Convoy S2+ Nichia 519a Flashlight Review
Here’s another Convoy S2+ flashlight – the Nichia 519a version! Basically tested just to see the 519a performance, and it’s great! Read on!
Official Specs and Features
It’s the Convoy S2+… there are a bazillion iterations. There are body colors. There’s a 18350 cell tube size. There’s the “old version” and the “new version.” There are triples, there are singles (as seen here). There’s a metal clicky button (as seen here) and a rubber switch cover. There are lighted switch options. The S2+ is a stalwart in the flashlight world.
The current price for this Convoy S2+ Nichia 519a flashlight looks to be $18.48. That’s a great way to get into this Nichia 519a emitter, just for testing purposes and to see how you like it! Plus you end up with another Convoy S2+, which is a good thing anyway.
I have so many Convoy S2+ flashlights. But I never had a Nichia 519a flashlight. This is a great gateway into the Nichia 519a emitter, and the Convoy S2+ is great, too! Great build quality for under $20 – great deal!
The Big Table
|Convoy S2+ Nichia 519a Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Nichia 519a (4500K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$18.48|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||–|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||924|
|Candela per Lumen||10.6|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||438lux @ 4.355m = 8307cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||182.3|
|Measured CCT Range (K)||4200-4600 Kelvin|
|Item provided for review by:||Convoy Store|
|All my Convoy reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: Testing flashlights is my hobby. I use hobbyist-level equipment for testing, including some I made myself. Try not to get buried in the details of manufacturer specifications versus measurements recorded here; A certain amount of difference (say, 10 or 15%) is perfectly reasonable.
- Convoy sS2+ (18650 size)
Package and Manual
There is no manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
Convoy is very highly regarded by flashlight enthusiasts for having great build quality and low prices. This Convoy S2+ Nichia 519a is no exception. It’s great!
Both head and tail come off the light. The tail parts are held in place by a brass retaining ring.
The driver is visible – note how the driver is not soldered to the retaining ring on this version. I’m not sure if that’s a special feature to the 519a version or if it’s the way Convoy ships them all now.
The cell tube is not reversible. One end is anodized, and one is unanodized. The anodized end is the tail end. Also, both bodies have their own o-rings.
Convoy is moving to (or “has moved to” – I’m not really sure) a new threading system. What you see on this head and tail is the new type. The newer type has bigger square-cut threads. Both work fine but the parts are not interchangeable. If this bit of information is important to you, ask before placing an order what type of threads the light will have. But if you never plan to mod, and don’t have any other parts that you’ll be swapping this with, do not worry about it and don’t think about it again.
Size and Comps
- Length: 118.9mm
- Width: 24.1mm
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
There are three main ways to carry the S2+. The first is a pocket clip, which is a separate purchase. I happened to have one on hand. Absolutely buy one with the light, though. I failed to do so. 🙁 You can see the pocket clip in my other Convoy S2+ reviews, though.
Below you can see it in all four positions on the 18650 body. This light can be carried either orientation and deeper or shallower, depending on preference.
Also available is a lanyard, which is included. The lanyard fits through these two holes on the tailcap. Note that the holes are only on one side of the tail, so really the lanyard and screw clip can’t be used together unless actually attaching the lanyard to the clip. I don’t know if the clip will withstand that type of use, though (it’s fairly thin).
The light also tailstands reliably.
Power and Runtime
The Convoy S2+ is powered by a single lithium-ion cell. The default tube supports a single 18650 cell. The accessory tube (which is another accessory I didn’t purchase with this S2+ 🙁 ) supports a single 18350 cell.
The cell goes into the light in the normal direction – positive end toward the head.
Here are a couple of runtimes for the 18650 setup. The light does have low voltage protection, and on bench power seemed to shut off electronically around 2.6V. That’s just a shade low, but still acceptable.
The outputs are defined as percentages, so the “second from highest” mode is “35%”. There is a 50% output, but that’s in a different group. There isn’t a group that has 100%, 50%, and also 35%.
Unfortunately, my temperature sensor popped off the flashlight, and obviously it was at a most inopportune time.
When you buy yours (and yes, you should buy one or a few), include the 18350 cell tube too. It’s just too much fun and adds too much to this light, to skip it.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
This version of the S2+, unlike some previous versions, does not seem to use PWM!
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, which is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single switch on the Convoy S2+. This is a reverse mechanical clicky. A reverse clicky has the benefit of allowing mode changes while the light is on. But this also means that the switch does nothing until it is on – no momentary action whatsoever.
The action on these metal switches is fantastic. It’s like clicking a good Bic Clic Stic pen – just a rewarding action.
This driver is known as “Biscotti” and has a bunch of mode groups. Actually, this is reportedly not true Biscotti – that’s why I called it “Fauxcotti” above. It’s nearly the same though. Mode memory can be turned on or off (yay!), and programming is easy! But there are simply too many possibilities for me to list the UI in a table as I usually do. Here is Simon’s flow chart for the UI.
Here’s the official guide for the Biscotti firmware:
From the mode group selection above, the light ships in mode group 1. You’ll want to switch it to mode group 2 quickly of course. And I always turn off memory if possible (and it’s possible here!). I made a first pass at my own flow chart, which you can see below.
If something’s wrong (or even just “unclear”) in there, please let me know!
LED and Beam
Here’s the whole point of this whole review. This copy of the Convoy S2+ has a Nichia 519a emitter. That emitter is all the rage lately, and if you continue reading I think you’ll see why. But the summary is that it has great output with great CCT and great CRI – it’s just a great emitter.
As you can see above, there’s a smooth reflector in this S2+. But since it’s the S2+, you can put an orange peel reflector here if you desire it. The bezel is smooth, so light doesn’t escape when headstanding.
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
Without even zooming in or clicking those images below you should be able to get a good idea – look at the circles, to start with. See how nearly the red circle matches the black circle? The black circle is essentially “perfect.” That means that the Nichia 519a is “nearly perfect” – in fact, it’s practically as perfect as we can get in a flashlight. Now translate that into CRI – the CRI is above 96 in every output level. At the lower levels (when not being driven very hard) the CRI is hitting 98!
Another worthwhile point for those of us who have an unusual love for the “old best” (Nichia 219b) – the Duv here is slightly negative, which means the Nichia 519a will be just a touch pinkish (with no green whatsoever, on any mode). This is something I like but it is a personal preference.
The point of all this is that the emitter is just fantastic.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Low price
- Great way to get this new Nichia 519A emitter in the CCT of your choice
- Build quality is great, especially for such a low-cost light
- TONS of build-out options. (different clips, bodies, etc)
- Highly modifiable (drivers, emitters, etc).
What I don’t like
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