I’ve carried a little ThruNite Ti3 flashlight with me every day for, well, years. The 1xAAA light is powerful, pocketable, affordable and has simple, one-handed controls. So when I was looking for something larger to light up my life (not to mention my rifle from time to time), a ThruNite seemed the obvious choice. Enter the ThruNite TN12.
The TN12 comes complete with a rechargeable 18650 battery, a charger, USB cable (yes, you can charge the battery from your laptop), pocket clip, wrist strap and extra O-rings. If your battery dies and you can’t easily re-charge it, the TN12 will happily run on a pair of CR123’s as well.
The TN12 has a simple, intuitive interface. The rear rubber button is just an on/off switch. The silver button aft of the lamp adjusts intensity (five settings ranging from .4 to a whopping 1100 lumens) and switches the TN12 to strobe mode should you wish.
The primary use case for this light, at least for me, is as a general purpose EDC light and a nightstand dweller in case of a power outage. But the other job I wanted this Swiss Army knife of a light to do: illuminate targets when lights are low on the end of my AR.
The TN12’s “aircraft grade” aluminum body happens to have a standard one-inch (25.4mm) diameter. That means there’s no shortage of mounts available to attach one to the fore-end of a rifle.
I bought a simple, affordable Fenix ALG-00 quick release mount which cradles the TN12 almost like it was made for it. Which it kinda was.
Its medium size and light weight (3 oz. without a battery) let the TN12 perform admirably as a weapon light. The simple rear rubber on/off switch is exactly the kind of binary interface is exactly what you want in a rifle light.
Should you need to change the TN12’s intensity, a quick reach forward to that silver button gets it done. The TN12 has memory, so it remembers the last intensity setting you used before switching it off.
Holding the intensity adjustment button down for one second switches the light into strobe mode. Touching the button again brings you back to the the last intensity setting you’d been using.
At least for me, the tactical isn’t always practical. My TN12 will do be doing a lot more duty as a general purpose light than it will illuminating hogs or other things that go bump in the night.
Since it will spend a lot more time stowed in my pocket than affixed to the fore-end of my rifle, the fact that the pocket clip slips on and off while holding the TN12 securely is much appreciated.
Yes, those are the ridiculous, but seemingly obligatory photos of the TN12’s beam at each of its five intensity settings. I prefer the softer beam thrown by an orange peel textured reflector, but there’s nothing objectionable or overly harsh about the neutral white even beam the TN12’s smooth reflector generates.
Here are the lumens it cranks out and the rated hours for each power level:
-Firefly (0.4 lumens /74 days)
-Low (18 lumens /5.5 days)
-Medium (175 lumens /11.8 hours)
-High (435 lumens /4.2 hours)
-Turbo (1100 lumens /95 minutes)
Reader’s Digest version: just as with guns, there is no one flashlight to rule them all. That said, the ThruNite TN12 hits a very versatile price/performance/features sweet spot that lets it fill a variety of roles including EDC light, home emergency duty and weapon-mounted illuminator. All for under fifty samolians.
Specifications: ThruNite TN12 (2016) XP-L V6 Max 1100 Lumen Flashlight
LED: CREE XP-L V6, 50,000 hours life span
Batteries: 18650 rechargeable (included) two CR123A’s (not included).
Max output: 1100 lumens with XP-L V6.
Working voltage: 2.7V – 9V
Max beam distance: 226 meters.
Construction: Aircraft-grade aluminum body
Finish: Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive
Lens: Toughened ultra-clear glass with anti-reflective coating
Reflector finish: Smooth
Length: 5.6 inches (143mm)
Diameter: 1 inch (25.4mm)
Weight: 3 oz. (86g) without batteries
MSRP: $49.95 ($45.95 at Amazon)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics: * * * * *
The simple, intuitive interface is excellent. The rear thumb switch is tactile and positive. Adjusting intensity via the secondary switch is quick and easy.
Function and Build quality: * * * *
I’d have painted the intensity adjustment button black Like the rest of the light, but that’s me. More substantially, the anti-roll flat sections on the ring around the rim behind the bell have rounded edges. That means they aren’t long or flat enough to keep your TN12 from rolling away if you set it down on an uneven surface. (You’ll have to rely on the pocket clip to do that, assuming it’s installed.) The rest of the design from the knurling to the reflector finish to the lens clarity are first rate.
Reliability: * * * * *
I’ve carried the TN12 for weeks, dunked it in water (yes, those O-ring seals really work) and it’s only asked for more. The TN12 should hold up to some serious use and abuse.
Overall: * * * * *
With the slight exception of those insufficient anti-roll bevels, the TN12 does everything you’d want a flashlight to do — EDC carry, emergency use and weapons duty — at a very reasonable price. And the fact that it lets you avoid buying one or two additional lights to do those other jobs makes it an even better value.
ThruNite has given TTAG readers a 5% discount when buying anything through the official ThruNite site. Just enter THRUNITE in the discount code field at checkout.