Review: Trustfire F22

TrustFire F22 Stainless Steel Cree XP-ER2-WC 5-Mode 220-Lumen Memory LED Flashlight

Overall Rating: ★★★★★


Battery: AA, NiMH, 14500
Switch: Reverse Clicky
Modes: 5
LED Type: XP-E R2
Lens: Coated Glass (Says DX) - Feels like plastic
Tailstands: Yes
Price Paid: $22.85
From: DX


  • Bright
  • Neutral colour of beam
  • Tight hotspot
  • Well made
  • Plenty of O rings (GITD!)
  • Lubed threads
  • Not a hand burner unlike some other stainless steel lights


  • Switch needs to be hit dead centre or can stick
  • Enormous for a single AA light
  • Heavy (It is made of steel after all)
  • Thermal performance, stainless steel is a less good conductor of heat than the usual aluminium

Features / Value: ★★★★★

A nice 5 mode setup. Sequence is high, medium, low, strobe, SOS. I like stainless steel lights a lot so that's an automatic bonus mark. Comes with a much nicer lanyard than is usual. I can almost get it over my head. It is made of some sort of elasticated material.

Comes with a silly "Assault Crown". Some may regard this as a bonus. I don't. Fortunately it also comes with a more sensible bezel and now that I've photographed it, the silly bezel can go in the bin.

Lettering looks a little odd at this magnification though I'd never noticed this before. It helps having a better camera for doing closeups.

Build Quality: ★★★★★

The threads are rather nice.

The O rings are, as you can see, made from Glow In The Dark (GITD) material. I really wonder why. These probably cost a bit more than non-GITD ones and are never going to be exposed to light, so why bother? The light came lubed as you can see by the grime on the front O ring.

This has been bashed around in my pockets for a while and still looks good. The centre brass (at least I assume it's brass) ring is also to be found in its stable mate the Trustfire F23

Note the cutout for the split ring so that the light will tailstand. Simple idea but all too many manufacturers don't think it through.

It is on the big side though, here it is with some other lights.

Aurora SH-032, Trustfire F22, Akoray K-106, Tank007 E07. All but the first are AA lights.

Battery Life: ★★★

Like most such lights (i.e., lights capable of being used with a 14500) this one really isn't alkaline friendly. Runtime to 50% on high is 27 minutes and 45 seconds though it gives usable light for about an hour. Not really regulated, which is not unusual for alkalines. The output is roughly 85 lumens on high with an alkaline.

Alkaline Medium. Starts at about 45 lumens on medium with an alkaline. Usable light for about 2hr 15 min.

Alkaline Low. Around ten lumens. 12 hours to 50%, usable light for around 16 hours.

NiMH runtimes. All done with a 2000mAh Eneloop freshly charged.

NiMH High - 64 minutes to 50%. More than twice as long as an alkaline on high. Initial brightness is much the same as on alkalines, around 85 lumens.

NiMH Medium 120 lux on lightbox at start - somewhere in the area of 30 lumens. Now rising to 200 lux / 45 lumens or so. Need to clean some contacts before next run. 2 hours and 25 minutes to 50%. Usable light till about 2:45. Some light still being emitted at 3.5 hours, i.e., I could see that it was still emitting light.

NiMH Low -- a bit disappointing this one 9hr 13 min. By 9:30 no light at all. Initial brightness around 9.5 lumens. It did occasionally muster enough current to produce a dim flash - too little light to register on the solar cell. About once every 20 seconds. These runtimes are usually done unattended, often while I'm asleep so the light may flicker or flash for low battery

14500 high. Approximately 220 lumens at switch on, approximately 160 lumens after 30 minutes. I think the cell protection is cutting in early, it was still producing over 150 lumens when the cell shut down.

14500 Medium - 490 lux or about 110 lumens at switch on. 96 minutes run time and still at 67% of initial output when the cell protection cut in.

14500 low. Cell protection appears to cut in at about 2.95V - may be lower as you have to give it a blip of charge to switch off the protection circuit. 7hr 39 min to cut out- pretty much as expected from the current draw.

Light Output: ★★★★

Quite a lot - will run the meters and get numbers. Here are some beamshots I took a while ago. The test range has become rather more reflective again and more snow is forecast.


