Review: Trustfire TR-J16

Trustfire TR-J16 Review

*Flashlight generously provided by

Manufacturer Specifications:

Brand: Trustfire
Model: TR-J16
Emitter Brand: Cree
LED Type: XM-L
Color: Cool White
Number of Emitters: 5
Voltage Input: 7.2~12V
Battery Configuration: 2 x 18650 / 3 x 18650 (not included)
Circuitry: Digital regulated 5000mA
Brightness: 4000LM
Runtime: 1~2 hours
Number of Modes: 5
Mode Arrangement: Hi 100% > Mid 45% > Lo 10% > Fast Strobe > SOS
Mode Memory: Yes
Switch Type: Reverse clicky
Switch Location: Tailcap
Lens: Coated Glass Lens
Reflector: Aluminium Smooth/SMO
Accessories: 1 x Carrying bag
1 x Extension tube
1 x Chinese / English user manual
Dimensions: 9.06 in x 2.48 in x 2.48 in (23.0 cm x 6.3 cm x 6.3 cm)
Weight: 15.52 oz (440 g)
Price: $55.98
Provided by:

Additional Measurements taken by me:

Lens (diameter x height) 59mm x 2mm
Driver diameter 25mm
Switch diameter: 20mm
Reflector diameter: 59mm
Individual reflector cup diameter: 22.5mm
Switch boot (diameter x height) 16mm x 8mm

A good, solid, well made light with a solid 2439 OTF lumens, it's Achilles heel is it's weak anodization. Packaged with the extension tube inside the bubble bag with the main body, the body suffered from scratches in the finish where the ano was completely rubbed off of some edges. In measuring dimensions with my micrometer I caused a few unintended scratches that never should have scratched it. Not a light for the picky of finish or lovers of shelf queens, this light is one for die hard users that need lots of flood in a tough rugged light that care more about function than looks. Consider it battle scarred after regular use and where it proudly. It's a man's light and made for going, not showing.


Output on high is a relatively healthy 2439 OTF lumens. Doing ceiling shots the output is nearly identical to my original Skyray King in hotspot and brightness of spill except that the spill fades out nicely instead of having a defined edge like the spill of the SRK. The light warms up quickly on high and remains fairly stable indicating good thermal management. Here are the output numbers I attained using my Integrated Sphere and lux meter.

Mode OTF Lumens Tail Amperage Amps/LED
High 2,439 2.37 x 3 = 7.11A 1.42
Medium 1,479 1.475 x 3 = 4.425 .885
Low 330 .370 x 3 = 1.11 .222

Measurements below taken at 2 meters

Lux @ 1m 25,400
Throw Distance 318.75 meters

The figures above were taken with 3 cells. Do not run the light on just 2 cells, at least not on high for sure! The driver would appear to be regulated and all modes work using just two cells which cannot be said for other lights of this style. The problem is providing the required amperage with just 2 cells. I tried the TR-J16 in my IS (Integrated Sphere) and the initial output was exactly the same as it was on 3 cells but quickly started to drop as the cells began to work hard but were falling behind. I decided to let it run for a minute and watch it fall just to see how far it would go before it leveled off. This is where the odd thing happened and it's the first time I've ever seen a light do this. After quickly falling by several hundred lux in the IS it stopped falling and as I was about to take it off the IS I saw it start to increase. In amazement I watched it steadily climb right back to the exact output it had when I first fired it up and maintain that exact level! WTH?! I realized just how hot the light was and quickly turned it off. Even the battery tube felt really too warm for my comfort so I pulled the tailcap and dropped the cells into my hand. WOW! They were really warm bordering on hot. Maybe IMR cells would work in 2-cell config with the TR-J16 but with regular cells I would not even think about it.

On the bright side of it all, in 3-cell mode the output didn't falter at all as the light warmed up. It maintained the same output in my IS after a minute or two as it did with initial turn on. Pretty amazing if you ask me. I may revisit things and do an extended ceiling bounce session with the TR-J16 in high mode to see how it fades over an extended period of time.

In the pic below, you can see the scratches around the Trustfire logo in the center of the battery tube. The 3x18650 format means it's a long plunger style and while it will work on 2x18650, I wouldn't recommend it. I think the color is awesome and this type of gray is my favorite for flashlights. Black Shadow uses this shade and it's one of many reasons why I love their lights so much. If Trustfire had only gotten the thickness of the anodizing correct so it would be as durable as the finish on the Black Shadows it'd be a real winner. The light is waterproof for at least a couple feet and it tail stands as well as a tall, top heavy light possibly can. It'd make a great outdoor hunting and camping type of light.

