Are you in need of something lightweight? Do you need something extremely durable? Are you worried that you will have to sacrifice power to find something small enough for your needs? If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to take a look at the Nitecore EC4S. Coming in at 5.9 inches long the Nitecore EC4S offers dimples for an extremely comfortable grip. Keep on reading to find out what else this compact, yet powerful light has to offer.
If you are particularly interested in Nitecore check out our Nitecore Buyers Guide that has the history of the brand and some of their top current lights. We also link out to all of our other Nitecore light reviews from there.
Before You Buy
If you are in the market for a compact, yet powerful EDC light you want to make sure you purchase the best one. With how many choices there are it can be hard to pick just one. Before you purchase your light you want to narrow down your choices by looking at certain key features. With a compact light, size is important. You want something small enough to carry, but big enough to fit comfortably in your hand. How many lumens the light can emit is also important, you need enough light to get the job done. Not all jobs will require a lot of light. Look for a light that offers different output modes so you have the ability to select the right amount of light for the task at hand.
The Nitecore EC4S is the upgraded version of the original Nitecore EC4. The biggest upgrade to the Nitecore EC4S was the quad-core CREE XLamp XHP50 LED. This upgrade allows the compact light to emit a maximum of 2150 lumens. While the Nitecore EC4S can use four CR123 batteries, for the best performance and run times you need to use two 18650 batteries. With the two 18650 batteries, the light emits the maximum 2150 lumens for 45 minutes compared to 30 minutes with the four CR123s.
Using Unique Integrated Technology the EC4S is extremely lightweight and compact. The die-cast body is a single piece made of aero grade aluminum alloy there is no separate battery compartment. Molten aluminum is injected into the mold cavity using high pressure to create a body that is 200% stronger than an ordinary light. To make the Nitecore EC4S as compact as possible the two 18650 batteries sit side by side with no gap. A rear thumb screw lock gives the light the ability to connect to a tripod.
- Comfortable grip
- Micro-textured reflector
- Tail stand capability
- Irregular hotspot pattern
- Tricky tailcap threads
- Dimensions: 5.9 inches long with a 1.57-inch diameter
- Weight: 6.03 oz without batteries
- Lowest Setting: 2 lumens for 325 hours
- Highest Setting: 2150 lumens for 45 minutes
Nitecore EC4S Features & Benefits
Featuring a dual switch user interface the Nitecore EC4S offers five brightness levels and three special concealed modes. The bottom switch is used to power the light on and off, while the top switch is the mode switch. Pressing the mode switch while the light is powered on allows you to cycle through the various brightness levels. To enter into the special modes you must press and hold the mode switch for over one second repeatedly until the desired mode is found. Ultra low and Turbo mode can be directly accessed when the light is on by pressing and holding either the mode or power switch. To enter lockout mode press and hold both switches for over one second.
Battery Indicator Light
The Nitecore EC4S features a battery indicator light to alert users to the lights current battery power. To activate the feature simply press the mode switch while the light is powered off. The blue light will flash in various patterns based on battery levels. The light will blink three times when the battery level is over 50%. When levels drop to below 50% light will then blink twice. When the battery is close to being drained the light will begin blinking once.
With the ability to emit a maximum of 2150 lumens overheating is a real concern. The Nitecore EC4S offers extreme cooling performance to help prevent the light from overheating. Low thermal resistance and the Nitecore EC4S structural integrity allows the heat to be distributed quickly and evenly to the surface of the light. The cooling fins provide a 30% larger cooling surface compared to ordinary lights. The ATR Intelligent temperature control keeps the cool both inside and out by adjusting the output based on the lights internal temperature. The light will get warm, but it will never get hot even working long hours on high outputs.
I have spent hours reading through Nitecore EC4S reviews. Most of the reviews that I have read talk about how amazing this light is. Most reviewers mention the die-cast body as it adds to the durability of the light. Several reviewers talk about how bright the light is, especially for its compact size. Even with all of the positive reviews, the Nitecore EC4S isn’t without its flaws. One thing that a reviewer took note of was the tail cap threads. They were a bit tricky to get lined up just right. The other concern from a reviewer was the irregular hot spot pattern. Neither one of these concerns is enough to prevent you from buying the light.
If you are looking for something a bit different than the Nitecore EC4S the Klarus RS30 makes a great alternative. The Klarus RS30 emits a maximum of 2,400 lumens using two CREE XM-L2 U2 LEDs. The reflector has been redesigned to provide users with a focused beam and a floodlight in order to improve overall illumination. Users can use either two 18650 batteries or 4 CR123 batteries to power the Klarus RS30. Dual LEDs are on independent circuits allowing the light to work with half the required number of batteries. Controlled by a dual side switch the Klarus RS30 provides 5 brightness levels.
An improved version of the Fenix TK35, the Fenix TK35UE is a great alternative to the Nitecore EC4S. Using a CREE XHP 50 LED the Fenix TK35UE offers 2,000 lumens of light. Like the other alternatives listed here, the Fenix TK35UE can be powered by two 18650 batteries or four CR123A batteries. The Fenix TK35Ue features a digitally regulated output to ensure brightness levels remain constant with all of the 5 brightness levels offered. For emergencies, the TK35Ue also offers Strobe and SOS mode. An intelligent memory circuit recalls the last setting used when the light is powered back on.
If you are looking for another great light by Nitecore that is easy to use the Nitecore P36 is an excellent choice. The Nitecore P36 emits a maximum of 2,000 lumens using a CREE MT-G2 LED. With the Nitecore P36 users can opt between using two 18650 batteries or four CR123A batteries to power the light. With the multifunctional Nitecore P36 you have the option of 10 brightness levels with 5 special modes. The P36 is operated via a multifunctional rotary switch rather than a clicky type switch.
Nitecore EC4S Review Final Thoughts
If you need a compact, powerful light that is comfortable to hold for extended periods of time, look no further than the Nitecore EC4S. With the ability to emit up to 2150 lumens at just under 6 inches long, the Nitecore EC4S is one of the most powerful lights for its size. The die-cast body offers an ergonomic and streamlined body with dimples to provide gripping comfort. Now that you know what the Nitecore EC4S has to offer, go out and purchase yours today.
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