When I first saw this light, I knew I had to review it. The Nitecore E4K is an extremely compact light that is still able to deliver 4400 lumens! That’s extremely impressive for a light that could be considered EDC. Not to mention, I am a big fan of Nitecore and their lights so I’m always interested to see what they have coming out. In this review, I’ll go over the features of the Nitecore E4K EDC light and talk about some opinions, pros and cons, and considerations before making the plunge to purchase.
4400 Lumen LED Flashlight
This flashlight is small. It’s a little over four and a half inches in length so to hear that it delivers 4400 lumens is amazing. Part of why it’s able to deliver such a high output is due to the four Cree XP L2 V6 LEDs that it has. And even with the four LEDs, you still get a really nice beam with this flashlight. You still have a nice hot spot with a decent spill, although the hot spot is not going to be as concentrated as many other tactical flashlights. It has a maximum beam distance of 211 meters which is better than I was expecting to be honest. That’s a good amount of distance for a flashlight that could be considered everyday carry.
Nitecore E4K LED Flashlight Design
This LED light has an extremely simple design and features a diamond pattern texture for a firm grip. It’s a compact and lightweight flashlight and features a two-way pocket clip which is perfect for everyday carry. Two-way pocket clips come in handy pretty frequently and give you more control on how you would like to carry the light.
It’s an extremely durable light which is to be expected out of any Nitecore flashlight. You have a hard anodized aluminum alloy body which is pretty standard among high quality LED flashlights. I typically recommend purchasing an aluminum alloy flashlight. It is impact resistant up to 1 meter and is IP68 rated waterproof. This means that you could drop it in 2 meters of water for half an hour and the flashlight would work just fine. So using it while it’s raining outside or dropping it in a puddle isn’t a problem and the flashlight will work just fine.
Operating the Nitecore E4K LED Flashlight
As it should be with any everyday carry flashlight, the Nitecore E4K is extremely easy to operate. It has a single side switch where you hold to turn the flashlight on and you continue to hold to cycle through the settings. A single press will turn it off. It does have a mode memory function so it will remember the last setting you had it on which is nice seeing as how you need to hold the switch down to cycle. I personally prefer to tap to cycle rather than to hold the switch down to cycle. It cuts down on time a little bit and I just like it better in general. It’s more a personal preference than anything else.
You do have a few shortcuts with the side switch. You can double press it to go into the ultra low brightness level. When the flashlight is on, you can hold the side switch down and it will go into the turbo mode and once you release your finger from the switch it will go back to whatever brightness level it was on before. You can also triple-press for turbo or strobe depending on which programmable mode you have the flashlight in and we’ll talk about that in a bit. So you’ve got a lot of shortcuts which I’m a big fan of in any LED flashlight.
Let’s discuss the outputs and the programmable modes of the Nitecore E4K flashlight. This flashlight has five brightness levels and three flashing modes. The brightness levels range from 2 lumens to 4400 lumens and you can get a 700-hour run time with the ultra low brightness level of 2 lumens. Very impressive to say the least!
I do want to focus for a minute on this 4400 lumen turbo mode. As you can imagine, many EDC flashlights don’t typically have such a high output and those small flashlights that do have a high output usually won’t last for a long period. So it’s important to know that with the E4K, you’re going to be seeing a burst turbo mode. With the four LEDs, the flashlight is going to get hot extremely quickly and the temperature control system (ATR) is going to kick in. This means that the turbo mode kicks down in about less than a minute. So if you’re extremely excited about using that 4400 lumens, you need to be aware that it’s really meant to be a burst turbo mode and won’t last very long at all. You’re more likely to be using the high of 1050 lumens, mid of 320 lumens, or low of 50 lumens.
That being said, burst turbo modes can still be quite nice to have. If you’re walking out late at night it’s nice to be able to shine 4400 lumens even for a few seconds just to see what’s going on around you. And that high of 1050 lumens is still an extremely impressive amount of light for an EDC light.
Two Programmable Modes
I mentioned before that the E4K has two programmable modes that you can choose between. The modes don’t actually change the flashlight all that much and I have to say I kind of like that. You have the Tactical Mode which just gives you that direct access to strobe or a Daily Mode which gives you a direct access to turbo. I mentioned before that you have a shortcut using the side switch where you triple press for either the turbo or the strobe. Depending on which mode you have it in, it’s going to change what that triple press does.
I have to say that switching between the modes is pretty interesting. While the light is off you have to loosen the tail cap then hold down the power button while simultaneously tightening the tail cap. When the tail cap is tightened, the LEDs will flash to indicate what mode you have it in. One flash means you’re in Daily mode and twice means Tactical. Not my favorite way of switching between programmable settings, but it’s pretty easy to remember so that’s a good thing.
21700 Flashlight Compatible with Multiple Batteries
No one is surprised that I’m reviewing another 21700 flashlight. I think this is becoming an obsession for me because 21700 flashlights are 100% the way to go. Nitecore does include a 21700 battery with this EDC flashlight. It does have a 5000 mAh capacity and is USB rechargeable using USB type-C charging. So while the flashlight itself is not rechargeable, the battery is. Hooray!
The Nitecore E4K comes with an included magazine that allows you to use two CR123 batteries or two RCR123 batteries. It’s actually kind of interesting that you can use CR123s but not 18650s. Either way, it’s a really good thing to have any 21700 flashlight that can take multiple battery types. I have reviewed flashlights that can only take 21700 batteries and it’s a little limiting. That being said, if you do choose to use the two CR123 batteries, you’re not going to be getting the turbo mode. That turbo mode of 4400 lumens is only available using that 21700 battery. Like I said before though, 1050 lumens in high is still a great amount of light for an everyday carry flashlight. And with two CR123 batteries, getting that output is really impressive.
You do have another shortcut that I forgot to mention with the side switch before. A short press of the side switch will show you the power indicator so you can check to see what the status of the battery is anytime you’re using the light. So here’s the interesting part with this indicator. When you click the button you will see a few little blue LEDs light up at the bottom of the side switch. I assumed that as you used the battery you would see less of those LEDs. Instead, you’ll see those LEDs blinks. So three blinks means that it is above 50%, two blinks means it’s under 50%, and one blink means that it’s under 10% and it’s time to charge your battery. It’s really nice to see any amount of indicator so that you can plan your usage. I really prefer having indicators especially with outdoor flashlights or everyday carry flashlights.
Final Thoughts on the Nitecore E4K
Pros: I have to admit, I was a little torn about this light. There are things that I really like about it and things I’m not so crazy about. I really like that this is a 21700 flashlight that comes with a USB rechargeable 21700 battery. At that, the battery is rechargeable using USB type-c charging which means you’re going to get a faster charge. I really like all the shortcuts with the single side switch. That is exactly what I would want out of an everyday carry flashlight. And that 700 hour maximum runtime is really impressive.
Cons: One pretty big con for me is that it does have that short burst turbo. I’m not a huge fan of the burst turbo modes and I’m really not a huge fan that it drops down in about a minute. On top of that, it does get extremely hot to the touch even after just a minute of use.
Conclusion: If you’re wanting an EDC flashlight that delivers a ton of power, you can’t go wrong with this light. While the multiple brightness levels is perfect for everyday carry, having that burst turbo mode does give you the option to use it when necessary. Nitecore flashlights always impress and if you’re wanting the most powerful everyday carry flashlight, check out the Nitecore E4K.