ThruNite Neutron 2A

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?

ThruNite Neutron 2A

ThruNite Neutron 2A

 

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.

Cree XM-L

Cree XM-L

Constructive Criticism

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.

Pocket Clip

Pocket Clip

Conclusions

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.

ThruNite Neutron 2A

ThruNite Neutron 2A

Provided for review by the kind folks at ThruNite.

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7 Comments

  1. Nice review, one light I will be looking at.

  2. 1. I have yet to see the run-time disclosed anywhere, even in the manufacturer’s specs or vendor webpages. What is it?

    2. What is the amp load on the battery (at the tailcap?)
    My understanding is that 4sevens (and other manufacturers) have not gone here because the current draw with the XML is too high for the AA format batteries. (alkalines especially)

  3. Apologies, I omitted something important – the runtime on max/turbo is what I was after. Thanks.

  4. Well, I’ll have to see if I can get you a measurement of the current draw, but one of my co-reviewers has measured the runtime at 1hr 14 minutes of relatively flat output before dropping off. His measurements are technically to 50%, but it’s a pretty steep drop-off.

  5. I found it! S.B. reviews indicate it is within 10 or 20 minuets faster discharge than the LD20. The Fenix turbo modes traditionally hit the batteries kind of hard, and my real world results indicate the L2D will reverse and vent a cell/overheat and swell the switchboot 5 to 15 minuets before a Quark on max tailstanding in free air (depending on ambient temperature).

    Either we will see a moderate decrease in lifespan of NIMH with the neutron,

    or some manufacturers claims are overly cautious with our batteries (duly acknowledged and appreciated if this pans out)

    OR those manufacturers claims are unfounded (why?)and the neutron is close enough to being in line with other discharge curves as not to be a great concern.

    My interest lies in establishing where on the spectrum this light falls and what the real truth of the matter is -and it is not clear weather it is in the “battery wrecker” zone, or the “no concern” zone or where in between the two it might fall so we can make our own risk judgements.

    With the newer eneloop/duraloop rated for less cycles than the old ones, I see this becoming a greater concern going into the future as people transition into them.

    Just thinking ahead. Would appreciate your input/reflection on the matter. Thanks a whole bunch!

  6. I would dare say that even if full length runs on Turbo could potentially decrease lifespan of your Ni-MH cells, this is less of an issue than you might think. Generally speaking I have always found myself limiting turbo to burst modes, specifically since if I am in an extended use situation I want my cells to be able to outlast my need for illumination. I usually turn the light down a step or two for any duration of use. For those few times where absolutely full output is needed for any length of time, I suspect potential future deterioration of a couple of AA cells is by far a secondary concern.

  7. The Neutrals are out!
    Still casually interested in this light, in either flavor, but on the fence about it.

    Upon further review, I would like to correct what I said about the new Eneloops. I was looking at outdated and incorrect information, and they are rated for MORE cycles than older versions.

    As the Eneloops are known to be conservatively rated, it is possible that it was only a change on paper and they would still meet the spec. From what I’ve seen so far is that no one really knows what to make of the new ones, or in what way they are truly different from the old ones, other than the early alarmisim was largely unfounded. I’ll settle for “equal or better” -as that is what the information points to recently.

    Having at least 4 of my eneloops dating back to 2007 that have been heavily abused, overcharged, terminals bashed in, overheated, run to 0 and held shorted overnight- all of the above dozens of times still ticking along no different than new ones, I wonder why I was so worried about it. Perhaps I’ll panic wildly about their quality in another 5 years when the 2007 cells finally die, and then come to my senses and laugh at myself…

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