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Nitecore EDC27 review: EDC flashlight
Nitecore EDC27 specifications
|Flashlight category||EDC / tactical|
|Max. output||3,000 Lumens|
|Max. beam distance||220 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||12,200 cd|
|Battery config.||built-in 1700mA|
|Review date||February 2023|
Flashlights come in many shapes and forms, but most are cylindrical. And that’s not a bad thing, but something you may be looking for something a bit more unique. Something that perhaps fit in a certain pocket or bag.
Well, this review will show you how the Nitecore EDC27 is performing, and how it looks.
Nitecore is a long-term player in the world of flashlights, and they have many kinds, but aren’t strictly a flashlightbrand anymore. They have so many outdoor products, that include camera batteries, camera battery chargers, camera sensor cleaning kits, air blowers, backpacks, and even portable power solutions.
So, Nitecore knows what a true outdoor enthusiast wants.
The Nitecore EDC27’s packaging is pretty basic with a picture of the flashlight on the front, some specs on the side, and more information on the back. It’s a retail packag
- The flashlight: Nitecore EDC27
- Manual and warranty card
Flashlight in use
The EDC27 feels and handles totally different from any other flashlight I own. The slim, flat body fits nicely in my pocket, albeit a bit long for pocket carry. If I carry a light in my pocket, I would like it to sit horizontally, instead of vertically. And that’s because it won’t pinch my side when I bend down or squat. But I may be an exception and many people use the pocket clip to carry it.. I just almost never do that.
Besides sticking it in your pocket, or using it with the pocket clip, Nitecore also included a lanyard, that can be attached to the pocket clip. It’s compatible with a 550 paracord (4mm / 0.16″) and the clip is detachable. So you could attach your favorite lanyard beads or other accessories.
But the most significant difference isn’t its design but the switches IMHO.
It has 2 switches, with 1 sticking out (called the Power button, for the main modes) and one that sits flush with the body, for Turbo mode and Strobe (called the Mode button). Even though both switches are forward clicky switches, they don’t feel like your average switch.
And that’s because they don’t have much resistance when pressed, so you would unintentionally do a full click instead of a half press (half-pressing for changing modes or momentary turbo) which may be a bit annoying at first. Of course, you will get used to it, but when you rotate between flashlights often, it takes a bit of time before you know how much you have to press each switch.
It’s best to lock out the light while carrying because you will definitely turn the light on by accident. And talking about lockouts, the EDC27 has 2 different kinds. The first one is called the Half Lockout Mode, which means you can still access Turbo and Strobe, but not the main modes.
Lockout 2 will is a full lockout mode. See the UI section to learn how to activate each lockout mode.
The OLED display is pretty cool, and can be seen on many Nitecore flashlights these days. It shows the output level, voltage, and also the remaining battery life. Yes, that is very cool and helpful. And you don’t have to remember whether a red indicator LED means the battery has 5% left, or 25%.
Oh, and because of its design, it won’t tailstand, and it won’t roll off the table.
If you ask me for what activities you could use this? Well, there are quite a few, keeping in mind that the lowest level is 15 lumens. For some people, that may be too high, but it totally depends on the situation and use case.
I wouldn’t mind having this flashlight in my work bag or using it for outdoor activities, like walking the dog, or even camping. But with instant access to Turbo (3000 lumens) and Strobe, I can see it as a useful tactical light as well!
The size and design do make it more comfortable to use in the overhand (tactical) position because of the 2 switches at the rear.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Nitecore says the following: The body is consisting of stainless steel material in the front and rear, a composite frame and a heat-conducting metal plate to achieve a high strength and rigid construction.
And I don’t know how to prove, or disapprove this statement, so I’ll go with this.
The pocket clip is relatively flexible, and not too stiff.
All NITECORE® products are warranted for quality. Any DOA / defective product can be exchanged for a replacement through a local distributor/dealer within 15 days of purchase. After that, all defective / malfunctioning NITECORE® products can be repaired free of charge within 60 months from the date of purchase. Beyond 60 months, a limited warranty applies, covering the cost of labor and maintenance, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts.
The warranty will be nullified if
- the product(s) is/are broken down, reconstructed and/or
modified by unauthorized parties;
- the product(s) is/are damaged due to improper use.
