The Ti from Thrunite was a popular (and inexpensive) 2-stage model. It was recently replaced by the TiS, which is single-stage only light.
Enter the Ti3, which is a new 3-stage model, using the more common loosen-tighten mode-switching interface. Emitter has also been upgraded to the XP-G2 R5
Let's see how it compares to the competition.
Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).
- LED: Cree XP-G2 R5
- Battery: 1 AAA battery
- Output and run time:
- Firefly: 0.04 Lm(115h), Low: 12 Lm(6.3h), High: 120Lm(0.5h), Strobe:120Lm(1 hour)
- Beam intensity: 625cd
- Beam distance: 50m
- Reflector: OP Reflector
- Aircraft quality aluminum body structure.
- Premium Type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
- Waterproof to IPX-8 standard.
- Convenient twist switch.
- One handed operation.
- Waterproof: IPX-8 (2M)
- Impact resistant: 1.2m
- Dimension: 70mm(length)*14mm(head diameter)
- Weight: 12 gram without battery.
- MSRP: ~$20
Packaging is stylish, with a light-weight metal case with clear display window. Inside, in packing foam is the light with pocket clip attached, extra o-ring, split ring, keychain clip, and manual. There is also a little triangular piece of medal that I presume can be used as a linking piece for the keycahin clip - but it seems pretty flimsy, so I recommend you stick with the split-ring.
From left to right: Duracell NiMH AAA; Thrunite Ti3, TiS; Maratac AAA; Olight i3s; Thrunite TiS; Foursevens Preon P1; Titanium Innovations Illumnati; L3 Illumination L08.
All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed.
Thrunite Ti3: Weight: 11.5g, Length: 69.9mm, Width (bezel): 13.6mm
Foursevens Preon P0: Weight 13.0g (with keychain clip), Length 55.0mm, Width 12.6mm (bezel)
Foursevens Preon P1: Weight 15.3g (with keychain clip), Length 75.6mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)
Klarus Mi X6: Weight 16.2g, Length 72.9mm (battery installed), Width 12.8mm
L3 Illumination L08 (1xAAA): Weight: 22.4g, Length: 77.8mm, Width (bezel): 17.0mm
Lumintop Tool AAA: Weight: 15.3g, Length 82.6mm, Width 14.4mm (bezel)
Lumintop Worm Aluminum: Weight: 14.3g, Length 72.0mm (battery installed, off), Width 14.1mm (bezel)
Olight i3: Weight 13.2g, Length: 71.9mm, Width (bezel): 14.0mm
Titanium Innovations Illuminati Aluminum: Weight 13.9g (with keychain clip), Length 68.8mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)
As you can see, the Ti3 is in keeping with other 1xAAA lights that use a similar mechanism.
The Ti3 feels very similar to other lights in this class. My sample came in black anodizing (which, as usual, I don't expect to hold up well for actual keychain use), with bright white lettering. The Ti3 has fairly aggressive knurling on both the body and head to help with grip – much better than most light in this class. It reminds a lot of the old Maratac models. Mode switching single-handed worked fine.
Screw threads are standard triangular cut, fairly fine (like most lights in this class). You can expect some play, but I found the fit to be good - and better than most lights I've tested in this class.
There is a circuit board in the head and a spring at the base of the battery tube – as is standard on these sorts of models.
There is a small attachment point in the tailcap with a cut-out for the keychain split-ring (while still allowing tailstanding).
The provide pocket clip is fairly basic, but holds onto the light well.
Centering was good on my sample above – note the XP-G2 at the base of the textured reflector. Please see my detailed beamshots later in this review.
The Ti3 uses the same general interface as many in this class - but with a few additional features.
Fully tighten the head and it comes on in its lowest mode (Firefly). Do a rapid twist off-on and the light advances to next level (Lo). Repeat for Hi. Mode sequence is thus Firefly > Lo > Hi, in repeating sequence. Personally, I like this sequence (i.e., I was never a fan of the common Med > Lo > Hi on many other lights).
There is temporary mode memory, but it is limited to ~10 secs after you turn the light off. And of course, you need to wait ~2 secs before re-activating, or it will advance to the next mode. After the ~10 sec pause, light returns to Firefly. This may sound unusual, but it works in practice. You should expect the light to start in Firefly, unless you have just turned it off.
Unusually, there is a "hidden" strobe mode, accessed by doing 6 consecutive mode changes (i.e., Firefly > Lo > Hi > Firefly > Lo > Hi > Strobe).
