Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nitecore EA4 Pioneer

Whump, snap.  


That was the sound of the EA4 Pioneer turning on and then my head snapping around to find the Sun-like hotspot.

"Oh I am fine with my 11 year old incan Surefire E2E.  I have no real need for more lumens. 35 works for most tasks."

Yep.  Sure does.  But deep down inside, even the most steadfast quality over quantity person gets there heads turned every once in a while by some insanely high lumens count.  Today was that day for me.

There have been quite a few of these super high lumens, soda-can sized lights in recent months.  47s has some, Nitecore released one, and Fenix has a few.  All of them, thus far, have run on less common batteries.  Some want you to feed them 18650s.  Others can run on a large number of CR123a lights.  None of these soda can photon cannons have used common batteries.

Until now.

The Nitecore EA4 Pioneer has some awesome specs, another sign that the gap between CR123a and AA batteries has narrowed to the point of insignificance.  It produces 860 lumens using 4 AA batteries and will run for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  That, folks, is a soda can photon cannon if I have ever seen one.  Awesomely awesome specs though usually carry a wallet vomit price tag.  But again the Nitecore EA4 is a surprise.  Retail it sells for around $70 at BatteryJunction.com 

This light is not without concerns.

First there is the whole Sysmax-JetBeam-Nitecore-Nite Eye sketchy IP pirate thing.  For more see here and here.  

Then there are more practical concerns--like the lack of a truly useful low.  In a light like this I'd like to see a 1 or 2 lumen mode that could run for a month.  That would rock just as much as a 860 lumen high does.  47s has proven to me the value of a moonlight mode and I am going to be looking for it in future purchases.

Here the low is a not so helpful 65 lumens.  Yikes!  There goes my night vision.  I am not sure how big a deal this is as you don't really use these kinds of lights for trips to the john in the middle of the night, but still as a portable room illumination device a 1 or 2 lumen low with 30-40 days of runtime would be very helpful in real world uses.  Imagine how helpful that would be for folks stranded without power after a storm.  You could punch the high to signal to rescue folks and then use the medium for tasks and the low for illumination inside.  That said, this is a ton of light.    

Things just got interesting, very interesting in the soda can flashlight market.  Might be time to take a look. 

4 comments:

  1. The Zebralight Q50 (if it ever releases) has a nearly-as-good top end, but a pretty respectable low side too. I think it's 2 or 3 lumens. Also it's rectangular, which I like better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Wallet vomit price tag..." Haha best line ever. That's how I feel about my hobbies

    ReplyDelete
  3. I too would have been all over this light upon its release had it just offered up something substantially lower than a 65 lumen low. NiteCore is obviously tuned-in to flashaholics desires since they offered it with a neutral option upon launch (both cool & neutral tints were easily available from several online sources) and cutting edge output from AA's. Yet...with 5 different output levels they give us a 65 lumen low? Incredible gaff?!

    My guess...this will be updated in the near future with a lower low.

    ReplyDelete
  4. JetBeam PA40 LED Flashlight (turbo mode 468 lumens)
    low 2 lumens 150 hour (about a week) not bad
    But not as powerful as the pioneer EA4

    ReplyDelete