submitted by Mikey Bautista
It’s the final Friday of 2022, and we thought we’d do something fun and send it off with a Flashlight Friday featuring something that made massive waves this year. You may be familiar with some of the more common LED manufacturers like Cree, Samsung, OSRAM, and Nichia, each with their stables of capable and colorful emitters. But it’s the last one on the list that’s brought something truly special to the table that’s finding its way into more lights.
We’re talking, of course, about the new Nichia 519A, the latest and greatest enthusiast LED on the block that’s the best of both worlds of lumen output and that much-desired enthusiast tint. Like the crazy-popular Nichia 219B before it, it’s characterized by a high CRI rosy tint that’s especially eye-pleasing on the lower-temperature variants. Unlike the 219B, however, the 519A now has the advantage of being able to be brighter at the same amperage, as well as able to be driven harder to push more lumens.
One particular hobbyist activity is de-doming a 519A, meaning slicing or pulling off the clear material in the shape of a dome that sits on top of the glass that protects an LED’s phosphor material. Removing the dome reduces the 519As lumen output, in exchange for more candela/throw and a lower CCT, i.e., even warmer/rosier tint.
This one LED has changed the game for flashlights, and has certainly given enthusiasts a lot to experiment with in their search for that perfect tint. For the rest of us, this simply means more an better flashlights to play around with! So we’ve put together a list of five flashlights you can buy today that come with Nichia 519A to help you get started on your own journey with this hot new emitter.
AceBeam E70 Mini: A powerful triple 519A 5000K in titanium with a max output of 1,500 lumens. Comes with an 18650 battery with a USB-C charging port.Emisar D4V2 Ti: The enthusiast’s choice of the past few years, powered by a monster quad array of 519As in your CCT and (de)domed preference with an output of 3,800 lumens. Comes with the highly customizable and feature-packed Andúril interface.Wurkkos TS25: Another quad with Andúril, but at a much more accessible price point. Monster 4,000-lumen output thanks to a 21700 battery.Convoy T3: An AA/14500-powered light with seven 519A CCT options to choose from, at a very attractive price despite its titanium build.Reylight pineapple mini: The most compact of the group with its use of 10440 (AAA-sized). Comes with a Nichia 519A 4000K pushing 500 lumens, and has the most body material options from titanium to brass.
Special mention—Killzone Stainless Pen Light: A super-simple, super-affordable single-mode pen light that’s been the benchmark light to use Nichia 219B, now upgraded (and finally back in stock) in Nichia 519A SM455. Able to use all AAA-sized battery chemistries and push out up to 175 lumens. And did we mention it was under 15 bucks?