For the latest information on NITECORE® products and
services, please contact a local NITECORE® distributor or
send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The Nitecore EDC27 has a pretty unique design, being slim and long, but without a bezel, or a normal-looking reflector.
It’s using TIR optics with 2 LEDs sitting in the center of each optic. In my sample, the TIR optics had some kind of damage or dirt in the optics. This is invisible in the beam, but you can definitely see it in my close-up pictures.
The LEDs used inside are the Luminus SST40, which are pretty powerful for the size, but also a bit greenish in terms of beam tint. And even though most users wouldn’t even notice this, many flashoholics do.
But we’re not here to ‘say’ what we ‘see’, but we share data to back our observations up. And that’s what I did with 2 different tools. The Ansesete Lighting Passport Pro, and the Opple Light Master III.
According to the Asensetek, I got the following readings in High (not turbo)
- CCT: 5752K
- CRI (Ra): 67
- CRI R1-R15: 57
- Duv: 0.0113
And this is what the Opple said:
- CCT: 5496
- CRI (Ra): 64
- Duv: 0.0096
Yes, the beam is a bit greenish, but not too bad.
Because of the TIR optics, there is a hotspot but with a smooth transition to spill.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Length||136 mm||5.4 in|
|Widest part||31 mm||1.2 in|
|Body thickness||17 mm||0.7 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|Nitecore EDC27||Weight in grams||Weight in oz.|
|Without battery:||122 g||4.3 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Nitecore EDC27 Flashlight comparison
Size compared to other flat EDC flashlights
Group 2, Nitecore Flashlights: Nitecore MH25s, Nitecore MH25 v2, Nitecore P30i, Nitecore P35i, Nitecore MH25GTS, Nitecore EDC27.
Driver & User Interface:
The EDC27 has 2 separate lighting modes. Both can be used interchangeably. So if you turn the light on in the normal light modes: low, medium, high, you can use the second switch to activate Turbo and Strobe momentarily, and return back to the normal modes.
Available main modes (Power button):
- Ultra Low, Low, Medium, High
Available special modes (Mode button):
- Turbo (only momentarily)
- Strobe (only momentarily)
From OFF (Power button, normal modes):
- Half-press (short): display shows the current mode and battery Voltage
- Half-press (long): momentary Ultra Low mode (15lm)
- Single-click: to last used mode, mode memory
- Double click: nothing
From OFF (Mode button, tactical modes):
- Half-press: Turbo mode (momentarily, only for 11 seconds and drops down to 1000 lumens. You will see a countdown bar while pressing the button. It will turn off when you release it.
- Single-click: Strobe (momentarily) it doesn’t stay on! This is what Nitecore calls: Strobe Ready!
- To Turbo: half press the Mode button from On/Off
- To Ultra Low: half-press the Power switch from off
- To Strobe: full press the Mode button at any time
- Yes, it does, but also has direct access to Strobe, Turbo and Ultra Low from Off.
Blinky modes menu:
- Yes, only momentary Strobe
Low battery warning:
- The OLED display shows the remaining battery life.
- Yes. there are 2: Half Lockout Mode, and Ful Lockout mode
- You can enter Half Lockout Mode with 2 clicks and holding it down after the second click. In Anduril terminology that would be 2H. Simpy release the switch after you see the lock symbol with the number 1 in your display.
- For the Full Lockout Mode, you do the same, but keep holding it, after you see the lock symbol with the number 1. You will soon see the number 2, and just release the switch.
- To deactivate either of the Lockout modes, just repeat the process: press the switch 2 times, and hold it after the second click. You will see a countdown bar, and once the countdown bar is gone, you have it unlocked again.
- Not visible by eye.
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The Mode UI (tactical) is for momentary use only. Nitecore calls the Strobe mode: (STROBE READY). I kind of like this momentary UI.. you don’t accidentally turn it on, and leave it on. Once you let the switch go, it will just turn off, or go back to the normal modes if that was activated.
Batteries & Charging
When it comes to powering the EDC27, you don’t need to worry about buying a separate battery charger, or even batteries.
No, it comes with built-in batteries, with a total capacity of 1,700mAh. And on the backside of the flashlight, it also mentioned the max charge current of 1.7A, and a maximum discharge current of 10A.
