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Speras TH2 Review: Long Range Flashlight
Speras TH2 specifications
|LED||Osram CULNM1.TG, CSLNM1.23, Cree XPE2 Green|
|Beam intensity||507,240cd (white), 235,250cd (red), 84,250cd (green)|
|Review date||February 2021|
A question was put to me a while ago – would I like to take a look at the Speras TH2 and take it through its paces? I had to pause for a while.
I remember seeing Speras popping onto the scene with a few EDC lights, and then growing their brand with a wider variety of lights, moving into the realm of throwers and hunting lights. I’ve always been somewhat curious about the brand, as newcomers to the flashlight world are always welcome, in my opinion.
It’s now my turn to take one of their lights out for a metaphoric run, and to see if they live up to what I imagine them to be.
Given that this is a hunting light, and as previously mentioned in my Brinyte T18 review, I’m not a hunter – as such, I’ll again be giving my opinion based more on the technical side of things rather than the utility of it as a hunting light.
At that time, I also mentioned that I low-key love zoomies – so this should be fun!
Inside a decent amount of packaging to ensure its safe arrival, I received a case for the TH2 and its accessories – this is probably the first light I’ve put my hands on that comes in a case like this, though I’m aware that it’s quite common for hunting lights.
The case itself is black with red clips, and also has large stickers on front and back with specifications and imagery.
Unclipping the case, I find some lovely dimple foam in the top half for protection, and then in the bottom half:
- The Speras TH2 itself, Osram CSLNM1.TG white emitter pill already installed
- Inside, the Speras-branded 3400mAh 18650
- Osram CSLNM1.23 red emitter pill
- Cree XP-E2 green emitter pill
- Scope mount
- Remote pressure switch
- Micro-USB cable
- Speras-branded 2-bay 18650 charger
The kit I received has everything needed to be up and running – after you charge the battery, of course.
Some of these items are marked as optional extras in the manual, so it’s worth checking with the vendor before purchasing.
I’m not sure there’s too much else that would really be needed to complement this!
Flashlight in use
The TH2 can be held a number of ways, really – overhand will give you easy access to the tail button, underhand would be quite comfortable for walking, and there’s the included scope mount for attaching to a firearm.
The button is an e-switch, and is smooth to press. There’s a small amount of resistance to activate the switch, but is easily overcome by a thumb.
Holding the TH2 underhand, my thumb either curls around the emitter pill area, with the back of my thumb resting against the red anodisation at the base of the head. Adjusting a little, it also sits nicely holding the head with a thumb and finger effectively holding the head of the light. The issue with this though is that in this position, you won’t be changing modes easily.
Overhand, your thumb rests on the switch ready for activation. As it’s a little front-heavy, holding it that way for longer periods of time could become fatiguing.
The remote switch provided for use with the rifle mount is quite useful, although the button labelling could be better. You can adjust the brightness with the S1 and S3 buttons on the remote to a finer degree than with the normal tail switch. Another thing to note is that it doesn’t come with double-sided tape, so you’ll need to provide your own to attach it to a rifle.
As the bezel is perfectly round and smooth, putting the light down on an inclined surface might send the light for a roll – but the use-case of this light doesn’t really lend itself to that happening.
There’s a very satisfying vsssshhh sound when moving the head from throw to flood mode – it’s air escaping the overpressure within the light which indicates that the o-ring isn’t a perfect seal, but I found myself rotating back and forth rhythmically because I found the sound quite pleasing.
Tailstanding: While it’s possible, the light really isn’t too stable while on its tail. That said, it’s really not meant to be; it’s a hunting light, after all.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Turning the TH2 over in my hands to take a good look at it, I immediately notice a few things. One, there’s not a sharp edge to be seen, and two, all the components appear to be slightly over-built to give it a bit of extra toughness.
The anodisation is the usual black, but as per the images, there are some lovely red accents that help it to stand out amongst the crowd. It’s a fairly smooth satin finish, so there’s no “chalky” feeling, nor is it a super smooth finish that just slides out of your hand.
There’s some grooves machined onto the body tube that helps with grip, but it’s not what I would consider knurling in a traditional sense. It’s pleasant to hold, though, so I rate that as a positive.
The tailcap is smooth and easy to remove, as there was a decent amount of lubrication on the threads there. The threads for the emitter pills, however, appeared to have little to no lubricant applied and were quite difficult to install and remove at first. After an application of lubricant, which is a good preventative maintenance task anyway, the emitter pill attaches to the head and cell tube significantly smoother. The only downside to that though is because of the nature of swapping the pills, you’re very likely to get lubricant all over your hands.
