Warning: even more pic heavy than usual.
The TX25C2 is a highly-anticipated new tactical model from Eagletac. The TX25C2 shares many of the same features of the larger G25C2 series, but in a smaller build with an electronic side control switch. As you will see from the specs below, the TX25C2 still packs quite a wallop despite its smaller size.
Let's put it through its paces …
Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).
- LED: Cree XM-L2 U2 Cool White (also available in T6 Neutral White)
- Two groups of basic output modes, Tactical (100%/10%/Strobe) and Regular (100%/40%/0.5%) – user selectable
- Brightness level selected by loosening/tightening head/bezel
- ANSI FL-1 Lumens for XM-L2 U2 Regular mode: 965-746/459/7 lumens (T6 NW should have ~7% less output)
- Runtime for Regular mode: 2xCR123A 1/2/100+ hours, 1x18650: 1.8/2.9/150+ hours
- ANSI FL-1 Lumens for XM-L2 U2 Tactical mode: 965-746/208/Strobe (T6 NW should have ~7% less output)
- Runtime for Tactical mode: 2xCR123A 1/4.5 hours, 1x18650: 1.8/6.8 hours
- Three levels brightness (user selectable sets) and seven hidden auxillary modes - Strobe/Strobe(Var)/Flash(Hi)/S.O.S.(Fast)/S.O.S./Becaon/Flash(Lo)
- Powered by 2xCR123A, 2xRCR123A, or 1x18650 Li-ion
- Can also take 3xCR123A/RCR123A with a single extender or 4xCR123A/2x18650 with a double extender, or 3x18650 with two double extenders
- Voltage range: 2.7V – 12.6V
- Beam Intensity (XM-L2 U2): 15,800 lux
- Beam Distance (XM-L2 U2): 275 yards / 251 meters
- Center spot angle: 6.9°, Spill light angle: 54°
- Waterwhite glass lens w/ harden treatment
- Anti-reflective (AR) coating on both sides (96% transparency)
- HA III hard anodization aerospace aluminum (black)
- Smooth aluminum reflector
- Waterproof IPX-8 standard
- Features: User replaceable glass lens, Turbo boost technology, Battery reverse polarity protection, Tail stand.
- Warranty: Ten years performance guaranteed warranty
- Included Accessories: Spare o-rings, user manual, user removable titanium-coated pocket clip, mil-spec para-cord lanyard with quick attachment clip, stainless steel split ring, CR123A battery magazine, heavy-duty rigid nylon holster with self-retention device and flip
- Dimensions: Head Diameter 1.25 inches (31.5 mm), Body Diameter 1 inch (25 mm), Length: 4.7 inches (120 mm), Weight without battery: 3.4 ounces (95 grams)
- Optional YRGB kit: Base model + extra bezel head with front-mount thread for filter attachment, ET28 diffuser filter, ET28 yellow filter, ET28 green filter, ET28 blue filter, single cell extension tube for 3xCR123A/RCR, double cell extension tube for 4xCR123A/2x18650
- MSRP: ~$95 (~$130 with YRGB accessory kit)
The TX25C2 comes in familiar packaging, similar to the G25C2 series. Inside the thin cardboard box, the light come packaged in thin plastic with the usual extra - extra o-rings, good quality wrist lanyard, belt holster with button-down closing flap, manual, and warranty card. A removable pocket clip comes installed on the light.
There is supposed to be a CR123A anti-rattle magazine included with the light, but it wasn't present on my sample.
As part of this review, I have the YRGB accessory kit for this model. This will be described further below, but the kit comes with a replacement bezel ring (for front-mounting the filter/diffuser covers), and battery tube extenders.
From left to right: AW Protected 18650; Eagletac TX25C2; Zebralight SC600; Eagletac D25LC2; Spark SL6; Sunwayman C20C; Olight S20; Nitecore MT2C.
