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Thread: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

  1. #1

    Faint ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    With the TN30, ThruNite has thrown down the guantlet and self-proclaimed it to be the "King of flood light" with a max output of 3000 lumens. We shall see if it lives up to that billing.

    NOTE: This is the finalized production version that I will be reviewing (HKJ had previously reviewed a pre-prod one)


    MFG SPECS
    MSRP: $240 USD
    - LED: Three Cree XM-L U2 LEDs with a lifespan of 20+years of run time
    - Max 3000 lumen output using 3 * 18650 batteries
    - Level 1: 1 lm. 1200 hours; Level 2: 38 lm. 75 hours; Level 3: 352 lm. 10 hours; Level 4: 932 lm. 3.5 hours;
    Level 5: 1580 lm. 2.5 hours; Level 6: 2780 lm. 1.2 hours; Standby: 67 uA; Strobe: 2780 lm. 2hours
    - Working voltage: 8V to 13V
    - Max runtime: 1200 hours
    - Max beam distance: 370 meters
    - Peak beam intensity: 35000cd
    - Impact resistant: 1.2 meters
    - Waterproof to IPX-8 standard, 2M
    - 178.00mm length, 64.50mm bezel diameter
    - Weight: 559.80g without battery
    - Aircraft grade aluminum body structure
    - Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish
    - Ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating
    - Momentary forward click tactical switch
    - Strobe mode for tactical and emergency use
    - Smooth reflector for max light output
    - Highly focused beam for maximum distance
    - Tactical knurling for firm grip
    - Streamlined body design
    - Mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier
    - Intelligent highly efficient circuit board design for max performance and long run time
    - Specially designed for Military, Law Enforcement, Self-defense, Hunting, Search & Rescue and Outdoor activities
    - Intelligent temperature controlled light output for user safety


    PACKAGING / CONTENTS
    The TN30 comes packed within a nifty metal box:


    Additional accessories included were:
    1 x holster
    2 x o-ring
    1 x lanyard
    1 x spare tailcap cover
    1 x user manual
    1 x warranty card



    CONDENSED VIDEO SUMMARY
    In order to provide you with timely info, I've created this quick high-level review of the light and will be fleshing out the rest of the review in the coming days:

    (again, still a relative novice at making videos so apologies if they aren't good)


    DESIGN / FEATURES
    [NEW 6/11: The TN30 bears a passing resemblance to the TN31:


    However, it features a smaller head overall without a SS bezel that is crenellated to allow one to easily see if the TN30 is on when stood on its head:


    There is a double-sided coated AR lens:


    The reflector while relatively shallow is still deep enough to provided pretty decent throw for the tri-XM-L's:


    Just aft of the head are four circular cooling fins followed by three trapezoidal-shaped ones that alternate in pattern:

    These are definitely needed considering the temps this light can achieve (please see runtime section below for futher details).

    The body itself features three "flat" sides of which one is unamrked, the other features the company name and slogan and the final bears the model and serial number:
    ]

    There are two machined grooves that run parallel between each of these flat sides and the body features texturing that provides decent grip:


    [NEW 5/23: The tail cap features two attachment points for the lanyard and has flat surfaces allowing the TN31 to tailstand:

    There is a forward clicky switch that acts as the master on/off for the light (more details in UI section).

    Save for the model/searial no. etched on them, the battery tube and its components is identical between the TN31 and TN30 and thus interchangeable:



    Digging into the "innards" of the light, there is a spring tip for the positive battery path while the metal plate surrounding it mates with the corresponding surface of the battery carrier for the negative path:

    The battery carrier aligns the cells in series and is wired in such a way that the postive/negative paths are redundant on either end thus allowing it to be inserted into the tube either way, care however still needs to be taken to ensure the batteries are inserted with the correct polarity into the carrier.

    There are raised tips allowing the use of flat top cells, however the heatshrink can catch on the edges during removal:


    Both my shortest cells (AW IMR 1600 @ 65.2mm) and longest (XTAR 18700 @ 69.2mm) had no problems fitting in the carrier length-wise, however as per my video review, cells with wider diameters will have difficulty being inserted/removed from the tube:


    The "tail cap" can be removed allowing access to the switch. The aluminum retaining ring helps ensure water resistance for the rubber tailcap and there is an o-ring around it that serves the same purpose:


    Anodizing has been removed on the edge that the switch PCB sits on. The threads aren't square-cut on either end but I had no difficulties during threading:

    They are however anodized thus allowing lock-out at the head (the tailcap wasn't really meant to be removed).