There’s o-rings all along the light; the body tube has one at each end, the emitter pill has another where it will sit against the base of the head, and another under the lens. While it may not be rated for submergence in water, it can definitely take most of what else would be thrown at it.
The scope mount appears to be quite strong and can hold the body tube quite tightly. I’d expect this to be very secure while mounted.
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
As the TH2 comes with three emitters, I’ll give an overview of each of them.
White and red: The two Osram emitters (CULNM1.TG and CSLNM1.23, white and red respectively) are well-known within the enthusiast community for giving an incredible amount of throw – the die size is 1mm^2, and most of that is focused directly “up”; this is what helps the TH2 have the throw numbers it does. In a reflector style light they have a “pencil” beam and some spill, but an aspheric zoomie makes that somewhat irrelevant. The white is a 6500K emitter, so definitely on the cooler side of things. Red is a 617nm emitter, so it’s getting more towards the orange end of red – although I freely admit I’ve been spoiled by “photo red” (660nm) and “far red” (720nm) as of late.
Green: The Cree XP-E2 is an interesting inclusion when there’s two Osram green emitters available, but it has the advantages of being a monochrome emitter instead of being phosphor converted. This may be more ideal for hunting, but I’m having trouble finding information on how the slightly different wavelengths and/or phosphor conversion affect things with relation to hunting.
The other part contributing to the large throw numbers is the large 66mm aspheric lens. This helps with the convex surface bringing the light back together in a tight beam, and the larger the lens, the better throw you can achieve, provided things are aligned correctly.
The bezel itself is anodised a very attractive red, and on the inside of the bezel is a small thread. This is for the optional colour filters that can be purchased.
In “throw” mode, there’s the typical “pencil” beam with a small amount of spill as in most aspherics, and in “flood”, a circle of light with a small amount of dimmer light around. Up close to a wall, there’s additional reflections from the bezel, but these are almost invisible once moving the light even 1m from a wall.
The flood isn’t the widest that I’ve seen from a zoomie, but that’s perfectly fine – this isn’t a light for illuminating a huge area around you.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 172mm (6.77”) in “throw” mode; 163mm (6.42”) in “flood” mode
- Body width: 25.4mm (1“)
- Head width: 70mm (2.76”)
- Empty: 326.6g (11.42 oz)
- With included 18650: 374.7g (13.22 oz)
Long Throw Flashlight comparison
The Speras TH2 compared to other flashlight throwers:
Driver & User Interface:
The UI of the TH2 is very simple – one button, and a few modes to cycle through. Each emitter has its own pill which includes the driver, so memory mode is set for each pill – if you last used low on the white pill, switching to green won’t necessarily be on low!
- Click: Turn on to last-used mode
- Hold: Momentary mode. Release to turn off.
- Triple click: SOS mode. Click again to turn off.
- Click: Turn off
- Hold: Cycle through L/M/H
Unscrewing the tailcap slightly will break the circuit to the signal tube. While there’s still electrical power (due to not having anodised threads on the cell tube), there’s no connection for the button.
Low voltage warning:
- There’s no mention of it in the manual, nor did I notice any visible “blips” in the runtime. As the included battery is protected, my assumption is that LVP is done via the battery – although the light appears to go to almost no output at around 3.1V, so that’s a pretty solid indication that it’s time to swap the cell or recharge.
- As above – SOS. This runs at the Medium mode brightness.
- To my eyes, there’s none visible, but looking at the emitters through a camera, there’s some very slight banding on high.
Batteries & Charging
The TH2 takes a single 18650 cell, and will happily accept both protected and unprotected cells – I have also tested with an LG HE2, and the light works perfectly happily, although heed the note regarding LVP above.
The cell provided is a Speras-branded 3400mAh, and is a protected cell with Micro-USB charging onboard. This charges at around 1A maximum when charged via USB – when placing the cell in my Vapcell S4+ and setting to auto mode, it selected 1.5A.
Also included in the kit I received was a 2-bay charger that can accommodate cells from 16340 to 32650 – this connects to a charger via Micro-USB, and can output 1A – so 1A into one cell, or 0.5A each into two cells simultaneously. This seems… quite low. I would have expected a doubling of that to 2A maximum, based on the USB standards.
I’d also like to see the charger and cell use USB-C as it’s more ubiquitous these days, but I do realise there’s a large market out there that still has a lot of Micro-USB coverage.
For my readings, I use the following:
Lux Meter: For lumen readings and runtimes, an Adafruit TSL2591 connected to a Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu, using RuTiTe by bmengineer in a custom sphere (build document coming soon, when I have some more time). A UNI-T UT383S is used for candela readings. An Adafruit MCP9808 rounds out the list for temperature monitoring when I feel it’s relevant.
