Nitecore Explorer (EC1, EC2, EA1, EA2) Round-up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO+

think2x

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I'm really liking this light but I have an important question. Will the EC2 take the larger capacity flat top 18650's like the Redilast? I either over looked it or can't find that bit of info anywhere. If it does work with the Redilast cells this will be the light replacing my dead SC600w.

Thanks and great review as always Selfbuilt.

Jamie
 

MichaelW

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These seem to be the most blatant exploitation of the ANSI testing protocol for marketing purposes yet.

I do like the helical grip, it is a change of pace, but a herringbone pattern might be better.
 
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moozooh

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Heh, anybody else gets the vibe that EA1 is much like an underperformer clone of ZL SC51? Similar size and proportions, same LED and battery, somewhat lower efficiency but lower price and better throw to compensate. I guess it's only worth the trade-off if you really prefer the throw.

EA2, though, that one is pretty interesting. The spec runtimes trump the 2xAA XM-L Quark, and the output/throw appear to be the best in class, so this might well end up to be the 2xAA light of choice for the time being. I can see it being really useful as a throw light on long trips where equipment size/weight are an issue, and battery recharging is out of the question.
 

biglights

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just ordered the EC1, thanks selbuilt for yet another great review!!! My wallet dosnt like your reviews though :naughty:
 

Up All Night

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Selfbuilt :thumbsup:! As always, Thank you!
Nice to see a 2AA light that doesn't look like its inspiration was an elongated chess piece. Impressive numbers as well, looking forward to run-time results.
Thanks again!

Setting the WizardOne to "charge"!
 

dajabec

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My EC1 is great! It doesn't have any overheating issues.
This thing is way too small to fit an 18350 if anyone was wondering.
Man the reflector is deep; hard to believe such a small light throws so well.
Also, interesting "beam pattern" on the red light. My kids were looking to see where the laser was pointing at :-D

BTW the EA2 numbers look amazing. If I'm in the market for a AA light this would be it.
 

GordoJones88

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picture.php
 

scout24

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I'm intrigued by the EA1, looking forward to the Eneloop runtimes... Curious-is there a runtime spec listed for the red constant on mode for any of these? Thanks for the thorough review and video.
 

tam17

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Jun 9, 2011
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Nitecore and Jetbeam typically only have cool white emitters.

Typically yes, but Jetbeam PA40 was available in neutral "W" version soon after the cool white was released. I wouldn't be surprised if this happens with Nitecore E series.

Cheers
 

JudasD

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I just snagged an EC1. I was having trouble deciding on what Eagletac D25C version to get but this guy has a touch more throw than both of them and is physically smaller! :thumbsup:


I was going over my bills for the last few months and my wife was getting fed up entering in all of these random vendor names for flashlight orders. I told her to just file everything flashlight related under "selfbuilt". She asked what the heck does that mean? I said he's the reason for all these damn bills!!! :lolsign:

Once again, thank you for the awesome review selfbuilt.

JD
 

andrewnewman

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Heh, anybody else gets the vibe that EA1 is much like an underperformer clone of ZL SC51? Similar size and proportions, same LED and battery, somewhat lower efficiency but lower price and better throw to compensate. I guess it's only worth the trade-off if you really prefer the throw.

Funny I was thinking just the opposite. Granted the ZL SC51 seems to have a better circuit but the light itself has some troublesome flaws that I am hoping aren't present in the EA1. If you ever put your SC51 in your pocket you have to remember to lock out the tailcap or it has a pretty decent chance of coming on (in high). No biggie really but I never much liked requiring a loose tailcap (and intact anodization) to assure no battery drain. Electronic lockouts seem more elegant (to me, admittedly this is very subjective).

Also, I keep my house pretty dark and at night I'm always forgetting where I put my light. The beacon is pretty useful here. Finally, for camping I am thinking that a small red LED for finding something in my backpack at night or exiting a shared shelter is more civilized than even the dimmest white LED.
 

JudasD

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My EC1 arrived yesterday. I was EDCing the SWM V11R and truthfully i never really liked that light. It needs just a touch more throw for the amount of flood that it produces. There where times where the light actually made it feel like a foggy night since there was so much flood and vs. the amount of throw. I'm not sure if this phenomenon has a name but it was the extreme opposite of the tunnel vision that you get with an aspheric light.
I also kept unscrewing the head whenever i would adjust the levels. Not good :(

The EC1 is super short! The throw is beyond excellent for a light this small. Walked around last night and the amount of throw is perfect for the amount of flood. No foggy-night appearance at all. Vision was good up to 150 yards!
I do like the dual button operation and placement. I wish turbo mode was just part of the rotation and not a long press. If you are wearing gloves this light will be a problem. I will have to see if i still like this light come winter time.
Turbo mode is very difficult to discern from high mode. Even at distances i had to really pay attention to notice that turbo mode was engaging. Ill probably just stick with high and never use turbo mode. No reason to waste battery if it's not doing much for me.
WARNING: If you like moonlight modes this is NOT the light for you! The ultra-low mode isn't very low with a RCR123. I only use RCR123s and have no CR123s so i am not able to see how much lower it can go. This isn't a deal breaker for me, but i do wish it could go a bit lower.
I have zero use for strobe modes, but i must admit that this light has the most obnoxious strobe mode that i have ever seen. I suppose that is a good think right? LOL

Compared to my previous EDC lights (SC51, SC600, V11R) the EC1 is my preference. I was going to try a D25C but i think i will just stick with the EC1. I dont want to have to fiddle with the twisty head and such since it's too reminiscent of the V11R issues that i had.

JD
 

selfbuilt

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Funny I was thinking just the opposite. Granted the ZL SC51 seems to have a better circuit but the light itself has some troublesome flaws that I am hoping aren't present in the EA1. If you ever put your SC51 in your pocket you have to remember to lock out the tailcap or it has a pretty decent chance of coming on (in high). No biggie really but I never much liked requiring a loose tailcap (and intact anodization) to assure no battery drain. Electronic lockouts seem more elegant (to me, admittedly this is very subjective).
I'd say there is much less risk with the EC1. The Zebralight switches have always been pretty sensitive (i.e., a light touch required). The Explorer lights all need a firmer press.

WARNING: If you like moonlight modes this is NOT the light for you! The ultra-low mode isn't very low with a RCR123. I only use RCR123s and have no CR123s so i am not able to see how much lower it can go. This isn't a deal breaker for me, but i do wish it could go a bit lower.
That was my experience in the review as well for the my EC1 sample. Not sure why it doesn't go as low as the other members of this family, but I personally wouldn't consider the reported 2-3 lumens to be moonlight anyway (i.e., too bright). You really need to rely on the <1 lumen red LED for moonlight.
 

billbebob

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Jun 12, 2010
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Looks like an interesting and promising light from Nitecore. As always Selfbuilt your reviews are top notch and among the best online. May have to put the EC2 on my list of products to purchase. Thanks!
 

selfbuilt

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Just came back from my run, the RED LIGHT had DRAINED the batttery to .85 volts. No light. It was still on at 7pm when I left. 5-6 Hours is what I am getting.
It will be a few days before I am back, but I will test the red LED runtimes on the various models when I get back. I will also see if I can do some heat comparisons ... may take a little time, though.
 

hurld

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Feb 9, 2006
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I can't make up my mind which model I want. I'm leaning toward the ea1. Using 14500 batteries it should be the same brightness as the ec1 on a rcr123 right? Decisions decisions.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 
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