Review: Shadow TC350 (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650)

Shadow's TC350 fills the slot in their lineup as the only dedicated 1x18650 light (the GF1 is a hybrid w/shorty tube):

It utilizes the same UI as its brethren except that it features an extra forward mechanical clicky tail-switch in addition to the electronic side-switch (like on the TC500 and JM07). This is a very popular and thus crowded segment, let's see how it holds up to its peers...

- Cree XM-L U2 LED with lifespan of 50,000 hours,maximum output of 600 lumens.- Digitally regulated output, maintains constant brightness.
- Low voltage warning flash.
- Reverse polarity protection.
- Tactical forward click switch for on/off operation.
- Ergonomic side switch to enable mode switching; 3 light levels and 1 hidden strobe mode(acquiescence):
High, Medium, Low (Strobe accesed via quick double click).
- Textured Aluminum reflector.
- Beam throws over 200 meters.
- Made of durable 6061 aluminum alloy.
- CNC manufactured.
- Stainless steel bezel and lanyard ring.
- Toughened ultra-clear glass lens.
- Premium Hard Anodized Type III Grey finish. Scratch resistant and anti-abrasive.
- IPX-8 waterproof.
- 144mm(Length)x21mm(Body)x37mm(Head).
- 135g weight (batteries not included).
- Powered by Li-ion battery: 1x18650. 2x18650 with optional extended battery tube.
- Test run(Powered by 1x18650,capacity of 3.7V/2600mAh,Sanyo):
High Mode:1.3 hrs,800lm
Med. Mode: 4.3 hrs.
Low Mode: 13 hrs.
- Included accessories: lanyard/spare rubber switch cover/O rings/glass lens/switch.

The TC350 arrived in the following generic box and a padded envelope for cushioning, this came from the very first batch (circa Nov 2012) so the lights being shipped now may be packaged differently:

Additional accessories included are:
1 x lanyard
2 x small o-ring
1 x lens and corresponding o-ring

Here is a complete video summary of the TC350:

The TC350 is capped off at the head with a SS bezel which is perfectly flat thus doesn't allow one to notice if the light is on if placed on a flat surface:

It's removable allowing access to the lens, o-ring and textured reflector:

The reflector measures 30.9mm in diam by 27.2mm in depth.

The lens isn't AR coated:

It measures 34.1mm x 1.8mm in case one desires to replace it.

With the reflector out of the way, it allows good access to the emitter thus it looks reasonably easy to upgrade/swap:

The head itself is bereft of any design elements save for one circumferential groove. Just aft of that are ample cooling fins to help the TC350 shed heat:

The edge of the fins work in conjunction with the flat surfaces around the side-switch collar to aid with anti-roll.

As with the rest of their lights featuring a side-switch, their is a SS ring that adds a nice aesthetic touch:

The battery tube is perfectly round and feature the model and company name:

The rubber ring can slide fore and aft to create a custom and potentially better grip.

The tail-cap features a mechanical forward-clicky switch that acts as the master on/off thus it can be used for momentary or signaling purposed without worries of accidental output change. The machined grooves around the tailcap help aid with grip:

The lanyard attachment ring is able to spin freely as there is no retaining ring like on the TC750X or TC500.

There are springs at either end of the light to aid to help with recoil (if gun mounted):

Given the added space that is compressible, it can accommodate my shortest (AW IMR 1600 @ 65.2mm) and longest (XTAR 18700 @ 69.2mm): cells without any issues.


L to R: Redilast 3400 | XENO S3A | Shadow GF1 w/18650 tube | Sunwayman T20C | Shadow TC350 | XTAR TZ20 | ThruNite TN11S | Crelant V9-T6 | Niwalker NWK600 N1 | Nitecore P25

The TC350 is one of the more compact 1x18650-sized lights despite its tail-switch. It fits very well in my medium-sized hand in either over/under-hand grip:

The adjustable rubber ring can slide fore and aft on the tube to create a custom grip. For my personal use, I find it best between my middle and ring finger. It also allows for comfortable cigar-grip use.

