- Oct 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm #3494283
ThruNite TH20 Flash Review
Thrunite may not be the most mentioned brand of lights here on BPL. They have been around since 2009. Now offering over two dozen products to meet various lighting needs.
The ThruNite TH 20 I have received to test is a headlamp that should appeal to those who like a single battery, like myself. Similar headband and attachment system that Zebralight users should recognize.
I used a lithium AA battery during my time with the TH20. Waterproof and a simple to use interface round out an attractive package.
Features and Specs:
The ThruNite TH20 is a single cell powered headlamp. Familiar machined aluminum housing. You can use either a standard, readily available alkaline or lithium AA battery, or a rechargeable 14500 battery.
Using 14500s gives you the ability to use the highest output setting of 520 lumens for a mfg-stated run time of 37 minutes. Mine came with a cool white led, but a neutral is available as well. Beam is more on the spot end of the spectrum.
It gives a clean, even beam representational with these new generation CREE leds.
Data below copied from product page.
LED: CREE XP-L V6 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.
Mode & Runtime (Tested by one Eneloop AA 2450mAh NIMH rechargeable battery):
-Firefly (0.3 lumens, 14 days)
-Infinity Low (1.6 lumens, 21 hours)
-Infinity High (230 lumens, 95 minutes )
-Turbo (250 lumens, 93 minutes)
Batteries Applicable: 1x AA battery, 1x 14500 battery.
Working voltage: 0.9-4.2 V.
Reflector: Orange Peel.
Peak Beam Intensity: 1120 cd
Beam Distance: 67 m (max.)
Dimensions: 70 mm * 24.5mm
Weight: 76g (without battery).
Waterproof: IPX-8 (2 m)
Impact Resistance: 1 m.
Material: Aircraft grade aluminum body, type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish
Accessories included: O ring, spare rubber slot.
My weights for individual components
Headband with rubber lamp holder. 1.14oz (32.4g)
Spare holder, called slot in literature. .43oz (12.2g)
Lamp without battery 1.53oz (43.3g)
All told a headlamp with a lithium AA 3.19oz (90.5g)
I used this headlamp on a couple of quick overnighters in our local hills.
Simple pushbutton interface. More intuitive then the Zebralight’s series of clicks and double clicks. With the ThruNite one long push turns on the .3 lumen firefly mode so you don’t blind yourself and everyone around you.
A short press turns the light on or off. The TH20 will turn on again to whatever setting you had it on before. Also the light is gradual. Nicer than a dedicated low, med, high setting I think.
Thrunite includes extra O rings and a lamp holder. Now the lamp holder can be used on the closure strap on a ball cap, belt, etc., as it has webbing slots both horizontal and vertically.
Manufacturer’s link ThruNite TH20 http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-th20-high-output-and-light-weight-aa-battery-led-headlamp/
Disclosure: Roger Caffin contacted me to see if I would review a headlamp. I said yes.
Submitted by Roger Caffin for Ken ThompsonOct 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm #3494361
This is currently my favorite headlamp. I like single battery lights over the 3xAAA format. Mine is the warm white as I do not like the color rendering of the cool white lights. I love the easily accessed .3 lumen mode and that is what I use hanging from the ridge line of my hammock. The “last bightness used” memory mode is also great. I also have several zebralight headlamps and prefer the light holder on this better. It holds the beam orientation much better which is great when walking. Lot of features in this light for a great price.Oct 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm #3494370
Thank you Ken this was a very helpful review – and timely considering that the housing on my Princeton Tec Eos just suffered a very bad multi-directional break. Looking at this model, the Black Diamond Spot and Zebralight.
Seems like the user interface is very well thought out. I’m interested in the neutral white.
Robert by warm white you mean the neutral white model? How does the ThruNite TH20 compare with your Zebralight models in other aspects besides the holder?
Anyone compare it with the BD Spot?Oct 2, 2017 at 3:01 pm #3494371
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
The pretty models musta been on strike
Oct 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm #3494406
- This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Jeffs Eleven.
EDIT: I totally missed the “gradual” part of the discussion on light levels. Best to ignore my OP and use the time you would have spent reading it and replying to go look at cat pictures.
