NiteCore is at it again, producing another infinitely variable light to compliment their previous offerings, this time there is a bit of a twist in the UI…literally.
Meat and Potatoes
We’ve seen a number of lights here before that claim “infinite” adjustability, and to a point, they have been correct. In practice however, they have usually been just programmable single or occasionally multi-mode lights. The Infilux grabs the concept of the selection ring UI and extends it to its logical conclusion, joining a very exclusive cadre of torches that offer true variability, both before startup and at any point during operation. Instead of offering 3-4 specific modes that you can choose the IFE2 has apparently seamless dimming from its full 345 lumens to an incredible .003 lumens on low. That is just barely enough to see that the LED is even activated at all. At this level, you would expect the light to be capable of running basically forever, however the amount of overhead required for such a variable driver far overshadows the minute quantities of electricity being sipped by the LED and as such, the runtime greatly suffers. This is a bit of a downside to lights like this, but 7 days of continuous operation still is nothing to sneeze at.
In previous Infilux models, I have heard rumors that the low end of the spectrum is rather difficult to tweak. Rest assured that this isn’t the case with the IFE2. It is nearly as simple to set the lowest setting as it is the highest. The strobe setting is far enough out of the way past “standby” no not be in your way and the SOS mode is so hidden that it doesn’t even make an appearance in the user’s manual. It was actually something I had to find out from various fora before I knew about it. A simple three twists from low to high in very rapid succession will activate the SOS in whatever brightness you desire.
Using a Cree XP-G LED nestled inside a smaller textured reflector, the IFE2 produces an excellently balanced beam. Sitting a little more toward the floody side, it definitely uses its lumens spread out over a larger area than you would find with larger bezeled lights. This in my opinion makes it more useful of an EDC torch, providing adequate illumination for the vast majority of daily encountered lighting needs, and yet still able to throw at least a meager amount thanks to its incredibly powerful top end output.
I would rank the size of the IFE2 as a small duty light though it is still small enough to EDC. I have only seen a few 2xCR123A lights that are more compact and it is just about the smallest 18650 light I have yet held. The knurling that is so prevalent on all of NiteCore’s products is just as beautiful here as anywhere. NiteCore’s anodizing has stepped up in quality as well with this instance looking very durable and beautiful. The inclusion of a Titanium alloy pocket clip shows that they mean business when it comes to solid construction and genuine usability.
Though nobody will doubt the durability of the pocket clip included on the IFE2, I suspect a number of people will join me considering it to be a bit of a pocket shredder. The combination of slightly rough edges of the stamped sheet metal, and its positioning cause it to be quite aggressive to the unfortunate article of clothing it is attached to. It rides directly over the point of the hexagonal anti-roll device and has the trademark knurling underneath its entire length. This is an excellent location for manufacturers to show off their quality machining skills and add some decorative flats on a light to prevent pocket damage.
I have long been an opponent of indecisive tailcaps. By this I mean switches where the manufacturer has tried to create a switch that is recessed in order to provide tailstand ability and yet scalloped to give easy access to the button. Generally these attempts accomplish neither well enough to compete with a switch that is dedicated to be one or the other. The Infilux IFE2 tailcap switch is one of the worst that I have seen in this regard. The protrusions are far enough into your way to cause frustration when you are trying to quickly access the light, and yet they actually fall short of being capable of tailstanding even the slightest. This light will only point stably at the ceiling if you have it propped up in some way. There is no freestanding method to accomplish this in the least. Please, PLEASE manufacturers, pick one or the other. Don’t try for the best of both worlds, you usually achieve neither.
Attractive and functional, what more can you ask for in a light? Well, completely variable would be one choice. This light is useful in so many situations and still small enough to be portable for easy carry. I believe NiteCore has a serious winner on their hands here.
Provided for review by the kind folks at NiteCore.