Emisar D4V2 Review – An Enthusiast Staple

The Boring Stuff

I purchased this light with my own money from the manufacturer in late 2020. Here is the official produce page. Below are the official specs.

What comes in the box?

What comes in the box will vary depending on what you order, as there are a number of add-ons you can choose. I chose the stainless bezel, pocket clip, 18350 tube, and magnet in the tailcap. If I could do it again I would skip the pocket clip and 18350 tube but add on the floody optic.

Size & Measurements

From left to right:
Convoy S12
Noctigon KR1
Emisar D4V2
Skilhunt H04 RC
Thrunite Catapult Mini

MeasurementMeasured (mm)
Bezel Diameter28
Maximum Head Diameter29.5 (at the button)
Length95.7
Switch Diameter11.1
Switch Proudness-0.7 (with raised switch ring)
Lens Diameter25.6
Lens Thickness1.5
Optic Diameter24
Body Tube Diameter (internal) 18.9
Body Tube Diameter (maximum)25
Body Tube Diameter (majority)24
Stock Pocket Clip Space (for pants material)2.9
Stock Pocket Clip Width7.1
Stock Pocket Clip Thickness1
Pocket Cip Slot Width3
Pocket Clip Slot Diameter22.4

Weight: 130g / 4.6oz as configured with magnet, stainless bezel, M2R clip, raised switch ring, and a Samsung 30Q battery

User Interface

My D4V2 came with Anduril, the best flashlight user interface for enthusiasts. You can now get it with Anduril 2, an improved version as well. Anduril is far too complicated to explain here, so here’s the author’s full manual and I’ll just go over a few of my favorite features.

  • Minimum brightness and maximum brightness can both be adjusted
  • Manual mode memory
  • Shortcuts from off to the lowest brightness, highest brightness, and memorized mode
  • Battery voltage readout
  • Smooth or stepped ramp with the option to customize the number of steps

Anduril (specifically Anduril 2) is my favorite flashlight user interface by far. If you order a D4V2, make sure to ask Hank (the maker) to flash Anduril 2 on it before shipping it to you.

Modes, Brightness & Throw

Disclaimer: The lumen numbers in these next three sections are only estimates. I don’t have the equipment to do lumen testing, so I’m assuming the official turbo output claim for this light is correct and I calculate all other lumen numbers relative to that. All measurements were taken using the Ceilingbounce app on my smartphone. All of these tests were performed with a fully charged Samsung 30Q unless otherwise specified.

I like my lights set up with 5 modes: moonlight, low, medium, high, and turbo. In the case of D4V2, I accomplished that by using the stepped ramp with bottom of ramp set to level 1, top of ramp set to level 150, and 5 steps. I also included level 65 in most of my testing since that’s the maximum regulated level.

I chose Luminus SST20 4000K emitters. I’m not exactly sure what bin Hank was using at the time, but I think they’re FA3’s.

Level Lumens (Estimated) CandelaThrow (meters)
Turbo (150) 300018,500272
High (113) 13008,017179
Medium (75) 2551,57379
Max Reg. (65)14690060
Low (37) 3622230
Moonlight (1) 0.744

Regulation

Regulation is as expected. Above level 65 is FET driven so we know the output will be highly affected by battery voltage. Below level 65 though, (out of the above graphs, that only includes “Low” mode (level 37) regulation is excellent because that chunk of the ramp is handled by a 7135 regulator chip. You can get the same output at level 37 with a low battery that you do with a fully charged battery. I neglected to do a battery voltage test with level 65 (max regulated mode) but based on the runtime graph it’s just as well regulated. Awesome!

Runtime & Currents

For these tests, the thermal sensor was calibrated and the thermal limit was set at the stock 45C.