All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):
Skilhunt K11: Weight: 120.5g, Length: 129.6mm , Width (bezel): 34.1mm
Eagletac D25LC2: Weight: 50.0g, Length: 116.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm
Eagletac G25C2: Weight 144.3g, Length: 181mm, Width (bezel): 39.6mm
Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
Foursevens Quark Q123-2 X (Regular tailcap): Weight: 44.6g, Length: 112.7mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
Jetbeam PC20: Weight: 60.0g, Length: 127.5mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm
Klarus XT11: Weight 133.0g, Length: 148.8, Width (bezel) 35.0mm
Nitecore MH25: Weight: 145.4g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
Olight S20: Weight: 51.8g, Length: 105.4mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Rofis TR31C: Weight: 180.7g, Length: 153.0mm, Width (bezel): 39.8mm
Sunwayman C20C: Weight 57.6g, Length: 104.8mm. Width (bezel): 25.6mm
Thrunite TN10: Weight: 154.7g, Length: 145.5mm, Width (bezel): 35.1mm
Zebralight SC600: Weight 87.2g, Length: 107.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm
The TX25C2 is definitely intermediate in size between the slim-lined D25LC2 and larger G25C2 Eagletac lights.
The TX25C2 build has a distinctive style with a slightly enlarged head and flat tailcap. Anodizing is a glossy black (HA = type III), similar to other Eagletac lights. All labels are bright and clear (sharp against the black background).
Knurling is present throughout the body tube, with an additional band around the base of the head. It is of reasonable aggressiveness, so overall grip is good. There are finger cut-outs on the body tube, as well as a removable clip.
Screw threading is traditional-cut (and fairly fine) in the tail region, anodized for lock-out. Screw threads are square-cut (and thick) in the head region. See the pics above and UI discussion below for more details on the contact surfaces. You will need to use cells that have at least some sort of raised protrusion on the positive contact surface (i.e., a small button top).
The titanium-coated stainless steel pocket clip is held in place by a metal screw cover, similar to the G25C2 series. The clip is removable, and the cover hides the attachment point. As with the G25C2 series, make sure the cover is screwed down completely, or it may interfere with the ability of the tailcap to connect.
The TX25C2 tailstands stably, thanks to the flat base (i.e., no tail switch). Instead, the control switch is a side-mounted electronic switch under a rubber cover. Switch feel is about typical for an electronic switch – scroll down for a discussion of the interface.
The TX25C2 reflector is smooth and shiny - it is also fairly deep, which should translate into pretty good throw for this size light. At the base of the reflector is a Cree XM-L2 emitter (Neutral White T6 on my sample).
The light has a flat black bezel ring, replaceable with the optional screw-on diffuser/filter bezel assembly (see below).
Optional YRGB kit (also includes diffuser, bezel replacement, single and double battery tube extenders):
In order to attach to the diffuser/filters to the TX25C2, you need to swap out the standard low-profile bezel ring with the bundled bezel adapter. The lens can be transferred to the new bezel adapter (where there is an included o-ring). With the adapter in place, you will now be able to screw on the front-mounted filters/diffuser.
Eagletac is using high-quality optical glass filters. This is true for all the filters, including the red one (which often tends to be just a colored piece of glass on many Eagletac other screw-on filters).
The user interface is revised from the G25C2, and resembles the new GX/SX/MX25L2 series lights.
Turn the light on/off by the electronic switch. Press and hold for momentary, press-release (i.e. click) for locked-on.
There are three output levels controlled by how loose/tight the head is (i.e., the three levels are accessed in sequence from head fully tight). As soon as you loosen past fully tight, you drop down to the second level. You drop down again to the third (and final) level after a ~120 degree turn. This differs from the G25C2 and GX/SX/MX25L2 series lights that offer four modes. You need to do at least two full turns from tight to get the light to shut off (at which point, the head easily comes off).