As mentioned in the TC750X and TC500 reviews, the tubes are lego'able between these three lights thus allowing for some interesting combos. Here is the TC350 w/the TC500's tube which allows it to run on 2 x 18650 for increased runtime (there is no increase in output running on two cells though):

L to R: RediLast 3400 | SHADOW TC350 w/TC500 tube | Lighten7 Max L2A | SureFire M3LT | Sunwayman TC40CS | Olight M3X Triton XM-L2 | Crelant 7G5CS | TaoTronics ThorLite TT-TF03

The TC350 is on par with the rest of their newer releases; that is to say that while it's not bad and improved from the very early JM07 I have, it could still make do with some additional refinement. Starting with the anodized finishing, the head is a slightly lighter shade vs. the tube & tailcap:

NOTE: Flash intentionally used to highlight shading differences.

Overall, the anodizing has been applied well with none missing in the crevices or around edges. Perhaps the only area where I can detect a very minor imperfection is between the angles in the machined grooves on the tailcap:

However, I really need to be looking for it to see it.

The bezel threads on nice and flush and the laser-engraving is sharp with minor blotchiness in certain areas:

While the threads are square-cut and anodized on both ends, they just don't give the same silky smooth feeling as say on a Sunwayman light:

Last but not least, the ID of the base of the head is just a tad large:

However, given the thick o-ring used, it shouldn't compromise the water-resistance.

Overall, the TC350 feels solid enough, but as with the rest of their recent releases, they're like diamonds in the rough and can do with just a little more polish...

The UI on the TC350 is very straightforward in that the forward-clicky tail-cap switch functions solely as the master on/off and the side-switch cycles through the three output levels: H > M > L and accesses strobe if depressed twice. As with the rest of their lights with a side-switch, it is fairly easy to accidentally activate the strobe while cycling through the output levels since the spacing isn't tight enough. There is no memory so it'll always come on in H.

Indoors (5m)




For details of the above indoor shots and comparo vs. many other lights, please check Epic Indoor Shots Trilogy

The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw
- Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3400 on High, read this as 1.7hrs or 101min)
- As of May 2012: Lumens measured on my PVC LMD @ 30 seconds
- Also for Turbo, captured the temperature: ambient, the head/fins at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)

Max output measured @ 30 seconds was 736lms w/the RediLast 3400 (note: although I calibrate my PVC LMD before each runtime/lumens testing, the ambient temp will also cause deviations in readings).

After a slight dip, the TC350 initially runs decently regulated for a short duration before attempting a mild boost to stay in regulation and then going into a drawn out decline when the cell can no longer maintain the necessary current draw. The low-voltage warning (light will flash continually) kicks in at the very end of the run thus it's important to charge the cells immediately at this point since it's already very depleted.

The TC350 competes in one of the toughest segments (1x18650 / 2xCR123) which is saturated with many quality competitors. While the fit & finish has improved from their earlier lights, it can still stand to be a little more refined. Its main saving grace is the price of entry which undercuts some of its competitors comparable models by nearly half. I remain hopeful they'll continue to work on the quality aspect in future iterations so for now, here are my thoughts:


  • legoability using the TC750X/TC500 battery tube allows for 2x18650 version for extended runtime
  • OP refelctor produces nice smooth beam with decent throw and no ringiness
  • forward tail-cap clicky switch only functions as master on/off so allows signaling without fear of changing output levels


  • while tail-cap threads are square-cut, they just don't have that ultra silky smooth feel, that's not to say it's rough or bad, just not great
  • quick cycling of output levels can accidentally trigger strobe
  • minor blotches in the anodized finish (not as evident as say on the SL3 or JM26)


  • smoother feel for the threads
  • tighten-up timing required to activate strobe
  • stand-by mode so one can shut off the light without having to activate the tail-cap switch
  • AR coated lens
  • more output levels implemented via different UI (a la Zebralight)


TC350 provided by for review.

Thanks for the review TurboBB, I particularly like how you measure the beam angle on your videos. Look forward to the completed review.

You're welcome!

All, indoor shots now added.

Review now completed.