This light was kindly provided by GearBest!
I hadn’t heard at all about this light before GearBest asked me to review it, but it seemed interesting. It reminded me of a C8, but rechargeable.
Link to to the TA02: http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_402473.html
You can bring the price down price to $32.69 for a whopping $0.80 in savings with this coupon: TA02GB
LED: Cree XM-L2 U3
Luminous Flux: 1020LM
Luminous Intensity: 35000cd
Color Temperature: 6000-7000K
Switch Location: Side Switch,Tail Cap
Feature: Cooling Slot of High Efficiency,Pocket Clip,Power Indicator
Function: Camping,EDC,Hiking,Household Use,Walking
Battery Type: 18650
Battery Quantity: 1 x 18650 battery (not included)
Mode: 7(Turbo; High; Mid; Low; Moonlight; Strobe; SOS)
Mode Memory: Yes
Waterproof Standard: IPX-8 Standard Waterproof (Underwater 2m)
The Nitenumen TA02 is a rechargeable XM-L2 light that’s powered by an 18650 battery. It has a forward clicky tail-switch and a side-button. It has some neat features, like a lighted switch that tells you estimated battery capacity, and output that’s temperature controlled.
This is a really great light. I’m surprised by how much I ended up liking it. From the website pictures it seemed like a bad Nitecore knockoff, but it’s actually very well made and thoughtfully designed with a lot of extras thrown in. It holds its own weight.
In the Box:
It comes with a spare o-ring, a lanyard, a fairly nice micro-usb cable, a spare USB port cover (yay!), a top notch holster, and the manual/warranty card.
I’m VERY happy that it comes with a spare USB port cover. I’m always afraid that I’ll end up damaging it one way or another, and knowing I have a spare is a nice peace of mind.
The holster is pretty fantastic. It even has a little tag that says “Nitenumen” on it, which gives me the impression of a quality product. Notice I say the impression of one. I just really like that sort of stuff.
The holster is made out of thick material. The belt loop on it has velcro plus a snap fastener to quickly remove and fasten the holster to your belt.
The TA02 is a long light. It is kinda like a longer, more modern looking C8. Even throw is almost identical to an XM-L2 C8, but I’ll get into that later. It’s maybe half an inch taller than my XinTD C8.
The design isn’t tacticool since it’s pretty clean for the most part. There’s fins where there should be fins, and there’s no unnecessary jagged edges or pointy bits anywhere. It’s real nice in the hand, and feels smooth. Even in the pocket, it doesn’t snag on anything.
The side-button is very big, and is easy to spot by feel without looking, and the light is able to tail stand.
The light’s USB cover, tailcap, and knurl are very similar to that of my MH27’s. It’s not a bad thing at all since they’re good designs.
The TA02’s body tapers pretty heavily from the one end to the other. Starting from the head, it start bumping down in size in steps and gradually gets thinner all the way to the tailcap.
The head and side-button area have a good amount of fairly standard fins.
The head has crenelation but it’s not at all aggressive.
The USB cover can be opened and rotated out of the way to make inserting a cable easy. With the Eagle Eye X5R and X6R, I have to hold open the flap with one thumb to insert the cable. It’s just a bit easier with the TA02’s flap. No big deal, but nice.
The clip is a deep carry one and it’s great if you have the pockets for it. All of my pants have been able to carry it at the deepest the clip can go. The clip is awesome. Fans of deep pocket carry clips will love the TA02’s clip.
There’s two flats on the body: one side has the logo and model, the other side has the website (yuck) and serial number. I could do without the website. Looks tacky.
Here’s a size comparison with an X6, S2, and C8:
All in all, the physical design of the TA02 is excellent.
My favorite part in any review…build quality!
As usual, there were no knicks, blemishes, or scratches on the light out the box. The reflector and lens were clear of any dust and fingerprints, and the threads were very well lubed. This is one of a few lights were I don’t add more lube.
The anodizing is deceiving, in a good way. When I first SAW it when unboxing the TA02, I was disappointed. It’s shiny. I had the same negative first impression on the shiny finish of the Thrunite TN12. The finish of this light is exactly like a TN12. I personally do not like shiny ano.
Hold the light and the finish feels great. You can feel the thickness in the anodized layer. It also makes the light a bit more grippy, almost sticky. The anodizing is pretty darn resistant too. I made the mistake of clipping it to my belt and walking through an old metal door frame. It sounded like if the sharp metal scrapped the light’s finish to oblivion, but there was absolutely no damage to the light.
The TA02’s anodizing gets a big thumbs up from me.
The body is wonderfully machined without a single sharp edge anywhere. There’s bevels on the fins, body, tailcap, crenelations, button, and the inside of the USB port. Stick your finger in any gap and it’ll be smooth. In conjunction with the anodizing, the beveled edges really help make the light feel solid.
The knurl is pretty close to Nitecore’s own knurl style. Provides plenty of grip. Not at all as light as say, a Convoy or Eagle Eye light.
Both ends of the tube have anodized threads that are triangular, but squared off at the top.
The threads are incredibly smooth. They’re some of the smoothest threads I have seen from all my lights. I think it has something to do with the thick sticky anodizing. It’s very satisfying to open the light.
I also love the o-rings. They’re translucent instead of black which give them a neat look.
But why I really love them is because of how thick they are. Tightening the tailcap, you can feel the friction from the seal the o-rings provide. The o-rings on the head is just as thick. As a result the light is pretty waterproof.
