Review NITECORE TM9K

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roma58
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Review NITECORE TM9K

NITECORE TM9K

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The Nitecore TM9K was sent to me directly by Nitecore for review.
For product specifications: https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/tm9k
For the purchase: https://www.nitecorestore.com/NITECORE-TM9K-9500-Lumen-Rechargeable-Flas...

The multilingual manual: https://flashlight.nitecore.com/Uploads/FLASHLIGHTS/download/1574321015.pdf

I am happy to review the latest product released by Nitecore, the TM9K a compact and rechargeable tactical EDC which provides up to 9500 lumens that can be activated quickly at the touch of a button. The first impression, just taken in hand, are the really small dimensions of the TM9K that you hold very well in your hand.
The Nitecore TM9K offers 6 light levels including the Strobe level that can be activated with a double tap.It has 9 CREE XP-L HD V6 LEDs and reaches the maximum intensity of 18000cd covering a distance of 268 meters.
The Nitecore TM9K is powered by a built-in 5000 mAh 21700 rechargeable battery. The charging port adopts the new USB-C interface which uses QC fast charge technology.
It is equipped with 2 tail switches: Power Button and Mode Button.
The Nitecore TM9K has an electronic lock and is IP68 certified with 1m impact resistance.

 




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Features:

 

  • Utilizes 9 x CREE XP-L HD V6 LEDs with a max output of 9,500 lumens
  • Maximum beam intensity of 18,000cd and maximum throw of 268 meters
  • An optical system combined with crystal coating and "Precision Digital Optics Technology" (PDOT)
  • Lightweight and rigid CNC machined unibody design provides superior heat dissipation capability
  • Built-in 5,000mAh 21700 rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • Intelligent Li-ion battery charging circuit with a USB-C port
  • Highly efficient constant current circuit provides a stable output for up to 60 hours
  • Dual tail switches enable intuitive operations for tactical applications
  • TurboReady' Technology (9,500 Lumens)
  • The power indicator beside the dual switches indicates the remaining battery power
  • The power indicator can display the battery voltage (±0.1V)
  • Optical lenses with double-sided scratch resistant coating
  • Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
  • HA III military grade hard-anodized finish
  • Rating in accordance with IP68 (2 meters submersible)
  • Impact resistant to 1 meter

 

Specifications:

Length: 125mm (4.92")

Head Diameter: 40mm (1.57")

Tube Diameter: 26mm (1.02")

Tail Diameter: 28mm (1.1")

Weight: 218g (7.69oz)

 

Accessories:

Clip, Lanyard, USB-C Charging Cable, Holster



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The Nitecore TM9K arrived without the classic Nitecore box. Wrapped inside the bubble wrap I found the TM9K inside its holster and some accessories like the lanyard, the Clip and the USB-C cable for charging.


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The holster of the Nitecore TM9K is in fairly soft cordura with a tear-off closure. Behind we find at the top the D-ring and centrally a double loop including a tear-off loop. The TM9K must be inserted with the head up and once inserted in the holster it remains firmly in place.


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The stainless steel clip, included in the package, once inserted in the torch remains firm and allows and easy insertion in the jeans. On the Clip we can insert, in its two slots, the supplied cord.


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The Nitecore TM9K has good build quality, there are no strange edges or construction residues and it is a compact and manageable EDC. You can close it completely with your hand holding it perfectly. The line is very beautiful and massive, where the numerous cooling fins, that, even if not deep, allow a good heat dissipation. It is made of aluminum alloy with an anodized finish, black in color, hard of military type; very good and robust the coating. The TM9K has a CNC Unibody design and, since the battery is built-in, has no unscrewable parts.
The Nitecore TM9K has an IP68 waterproof rating (submersible at 2 meters) and holds the impact up to 1 meter.

 


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On the head of the Nitecore TM9K, of 40mm, we find 9 small SMO dishes with the 9 CREE XP-L HD V6 LEDs. The optical system has a crystal coating and digital precision technology. The stainless steel bezel is really beautiful and well made. I really like the burnished color and it is slightly crenulated (Strike Bezel). Thanks to the TurboReady technology the TM9K emits a maximum power of 9500 lumens in Turbo in a fast way with just the long press of the Mode button.