There are two possible groups of output modes available - Tactical (100% > 10% > Strobe, in sequence) and Regular (100% > 40% > 0.5%, in sequence). You can switch between the two groups by turning the light on max (fully tight) and loosening the head to the second level and then back to tight, repeating this sequence ten times in five seconds. One issue I observed on my sample – after a battery change, the light would not retain the memory of which mode you set it to, and always defaulted to the Regular mode.
A new feature on these recent tactical lights is the ability to rapidly access a momentary Turbo from any head position by a press-and-hold of the switch when On. You can similarly access strobe at any time by a double press and hold (i.e. click and press-hold). Simply release the switch to return to your previous head-set level.
To access the hidden auxiliary modes, do a quick loosen-tighten twist of the head (from first level tight to third level and back again). Repeat this twist to advance through the modes. Mode sequence is: Strobe I > Strobe II > Hi-Flash > SOS I > SOS II > Beacon > Lo-Flash, in repeating sequence. Turn off the light or loosen the head to quit the hidden modes. I will describe these modes in more detail below.
There is an "energy saving feature" where the light reduces output by 25% after 200 seconds in Turbo. You can toggled this feature "off", which results in a 10% step-down instead. See my runtime results below for more information. To toggle this feature off or on, turn the light on at the third level, and switch back and forth to the second level for ten times in five seconds.
For more information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.
As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.
There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level, on any light – I presume the lights are current-controlled.
The pattern of auxillary modes is very similar to the GX/SX25L2 and MX25L2, as shown below.
The main strobe is a high frequency strobe, measured at ~9.6 Hz on my TX25C2 sample.
The second strobe mode is an alternating or "oscillating" strobe, switching between 6.5Hz and 15.1Hz every 2 seconds.
Hi-Flash is basically a full power slow strobe/beacon mode. Frequency was a reasonable ~1.6Hz. Note that the deflection spikes you see above are just the on and off signals of the pulse (i.e., it spends roughly half the time on, half the time off, with each pulse).
The "fast" SOS signals the full SOS sequence (dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot) in just under 3 secs. Note again that the traces above refer to both the on- and off-signal for each pulse of light.
In contrast, the "slow" SOS takes just under 3 seconds just do the "S" (i.e. dot-dot-dot), and about 4 second to do the "O" (i.e., dash-dash-dash), with a good 3 seconds in-between each Morse code letter. Personally, this seems far more useful than the rather frenetic initial SOS mode.
Beacon is a slow full output flash (almost 2 secs long), re-occurring approximately every ~14 secs (i.e., a very slow beacon)
Lo-Flash is a lower output, slower frequency strobe/beacon than Hi-Flash. I detected 10 flashes in a ~20 sec period (i.e. about 0.5 Hz).
The TX25C2 has an electronic switch in the head, so it will always be drawing a small current when the body/carrier is connected to the head. I measured this current as 133uA on 1x18650. For a 2600mAh 18650 battery, that would give you a little over 2.2 years before a fully charged battery would be completely drained.
This is pretty negligible, but I always recommend you store these kinds of lights locked out when not in use.
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on 1xAW protected 18650, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.
Keep in mind that all my white-wall shots use an automatic white-balance, to minimize the effect of tint. In real life, my TX25C2 T6 Neutral White has a pronounced neutral tint (compared to all the cool white comparators). The U2 Cool White version of the TX25C2 should be ~7% brighter than my T6 Neutral White sample (on average).
It is hard to evaluate relative tints difference, but I would consider this one to be on the warmer side of typical Neutral White (i.e., a little more orangey than some). It is definitely still in the Neutral White category though.
Thanks to the relatively deep reflector, you get pretty good throw on the TX25C2, with a relatively narrow spill beam.
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).
Keep in mind that my TX25L2 is the T6 output bin Neutral White version – the U2-bin Cool White version is expected to be ~7% brighter on average.
This is an incredible showing for such a small light – at an ~910 estimated lumens in my lightbox, that makes the TX25C2 T6 Neutral White the brightest 1x18650 in my collection at the moment. The manufacturers rated ANSI FL-1 spec of 965 lumens for the U2 version is thus very believable.
