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ThruNite TH30 V2 Review: Headlamp
ThruNite TH30 V2 specifications
|Brand/model||ThruNite TH30 V2|
|Beam intensity||7,290 cd|
|Review date||December 2021|
ThruNite has been in operation since 2009 and has put out some very nice flashlights. In fact, my very first “nice” headlamp was a ThruNite TH20 which has served me faithfully for the past 5 years. I feel like ThruNite products sit in a comfortable “in between” segment: they’re not ultra-budget lights that skimp on features, but they usually don’t break the bank either. Overall, they provide a good mix of value and performance.
The model being reviewed now is the TH30 V2. The name hints that this is larger than my trusty TH20 (it is), but also that this is a Version 2. While I don’t own the original, just looking at ThruNite’s product info I can tell that there’s definitely updated styling along with a switch to using USB-C instead of Micro USB for charging. Those sound like worthwhile changes. Let’s dive in.
The ThruNite TH30 V2 arrived in pretty typical packaging: a brown cardboard box with some light ThruNite branding on the outside. The inside is lined with dense white foam. Overall, pretty understated but highly functional in making sure the goods arrive in proper order. Inside the box was:
- ThruNite TH30 v2
- 18650 battery (in the headlamp)
- Pocket clip
- Spare o-rings
- Spare USB cover
- Charging cable
Flashlight in use
In general, headlamps come in two general shapes: T-shaped (LED centered in the middle) and L-shaped (LED at one end). For folks that only use the headlamp as, well, a headlamp, the T-shape makes a lot of sense. Having the LED in the middle creates a more visually balanced feel. An L-shape, however, lends itself towards doubling as a right-angle work light. My faithful TH20 that I’ve had for years is T-shaped and I really do like it. Between its smaller size and centered LED, it’s great for close-up tasks. This TH30 V2 is a whole different animal. Aside from boasting a lot more power, it’s larger and plays dual-duty as a work light. The included two-way reversible pocket clip aids in this as it can ride along, clipped into your shirt pocket. I can’t say I completely understand why ThruNite went with a two-way clip as I normally associate that with being used clipped to a hat, but that’s not really something you’d do with a headlamp of this style.
The included headstrap is of the 3-band variety (over the top in addition to around the head). I like the soft rubbery mounts. They make it fairly easy to remove and reinstall the TH30 V2. It also conforms to your head fairly well. The band material is nice and stretchy, but nothing too special. Unlike some headlamps I’ve tried lately, there’s no anti-slip grippy pattern on the inside. That’s usually not a problem for me but I do think it might make a nice addition in the future.
There’s a single e-switch to control the ThruNite TH30 V2. It’s situated on the end of the headlamp nearest the LED. The switch is quite large and sits proud of the body. This is in contrast to the original TH30 whose switch was smaller and was recessed a bit.
One nicety that I’ve come to appreciate in a right-angle light is a magnet in the tailcap. Some people like it, some don’t. But when you take the light from its headband and use it as a worklight, as is handy for an L-shaped light such as the TH30 V2, a magnet can help you position it just right. Sadly, this ThruNite model does not include a magnetic tailcap.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The ThruNite TH30 V2 features Type III hard-anodizing (HA III) in black, of course. The body is made of 6061-T6 aluminum. It has a bit of a sheen to it. Not quite glossy, but not far from it. The machining is very smooth with lots of chamfers. The tail-end threads are square-cut, very smooth, and pre-lubed. The connection of the battery tube to the head appeared to be glued, but very lightly so. I was able to fairly easily unscrew it by hand, though I could see little remnants of glue on the threads. There’s really no reason to take it apart there though. Overall, everything feels well designed and smooth.
ThruNite provides a nice warranty: 2 years free replacement for any problems that develop from normal use. Beyond that, there is lifetime limited maintenance, where ThruNite will provide maintenance service, but the cost of parts and freight would be the responsibility of the customer.
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
You’ll find a Cree XHP70.2 (yeah, the big boy) nicely centered in the middle of an orange-peel reflector. The reflector is generously sized and held in place by a stainless bezel ring. The large OP reflector helps to diminish some of the beam irregularities that can be produced by the Cree flip-chip design. My sample came with a Cool White LED, but ThruNite also offers the TH30 V2 in a Neutral White option. ThruNite is pretty good about providing this option and I really do appreciate that. A high-CRI option might be a nice improvement for the future, but for now, I’ll just be happy that there are options.
With having a large LED and an OP reflector, the beam is certainly floody. There is a hotspot, but it is fairly broad with a lot of spill. And while the reflector is orange peel, it’s not working any magic here… the Cree rainbow is quite evident. I might apply some DC Fix (diffusion film) to the lens to try and smooth out the beam. If you can find a pebbled TIR that fits, that would be a great option as well.
Using my Opple Light Master, I measured the following details about the beam:
- CCT: 5459
- CRI: 66
- DUV: 0.0075
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 107.5 mm / 4.2 inches
- Head diameter: 25.5 mm / 1.0 inches
- Body diameter: 24 mm / 0.94 inches
- Without cells, bare (no band): 65 grams / 2.3 oz.
- Without cells, with band: 113 grams / 4.0 oz.
- With cell and band: 168 grams / 5.9 oz.
From left to right: Skilhunt H300, ThruNite TH30 V2, Convoy H1
Driver & User Interface:
The ThruNite TH30 V2 uses what I would consider to be a very standard e-switch UI and that’s a great thing. It seems very familiar and includes all the right shortcuts.
