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Lumintop Thor 3 review: 3rd Lumintop LEP Flashlight
Lumintop Thor 3 specifications
|Brand/model||Lumintop Thor 3|
|LEP type||N/A (shine through)|
|Review date||October 2021|
Note for readers: this review is based on the prototype we received. The actual production model has a different UI. Read on
If you’re following LEP flashlights, at 1Lumen.com closely, you probably have seen the Lumintop Thor 1, and the Lumintop Thor 2 review. They were the first LEP flashlights built by Lumintop. The Thor 1 being the smallest of the 3. This review is about the 3rd Thor, which uses a 21700 battery and has a much larger head than the 2 previous models.
And if you’re familiar with flashlights, you know that a larger reflector throws farther than a smaller one. And the same goes for the way convex lenses are used in LEP flashlights. The larger the convex lens, the better it can throw. From all the LEPs I own, the ones with the largest heads (and thus convex lens) have the best performance.
I received this light for review from Nealsgadgets. And since it’s not available for sale yet, the light wasn’t shipped in a normal Lumintop box, but in a plastic container. The box did include a lanyard attachment ring though.
Flashlight in use
Okay, while we’re talking about a high-intensity flashlight here, but not one that feels like you are working out. The Lumintop Thor 3 is a pretty small and lean flashlight when you think about a flashlight reaching 2000 meters, correct?
If we go back in time, we see the Lumintop BLF GT reaching 2,000 meters with 8*18650 batteries and weighing about 2 kg. The Thor 3 is supposed to reach as far, but only at a fraction of the weight.
When you look at the flashlight, it looks like any LED thrower with a large head. Except, the Thor 3 doesn’t use a reflector but a laser in combination with a convex lens.
To operate this flashlight you have 1 little switch, located in the tail. This is used for power and mode switching. There’s also some small AUX LEDs built into the tailcap, just for fun. I’m not sure if you can turn it off without removing things in the tailcap, but it does help to find your flashlight in the dark. Oh, and yes, the tailcap has a couple of glow tubes, they don’t ‘glow’ for very long, and only work when you ‘charge’ them first with some UV light or any kind of bright light.
It’s a reverse-clicky type switch, so you can change modes without turning the light off.
By default, a golden ring was attached near the tailcap, but my package also included a stainless steel lanyard ring to replace it.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The Thor 3 I received is made of aluminum, and I’m not 100% sure whether it will be available in any other material like Titanium or brass/copper. The Thor 1 and 2 were also available in titanium with a limited run.
It’s interesting to note, that in some earlier images of the Thor 3, the knurling on the battery tube looked the same as on the Thor 1. Mine doesn’t have this ‘pineapple style body, but it’s using the traditional knurling you find on many flashlights.
The knurling is pretty rough, so that should help with your grip. It’s covered with black anodization that completely covers the whole light. There is no other material used like a stainless steel bezel etc.
Threads are well lubricated and you can unscrew the tailcap by turning the tailcap 3 full rounds. I’m also not 100% sure if it’s just my copy, but all parts can be unscrewed. There is no Loctite used.
And to keep water out (assuming it does) Lumintop includes 1 o-ring on the battery tube, at the tailcap, but there is 1 more slot for an o-ring in case you’d like to double down. The same battery tube has a single o-ring near the head. There’s also a single o-ring used underneath the bezel.
Worried about warranty? Lumintop gives a limited lifetime warranty. Details can be seen on their website.
LEP, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
This is the place I can talk about the LED, but the Thor 3 doesn’t use any. Instead, it uses an LEP module.
LEP stands for Laser Excited Phosphor, and basically means that the light source isn’t an LED, but a laser. There are currently 2 types of LEP modules available for flashlights. The first, and classic one, is a ‘mirrored’ module and the second is the shine-through module.
The former, and classic type LEP module, has a mirror that reflects the blue laser onto a phosphor layer to change the blue laser into a white-looking beam. The whole module sits in a plastic casing. And you can imagine, this isn’t so great for heat dissipation.
The newer type LEP modules have the laser right behind a translucent phosphor layer, shining through the phosphor. On top of the phosphor sits a silicon dome, that concentrates the light into a narrower beam, and via a convex lens makes its way out the front of the light. The result is basically the same as the mirror-type LEP module but has much smaller dimensions.
That is a great improvement because that means it can be installed in smaller lights. And on top of that, these modules are usually made of metal, that can dissipate heat better to the rest of the light. So, in theory that is better.
In practice, however, the earlier mirror-type modules perform better. But only time will tell if these shine through modules improve and beat the mirror modules.
Oh, the Thor 3 uses the shine-through module.
At the front of the light you can see a black bezel, with a white ring behind it. This ring keeps a protective glass lens away from the convex lens right behind it. At first, I assume the white ring could glow in the dark, like with the Thor 2. But no, the ring is there only for keeping both lenses in place.
When you point the light to a wall nearby, you can see a blueish hue/rings around the hotpot, but this is too dim to see at a larger distance.
In the center of the beam is a clear hotspot with a pretty bright yellowish ‘spill’ and on the outside of the ‘spill’ there is some blueish hue. This is typical for an LEP flashlight. The color is a little towards ‘neutral’.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 165 mm / 6.5 ”
- Head diameter: 59.5 mm / 2.34 ”
- Body diameter: 25.45 mm / 1 ”
- Empty: 273.7 g / 9.65 oz
- With battery: 343.1 g / 12.11 oz
Laser flashlight comparison
Size compared to other LEP flashlights.