In terms of center beam throw, my TX25C2 sample exceeds the manufacturer's specs. I noted something similar on my GX/SX25L2 review – the throw of my XM-L2 samples significantly exceeds what Eagletac reports.
Output levels are very consistent across all supported battery types. Let's see how outputs compare at all levels:
As you can see, my testing results are generally very consistent with Eagletacs own specs. The one exception is perhaps the "10%" level of the Tactical mode group, which seems to be a bit brighter than expected on my sample.
Note that I find the percentage levels for these various modes to be somewhat non-linear. I would personally describe the Regular mode set as Turbo > Hi > Moonlight, and the Tactical mode set as Turbo > Med > Strobe.
Also, please note that for the above table, I had to adjust down the report Eagletac ANSI FL-1 lumen values from the U2 Cool White version (which should be ~7% brighter than the T6 Neutral White version I am testing here).
It bears repeating again that my estimated lumen scale is just that - an estimate, based on a consistent calibration of my lightbox. But even though the absolute value correlation is unknown, the relative comparisons still hold. All I can really say is that one light is higher or lower than another, by a certain relative percentage. So please don't get hung up on the absolute values of the estimates, or on small relative percent changes.
XM-L2 vs XM-L
I realize that this may seem confusing, especially for those that don't keep up on the fine details of LEDs.
Basically, these new XM-L2 emitters are very similar to the old XM-L, but are reported by Cree to deliver "up to" 20% more lumens and lumens-per-Watt than the classic XM-L of comparable output bin number (see Cree XM-L2 spec sheet here). However, directly comparing back to XM-L is complicated by the more stringent testing and reporting measures Cree is now using for XM-L2 output binning. If you are curious, XM-L emitters were previously output bin rated by luminous flux @350mA, @25 degree C. With the XM-L2, Cree has switched to a more representational (but more stringent) @85 degree C for binning purposes.
There is actually an easy conversion though - if you look up the Cree spec tables under the same conditions, you will see that the new XM-L2 bins are exactly two bin steps brighter than the same bin number on XM-L. So a XM-L2 T6 is basically the same thing as a XM-L U3. This is part of the reason for the switch to the new process - there is now more "headroom" on the new XM-L2 platform, and higher output XM-L2 emitters can ultimately be produced.
In terms of lumens though, you have to keep in mind how the binning process works. Given the ~7% range within each bin, this means that for any given specific XM-L2 sample could be anywhere from ~7-20% brighter than a comparably bin-numbered XM-L sample. This is presumably where that "up to" 20% brighter statement comes from in the Cree literature. But you need to keep in mind that on average, a XM-L2 U2 should be ~13% brighter than a XM-L U2, for example. You really have to think of these things statistically – the bins are a range, and you don't know where exactly in the range any given sample will fall.
The other significant change is the move to a single die LED on the XM-L2. As you will see in the close-up pics earlier in this review, gone now is the large grid of bond wires. This should allow for better optical control and focusing. It is hard for me to be more precise, as I would need to compare the same light with different emitters to know how they truly compare in practice. But I note my NIST-certified center-beam lux measures for these XM-L L2 lights are higher than Eagletac's reported specs.
Again, for the TX25C2 runs in graphs below, "Turbo" refers to the 100% level, "Hi" refers to the 40% regular mode, and "Med" refers to the 10% tactical mode.
The first observation is that the ANSI FL-1 runtime specs on 1x18650 and 2xCR123A are generally consistent with my results. Recall that I use lower capacity 2200mAh 18650 cells, and that the FL-1 standard calls for time to 10% output (not 50%, as reported above).
On the Turbo, the default setting is for the light to step down 25% after 200 secs – which allows it to enter a period of flat-regulation, before eventually dropping off in a typical direct-drive like pattern. With this feature turned off, there is a smaller 10% drop, and the light remains largely in direct-drive most of the time.