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Still on the head of the TM9K, we find the fast charging port with USB-C technology protected by a rubber flap.


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This fast charging port allows the TM9K to be recharged approximately 80 percent in just 1 hour and 45 minutes when charging is done via a QC adapter (Quick Charge 3A), while the full charging time may vary from 3 hours and 30 minutes up, depending on the remaining charge of the internal battery.
When charging is fast, the blue LED in the queue will flash quickly, while if we recharge in a standard way the flashing will be slow. At the end of the charge the LED will remain on to indicate that the Nitecore TM9K is fully charged. According to Nitecore, the fully charged torch can remain on standby for approximately 12 months.


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Well written and legible the writings all placed on the head of the TM9K

 
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The TM9K has a built-in battery (I don't think it's user-replaceable). It is in the 21700 5000 mAh format. This solution may or may not like it; surely the fans or torch experts will not be happy with this solution which guarantees a simpler use, also eliminating the problems related to the replacement of the battery, but precludes the possibility of choice and limits in part the time of use of the torch.


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On the central body of the TM9k we find two knurled circular strips, while in the rear we find the two tactical switches, Power Button and Mode Button as well as the status LED.The power switch is in relief and easy to find and operate even if it does not allow the TM9K to be put to candle. The click is noisy.




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The Power Button (Tactical Tail Switch) allows you to turn on and off the torch and momentary ignition (Momentary-on).
The TuboReady Mode Button allows the variation of available light levels and direct access to Turbo and Strobe.
The TurboReady allows the TM9K to enter Turbo mode (9500 lumens) quickly with just a long press on the Mode key. The duration of the Turbo is approximately 7 seconds before returning to the previously set level.


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The Nitecore TM9K has 5 levels + the Strobe.

Turbo: 9500 lumens
High: 1900 lumens
Mid: 460 lumens
Low: 130 lumens
Ultra low: 30 lumens
Strobe: 9500 lumens

Once the TM9K has been turned on with the Power Button, the blue status LED indicates the remaining charge level of the internal battery. When the light is on and the power level is close to 50%, the blue power indicator will flash every 2 seconds to inform the user. When the light is on and the power is near to depletion, the blue power indicator will flash quickly and continuously to inform the user.

 

Tactical Momentary Illumination

Half press and hold the Power Button to turn on the light momentariy. Release to turn it off.

On / Off

On: When the light is off, press the Power Button until a click sound is heard to turn it on. Off: When the light is on, press the Power Button until a click sound is heard to turn it off. (The TM9K has mode memory. When reactivated, the flashlight will automatically access the previous memorized brightness level or STROBE Mode.

Brightness Levels

When the light is on, short press the Mode Button to cycle through "ULTRALOW — LOW — MID — HIGH".

TurboReadyTM

When the light is on/off, press and hold the Mode Button to directly access TURBO of 9,500 lumens. Release to return to the previous status.

STROBE Mode

When the light is on/off, double press the Mode Button to access the STROBE Mode. When the STROBE Mode is on, either short press the Mode Button or click the Power Button to exit the STROBE Mode.

Lockout / Unlock

Lockout: When the light is on, click the Power Button while holding the Mode Button and release both buttons to access Lockout Mode. The flashlight will flash once before turning off to indicate this process. After that, the power indicator will flash to show the battery voltage. 

Unlock: In Lockout Mode, triple press the Mode Button to exit Lockout Mode. The flashlight will flash once to indicate this process.

Thermal Protection Function

The TM9K has Thermal Protection Function. It will automatically lower its output to avoid overheating when accessing the TURBO or HIGH Level for a prolonged time.

Power Indication

When the light is on, click the Power Button while holding the Mode Button and release both buttons to access Lockout Mode. The flashlight will flash once before turning off to indicate this process. After that, the power indicator will flash to show the battery voltage (±0.1V). For example, when the battery voltage is at 4.2V, the power indicator will flash 4 times followed by a 1.5-second pause and 2 more flashes. Different voltages represent the corresponding remaining battery power levels:


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The Nitecore TM9K next to other torches.

