When I heard that Nitecore were releasing the Concept 2, I was expecting them to stick to the design of the Concept 1, but with more features. I certainly wasn’t expecting this smaller than palm-sized futuristic flashlight. With a maximum output of 6,500 lumens, a maximum throw of 398 metres and maximum light intensity of 39,700 candelas. When I saw the specs online, I was blown away. More so when the Concept 2 arrived on my doorstep.
The dimensions of this futuristic flashlight are 112.5mm long by 40mm wide by 40mm deep and it weighs 348 grams – not the heaviest flashlight but certainly not the lightest. The Concept 2 is constructed from an aircraft grade aluminium alloy with a HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish. This makes the flashlight extremely resistant to scratches and corrosion. It is also non-reflective.
Due to the flashlight is a sealed unit, it has an IP6-8 waterproof rating, meaning that it is waterproof up to two metres (submersible). It is also resistant to the intrusion of dust and dirt. It is assembled using eight silver screws that allow you to open the flashlight, however dismantling, opening or modifying the Concept 2 WILL VOID THE WARRANTY. Also, it is important to remember not to submerge the Concept 2 if it has heated up. Now, you may be thinking “It’s waterproof up to 2 metres, surely I can use water (or other liquids) as a coolant?” The problem with cooling the flashlight down rapidly like that is that it can cause irreparable damage to the Concept 2, due to the change in air pressure inside and outside the light.
Why Choose the Nitecore Concept 2 Over Other Flashlights?
Of course, there are other flashlights with a similar lumen output to the Concept 2. Why choose the Concept 2? The issue with flashlights like that is the maximum output can vary depending on what batteries you use. This means that you could be paying a lot of money for a flashlight but you still can’t access the actual maximum output possible. Nitecore have eliminated this problem by including an integrated high-discharge battery (3.7V, 12,400 mAh). This means that you don’t need to spend more money on expensive batteries or a charger if this is your first flashlight. This allows the user to access the full 6,500 lumens at any given time. Also, by integrating the batteries, it prevents the risk of reverse polarity when charging or putting the batteries in the flashlight. Much safer.
What’s In the Box?
The Concept 2 comes in a box that is stylish enough to be used as a gift box, if you are buying the Concept 2 as a gift for a close friend or family member. Here’s what comes in the box.
- Concept 2 instruction manual in 10 different languages
- Charging adaptor to charge the Concept 2
- Spare rubber switch cover (translucent grey)
- Spare rubber charging port cover (black) used to protect the charging port from dust, dirt and water
- Durable Nitecore lanyard
- Heavy duty holster
- Warranty card
- Most importantly, the Nitecore Concept 2
When you open the box, everything is neatly packaged and surrounded by foam. Nitecore have actually cut out spaces for the Concept 2 and all the other things. There was no movement, no matter how hard I shook the box. This is good, as the lack of movement means that the foam will absorb any impact during transit and therefore nothing inside the box will be damaged.
The Reflectors and LED(s)
The Concept 2 utilises four CREE XHP35 LEDs which are sunk into four smooth conical aluminium reflectors, which are coated with crystal coating technology. This, combined with precision digital optics technology gives the reflectors an unparalleled performance. The glass is toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with an anti-reflective coating.
Functions of the Concept 2
The Concept 2 has five modes and three special functions – all of which are controlled by a single side switch. This switch also features an integrated power indicator light which displays the remaining battery voltage (accurate to +/- 0.1V). The working voltage of this flashlight is between 3.5V and 4.2V (inclusive). To check the voltage remaining, lightly tap the switch when the flashlight is off. The blue LED lights will flash. For example, if the remaining voltage is 3.7V, the light will flash three times, then pause, then it will flash another seven times.
The same button can be used to lock and unlock the flashlight to prevent it from turning on. To lock the Concept 2, lightly press the switch and hold it in for two seconds, ensuring the light is off to begin with. The LEDs will flash once and then dim. To unlock, press the switch fully and hold down for two seconds. The LEDs will turn on and remain on until the flashlight is turned off (obviously). If you are new to the lock/unlock concept (pun intended), the reason behind it is simple – locking the flashlight prevents it from turning on while it is in your pocket or bag.
