[REVIEW] Thorfire VG10S (XP-L2, 1x18650) (Pictures, Output, Beamshots, etc.)

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SoCalTiger
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[REVIEW] Thorfire VG10S (XP-L2, 1x18650) (Pictures, Output, Beamshots, etc.)
The Thorfire VG10S is Thorfire's upgraded next generation version of their VG10. The VG10S is powered by a single 18650 and is on the large-side of EDC territory. The VG10S utilizes a domed Cree XP-L2 (I believe it is the V6 3D common to the Q8) in a polished reflector providing a balanced general purpose beams Output is speced at a max of 1100 lumens and also has a moonlight mode which I measured at about 0.4 lumens. The VG10S came to me from the factory with a very nice warm-neutral tint of 4500K.
 
I was provided a copy for review by Thorfire (Amazon US stock).
 
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Official Product Specifications
Extremely Bright: Utilizing latest CREE XP-L2 Led Chip Offer Up to 1100 lumen(Max Output), Producing an Intense Beam of Light Up to 900 feet
Versatile Modes With Memory: Moonlight(1LM)/Low(50LM)/Mid(300LM)/High(1100LM) double tap quickly to activate hidden strobe(1100LM), perfect for medical service, baby care, mechanic checks, power outage, emergency, etc outdoor and Indoor activities.
Intelligent Power Saving: After 5 minutes working on high, the light will ramp down to medium mode in 15 minutes to save energy and protecting it from overheating.
Durable&Reliable: Made of aircraft-grade aluminum; Waterproof to IPX-8 standard for all weather conditions.
What you get: 1* VG10S Led Flashlight With Clip, 2*Spare O rings, User Manual, 18 Month Worry-Free Warranty and Helpful Customer Service
High quality CREE XP-L2 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.
5 Adjustable Brightness Level:
Moonlight(1LM)/Low(50LM)/Mid(300LM)/High(1100LM)/Hidden Strobe is available for daily different usage; 200 Hours long runtime for moonlight mode,High-Efficiency Reflection Lens.
Note: The parameter was tested with ThorFire 3000 mAh 18650 Li-lon Battery (Not Included)
Easy Operation:
Fully Press the tail cap switch to turn on/off; With the light on, half press the button to cycle through four different brightness level; double tap to activate the hidden strobe mode, half press again to the previous mode. The light remembers last mode you used.

What you get:
1x VG10S Led Flashlight with Clip
2x spare o rings
1x User Manual
Warranty: ThorFire promise to offer 18 month worry free warranty and helpful customer services, if you encounter any question, please feel free to contact us, we are glad to serve you and earn your 100% satisfaction.

Packaging and Contents
The VG10S arrived in a standard cardboard box like most Thorfire lights. One difference I noticed from prior Thorfire lights was that the box was taped shut with the label. This is a good improvement because it prevents the box from coming open during shipping. The light is protected in a bubble-wrap sleeve and there is foam padding on the bottom of the box. Accessories included clip (pre-installed), 2 spare O-rings and manual. The packaging is more than sufficient in addition to the mailer packaging. There is no significant risk of damage or scuffing to the light during delivery using this packaging, especially now that the boxes are taped shut.

1 x Flashlight
1 x Clip (Pre-Installed)
2 x Spare O-ring
1 x Manual
 
 
 

Fit and Finish
The VG10S has smooth black low-gloss anodizing with some oblong indentations designed into the body and tail. The anodizing was applied well and my copy did not have any notable defects in the finish. The anodizing is also applied to both the head and tail threads.

Size-wise, the VG10S is a compromise between a tube light and a larger C8-sized light. The VG10S will fit fine in larger pockets (like a jacket or cargo shorts) although some may find it a little too wide or too heavy for true EDC use if they are used to using tube lights or smaller. The VG10S has more mass and more cooling fins so it will run cooler than a traditional tube light. 
 
The finish looks good although I would have preferred the knurling that Thorfire uses in most of their other lights (like the TK15 and TK15S).  Style-wise, I liked the design of the bezel on the VG10S and it also makes it so that you can tell if the light is turned on when standing on its head.
 
Due to the design, there is minimal roll-resistance unless the clip is attached.
 


Tail Standing.
 
 
Nicely styled bezel. It also makes it so that you can tell if the light is turned on when standing on its head.
 
 
 
Reverse-clicky tail switch.
 


The threads were cut perfectly square.
 


Anodizing on both the head and tail threads. Springs on both ends.
 


 
Accessories
No lanyard or case/holster included. The included clip is great although I would have also liked a lanyard. I also would have preferred "deep carry" clips (or both clips).
 
 
User Interface and Modes
The light uses the tail-switch to control on/off and modes. There is mode memory - the light will activate on the last used brightness.

Operation:
  • To turn the light ON, press switch fully.
  • To advance modes, half-press switch (Moon -> L -> M -> H)
  • To turn the light OFF, press switch fully.

Strobe (Hidden via Double-Click):

  • To turn STROBE ON, double-click (when on).
  • To turn STROBE OFF, half-press switch (will return to previous mode).
Comment:
* I like that Moon is not hidden.
* I wish that double-click did not turn on strobe because it is possible to activate strobe on accident if you are trying to change modes quickly. I think it would be better/safer to hide strobe modes with a long press.
* It would be even better if the flashlight was programmable so that you could disable options like strobe, moon mode or mode memory. It would also be nice to be able to program the mode order (High to Low vs Low to High).
 
