- The Boring Stuff
- What comes in the box?
- Design & Construction
- Size & Measurements
- User Interface
- Modes, Brightness, Throw, & Tint
- Driver & Regulation
- Emitter & Beam
- Carry & Ergonomics
- Batteries & Charging
The Boring Stuff
Thrunite sent me this light in exchange for an honest review. Here is the official product page. It’s also available on Amazon where the price fluctuates frequently between $250 and $300, so keep an eye on it and buy on a day when its low.
What comes in the box?
The box is quite large and made of mostly plain cardboard. Thrunite doesn’t waste money on fancy glossy printing all over their boxes, and I like that. Inside is a generous soft foam inster to keep everything safe during transport. The following items are included in the box:
- The light itself
- Four batteries (preinstalled in the light)
- Shoulder strap
- USB-C charger
- Spare parts (o-ring, charging port covers, switch boot)
- Split ring
- User Manual
Design & Construction
TN42 V2 is very large with a huge flared head housing a reflector, and a thick battery tube for its four 21700 batteries. Thanks to that battery tube, it looks more proportional and less front-heavy compared to its competition. Notably, the “tailcap” appears to be either glued to or a part of the battery tube.
Build quality is typical Thrunite: pretty good. The anodizing is nice and even. The machining is good. Laser engraving is crisp. My only complaints are that the threads are kind of difficult to start and the front attachment point for the shoulder strap is a little flimsy. There are big, beefy springs in the tail so current shouldn’t be a problem.
Size & Measurements
|Maximum Head Diameter||105.2|
|Body Tube Diameter (at tailcap)||59.2|
|Body Tube Diameter (mode)||59.6|
|Body Tube Length (including tailcap)||89.5|
|USB Port Width||12.0|
|USB Port Depth||3.2|
|USB Port Height||7.5|
|Included Battery Length||75.9|
|Included Battery Diameter||21.7|
Weight empty: 657g
Weight of one battery: 77g
Weight with four batteries: 967g
This is just about the perfect, simple, E-switch UI.
The actions are # of presses followed by a hold (H) or a release (C). So, “1C” is one click and release. “2H” is two clicks but you hold down the last one.
|Off||1C||On (Mode Memory)|
|Off||1H||Firefly (Not Memorized)|
|Any||2C||Turbo (Not Memorized)|
|Any||3C||Strobe (Not Memorized)|
|On||1H||Cycle Mode (Low > Med > High, Memorized)|
This UI has no settings. It has no strange blinking modes other than strobe. It has no electronic lockout (mechanical lockout works great). It’s simple and it works. I love that Thrunite chose to have 5 modes (that’s my preferred number) and that Firefly and Turbo are not memorized. My only grips are that 1H from firefly turns the light off when it should go to low, and that if you sit in medium mode for too long, 1H will go back down to low instead of high, which is confusing. This is a UI that you can hand to someone and fully explain in just a few seconds.
Modes, Brightness, Throw, & Tint
Disclaimer: All measurements taken at turn-on. Lumen measurements were taken on a Texas Ace 3.5″ Lumen Tube. A candela measurement was taken at 10 meters with an Opple Light Master III on the highest brightness, and other candela figures were calculated relative to that. CRI, CCT, & DUV data was taken for each mode from a few feet away at the center of the hotspot with the Opple Light Master and Waveform DUV Calculator. Runtime tests were performed with the Ceilingbounce app on my smartphone. All of these tests were performed with fully charged included batteries unless otherwise specified. I cannot measure moonlight directly, so moonlight readings are calculated based on the brightness relative to the next-lowest mode. None of this is professional equipment, so take all of these measurements with a grain of salt.
Here are the official specs, followed by my own measurements.
Mode Spacing: is fine. There are no weirdly small or large jumps. I like the number of modes too. 5 is just right.
Performance: Turbo always steps down after 3 minutes. Sustained output is about 1500 lumens. On Turbo and High the light will get too hot to hold of it’s sitting on a table, but if there’s a breeze or if you’re holding it the whole time it should be manageable.
LVP: may be present but I’m not sure. I always stopped the tests before the light shut off, and during one test the cells were at 2.58V at rest which is *very* low, lower than the cutoff of any LVP I’ve ever seen. I don’t have a bench PSU to test for certain, but I would be careful running unprotected cells.
With that said, once the batteries get low the light can’t get very bright anymore. Every time I ended a test I tried to Turbo and it would not get any brighter, so you get ample warning that the cells are low just from the fact that the light gets very dim.
Thermal regulation: is not present. As you can see, the Turbo runtime test and the Turbo Cooled runtime test are nearly identical. If thermal regulation were present there would be a significant difference in Turbo stepdown time and sustained brightness.
Driver & Regulation
Thrunite tends to use high efficiency Buck or Boost drivers on their more premium lights. Based on the LED voltage, battery voltage, and regulation performance of TN42 V2 I suspect it’s using a buck driver. I wish Thrunite had chosen to go the extra mile and use a Buck/Boost combo driver to provide better regulation.