The flashlight also has an intelligent memory function. This means that whatever mode you used last before turning it off will be the same mode at start up.
I think it is important for any flashlight to have a “moonlight” or “ultralow” setting. The Concept 2 has an unwavering one lumen output mode with a 2,000 hour run time, five metre beam throw and eight candelas of intensity thanks to the high efficiency constant circuit. It might not seem like much, but sometimes you want to read something without blinding yourself or others. Another thing I love about this flashlight are the special modes, in particular the brightness of these modes. On other flashlights, the strobe, beacon and S.O.S. modes may be present but aren’t always the full brightness. I think if there is an emergency and you find that you have to use one or all of these modes, you are going to want as much light as possible. Each mode emits 6,500 lumens. However, the brighter the light the shorter the battery time, but 30 minutes of strobe, beacon or S.O.S. ought
to be enough if you use the time wisely. Below are the brightness modes:
|Turbo||6500 lumens||30 minutes|
|High||2500 lumens||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Mid||1000 lumens||6 hour 30 minutes|
|Low||285 lumens||16 hours|
|Ultralow||1 lumen||2000 hours|
|Strobe||6500 lumens||30 minutes|
|SOS||6500 lumens||30 minutes|
|Beacon||6500 lumens||30 minutes|
The flashlight is a cuboid shape but slightly rounded, allowing the user to grip it tightly without hurting their hand. There are parts cut out around the edges, which make the Concept 2 easier to hold, whether you have big or small hands.
How the Concept 2 Stays Cool
Now, a palm-sized 6,500 lumen flashlight is going to get very hot very quickly. It’s inevitable. However, Nitecore have managed to slow this process down as much as possible. Partial cooling fins have been cut into the edges around the switch of the Concept 2, which along with the CNC machined tube, allows the heat to dissipate quickly. The advanced temperature regulation (ATR) module also helps the heat to dissipate quickly. This is vital for powerful flashlights, as excess heat can damage the electronic components inside. The ATR module will also automatically step down from the turbo and high modes if the system detects that there is almost too much heat being produced. The ATR module regulates the output and adapts to the temperature of the environment, which allows the Concept 2 to maintain optimal performance. This module is commonly seen in many of Nitecore’s products.
The Nitecore lanyard is a typical Nitecore product – tough, durable and reliable. It is black with the word “Nitecore” in yellow. There is a little plastic slider that allows the user to adjust the width – this makes the lanyard compatible with people of various wrist sizes. There is a hole for the lanyard to go through at the tail of the light. The flashlight is impact resistant up to one metre falls, however if you use the included lanyard, the chances of dropping the Concept 2 are slim.
The holster feels very strong. It is constructed of black woven nylon and has belt loops. There is a rubberised, non-slip layer on the inside which reduces the possibility of the Concept 2 falling out if running. There is a tough velcro fastening which secures the top. You can carry the flashlight in this or you can carry it in your pocket, if your pockets are deep enough. You can also clip the Concept 2 to your trousers or shorts using the attached clip. It feels very robust and it is black like the rest of the flashlight. The clip seems to be removable, but I will keep mine attached.
Markings and Logos
There are some markings on the flashlight, for example, the “caution: hot” symbol near the head, the Nitecore branding and website and the words “Concept 2”, along with some safety markings.
To improve, I would add some knurling to the body, as it is currently smooth. This would allow the user to hold it securely in wet conditions. I would add more modes (perhaps a 100 lumen mode, 500 lumen mode and 3,000 lumen mode) to bridge the gaps, as there is a very big difference between 1 lumen and 285 lumens (ultralow to low). In place of fixed modes, a ramping feature could be used. I would also add more cooling fins and deeper cooling fins, as I reckon I could toast marshmallows over the heat produced by the Concept 2 in turbo mode for ten minutes! All things considered, Nitecore have designed an amazing flashlight – no difference there. Perfect for people walking their dogs at night, mountain climbers, hikers, security guards, law enforcement, search and rescue personnel and a must-have for any “flashaholic”.
Below are some night shots that I took of the Concept 2.
Thank you for taking time to read my review of the Concept 2. I hope you find it useful and informative.
Written by Matthew Crozier
Sample provided for testing by Nitecore in exchange for a detailed, unbiased review.
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