the Q8 is: cheap, can run off only a single 18650 if needed, has an almost perfectly balanced beam between throw/flood but you can increase either with some XP-L HIs for throw or diffusion film for flood.

Just depends on how much performance you want/need and how much you’re willing to shell out for it.

Thank you for the replies!

Bluesword, I’ve read the following thread explaining the difference between drivers:
Does the Q8 utilize a buck driver? If it’s powering 3x XHP70.2 wouldn’t that require 9v meaning it couldn’t run off a single 18650 unless heavily boosted? Or does that mean it’s using a buck driver and the leds are wired in parallel? lol more questions: can you run leds in parallel? does that just result in lower output than running in series?

Now that I have some knowledge of drivers I’d like to understand why a boost driver or a buck driver is actually preferred in multi led set-ups? I’m assuming a boost driver in a multi led set-up would allow you to drive the leds harder at max voltage which I’m assuming requires more current and thus diminishes runtimes?

@mattadores, let’s make it simple.

The BLF Q8 uses 3V LEDs, 3,6V average 18650s, and a FET driver. At max power, it is running directly off of the battery to the XP-L HDs.

Large Niwalker lights usually use buck/boost driver. That means it either bucks the voltage of the cells(14,4V—–12V/6V XHP70.2) or boosts the voltage(7,2V—–12V XHP70.2).

Yes you can run LEDs in parallel. If power to the LEDs is the same, lumen output will be the same as a series LEDs.

Boost drivers are usually used to power high forward voltage LEDs(6V+) from a lower voltage power source(3,6V).

Buck driver are usually used to power lower forward voltage LEDs from a high voltage source.

The advantage of boost/buck drivers are regulation.

If you have sufficient headroom, brightness can be regulated as long as the battery pack isn’t empty.

Thanks Bluesword

Does that mean when wiring leds, using them in parallel is most common as you can utilize a single driver to power all leds instead of requiring a different driver for each? or is that only the case with linear/direct drivers?

Interesting. I didn’t realize you can get a boost/buck driver. Sorry I’m such a newb but what is a FET driver? is there another driver category other than the four discussed in that other thread? direct/linear/buck/boost

Wow, I didn’t realize the XHP35 HI has a typical forward voltage of 11.3v (just looked at crees website). I’m assuming then that 6v regulated is a choice by mfg of a happy medium between runtime/output?

On a side note: a question for all you fellows with in depth knowledge, advanced equipment and building/modding skills out the wazoo. Are most of you engineers by trade and come across most this knowledge in your field? or did your fascinations with lights/electronics drive your need for knowledge?

When wiring in parallel, you are basically creating 1 large LED array running at say 3V.

For example, say you have 4x XP-L HDs being run at 3,4V 3A. In parallel, it acts like a giant 3,4V 12A LED :).

FET drive= direct drive.

The voltage doesn’t matter as much as total power. You could have a 12V LED running at lower power than a 6V LED. Say, a 6V 3A LED, and a 12V 1A LED. The 6V 3A LED will use 18W, while the 12V 1A LED will use 12W.

For that last question, I’ve mostly learned by doing a lot of math, a lot of research, and quite a bit of chemistry/physics learning.

I do not trust a manufacturer who does not know the basic parameters of his products like dimensions.

440kcd, 850m throw in what should I believe?

It seems the driver and battery configuration play huge roles but is there really any difference in running series vs parallel emitters? For example if you had a quad 18650 set up running 3 series 1 parallel you’re netting 10.8V 6000Mah likely boosted to 12V.
If you ran 4x series each emitter is drawing 3V 1.5A total 3V 6A
If you ran 4x parallel the series is drawing 3V 6A
If you run led in parallel is it the same as incandescent where an emitter failure breaks the circuit and the entire series fails until the bad emitter is replaced?

lol I agree that their throw specs make no sense but the consensus appears to be that this is a result of not double checking written information. The proof that they do stand behind their measurements is that when Maukka tested the MM18JR which has an ansi 10,000 lumens his tests showed 9,650 lumens.

lol compare that to a company like Imalent who tests up to 30% lower than claimed lumens

I just checked the price and one is $200, the other $45. Case closed.

For me……it’s nice hobby but ultimately, it’s a tool. If I have to worry about dropping it or losing it, or rolling on the gravel when changing a tire, it’s no longer a tool.

Besides, the Q8 is a slam dunk BARGAIN of a light.

Well, don’t forget you can also get a coupon for the Niwalker.

The reason, as I said before, that I’m eyeing the Niwalker, is for the throwy versions.

XP-L HIs in the Q8 makes for a very throwy light. The CW emitters Sofirn used are gross but some 3-5000Ks could make a serious thrower with way less backscatter.

I’m wanting TN42+ levels of throw.

Their “rated throw” might be to higher than .25 lux. Candela converted to ANSI throw doesn’t factor in atmospheric conditions either.

You’re not going to get that with an XHP35 HI and a reflector that size to be frank.

Yeah, something must be wrong.

The BK-FA30S, their 1st thrower, was rated at 650,000cd, with a head diameter of 100mm.

Their second edition, the BK-LB11SV2, is rated at 900 000cd, with a head diameter of 91mm.

How does that work?

BK-FA30S this flashlight has a head diameter of 100mm but the manufacturer still gives the specification of 76mm

the length of the flashlight in the specification is also incorrect

Niwalker be like


While their combination lights look great(other than the 73kcd actual throw number), their throwers are quite confusing.

Now that is funny. :smiley: