Nitecore EA41 2015 (XM-L2 U2, 4xAA) review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

selfbuilt

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Sorry, just realized the old 2014 edition video was still linked in this review. Corrected to include the new comparison video, showing both the 2014 and 2015 models. :wave:

 

selfbuilt

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Just an update on the issue of the standby drain.

As I mentioned in the review, it is complicated to try and directly measure the standby drain on the EA41. So I thought I would try an indirect method. ;) Using my Maha C9000 charger, I charged two relatively new sets of Eneloop Pro until "done" was shown on the display (note that the Maha tends to continue trickle charging beyond this point, so these may not be considered "fully charged", only consistently charged). I placed one set of four into the EA41 2015, activated the light, and immediately turned off (with no standby flash). The other set of four sat on the shelf. After 16 days with no interference, I removed the batteries and ran them all through a discharge cycle on the Maha.

The batteries that were left alone had an average discharge capacity of 2405mA (note as well that the Maha may not "fully discharge" in this mode, but it should be consistent). The batteries in the light, which were subject to a standby drain, had a discharge capacity of 2276mA. That means the batteries inside the light lost 127mAh over 16 days, or 8mAh/day.

Based on this very limited test, and taking into account the typical self-discharge rate of eneloops, I would tentatively conclude that you should expect less than 9 months lifetime for unused Eneloop Pro (2500mAh capacity) cells in this light, and less than 7.5 months for regular Eneloop (2000mAh capacity). Note the it could be worse than that - I haven't measured the drain of partially depleted cells. But you could take these as a guideline for approximate upper limits. As these are fairly significant standby drain levels, you should probably store the light fully disconnected when not in use.
 
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Utew

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Good information, thanks for taking the time and effort to shed some light on that issue. I had the sneaking suspicion that there was a fairly significant amount of parasitic drain occurring with my "2015" ver. I have been keeping my EA41 manually locked out, when idle... and the tailcap really has to be unscrewed almost to the falling off point to do it.

You really are the Gold Standard, when it comes to flashlight testing. :)
 

Lite_me

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Good information, thanks for taking the time and effort to shed some light on that issue. I had the sneaking suspicion that there was a fairly significant amount of parasitic drain occurring with my "2015" ver. I have been keeping my EA41 manually locked out, when idle... and the tailcap really has to be unscrewed almost to the falling off point to do it.

You really are the Gold Standard, when it comes to flashlight testing. :)

This is what I've been doing with my EA4 as well. It just sits there by the door without much use for weeks at a time. I got tired of recharging the batteries without even using the light all that much. And sometimes finding them nearly dead.
 

UnderPar

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Good information, thanks for taking the time and effort to shed some light on that issue. I had the sneaking suspicion that there was a fairly significant amount of parasitic drain occurring with my "2015" ver. I have been keeping my EA41 manually locked out, when idle... and the tailcap really has to be unscrewed almost to the falling off point to do it.

You really are the Gold Standard, when it comes to flashlight testing. :)

I second to this! :twothumbs

Back to EA41 2015 Edition. Whenever I know that I will not be using it for day, I just remove the batteries and store it in the battery case.
 

maxl96

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I got a new EA41 2015 and noticed that in SOS mode the blue Powerbutton LED randomly blinks after a few seconds..
Anyone noticed the same? :crazy:
 

selfbuilt

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I got a new EA41 2015 and noticed that in SOS mode the blue Powerbutton LED randomly blinks after a few seconds..
Anyone noticed the same? :crazy:
Hmmm, neither of my two EA41 samples do that. May be a quirk with yours?

:welcome:
 

maxl96

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Hmm I think I should just not bother since it´s working perfectly beside of this "issue" :)
 

TimTx1

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Thank you selfbuilt for your detailed reviews.

I picked up the 2014 (not the 2015) version of this flashlight based on your review. I decided I would rather have the longer battery life at the lower levels (mainly mid) instead of 40 more lumens on medium.

I was curious though if you had an opinion of the difference in battery efficiency between the EA4 and EA41. It appears that the older EA4 had much better battery usage at the same light level.

Per your testing:
nitecore ea41 (2014) XM-L2 T6 -- Med Light Level -- 120 estimated lumens, 110 measured lumens = 9:12 on 2000 mAh Eneloops
nitecore ea4 XM-L U2 -- Low Light Level -- 135 estimated lumens, 115 measured lumens = 10:59 on 2000 mAh Eneloops

So, the EA41 (2014 version) lasted almost two hours less at a decreased light level, over the EA4.

Since you never did a 2015 test using 2000 mAh Eneloops I was unable to do a comparison there. But, it makes no sense that a more efficient LED (XM-L2 vs XM-L) driven at a lower lumen level (110 vs 115) would last substantially less time. I would use mainly medium and it is disappointing that my new EA41 2014 edition is less efficient at that level than the older version of this flashlight (the EA4).

Do you have any thoughts?
 

SuLyMaN

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When I see this review SB, I am totally unimpressed by the Nitecore for its 'claimed' specs and failure to deliver the 1000 lumens...This makes me still believe the Sunwayman D40 is the one to beat in this class. Being a relatively old model, it has ultra low modes and nearly best max output...Great ceiling bounce too.
Of course, if you think its a great choice to the 4AA class, so be it :) I'd still choose the Sunwayman D40 or the Thrunite TN4A which you reviewed, gave excellent feedback but which you did not mention in the graph comparison. Its priced at $49.95. A much better deal in my humble opinion.
 

selfbuilt

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Per your testing:
nitecore ea41 (2014) XM-L2 T6 -- Med Light Level -- 120 estimated lumens, 110 measured lumens = 9:12 on 2000 mAh Eneloops
nitecore ea4 XM-L U2 -- Low Light Level -- 135 estimated lumens, 115 measured lumens = 10:59 on 2000 mAh Eneloops
So, the EA41 (2014 version) lasted almost two hours less at a decreased light level, over the EA4.

Since you never did a 2015 test using 2000 mAh Eneloops I was unable to do a comparison there. But, it makes no sense that a more efficient LED (XM-L2 vs XM-L) driven at a lower lumen level (110 vs 115) would last substantially less time. I would use mainly medium and it is disappointing that my new EA41 2014 edition is less efficient at that level than the older version of this flashlight (the EA4).
If you look at the runtime graphs, you will see the reason for the discrepancy. Although both my EA41 2014 and earlier EA4 sample have about the same ANSI FL-1 output, my EA41 gradually increased in output over the course of the extended run on NiMH. By the point just before the light drops out of regulation, output is about 150 estimated lumens. This is why the total runtime is less than the the more consistently flat ~115 lumens on my EA4.

It is hard to know what would happen in a light that is restarted frequently - but I expect you would not see much of a difference between output and runtime. Beyond that, there are always going to be small variances in output and runtime between samples, due to the nature electronics, etc.

I'd still choose the Sunwayman D40 or the Thrunite TN4A which you reviewed, gave excellent feedback but which you did not mention in the graph comparison.
The TN4A is not here because that review was posted more recently than this one (i.e., was written after). :) All three are good lights.
 

TimTx1

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Thank you SB! That makes a lot of sense. I didn't realize that the EA41 had a different run pattern than the EA4. Now I see what you mean. The EA41 increases over time while it runs which drains the battery more.

My EA41 2014 edition had switch issues (it skipped modes sometimes) so back it goes. I went with a different flashlight, the Fenix LD22 instead which is on the way. I realized that I don't want to carry around a light the size of a coke can (or try to pocket one), I don't need to light up a house down the block (which the Nitecore could do), and around 200 lumens is more than enough for what I would use the flashlight for.

Thanks again for clearing that up!
 

selis

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Thank's for another impressive review and the update for the 2015 version.
 

CelticCross74

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hey its the 2015 EA41 thread again! I am pleased to report that despite the lights very overrated output claim I really like this light despite having had it since its release. The beam profile is clean, bright and well defined. Love the switch. Love the blinky modes. Above average sheath. I run the new Eneloop Pros in it now and it runs considerably longer and stronger than the supposedly 2700 mah Powerexs I had in it before. I now own basically the entire "stubby" 3/4xAA class and the 2015 EA41 has held its own despite being down on output versus the rest of the class especially the D40A and TN4A.
 

creegeek

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I've owned this light a while also - and its a great performer. I measured standby drain at 0.55mA which means a set of Eneloop Pro will be 50% after 91 days.

So... I am testing a lockout solution for long term storage (hunting bag)... I took a foam earplug, cut about 1/2 off leaving the flat base and my flat cut (its now a mini-marshmallow). I put this on the negative terminal of a battery and screwed the end-cap down - not all the way - but enough so that its secure. I test the buttons to make sure there's no juice - and store. I'll report back if there's any unexpected drain or other side effects.

16868325_zpsyor4mq3z.jpg
 
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selfbuilt

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So... I am testing a lockout solution for long term storage (hunting bag)... I took a foam earplug, cut about 1/2 off leaving the flat base and my flat cut (its now a mini-marshmallow). I put this on the negative terminal of a battery and screwed the end-cap down - not all the way - but enough so that its secure. I test the buttons to make sure there's no juice - and store. I'll report back if there's any unexpected drain or other side effects.
Cute solution - let us know how it works out. :)
 

1LL1

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The alky inside my ea41 leak and eat into the wall, every thung still work, but it's ugly, will probably get the 2015 and run Eneloop in it
 

hammerjoe

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Ive watched a few videos of for this light and it looks like it has a strong spot.
Is there anything in 4AA range that has a good flood lighting instead at a reasonable distance?
 

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