Turbo (150): I assume starts out at the specified 3000 lumens and it stays there for 10 seconds (it can heat up past your set thermal limit during this time! Temp management doesn’t kick in until the 10 second mark in Anduril). The it drops FAST and levels out at a little over 250 lumens at around 1 minute. You can see the stepdown if you look closely, it’s fairly dramatic. It hovers around 250 lumens until low voltage stepdown kicks in at the four hour mark. Next it settled in at moonlight mode until I ended the test after 12 hours because I was worried about the low voltage protection. To my surprise it was still at 2.88V so it could have gone a lot longer on moonlight mode before LVP kicked in.

High (113): High starts out at about 1300 lumens and drops in a couple of steps over the first 3 minutes. It fluctuates a bit after that but hovers around 250 lumens just like Turbo did. It does last a solid hour longer before low voltage stepdowns kick in. That illustrates just how much sheer power turbo mode draws from this thing.

Medium (75): Medium starts at a little over 250 lumens and dips a little bit over the course of five hours. At that point low voltage stepdowns kick in. This is about the maximum sustainable brightness for this configuration of D4V2.

Max Regulated Level (65): This level is a flat 146 lumens for over eight hours. That’s 60% longer than level 75 which is visually not very different.

Low (37): I tested low but didn’t include it in the chart because it ran too long. Low is a perfectly flat ~36 lumens for exactly 32.5 hours before low voltage stepdowns kick in. Impressive!

LVP: I didn’t observe any LVP in my runtime tests, but that’s due to me ending the tests before it kicked in. Moonlight mode will last for hours on this light before LVP. I did observe LVP several times when I tried to activate a higher mode with a low battery though. The voltage drop can be enough to shut the light off, so I know it does have it.

Current: Since I’m not equipped to do extreme duration runtime tests or extremely high current measurements, I only measure the currents on low modes and I calculate the estimated runtime of those modes based on the capacity of the Samsung 30Q I’m using for testing. The Aux LED’s were set to red for these tests.

LevelCurrent @ Tailcap (milliamps)Estimated Runtime
Moonlight2.2556 days
Standby (Aux High)6.419 days
Standby (Aux Low)0.0854 years
Standby (Aux Off)0.0217.1 years

Emitter & Beam

D4V2 is available with an ever increasing number of emitter options. Hank is always adding more, and you can even custom order some models that aren’t listed on the website. For more details about the D4V2’s “secret menu” check out this guide. I chose SST20 4000K’s and I’m quite pleased with them.

As you would expect, the beam is floody. The hotspot is wide and even. There’s not a whole lot of spill to speak of. There’s plenty of corona but it’s pretty ugly with a lot of starbursting. It’s not something I usually notice during normal use, especially not outside, but it does bug me a little when using my light indoors. I believe the amount of starbursting will vary with your emitter choice. Using the “extra floody optic” option completely eliminates it and adds a fair amount of spill. I’m using the stock optic for all my testing.

Emisar D4V2
Emisar D4V2

From left to right:
Skilhunt H04 RC | LH351D 4000K
Sofirn SC21 | LH351D 5000K
Fireflies E07x Pro | SST20 4000K FA4
Emisar D4V2 | SST20 4000K (unknown bin)
Convoy M1 | SST20 4000K (unknown bin)

Moonlight is nice, dim and I’ve never found it to be too bright for a situation. I have the FET+1 driver, but Hank’s latest linear drivers can get even dimmer.

Design & Construction

D4V2 is almost identical in design to the original D4, just with some square milling on the body added. It’s not the most attractive light but it’s not ugly either. It’s remarkably compact for its battery size and output and is in line with most EDC sized lights.

Build quality is solid. All the machining is nice. The anodization is reasonably thick and evenly applied. The threads are square cut and perfectly lubed. There are nice, thick springs on both the driver and the tailcap.

Switch

D4V2 utilizes an electronic side switch. It’s covered by a black domed rubber boot and held in with a stainless steel switch retaining ring. The ring can either be flat for a protruding switch, or raised to protect the switch. I chose the raised ring to minimize the possibility of accidental activation.

