A Well Built & Plenty Bright Light With Leading Edge Style
October 3, 2014
4 years ago I purchased my first 2000 lumens single LED searchlight, a 2.5 pound affair that required a 1 pound proprietary battery, was rather large and heavy and not all that easy to tote around. The Nitecore EAX Hammer completely changes the game offering a solid, compact and durable light housing two of CREE's strongest and most efficient XM-L2 LEDs. And, you can very easily carry transport this light in a large pocket or backpack. Ohh yes, and it's the first (to my knowledge) 2000 lumens searchlight that takes common AA batteries (eight) and will work with either Nickel Metal or Alkaline.
The first thing that I noticed upon receiving this light was it's unusual rectangular head shape housing the 2 LEDs side by side. Nitecore does a really good job optimizing both the hot spot for distance and beam spill for coverage in this light. I am outdoors a lot at night walking a heavily wooded paved nature trail and the elongated beam spill offers more than adequate light coverage for me to spot and avoid stumbling upon any night critters possibly lurking about. The light with batteries weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 20 ounces and with it's extremely well balanced handle, makes for easy carrying and maneuverability even after an hour plus of continuous use. Nitecore incorporates it's unique multifunctional camera focus and shoot style switch in the Hammer with plenty of light mode flexibility from 1 lumen all the way up to full on 2000 lumens turbo plus lock out. The switch itself also contains a multifunction LED that is a volt meter, low battery indicator and light locator in standby mode. It's water resistant to 2 meters and shock resistant to 1.5 meters making it rugged enough to withstand most extreme conditions.
I now want to mention two issues that have encountered with this light;
1. The Switch From Hell: After installing the batteries for the very first time I began testing the modes in the light. Half press tap on the switch to put it into operation mode and micro (1 lumen) mode comes on. Cycle through the three additional modes by half press tapping the switch, works like a dream responding perfectly to each press. Turn off by full press tapping, voila!, like a charm. Triple tap press gets my strobe, full tap press to turn off, beautiful, home free right?. Then I go to lock it out. Half press and hold for a second till I see the light blink and the LED on the switch blinks to indicate 5.4 volts, tap the switch a few times to be sure that lock out mode is working and we're done. I tail stand the light and place it aside for no more than 30 second and suddenly I see the light come on full bright on it's own. I'm staring at it in wonderment as it then begins randomly cycling through different intensity levels, some lasting mere tenths of a second to as long as four or five seconds in others with no discernible pattern. Half or full pressing the switch did nothing at all. My Hammer had a mind of it's own. I did the only thing I could do and that was to disengage the power by removing the batteries and letting the light sit for about 30 minutes, reinstalling the batteries and the switch has performed flawlessly since for almost a week of heavy use.
2) Minor Issue: I've replaced the batteries in my light 3 times in one week and because there are eight of them 2 X 4 in parallel, it takes a bit of time going through the process. For that reason I may religate this light for mostly around the house and occasionally bring it out for trail walking use.
Pros:*Durable & Very Bright
*Uses Commonly Available & Relatively Affordable Rechargeable & Alkaline AA Batteries
*Multifunctional LED In The Switch
Cons:*Balky Switch (one time, first time)
*Changing Batteries Can Be Somewhat Time Consuming