 
Output, Runtime and Power


Measurements were done using a freshly charged EVVA protected Panasonic NCR18650B in a quasi-integrating sphere. Battery was measured at 4.17V and measurements are taken within 1 hour of charge.
 
At maximum output, I estimate output is above spec at around 1200+ lumens at 30 seconds. Medium was around 400 lumens. Low was around 90 lumens. Moon was around 0.4 lumens.
 
Comment: I would have preferred Moon to be slightly higher - at least 2-4 lumens. The difference in lumens between Moon and Low is pretty large - 50:1 by spec and 227:1 by my measurements.
 
 
45 Minute Run


This light has a timed ramp-down which begins at 5 minutes and slowly ramps-down the power throughout the following 15 minutes. This is a unique ramp-down behavior which I haven't previously seen in a Thorfire light. I decided to overlay the behavior against the TK15 and TK15S for comparison.
 
Comments:
* The ramp-down is gradual and subtle enough to not really be noticeable in real-world use. This provides a good balance of output while protecting a user from running the light at maximum output continuously.
* The light is not really warm by the time it settles on Medium power.
 
 
Beam Profile
Throwy Balanced General Purpose. The VG10S uses a domed Cree XP-L2 (most likely the V6 3D shared with the Q8) in a polished reflector. The beam is throwy but still very balanced for general purpose use with a hotspot which transitions smoothly and gradually throughout the beam. The hotspot is not heavily defined. The outer beam has defined edges. This light works very well for people seeking a more balanced beam. This light works great for general purpose use both indoors and outdoors.
 



Beamshots, Color Temperature and Tint
The VG10S has a very nice warm neutral white of 4500K. When white-balanced in Adobe Lightroom against "Daylight 5500K", the beamshots appear warm. The light appears slightly warm white in practice. This is a very good choice of default color temperature and I'm really happy to see a manufacturer using this color temperature for a light.
 
Like other lights which use the XP-L2 V6 3D, the hotspot is the warmest part of the light and the light becomes slightly cooler towards the edges. However, this is not visible in pictures and even in real life except when aimed at a white wall where the contrast in color temperature can be seen.
 
 
 
 



Battery Support and Fitment
The VG10S is powered by 1x18650 lithium-ion (INR, IMR, ICR, etc.)
 
Protected Batteries Fit. The EVVA Protected Panasonic NCR18650B fits length-wise at 69.5mm and width-wise at 18.67mm. This flashlight actually accommodated protected batteries better than most of my lights. Even though the battery sticks out with the cap off, there was no sensation that the springs were over-tightened at all. The dual springs are very tolerant.
 
Button vs Flat-Top: My batteries were button-top. Flat-top batteries should also fit due to the dual battery springs (the positive & negative contacts are both springs).



 
Lock-Out
You can physically lock-out the light by loosening the tail (or head) one-half turn to break the circuit.

If there is a possibility of accidental activation, you should lock-out the light.


Size Reference
Flashlight pictured next to a 18650, TK15, TK15S and C8 for size reference.
 
 
Next to TK15 and TK15S.




Summary and Conclusion
The VG10S is a very good, well-built 1x18650 light which performs above spec at 1100+ lumens on High. Size-wise, the VG10S is a compromise between a tube light and a larger C8-sized light. The VG10S will fit fine in larger pockets (like a jacket or cargo shorts) although some may find it a little too wide or too heavy for true EDC use if they are used to using tube lights or smaller. The VG10S has more mass and more cooling fins so it will run cooler than a traditional tube light. So, unlike most tube lights, this light can handle full power better although it does get warm in High mode. The Medium mode at ~400 lumens can easily sustain longer runtimes with this design and is only mildly warm. For people who mainly use Low or Moon, this light will provide great run times. I like that Moon is not hidden and part of the normal mode rotation although it is dimmer than my preference (I prefer a Moon to be around 2-4 lumens).
 
The finish looks good although I would have preferred the knurling that Thorfire uses in most of their other lights (like the TK15 and TK15S). Style-wise, I liked the design of the bezel on the VG10S and it also makes it so that you can tell if the light is turned on when standing on its head.

The beam profile is somewhat throwy yet very balanced and is well-suited for general usage. The color temperature of 4500K is perfect and I wish that more manufacturers made lights like this (I do not like cool white LEDs).
 
My one "wish list" item for these lights (and many others) was if the firmware allowed the lights to be programmed (hidden programming mode). It would be great if users could set options like turning mode memory on/off or disabling strobe, etc. I prefer to always start in "Low" and I don't need strobe. Since everyone uses flashlights differently, this would be the best way to give options to everyone.
 
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Edited by: SoCalTiger on 08/04/2017 - 10:47
SoCalTiger
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Thorfire gave me a 20% coupon code Smile Link provided by Thorfire.

20% off Coupon Code: QKZIWBAN
http://amzn.to/2tEJDfb

netprince
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Thanks for the review. I agree with you that it would be great to disable double click for strobe somehow. I would be accidentally activating strobe on this light all the time.

SoCalTiger
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Yeah, unfortunately I have accidentally activated strobe with a double-click before on at least a couple different lights. I didn’t do it with the VG10S but it would just be a matter of time. Since this has happened on more than one occasion to me, I always recommend that manufacturers do not do this now.

Ollie
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SoCalTiger,

I have gotten away from configuring lights with strobe. I mainly had it on lights so that I could alert drivers that someone was there, rather than being just a static source of light. But I found I could get the same effect by just sweeping the light back and forth, being careful not to direct the light at the driver's eyes.

Ollie