D4v2 guide – options galore (last updated 2020-11-16)

D4v2 guide – options galore (last updated 2020-11-16)

This is usually done by the brokenrecordbot, but I decided to dump it here for easy editing.

To start off – the D4V2 is available here.

Intl Outdoor is the manufacturer’s page, so everything is always available, albeit via the boat from China. They have a US warehouse with limited items, though. There’s also a reseller on eBay, JL Distributors

Onto the options!

What emitter (LED and tint) do I choose?

As you’ve probably seen by now, there’s a few options available. Summed up, they are:

  • Cree XP-L HI – very “throwy” LED, can put out a ton of light. Highest lumen output of the lot, but 70 CRI, although there’s evidence of a few 4000K XP-L HIs being 80 CRI. Also runs relatively cool considering the output (compared to other emitters). There’s also the 2850K in high CRI, which I have not seen anywhere else, so that’s nice and rare.
  • Luminus SST-20 – also quite throwy, but runs fairly hot. 2700K and 4000K are higher CRI (95, iirc), but 5000K and 6500K are 66CRI (OUCH!). All of them have a little bit of a greenish tint at lower brightnesses, but the 5000K and 6500K moreso.
  • Nichia 219CT – Quite a nice compromise of colour, CRI, and tint, but runs quite hot for the output.
  • Nichia E21A – lower output (~1300lm?) but hoo boy the beam is super pretty. Personal recommendation is 4500K. If you choose E21A, the light will come with the floody optic, which is the preferred option for it anyway.
  • SST20 660nm Deep Red – well, it’s very red, and very… I dunno. If you REALLY need red, or you just really WANT red, go for it, I guess. I’m not your dad.

That said, they’re all in a small body, so they’re always gonna run hot cause there’s not much thermal mass to sink it up.

There are also Mule options now – these have 8 emitters instead of 4, no optics, and no aux LEDs. As it’s unfocused light, it won’t throw very much at all, but will be a whole lot of brightness up close. You need to contact Hank directly for these; scroll to the bottom of the item page for info.

Why do the XP-L HI and E21A options cost more? Well, Cree charges a fair chunk of cash per emitter on those, compared to the other options, and the E21A is a bit more expensive too. 

Wait, CRI?

Yep – this is how well the emitter replicates the colours you’d see in sunlight. As has been said elsewhere, it’s the difference between telling if something is a stick or a snake when you point a light at it. If the CRI isn’t mentioned, it’s usually 70 or even below – 70 isn’t completely terrible, but again, it’s nice to have, dependant on what you want to do with it. Give it time, you’ll be a CRI-baby too.

Okay, what do all the “4000K” etc mean?

All the options you can get have the colour temperature in Kelvin next to them – from 3000K to 6500K. The E21A 2000K is just ridiculously warm/orangey, but that’s my personal opinion. 3000K will be a very “warm” orange-ish glow, similar to an incandescent bulb. 6500K is a very “cold” white – think of the lighting in morgues in TV shows, that kind of thing. It’s not very popular with a lot of flashaholics because of the way it just washes everything out. A good “neutral” is somewhere between 4000K and 5000K; my personal preference is 4500K, but that’s not an option on this light without modifying it.

This is a good guide on colour temperature.

What about all the other options?

Okay, there’s a few more things to look at.

  • Switch retaining ring – There’s images on there of both; I prefer raised, as it helps prevent accidental activation.
  • 10623 floody optic – This is a great idea for the E21A emitters; they’re not huge output anyway, and this smooths the beam out to make it real nice.
  • one extra SS bezel (aluminum bezel by default) – I highly recommend this. Adds a bit of class, and can take a bit more of a hit than the aluminium one.
  • pocket clip – If you’re planning on pocket carry, get it. Images on the page.
  • 18350 tube – lil’ shorty; I think it’s super cute, and it’s always fun to see the look on people’s faces when something that small can punch out a ton of light. You’ll need a high current 18350 though.
  • 18500 tube – I’ve never come across this cell before, but then again I’m ɹǝpun uʍop
  • Magnet in the tailcap (No magnet in the tailcap by default) – I’d recommend. I don’t use it all that often, but it’s nice to have.
  • Extra tailcap without magnet – if you get the magnetic tailcap and want to not have a magnetic one sometimes, grab this.
  • Dual bay Li-ion charger – if you don’t already have a charger. But there’s probably better options available locally.

Okay, I still don’t know what I want. What do I get?

Out of all the options there, if you want sheer output, go the XP-L HI V3 3A 5000K – I feel it’s a nice neutral colour, with a ton of output. If you’re after something a bit warmer with nicer colour rendering, go the SST-20 4000K (which I reviewed here, shameless self-promo), or even the E21A; that’s on my wishlist.

If you don’t have any 18650 batteries, you’ll also want a Samsung 30Q or Sony VCT6 or similar, but if you get an E21A, maybe something like an LG MJ1. Keep in mind though, this light is no joke – it literally can start fires.

(originally written by owe84n (now oweban), updated 2020-11-16). Got any suggestions for changes? Send him a PM or whatever Reddit calls it (not a chat message though).