ThruNite has just unleashed his new Neutron series to the public and many people will find them very familiar feeling. Will that familiarity develop into love of a tried and true concept or boredom with a lack of new and interesting?
Meat and Potatoes
The ThruNite Neutron series in general immediately gives off an impression of other lights named after subatomic particles. Its UI is intensely familiar to fans of both the 4Sevens Quark line and the majority of Fenix’s products. A simple 2 line interface with a total of 7 modes at your disposal will take little getting used to before you are able to easily find your desired mode.
Fit and finish of the Neutron 2A is quite superb actually. I was privy to some of the early renderings and was fortunate enough to be able to offer occasional suggestions during its development. This light has come a long way since its initial concept sketches and is now quite mature in its design. The knurling coating the vast majority of the light provide excellent grip and look fantastic in the process. The machine work is quite superb and there aren’t any over sharp edges to be found. Even the stainless steel bezel ring has minute chamfers keeping it from being too great a pocket shredder.
Powered by 2 common to find AA cells, the Neutron 2A feeds that energy to the new-kid-on-the-block Cree XM-L LED. This giant LED situated in such a narrow textured reflector creates a beautifully smooth, floody beam. The hotspot on this light is almost completely undefined, with such a wide transitional corona and bright spillbeam. This light takes its 255 lumens and spreads it thickly covering a very wide area. There are hardly any artifacts to be found. The more I use lights on a daily basis, the more I find the floody ones to be to my liking for EDC purposes. Throwy lights definitely have their place, but as far as general usefulness, it’s hard to beat a beam like this.
The biggest difference in UI styles to the aforementioned torches is the inclusion of memory of your last used mode. This can be a useful option since you won’t have to cycle up from the uber-low firefly mode in order to reach a mid-level lighting if that is more your preference, but it also creates a bit of a frustration forcing you to have to cycle through brighter lights and the SOS if you are only interested in using minimal output. This may be to some of your preferences so it could be less of a critique than an encouragement, but for me, I like my lights to be more predictable than that. If I haven’t used a light for a couple of days, I want to be able to grab it in the middle of the night and know without a doubt what it will look like when I activate it.
This light has one very puzzling aspect to it that I haven’t yet been able to figure out. The head and tail threads are physically compatible with each other allowing you to reverse the body (and as such, reverse the pocket clip) however because one set of threads is anodized to give you lock out ability, it also prevents the light from being used in this reverse method. A light that is capable of being clipped to the brim of a ball cap is actually an incredibly useful talent. This light can do so, but can’t be turned on when configured as such. I was a little disappointed to discover this.
The ThruNite Neutron series is a pleasant refresh of tried and true concepts. Nothing extremely new and noteworthy except the latest and greatest emitter. That beautiful beam though might just be the best reason to love it.
Provided for review by the kind folks at ThruNite.