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BEAM AND RUNTIME:

 

The color and the beam of the Nitecore TM9k are pleasant, resulting in no artifacts. Good work has been done with the parable; despite the 9 LEDs the beam is homogeneous even at close range to the wall. The beam is floody with a beautiful shade of white. Excellent the STROBE "ready mode", with variable frequency, which can be activated simply with two quick touches. The Turbo mode is impressive for how much light can get out of the TM9K considering the size of the torch. A bit of PWM is visible through the display of my reflex but not with the naked eye. The start of the spill from the walk is adjacent to the feet.


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Runtimes were performed in a closed environment at a temperature of about 19 °C with the TM9K fully charged.

I should point out that the values expressed by the graphs must be taken, above all, as a reference because they are made with means and environmental conditions different from those used in the laboratory.


1 - Nitecore TM9K at the HIGH level without ventilation.

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2 - Nitecore TM9K at the HIGH level without ventilation the first 20 minutes.

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3 - Nitecore TM9K at the HIGH level with forced ventilation.
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4- Nitecore TM9K at the MEDIUM level without forced ventilation.
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5 - I tried to activate the TURBO level in sequence, from the graph you can see the duration of the Turbo and how many times you manage to operate it continuously. The Turbo switches the light output to the memorized level (HIGH) when it is deactivated.




VIDEO.



CONCLUSIONS:


The Nitecore TM9K is a complete EDC torch. The first thing that catches the eye are the small dimensions with an excellent grip in the hand and the excellent construction to the touch. The TM9K, through the two tactical tail switches, can be managed quickly and easily. Strobe Ready Mode and Turbo Ready Mode allow the TM9K to operate Strobe and Turbo instantly with the power of 9500 lumens. Good the Runtime and the levels (perhaps missing a Moon level) of the Nitecore TM9K which is powered by the powerful 21700 5000 mAh battery incorporated and is rechargeable through the fast USB-C port. In conclusion the beam, floody, is excellent and the color is not too cold.
Thank you for reading the review.

Edited by: roma58 on 12/13/2019 - 11:17
bmengineer
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I have one of these as well, does the tail not unscrew on yours? It’s readily removable on mine.

Find all my reviews of flashlights and more gear at www.bmengineer.com

nydude
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Very cool. Would love to try one of these.

Scallywag
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Does this really do 9500 lumens on a 5000mAh 21700? I didn’t think the 5000s were pushing that kind of amps. And what is the “CREE XP-L HD V6”? original XP-L or XP-L2? They’d have to be pulling over two amps each.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
Unfinished: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Sofirn SP70
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

SKV89
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Being able to maintain 3000 lumens for over 9 minutes without cooling is real impressive for the size. Nothing comes close in this size range. Too bad it drops to under 1,000 lumens afterwards. The sudden shop drop seems weird. Thanks for the detailed review!

Bearbreeder
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So basically a disposable light with 2-3 years of good usage Wink

desmondkun
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These leds look like XP-L2.

Take care of your flashlight and your flashlight will take care of you.

roma58
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bmengineer wrote:
I have one of these as well, does the tail not unscrew on yours? It’s readily removable on mine.

Hi, no I can’t unscrew it with my hands, I didn’t force it with other ways.
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Scallywag wrote:
Does this really do 9500 lumens on a 5000mAh 21700? I didn’t think the 5000s were pushing that kind of amps. And what is the “CREE XP-L HD V6”? original XP-L or XP-L2? They’d have to be pulling over two amps each.

CREE XP-L HD V6 is original with the dome.
roma58
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SKV89 wrote:
Being able to maintain 3000 lumens for over 9 minutes without cooling is real impressive for the size. Nothing comes close in this size range. Too bad it drops to under 1,000 lumens afterwards. The sudden shop drop seems weird. Thanks for the detailed review!

Hi, maybe you can’t read the graph well but are cd (candles), of lumens in HIGH about 2000.
richbuff
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Single cell 21700, 9,500 lumens, 268 meters throw, 40mm/1.57 in. head diameter, 218 gms/7.68 oz: Omg! I ordered one, and if I like it half as much as I am so very excited about these specs, I will get some more of them.

Of course, very high max lumen spec from a single cell will equate to short burst max mode runtime. I can anytime select a normal mode for normal runtime; nice to know the brief massive burst is available.

My guess is soldered battery is better for high amp draw. The battery will last longer than the wait for the lights' successor.

 

Thank you for you valuable and timely review of this little screamer!