Available modes: Firefly, Low, Medium-Low, Medium, High, Turbo (and SOS)
- Press and Hold: firefly
- Single click: last-used mode (except for firefly, turbo, and SOS)
- Double click: turbo
- 3 clicks: SOS
- Press and Hold: cycle through main modes (low, medium-low, medium, and high)
- 1 click: turn off
- Double click: turbo
- 3 clicks: SOS
- Yes, there is memory for the “normal” modes
- To Firefly: long hold from off
- To Turbo: double click (from on or off)
- To Strobe: triple click (from on or off)
Low voltage warning:
- The light would blink 3 times every 10 seconds for the last few minutes before shutting off
- There is one blinky, an SOS mode
- There does not appear to be an electronic lock-out mode.
- Since the tail threads are anodized, you can physically lock it out by slightly twisting the tailcap
- No PWM was detected using a photodiode with my DMM
Additional info on the UI:
- All in all, I really like this UI. To me, the only oversight is the lack of a lockout mode.
Batteries & Charging
The ThruNite TH30 V2 came with a protected 18650 battery with 3100 mAh capacity. It’s not too long for being a protected button-top battery. I checked a couple flat-top batteries for fitment (Samsung 30Q and 35E) and they worked just fine. The positive connection is a flat brass button, so there’s no wiggle room there. The tailcap connection is a medium-sized spring. As it is, the included protected battery is about as long as what could fit. I imagine many protected 18650 may be too long.
I’m glad to see that there’s built-in charging and it’s of the USB-C variety. I feel like we’re finally getting to a point where Micro-USB is pretty much phased out for new designs – thank goodness. I’ll admit here – this is my second TH30 V2. The first one I received got put on charge and then after about 15 seconds, it quit charging. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the built-in charging to work. ThruNite was very quick to RMA that light and send out a new one. The new one works just fine – absolutely no charging problems this time.
When charging, the button lights up red. It switches to blue when charging is complete. In my testing, I observed a 7.25 watt (1.4 amps at 5.1 volts) charge rate and it took 2 hours and 41 minutes to fill up the included 3100 mAh battery. At the end of the charge cycle, the battery was at 4.15 volts.
There’s not much else to say about the built-in USB-C charging except perhaps that the cover sits very flush to the light body. This keeps it from catching on things, but also means that it was a bit tedious to lift up with my freshly-cut nails.
For current measurements, an ANENG AN8008 multimeter and UNI-T UT210E clamp meter were used. Lux was measured by a UNI-T UT383 BT at 10 meters. Lumens were measured in a homemade lumen tube using a TSL2591 sensor, calibrated with a Maukka calibration light. The temperature was monitored with a MLX90614 IR temperature sensor. The included 3100 mAh ThruNite battery was used.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
|Mode||Amps at start||Specs||Lumens @turn on||Lumens @30 sec||Lumens @ 10 min|
|High||1.5 A||1256 > 867||1077||1071||1042|
|Turbo||5.3 A||3320 > 853||2770 lm||2657 lm||689|
- 76 µA
The Turbo test started out a bit shy of specs: 2770 lumens instead of 3320. It held that fairly steady or the first 1 ½ minutes which I’d say is pretty good for being such a small light. At that point it ramped down quickly and settled into 688 lumens which it held for the remainder of the run. Low voltage warning blinks began at 2 hours and 8 minutes. The light shut off at 2 hours and 14 minutes. The maximum temperature was 59°C; it was around 55°C for most of the run. The battery was at 3.01 volts.
High mode started off at 1077 lumens. Just after 10 minutes, there was a step-down to 743 lumens; it stayed around there for the rest of the run. Low voltage warning occurred 1 hour and 53 minutes; the light turned off at 1 hour and 56 minutes. Maximum temperature was 57°C.
Medium mode was pretty uneventful. It turned on at 306 lumens and stayed around the 300-lumen mark the entire time. Low voltage warning happened at 5 hours and 18 minutes. The light shut off 2 minutes later. Maximum temperature was 35°C.
|Turbo||7,290 cd||5,850 cd||153||167|
ThruNite only provided throw numbers for Turbo mode. Overall, I measured lower than spec. Part of that is likely related to me measuring lower lumens than spec as well. Honestly, this doesn’t bother me though because I’d rather a headlamp be more floody.
Beam shots of the building are taken at 15 m (16 yd) using a Pixel 3 set to ISO 200 with 1/10 second exposure time
Beam shots of the playset are taken at 30 m (33 yd) using a Pixel 3 set to ISO 200 with 1/2 second exposure time. The trees in the background are around 65 m away.
- ThruNite TH30 V2
- Skilhunt H300
- Nitecore HC60 V2
- Wuben H1
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by ThruNite. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Very bright for its size
- Great UI
- USB-C charging
- Nicely regulated output
- Good sustained brightness
- Misses output specs
- Cree tint-shift
- No magnetic tailcap
- No electronic lock-out
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4 stars: ★★★★
There’s a lot I really like about the ThruNite TH30 V2. It’s built well, it’s plenty bright (even if it misses specs), has a nicely regulated driver, and the UI is full-featured and natural feeling. I have a few nits to pick though. Having the Cree tint-shift of a XHP70.2 in a headlamp is a bit bothersome / distracting. I think if ThruNite is going to stick with a flip-chip Cree LED, I’d like to see them utilize a pebbled TIR (TH30 V3 perhaps?). I also would have liked a magnetic tailcap to beef up its work-light chops. I still would definitely recommend this headlamp, those are just a couple of things you might want to be aware of going in. All in all, I think the ThruNite TH30 V2 is a really solid offering.