A new flashlight has appeared on the market which I find quite interesting. It is the result of a joint venture with Engenious Designs and MinerShop. This blog post will compare this light to the vastly popular (and widely copied) FYRFLY CONVOY C8, jointly developed by Engenious and MinerShop way back in 2019.
The FyrFly C8 (and other copycats) has become the standard that all other types of lights compare themselves to. It is a powerful light with a very focused reflector and high power LED, resulting in a beam spot that can light up fluorescent minerals from 20, 30, 40 meters away. The focused spot has a long, intense throw. This is great for exploring beaches, scanning the "horizon" for glow rocks, or for lighting up minerals that are not necessarily bright fluorescent specimens. But it has its limitations. Most glowhounds explore with their eyes pointed down towards their feet, looking at rocks as they pass over them. The tight beam here can be limiting, not lighting up a very broad area. Worse, when climbing over rock piles, mine tailings, or even inside mines, you have to carry a secondary white light source to keep from stumbling off the edge of a 20' cliff.
The NiteLite: A real-world review
The NiteLite is a dual-wave light, with both 365nm UV and a bright white light. White light mode is as bright as any flashlight you would want when prospecting at night with a wide floody beam. You can easily navigate tough terrains, and at the click of a button, switch between white light and UV. Battery status indicators show the current charge level of the internal 26650 battery. Recharging is easy using the built-in USB-C charging port, or spare batteries can be swapped in the field. Runtime is about two hours +/- depending on the brightness modes you select (four white light modes, two UV modes).
But most important for this discussion - how bright is the UV mode of the flashlight?
Short answer? It's generally midway between a FyrFly Convoy C8 and a 6 watt Convoy S2 (the granddaddy of all UV 365nm flashlights ). But, unlike the other two, the beam output is a flood instead of a spot. This lets you see a wider area at your feet where it matters. Choose the FyrFly if you want to spot glow rocks 30 meters away (if you're lucky enough to point the beam directly at one). But seeing is believing. Below are some beam shots and videos illustrating the differences.
NiteLite Beam vs C8 Beam
The NiteLite (left) produces a very floody beam. But the center spot is not as intense as the tight spot beam of the C8 FyrFly (right).
Outside, shining a a relatively "glow rock free" driveway. This comparison is more obvious.
Glow Rocks at your Feet
Image on the left shows the NiteLite illuminates a larger area, more rocks. But the C8 spot provides a more intense spot beam. Both very respectable for glow hounding.
Perhaps more apparent at dusk, the NiteLite (left) still lights up a wider area (MarshMallow for scale, and yes - he is fluorescent)
Beam patterns pointed straight ahead at ground level (NiteLite left)
But - Proof's in the Puddin'
A short video showing the NiteLite in action, with white light at the end. Taken in the mountains of Tennessee.
"This flashlight has everything I need: a powerful floody beam UV lite that will allow me to find fluorescent minerals in any type of terrain, and a bright white light to help me navigate that terrain, all in one sleek package. "