Review: Nitecore – EDC33

Review: Nitecore – EDC33


With the EDC33 Nitecore not only introduced a new flashlight for the everyday carry market, but also some new approaches to the concept of flashlights. Be it a built-in battery or a combination of spot- and floodlight, there are plenty of features to talk about and look at.

Thanks to Nitecore, I was able to take a closer look at the flashlight for the last few months and now I finally had the time to write everything down.

As always, let’s look at the specs first and get an overview for those in a hurry.


  • Body Material: HAIII Aluminum (7075-T6)
  • LEDs: NiteLab UHi 20 MAX (9 LEDs in total)
  • Battery Format: 1 x 18650 (in-built / non-replaceable)
  • Max Output: 4000 lumens
  • Max Beam Distance: 450 meters
  • Waterproofness: IP68, 2m
  • Impact Resistance: 2m
  • Dimensions: 115.6mm (length) x 25.4mm (head diameter) / 24.0mm (body diameter)
  • Weight: 121g (excluding clip) / 127g (including clip)

Overview of the Lamp

The EDC33 is a practical everyday carry lamp, constructed with HAIII Aluminum for durability, while keeping it at a comfortable 121g weight. With a length of 115.6mm and a 25.4mm head diameter, it is a comfortable and handy EDC lamp, featuring 4+2 light modes for various situations, from ultra low to the full power of 4000 Lumens. The built-in 18650 battery can be charged by USB-C and runs up to 63h, depending on the used modes.

Nitecore EDC33
Nitecore EDC33

The Nitecore EDC33

The EDC33’s Construction

Made out of 7075-T6 Aluminum Alloy which is used in aerospace and military products, the Nitecore EDC33 features a textured finish with 1mm deep milling. This results in an excellent grip and feel. According to Nitecore, the hardness has been increased by 88% in comparison to the 6000 aluminum alloys of other flashlights.

Nitecore EDC33
Excellent grip thanks to nice milling

To be able to deliver all these different light modes as well as the maximum of 4000 Lumens, the Nitecore EDC33 uses a NiteLab UHi 20 MAX LED with a 9-core unit.

Nitecore EDC33
Closer look at the LEDs

Additionally, the lamp features a 2m impact resistance, is waterproof down to 2m and has an internal IP68 rated water resistance.

The tail button has a built-in Rotary Protection Cover that protects the USBC charging port from the elements and adds to a clean design. It also features three stands to use the flashlight as a standing lamp.

Right below the Rotary Protection Cover you will find a power level display with 4 indicators keeping you up to date with the battery power. The EDC33 features a large deep carry clip and comes with a lanyard and a carbine. If not needed, this clip can be removed of course.

Deep Carry Clip and power indicators

Built-in is a 4000mAh Li-ion battery that has a runtime of up to 63 hours. This might feel unusual at first, but we will come to that topic later.

Other than that, the EDC33 features Nitecore’s Advanced Power Cut-Off (APC) technology as well as its Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) module. You can read about those features in previous reviews.

Modes and How to Access Them

The user interface of the EDC33 is straightforward, making it easy to understand from the get-go. A single press recalls the last used mode, and a half-press cycles through 

  • Ultra-Low (5 Lumens), 
  • Low (70 Lumens), 
  • Mid (300 Lumens), and 
  • High mode (1200 Lumens). 

The tactical Search Mode (with a 1700 Lumens spotlight) as well as the LUMIN SHIELD™ Mode (4000 Lumens floodlight) are activated by keeping the tail switch pressed halfway for the tactical Search Mode and fully pressed for the LUMIN SHIELD™. 

Nitecore EDC33
Rapid Lock Switch

These modes can be switched off or locked out by the “Rapid Lock” switch. You can either lock all the light modes by sliding the button into the lock position (marked with a sign) and prevent accidental activation, or you can “half lock” it, by keeping the tail button pushed and sliding the “rapid lock” up. That way all the regular modes are switched off, but the Search Mode and the LUMIN SHIELD™ are still accessible.


The Nitecore’s EDC33 standout feature is the already mentioned LUMIN SHIELD™, which adds a tactical feature. This technology allows a seamless transition between the spot and flood illumination modes. 

So while the tactical Search Mode provides a powerful spotlight effect, the LUMIN SHIELD™ Mode creates a massive light “wall” for extended coverage. This provides an instantaneous self defense by providing a sustained blinding effect for aggressors by using the full power of the UHi 20 Max LED or flooding a wide area if needed during tactical situations. 

The EDC33 in use

Just as the name implies, the EDC33 is intended as an everyday carry lamp, however, it also delivers two features that can be used in a tactical or rescue setting.

Switching through the modes is easy and intuitive. The half lock feature was the only thing I did not grasp immediately, but as soon as I realized what it is and how it works, I felt like an idiot who is not able to see the obvious.

The combination of the Search Mode with the LUMIN SHIELD is very impressive and works excellent when it comes to the light output. The use itself is tricky sometimes, as the tail button is very sensitive and you really need to develop a certain feel for keeping the button pushed in order to not switch between the two modes by accident. The slightest release of the full pushed down button will immediately result in going back from LUMIN SHIELD to Search Mode. 