Fancy metal bodied D4V2’s have always come with a white switch boot with your choice of colored backlighting. Now you can order that on the aluminum ones off the secret menu, so if I were to order another that’s what I would ask for.

Driver

I purchased my D4V2 with the FET+1 driver. It uses one 7135 chip to regulate current up to about 350 milliamps (that’s at level 65 by the way). Between levels 65 and 150 it uses the FET channel to hybrid direct drive the LED’s with PWM to regulate brightness. Level 150 is full FET direct drive. This isn’t the greatest driver design but it gets the job done. There are flashing pads on the back for updating the firmware and the spring is nice and thick. The driver appears to be glued in place.

There are several more driver options for the D4V2. The best of them at the time of writing is the 9A constant current driver. If you order a D4V2 you should absolutely request that driver off the secret menu. Here’s a post breaking down all the differences between the various drivers.

Carry & Ergonomics

Ergonomically it’s fine. It’s on the small side so it’s not especially hand filling but there’s plenty of knurling on the body to grip. Pressing the button is no problem, even with the raised switch ring. A lot of users have apparently complained about the lanyard hole digging into their palm or something? Hank has recently removed and then re-added lanyard holes of a different design to correct the “issue”. I haven’t experienced any problems with my old-style lanyard hole.

With the stock clip it carries OK. It’s easy to get into the pocket but the clip lands on the knurling which will wear out a pocket. It also doesn’t carry very deep. I quickly swapped my clip out for a modified Olight M2R clip and it’s almost perfect. It carries nice and deep, it’s secure, and it’s bidirectional so I can clip it to a hat. I do wish it had a little bit of ramp though, so it’s easier to slide into the pocket. Below, the M2R clip is on the left and the stock clip is on the right.

Batteries & Charging

D4V2 accepts a single, unprotected, flat top, 18650 cell (or 18350/18500 if you buy one of the shorter tubes). Protected cells won’t fit. Cells with USB ports on them won’t fit. Recently, Hank has started putting a little brass button on the spring under the driver board to protect surface components and as a result not even unprotected button tops will fit anymore. It might be nice to have a wider variety of batteries that will work, but that would make the light longer. Hank would then also have to worry about people using protected cells and then emailing him saying “I turned my light on turbo and it turned off and now it won’t work” because turbo tripped the protection circuit. You need a 15A+ continuous drain rated cell for maximum output with most emitter choices. You can use lower drain cells with higher capacity for more runtime if you want to though.

There is no form of charging included on D4V2. You can buy a basic charger with the light, but odds are you can find better chargers from where you’re going to buy your batteries.

Competition

Here are some lights in the same class as Emisar D4V2 and how they compare.

Noctigon KR4: Basically the same thing but with a tailswitch, better clip, more interesting styling, and no magnet in the tail. Here’s a breakdown I wrote for the Broken Record Bot. I like D4V2 better for the well protected side switch and magnetic tailcap.

Emisar D4SV2: Bigger, heavier, throwier, larger 26650 battery, no pocket clip. Here’s a breakdown I wrote for the Broken Record Bot. This is better unless you want to carry it, then D4V2 is better.

Emisar DT8: Basically the same as D4V2 but with a wide, rectangular head instead of a circular head, twice as many emitters, and higher output. I think D4V2 is better.

Lumintop EDC18: One less main emitter, prouder button, no AUX LED’s, better pocket clip

Fireflies E07: Newly re-released for 2021, three extra main emitters, 21700 battery, higher output, larger. This is a good option if you want something bigger than D4V2 but still want a pocket clip.

Conclusion

This is the first enthusiast light anyone should buy. It’s one of the most popular flashlights available and that popularity is justified because it is just so feature packed while still being small enough to carry with you wherever you go. Every time I think “I’ve got an E07x now, I can sell that old D4V2” I go try carrying it again and I’m reminded of just how excellent it is. If you’re on the fence about it, just buy one and you’ll see what I mean.

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