D4v2 guide – options galore (last updated 2020-09-27)
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).
- Luminus SST-20 – also quite throwy, but runs fairly hot. 3000K and 4000K are higher CRI, 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 with the floody optic.
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.
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.
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.
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.