‘Thrunite Ti - The first AAA lights with firefly mode in the world!’; and eye catching statement, especially for a fan of low low modes like me.
The second interesting feature is that the two modes are accessible, not by turning off and on again, but instead simply by tightening the head more. This very simple interface is very user friendly and makes it an easy light to use and gift or lend out.
PART 1 – Initial Impressions:
For a very reasonable price the quality of this torch is excellent. Everything is precise and well finished and the knurling deep and crisp.
The head turns more smoothly than any other EDC light I have used and the first sign of resistance that you feel is the point at which the low level (firefly output) comes on. Firefly, at 0.04Lm is barely visible in normal lighting, but is a very good level for fully dark adapted eyes, then about 1/16th of a turn more and the high level comes on….and what a high it is!
From an AAA light the Ti produces a surprising amount of light and without having to resort to li-ions can really impress. It may not be able to keep up with li-ion output levels, but from AAA is surprisingly good.
What is in the box:
A nicely presented box with the ‘first…in the world!’ proudly emblazoned on the front.
The plastic carrier tray out of the box
The Ti comes with two spare o-rings, a split ring and instructions.
The Ti’s LED is well centred, and the reflector comes right up to the LED dome (unlike some other lights where the reflector only comes up to the edge of the LED support).
With the head removed you can see the positive and negative contacts of the Ti. The Ti does not have a normal spring, instead having a circular foam pad on the positive terminal which pushes the battery terminal away from the contact as you unscrew the head to turn it off. I will be curious to see how well this holds up in the long term.
Shown here with the head removed and brass threads visible
Modes and User Interface:
The Ti has two output levels and is available with either 0.04Lm (firefly) or 3Lm for the low level and 60Lm for high. The one I am reviewing here has the firefly low.
To access the low level turn the head until you feel the first hint of resistance and the low level comes on. Turning the head a further 3mm (at the circumference) and it switches to high.
This is very simple and intuitive to use.
Batteries and output:
The Ti takes AAA batteries and will work with alkalines and NiMH. There is no significant measurable difference in output between these types of battery. I have been using NiMH as my preference is for rechargeable batteries.
The Ti’s high output is very bright for a single normal AAA battery and noticeably brighter than the popular iTP A3 as shown very clearly by the lab testing.
PART 2 – In The Lab
As in a previous review, I decided to try and quantify the actual beam profile. There are probably many flaws in my method, but it is simple and easy to carry out and seems to provide a good enough comparison.
The method used was to put the light on the edge of a table 1m from a wall, with a tape measure on the wall. The zero of the scale is placed in the centre of the hotspot and a lux meter is then positioned at points along the scale, with the measurements recorded. Beam shots are often taken with the light shining on a flat white wall, so this method is simply measuring the actual intensity across the beam on a flat surface, not the spherical light emission.
The results are then plotted on a graph.
For the best throw you want to see a sharp peak with less of the distracting spill. For the best flood light the trace should be pretty flat.
Here the Ti is shown next to the Fenix LD01, E01 and iTP A3. You can clearly see how the Ti has a much brighter hotspot.
Taking this a little further, I calculated an approximate factor to apply to the lux measurements, as each measurement gets further from the centre of the beam, it corresponds to a larger area onto which the light is falling. It seems to me that this should also be taken into consideration, so I applied these area corrections and came up with this odd looking graph.
The key quantity here is the area under the graph line. This should correspond to the total light output. Here you can see the diffuser has put more light energy into the spill and widened the hotspot.
The Ti, despite having a brighter hotspot and better throw, has less total output than the LD01 although more than the A3.
PART 3 – The beam
The beam is very well formed with strong hotspot but reasonable spill as well.
Firefly is a great low low output and here is show next to (from left to right) the Zebralight SC51, Quark AA Regular, Thrunite Ti and Photon Freedom Micro all in lowest output mode.
PART 4 – Using the Ti
Looking at them and a few graphs doesn't tell you much about what this is like to use and how it performs in different situations.
An EDC torch is going to fulfil different roles to larger heavier duty torches. Each of us will have different every-day tasks for a light, be it as a back-up for a larger light, lighting the path to and from a car, helping get a key into a lock, peering down a drain, looking inside computing hardware or the boot of your car, the list is endless.
The Ti with firefly fits a specific role when you need the lowest low. The contrast between high and low is extreme and in general use you might feel it could do with a low of 3Lm or so…well you are in luck as the Ti comes in version with 3Lm instead.
For a general EDC I would choose the 3/60Lm version. For a bedside light used for night time wandering about the house the firefly version is the best choice.
I’ll update post 2 of this thread once I have some more comments to add....
(Note: this light was a personal purchase and not supplied by anyone for review)