Thrunite Ti3 (XP-G2, 1xAAA) keychain light review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO+

selfbuilt

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May 27, 2006
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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. :whistle:

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
Ti3001.jpg

Ti3002.jpg


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.

Ti3027.jpg

Ti3032.jpg

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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.

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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.

Ti3010.jpg

Ti3021.jpg


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.

User Interface

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).

Video:

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.

PWM

There is no sign of PWM at any output level. The Ti3 is current-controlled. :)

Ti3-Strobe.gif


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. :rolleyes:

Beamshots:

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.

Ti3-Beam2.jpg
L08-XPG2-Beam001.jpg

X6-Beam001.jpg
i3-Beam001.jpg


Ti3-Beam3.jpg
L08-XPG2-Beam002.jpg

X6-Beam002.jpg
i3-Beam002.jpg


Ti3-Beam4.jpg
L08-XPG2-Beam003.jpg

X6-Beam003.jpg
i3-Beam003.jpg


Pretty typical beam for a XP-G2-equipped light of this size.

Testing Method:

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).

Ti3-FL1-Summary-1.gif


The Ti3 is remarkably highly driven for a keychain light (on 1x NiMH AAA). :eek:oo: 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:

Ti3-Lumens.gif


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. :shrug:

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).

Runtimes

Ti3-HiEne.gif


Ti3-HiAlka.gif

Ti3-MedAlka.gif


Ti3-HiL92.gif


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).

Potential Issues

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.

Preliminary Observations

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. :whistle:

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). :rolleyes: 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. :thinking: 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). :shrug: 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. :wave:

----

Ti3 supplied by Thrunite for review.
 
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recDNA

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Jun 2, 2009
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Great review but I would have liked to see the Tis on that chart as well. Probably just me but I prefer single mode for keychain lights.
 

shrick

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Aug 9, 2014
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Thanks for another great review selfbuilt. I own this light and I'm very impressed with it's performance. I definitely prefer the original Ti interface over that of the Ti3. I agree that the strobe mode is more of a hassle than being helpful. The pocket clip is a must for me, makes the light very versatile. I'd like to see what Vinh's magic can do to such a small key chain light :thumbsup:
 

selfbuilt

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Great review but I would have liked to see the Tis on that chart as well.
Yeah, although I do have a TiS on hand, I have not gotten around to putting it though its paces. When I do, I'll update this review - hopefully in a few days.
 

blackFFM

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Nov 25, 2012
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What makes this light interesting is that there is a nw version available. Thanks for the great review btw.
 

GordoJones88

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Nov 26, 2011
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Tennessee
Wow that really is bright for a AAA.
That runtime graph looking good.
Thanks for taking the time to do a keychain light.
I'm just waiting for them to restock.
 

cagenuts

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Mar 2, 2014
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Was just thinking about the strobe mode. From a tactical point of view it's obviously useless but if they made this a beacon mode instead then it would be infinitely more useful in a survival situation.
 

shrick

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Aug 9, 2014
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I believe the version released on the 20th is the same as the 'Previous' one. If not, can somebody specify the differences?

Related to the strobe mode... Im not fond thats its 'Forced' onto the user, thus should you continue to move through the modes you WILL get a strobe mode. I would haved like an adhoc strobe mode, thus, to access it explicitly when I need it. For me, its annoying to every now and then cycle through strobe mode.
 

ZzmadzZ

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The new version is the NW version! Its on route to me! Although there are no more CW models in stock. Hopefully the NW will be as cool as the CW version!
 

selfbuilt

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Yeah, I don't have any specific info about release versions, but I don't believe there's any difference in the circuits - just the emitter tint.

I agree, it's nice to have a neutral option. Also agree about the strobe mode. :rolleyes:
 

Somnophore

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Apr 12, 2012
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ive just ordered one of these to replace (ill prob still keep it on my car keys instead) my Ti. Ive also ordered a T20 to replace a rather worn out T10 on my keyring (i always run 2 keyring lights in case one runs out of battery whilst walking dog etc) I do really rate the thrunite lights, and love the outputs theyre getting out of such a small size
 

ZzmadzZ

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Ok so I finally got my NW TI3. The light is really nice and it's finishing is very good.
The NW version is definitely much warmer then the tint from the nichia 219 but it still looks very very neutral to me.

The only negative thing that i can say is that, my light come with it's led very badly aligned. And the beam shows part of the reflector blocking. Just emailed Thrunite, hopefully they can replace my head for me:(.

Other then that this light is a must get. Very bright and small!! I would say the NW beam is still very nice and its not pinkish in tinge. Definitely get the NW version if you guys wanna to have a beam thats much warmer as compared to the CW version:)




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