I programmed the second of two modes to Hand Cooling.

 

Bearbreeder
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A good light should easily last 3-5 years … probably much longer

A li-on bat will degrade significantly in 500 cycles or less generally

Not to mention is is a light youll want to run quite a bit at the higher levels, else you would just have gotten a s2+ …

So basically yr spending $$$$ for a light that only last around 3 years with constant high powered use …

Valynor
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It won't even make 2-3 years if you use Turbo a lot. ~20A discharge followed by a Quickcharge is about the worst you can do to a LiIon cell, it will be dead long before it reaches 500 cycles. 

Mark2
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Non-replaceable battery is a deal-breaker for lights at this level. I could just about accept it for the TM10K and the Concept 2, where size and shape are pushed to the limit, but the design of this light suggests that it could easily use a replaceable battery. Will have to pass on this one. Throwing a light like this out because the battery is bad is just too depressing, and keeping a dead light in the collection isn’t much better.

As for the notion that this light will last longer than it takes Nitecore to introduce its successor: I’ve thrown out less than 10 lights in 20+ years of using/collecting/modding flashlights, all of which were broken/modded beyond repair. When lights are a couple of years old and not the latest tech anymore, I give them to colleagues, friends and family who will use them for years to come. The world is full of people with age-old plastic flashlights and cell-phone lights for whom a 3 year old high-end light is a huge step up.

As I said before, I never repeat myself.

richbuff
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The question then becomes: Why do manufacturers market lights with built in batteries, when they know that a segment of the flashlight world will be alienated by that?

Is it a marketing or technical reason? The masses who want to charge in-light, without having to handle the battery? Or maybe to have less electrical resistance at the battery contact points? Or a combination of these two reasons? 

Maybe they can offer the product both ways, similar to how the Smith and Wesson Shield is available both with or without thumb safety. 

 

 

I programmed the second of two modes to Hand Cooling.

 

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richbuff wrote:

The question then becomes: Why do manufacturers market lights with built in batteries, when they know that a segment of the flashlight world will be alienated by that?


Is it a marketing or technical reason? The masses who want to charge in-light, without having to handle the battery? Or maybe to have less electrical resistance at the battery contact points? Or a combination of these two reasons? 


Maybe they can offer the product both ways, similar to how the Smith and Wesson Shield is available both with or without thumb safety. 


With a fixed cell, the electrical connection can definitely be better if done right, which is very likely in this case if the TM10K and the Concept 2 are any indication. I’m sure it’s an awesome light, wouldn’t mind having one. Cool

As I said before, I never repeat myself.

bmengineer
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richbuff wrote:

The question then becomes: Why do manufacturers market lights with built in batteries, when they know that a segment of the flashlight world will be alienated by that?


Is it a marketing or technical reason? The masses who want to charge in-light, without having to handle the battery? Or maybe to have less electrical resistance at the battery contact points? Or a combination of these two reasons? 


Maybe they can offer the product both ways, similar to how the Smith and Wesson Shield is available both with or without thumb safety. 


 


 


I strongly prefer lights with replaceable cells, but I get why manufacturers do this. It’s weekly if not more that someone posts on reddit about their shiny new D4 not working with some sort of “it flashes once then turns off” or “the battery is too big”, even though it’s an enthusiast light only orderable from two speciality stores and says all over the place what cell to use. Can you imagine a more mainstream brand sold through multiple venues and Amazon? I bet more than half of them would be returned. The alternative would be to at least include a cell – but still. I think sealed cells are awful, but I understand why it’s done on hot rods like this that are just for showing off anyways.

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Bearbreeder
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Note that the warranty on lights with fixed bats is 2 years instead of the usual 5 with nitecore

richbuff
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Thanks guys, for replies to the question about non-replaceable batteries.

 

This just in from Nitecore: Quote: "Yes, of course when the specifications first came to us in the marketing department, naturally our first question was, why did they not make the battery replaceable/removable for alternative charging methods? The reasoning behind it was that after lots of test, the only way to achieve the >9000 lumen mark with a single 21700 is to basically solder the battery ends to the leads of the flashlight. (No flimsy spring connectors in the TM9K) This way you have a thick enough/strong enough connection that can basically handle the high current draw required to power the >9000 turbo."

I programmed the second of two modes to Hand Cooling.

