Review: ThruNite pre-production 3 XML light with measurements and outdoor beamshots

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HKJ
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Review: ThruNite pre-production 3 XML light with measurements and outdoor beamshots

ThruNite pre-production 3 XML flashlight

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ThruNite has made many lights, this is their most powerful light to date. It has 3 XM-L leds and uses a magnetic ring for mode selection, on/off is controlled with a tail switch.
The light is made of aluminum with anodized finish.

I got an early version of the light without any accessories or engraving on the light.

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The light uses a smooth reflector with a 3 XM-L leds.

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The head designed includes a heat sink.

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Just below the heat sink part is the ring to control the light. On my copy of the light the ring does not turn easily, but requires some force, this means that the click-stops are too weak. ThruNite has told me that this will be fixed in the final version.

UserInterface

The light has six brightness settings, strobe and standby on the ring.

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The backside of the head has a spring for connection to the battery carrier. This spring is long and not very thick and as can be seen on the second photo, I had an accident with it. ThruNite has told me that this will be fixed in the final version.

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The battery tube has triangular threads with anodizing and a o-ring to seal the connection.

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Inside the battery tube is not the usual single spring, but two springs. This probably means that the light has an electronic switch and might use a small about of power for it (Measured at 2 mA when switch is on and 0mA when switch is off).
The switch activates when pressed half way down, i.e. it is a forward switch.

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The light uses a battery carrier, that holds 3 18650 batteries in series. The carrier can handle batteries up to 70 mm long.

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It has a small metal plate on the plus contact, i.e. it can use flattop batteries

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The carrier is symmetric, i.e. it can be used both ways in the light.

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Here is all the part the light can be disassembled in without tools.

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Here is a size comparison to other 3 XM-L lights and a single SST50 light (That also exists in 3 XM-L version with the same size).



I like this light (Except for the two issues I mention above), it is one of the smaller and lighter 2000 lumen lights. The ring makes it easy and fast to select brightness and covers a brightness range of around 1:1000 (But the modes are a bit sparse in the low end).





Technical specification and measurements

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The light is rated for use with 3 18650 LiIon batteries.

Measured size and weight:
Length: 179 mm
Diameter: 49 mm to 64.4 mm
Weight: 607 gram with 3xAW18650-26

The light uses a 3 Cree XM-L leds.

Measurements

In the above table I have collected all modes. The current is measured at 11.1 volt. All the estimated runtimes are with a 2600mAh LiIon battery.
The current draw includes the 2mA used by the tailcap.

ThruNite%20XML3%20High

The first voltage sweep is done in high mode. The light uses the a buck regulator and because the brightness starts dropping at 10 volt my guess is that the leds are in series. To find the battery that gives longest runtime on high, check my battery comparison and find the longest cyan bar in the 3.4 volt chart (When I publish it).

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There is no surprice in the lower brightness settings, they uses less power and has less brightness.

Runtime

When doing the runtime it can be seen that the light reduces the brightness after about 3 minutes, this is done to reduce the heat (see below). At the high setting the light can run about 70 minutes.

ThruNite%20XML3%20Heat%2011.1V

To see how this light handles the heat, I did a run on my test bench with a temperature sensor on the light. It looks like the light has two ways to handle the heat. The current (and brightness) is reduced when the light gets hot and after 3 minutes the brightness is stepped down.
A longer runtime would have been nice, but the price for that would be a larger light to get more cooling and that would not be so nice.
Note: My test does not simulate actual usage conditions, but are done on a test bench with only the head of the light and no cooling airflow, i.e. the light will get hotter than during normal use.

Strobe

The strobe does not use full brightness, but includes some pwm.

StrobeFilteredLong

Filtering the pwm, makes it easier to see what the strobe is composed of. It is 14.5 Hz and 6.8 Hz, both with 50% duty cycle.
The sequence is: 10 fast, 4 slow, 10 fast, 3 slow, repeat

pwm5

The light uses pwm at 1000 Hz to control brightness, here is #5 setting.

pwm2

#2 setting

pwmLow

Lowest setting.



Comparison to other Flashlights

ThruNite pre-product 3 XM-L, NiteCore TM11, Fenix TK70:
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Olight SR92, Olight SR91, Olight SR90:
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For the full comparison to other lights with graphs and beamshots see here
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Notes

The light was supplied by ThruNite for review.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): http://lygte-info.dk/

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:21
my9221
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HKJ your reviews are always wonderful! Thanks!

jacktheclipper
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Looks good .

yavi
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The price will tell a lot about this light.

