July 11, 2023
Many years ago a company famous for their tactical lights had a catchy phrase when talking about tactical lights, “Two is one, and one is none”. It made sense at the time, especially in an age of failure prone light bulbs and very short battery life, and it sold a lot of flashlights. I still carry two lights, typically a very small keychain light and a larger light. The small keychain light ensures I always have a light for mundane chores. It was via a keychain light, the .3 ounce Tube, that I first became a customer of Nitecore’s several years ago. These rechargeable lights were so small, light and handy I bought a few of them. I eventually upgraded to the newer Tube V2.0 design and found little to not like. So, I was familiar with the company when I first learned of their innovative EDC27 light.
The Nitecore EDC27 light immediately caught my attention due to its slim and flat design, perfect for pocket carry. Delving further into it I liked its range of light output which runs up to 3,000 lumens. The ability to be easily recharged using a common USB-C fast charger is a useful feature. I liked the dual switch design for easy operation even in a high stress scenario. Plus, the economical $89.95 MSRP is another reason to take notice of this model. It sounded good, but how would it actually perform?
EDC Flashlight Checklist
I was issued my first CCW license back in 1986, and began every-day-carrying a tactical light later when they became a viable option. Down through the decades I have carried a variety of models, and I know what I like and what works for my specific needs and location. Here are a few of the things I look for in an EDC light.
- Sized for comfortable pocket carry: I typically carry in my left front pocket so overall length, thickness and pocket clip design/placement are important factors. If it’s too big or uncomfortable to carry, so it’s not actually with you when you need it, it’s useless.
- Reliable: It has to work when I need it, period.
- Simple to operate: The switch design has to be intuitive and easy to operate, especially in a high stress situation. If I need all the lumens or strobe like right now, I want to be able to mash a button and get all the light has, now.
- Rechargeable: I don’t want to have to feed a light an endless supply of CR123s, so a rechargeable battery, such as an 18650, is desirable. An easily replaceable battery is greatly preferred.
- Intense light: Having the ability to project an intense amount of light, which can disorient or blind someone, even if only for a second or two, can be a huge advantage when properly utilized.
- Reach: Due to my rural location, I prefer a light which has some reach to it so I can illuminate distant areas and spot coyotes, or other predators 100+ yards away.
- Strobe: Properly utilized, a strobe function can be a very valuable tool. Having the ability to go straight to Strobe on its highest output by mashing a button is a plus in my book.
- Cost: I like nice stuff, but I don’t want to have to pay just for a logo on the side.
These are seven points I consider for my particular needs, yours may be different. They are what I had in the back of my mind when I was unboxing Nitecore’s EDC27. I had first learned of this model from GunZoneDeals.com which carries Nitecore lights. I requested a review sample directly from Nitecore’s US Distributor and received it a short time later. Over the next six weeks I carried and used it daily. Before we get into testing though let’s examine the light in question, Nitecore’s EDC27.
This is a very interesting design simply due to size, shape and layout. It’s long, thin and has a well-designed pocket clip. It carries comfortably in a front pocket while sticking up high enough to be easily retrieved. Make no mistake, its shape is a plus and reminds me a bit of Surefire’s Stiletto series. The EDC27 measures 5.3 inches long, 1.2 inches wide and it is about .56 inch thick.
On one end you will note dual Luminus SST40 LEDs which can emit a maximum of 3,000 lumens. A TIR style lens facilitates a wide flood beam. Nitecore claims a maximum beam throw of 240 yards. The body is manufactured from stainless steel coated with titanium-colored PVD, so it feels robust in the hand. It features an IP54 rating for water and impact resistance.
Flip it over, and you will note two switches on its base. The larger one (Mode) sits flush while a smaller one (Power) stands proud. If you need the maximum 3,000 lumens or the Strobe, whether the light is off or on any other setting, simply depress the Mode button. Depressing it halfway activates Constant On “Turbo” mode providing 3,000 lumens, while fully depressing it provides Strobe at 3,000 lumens. So, in a high stress situation you can easily activate the highest output.
The Power button activates one of the four standard settings which are 1,000, 200, 65 and 15 lumens. Fully pressing the Power button turns the light on at its last power setting, half pressing it cycles to the next setting. So, if you last used it at the 15 lumens setting, fully depressing the power button will turn the light on to the 15 lumen setting. Half depressing it will cycle it to 65 lumens. Half depress again and it will cycle to 200 lumens, again and it will go to 1,000 lumens and then back to 15 lumens.