I was able to get the driver loose by unscrewing the 3 visible screws, but the driver was fit in tightly so I was only able to wiggle it, not completely remove it. With the right tools to reach through the screw holes and pull, I’m sure it would come out.
Regulation is about average. Turbo is heavily affected by battery voltage and that’s not what I was hoping for on a $250-$300 light, especially considering that a $100 Convoy L7 with the same LED manages perfect regulation.
Note: All regulation measurements are taken at turn-on so they do not reflect any thermal or low voltage stepdowns that may occur. A value of 0 indicates low voltage shutoff immediately upon activation.
PWM: No PWM is visible nor audible. I did some testing on each mode with an Opple Light Master III and found no PWM on any mode.
Parasitic Drain: 85 microamps. That will take 21 years to drain the included batteries.
Emitter & Beam
Thrunite chose the ultimate LED to put in this monster thrower: a Luminus SBT90.2. It’s a 3V LED with a huge footprint but small die, capable of drawing over twenty amps in some situations. It sits beneath a huge, deep, smooth reflector. Unfortunately, I’m unable to remove the bezel and get a closer look.
The beam is extremely bright in both the spill and the narrow hotspot. Centering is fairly good. I would not call it a pencil beam but the hotspot is not large. It will really punch out and reach things though. During my testing I was able to hit a water tower 1.5KM away in an area with substantial light pollution. Very impressive!
In the beamshots above, the trees where I’m aiming the hotspot are 175M away. In the beamshots below, the park bench where I’m aiming the hotspot is 42M away.
Thanks to the Texas Flashlight Club members who brought all their big throwers out and helped me get some comparison beamshots!
There’s a large electronic switch on the side of the light. There’s a silver plastic boot covering it, with a small translucent area in the middle for battery status indication. Blue means good charge, red means low, and flashing red means critically low. It would have been nice to see a multi-LED indicator somewhere on the light with 4-5 LED’s in a row to give you a better sense of how much battery is left. This works fine though. It’s a decent switch that’s easy to find in the dark and plenty clicky. Just make sure to use mechanical lockout by loosening the battery tube if you throw the light in a bag. The switch is not particular well protected from accidental bumps.
Carry & Ergonomics
The ergonomics are surprisingly good. I expected four 21700 cells to feel too chunky in the hand but the handle is still small enough to get a grip on. It’s long enough too, that I can use all four fingers to hold it. The switch is in the perfect spot so my thumb lands right on it.
The only included carry method is a shoulder strap, and it’s brilliant. Many other lights this size come with a removable carry handle, but they still require you to carry the light in your hand. They also typically mount on the opposite side from the button so you have to use both hands to turn them on and off. TN42 V2’s shoulder strap attaches to the tailcap and right in front of the button, so it holds the light pointing forward with the switch upright. That means you can have full control of the light just by reaching down and your thumb will land on the button naturally. This is an awesome inclusion.
Tailstand: works and is very stable, but only with the shoulder strap removed.
Batteries & Charging
TN42 V2 uses four button top 21700 batteries, and they have to be pretty long to fit. Thrunite includes four 4000mah cells. For some reason the included cells are proprietary, even though they don’t need to be, and that bugs me. Normal button tops will work fine. The cells are in parallel so you can use the light with all four cells or as few as one.
TN42 V2 has USB-C charging built in on the side, and that really sets is apart from its competition. Most other lights in this space require you to remove all the batteries and charge them individually. Some even have a battery carrier that makes it even more tedious. This built in charging is a big selling point. The port cover isn’t my favorite though as it can be fairly difficult to get open.
Charging is not fast, taking around 7 hours for a full charge with the included 5V 5A brick. It’ll work when plugged in, but only on Firefly and Low mode and with the batteries connected. No powerbank function is present.
While 3V charging is better than nothing, at this price point I feel like they could have included faster PD-spec charging and maybe powerbank functionality.
Here are some lights in the same class and how they compare.
Acebeam K75: Larger, more throw, more expensive, lower capacity, much better regulation, carry handle, batteries must be removed from the light & battery carrier for charging
Wildtrail WT90: Similar size, more advanced UI, worse regulation, lower price point, requires removal of the battery carrier for charging, doesn’t included batteries, appears to be unavaiable at the moment
Convoy 4X18A SBT90.2: Smaller, less throw, lower capacity, worse UI, no shoulder strap, must be ordered from China, but it retains USB-C charging and is less than $100.
This section is not comprehensive. If I didn’t include a particular light here, it doesn’t mean it’s bad or doesn’t deserve to be here. I simply cannot list every possible competitor.
Thrunite have put together a really compelling package here, a really accessible package. This is another Thrunite that I can recommend to just about anyone. It’s available on Amazon, the UI is simple, it’s got batteries included, and has USB-C charging built in. All of it’s competitors have some weird caveat like “but you have to wait a month to get it” or “you have to buy batteries and a charger separately” or “you have to remove the batteries for recharging”. Thrunite removed all the barriers to entry. If you need an easy-to-use and easy-to-buy mega thrower, this is the light for you.
Thanks to Thrunite for sending me this light for review!