Low. At last I have found the measuring tape. The apple tree is 15.5 metres (Just shy of 51 feet) from the light and camera.



Summary: ★★★★★

I like this a lot. Despite its rather large size. Here it is with an 18650 and an AA

The switch is the only real irritant - it can stick when hit off-centre.

Overall definitely worth five stars. the only drawbacks are size and switch.

Thanks very much Don, great review! Excellent photography. Frontpaged.

This looks like a very nice, well made light, and it personally is interesting to me. My only complaint is the price- if it cost closer to $15.00 I would buy it in an instant.

Another observation is that I would like some knurling. I wonder why they never knurl SS lights. It does look pretty nice still after having been carried in your pocket.

As for the GITD O-rings, I think I know why they use them-- I suspect it's an economy of scale cost-cutting move. They probably use the same material for the tailswitch boot as they use for the O-ring, and they buy the GITD rubber in large quantity at a discount, and use the same stuff for everything.

What's the scoop on the R2 LED compared to an XP-E Q5 in terms of efficiency, color, and brightness?

Once again an awesome review.....i also like the light without the attack bezel. Medium seems to be good for everyday usage.

As the brightness binning goes up, the efficiency rises. A Q5 bin produces between 107 and 114 lumens at 350mA, an R2 produces 114-122 lumens at 350mA. (R5 is 139-148 lumens at 350mA)

The LED in this is an XP-E which is the same die as the XR-E but in a smaller package. Efficiency is the same as it is the same die. An R2 will always be more efficient than a Q5 for the same forward voltage. A bottom of the bin R2 is essentially the same brightness/efficiency as a best of bin Q5. The colour on this example is about as good as it gets. It is rare for a DX light to give a colour bin - this one is a coolish white, more blue than noon sunlight (Conventionally 5600K). A WJ bin would be the warmest, but WC is not bad at all 6350-700K colour temperature. I've never seen LEDs sold by forward voltage - i.e., the voltage at which they produce light. This tends to go down after the first few hours and therefore they get more efficient (up to a point) over the first several hours. Obviously, this improvement does not continue indefinitely.

SS is considerably harder than aluminium, some grades are hard enough to wreck most machine tools' edges. It is probably a lot more difficult to knurl stainless steel than aluminium and the tooling wouldn't last long. A friend once got given some scrap threaded stainless steel bar (About 40mm diameter) which he'd turn on his lathe - this stuff was so hard that it just wrecked his tools without the thread being turned off. Took some drastic heat treatment to get that stuff soft enough to machine.

Actually I have to go to some effort to get the light out of my hands by pulling on it - at least with warm and dry hands. The shiny balls on the lanyard can slide along so the lanyard can be attached to the wrist firmly.

I didn't consider the manufacturer making their own O rings. Makes sense but this one's switch cover is metal.

Just bought a new camera that can focus a bit closer - it does make picking out details a bit easier.

The pics are fine bud, hey would you be able to post a pic of that klingon bezel on.......guess it makes the beam profile terrible to look at.

Ah, so the R2 is quite an efficient LED, I didn't know that. That is a major perk for this light. Anyone know of any other 1xAA lights in this price range (or less) that use an R-series bin? I'd be very interested to see how the runtime is on low, Don.

A metal switch, you say? I didn't notice that. That's unique.

I also like the side notch for the lanyard ring that permits tail standing.

At my former job we used to send out designs to be manufactured with a heavy diamond knurl on cylindrical surfaces. And that was with medical-grade SS 17-4. So SS knurling is definitely possible, but expensive. And those were mainly one-off jobs, and that's a valid point about tooling wearing out quickly for something that is produced in large quantities. I still wonder exactly how many units do they make of these Chinese lights? 100? 1,000? 10,000? 500,000? And I wonder if they make them in huge batches or small batches, or even on demand?

I kind of like the idea of either beadblasting it to get a stain finish or mirror polishing it. I think I'll try the mirror approach first just to see what happens. Time for some polishing fun....

Stainless steel is hard and therefore not the easiest thing to polish. Does make the scratches from use more evident though. Need to find out if anyone I know has a bead blaster and make it a satin finish instead. Or maybe not...