It looks like the + and - are on the front of the battery carrier, meaning there will be less losts passing the current through the body like on the Led lensers.

 

I like more the UF T70 design, it will probably be less quality, but at least it looks better to my eyes.

HKJ
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yavi wrote:
It looks like the + and - are on the front of the battery carrier, meaning there will be less losts passing the current through the body like on the Led lensers.

The loss in the flashlight body is very minimal.

The carrier has + and - both in front and back and the current runs through the body.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): http://lygte-info.dk/

Chicago X
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Thanks for a great, thorough review. 

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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ri chevy
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Real nice! 

TadpolePilot
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If you could let me know when after you check out the up dated version availaankble for sale.

You did a fantastic job on the review I just wish I could understand and remember all your great details!

I will only be able to purchase one. Group purchase please.

Thank you friend

steve

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coolperl
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Interesting light. Too bad it uses PWM instead of full current regulation. The external design reminds me a Sunwayman V60C.

Langcjl
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Really great review. Thanks

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

2100
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coolperl wrote:

Interesting light. Too bad it uses PWM instead of full current regulation. The external design reminds me a Sunwayman V60C.

Sorry for OT...

I guess 1kHz in this Thrunite is more than enough.

My recent 9 days use in Indonesia indicated that it is not an issue as long as you can get past the "flickering".  Each day we have about once or twice power failures, without fail. And i have never recharged the lights at all (though i have brought along with me 7 lights).  It is sort of a flashaholic's dream.  gcbryan and flashpilot, on a light pollution map that place is actually in a grey region. Singapore's in a red patch uggh. You can see a heck lot of DSOs/fuzzies even with a 7 x 50.

(1) TR-J12 is a bit distracting, think it's 250Hz or some from my measurement.  But still usable. 

(2) XTAR S1 486Hz is not detectable in the house, unless you purposely try to detect it with running water or waving hand or you look at the ceiling fan.  General usage like bouncing it for eating dinner.  

(3) Usage in the birds nest houses, no issue.  The swallows for one reason or another don't fly when there are humans collecting them nests.  LOL!  Big Smile

(4) No issue with battery life. More than enough. 200hrs vs 250hrs is pretty academic. Efficiency advantage of current vs PWM control is pretty much an academic argument.

I found that high output is all nice and dandy, but once you are talking about even having a meal with a flashlight, you need to kick the output down.  For eg, the DRY i can only use it in medium 700 lm mode, else it really gets pretty hot.

You also need as much light as possible, the triples are a good idea.  Else in very low light, you only see grey and there is no colour.  It's not "enjoyable".  10 lumens is not a good idea in a large space high ceiling of 3.5 metres with ceiling bounce.

 

coolperl
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Well maybe you're right. The frequency is OK, runtimes are not that bad either.

...But it's like buying an expensive luxury car and instead of real wood inside you discover that this is just plastic.

MSRP will tell, if my complaints are valid.

sb56637
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Excellent detailed review as usual HKJ, thanks very much! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

harry25175
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Design not really eye catching. prefer UF-T70

Lensman
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Another top quality review HKJ. Thank you for all the research you share with us.

warmurf
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Your reviews are always fantastic thank you!  You add a wealth of information for us all to make knowledgable decisions on light purchases- we owe you heaps!

The 3 x XML market is becoming rather flooded.  It's getting harder and harder to decide which one/s to have.  Size seems to be a big difference between lights (from the TK70 to the TM11).  Most seem to have 3 x 18650s, so run times are similar, as is the magic 2000 lumens, of which most seem to actually belt out for a while.  It would be great if someone could make a comparison review of all these triples to compare size, output, runtime, modes, battery set-up, cost, beam type etc so we can compare and decide what we need?

There are too many to have one of each (would be nice!) and while there are some standouts for output and price, there is also now a bunch of lights that are very similar and hard to pick apart.

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Well . . . I think it is a little better looking than a Dry. (not saying much, I know)  I dig the reflector, big time and the reversible battery magazine is cool.  It certainly has the performance to run with the big dogs but I'm guessing this guy will be a little pricey.

Triple XM-L performance + quality = $$

 

thankshkjFoy

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BetweenRides
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Great review, HKJ. Thank you.

Chicago X
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Flashlight Foy wrote:
...Triple XM-L performance + quality = $$$....

 

It seems like the torch version of the old automotive maxim.  In this case it would be:

"Cheap, bright, and good-looking...pick two."

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets