REVIEW - Nitecore EA8W ( 8 x AA XM-L U2 )


Flashlight Enthusiast
Feb 15, 2009
Melbourne - Australia








Nitecore EA8W ( 8 x AA / XM-L U2 ) Sent for review by :

On removing the EA8W from its box the first thing that struck me was just how Maglite the EA8W felt in the hand and stuffing the light full of Eneloops just made the EA8W even more Maglite like in the hand . One of the first things I did was take the EA8W for a walk and there really is some heft there . This really is one throw'y light . Even in the lower modes it THROWS . I measured some 39-40 thousand LUX @ 1 meter in ( Ultra Lo > Lo > Mid > Hi > Turbo > SOS ) Turbo . I must say I was unable to find SOS , there is how ever strobe . I find it really interesting that there are two ways to turn on the light ( or two Levels for modes ) . If you soft touch the button ( much like changing modes on a reverse clicky ) you get the first set of modes - Ultra Low - Low - Medium and High . If you fully click the button you go straight into Turbo and if you soft touch the button again ( AKA changing modes on a reverse clicky ) you go into high mode . No matter the mode you are in , if you give a relatively quick double click you get strobe mode . To put the light into standby , hold the switch down ( with the light on ) until the light flashes you . Now the light will only turn on by holding the button down until the light turns back on . ( You will start in the soft touch Levels )
I have to say I am seriously impressed by the build quality of this light , I have absolutely nothing to complain about in regards to quality . The tail cap is one of the smoothest I can recall , the anodizing is deep and rich and very even . The only thing I could possibly mention is the size of the clicky switch . It's in no shape or form a deal breaker but its a little on the small size for such a large light and I would have felt more at home with a button maybe twice as big , especially if using a gloved hand .

Performance :
The EA8W runs on 8 AA batteries and this is a huge plus for those folks that don't want to get involved with li-ion batteries . I tested the EA8W with two lots of NIMH batteries , Eneloops and Turnigy 2550 , as well Alkaline batteries . The batteries are put in through the rear of the light into machined groves that hold the AA in place . There are clear markings which way to place the batteries ( in pairs ) . so its 2 by 2 by 2 by 2 for a total of 8 . If you wanted to you could run the light on just 4 batteries .

Eneloops :
Ultra Low = 2 Lumens ( Measured )
Low = 41 Lumens ( Measured )
Medium = 175 Lumens
High = 575 Lumens

Turbo = 816 Lumens
High = 575 Lumens

Turnigy 2550 :
Ultra Low = 2 Lumens
Low = 41 Lumens
Medium = 171 Lumens
High = 570 Lumens

Turbo = 809 Lumens
High = 571 Lumens

Alkaline Batteries :
Ultra Low = 2 Lumens
Low = 41 Lumens
Medium = 174 Lumens
High = 574 Lumens

Turbo = 823 Lumens
High = 582 Lumens

Looking at the light box results , I can only conclude that light output is some what related to the voltage . When I turn the light on ( lets say turbo ) the light box shows over 900 lumens but this quickly sags to just over 800 . I don't see this being a heat issue but I think more a voltage issue where the batteries reach a sustainable voltage for the relevant current draw . Alkaline batteries having a higher Voltage than NIMH , we can see a slightly better performance whilst the Alkalines are fresh . I am only able to measure on set of 2+2 batteries due to only having two sets of hands .. So for what the measurements are worth (?) , here we go .
Eneloops = Ultra low / 0.01Amp - Low / 0.07Amp - Medium / 0.27Amp - High / 1.41Amps - Turbo / 2.5Amps
I put in 4 Eneloops to see what the penalty was .
Turbo = 780 Lumens
High = 563 Lumens

Ultra low = 2 Lumens
Low = 40 Lumens
Medium = 169 Lumens
High = 562 Lumens

Not nearly as bad as I would have thought .

Beam Shots :

So wow ! Did I say it was throwy ! The EA8W really throws , even in medium mode ( 175L ) this light reaches out . Fully loaded with Eneloops the EA8W comes in at a trim 525 grams making this light just a little on the hefty side for a pocket flashlight . When you think EA8W you really need to be in a Maglite D size frame of mind ( 2D / 3D ) and if you are a fan of the Maglite , you will be tickled pink by the EA8W . If you love flashlights that can reach out then you should check out this Nitecore , because it reaches . If your looking for something that can make you feel more secure when things go bump in the night then 525 grams can be put to good use . ( Fully loaded with 8 Eneloops )
Cons :
Switch could have been larger - Parasitic Drain
Pro's :
525 grams - Tail cap screws on very smoothly - Solidly built - Easy to use interface - Shortcut to Turbo - Extremely well made ( Quality ) - Hidden Strobe - Good selection of light levels - Throws dog gone nuts - Reminiscent of Maglites - Most importantly , runs on AA batteries - Very decent current draw in lower modes - tail stands - Comes with belt holster - lanyard - spare O ring - Standby mode .
I can really see the EA8W used as a home light , caravan - camping light , security patrol , search and rescue . Any sort of roll where strength / power / ease of feeding / durability might be seriously important , I mean where in the world can you not buy AA batteries ? Stuff the Nitecore EA8W full of Alkalines and go play . ( Or rescue some one ) How do I put this ? I think the Nitecore EA8W just made all my Maglites redundant . ( I do have a few modified Maglites ) The only thing I think that could be improved upon is the clicky switch - It could be larger for gloved hands . If I had to give the EA8W a score it would be 9.5/10

Now the last thing = Parasitic drain ! Yes its there even in standby mode ... 0.12mA ( Standby mode - what I measured ) So that's around say 8 hours to suck one milliamp from the batteries . Two sets of 4 batteries ( Turnigy around 2550mA ) , so close to 5000mAh , 8 hours ... = 40,000 hours . Of course that would be to depletion . ( 1666 Days ) If that helps put things in perspective . Now where it gets tricky is if you don't put the light into standby mode , I measured from 0.54mAh to 2.5mAh current draw . It stays at 0.54 for several seconds and then spikes up and then drops down again . ( Never quite the same current spike ) It would be a guess , but it might average out at 1mAh current draw . ( Maybe as high as 1.5mAh current draw = Its a guess ) The variable being the current draw spikes . ( Best to put the light into standby )