The rubber flap that covers the USB port makes an incredibly tight fit into the body. It’s slightly textured which makes it feel nice. The outside portion is cut out a little rough and you can see some extra material, but it in no way affects the seal.
I’ve been plugging the USB cord in and out of the port multiple times a day to try and get it to fail, and so far it’s held up fine.
Both the tail-switch and the side-button function perfectly fine. There’s no mushiness in either one. The side-button makes a solid click that’s nice and clicky. The tail-switch is very nice too, with no gritty feeling or friction.
The laser etching is as nice as on any good light; clear, clean, and crisp.
The clip as I mentioned earlier, is fantastic and retention is great. It’s like a scaled up Olight S1 clip. There’s no rough edges anywhere around the clip and the color looks like its PVD coated.
It has physical reverse-polarity protection, so button top batteries are preferred.
My longest battery, a protected NCRB fit with room to spare. The spring doesn’t have to be compressed to initially tighten the tail-cap. Some flattops worked (Thrunite 18650s) but my flattop Samsung 30q didn’t work.
The head houses a smooth reflector and an XM-L2 emitter. The reflector looks like its almost the same size as a C8’s reflector, but I was unable to twist open the crenelated bezel to be able to free the reflector and compare.
The lens has no AR coating.
The emitter is accessible through the head. It screws off to reveal the LED, but the reflector/lens stay attached to the head. Solder joints were good, and there is thermal adhesive that attaches the emitter to the integrated shelf in the head.
I really wish the light was offered in XP-L HI. So much that I swapped in one:
I’ll compare performance to the XM-L2 in the Beam section of the review.
As I mentioned earlier, the light has a great seal with it’s thick o-rings. No water ingress was detected when submerging the light in a water bucket for around 40 minutes.
The beam is almost identical to a XM-L2 C8’s beam which is a great thing. It’s throwy and has a wide spill. Like an XM-L2 C8, it’s not extremely throwy and can be used for things somewhat close. It’s not ideal, but it gets the job in up close tasks. Obviously, it is great for distant things since it is a good thrower.
The tint is cool white, but the bearable kind. It’s not harsh blue. Still wish it was available with neutral white options.
The TA02 is driven at 2.8 amps at turbo.
Here’s a beamshot of the TA02 lighting up a treeline that’s about 180 meters away:
And just for fun, here it is pointing up:
I measured throw to be 33205cd, or 364 meters.
As a comparison, on my ThorFire C8S, I measured throw to be 30120cd or 347 meters
Pretty close numbers.
For the curious, with an XP-L HI, the TA02 does: 61200cd or 494 meters. I didn’t attempt to focus the beam to it’s ideal spot, so that number could increase. The reflector opening for the emitter isn’t as wide as a C8’s, so you won’t be able to use Convoy’s awesome XP-L HI gasket without some modifications. I used a standard gasket and got okay focusing.
The TA02 is turned on by the rear tailcap switch, and it’s modes are controlled by the side-button. Momentary-on is possible on the TA02. It has 7 modes: very low, low, medium, high, turbo, strobe, and SOS.
Single pressing the side-button switches through the modes: very low (8 lm), low (60 lm), medium (150), high 450), and turbo (1000).
Here’s all 5 modes taken with the same camera settings to give you an idea of the mode spacing:
As always, the lowest mode should be lower; at most 1 lumen, but 8 lumens isn’t a deal breaker. Apart from that, the modes are fairly well spaced. All modes give you a nice noticeable bump in brightness from one to the next.
Holding the side-button takes you into strobe, and single pressing while in strobe takes you to SOS. These modes are retained in the memory, so when turning the light off and on in strobe/SOS, it will stay in those modes.
The thermal regulation took 7 minutes to bump the light down form turbo to high at room temperature. Single pressing the side-button again bumped it back to turbo. The light was fairly warm when it bumped down, so I think it’s set at a good threshold.
The side-switch lights up blue indicating good capacity and lights up red when it’s time to charge the battery. The red light came on with the battery at 3.6 volts. At around 3.4 volts, the red light starts blinking. I’d like if there was an in-between light color that showed 50 percent capacity since the red light comes in at what I consider to be 0-25%
At 2.9 volts, the light can only be used in the lowest modes. Trying to move up a mode results in the light flashing, then going back to the lowest mode. There is no low-voltage protection, just plenty of low-voltage warnings. I discharged a cell down to 2.53 volts and it didn’t shut off. If gifting this light, I’d throw in a protected battery just to be safe.
The light’s built-in charging is used by plugging in the USB cable and clicking the tail-switch on. Red blinking means it’s still charging, blue means it’s finished. The charger terminated charging at 4.18 volts. I’ve charged quite a bit of batteries with it, and the ending voltage is always 4.18. I’ve inserted fully charged batteries to see if it could overcharge them, and nope, it does not.
I can comfortably rely on this lights charger.
- Great build quality.
- Lighted side-button.
- Built-in charging.
- Great output.
- Great throw.
- Temperature regulated.
- Great holster.
- Affordable price.
- A proper moonlight would be great.
- No AR coating on lens.
- No low-voltage protection.
Simply put, the TA02 is a pretty darn great light. It’s a great performer with top notch build-quality that’s easy to use, has awesome features, and is pretty affordable.
I have no issues recommending the TA02.
- View all 47 images here: http://imgur.com/a/haHVn
- All my beamshots use the exact same camera settings and approximate positions for the treeline beamshots. Feel free to compare lights.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this review!