Claimed Run Times
High: 1000 lumens - 1 hour 45 min
Mid: 200 lumens - 3 hours 45 min
Low: 65 lumens - 11 hours
Ultralow: 15 lumens - 37 hours
What about the Turbo mode run time at 3,000 lumens? Nitecore doesn’t list this and it will vary due to the amount of heat generated. But if you simply run it on Turbo at 3,000 lumens the light will heat fairly rapidly and kick down to 1,000 lumens after about 10 seconds or so. One interesting feature of the EDC27 is an OLED digital display screen on the front face which displays brightness level, remaining runtime at that level and battery status.
In day to day carry the Nitecore EDC27 performed well. The light tucks nicely into a pocket and carries comfortably. The pocket clip is well shaped, robust and retains the light securely. If you so desire, the clip has a built in loop for a lanyard. The OLED screen is easy to read and useful for seeing how much runtime is available at each setting.
In daily use I liked the ability to recharge the EDC27’s 3.7 volt 1,700 mAH (6.29 Wh) battery using a common USB-C fast charger, such as what I use with my phone. So, I could easily recharge it both at home and in my vehicle using my standard cell phone charger. You can also easily recharge it when traveling using a power bank.
When it comes to light output the EDX27 provides a good range. In certain situations the Ultralow 15 lumens setting is practical and will last an extremely long time. The 200 lumen setting is a good general purpose setting. When I was outside walking around my rural property and wanted to look around the 1,000 lumen setting was my go to. The beam has a lot of spill and is a wide flood but will reach out past 100 yards. Standing on my 100 yard rifle range I could illuminate and see the targets on the berm without issue. The 3,000 lumen Turbo setting seems to add intensity but not reach. While Nitecore claims a 240 yard peak beam distance I was unable to spot a full-size silhouette at 230 yards on either the 3,000 lumen Turbo or the 1,000 lumen setting. For my practical uses the EDC27 performed well out past 100 yards to maybe 125 or 150 yards depending upon the conditions.
Up close this light is a powerhouse and the 3,000 lumen Turbo and Strobe mode can blind and disorient someone. It will punch through many photonic barriers and can provide you with an advantage. The 1,000 lumen setting is very useful, especially at pistol distances. The light fits comfortably in the hand and is easy to deploy.
Initially when I was first learning how to operate the EDC27 it took me a bit to get used to Nitecore’s “half-press” on the buttons, but that just takes becoming familiar with it. The light had zero issues with daily use, being dropped and bumped and exhibits almost no finish wear. Battery life was not an issue in daily use, and recharging it is simple. The downside to an internal battery though is planned obsolescence. You know that battery has only so many life cycles and then that’s it.
My final thoughts on Nitecore’s EDC27? I like it. I like the shape and size and how well it carries. I like the USB-C charging port. The wide flood beam pattern is useful and practical for most uses and scenarios. Plus, the MSRP of $89.95 makes it an excellent value for the money. For more information on Nitecore, the EDC27 and their entire line of flashlights visit Nitecore.com and if you are interested in purchasing one visit GunZoneDeals.com.
NiteCore EDC27 Specifications
- LED: 2x Luminous SST40 LED
- Maximum Brightness: 3,000 lumens
- Peak Beam Distance: 240 yards
- Peak Beam Intensity: 12,200 cd
- IP Rating: IP54
- Impact Resistance: 1 meter
- Length: 5.45 inches
- Width: 1.24 inches
- Height: 0.56 inch
- Weight: 4.37 ounces
- Price: $89.95
- Manufacturer: Nitecore
About the Author
David M. Fortier has been covering firearms, ammunition and optics since 1998. He is a recipient of the Carl Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the Year award and his writing has been recognized by the Civil Rights organization JPFO. In 2007, he covered the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist. He has written extensively on opposing forces small arms, ammunition and optics and has traveled through Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. His writing has been translated into both Russian and Mandarin. He was a regular on the Outdoor Sportsman Group’s network television from 2003 to 2020. He is currently the Editor of the Outdoor Sportsman Group prepping title Be Ready! magazine, as well as the Executive Editor of Firearms News. Prior to 1998, he was in the Aerospace and Defense industry.
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