Nitecore includes a USB-A to USB-C cable, to charge the light via the USB-C port, which is located near the switches.
I measured the charge time 2 times, and both times, the total charge time was the exact same: namely 1 hour and 19 minutes.
While charging, the OLED display shows the Voltage, and you can even activate the light. However, when half-pressing the Mode button while the flashlight is connected to a USB charger, Turbo mode is only 1,000 lumens and not the full 3,000 lumens.
This is the gear I used for testing:
|Gear||Purpose||Link to buy|
|Hagner E4-X||Measuring beam intensity (throw)||Inquire at Hagner.se|
|Extech SDL400||Lumens and logging runtimes||Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,|
|Leica Disto D2||Distance for throw measurements||Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,|
|Asensetek Lighting Passport Pro Standard||Spectrometer for LED measurements||–|
The output measurements in this review are based on my homemade integrating spheres, each equipped with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter. For consistency and accuracy, a calibration light (Convoy S2+ with 249lm and a Convoy S2+ with 261lm) is measured prior to each set of lumen measurements.
For high-output lights, one of the lux meters uses an ND camera filter to prevent the lux meter to max out. This is either the Kenko PRO1D ND16 up till about 80,000 lumens or Gobe ND32 for anything above.
High and Turbo mode were measured with a fully charged battery. Ultra Low and Low were measured without recharging between the tests.
The measurements were taken manually at turn on and 30 seconds. The 10 minute numbers are taken from the runtime graph. Keep in mind that Turbo mode is only momentarily, so it doesn’t have a 10-minute measurement. The Turbo output can only be run for 11 seconds.
|Mode||Specs||@ turn on||@ 30sec||@ 10min|
|High||1,000||1132 lm||1177 lm||712 lm|
|Turbo||3,000 lm||3,791 lm||1200 lm||–|
As you can see, Turbo mode performs 26% higher than specced! And all modes are performing bettering than specs, so I do like that a lot. Instead of exaggerating, Nitecore decided to go a bit lower, and surprise their customers! Well done!
Nitecore EDC27 Battery life and runtime graphs
The runtime test was done with the 50cm home made integrating sphere, combined with the Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI FL1)||Time till shut off|
|Ultra Low||37h||36h 22min||36h 22min|
|Low||11h||12h 02min||12h 02min|
|Med||3h 45min||4h 00min||4h 28min|
|High||1h 45min||1h 17min||1h 32min|
Except for High mode, the actual runtimes were better than specs!
I also tested Turbo mode momentarily, as you can see in the Turbo runtime.
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning it on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Nitecore EDC27 Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements
Measurements were taken indoors with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter at 5 meters. The measurement was done 30 seconds after turn on.
|Mode||Specs||Measured||in meters||in yards|
|Turbo||220m||14,500 cd||241 m||263 yd|
|Turbo 30sec||220m||4,675 cd||137||150|
In terms of throw, the specs were close, and our measurements were higher.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).
For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 with a 50mm lens. Manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec, F4, 5000K
The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence is about 200 meters.
I compared the following flashlights:
- Nitecore EDC27
- Olight Arkfeld Ti
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Nitecore. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Brighter than specs
- Longer runtimes than specs
- Instant access to Turbo and Strobe
- 2 Lockout modes
- OLED display to show output level, battery voltage, and remaining battery time.
- Relatively fast charge time (1h 19min)
- Switches are sensitive and don’t have much feedback.
- You need to use the lockout mode to carry it
- The flashlight is bit long compared to other EDC lights to carry in your jeans’ pockets
- Dirty TIR optics
- Lowest mode is 15 lumens
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
I was a bit doubting between 4 and 4.5 stars, but with the unique design, and features, plus the output and performance, I can give it a final score of 4.5 stars. But that would actually gear towards tactical EDC use, and not for EDC use. For EDC it would score lower.
The EDC27 may not be for everyone! If you don’t like the instant access to Strobe or Turbo, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a thin and flat security flashlight, that doesn’t look like a powerful flashlight, with normal lighting mode, and momentary Strobe and Turbo, there aren’t many competitors.
Note: be very careful locking your EDC27 while carrying, and I don’t recommend carrying it in your pants, because it could eventually unlock itself, and burn your pants… I have come across 2 cases within 1 week.