I think Nitecore picked up on how much I liked the SRT7GT, and so they sent out this SRT9 as well. I still like the selector ring, and I’m glad to put the SRT9 through the paces.
There’s only one option for this specific light, the SRT9, but the SRT line is large; there are currently 6 lights total in the SmartRing Tactical series.
I reviewed the SRT7GT recently and liked it a lot! I haven’t handled one of these side-by-side cell lights from Nitecore so I didn’t know how I ‘d like that. I liked it just fine. I love the light modes, the UV mode and the ramping main mode. And I really like the Selector ring!
- Nitecore SRT9
- Nylon Pouch with D-ring and belt loop
- Warranty Card
- Pocket clip
- Spare o-ring (oval shaped)
- Spare rubber boot for switch
Package and Manual
Very typical Nitecore packaging here: Yellow and black packaging on a cardboard box which is highly printed and has quite detailed info. Featured prominently on the box is the “5 year warranty promise”. There’s also a QR code, and some nice photos.
The manual is one large sheet of paper with 8 languages printed. Each language is one full vertical portion of the paper, and 1/4 of the width, about 2×10″ or so. The manual is descriptive, including specs, runtimes and modes, and UI instructions, and some other things like when to change the battery. There’s a diagram of how to install the cells, too. Honestly it still took me a couple of tries to get it right.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The build is what I’d call typical of Nitecore. I think some might call that a negative, but in my experience (which doesn’t include any teardowns or emitter swaps), Nitecore has been great. The anodizing is glossy and seems nice and thick. The selector ring (more on that later!) is very smooth. I don’t see a way to get it off to lube it (in case that is even possible). There’s actually very little knurling here, just a bit on the selector ring and side grips – otherwise it’s really all fins.
I won’t make any claims about the possibility of an emitter swap on this light but I’d guess it would prove quite difficult. Being that the reflector has a total of 5 emitters contained therein…. The (smooth) bezel can probably be removed with relative ease, particularly if you have access to a spanner.
The tailcap is removed fully from the light by depressing two small switches on the side of the light body. This will not happen accidentally, so no concern there. But the tailcap isn’ t directional, so it’s possible to install it the wrong way. The tailswitch is serviceable – in fact Nitecore provides a replacement boot. The mechanism is held in place by four small Phillips screws.
This is a fairly large light, owing in part to using two 18650 cells side by side. It has a fairly deep reflector, and throws a claimed 246 meters.
The dimensions are 148x40mm. The sides are a bit flattish, so it does hold very comfortably (and not “40mm” big in hand).
The light comes with a pocket clip, a nice pouch, and a lanyard. The lanyard attaches on the tailcap. The light will tailstand.
The pouch is not directional. There’s a plastic D-ring and belt loop on the pouch.
The clip is in my opinion nothing to write home about. That said, I find pocket clips on these lights a bit silly. But if you’re using it on a belt, then this will work.
The SRT9 is powered by either two 18650 cells, or four 18350 cells. The cells are side-by-side, and in opposing orientation (one up, one down). This leads to a complaint about this light: the compartment isn’t labeled (in a way that I can see) to know which direction to insert the cells. Furthermore, the tailcap isn’t directional – it can be installed either direction, which causes the light not to operate. Experienced users will be able to look at the spring location, and know how to insert the cells; inexperienced users might not. I wish there were markings, and that the tailcap was directional.
Unlike the SRT7GT, the SRT9 will accept flat and button top cells, protected or unprotected. The cells are in series. I’d recommend marrying a set of cells just for this light.
Termination was at 2.87V and 2.94V after runtime on turbo. Blue indicator led on side was blinking quickly when the runtime was stopped.
Turbo output isn’t maintained very long, but output does vary with temperature. Ie there looks to be thermal protection which kicks in around 49 degrees (temperature between head and selector ring area), and is then maintained around 45 degrees C. As the temperature drops, the output rises again (but not to turbo levels). I did not test any of the other emitters, but since they’re all single mode, some assumptions can probably be made from the data in the mode table below. Same with the other modes on the main light – since this is an infinitely variably selector ring light, testing other modes is too non-specific.
User Interface and Operation
There is a single mechanical tail clicky on this light. There’s also a selector ring just below the head of the light. The selector ring is knurled and easily twisted, and is about 1cm long.
To operate the light, the mechanical tail clicky must be on, of course. If you don’t already know if it’s on (ie, it’s not in an “on” mode), address the blue light on the bezel (again, ON the bezel, not the blue emitter inside the light: if the tail clicky is in the on position, the blue side led will flash approximately once every 3 seconds. Truthfully this will only happen when the light is in it’s white light mode, with the output dialed all the way down. In any other mode, the light will be on (red/green/blue/strobe/uv) and in those cases, the blue side led doesn’t light. That’s a fairly nice feature and well thought out. If you’re using this light in a situation where you don’t want the loud clicky of the tailswitch, the light can be ON but not lighted, and then the selector ring used to dial up the desired light.
After reviewing the SRT7GT, I knew I liked the selector ring. This one’s the same, exactly. It’s very specific. What I mean by that is this: I won’t remember which direction is one mode or the other. But the order, with infinite ramp on one end and a different twist length means I can just dial the light all the way to one end (with it off) and find where the long dial of variable is, and go from there. Since I now know where I start, and I know what modes are in what order, I can turn the light on into whatever mode I desire. The modes go in this order:
Strobe > Turbo > [White light no output] > UV > Red> Green > Blue > Police mode (red/blue flashing) > Beacon.
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Amps|
LED and Beam
This light has a Cree XHP50. (Remember that the SRT7GT has an XP-L HI). With the orange peel and [not incredibly] deep reflector, this light really isn’t designed as a thrower. Still the rated 246m isn’t too bad, not to mention that it actually measured over 300m. Of course there are four other emitters in this light. UV, which is 365nm, red, blue, and green.
You might expect, as I did, that these four emitters inset into the reflector would ruin the beam of this light. Well, they really just don’t. They can be noticed up close, but past about 10 meters or so (maybe less), they disappear into the intensity of the light. If beam profile concern was holding you back regarding this light, I wouldn’t give that another thought.
Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements
|Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]||18650×2|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2150|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd||22660.78623|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||301.07|
|Throw (Claimed) (m)||246|
What I like
- Selector ring
- Build quality
- Cree XHP50
- Good throw for small head
- Indicator light on outside of bezel
- Button and flat top cells (unlike the SRT7GT)
What I don’t like
- Orientation of the tailcap isn’t always clear – I wish it was directional.
- I really wish UV was the last mode in either direction (probably last on the white end of things).
Up next I [still] have the Nitecore F2! Still have a bunch of testing to do on the F2 though, so that one might be a ways out. And I have a keyboard for review, too! The James Donkey 619.
- This light was provided by Nitecore.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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