Review: Nitecore TM12K

Dec 3, 2012
12000 LUMENS – 6 x XHP50


Nitecore TM12K was sent to me directly by Nitecore for review.

For product technical information and for purchase: is external)

Multilingual manual: is external)

Useful links: is external) is external) is external) is external) is external) is external) is external)

NITECORE updates (or complements) the Tiny Monster TM10K with the new TM12K.

Nitecore TM12K is the remake of the popular TM10K with a 12,000 lumen burst mode, powered by six 6 CREE XHP50 LEDs, with a range of 250 meters. The TM12K maintains the modern and elegant style of the previous generation with some updates such as an improved handle (with finger grooves) and the USB-C charging socket now protected by a magnetic metal cap.

The number of levels (5), the type of internal 4800mAh battery and the IP68 waterproof rating remain unchanged.

Nitecore TM12K is equipped with an OLED display and has three buttons for complete management of the UI (user interface) with direct access to Ultralow, High and Turbo modes.

TM12K is equipped with double electronic block, high efficiency constant current and thermal regulation.


  • Utilizes 6 x CREE XHP50 LEDs to produce a max output of 12,000 lumens
    • Maximum beam intensity of 15,600cd and maximum throw of 250 meters
    • Lightweight, rigid and fast cooling tube built from unibody die-cast CNC technology
    • Multifunctional OLED real-time display for brightness, battery voltage, runtime and temperature etc.
    • Built-in 4,800mAh 21700 rechargeable Li-ion battery
    • Intelligent Li-ion battery charging circuit
    • High efficiency constant circuit provides stable output up to 200 hours
    • Combination of dual side buttons and a tail switch controls 5 brightness levels
    • Customizable HIGH Brightness Level
    • An optical system combined with crystal coating and "Precision Digital Optics Technology" (PDOT)
    • Optical lenses with double-sided scratch resistant coating
    • Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
    • HA III military grade hard-anodized finish
    • Waterproof in accordance with IP68 (2 meters submersible)
    • Impact resistant to 1 meter
    • Tail stand capability


Dimensions: 108mm x 41mm x 31mm (4.25" x 1.61" x 1.22")(Clip Included)
Weight: 233 (8.22oz) (Clip Included)


All NITECORE® products are guaranteed for quality. Any DOA/defective product may be exchanged for a eplacement through a local distributor/reseller within 15 days of purchase. After that, all defective / non-functional NITECORE® products can be repaired free of charge within 24 months from the date of purchase.

Beyond 24 months, a limited warranty applies, covering the cost of labor and maintenance, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts.


Note: The TURBO brightness level of 12000 lumens will produce extreme heat during long term activation and is therefore preset to be limited to no more than 7 seconds per activation. The HIGH level is customizable between 400 and 2000 lumens (default: 1000 lumens).

Nitecore TM12K arrives in a rigid cardboard package which includes, in addition to the TM12K with the Clip installed, also a holster, the USB Type-C cable for recharging, a lanyard and the multilingual manual. Inside the box the Nitecore TM12K is well protected by a shaped foam.



Nitecore TM12K is composed of a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined unibody body and constructed of aircraft grade aluminum alloy with military grade HA hard anodized finish which provides the flashlight with a rigid structure and better cooling efficiency.

The rectangular shape and small size make it easy to grip with the hand, improved in this version thanks to the new design of the lower part now equipped with non-slip finger grooves. The ergonomic design with seven finger indentations provides a firmer grip even when wearing gloves.


As with the previous TM10K also with this new version I am happily impressed by the quality of construction and the components used.



The optical system is composed of SMO reflectors and 6 CREE XHP50 LEDs with anti-scratch lens and coating.


With this configuration the new TM12K should peak at 12,000 lumens with a beam intensity of 15600cd.

In the upper part of the flashlight body we find the two buttons, Power Button and Mode Button, while in the queue, as we will see, is the Tail Switch button which we will use to activate the Turbo.

The three metal buttons, with a rounded shape and a decisive click, allow you to manage all the operations with the visual addition of the OLED display with which the TM12K is also equipped.



The OLED display, already seen in other torches of the Tiny Monster series, gives us real-time information. When the flashlight is on, it informs us of the current lumens and the level used, battery voltage, remaining charge, time left (before the battery runs out) and LED temperature.


Nitecore TM12K has two levels of electronic lockout. When it is electronically locked it is indicated to us by the display (even by pressing one of the switches) as well as when we unlock it.


In the Nitecore TM12K the USB-C charging port is protected, in this new version, by a magnetic metal flap. The flap is well made and adheres perfectly in its seat allowing, thanks to a groove, its lifting with the finger. The closure, even if not completely hermetic, serves to prevent the infiltration of dust or external agents. Personally, however, I would have preferred the classic rubber door. Nitecore TM12K has IP68 certification.