For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
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 at any output level. The Ti3 is current-controlled.
There was a fast 11.5 Hz strobe on the Ti3.
Personally, I don't really see what anyone would want than on a keychain light, but at least it is somewhat hidden.
For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on a Sanyo Eneloop NiMH AAA (800mAh). Lights are 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.
Pretty typical beam for a XP-G2-equipped light of this size.
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. 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.
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).
The Ti3 is remarkably highly driven for a keychain light (on 1x NiMH AAA). Similarly, it's "Firefly" mode is quite low as well.
To give you a better idea, here is a lumen estimate of all the modes, on both NiMH and alkaline:
The Ti3 is still impressive on alkaline (although note that max output drops rapidly on this battery source – see runtimes below).
The range of output levels differs from most keychain lights – but makes a certain amount of sense for this keychain class (i.e., Firefly > Lo > Hi). That said, I expect some here would have preferred a more traditional Lo > Med > Hi.
As always, I don't insist on the absolute value of the lumen estimates in my lightbox. For more info, please see my lumen estimate methodology – including the number of sources used for generating the calibrations. But the relative comparisons are entirely consistent across all my reviews, which is the best that any reviewer can claim (unless they have proper ANSI FL-1 certified, calibrated integrating sphere).
Runtime patterns are similar to the L3 Illumination L08 that I recently reviewed – although with slightly higher output and runtime on my Ti3 sample. This makes the Ti3 an outstanding performer for this class (assuming you like the range output levels, of course).
Output levels are higher (at the max end) and lower (at the low end) than typical for this 1xAAA class. I suspect some would have preferred a more traditional Med mode (i..e., sequence is really Firefly > Lo > Hi).
Ti3 has a "hidden" strobe mode – although in practice, this means it will take time to activate it when you want it, and you may still accidentally activate on occasion.
10440 Li-ion is not supported.
The Ti3 is similar in overall functionality to a number of other twisty-style keychain lights on the market (although differs substantially from the earlier Ti series). There are also a few unique features to the interface here – and output level spacing is distinctive as well. On that last point, the Ti3 has the highest max output of any keychain light I've tested to date, on standard batteries.
For those who like the original intuitive Ti interface (i.e., tighten for low/tighten harder for Hi), I am afraid you are out of luck here. But I suspect the reason for the change is the original design led to issues longer-term (i.e., I've seen reports of those lights "failing" into single-stage-only over time). The Ti3 uses a variant of the more common loosen/tighten twist cycle to change modes, which seems to be somewhat "standard" for multi-level lights in this class.
As a side note - even in this particular class, there are certainly a lot of different interface preferences (and Thrunite seems to trying to address several of them at once). Mode sequence is from lowest to high (which many seem to prefer – myself included). But they have also provided a limited 10 sec memory mode before the light resets itself to the lowest level. Not quite sure how useful this is – I typically prefer consistency in activation (i.e., whichever method you choose – memory or no memory – stick with it always). In this case, I'd be fine with Firefly first all the time.
Output levels are different for many lights as well – although I think they work in a keychain light (i.e., Firefly > Lo > Hi). Again, Hi is remarkably bright for this class (and Firefly is very dim).
I also really don't see why you would need a tactical strobe mode in a keychain light. And since it is not particularly easy to access (i.e., six twists required), it is not like you are going to "surprise" anyone with it. But it does mean you may still accidentally activate it when you don't want to (although relative risk of this is low). A slow signalling strobe or beacon would have made more sense to me.
Performance of the light was excellent for the set output levels. My Ti3 was very efficient at all levels tested, with the expected regulation patterns (i.e., can't maintain flat stabilization at the highest level – more dependent on battery chemistry).
Beam pattern is as you would expect for this class. While not a thrower, it does provide a good sized hotspot at the close-to-medium range.
Physical build of the light is very good, and better than many that I have tested in this class. The threads are particularly good compared to a number of competing lights (i.e., relatively little play). I personally like the more aggressive style knurling used here, as it makes it easier to use the light single-handed. That said, some may prefer a smoother finish.
The Ti3 is a distinctive offering in the 1xAAA class. It's basic form and function is similar to other lights – although with a few additional features here, in a good quality build. While those who liked the original Ti interface may be disappointed, fans of the twisty-style interface may very well find what they are looking for here.
Ti3 supplied by Thrunite for review.