I like the general design of this (especially since I’ve been using a Zebralight for like 3 years and still don’t totally know how to work the stupid thing). That said, one of the things that seems like an odd omission is any kind of “medium” mode. Maybe I’m misreading the specs, but I see two low-power modes that last a really long time and two high-power modes which last a bit less than an hour. As someone who night hikes quite a bit, neither seems particularly useful to me- I need something that gives off a decent bit of light, but can also sustain that for a reasonably long period of time so that I’m not burning through batteries.I’m not sure any of those modes
For that application (night hiking), I usually wind up using the Medium mode on my Zebralight H52w quite a bit, which gives me 50 lumens (or, who knows, maybe 25 lumens…I’m not sure which of the settings I’ve used here), and somewhere in the 7.5-12 hour battery life range. When needed (like when I’m being stalked by a mountain lion), I can pop on the high power mode for a second to get a better view. For most of my long-distance stuff, this “medium” mode is a good balance between light and battery life, and, for me, is by far the most useful mode. It looks like the light settings on this one tend to fall to one extreme or another.
I’d be curious to hear if I AM missing/misreading something here, because this design is otherwise really attractive to me.
Oct 2, 2017 at 6:20 pm #3494418
- This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by John Rowan. Reason: Was an idiot and missed a key part of the review
Ethan, yes, neutral model. It gives very good color rendition without the harsh blue tint (to my eyes) of the cool white.
John, the light brightness ramps up or down by holding the power button. It will go very quickly from low to high and back again when the button is held. Releasing the button will stop the ramp. When turned off and then back on it will remember the last light level.Oct 2, 2017 at 6:44 pm #3494423
Robert, thanks for the clarification. Based on everything I’m seeing, I really like this feature set, and I’m pretty sure these folks have just sold me a headlamp, especially since my ZL has become a bit wonky of late.Oct 5, 2017 at 6:19 am #3494927
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
This lamp has been discussed on prior threads. Really liked it at first, but it has no warning before it drains the battery and goes out, which can be dangerous in the wrong place at the wrong time. Used Lithium rechargeable 14500 batteries (one in the lamp and one in a match case as a spare). True, with this type of single cell design it is a lot easier to replace the battery, but have never had one that exhausted the battery as quickly. Not such a surprise considering the capacity of the 14500 as compared to a Petzl rechargeable Accu-core battery (a pkg. of 3 hardwired AAA-sized cells), or a 18650, but the latter is heavier. Also, the TH20 has no diffusion, so will blind someone who happens to look directly into it should either of you have a temporary absence of mind. So switched to a Petzl which is lighter. Carry an extra core battery for that also, but haven’t had to use it yet. Granted, the TH20 can be set much brighter, but that only hastens the demise. Even if the TH20 auto switched to low beam when low, and had an add-on diffuser, the 14500 battery has a lower capacity than others I have used. So I think Petzl has it right, unless a much brighter light is needed for SAR.Oct 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm #3494961
Your light going out with no warning was a function on the 14500 battery, not the headlamp. Those batteries have protective circuits in them that cut power off at a certain level to prevent over discharge. If using li-ion, alkaline, or regular rechargeable that will not happen. The light itself will gracefully drop to lower brightness levels as the battery declines. IMHO 14500 batteries are not needed. The extra brightness does not overcome it’s weak points.Oct 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm #3494964
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
thanks Roger and Ken
that looks really good, especially that you can run it at 1.6 lumens for 21 hours. That’s as much light as I ever need. Enough time for several trips.Oct 5, 2017 at 8:22 pm #3495045
Your light going out with no warning was a function on the 14500 battery, not the headlamp. Those batteries have protective circuits in them that cut power off at a certain level to prevent over discharge.
Just so. I find the rechargeables to have less capacity than the standard Lithiums, they weigh more and they cost more. Not worth it. Don’t blame the headlight for the battery.
CheersOct 5, 2017 at 10:56 pm #3495080
Hmm. It’s cheap, but I’m not convinced it’s good value.
For context, let’s compare the ThruNite to the Armytek Tiara A1 v2 XP-L.
OK, The Tiara costs $20 USD more (though it’s often on offer). But you get:
- A Canadian company using premium US and Japanese parts
- 10 year guarantee vs 2 year from ThruNite
- Industry leading immersion, dust and drop resistance (IP68) vs the much lower IPX8
- Operating temperature of -25..+40 °C (not specified for the ThruNite)
- A max output of 420 lm vs 250 lm for the ThruNite, and a longer beam on boost
- 4h 10min @ 180 lm vs 90 min @ 230 lm (that’s a LOT more burn-time!)
- 11h 40min @ 60lm – a useful level for good trails with no equivalent for the ThruNite
- A beam pattern that reviewers say is close to ideal for hiking.
- Weighs 48g vs 76g
- Lots of other bells and whistles – it’s a robust and sophisticated lamp.