However this is not a bad thing. Keeping the full 4000 Lumens on for over a minute will result in the ATR engaging and regulating the output of the lamp, if it gets too hot. The head of the lamp quickly reaches 70°C when fully engaged, but the heat does not reach the body quickly, because of the construction.

Nitecore EDC33
Head of the lamp

Coming to the built-in battery. This is an interesting development, when it comes to flashlights and as far as I am informed, this unsettled some members of the user base. The option to be able to switch batteries whenever you want or need is a vital aspect for a lot of users.

At the same time, one has to keep in mind that the EDC33 is targeted at the EDC market and as a result one can assume that users of the lamp are able to access a power source at the end of the day or even during the day. With the easy accessible USB-C port, you can charge the lamp whenever you need, just like your cell phone. And if you are out and about you can still use a power bank. If all of that is still a no-go, there are other Nitecore lamps that do not use a built-in battery.

The power indicator and built in USB-C charger have proven to work in my personal experience, even though I was skeptical at first. 

Beamshots of the Nitecore EDC33

As always, let’s add some beamshots to give you guys an idea about the EDC33’s performance. The following pictures were taken with 16mm focal length and starting with an automatic ISO of 12800, f / 4 with a shutter speed of 1/4 sec. 

The higher the modes, the lesser the ISO was dialed in by the camera. So the camera switched to ISO 8000 during the Mid Mode (300 Lumens) and to ISO 3200 during the High Mode (1200 Lumens).

When engaging the LUMIN SHIELD, the automatic setting even switched to ISO 1600.

At the same time I have to say that it was a full moon night with no clouds, so the pictures might not look as representative as previous ones.

Single, max. output with Search Mode and LUMIN SHIELD

This picture shows the lamp with the 1700 Lumens of the Search Mode illuminating a field. While the beam is directed at the center of the field, roughly 100m away, the trees in the distance are 200m from the camera and are clearly visible. The second picture shows the beam being directed at the treeline. 

The third picture shows the LUMIN SHIELD in action and also the power of the lamp quite clearly.

Tree Target

The following pictures show the spot of the Nitecore EDC 33 directed at a large tree roughly 30m away.

The Ultra Low setting (5 Lumens) provides enough light to see the tree, without giving attention to the flashlight and its user. Additionally it is very comfortable to the eye, making a change between dark and illumination very easy.

Nitecore EDC33
Ultra Low (5 Lumens)

Changing to 70 Lumens of the Low setting, the tree is clearly visible, as well as the vegetation next to it. The area in front of the tree is illuminated as well. As a result, the power of the EDC33 is strong enough to navigate without stressing the eyes too much.

Nitecore EDC33
Low (70 Lumens)

The Mid Setting with 300 Lumens strongly illuminates a wide area. The spot is clear and very bright on the tree and the beam evenly distributes light in the vicinity.

Nitecore EDC33
Mid (300 Lumens)

The High mode with 1200 Lumens at this distance shows a vast increase in brightness on the tree. The beam is less visible because of the overall high output, but increased in brightness as well.

Nitecore EDC33
High (1200 Lumens)

Switching to the Search Mode (1700 Lumens) shows a noticeable difference in the beam. It is more pronounced and stronger and has a blinding effect at this short distance.

Nitecore EDC33
Search Mode (1700 Lumens)

The LUMIN SHIELD shows an even flooding of light without a beam. Judging from the wide area one can imagine, how broad the effect of the light flooding is. As the automatic ISO switched down to ISO 1600 (!), the picture itself appears less bright than the others. The low ISO setting should speak for itself though.

Nitecore EDC33
LUMIN SHIELD (4000 Lumens)

To give you an additional impression. The same picture with a +1 increase in brightness shows an estimate of the real situation at site. 

Nitecore EDC33
LUMIN SHIELD (4000 Lumens) +1 Brightness

Directly on the floor

The last beamshots show the spot and beam when directly aimed at the ground below.

The change between the settings already looks drastic in the pictures. Additionally one has to bear in mind that the camera changed ISO settings to accomodate to the brightness.

So after the second picture, the camera changed from ISO 12800 to ISO 4000 during Mid Mode and then to ISO 1250 during High Mode.

With the Search Mode on, it changed to ISO 640 and with LUMIN SHIELD activated to ISO 500.


When it comes to EDC flashlights, the Nitecore EDC33 proves to be a relevant choice. With a robust design, practical features, and the new LUMIN SHIELD™ technology, it caters to the needs of everyday users and outdoor enthusiasts alike, while at the same time keeping a tactical feature for last resort.

Some might be out of their comfort zone because of the built-in battery, but the ease of use when it comes to charging as well as the long running time speak for themselves.

The compact size and the combination of the spotlight and the floodlight in one lamp make it worth checking out the lamp in any case.

With that being said, I want to thank Nitecore for giving me the chance to take a closer look at the lamp!

Thank you guys for reading!

Take Care!

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