Here’s a version 2 light by Nitecore, where I have surprisingly never reviewed the first version. It’s the TUBE2.0; a slim keychain light, with a bare 5mm emitter and ramping. Read on for some testing!
Official Specs and Features
Only one version is available but it comes in a host of body colors. The superior orange is seen here, but there’s also (using their official color names): Black, Blue, Red, Olive, Transparent, Azure, Jacinth, Lemon, and Green.
These are selling for around $10 on amazon (referral link).
This light is ok. It would live nicely on a keychain and be useful with low output in “keychain type needs” but it’s not anything past that. As such, it’s a fine low cost light, available with many color options.
The Big Table
|Nitecore Tube V2.0|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$9.99|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Power off Charge Port?||Yes|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||55|
|Candela per Lumen|
|Claimed Throw (m)||25|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||9lux @ 2.794m = 70cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||16.8 (67.2% of claim)*|
|All my Nitecore reviews!|
* Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Nitecore TUBE2.0
- Split ring small
- Split ring large
Package and Manual
“Frustration free” open package.
The manual is a pared down Nitecore manual – only English here.
Build Quality and Disassembly
This feels like a plastic body light. The halves are screwed together by tiny Philips screws
But overall the build isn’t bad, and the halves stay together securely.
Size and Comps
Length 56.5 mm / 2.22 in
Weight 9.6 g / 0.33 oz
Retention and Carry
This is a keychain light, so it’s intended to attach to your keyring. Or if you don’t have a keyring, it’s intended to attach to either of the two included rings.
There are two metal loops in the tail for this purpose. These are very secure.
There’s no pocket clip or pocket clip option, and no magnet, etc. Since there’s no clip, it can’t be used as a hatlight, either. (Though that would be a smart addition). A very small magnet somewhere clever inside the body would make this work well, I believe.
Power and Runtime
The TUBE2.0 is powered by an internal lipo.
Here’s a runtime on the highest output.
I also tested the lowest mode but after 30 hours or so, upon realizing my copy of Excel would die a sure death trying to process this file, I stopped the test. The output was extremely stable for the duration of that time.
Since the battery is built in, on-board charging is a must. Here that’s done by micro-USB.
Charging looks very good and steady at around 1C. The capacity also checks out. (125mAh claimed.)
While charging, an internal LED is lit. When charging is complete, this emitter shuts off.
The lower modes have PWM. The lowest mode has extremely visible PWM. Possibly to the point of needing a strobe warning.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single e-switch on the side of the TUBE2.0. It’s rubberized, which is in contrast to the body which is slick plastic. So it’s easy to feel and find. It’s click, with very low travel.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click then hold||Ramping from Low|
|Lockout||Hold >3s||Unlock to High|
LED and Beam
There’s no claim to what emitter is used here. It’s an exposed 5mm LED, though.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Orange (and all those other inferior body colors)
- Easy operation
- Good charging, at 1C (improved over V1)
- 55 lumens is plenty for keychain use (55 is improved over V1)
What I don’t like
- PWM is fairly bad on the lower modes
- The UI can be easy to mess up
- This light was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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