On all other levels, the light maintains perfectly flat regulation for an extended period, before dropping off slowly in output (on 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) or with an abrupt shut-down due to protection circuits being triggered (2xRCR). Note that the main LED begins to flash once the light falls out of regulation on 1x18650, or once ~40% initial output is reached on 2xCR123A or 1x18650 on the Max runs. The flashing is at a slow rate, about once every 30 secs.
Overall efficiency is very good for the TX25C2, considering the emitter used (recall my sample is the XM-L2 T6 NW). To explain what I mean by that, you have to consider the difference in the output bin reporting structure of the XM-L2, as explained above.
As with other Eagletac models where output mode is set by the degree the head is tightened, you need to keep all contact surfaces in the head scrupulously clean. Otherwise, you may experience mode switching problems due to contact surface issues.
The light uses an electronic switch, so a standby current is always required. I found this to be low on my TX25C2 (i.e., given you several years on 1x18650), but I still recommend you leave the light locked-out at the tailcap when not in use. Note that for some reason, my sample wouldn't retain the memory of the Tactical mode group if you disconnected the battery.
Only button-top cells can be used in the light (i.e., flat-top 18650s won't work).
The mode spacing is a bit unusual, with only three levels per group and no typical "Lo" mode (i.e., you basically get Turbo > Hi > Moonlight, or Turbo > Med > Strobe as your choices). See my lumen estimates above for more info.
The light gets warm quickly on Turbo, as you would expect for such a small light. Exercise caution if picking up a light that has been tailstanding alone in this mode for some time without cooling.
The TX25C2 is quite the powerhouse in a small build. As you will see in the detailed analysis above, the quoted 965 ANSI FL-1 lumens (for the XM-L2 U2 version) is quite believable.
It is also something of a departure for Eagletac, as this light moves away from the traditional tailcap physical clicky design for an electronic side-switch instead (i.e., similar to the new GX/SX/MX25L2 series). This allows them to reduce the size of the light considerably, although it is still bit larger than most electronic-switch lights - due to relatively deep reflector and slightly wider head on the TX25C2. Personally, I find the TX25C2 to be very comfortable in the hand.
Interface is also similar to the GX/SX/MX25L2 series – as well as the G25C2 series. But there is one change here – the levels per mode option have been reduced from 4 down to 3. I am not sure why, but I imagine it has to do with the smaller head. As a result, mode spacing is not likely to please everyone (e.g., personally, I would have preferred to have seen a more traditional Turbo/Hi > Med > Lo for the regular set, instead of the relative Turbo > Hi > Moonlight actually provided). But a limited number of modes mean choices have to be made, and you do have the "Tactical" relative levels of Turbo > Med > Strobe available as an option as well.
Standby current for the switch has been kept low, so self-discharge is not a concern. And you can easily lock out the light at the tailcap for long-term storage.
In terms of output/runtime efficiency, Eagletac continues its tradition of excellent current-controlled circuitry. I like that all levels and batteries have a gradual drop-off in output once the light falls out of regulation (except on 2x protected Li-ions, of course). And thanks to jump to XM-L2, you can now get a Neutral White emitter that matches or beats the output of the previous generation of XM-L Cool Whites (i.e., XM-L2 T6 is equivalent to XM-L U3).
The kit version is interesting – I like how they have kept the size down on the base model by the low-profile bezel, but have come out with an adapter bezel to work with their standard one-and-quarter inch diffuser/filters. The battery tube extenders are welcome too – you can run this light off a wide number and types of batteries, due to the wide voltage range.
As with its "big brother" the G25C2, there is a lot to commend the TX25C2. It is quite compact while retaining excellent throw, and is driven to output levels that I have not seen before (thanks in part to the new XM-L2 emitters). As always, I recommend you pay close attention to the build, interface and performance, to see if it matches your needs. I will be releasing an updated review of the G25C2-II with XM-L2 in a few weeks, which will allow you to more easily compare these two serious contenders in the 1x18650/2xCR123A class.
TX25C2 was provided by Eagletac for review.