Given that a headlamp is a key bit of kit in many scenarios and that failure can be serious, I would argue that it’s well worth paying $20 extra to get a premium product which offers significantly better performance on pretty much every dimension. And it will very likely last much longer too, giving better value in the long run.
Just my 2c…Oct 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm #3495081
You pays yer money and takes yer choices.
But the lighter weight is nice.
CheersOct 6, 2017 at 11:12 am #3495129
Geoff thank you very much for sharing the Armytek headlamp – looks very interesting – checking out their headlamps. They look like a higher quality version of Zebralights.Oct 6, 2017 at 12:33 pm #3495136
“thank you very much for sharing the Armytek headlamp”
I need a new lamp and was thinking of trying one of their Wizard Pros (I do a lot of night walking). People seem to love their lights but there are mixed stories about their customer service. So maybe best to buy from an established retailer who will handle any warranty issues for you. A large flashlight retailer in the UK started handling them some time back and said that out of hundreds sold none have come back on warranty, so I’m hoping the quality is as good as they claim.
At the other end of the scale, it seems that ThruNite have tied up with a budget headlamp manufacturer who use the brand Wowtac and sell through Amazon in the US and the UK. Similar to the ThruNite but they sell for $29-$39 and are well reviewed – looks like a great deal for people on a budget.
Oct 6, 2017 at 12:42 pm #3495140
- This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Geoff Caplan.
That Armytec does look nice but they seem complicated according to reviews. There’s lots of frustration about resetting them when you switch battery types. I wouldn’t want to fool around with that in the field.
YMMVOct 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm #3495163
Kinda bummed how this played out. Glad to see it finally posted.
Geoff a headlight that costs $20 more is not a fair comparison.
”but I’m not convinced it’s good value.” Never said.
Thrunite is like a budget Zebralight in my mind.
So many choices.
Hey Roger, Geoff sounds ready to write.
BTW, Thanks JeffsOct 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm #3495165
I think my take on these is similar to Ken’s- I got mine yesterday, so I’ll withhold comment on quality/functionality, etc. (I need to play around with the adjustment feature out in the field to see if I like it.) The specs for output/battery life look similar enough to my Zebralight H52W- the ZL definitely has a nicer “feel” to it, but at $30, I think the ThruNite has the potential to be a very comparable light at half the price. Also, at $30, it definitely looks to have a tougher construction than a lot of the comparably-priced plastic ones.
I also am not a huge fan of the more complicated light modes on the more expensive lights- even as someone who puts his light through a fair amount of use, I just plain don’t need that much functionality, and would rather not need a user manual for a headlamp.Oct 6, 2017 at 3:15 pm #3495166
“and would rather not need a user manual for a headlamp.“
agree 100%Oct 6, 2017 at 9:01 pm #3495207
I agree that it’s not a fair comparison – but my point was that a relatively modest additional outlay gets you a lot more functionality.
For anyone using the light regularly it’s worth at least considering digging a little deeper for a more premium product.Oct 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm #3495254
Interesting review comparing the construction quality of an Olight, Nitecore and ThruNite.
He concludes that the ThruNite is the best engineered:
Not the same light, but still interesting.Oct 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm #3495261
So much information at our fingertips. Geoff you should write some content,Oct 7, 2017 at 8:29 pm #3495311
Geoff you should write some content,
CheersOct 8, 2017 at 1:23 am #3495361
Matt SwiderBPL Member
@sbsliderLocale: Santa Barbara
I am a fan of thrunite lights. I used the Ti-3 as my light for a 3 week backpacking trip last month. Unfortunately, about a week in, I managed to loose the clip, so I was no longer able to use it as a head lamp. That said, the light still worked out fine, and for 21 days a single LiFe AAA battery was sufficient. I am still using it after the trip with that same battery. My experience is the run times for Thrunite lights are on the conservative side, I have read of a TH-20 owner who had the light on 1.6 lumen low for more than 2 days on the same battery, in contrast to the 21 hour claim on the website.
I am purchasing the TH-20 for general headlamp use, as I have had an eye on this light for some time. This will bring the total of Thrunite lights I own to 4, including the Arch 1A V3, and the TN4A. The TH-20 will make my Archer 1A sort of obsolete, but such is life.Oct 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm #3495489
Ken and Robert (and Matt if you’ve come across it in reading about it), have you ever seen any run times for around 60 lumens and 120 lumens? I’ll also ask the manufacturer and ask on one of the light forums. I care most about 1-2 lumens (which Ken covered), 60 and 120.
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