Today we will talk about the Nitecore TIP SE key flashlight in an aluminum case and two LEDs. Despite their very compact size, the switches are able to illuminate the space well, being always at hand. The Nitecore TIP SE does the job perfectly, and the included clip turns it into a headlamp as well.
- Brand/Model: Nitecore TIP SE
- LEDs: 2 * OSRAM P8
- Modes: 4
- Maximum brightness: 700 Lumens
- Range: 90 meters
- Battery: Li-ion 500 mAh
- Light: white
- Protection: IP54
- Dimensions: 60*25*12mm
Branded packaging gives an idea of the characteristics and capabilities of the flashlight. Almost all the inscriptions are in Chinese, but the icons and numbers make it easy to understand everything. The box significantly exceeds the dimensions of the key switch due to the plastic insert with a sector in the form of a diffuser, which can probably be used in practice.
Of the directly useful — a flashlight, instructions in eleven languages and a set of carabiners and a pair of rings.
Since Nitecore is a well-known and proven manufacturer, the attitude towards customers is respectful — two sections of the instructions are correctly translated into Russian and Ukrainian.
On the back of the flyer, you can see the full range of Nitecore compact flashlights.
The TIP SE model has a flat rectangular shape with an aluminum housing and can withstand a one meter drop. Power is supplied from a Li-ion battery, the battery in the photo for a better understanding of the dimensions. With a clip, the flashlight can be used as a headband or worn on a belt, pocket, etc.
On the top side of the case, the model is indicated and there are two silicone control buttons with an indicator inside between them. Tactile buttons are well highlighted and are without problems. They make all the manipulations with the modes, and there are a lot of them here. To begin with, about simple functions — the on / off button, in addition to on / off, when held from the off state, activates the LOW light mode, the dimmest mode. With the mode button, single clicks switch the brightness levels LOW, MID, HIGH. If you hold down the mode button when the flashlight is on at any brightness level, then the TURBO mode is turned on. To prevent the super brightness mode from turning off, you need to hold the button. If you hold down the mode button for a couple of seconds in the off state, then the TURBO mode is activated and you no longer need to hold the button, it will always shine with maximum brightness. The flashlight remembers the last brightness level before turning off and turns on on it. But with the help of holding the buttons, an algorithm is implemented for direct, quick activation of the LOW and TURBO modes, which is often convenient.
Since the flashlight is small, and powerful LEDs are used in the design, they heat up significantly in TURBO mode. In order not to overheat them and extend their service life, the circuit engineers implemented a brightness limiting algorithm in the flashlight after 30 seconds of the TURBO mode — the brightness gradually decreases to the HIGH level.
And one more feature of the flashlight is two user modes. The first is called DEMO, when the flashlight turns off from any mode if no buttons are pressed for 30 seconds. Sometimes this time is enough, for example, to highlight the keyhole and you no longer need to worry about turning off the key switch — it will turn itself off. The second mode is Custom, when Nitecore TIP SE does not turn itself off after 30 seconds of battery life. The default is DEMO. To switch to Custom in any state of the flashlight, you need to simultaneously hold down the power and mode buttons. In the same way we switch to DEMO. To visualize the result in DEMO mode, the flashlight will blink once, in Custom mode twice.
The Type-C port for charging the battery was placed on the side, on the left side of the case. Unfortunately, they did not provide a plug — small litter can accumulate in the connector and it is better not to use it in heavy rain. So only IP54, from dust and splashes, and it is advisable to inspect and blow through before charging.
The loop for fastening on the key ring was made heavy-duty — two turns of steel wire, with a total thickness of 2.6 mm! Clearly reinsured, but it turned out reliably.
At the front, behind the TIR optics, there are two OSRAM P8 LEDs. The glow temperature is not indicated anywhere, and on different product pages you can find both yellow and white. In practice, rather white with yellowness, i.e. not 2500-3000 K, but closer to 4000+. The optics are slightly recessed inside the case to protect it from scratches.
The flashlight turned out, I would say, grippy with its modest size. And in the hand lies okay and the buttons are located conveniently.
And Nitecore TIP SE weighs only 27 grams according to my scales.
The working position of the flashlight is horizontal and the illumination angle is about 160 degrees, which is more than enough for good illumination of the space in front of you.
Photos from LOW to TURBO
The illumination test was carried out not for the sake of absolutely accurate indicators, but to understand how many times in different modes the brightness is higher than the previous one.
The conditions are not laboratory at all, just from a short distance, but you can get an idea. The results are 202 Lux, 4060 Lux, 23300 and 93000 Lux, i.e. adjustment is not nominal, but real and for different tasks.
The main thing I pay attention to in the lanterns is the spot of illumination. TIP SE is doing very well with this, a beam shot without a pronounced border between the central spot and the “surroundings”. The brightness falls from the center to the periphery smoothly and the periphery, as in separate lamp «pieces» against the background of a bright central spot, does not fall out of sight.
The range of the flashlight is up to 90 meters. Visually, this is approximately the case, but this is a key switch and its area of responsibility is the short range — a corridor, stairs, basement, attic, under the hood, near the wheel, etc., and therefore the following photos are in the room from a distance of 3.5 meters on different brightness levels
Judging by the photo with the lowest brightness level, you can mistakenly conclude that the mode is useless. For the most part, this is what the camera sees. In reality, with this economical mode, you can easily navigate in the apartment — everything is quite clearly visible for a couple of meters in front of you, you won’t crash anywhere. As an application option, you can mark the tent from the inside and find it in the dark without any problems. At high brightness, you can read freely, and in TURBO mode with normal vision, you can easily see fine details.
The duration of the work was checked at medium and high brightness. With a charged battery, the operating time corresponds to the declared 8 and one and a half hours, which is very cool for such a baby.
In TURBO mode, it is not possible to check the duration of operation, as 15 minutes of operation are stated without thermal control.
The flashlight charges in an hour and a half. The indicator changes its color to green. According to the tester, 560 mAh was poured into the battery, which is approximately correct, taking into account the operation of the indication and errors.
You can check the battery level with the same mode button. If you click this button in the off state, the red LED will blink. Blinks once, it means that the remaining charge is less than 10%. Twice — up to 50%, and three times — more than 50% of the charge.
The lack of a plug for the charging port imposes some restrictions on the conditions for using the flashlight. This is perhaps its only drawback, which can be eliminated by buying a universal plug and fitting it to the seat. As a short range flashlight, the Nitecore TIP SE is simply an excellent light source. Of the advantages, in addition to the use of OSRAM LEDs and a battery in the design, it should be noted the brightness level memory, quick switching on of the minimum brightness and TURBO mode, the ability to check the residual charge, DEMO and user modes. The main advantages are excellent light, strong body and brand reliability.
Buy Nitecore TIP SE you can on Aliexpress for $22.21 or 1436 rubles, but due to the difference in exchange rates on different sites and with the coupon BG7a5a60 in the Banggood store, it will be cheaper — $20.99 or 1177 rubles.