[Review] Nitecore TIP Cu ... 360 lm + Copper + USB Charging

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[Review] Nitecore TIP Cu ... 360 lm + Copper + USB Charging

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Hi All! FastTech sent me the Nitecore TIP Cu to test. The Cu is a new addition to the now wide variety of NItecore TIPs available. This time it’s solid copper, a much coveted material for fashion and performance oriented EDC’ers. It’s still the same specs as the previous versions but I’ll add my tests to plethora of info on this beauty.

 

Nitecore TIP Cu Keychain Light Review CivilGear 000

Product page: http://shrsl.com/16irz

 

Overview

Overall, this light is very easy to use, versatile 2-button interface, and has a strong output that doesn’t step down at all. My only wishes would be to have electronic lockout and a more straight forward key ring accessory.

 

Quick Specs

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Features

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Included

  • TIP Cu light
  • 3 key rings/clasp
  • Paperwork

One thing to note is that the light does not come with a micro USB cable or a wall charger but pretty much any USB charger setup will do.

Nitecore TIP Cu Keychain Light Review CivilGear 010

 

Options

The copper version of the TIP has only one LED option. There are many other options now for the TIP. There are 2 other base materials, “metallic” and “SS” or stainless steel. For metallic, there are 7 body colors and cool and neutral LEDs available. For stainless steel, there are 3 body finishes but only cool LED available.

 

Price

Current price is about $37 USD but you can get it for only $30 from FastTech.com (buy links at the very end of the review)

 

Look & Feel

The general flat shape feels very stable and has great tactile switches which are easy to locate. The switches have a very audible click when pressed.

The fresh out-of-the-box the shiny copper looks amazing but be warned that over time the copper will oxidize and finger prints may leave a semi-permanent mark.

The clip itself works ok but trying to use it as a switch cover is a little bit annoying as you have to take the whole thing off to turn on the light.

The overall, weight was more heavy that I was expecting.

The key ring loop on the light is a double bar which is very strong. The key rings and clasp provided to attached to the light are a little confusing as to which one(s) should be used or what order they all go in.

 

Optics

LED specs

The specs say the light uses one CREE XP-G2 S3 LED (pictured below) but I have a feeling that the LED is actually the XP-G3

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Beam Profile

The light has a medium wide 30 degree FWHM beam angle. This is the angle at which light output has reached 50% of maximum. The total spill beam angle is about 90 degrees.

Currently, these readings are strictly sensor recorded, and are not adjusted based on human perception of light.

 

Tint

Overall a bit cool plus: the spot has a faint purple, the corona is a some yellow, and there is a bit of a yellow halo at the edge of the spill. Below is the TIP on the left and the Nichia 219B on the right (in the Nitecore MT06MD)

Nitecore TIP Cu Keychain Light Review CivilGear 014

 

Output Levels

Here’s a run-through of all the different output levels:

 

Outdoor Beamshots

 All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO.

 

Power

Charging Tests

The light charged in about 1 hr 50 min and I calculated the capacity to be 600 mAh, which is more than the advertised 500 mAh.

NITECORE-TIP-CU-USB

Indicators

The light has a red/green power indicator. I believe that the red indicator is now a little bit brighter than before which will help when checking the light during the day.

 

Charging

When charging, the light will be steady red; when complete the light will be steady green.

 

Battery Check

To check the battery level, from off, single click the mode button; the indicator light will blink 3 times for battery greater than 50%, 2 times for battery less than 50% but more than 10%, and 1 time for below 10%.

 

Low Power Warning

When the light is on and the battery is low, the light will blink red

 

One neat thing is that the light can run while being charged at the same time!

Nitecore TIP Cu Keychain Light Review CivilGear 013

 

Performance

Runtimes

The caveat to start here is that as long as you don’t let go of the turbo since the start, it will stay in turbo without dropping down, but if you turn of and on the light, the thermal protection kicks in and you can’t access turbo until it’s cooled. The turbo lasted about 26 min and over the next 6 min it dropped down to 10% with no turbo reset. When I tested a turbo reset at about half an hour in to the test, the light output dropped and would not fully go back to turbo.

NITECORE-TIP-CU-UNCOOLED_1

Temperature

A max body temp of 146°F and out-the-front temp of 164°F was observed for starting in turbo with NO reset, this body temp is a bit hot for the usual Nitecore light.

 

PWM Check

There appears to be no significant PWM on any constant mode. For comparison, the third graph shows PWM varying from 0 to 120 lx on the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.

Strobes

No strobe.

Flashing/Beacon

No other modes.

 

User interface

The UI is very similar to Nitecore’s typical 2-button electronic switch interface which features shortcuts to ultra low and turbo.  One thing to note is that the turbo can only be latched from the shortcut to turbo, it is not in the primary mode cycle, but still can be momentarily accessed. One thing that wish the UI featured was an electronic lockout function.

Nitecore TIP USER INTERFACE DIAGRAM CIVILGEAR 01_1

 

Comparisons

Nitecore has made a few different types of keychain lights but they are all a little different including the closest being the TINI.

 

Conclusions

 Highlights

  • Good UI 
  • Great material
  • Solid body
  • Can run while charging

 

 Comments

  • Would like an electronic lock out
  • Keychain accessory is a bit confusing
  • If you don’t let go of turbo it gets pretty warm
  • Doesn’t come with a USB cable
  • Plastic clip/switch cover is a little annoying to deal with

 

Purchase

The current price for the light is about $30 USD and if you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, amazon gives me very small % of their profit):

FastTech Link: http://shrsl.com/16irz

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Notes

Disclaimers:

  • CivilGear Reviews received this product from FastTech.com for testing and providing an honest review.
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for writing this review.
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in FastTech.com Affiliate Marketing Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to FastTech.com