    While the switch itself is mechanical, there are additional chips and resistors integrated into the PCB it's soldered to:


    I measured full voltage @ 12.55v with the battery carrier isolated, but it dropped to 10.34v with the switch inline and turned on and nothing when off:


    The switch itself draws 9.56μA when turned on (again isolated w/just the battery carrier) and measured either through the negative spring or the ground/negative path on the PCB. I however wasn't able to measure any draw when it was off:


    With the switch wired inline w/the head, I measured the current draw of Stand by mode to be 8.55μA when on (this jumps to 91μA without the switch) and nothing when off:
    ]



    SIZE / HANDLING

    L to R: NITECORE TM11 (v1.12) | Niteye EYE30 | Elektro Lumens Big Bruiser | ThruNite TN30 | ThruNite TN31 | XTAR S1 (Production)

    I elected to show how the TN30 compares to other 3 x XM-L with stout tubes but big bro TN31 wanted to tag along so in he went into the group pic.

    There wasn't enough room on my desk to squeeze in an 18650 battery for reference but suffice to say these are all chunky lights, and the TN30 is on the larger side of the 3 x XM-L lights.


    MEASURED PERFORMANCE
    Again, in the interests of time, here is a quick vid on what I measured:


    [NEW 5/2: Taking into consideration there is a factor for deviation with my PVC LMD but given the amount of lights I've measured and the % rate of error, I feel that what ThruNite has quoted which is Max of 3K lms and 2780lms for level 6 is within reason. Just be mindful that the 3K max is not sustained for long but despite the step-down L6 is within the ballpark as can be seen in the runtime chart below.]

    BEAMSHOTS
    Indoors (5m)
    L6




    L5


    L4


    L3


    L2


    L1

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

    Whitewall Hunting
    Exposure settings in sequential reading order from top left: 1/25, 1/100, 1/800, 1/1600 @ f2.8 on AWB (light is ~.4m to wall / camera ~.59m):



    [NEW 6/4: 500ft (152.4m) Beach Shot


    40ft (12.2m) campsite shot:


    100ft (30.5m) tree top shot:

    For details of these shots as well as comparo vs. 23 other lights, check here.

    Also, here is a mini video review I did while camping (best to check thread linked above in beach beamshot before viewing this to get a better understanding of the route taken as well as a layout of the campsite):



    RUNTIME
    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 as taken right before the test
    - Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3100 read this as 1.5hrs OR 91min)
    - Also for High, captured the temperature: ambient, the head at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)

    [UPDATED 5/19:

    As mentioned in my review, there is a soft ramp up as shown at the very beginning of the run. Also, there is a distinct step down of approx. 100 lumens after about 1 minute then it runs in semi-regulated mode for roughly 20mins before starting a gradual drop. There was a flickering at the end of the run to indicate low voltage. At this point, the TN30 was still putting out roughly 180lms.

    [NEW 5/19:

    At L5, while there is no step down, the light does gradually drop in ouput a little at the start and then settles into a pretty well regulated run for the entire duration before output dropped. Using AW2600's I only managed 1.6hrs on this run falling about 1hr short of the claimed 2.5hrs for this level. Will ping ThruNite re: what batteries were used for their runtime testing.


    At L4, there is a less of a gradual drop from turn-on and the TN30 runs just about perfectly well regulated for the entire duration. I again wasn't able to match the claims but at least, it wasn't too far off vs. the L5 discrepancy. HOWEVER, unlike the other levels, I didn't get a low voltage warning at the end of this run with the light just cutting out. I checked the cells but none had a tripped PCB. The cells are pretty old now w/many deep discharge cycles so quite possibly not up to snuff but given the relatively mild current draw, not certain what caused the sudden cut-off. Will see if it happens again with different cells w/future testing.

