Novatac EDC 120P

The Novatac EDC is the sequel to the HDS EDC line of flashlights, the light uses a SSC P4 LED capable of up to 120 lumen and has different levels of brightness that can be programmed. It uses a single 123 battery.

The light has four modes of operation, each mode can be programmed to a selected brightness level or a signaling function. From Off you can go to primary mode pressing the tailcap switch or to max mode doing a click-press. Once on you can change primary/secondary with 2 clicks, you can go to minimum mode via 3 clicks or to maximum doing a click-press. Each of this four modes can be programmed so we call them maximum or minimum just because it is the factory default.

To program enter the mode you want to change and do a click-click-press, you will be able to change the brighness level with 22 levels available, if you continue past the maximum level you will be able to assign a disorienting strobe, emergency strobe or SOS to the mode. This means that if one of your modes is the strobe then you have only 3 brightness levels to set. Since you can program and reprogram the light on the fly quickly this is not a big problem. From an options menu you can also program a locator beacon and other settings that can be set on or off depending on your preferences. Programming is very flexible and simple to do without a manual.

The light is bright reaching 120 lumen but is not as bright as other single cell Cree LEDs in the market. It can run for about 20 minutes in maximum before dropping to a lower level, all the brightness levels are regulated so the intensity won't change as the battery gets depleted. It can use any type of C123 batteries. This is good if you find a level that is perfect for your activities since it will keep constant.

The beam is a good compromise between throw and flood, the tint of the LED in our test model was blueish / purple. The interface is very easy to use but can be a little annoying with the click, double click, triple click and click press getting confused sometimes.

The body is constructed in HA-III aluminum resitant to scratches and impacts, the lens is polycarbonate glued to a bezel with slight crenelations to know if the flashlight is on or off. The light comes with an optional pocket clip that to our taste wasn't very good, it didn't seem to be very solid and it was too bulky and protruded a lot from the light body.

We found the Novatac 120P and excellent EDC light very flexible and easy to set to your own personal preferences, the maximum brightness is not incredible and the runtime is a little short, the tint was poor and the pocket clip is not very good, for the price we think it is either a love or hate flashlight that will be very good for those that like programmable lights with many options, other users that focus more on the output and performance than a list features might be disappointed.

You can order from LightHound for $150.

4 comments:

kfiducia said...

i thought the review was a bit harsh, for and EDC i think this light is great, your statement "not as bright as other single cell Cree LEDs in the market" leads readers to think this is a CREE, its not, its an SSC, and not that i the light i received was comparable to other lights and has an excellent tint. this is basically a remake of the HDS with better programming, button, and an SSC, which is an easy mod for HDS owners. I definitely agree on the clip, i couldn't even figure out how it was supposed to install as when installed under the bezel the lens didn't stay tight. but i didnt mind the added size.

Luis said...

Crees and SCC ligths are in general terms comparable in output. The Novatac is very very bright but is not the brightest light with SSC or Cree LEDs. I agree with your view and comments and appreciate the feedback and correction.
(The Editor)

Anonymous said...

The Novatac may not be bright as some of the custom made single cell flashlights with hand picked LEDs, but it is the brightest MASS production light currently available.
It's much brighter than the comparable Amilite T5, which is rated at 140 Lumens but in practice, outputs only ~95 Lumens from the lens. The Novatac outputs 120 Lumens from the Lens. Most other manufacturers inflate their light output, eg the Fenix P2DCE, which claims to output 135 Lumens, but that is only measured at the emitter. The real output is closer to 100 lumens. So the Novatac is one of the brightest, if not the brightest of mass produced single cell flashlights on the market today.

Anonymous said...

The 120P is as bright as my NiteCore EX10 GD+, which is rated at 130 lumens. So, the 120P flashlight is more than bright enough to hold its own in the current EDC-arena.

Besides, for most EDC-use, 30 lumens is adequate. Some would say that 10 lumens (like the acclaimed Fenix E01) is adequate!

And in response to one comment, "i couldn't even figure out how it was supposed to install as when installed under the bezel the lens didn't stay tight", the preferred way of installing the clip is between the tailcap and the body, not under the bezel.

So, here's a quick summary of what I think of the 120P:

Pros:
- Plenty bright for an EDC. (Certainly puts any regular MagLite or department store flashlight to shame.)
- Wonderfully smooth beam. One of the best in the business.
- Great User Interface. It takes a few minutes to learn, but it's a pleasure to work with.
- Built rock-solid, gives you the feeling that it's almost indestructible.
- Excellent craftmanship and materials. Machining, knurling, threads are first rate.

Cons:
- It's bigger and heftier than some of the newer EDC flashlights on the market. (Although the general public would still consider it tiny relative to its high output.)
- Its runtimes are shorter than the latest crop of Q5 and R2 flashlights. (However, its runtimes are still good enough for 99% of what most people use their EDC flashlights for.)
- The CR123 batteries aren't always available or cheap.

Overall:
This is a great flashlight. Dependable. Very well thought-out. Very well executed. Long after other "high tech" flashlights have come and gone, this one will continue to provide good service to its owners.