Thrunite Neutron 2C V2 Review

ThruNite Neutron 2C V2

ThruNite Neutron 2C V2 along with its extension tube

The original Neutron 2C from a few years ago, when Thrunite was first introduced, had some issues. Now, it’s been through a complete overhaul and this Thrunite Neutron 2C V2 review will describe its virtues for 2014 and beyond.

A Nice Package

From the photo, you can see the Neutron 2C arrives in a sturdy cardboard box, along with a belt holster, a few replacements parts tucked inside it, an extension tube, an instruction manual and a very nice little flashlight! Neutron 2C V2 packaging

Specifications

  • CREE XM-L2(U2) LED
  • 118mm long; 25.4mm thick; weight w/o a battery, only 70 grams.
  • Voltage Range; 2.7 to 8.4
  • Electronic soft-press side-switch
  • Battery Acceptance: Lithium only. (1) 18650 (1) 16340/CR123A* (1) 18350 –OR– (2) 16340/CR123A (2) 18350
  • Maximum beam distance of 212 meters

Let’s Talk Batteries! (and power) 

Okay, one of the plus’s of the 2C Version 2, is that it comes with an extension tube. This

The XM-L2 (U2) LED

The XM-L2 (U2) LED

will transform the light into a two battery configuration….or one battery, if you’d prefer to use a 18650.

In its non extended form, you may use 1 of any of the smaller batteries noted above. This would be either a disposable CR123A or a rechargeable 16340, or the slightly thicker, rechargeable 18350.

The photo here shows the 2C with its

The Neutron 2C next to a 18650 battery

The Neutron 2C next to a 18650 battery

extension attached, and a 18650 along side.

Before I get into the details of the different battery configurations, let me state that after trying them all, my recommendation is to use either (1) 18650, [with extender] or (1) IMR-18350 [without extender].

So, diving in head-first, here’s what you can expect when using a 18650.

  • Moonlight Mode: 0.1 lumens for 90 days of continuous use!
  • Low Mode: 14 lumens for 3 days
  • Medium Mode: 215 lumens for 5 hours
  • High Mode: 630 lumens for 95 minutes
  • Turbo Mode: 1000 lumens for 90 minutes

Here’s what you might expect from powering with one CR123A: (*not recommended)

  • Moonlight: 0.1 lumens
  • Low: 14 lumens
  • Medium: 140 lumens
  • High: 140 lumens
  • Turbo: no change!!

So….what’s up with that poor performance?? The Neutron 2C doesn’t fully support the use of (1) CR123A. The 3 volts that this battery provides, isn’t enough to supply the power that the light requires. Now, if you use TWO CR123A’s, you’ll get much different results!

  • Moonlight: 0.1 lumens
  • Low: 14 lumens
  • Medium: 220 lumens
  • High: 600 lumens
  • Turbo: 920 lumens

With TWO rechargeable 16340’s, the output will be identical to those listed above for the CR123’s.

However, if you’d like to use a 18350 rechargeable cell (which I do) here are those results. These are fairly uniform…but using only ONE small battery instead of two.

A 18350 and a 16340 lithium battery

18350 (top) 16340 (bottom)

  • Moonlight: 0.1 lumens
  • Low: 14 lumens
  • Medium: 220 lumens
  • High: 600 lumens
  • Turbo: 930 lumens

From that, you can see that using ONE 18350 battery, will give you much the same results as with two CR123’s. But, what about ONE rechargeable 16340? Well, that would be identical to using the 18350, except for Turbo Mode. In this case, it puts out about 750 lumens, then DROPS to around 600 lumens after about 5 minutes.

Without trying to confuse you…the difference is between using a standard Lithium-ion battery, versus an “IMR” (lithium) battery. The IMR chemistry has the ability to provide increased power, but often for a shorter amount of time.

Now if you were to use TWO (IMR) 18350 batteries…you would again get much the same result as when you used ONE (IMR) 18350, EXCEPT that Turbo Mode would be a smidgen higher.

Low Voltage? No Worries!

Finally, regarding batteries. For the 2014 2C, Thrunite has included a handy low voltage indicator! So far, with every battery configuration I’ve used, the 2C will start “blinking” in 10 second intervals when the installed battery is near depletion. This even includes UNPROTECTED 18350’s! Should you ignore the warning, it’ll just shut off after a few minutes.

Okay, now that we’ve depleted our discussion on batteries, let’s find out….

