Thrunite TC15 V3 Flashlight Review

Thrunite TC15 V3 Flashlight Review

The TC15 V3 is an updated version of a popular flashlight by Thrunite. It features high output and a USB-C charging port and more! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight product page.

Versions

There is only one version at this time. There are many TC15s, though. But I think just one TC15 V3 for now.

Price

The going price for this new version of the TC15 is $59.99.


Short Review

I appreciate that this venerable EDC flashlight has been updated to have a USB-C charging port. That’s a great change! And it even works with C to C charging (something manufacturers don’t always get right.).  But the emitter change here leads to some output differences that I don’t support. Well over 8000K CCT on the highest output is much too blue – angry blue – for my tastes. Otherwise (if not for that one thing) this is easy to recommend.

Long Review

The Big Table

Thrunite TC15 V3 Flashlight
Emitter: Cree XHP35.2 (Cool White)
Price in USD at publication time: $59.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.05
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: lowest 2 modes
without cell: lowest 2 modes
head only: lowest 2 modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2403
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 2446 (101.8% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 7.4
Claimed Throw (m) 223
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 1011lux @ 3.714m = 13946cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 236.2 (105.9% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 6500
Measured CCT Range (K) 5800-8200 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Thrunite
All my Thrunite 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).

What’s Included

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight what's included

  • Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight
  • Thrunite 3100mAh 18650
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Spare switch rubber
  • Spare charge port cover
  • Pocket clip
  • Nylon pouch
  • Manual and paperwork

Package and Manual

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight box

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight

Like the other TC15s before it, this light is well built.  There are a few design changes from the previous editions to this one, but nothing too dramatic.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight tailcap

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight tailcap off

The tailcap doesn’t have a magnet and has a spring that is fairly soft.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight tailcap spring Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight head threads

The head doesn’t have a spring at all; just brass contact points. I will add though that these contacts seem to be beefed up from the previous generation.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight head contact button

The threads on the cell tube are square-cut and thick, and anodized.  This allows easily mechanical lockout.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight head and tail off

Size and Comps

  • Dimensions: 122.5mm (length) x 27mm (body diameter) x 23.5mm (head diameter).
  • Weight: 74g (excluding battery)

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

A friction fit pocket clip is included. The pocket clip fits only one end of the cell tube, and the cell tube is not reversible.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight pocket clip

A two-way pocket clip does not make up for lack of deep bezel down carry.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight pocket clip area

There’s also a lanyard included, which will primarily attach on the tailcap.  There’s a (small but unusually generously sized) hole on the end for attachment.  The pocket clip does not have holes for a lanyard attachment.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight lanyard hole Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight lanyard hole Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight lanyard installed

Thrunite also includes a nylon pouch with a plastic D-ring.  The pouch has stretchy sides and accepts the light bezel up or down.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight nylon pouch Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight nylon pouch Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight nylon pouch

Power and Runtime

A single 18650 powers the TC15.  Thrunite, fortunately, includes a very high-quality protected button top cell.  The light will work with unprotected flat tops, but the cell tube is so long and there ends up being so much extra space, that the cell can bounce around a little in there.  Couple that with the soft spring and no spring on the head; I’d just stick with the included cell generally.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight included 18650 cell

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight included 18650 cell Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight included 18650 cell

The cell goes into the light with the positive end (the button) toward the head.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight included 18650 cell installed

In any case, the included cell is quite capable of powering this Cree XHP35.2 HD.  The peak output (initial turn on) on Turbo is around 2600 lumens and begins to drift downward for around a minute.  I measure the 30-second output at around 2450 lumens, which is above the claim.  The light then begins a quick descent to just below the High output, where it stays in a very regulated state until an abrupt shutoff due to LVP.  It’s a 12V emitter, so the boost circuit probably can’t boost the cell to the required Vf much below 3V anyway.

The indicating switch does give low voltage warning, and then the light finally shuts off at an acceptable voltage.

Charging

The TC15 also has built-in charging.  This is possible using USB-C (and a USB to USB-C cable is included.)  The charge port is in the head of the light near the switch (not directly across the head, though.)

Interestingly the charging port is “longways.” This helps the design of the light, because it doesn’t require a long side on the head.

Charging looks great, at around 2A and takes under 3 hours.

Fortunately C to C charging works here as well, with the same profile as above.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 2403-732 2.3m-106m 2446 9.71
High 1057-750 1.6m-108m 1105 2.65
Medium 330 4.6h 347 0.61
Low 34 50h 34 0.05
Firefly 1 30d 1 3.29mA

Pulse Width Modulation

There isn’t PWM on any mode.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single switch on the Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight.  It’s an indicating e-switch on the head.  The button has metal look and a transparent spot in the center – of course since it’s also an indicating switch.  The feel of the switch and charge port are different but similar enough that it’s a bit difficult to differentiate them without looking.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight indicating e-switch

This switch is just a little bit “squishy” for me – the switch presses down into that ring surrounding it, in some kind of weird and unpleasant way. Mainly it’s that you distinctly feel the switch bezel around the switch when pressing.

The switch does have an indication function, too, as follows:

Blue: 3.2-4.2V (or 21%-100%)
Red: 2.9-3.2V (or 11-20%)
Red Flashing: 2.6-2.9V (or 1-10%)
Off: 0-2.6V (or 0%)

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode Memory except for Firefly, Turbo, Strobe)
Off Hold 1s Firefly
Firefly Hold 2s Lockout
Lockout Click No Output (switch indicates red)
Lockout Hold 2s Firefly
On Click Off
On (Except Firefly) Hold Mode advance (LMH)
Any Double Click Turbo
Any Triple Click Strobe

Note that this user interface is pretty much like the Thrunite T1, with the exception that the T1S does not have ramping.  I consider that a great upgrade, and sort of back to the Thrunite roots.  It feels much more natural, anyway.

LED and Beam

The emitter of choice here is a Cree XHP35.2 HD, in CW.  (A NW version may be available at some point, or now, even, but is currently listed as out of stock.)  The reflector has a slight orange peel texture, and is deep.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight emitter

Cree XHP35.2 HD is probably an excellent choice for a light intended to produce 2300 lumens.  Typically CW lights put out a little bit more lumens too, so again, probably a good choice.

Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight reflector Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

And here we get to the fly in the ointment. Thrunite specs this Cree XHP35.2 HD as a 6500K emitter, and that’s true for the lowest mode. But even on the second to lowest mode, we’re over 7000K which by any standard is “cool.” By the highest mode, we’re well over 8000K, into the “angry blue” output levels. Now you might think I just got a bad unit – maybe so! But when I tested my Thrunite TC15 V3 flashlight, I sent the results to Thrunite and they actually sent a replacement.  This is the replacement. Both of my test units have the same CCT profile, all the way up to well over 8000K for Turbo. You can take this information however you want, I guess, but looking at the beam in person I’m not surprised at all that it’s reading as 8000K.

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Good complete package for not too expensive
  • USB-C to USB-C charging works
  • Indicating switch
  • Output matches specifications
  • Good throw from an EDC light

What I don’t like

  • Angry blue emitter on higher modes
  • Switch bezel is “uncomfortable”
  • Two-way pocket clip

Notes

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