Nitecore TM12K is equipped with an internal rechargeable Li-ion battery in 21700 format (4800mAh), not replaceable by the user, which allows an autonomy of up to 200 hours.

The built-in battery in the TM12K is a Samsung INR21700-50G as seen in this photo taken from the test done by the Baidu community: is external)

TM12K supports QC 2.0 technology for fast charging.


When the flashlight is fully charged, it will automatically stop the charging process and the OLED screen will display the message "Chg.finished" and real-time battery voltage, while the LED on the Tail Switch will stay solid blue.

If you plug in the charging cable while the LED light is on, it will turn off automatically. The torch will turn on again at the previously set power as soon as the cable is disconnected.

The charging time in quick mode (QC) of about 1.5 hours is excellent, confirmed by my tests, while the charging time in normal mode is about 4 hours (using a common 5V/2A power supply).

In the lower part of the TM12K we find two large holes for inserting the lanyard supplied.


Nitecore TM12K near to other flashlights.


From left: Nitecore 21700 5000mAh battery, Nitecore TM12K, Nitecore P20iX, Lumintop FW21 Pro and Imalent MS08


The 12,000 lumens TURBO mode generates heat particularly quickly during prolonged phases of use. To avoid damage to the LEDs and circuits, use is limited to only 7 continuous seconds after each activation. By activating the TURBO mode, the OLED display will show a 7 second progress bar which will mark the remaining time for use.



The beam of the Nitecore TM12K has a beautiful white color with the spot that turns slightly yellow.


Due to the six closely spaced LEDs with shallow reflectors, the TM12K beam has floody characteristics, allowing you to fully illuminate the walk, the shot remains discreet and allows you to clearly distinguish objects placed at a medium distance (50 meters or more).


By eye I don't see any PWM in any level. The beginning of the spill is adjacent to the feet.
The values in candela, in the tests carried out outdoors, are similar to those declared by the parent company (in blue those of Nitecore):

Ultra low = /
Low = 117/118
Mid = 360/330
High (1000lm) = 1242/1280
Turbo = 15192/15600


The CCT color temperature and Ra color rendering value taken with OPPO's Light Master Pro, two meters away from the sensor, varies according to the selected light level.

In TURBO I measured 5944 CCT and 68.5 Ra.
In HIGH (2000lm) I measured 5498 CCT and 65.2 Ra.
In LOW I measured 5306 CCT and 64.6 Ra.


With a FLIR thermal imaging camera I detected how the heat is distributed on the torch in the High mode at 2000 lumens (the highest available after the 7-second turbo) after 10min and 12min from switching on. Let's consider that with this brightness, after 10 minutes, the Nitecore ATR system intervenes which reduces the brightness to avoid damage to the LEDs and circuits.


The runtimes were performed indoors at a temperature of about 15°C.

I would like to point out that the values expressed by the graphs must above all be taken as a reference because they are made with means and environmental conditions different from those used in the laboratory.

Nitecore TM12K is well regulated, thanks also to Nitecore's ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation) system.

The first test was done with the TM12K set to HIGH at 2000 lumens without the help of a fan and with the battery fully charged.
As can be seen from the graph, the initial brightness is held for over 10 minutes before the intervention of the thermoregulator.
In the other test with the TM12K always in HIGH mode but at 1000 lumens (default) the initial brightness was held for over 50 minutes before the sudden drop.


Another test was done by putting the Nitecore TM12K in MID mode at 300 lumens. As can be seen from the graph, the brightness of the average level, after switching on, remains constant for up to more than six hours.


TURBO mode

The Turbo on the Nitecore TM12K can be activated for about 7 seconds to limit the heat produced with the 12,000 lumens considering the small size of the torch and therefore the relative heat dissipation.

After seven seconds, from activation, the brightness switches to the high level if we still hold down the button. From my tests, the turbo mode can be activated, almost in succession, about ten times before excessive heat is reached with intervention of the ATR system.

If the temperature is high, it is not possible to activate the turbo mode ("OVERHEAT" appears on the OLED display) and the progress bar on the display remains stationary.

VIDEO Review


Nitecore TM12K remains, like the previous TM10K, a very compact and powerful torch. Once you open the box, you immediately get the feeling of a well-built product with quality materials. The feeling with the buttons is excellent and the OLED display is always useful.
The beam of the Nitecore TM12K, of an alluvial nature, covers a large area even if it does not cover long distances. The Turbo only lasts for 7 seconds but is surprisingly effective when activated.
Excellent levels and UI, the possibility of programming the HIGH level as well as QC 2.0 USB-C fast charging.
Nitecore TM12K is recommended for those who need excellent construction quality and attention to detail, all in a compact and high-performance product.
Thanks for reading the review.