How To Operate the Neutron 2C V2

Today’s electronic switches are modern marvels. And the one on the Neutron 2C is quite nice. It doesn’t protrude as much as those on similar lights. This means there’s less chance of the light activating in your pocket, but it also means that you might need to “feel around” for the button a bit more as well.

A short quick press of the button will get you instant light. A double-press (from on or off)

Comparing size without the extender

Comparing size without the extender

to take you to turbo mode! A long holding press (from off) will access moonlight mode. Unlike a few other lights, there’s no lockout mode via the button. But if you give the bezel a short turn, it’ll be locked out.

Once you’re in a general lighting mode, it’ll remember where you were next time. Moonlight and turbo are NOT remembered.

Pressing and holding the switch while on, will advance to the next mode. It will then sequence from low to high, then from high to low…as long as you continue to hold your press.

The Beam Shot Gallery

Comparing size with the extender attached

Comparing size with the extender attached

 Thrunite’s Neutron 2C with its XM-L2 LED produces a very white, uniform beam. The “white-wall shot” from just a few feet away illustrates that quite well.

 

 

 

 

 

For the following images; click to view them full-size.

Thrunite 2C V2 on Moonlight mode

moonlight @ 4ft

Thrunite 2C V2 on low

low – indoor

Thrunite 2C V2 on Medium

medium – indoor

Thrunite 2C V2 on high

high – indoor

Thrunite 2C V2 on turbo - indoor

turbo – indoor

Thrunite 2C V2 - low outdoor @17ft

Low – outdoor @17ft

Thrunite 2C V2 on Medium - outdoor @20ft

Medium – outdoor @20ft

Thrunite 2C V2 on turbo - outdoor @20ft

Turbo – outdoor @20ft

Thrunite 2C V2 on Medium - outdoor at 75 ft

Medium – outdoor @75ft

Thrunite 2C V2 on Turbo - outdoor @75ft

Turbo – outdoor @75ft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

I know in most of my reviews you have to look carefully to find any negative comments. This isn’t intentional. I truly find the majority of products I review to be of high quality and usually free of defects or serious user inconveniences.

With regards to the Thrunite 2C V2, again, I’m truly pleased with its performance and operation. This light has become my favorite of recently reviewed products. The switching is smooth and click-free. You can quickly become accustomed to the side-switch without feeling “naked” by not having a tail cap button as well.

The beam has excellent range while maintaining a good hot-spot and peripheral spill. Moonlight mode is ALWAYS appreciated for those especially dark times when only a few feet need to be illuminated in front of you.

In case you haven’t noticed, the 2C is “clipless” (unless Thrunite decides to provide one down the road). Although not having a clip might be a game-changer to some, it’s not the end of the world. It certainly fits into any pocket or purse whether the extension is attached or not. In extension-less form, it might actually get lost at the bottom of a backpack or handbag! But no worries…it shouldn’t activate down there anyway.

Your questions or comments concerning the Thrunite Neutron 2C V2 are most welcome!

 

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14 Comments:

  1. Hi Ben,

    Congratulations on a very well written review.

    I love how thoroughly you cover the topic and all the great pictures you present in support of the product.

    Best Wishes,

    – Rich

  2. I have to admit that much of this information went over my head but I can tell that this is a well written and thorough review.
    I definitely learnt something new about lights today.
    Thank you
    Jackie
    x

  3. Thank you for the thorough review. This will definitely be my next flashlight purchase. It’s like getting twice the performance for half the price I paid for my last one. Thanks again. ~Jeremy

  4. Hey there,

    Interesting and well done. I would pay attention to pictures, some are to close to each other a little bit.

    Good Luck

  5. Very nice review on the ThruNite Neutron 2C V2. 🙂

  6. I noticed in one of your pics you have a pocket clip on the flashlight. What brand and make is that pocket clip? Where could I buy it? I need that same kit. : 0)

    • Thanks for asking, but the clip was taken from another light that’s not usually used for every day carry. I believe it’s from a similar sized Nitecore. It’s not a ‘perfect’ fit, but it holds on very well.

      • What brand of 18350 and 18650 batteries do you recommend for the ThruNite Neutron 2C V2?

        Thanks

        • Hi Daniel, In truth just about ANY brand will provide the necessary power for the Neutron to perform well. For 18350’s…I’m personally fond of Efest. For these, the “unprotected” IMR are usually preferred. But they have a protected “ICR” type as well. For 18650’s, you can’t go wrong with any of the big brands.

          Thanks for your question!

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