DMM: UNI-T UT139C and UNI-T UT210E – 16AWG wire is used directly into the 139C via some banana plugs, and 8AWG wire in a loop for the UNI-T. The DMM I use depends on how high the expected current will be – I use the 139C for <10A, and the 210E for >10A.
Due to the signal-tube nature of this light, measuring current drain isn’t as simple as “connect wires, done”, but thankfully it follows the same signal mechanism as the FW3A. With that in mind, I get:
- L: 20mA
- M: 530mA
- H: 3.27A
- L: 20mA
- M: 570mA
- H: 3.53A
- L: 20mA
- M: 220mA
- H: 1.3A
No real surprises on the Osram emitters, although the red emitter has a lower forward voltage, so is most likely burning off the excess current as heat.
The Cree green runs at a lower current than I initially expected, but it does appear that the max current is 1A, as per the spec sheets – but enthusiasts are well-known to ignore spec sheets, as they’re considered fairly conservative.
Now before I get into it – the “lumens” in this graph aren’t really a good indication of what the light can do, as colour emitters don’t register lumens in quite the same way as a white light does; our eyes see them differently. The important figures for this are more the candela and the runtime, so take the y-axis on this graph with a grain of salt.
Somehow my setup has measured the red as higher output than the white, despite it being rated at around 40% of the lumens of the white on the box. I don’t have a good explanation for that, so the above definitely holds.
The green emitter is by far the most stable when it comes to output, with High holding steady for around 90 minutes and then declining until a drop to almost zero at around the 3.5 hour mark. Medium holds steady with a very slight decline over the course of more than 14 hours.
On Medium, red and white have a similar trajectory, but in higher modes, red drops off far faster but then has a large upswing again. White has a sharp fade, but then a sudden boost at around an hour, before tapering off again with the cell draining.
These measurements are taken in “flood” mode. Note again though that “lumens” doesn’t really tell the whole picture when you’re working with coloured emitters, as the red appears to saturate my sphere.
- Low: 3 lm
- Medium: 75 lm
- High: 305 lm
- Low: 2 lm
- Medium: 68 lm
- High: 314 lm
- Low: 3 lm
- Medium: 32 lm
- High: 91 lm
These were taken in “throw” mode with the light on high. As it’s designed to be a long-range thrower, I ran the 10m measurement five times and averaged the results to compensate for slight variations in distance after measuring. These were taken at turn-on:
- 10m outdoors: 588,100 cd = 1533.75m throw
- 10m outdoors: 338,000 cd = 1162.76m throw
- 10m outdoors: 108,000 cd = 657.27m throw
All three of these are decently above the ratings on the box (1424/970/518 for W/R/G respectively), which makes me feel that they were done at 30s, which is appropriate for the ANSI standard they reference.
Here is the list with most of the single 18650 throwers we reviewed, reaching 500 meters or farther.
|Flashlight||Battery||Max. Output (lm)||@30sec (lm)||Candela (cd)||Distance (m)|
|Noctigon KR1||Samsung 30Q||1061||–||83500||578|
|Convoy C8+||Samsung 30Q||–||–||83900||598|
|Boruit C8||Boruit 2200||441||435||120000||693|
|Acebeam L17||Acebeam ARC18650H-310A||1354||–||120600||695|
|Lumintop GT Mini||Samsung 25R||1176||–||121000||695|
|Microfire Falcon H8||Samsung 30Q||331||328||176000||839|
|Weltool T11||Panasonic 3400||571||–||255250||1010|
|Nextorch T7L||Nextorch 2600||524||524||437000||1322|
|Speras TH2||Speras 3400||305||–||588100||1534|
Outdoor shots were taken at 10s, f13, ISO 8000, 5000K WB. I’ve made some slight adjustment to brightness to reflect how it looked to my eye, with the aim of proving the most accurate to-eye image I can. The distance to the tree is about 220 meters.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Speras. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Choice of emitters (W+R) gives a ton of throw
- Simple UI on tailcap, easy use of remote
- Very nice feel to the hand, machining not too aggressive
- Good set of accessories included
- Green XP-E2?
- Slower than expected/desired charging both on-cell and included charger
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
If you’ve made it this far, I think by now you’ve got the idea that I quite like the TH2.
There’s a huge amount of throw out of this light without driving the emitters too hard, and while the flood mode isn’t super wide, it’s plenty sufficient for the use-case.
The accessories included help round out the kit to be a great buy-and-use option – though for best results, look into buying a second and maybe third battery.
I’d prefer a change to one of the Osram Green emitters, and I think the charging both onboard and in the included charger need a spec bump, but other than that, it’s fantastic.
I give this kit 4.5 stars very happily – I’ve certainly enjoyed spending time going over the TH2.