Rear row, from left to right: Jetbeam M1X WP-RX, Astroluw WP2, Jetbeam RRT M1X Raptor, Weltool W4, Acebeam W30, Maxtoch L60A, Maxtoch L2K, Maxtoch L3K.
Second row, from left to right: Fenix TK30, Weltool W3 PRO, Jetbeam RRT M2S Raptor, Nextorch T10L, Unbranded 26650 LEP, Lumintop Thor 3, Astrolux WP3.
Front row, from left to right: Olight Odin Turbo, Jetbeam M2S WP-RX, Nextorch T7L, Acebeam W10 gen2, Lumintop Thor 2, Lumintop Thor 1.
Driver & User Interface:
NOTE: the following is based on the (prototype) flashlight we received for review. The actual production UI has changed from 3 regular modes, to 2 modes (High and Low) + 1blinky.
One of the things that make or break a flashlight is the UI. High power flashlight with horrible UI? Pass. Tactical lights with Anduril? Pass. EDC starting in Turbo? Pass
Fortunately, most LEP flashlights have a very simple, and straightforward UI, and so does the Thor 3. And since there is only 1 switch, you don’t need much time to figure out how the UI works.
- Low, Medium, High
- Half-press: nothing
- Single-click: to last used mode; mode memory
- Double click: turns off
- Half-press: Cycle through the menu from Low to High
- Single-click: turns off
- There are no shortcuts
- Yes, it activates after a few seconds
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- No, just unscrew the tailcap
- Not visible
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The UI is very easy to get used to. It’s the same as most traditional LED flashlights.
Batteries & Charging
The thor was built to use for a single 18350 battery, the Thor 2 for 18350, and 18650 batteries. The Thor 3 is built for 21700 batteries.
You don’t have to worry if you don’t own any 21700 batteries yet. You can always use a 18650 battery adapter, or a very long 18650 battery, like a protected one. Unprotected, flat top 18650 don’t work without a proper 18650 adapter that extends the length of a 18650 to make contact on both ends. Fortunately, there are springs on both ends to give you a bit of extra room.
All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The calibration measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that is tested at 255 lumens.
For Amp readings, I use a Fluke 77III DMM. For higher amps, I now use a Fluke 325 True RMS clamp meter. For microamps, I use a cheap DMM with an easy-to-use micro amp setting.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Samsung 50G battery.
|Mode||Amps||Specs||@start||@ 30 sec|
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
Battery used: Samsung INR21700-50G
Right at the 5-minute mark, Turbo mode drops from +- 300 lumens down to +-125. After 4 hours and 30 minutes, there is another drop, down to +- 40 lumens. And the last drop at 4 hours and 50 minutes. That’s the full runtime
Medium starts off at 129 lumens and is pretty stable for the first 2 hours. From that point onward, the output slightly declines. After 4 hours and 28 minutes, the first major drop occurs. It drops down to +-40lumens. The next, and final drop, is at 4 hours and 57 minutes.
Low mode starts at around 61 lumens and is pretty stable, but there is a slight slope from about 3 hours. After 8 hours and 11 minutes, the light turns off when the output has decreased to +-30 lumens.
Measurements were taken outdoors (after 30 seconds) at 20 meters with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
|Mode||Specs Candela||Measured Candela||Meters||Yards||Miles|
|High||–||1,728,000 cd||2629 meters||2875||1.63|
Candela comparison: single-cell LEP flashlights with 60+ mm heads
A list of the larger single-cell LEP flashlights we reviewed: These numbers are NOT from the specifications but are measured by our reviewers. They include all single-cell LEP flashlights with a large diameter head (about 59mm and above). The numbers include the measurement in lumens (lm), measure candela (cd), and calculated distance in meters, and yards. These numbers are all measured 30 seconds after turning on.
|Flashlight (click for review)||@30sec (lm)||Candela (cd)||Meters||Yards|
|Jetbeam M1X WP-RX||491||2,280,000||3020||3302|
|Jetbeam RRT M1X Raptor||267||880,000||1876||2052|
|Lumintop Thor 3||311||1,728,000||2629||2875|
|Weltool W4 PRO||550||2,808,000||3351||3665|
And below is an interactive throw comparison graph (candela), between all single-cell LEP flashlights with a head larger than 45mm. Hover your mouse over the interactive graph below to see the details of each specific light. (tip: hold your mobile phone horizontally to see the full graph)
For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 100mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, .5sec , F4, 5000K
The tower is about 450 meters / 492 yards away.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Nealsgadgets. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Feels good
- Simple UI (in my prototype)
- No PWM
- Great rough knurling (not slippery)
- No accessories
- Output drops a lot after just 5 minutes.
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues, much better options available at the same price – 3: Average: some defects or issues – 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4 stars: ★★★★
Compared to the Thor 1, and 2, the Thor 3 performs much better. It can hit 2600 meters which is pretty good. But after 5 few minutes, the output drops a lot, just like with the Thor 1, and 2.
But even after the initial drop, the candela measurement is still at about 650+kcd, (which equals to a distance of more than 1600 meters).