Nitecore EC22 Flashlight Review

Nitecore has burst onto the flashlight scene with a bunch of new 1,000 lumen dial lights and the EC22 is the basic dial-only UI iteration. The light is very straight forward to use and allows you to super customize the amount of light.

Nitecore EC22 Flashlight Review CivilGear 006

 

Overview

Overall, this is a fun and easy to learn light, and you can play God and make any brightness you want! The only draw-back for me was the dial is a little tricky to spin; for bigger fingers, the dial seems not tactile enough (which seems a little surprising since it looks so bumpy already), while for smaller fingers the challenge may be that the dial has a little more resistance in rotating.

Quick Specs

20180308141724_54012[1]

Features

20180308141724_39067[1]

 

Included

  • EC22 Light
  • Holster
  • Lanyard
  • Pocket Clip
  • Spare o-rings
  • User Manual
  • Warranty card

 

Nitecore EC22 Flashlight Review CivilGear 002

 

Options

This is the only version but the MT22C is very similar model which has an additional tail switch.

 

Price

 Current price is about $50 USD (purchase links at the very end of the review)

 

Look & Feel

Outside

The look is about the standard 1″ diameter body type light from Nitecore with the new silver dial and a few heat fins. I appreciate that there is knurling on the tail cap as well. The dial itself seems like it ought to be more tactile, but overall the edges are truncated where they would have been helpful, and the finish is a little smooth. The light can tail stand well but no magnet tail is present. 

 

Inside

The light is easy to open and it comes apart in three pieces. The threads are square cut and lubed. The tail cap has a deep spring so the light can easily accommodate the longer protected cells.

 

Accessories

The light comes with Nitecore’s standard nylon, 3-attachment type holster (no major complaints). The light also comes with a sturdy pocket clip which can be used in either the froward or reverse position. This is not a deep-carry style. 

 

 

 

Optics

LED specs

The light uses CREE XP-L HD V6 LED (domed)

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Beam Profile

Nitecore does not advertise the angle of main LED but from what I’ve collected it seems to be almost 90 total degrees wide spill (but dim) with a 20 total degree very hot spot. The reflector is smooth and shallow causing a wide beam but also has a very bright hot spot.

The first rectangular graph is cut across the beam and helps a bit better to see what angle the spill starts at as usually it is quite a bit dimmer then the center. It’s quite possible that a very low lumen outer spill might not register using these methods. The percentage is a relative comparison to the brightest light recorded (generally, in the center).

The second, polar graph, is a simulation of the light along the beam.

Currently, these readings are strictly sensor recorded, and are not adjusted based on human perception of light but may be an interesting idea for the future.

 

Tint

The tint of the EC22 (left) is cooler than the Nichia 219B (right) (in the Nitecore MT06MD) but it’s not the coolest I’ve seen. The EC22 also has a warm spot in the middle. Some may not like the differences in color.

Nitecore EC22 Flashlight Review CivilGear 023

 

Output Levels

I love dials as you can have any level you want! The limitation with this method is the lowest low. For this light it is sufficiently low.

 

 

Outdoor Beamshots

 All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO.

 

Power

Battery

No battery comes with the light. The light accepts button-top (no flat-top) 18650’s and primary CR123A’s.

Indicators

There are no battery indicators.

 

Charging

There is no built-in charging

 

Performance

Runtimes

The light runs above 90% output for 2min 30sec, then over the next couple of min, it drops down to around 43% output; total I guess you could call it a 4.5 min turbo.

NITECORE-EC22-TURBO

Temperature

A max body temp of 118°F [48°C] and out-the-front temp of 127°F [53°C] was observed for starting in TURBO. Right after the initial 4.5 min turbo, the temp has cooled so the light output goes back up, thus showing the light at least partially temperature regulated.

 

PWM Check

There appears to be no significant PWM on any constant mode. 

For comparison, the third graph shows PWM varying from 0 to 120 lx on the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.

Strobes

There is no strobe.

 

Flashing/Beacon

There is no other special modes.

 

Notes on Performance

I measured the light output in relative LUX and then factored % of max output. I have not calibrated for lumens. The charts I’ve provided, while are literally quantitative, I suggest using as a qualitative reference for how the output may behave over time; typically lights aren’t left on this long and the max output can be reset.

It’s worth to note that the runtime table provided by Nitecore states, “Runtime for TURBO [and] HIGH is calculated based on theoretical arithmetic.” so there isn’t physically reproducible in my tests.

PWM check using a 50 millisecond test period with a sampling rate of 3,000 times per second.

Temperature measurement condition is at room temp and currently no fan cooling.

I am still very new at doing these types of measurements so I am no authority on on this subject, but please let me know if things don’t look right or you see anything that I could do to improve for next time.

BATTERIES USED FOR TEST

The below battery was either provided or recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure that you carefully research any cell you are considering using before purchasing.

  • Brand: Nitecore
  • Model: NL1834
  • Positive Contact: button-top
  • LVP: protected
  • Voltage: 3.7
  • Capacity: 3400 mAh

 

User interface

As you likely know, the light is controlled with a dial instead of a traditional switch. From off, rotate the dial clock-wise to increase until there is a click and then the light will turn on into the ultra-low mode. Continuing to turn the dial clockwise, the brightness will increase. To reduce the output, rotate the dial counter-clockwise. To turn off, rotate the dial counter-clockwise until you hear a click. Super simple, nothing hidden.

Also, the light can be physically locked out but unscrewing the tail cap (or head) a quarter turn.

 

Comparisons

As mentioned before, the EC22 is very similar to the Nitetcore MT22C (in both body and beam), and very similar to the beam of the Nitecore MT21C. 

 

Conclusions

 Highlights

  • Dial allows for infinite level adjustment
  • Very straightforward UI, nothing hidden
  • Wide 90 (total) degree beam spill
  • Maintains a high 45% output after turbo

 

 Comments

  • Dial could be a little more tactile and more free spining
  • Cannot use flat-top cells
  • Lanyard hole placement is a little in the way of tail standing
  • Would love to see this with a TIR lens! Dials are for casual use and not really for search and rescue so don’t need the long throw.

 

Purchase

The current price for the light is about $55 USD and if you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, amazon gives me very small % of their profit):

Nitecore Store Link: NITECORE EC22 1000 Lumen Infinite Brightness LED Flashlight

FL-NITE-EC22-2T[1]

Accessories

Recommended Battery: Nitecore NL1834 3400mAh 18650 Rechargeable Battery

BAT-18650-3400-NITE-NL189-2T[1]

Notes

Disclaimers:

  • CivilGear Reviews received this product for testing and providing an honest review.
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for writing this review.
  • CivilGear Reviews is an affiliate marketer for NitecoreStore.com and Bangood.com an affiliate advertising programs.

 

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