Any good flashlight enthusiast knows the benefits of an 18650 powered light. Their rechargeability and high capacity make them suitable for the majority of illumination tasks. What could be better? Sunwayman answers in a very simple manner, “How about 2 of them?”
Meat and Potatoes
Sumwayman has shown quite a history of nice lights over the years. They haven’t necessarily been massively ground-breaking, but they have been well-polished lights that are good for their intended use. The T45C doesn’t stray too far from that formula.
Using a pair of 18650 cells or a quartet of CR123A‘s arranged not in series, like several lights I’ve reviewed previously, but parallel (2sx2p for CR123A), both physically and electronically, the T45C is a surprisingly compact light. The smooth polished reflector is not nearly as large as a number of the dedicated throwers I’ve seen, but still manages to collimate the light from Cree’s XM-L2 LED into one of the tightest beams I’ve yet used. This powerhouse is definitely made for distance illumination, rather than broad, short range work. Sunwayman has not chosen to push the XM-L2 to its full limit, but is still pumping 980 lumens out of this powerhouse of an emitter. This level actually allows the unique ability to run the torch with only a single 18650 if an emergency arises. The runtime would take a nosedive under these circumstances, but the power coming out of the front of the light would be nearly unchanged.
User interface is a fairly typical electronic switched light with mode memory. Simply press for on, and press again for off. Pressing and holding will cycle through the 4 output levels from high to low. A double click activates the secondary mode set that is dominated entirely by blinking lights. Right off the bat you have a typical “tactical” strobe. Pressing and holding from there will allow you to select one of two available beacons. As far as I have discovered, there isn’t an SOS option to be found. I don’t personally see blinky modes as terribly useful, so I am happy to have them placed out of the main usage path. This prevents people from stumbling across them unintentionally. I’m sure others of you will be quite happy to still have them included “just in case”.
Physically, the T45C lives up to the fit and finish that we have come to expect from Sunwayman. Sporting a sharp, flawless black anodized coat, this light draws some serious attention with its red electronic housing and raw aluminum heat sink fins showing through strategic cutouts in the body. This is an incredible looking light in my eyes. One of the aesthetic best I have tested. It feels like it will be quite durable too. The sidewalls are thick and resistant to deformation, and there appears plenty of stainless steel around the bezel to shrug off impacts to the business end. The 2×18650 size of the body fits my hands as if it were tailor made for me alone. I know I will be interested to see other lights using this same electrical layout.
Much of this light achieves near-perfection in my eyes. There is, however, one chafing frustration that exhibits itself during use. The Lanyard hole, set at the base of the handle, is far and away the sharpest, and least “finished” part of this torch. It is situated perfectly to dig deep into the palm of anyone careless enough to hold it in their right hand with their thumb on the switch. This is far and away the biggest flaw in the design of the T45C. Any other issues, such as the potential for the heat sink fins to become clogged with dirt or pocket lint, seem trivial by comparison. If I could suggest one thing, just one single thing, to Sunwayman to correct, it would be this. Move, or even simply remove this lanyard attachment. It’s potential for usefulness is far outweighed by its propensity for pain.
The T45C is an unpretentious light. It knows what it wants to achieve, and does it. Compact power, and beautiful aesthetics. It may not be small enough to use as a pocket light, but as a nightstand companion it serves its purpose well.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Sunwayman.
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