Nitecore EA4 (XM-L U2, 4xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
iirc it takes around 4 x the lumens to appear twice as bright in general
Yes, that is the common view around here. It is what people mean when they way we see light "logarithmically". Of course, no one ever explicitly specifies the log base when they make that statement. :rolleyes: But the example for flashlights is always as given as above, which happens to be a log to base 2.

But as I discuss in this link, logarithmic-based adjustment scales for sensory systems are typically not consistent over a wide range. Modern psychometric research suggests a series of discrete power relationships better fit various human sensory perceptions. For non-point sources of light (i.e. >5 degree beam angle), the generally reported power relationship for human perception is 0.33 (which is a cube root). That would mean that you actually need 8 times the amount of light to seem twice as bright. :shrug:

However, brief flashes of light or point sources of light (i.e., <5 degree angle) best fit a square root power relationship. And that certainly matches the common "four times the light for twice the brightness" mantra here. I haven't seen any specific psychometric tests on flashlight beams, but it seems likely that most people's relative perceptions will be in-between the square and cube root power relationships.

I'm afraid I've wandered a bit off-topic, but it would be interesting to compare peoples' relative perceptions of throwy vs floody beams, to see how they fall. I expect the floody beams should be close to that standard cube-root power relationship (as expected), but throwy beams may be closer to the square-root of point-sources perception. :wave:
 

Swedpat

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
3,448
Location
Boden, Sweden
I have found that my eyes perception of brightness is deceptive. While I usually perceive the difference as less at low brightness levels I perceive it more at higher.
Sometimes I can find it difficult to notice a doubling at low brightness levels. But if we are talking about for example using a flashlight indoors in a room I will say that I perceive 400lm definitely more than twice as bright as 100lm. I think I can say that 300lm feels around twice as bright as 100lm. Anyway it's propably impossible to exactly state what the human perception of brightness differences is.
 

Gene

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Messages
1,708
Location
Dunsmuir, Ca.
I too agree that each individual has different perceptions in brightness and also tints or color temperatures. I've tried lights with so called turbo modes and I cannot discern the difference between high or turbo. Of course there were others where the difference was huge.

I'm also one who sees a quality CW as very pleasing to my eyes and very, very white. I've tried several lights from quality manufacturers in NW and my eyes always perceive the same thing. A slight green or a yellow tint which to me is very distracting.

I always kind of smile when I read where folks will ask what is the brightest this or that or what is a better tint, CW or NW. We all perceive things slightly differently and you just have to experience with your own eyes what is brighter or what tint you prefer.
 

flitter296

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
9
Thank you Roberta, selfbuilt, ven, Swedpat, Gene, and all others who may chime in, for the information in your replies and for sharing your experience with me. I am quite pleased with my EA4, and now have my perception question answered, along with the why (Thanks selfbuilt!). I tried freshly topped up eneloops in my EA4, and as Roberta noted it was definitely brighter on Turbo than it was with alkalines. Another good reason to NOT use alkalines!
 

ven

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
22,534
Location
Manchester UK
Thank you Roberta, selfbuilt, ven, Swedpat, Gene, and all others who may chime in, for the information in your replies and for sharing your experience with me. I am quite pleased with my EA4, and now have my perception question answered, along with the why (Thanks selfbuilt!). I tried freshly topped up eneloops in my EA4, and as Roberta noted it was definitely brighter on Turbo than it was with alkalines. Another good reason to NOT use alkalines!

:twothumbs
the ea4 or any other good AA or AAA light deserves nothing less than eneloops,better performance,more constant sustained out put level.But also you have the ability in emergencies to use alki cells,great versatility compared to li ion cells as these are not available in every shop,or can be pinched from remote controls/toys in that maybe once in a life time emergency.............
 

Swedpat

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
3,448
Location
Boden, Sweden
Unfortunately I have to say that this light will not be my companion any more. I mentioned earlier about the problem with that strobe now and then kicks in when I want to turn it off. It isn't just that I am unfamiliar with the function. I have tried to not only firmly push down the switch but also hold it half a second to a second before I release it. It doesn't help anyway. Too often it will go to strobe instead of turning off.
It's obvious that this advanced camera switch function has problem to work properly. My first sample I sent back and got replaced because of that it wasn't possible to turn the light off at all with the switch; it changed to next mode instead. And this time it now and then, yes pretty often, goes to strobe. In the long run I just not abide such an irritation moment.

Maybe Sunwayman D40A is a better choice? I saw that it also was available in neutral tint.
 