    For the other levels, given I can't have my light meter locked up for days on end, I took current draw as follows and yielding the respective calculated runtimes:
    ]



    ===

    Here is a quick preview and a temp check before runtime was completed:





    =======
    TN30 provided by ThruNite for review
    Last edited by turboBB; 07-05-2012 at 06:55 AM. Reason: Whitewall shots added

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thanks
    “Videre Nec Videri”

  3. #3
    Enlightened
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    Yellowlaugh Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Stop giving me too many options!!! I was just about to buy a Xtar S1 pre production, before i saw this!
    Now I'm confused on which one to get!!! Whats the price?
    And again great review!!!!
    can't wait for more pictures and the"more to come"
    Last edited by Bruno28; 05-02-2012 at 03:42 AM.
    Thrunite TN30, Fenix Tk35, Klarus TX10, Olight SR Mini, Olight SR52, Olight R40, Olight S10 Baton, Fenix E05, Led Lenser P7.2, Thrunite Ti2, Sunwayman D40A

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Excellent video! Three thousand lumens is unbelievable. Eager to see runtime info. Great stuff!
    Far too many lights to list......

  5. #5

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    great video!

  6. #6

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx guys! I'm still getting a hang of making these and will also start learning how to edit them. Conducting a runtime testing right now and thus far have confirmed there is a step down roughly 1-2 minutes after startup then it runs semi-regulated for a while and then starts a more steep drop. This light does get hot! Check vid in OP for quick preview and explanation.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  7. #7

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Runtime now added, the step-down is subtle (~100 lms).

  8. #8
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Quote Originally Posted by turboBB View Post
    Runtime now added, the step-down is subtle (~100 lms).
    Nice, cant wait for the rest!
    Thrunite TN30, Fenix Tk35, Klarus TX10, Olight SR Mini, Olight SR52, Olight R40, Olight S10 Baton, Fenix E05, Led Lenser P7.2, Thrunite Ti2, Sunwayman D40A

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Excellent review. Many thanks for the time & effort. Tim!
    The light is very bright.
    Latest Review : Jil Lite PenENT Review

  10. #10
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Actually ended up getting one, because of this review!
    Its a great light! Very bright and the 6 outputs are easy to use.
    Thanks Tim
    Thrunite TN30, Fenix Tk35, Klarus TX10, Olight SR Mini, Olight SR52, Olight R40, Olight S10 Baton, Fenix E05, Led Lenser P7.2, Thrunite Ti2, Sunwayman D40A

  11. #11

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    You're welcome Bruno and congrats, enjoy the light!

  12. #12
    Enlightened damanupnorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    wonderful job thank you - I got a ton out of this review
    thank you

    D
    Damanupnorth

  13. #13
    Unenlightened Stumpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Excellent work on the review but it cost me some money, thanks.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx guys!

    All,
    Runtime on L5 & L4 plus current draw for all levels added. Upon saving, I got an error message that only 1 vid is allowed (must be new due to the server upgrade) so for now, I've offlined two of the vids.

    EDIT: Video limitation issue fixed.

    Cheers,
    Tim
    Last edited by turboBB; 05-19-2012 at 05:35 PM.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Tim,

    Your reviews are top notch man! Really fantastic information provided! Thanks for doing all this work, and providing us with the info. --Tim

    PS - I hope to see you at the FCW-9 camping trip
    I must have been left in the dark as a child!

  16. #16

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx Tim!

    Speaking of camping, I just got back from a trip in RI, and got to do long distance beamshots for the TN30 (as well as camping use mini video review). I didn't get a chance to update this thread yet but you can read up about it here.

    EDIT: Outdoor beamshots and camping video now posted (search 6/4).

    Cheers,
    Tim
    Last edited by turboBB; 06-03-2012 at 09:14 PM.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Holy crap! I can't believe how much effort you put into your reviews! Man that camping trip review was great! --Tim
    I must have been left in the dark as a child!

  18. #18

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx again Tim!

    All, new material (6/11) and ceiling bounce now added.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  19. #19

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    That is a super intense review! where can you buy the stuff to check and test the lumen output??? can't find these things..

  20. #20

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx! Your local hardware store should have most items in stock. You can check this thread re: my PVC LMD setup.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, of course you'll have to source your own light meter (I use an Extech HD450) and preferably a few well known/calibrated lights to test the entire contraption with.