No idea of production quantities - but there are a billion people in China. I suspect that the export market is a very small part of their business. Though you never know - Russian stuff used to be sold at below the cost of production in order to get hard currency. I doubt this is the case in China as most of the world owes it money.

The light is nice....would've been so much better if there was a clip installed. Mothers polish works good.......faster if you have a dremel with a poishing head on it.

Klingon Bezel!

I like that one Al!

Here you go. The light is tailstanding on top of a door about 60cm/2 feet from the ceiling.

Plain bezel

Klingon Bezel

The silly bezel also roughly halves the light output according to my camera's meter.

And here's the XP-E LED

You think this F22 is legit? The price is way better.

EDIT: But no free shipping. Not such a good deal afterall.

Looks like there is an R5 version of this light, but it's definitely not budget priced.

No doubt it'll make it to DX eventually. But not at $40. QCG tends not to be cheap - I used to use them till I found DX which is usually way cheaper. QCG makes sense once you get into their quantity discounts - but what am I going to do with 300 of any light?

Think I'll be passing on that.

With that bezel on the beam profile would just be useless if one uses side spill as well for looking, thanks Don for posting up that pic.

Initial brightness on an alkaline (1.539V) on high is about 85 lumens. Down by about 20% after 5 minutes. Not designed for use with alkalines on high evidently. But since the alkalines are consumables I'll run the light to shutoff. Even then they may be useful in my backup mouse that can use cells nothing else will still work with.

Down to 7 lumens and nearing the end I think. Not a light to use with alkalines on high. Gave up when I could comfortably look into the emitter. Not really useful at that level of dimness unless your eyes are completely dark adapted. Got 1 hour 52 minutes out of it to useless. The conventional runtime is to 50% which gives a runtime of 27 minutes 45 seconds. Chart to follow. Medium runtime under way.

For some reason i would never use an alkie for runtimes since im afraid of the cell leaking..........but another thought i have alkies in my rc radio when its not in use, and that radio cost me.

It's normally when you leave them in something after they are flat that they leak. Or so I'm told. But I never leave alkalines in anything with significant current drain and faithfully throw out ones from clocks, remotes etc. annually. And I only buy Duracells for the purpose. Personally, I've never had a Duracell leak.

At least since the crap they used to sell in the 80's like the carton of around a thousand of the things (We sold a lot of them in the camera shop I worked in then) that had been put together the wrong way round so that the nipple was negative. At the time I used only Japanese batteries.

But I'm not about to risk it. The cells I am using for this are a variety of whatever my employer (Which employs over a million people) can get cheapest. But since a stores order can take three months to arrive I took in a box of my own (Our pagers eat AA batteries) on the understanding I'd get whatever we got when they finally arrived.

It was the Lucas branded ones that got me laughing - evidently they didn't realise the reputation of Lucas electrics amongst bikers. There was a reason that Joe Lucas of the firm was known as the "Prince of Darkness". I do remember various occasions when Lucas electrics failed spectacularly - sometimes with smoke.

At the moment we're getting Rayovacs but doubtless it'll be a different brand next time. I'll tell you when the order arrives. Our pagers are horrible things that cost a fortune (Over $600 each) - it would take about two leaking alkies to blot out the national savings on buying cheap garbage.

Thats another thing i dont understand, if your company is willing to spend so much on good electronics then why not spend the money on good cells to go with them. Im topping off 8 Duraloops now for the radio.

The Cree docs are now talking about up to S2 bins - hopefully these will be available this year. At that point I'd be tempted to do an emitter swap as long as they are in XP-E format, though it seems they are moving to XP-G dies instead. The XR-E (and I think the XP-G) is now rated at up to 1.5A with adequate heatsinking (not that you are getting this in a stainless steel light) so some brutal driving of the latest bins could be seriously bright. The XP-E emitters are only rated to one amp.

But at saner currents they will be more efficient and run cooler while still giving more light. Using the stock driver which gives 1200mA or well above spec for the XP-E emitter in it a brighter bin could be fun. 300 lumens out of it ought to be achievable by early next year.