 

Bearbreeder
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The nightwatch nsx3 would like a word …

So basically the made a disposable light to hit some arbitrary number that doesnt even matter (so what if it only gives say 8000 lumens)

Oh and this thing has a 2 year warranty instead of the usual nitecore 5 year because of the fixed bat … they know when its going to start dying

Thats marketing for ya Wink

richbuff
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Mine, modded with improved heat sinking and including an extended two year modders warranty , is ready to ship to me. I will add my initial impressions to this post when I receive it. I am very excited about this light, but I will try to resist the urge to cross-post in more than a few topic threads about this little screamer. Smile

I programmed the second of two modes to Hand Cooling.

 

richbuff
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I got mine today. The amount of light that comes out of this light of this size is humongous. The effect is indescribable.  I thought I was jaded by large lights that have red zoned high modes, but not jaded enough to be wowed and zowed by this light. Lots of lumens derived happiness.

Also, incidentally, this is my first "tactical" light.

I programmed the second of two modes to Hand Cooling.

 

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Oh boy... I just had to see this....!cool

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

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Can this charge from a USB-C source or does it have to go USB-A to USB-C?

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anonymous_user wrote:
Can this charge from a USB-C source or does it have to go USB-A to USB-C?

Yes if you have the USB-C to USB-C cable?
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roma58 wrote:
anonymous_user wrote:
Can this charge from a USB-C source or does it have to go USB-A to USB-C?

Yes if you have the USB-C to USB-C cable?

Have you tested it yourself?

Not all lights can accept charge using a USB C to C cable hence my question.

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Just 7 seconds of turbo before stepdown? Nope, not for me.

richbuff
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Rexlion wrote:
Just 7 seconds of turbo before stepdown? Nope, not for me.
I have a list of 30 lights that I bought.

 

I have a list of 510,204.08 lights that are not for me. When should I start posting in their topic threads all of the obvious reasons why I will never buy them?

 I bought a budget light that is listed on Neils' website that is capable of doing what fans of that type of light like a lot. After I received it, I saw for myself that it is capable of melting down from excessive heat generation very, very quickly. I liked that so much, that I ordered three more of them.

Oh, by the way, the light has several normal modes for normal runtime and normal heat generation.

Oh oh, by  by the way, so does this one. Smile

 

I programmed the second of two modes to Hand Cooling.

 

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I tested the Nitecore TM9K using the Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights and a Sekonic C-800-U spectrometer. Output taken at 2s from turn-on.

Nitecore TM9K Turbo 8,190 lumens 6637K 0.0017 DUV 69.7 CRI Blue light relative amplitude 1.00 -25.2 R9 44.2 R12 65 Rf 96 Rg included battery
Nitecore TM9K M4 1,879 lumens 6247K 0.0057 DUV 69.0 CRI Blue light relative amplitude 1.00 -34.7 R9 41.2 R12 66 Rf 95 Rg included battery
Nitecore TM9K M3 446 lumens 6109K 0.0072 DUV 69.2 CRI Blue light relative amplitude 1.00 -37.1 R9 40.0 R12 67 Rf 95 Rg included battery
Nitecore TM9K M2 124 lumens 6121K 0.0066 DUV 69.1 CRI Blue light relative amplitude 1.00 -35.9 R9 40.5 R12 67 Rf 95 Rg included battery
Nitecore TM9K M1 33 lumens 6543K 0.0025 DUV 70.0 CRI Blue light relative amplitude 1.00 -26.6 R9 41.7 R12 66 Rf 96 Rg included battery

Note: the TA lumen tube gives lower readings for mules and extremely floody lights. I think we can add 5-10% to the measured output of this light.

The light looks good and it is extremely floody with a somewhat noticeable hotspot at the center. Makes for a great indoor light especially for large spaces. The output is really limited by the 5000K battery in it. I think it is a 50E or M50T rated at 10A continuous. If they used the brand new Samsung 50G rumored to have 15A continouous, it should be able to hit 10k lumens. I'm sure if it used a high current battery like the P42A or 40T, it can do 12k+. I know this is meant as a tactical light but I just wish it could tail stand. I don't like the CCT and tint though so probably won't ever use it as a tail stand light.

roma58
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Good, thanks for your information.