Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight Review

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight Review

The T4 is a new flashlight available from Convoy that offers the great Nichia 519A emitter! It’s a single with reflector and uses two cells.


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Convoy T4 Nichia 519A flashlight product page.

Versions

Two body colors are available – gray and orange (seen here). Many emitter options are available too – Nichia 219C, Nichia 219B, Samsung LH351D, Luminus SST20, and Nichia 519A (seen here).  Various CCT’s are available as well, but those specifics depend on which emitter you’ve selected.

Price

The price for the Convoy T4 Nichia 519A flashlight depends on the emitter you pick specifically, but generally, the light costs $20.


Short Review

I figured I’d like this light, and I do. Maybe having two cells in series isn’t my favorite thing but I love that the T4 supports both AA (that is, 1.5V cells) as well as lithium-ion cells (that is, 14500 cells). Build quality is great and the user interface is fairly recognizable by now, so it’s also sufficient. All in all, this is a great entry to the Nichia 519A emitter if you haven’t already jumped! And the body is available in orange!

Long Review

The Big Table

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight
Emitter: Nichia 519a (4500K)
Price in USD at publication time: $22.38
Cell: 2×14500
100% Runtime Graph 30% Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm)
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 689
Candela per Lumen 8.2
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 263lux @ 4.5m = 5326cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 146.0
Claimed CCT 4500
Measured CCT Range (K) 4300-4400 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Convoy Store
All my Convoy reviews!

 

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight
Emitter: Nichia 519a (4500K)
Price in USD at publication time: $22.38
Cell: 2xAA
100% Runtime Graph 30% Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm)
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 289
Candela per Lumen 8.2
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 100lux @ 4.717m = 2225cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 94.3
Claimed CCT 4500
Measured CCT Range (K) 4100-4400 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Convoy Store
All my Convoy reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight what's included

  • Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight
  • Lanyard (attached)

Package and ManualConvoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight box

There is no manual included.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight

I really don’t think you’re going to get any surprises from the T4 regarding build quality. Convoy is very highly regarded by flashlight enthusiasts for having great build quality and low prices. This Convoy T4 Nichia 519A is great!

The head has a nice bit of spiral design that I can’t remember seeing in a Convoy before.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight head

The tail end echos that design.
Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight tailcap

Both head and tail come off the light. The tail parts are held in place by a brass retaining ring. The tail has a nice beefy spring.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight tailcap spring and threads

The head has a long brass button – no spring.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight head contact and threads

The cell tube is not reversible.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight head and tail off

Size and Comps

Length / head diameter / tube diameter: 153.3mm / 27mm / 21mm

Net weight: 98g
Gross weight: 110g

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).

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

It does look like it might fit, but the parts of the T4 are not really interchangeable with the S2+.  I think it would have been a neat bit of compatibility if they did fit…

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight beside the Convoy S2+ flashlight parts swap

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.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight beside the TorchLAB BOSS 35 (custom engraved)

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight shorty - no cell tube at all

Here’s my orange Convoy family! Quite nice lights, I think.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight other orange Convoy flashlights

Retention and Carry

Only a lanyard is included for carry of the Convoy T4 Nichia 519A flashlight. Lanyard holes are in both sides of the tailcap.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight lanyard holes
The lanyard ships attached, as seen below, from the factory. This is the wrong way. 😉
Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight stock lanyard install (wrong)

When correctly installed, the lanyard does not interfere with tailstanding.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight corrected lanyard install Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight lanyard installed

There’s no pocket clip or nylon pouch or anything else included for carry of the T4.

Power and Runtime

The T4 is unusual in what can be used for power. It requires two cells (technically, because of the cell tube length).  Those two cells are in series, so you should carefully manage your cells and be sure they’re “married.” It’s good practice to buy a set together just for use in this light, as mismatching cells in series can be very bad. Mismatching series cells is what causes flashlight explosions!

What works in the T4 is two AA-sized cells. NiMH cells (1.5V each) will work.  Lithium-ion cells will work (4.2V each).  Mixing those cells types will NOT WORK (and is dangerous).

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight with 2x eneloop AA cells

The cells are installed the usual way – positive terminal toward the head.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight cells installed

Here are a couple of runtimes – two for each cell type. Performance is pretty solid, with the light holding around 650 lumens for nearly 30 minutes with 14500 cells. When using lithium-ion, the light will blink a low voltage warning and then shut off.

Here are a couple of tests with two Eneloop cells. The output here is lower, but the duration is longer, too. There is no low voltage protection when using 1.5V cells.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps @8.4V
100% 100% 689 1.40
30% 30% 299 0.46
10% 10% 95 0.13
1% 1% 9.7 0.00
Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps @3V
100% 100% 289 1.40
30% 30% 110 0.42
10% 10% 33 0.12
1% 1% 2.8 0.00

Pulse Width Modulation

There really isn’t any PWM to be seen here.

14500×2:

AAx2:

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, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  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 T4.  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.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight mechanical tail switch Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight mechanical tail switch profile

The action on these 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 call it “Fauxcotti.” 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:

voLlaD4.jpg

The T4 actually has a little wiggle from that chart – some modes are a little different.  So broadly speaking, the guides I have above and below are going to work and get you to your goal group, but the specifics might change a bit.  Here’s the mode group list for the Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight.

manual

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.

zeroair reviews biscotti flow chart revision 1

If something’s wrong (or even just “unclear”) in there, please let me know!

LED and Beam

The Convoy T4 has one 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.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight emitter and reflector Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight reflector

The lens appears to have AR coating.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight arc on lens

The bezel is removable, but flush and so no light escapes when headstanding.

Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight smooth bezel Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight emitter on

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!

14500×2:

AAx2:

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

14500×2:

AAx2:

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.

14500×2:

AAx2:

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

 

Conclusion

What I like

  • Very good price for getting into a Nichia 519A light.
  • 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
  • Throw is respectable
  • Dual-chemistry support (NiMH and lithium-ion both work (but not together!))
  • Available in orange!

What I don’t like

  • No pocket clip option
  • No other carry options
  • A single 14500 version isn’t available!

Notes

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8 thoughts on “Convoy T4 Nichia 519A Flashlight Review”

  1. Nice looking little light. Yeah,me too,i would like to see a single aa version. Good review.

  2. What I don’t like
    A single 14500 version isn’t available!

    I disagree, I have the T3 and T4 in orange! The T3 is half a T4.

  3. What I don’t like
    A single 14500 version isn’t available!

    The T3 is the single cell version of the T4. I have both the T3 and T4 and like them a lot.

    1. I’ll have to pick up a T3, it seems.

      I wouldn’t say the T3 is just half a T4, though. Maybe the cell tube would work, though!

  4. Pingback: Flashlight News: Phreaky Briefing Issue 46 – PhotonPhreaks

  5. This is from the nealsgadgets page for the T4: “1.6V-1.8V lithium metal primary disposable batteries will not work with this version.”

    Why wouldn’t lithium primaries work? Does this apply to Eveready L91 lithiums (1.5V) as well?

    1. I think it’s because of the voltage protection for the lithium ion rechargeable batteries. The way they do that is that the light is wired to keep from running when a certain range of voltages is detected. So it might run when it detects say up to 3.2V, not run from 3.2V-5.6V (to avoid over discharging two lithium ion batteries in series) and run when it detects anything over 5.6V. Those disposables fall in the safety zone for the rechargeable lithium ion cells. If you put one in that was partially discharged it probably would work.

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