The head is quite solid and heavy with ample fins for good heat disapation. It gets quite warm when running and rather quickly, too. The light is rather front heavy, even with all 3 cells but it gives a comforting feeling when walking the dog at night or braving the dark, zombie infested areas of my neighborhood. I think I'd actually choose this over a 3D Maglite if walking in a dark, unsafe alley. It would make a great skull crusher.

The bezel is polished stainless steel and lightly crenelated. Lots of surface area to wick away the head and tons of mass to handle the heat of 5 XM-L emitters.

The finned stainless ring at the front of the battery tube serves, not only a cosmetic purpose but helps to strengthen the joint where the battery tube threads into the head, not that it needs it as the tube is quite thick where it threads in.

Here you can see where the majority of the scratches were when I received it. Had I paid for this light I would have insisted on replacement but fortunately for me, this is a review sample and the light will enjoy hardy use as my backdoor yard sweeper and bumps in the night light. I also admit it's nice not having to worry about those first scratches. Quite a relief actually :)

The machining on the light is actually very nice. The grooves provide decent grip while giving the TR-J16 a bit of individuality in a market filled with black lights and the usual knurling.

The tailcap is agressively machined but my example suffered from some scratches as well.

A very thick. beefy 16mm boot covers the switch.

Time for the fun stuff - measuring and taking things apart. Sort of.

The head measures 63mm in diameter.

...and is 60mm from the bezel to the end of the fins.

The reflector is extremely solid and heavy. Unfortunately I was unable to remove the reflector and pill, hence the "sort of" comment earlier. I'm pretty sure the reflector threads into the head but may be glued in with thermal epoxy just to be sure it doesn't come loose. Short of breaking out the large pipe wrench, I wasn't able to loosen it from the front.

On a plus, the ano on the head seems much thicker and harder than that on the body and tail. The threads are anodized and quite smooth. The o-ring seals nicely with the bezel.

The reflector itself is just shy of 59mm.

The individual reflector cups are roughly 22-23mm across.

The stainless steel bezel is quite nice. The threads are clean and the o-ring is in the proper place - between the glass and the front of the bezel.

The o-ring for the glass could be a couple mm larger in diameter. You can see below how once the glass was removed the o-ring pulled back from it's groove. When reassembling it I just prestretched the o-ring a little dropped it back in the groove and it all went together perfectly.

The lens is regular uncoated glass. mine had a strange fracture along the edge. It is almost as if the lens was comprised of layers as the crack cannot be felt from either side of the glass. Fortunately due to the design of the reflector and the fact that it still smooth, waterproffing is unaffected as is the light output itself.

The lens itself is roughly 59mm across and 2mm thick.

Onto the rear of the head. The threads here are clean and deep. The machining itself is decent. You can see some slight chatter from the thread cutting but they work very smoothly and have little play. The driver is behind a thick brass threaded ring and the brass contact point is actually a very thick, solid machined spring cap. Not a flimsy stamped cup like is found on most budget lights.

With the contact ring removed we can see the 25-26mm driver hiding deeper in the head. The contact spring is pleasantly heavy and looks like it could handle the amperage. It is soldered nicely onto the center of the driver board. Unfortunately it is press fit and rather tightly, too. It may even be epoxied from behind. Try as I might I was unable to pop the driver out to have a look at it and the inside of the pill. I have a feeling (positive actually) that the reflector is bolted to the pill from behind but without getting the driver out I was unable to get any further into the head. :(

Here is what the driver contact ring looks like

All is pretty well made. Negative contact is passed from the outer ring to the driver via the large spring. It works. The positive contact button is held in place by a white nylon spacer. You can see how thich the spring cap is. It is actually a machined piece and not just stamped out of a sheet disk.

The nylon centering ring is also threaded and very thick. Everything in this light appears to be overbuilt and that's a good thing.

The threads where the battery tube meet with the head are very deep and clean. The stainless outer ring threads onto the tube and is sealed at the rear by an o-ring you can't see yet. The o-ring visible seats very snugly against the base of the head and seals well.

The tube walls are 5mm thick and extremely solid.

Here is the body with the ring removed. You can see the o-ring that seals the base of the ring.

The body is 27mm thick.

On to the tailcap.

Inside is pretty much the same as what is up front minus the large outer spring.