    Cheers,
    Tim
    Last edited by turboBB; 06-23-2012 at 01:07 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Whitewall shots posted.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    When the TN30 is running at L2 of 35 lumens, are all 3 LED's on, or is it just one or two at that low level? How about L1? How good(how useful) is the 35 lumen L2 setting? Is it bright enough to see your way around while walking through the back yard for instance? With some lights, especially floody lights that dilute their beam because of their wide spill beam/wide hot spot, the lower settings arent as useful because the beam is so diluted. Whereas lights that have moderate flood/throw do pretty well at 30L for lighting up a pathway while you are walking at night.

    Thanks.....

  23. #23

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    All LED's are always on regardless of the output level selected (to the best of my knowledge, Niteye is the only mfg that selectively lights up and cycles through LED's depending on the output selected). L1 is great for general use around the house at night but might just be a tad little bright for fully dark adjusted eyes.

    L2 is perfect for walking outdoors with (if you'll recall from my camping use video). The TN30 has the second best throw of the four tri-flector lights (the other three being XTAR S1, SWM T60C, NC TM11) thus has a great balance between flood and throw. I measured lux @ 1m for L2 to be 570 which calculates to 48m beam distance but regardless of paper calculations, based on real world use, I feel L2 is perfect for general outdoors use at night.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  24. #24

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    TurboBB, first off I would just like to tell you this was a great review.
    I do have a question though? Out of the TN 30 and TN31 which one would you choose if you have to have just one??? And why?

  25. #25

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx! As for your q, those who have been following my posts for a while will know that in general I have a bias for throwers. However, for actual every day use, the floodier profile of the TN30 is much more practical so I'd have to say between the two (and in consideration of my daily uses) it'll be the TN30. I simply don't have a need for 700+ meters of throw on a daily basis. =)

  26. #26

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thanks for the fast reply I really appreciate it.

    What if the new scenario was to go camping; then which would you choose.
    Would you choose the TN 30 or TN 31?

    I am curious if the TN31 has decent spill to aluminate the ground while hiking. My jet beam m1x (mce led) needs to be retired.

    I really appreciate your replies thank you so much in advance.

  27. #27

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Still the TN30. The TN31 has AMAZING wow factor at the distance it can cover but during camping, the tight hotspot just isn't very practical for general use. I'd prefer the floodier profile of the TN30 for overall use. The TN31 has OK spill but definitely not as good as TN30.

    Speaking of camping, not sure if you saw my camping thread but if not, you can check it out here:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...beamshots-vids)

    Lots of beamshot comparos at the camp ground and at the beach as well as a vid of the TN30 and TN31 being used to hike around the campground.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  28. #28

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    ^WOW that was a fantastic read. Very very informative.

    Last question (I promise): so I've set my eyes on the tn30. I'm about to pull the trigger (and have done the best research I possible can), but I was wondering if you had any other suggestions of lights that would perform better than the tn30 I should consider.

    If not, please give me the ok and blessings and I will order away!

    Thank you again mr turbobb! You are one awesome light master.


    james.

  29. #29

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    Thx James, I'm going again in about a month so be sure to reply to that thread if there are particular shots/vids you'd like to see, etc.

    In terms of what is currently available out there, and if by performance you mean raw output (lumens/throw), the TN30 is currently the brightest multi-emitter XM-L light in my arsenal and bests even a 5 x XM-L (APEX 5T6) in sheer output. While it may not be the throwiest (the S1 with its large tri-flector reigns in this regard), it's certainly no slouch. As can be seen in my beach shots, it illuminates a wide swath of the target at that 500ft distance at which point, my (aging) eyes would have a hard time making out the details of anything at that range (without the use of an optical aid).

    You could always wait for the next greatest and brightest but then you'll always end up waiting since there will always be something brighter/throwier so at some point, you'd need to decide if the TN30 suits your needs. You certainly don't need my blessings to get any light you feel like but if it helps, I think it's a very solid choice in consideration of all the available options out there currently.

    One thing that I've been heartened by is that ThruNite has recently improved their customer service tremendously. One need but look at their mfg subforum on CPFMP for evidence of that. While they may still be going through growing pains, they have been pretty engaged in replying to all the posts be it positive feedback or requests for assistance.

    That should be taken into consideration as well in which case, it's another in favor for ThruNite. Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  30. #30

    Default Re: ThruNite TN30 Review (3 x XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

    I am sold. Thank you again for all your help Tim. Awesome People like you are what makes this forum so great!

    James

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