Last edited:

texbaz

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
135
Location
Texas, Out yonder Way.
Unfortunately I have to say that this light will not be my companion any more. I mentioned earlier about the problem with that strobe now and then kicks in when I want to turn it off. It isn't just that I am unfamiliar with the function. I have tried to not only firmly push down the switch but also hold it half a second to a second before I release it. It doesn't help anyway. Too often it will go to strobe instead of turning off.
It's obvious that this advanced camera switch function has problem to work properly. My first sample I sent back and got replaced because of that it wasn't possible to turn the light off at all with the switch; it changed to next mode instead. And this time it now and then, yes pretty often, goes to strobe. In the long run I just not abide such an irritation moment.

Maybe Sunwayman D40A is a better choice? I saw that it also was available in neutral tint.

My replacement EA4 has switch issues also. Get the Sunwayman D40A NW you will enjoy it so much more than the Nitecore. I try not to purchase the Nitecore products because of the way they handled the ballooning switch cover. I purchased a Sunwayman D40A NW version it's great, not perfect but very good.
 

goomashoom

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
10
I got a replacement EA4 back in November 2013 for one purchased in February 2013. I had the ballooning switch problem. I've had zero issues with the replacement and a 2nd EA4 I purchased in November 2013. I'm pleased with the warranty service. Illumination Supply handled the return, so I didn't have to go directly to Nitecore.
 

ven

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
22,534
Location
Manchester UK
I think nitecore/fenix or more than likely other brands from china suffer the same if need to be sent off,i have read a few issues regarding fenix and 6+ week waits......

On the ea4 front(along with my other nitecores) all have been issue free,i dont get as much use as i would like(too many lights) but all the same i am happy and for such a small compact light run on AA cells,its heard to beat cost/performance wise imho.
 

chiphead

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
1,155
Location
Hutto,TX
First of all, well done on the review! You do a flashaholic proud. But heard that there are 2 flavors of the E4, white and so called neutral. If this is the case, how would no which one I'm getting?
chiphead, Austin,TX
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
The EA4 with the neutral LED identifies itself as an EA4W right on the side, instead of just EA4.
Thanks Timothybill.

I would also add that neutral white versions are generally relatively uncommon for most lights. As such, if nothing is specified as to tint, it's highly likely you would be receiving the cool white version (i.e., this is the default model in almost all cases). Fortunately, Nitecore is clearer than most makers in that it actually modifies the model name for the neutral version, so there should be no confusion with this light.
 

richardcpf

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
1,281
After 1 year with this light, I finally decided to pull the batteries out for good and keep it in the shelf for display only.

It was the second time I grabbed the EA4 after about 2 months unused, just to realized the batteries were fully depleted due to the high standby drain. I always kept freshly charged eneloop XX on them. At first I thought there was a problem with the contacts, but now I know it would not serve as a emergency light. It also damaged many of my eneloop XX cells beause they now only charge to 1800-2150mAh, as shown in the MahaC9000.

I was a big fan of the size, tint and beam of the EA40, but this is a major issue and locking it out wouldn't make it a useful emergency light. My Jetbeam SRA40 had taken its place now.

And just to report that I did not have any problem with the switch boot, even after moderate use.
 

DougL

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
11
Speaking of emergency use, I think it's very important to know approximately what can be expected as far as emergency mode run times in a light that is being put in the role of one's emergency flashlight; I would consider the sos and beacon modes to be this light's emergency modes. Unfortunately, Nitecore wasn't able to give me estimated sos and beacon run times. I don't expect anyone to sit around for such a test, but perhaps some of the more technically savvy people out there can chime in on this matter as far as theoretical values based on the light's other known specifications.
 

richardcpf

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
1,281
Hmmm, that's unfortunate. But thanks for sharing!

Just a little update here.

It was my mistake. Today I checked all of my eneloops for internal resistance and voltage drop @1A.

Because I classify and group my eneloops in pair of 4 to have them matched with the same version and manufacture date, I happen to have 1 bad cell in two of my eneloops XX sets. Both of these sets were used on my nitecore EA4. The bad cell in it was causing massive standby drain. How unlucky...

Both of my bad cells showed IR of >500 miliohm. :fail:
AB4Qzhjl.jpg


Vdrop @1A was 0.6V, whereas a good cell stays in 1.2V.

Thanks Selftbuilt
 

caltemus

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
24
After 1 year with this light, I finally decided to pull the batteries out for good and keep it in the shelf for display only.
...
I was a big fan of the size, tint and beam of the EA40, but this is a major issue and locking it out wouldn't make it a useful emergency light. My Jetbeam SRA40 had taken its place now.


Just a little update here.

It was my mistake. Today I checked all of my eneloops for internal resistance and voltage drop @1A.

...

The bad cell in it was causing massive standby drain. How unlucky...

I've been running an EA4 for about a year now, and I never found the lockout to be obtrusive. Are you referring to the switch lockout (holding the button down until the light flashes once), or actually uncscrewing the tailcap? I notice that the newer "EA41" has a double switch, as opposed to the two stage switch on mine.
 

Latest posts

Top