The needle nose pliers helps unscrew the innards of the tailcap. Again, the spring cap here is machined from a chunk of brass. Everything else is standard build stuff.

The threads on the tailcap and extension tube of my TR-J16 were very dirty and had slight traces of fine milling trash. Cleaned up they weren't half bad.

THe switch has a 20mm board and according to the switch stamping it's 1.5A rated but at 250v. It does seem to handle this current just fine though.

16mm switch boot. Very thick and sturdy without being too stiff to press. The switch feel on the light is very good.

The TR-J16 came with a sturdy holster, a couple spare o-rings, an instruction manual and a warranty card.

A light like this definitely needs a holster. Luckily Trustfire saw fit to include one. Here we see the TR-J16 inside it's holster. It's a tight squeeze to snap the flap shut but with a little use it may stretch a hair making it easier to snap shut one-handed.

The rear belt loop of the holster has both velcro and snap, allowing the wearer to put the holster on/off without undoing his/her belt. No fear of it coming loose.


The next pic here is of the TR-J16 by itself. The pic does not do it justice as the camera squeezes shut at the amount of light and makes it appear much darker than it really is. It does give a pretty good idea what is happening behind all of the glare but does not show the large spill area well.

Next up is a beam profile. A surprising amount of focused light considering the 5 shallow reflectors in the head this size.

Here we have the Terminator on the left and the TR-J16 on the right. The brightness of the spill coming from the Terminator nearly washes out the spill of the TR-J16 completely.

Compared to the Skyray King (A very bright original version - 2300+ OTF) in this next picture. In person the spill of the TR-J16 is broader than that of the SRK. The spill of the SRK stops almost abruptly while the TR-J16 just fades away. The TR-J16 is also a bit more neutral tint compared to the SRK in CW.

This should give an idea of the size compared to the other two lights.

Concluding thoughts:

I have to give the TR-J16 a solid 3.5 stars. I really do like the light but the thin anodizing on the body and tail added to it not putting out anywhere close to it's full potential keep me from giving it more. As relic38 points out though, the TR-J16 is supposed to be a blinged out version of the TR-J12. It only succeeds at this to a point but the weak anodizing makes it fall short of it's objective. That said, it still puts out close over 2400+ OTF lumens with plenty of flood and over 300 meters of throw. What's not to like about a light that can light up an acre of land or a football field?

And one last parting shot of the TR-J16 in shorty 2x18650 configuration.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. Feel free to ask questions or offer your opinions or experience.


Great review! 3.5 stars overall is a pretty bad light though.

I think is someone wants a TR-J light they should get either the TR-J12 or TR-J18.

Nice review JohnnyMac! Too bad about the issues with the light though. I like that colour too. I guess if output is all that matters, it’s a good light.
Unfortunately, it’s supposed to be the ‘bling’ version of the TR-J12, so looks are a big factor here.

Thanks, Joe! I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s a bad light just because I gave it 3.5 stars out of 5. It’s actually on the high side of average. Works well, built solid, but just an average light. A better job on the anodizing and it would have had a solid 4 stars with only the average output limiting it.

I've updated the original post with a few beam shots and comparison photos. I think it's safe to stick a fork in it. :)

nice review johnny, I’m quite taken with that light tbh, interesting tube grips, and lacklustre performance is good, you get to enjoy the light as is, then get excited again planning a mod, carrying out a mod and being blown away by the new output. two lights for the price of one in my book. 8)

Great review, enthusiastic yet honest reviews which are not from fanboys are the best! :wink:

Thanks very much for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Good review

Can you post some beamshots in the night with distances?


Hi Johnny.

I guess there is a an error in the amps at the tail report

If batteries are in series the 2.37 amps at the tail will be 2.37 amps with 1, 2 or 3 batteries.

Why do you multiply by 3?

If in parallel you would be correct. In series 2 cells will have a higher draw per cell than 3 cells. The driver pulls 7.11 amps total but testing draw at the tail will only show amps per cell. Multiplying by the amount of cells gives total amps drawn, hence multiplying by 3. Next divide by the number of emitters to get amps per emitter. :wink:

If you buy this light from other sellers it comes in a nice gift box. No scratches at all. If you want to use only 18650 batteries this is the torch to buy instead of a TR-J12 or 18. I can’t see any difference to a J12 in brightness using Sanyo 2600 mAh protected.
Pretty sure 9 out of ten people judge the J16 better looking. In the giftbox add a charger, 3 decent batteries and your father in law will love you for ever.