Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Kir
    Kir is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    165

    User review: TrustFire TR-D002, one of the smallest 2 XML lights

    Let's continue on with my reviews, today I'll take a look at a small 2 XML light from Trustfire.
    Trustfire is a chinese brand, they make good flashlights/bike lights/batteries and their products have better than average quality. Later I'll also post reviews for TR-D009 and TR-D010.
    Sorry for any possible errors or weird spelling - english is not my native language. Feel free to ask me any questions about this light, I'll try to answer them all.
    $44.26 TrustFire TR-D002 2*Cree XM-L2 4-Mode 2000-Lumen LED Bike Light - 4*18650 (2S2P battery pack) at FastTech - Worldwide Free Shipping
    You can buy it here and on other websites.

    «TrustFire TR-D002» all pictures are available here (there are also some additional pictures not used in this review), you can also view high-res originals (click on any picture, bottom-right corner will list all resolutions, use google translate if needed)

    PACKAGING / CONTENTS
    Light was packaged in a plastic bag, thats unusual for chinese bike lights.

    Small sticker with a product name was attached to one side of the bag:

    Here is what you'll get inside the bag:

    Bike light, plastic mount, rubber ring for mounting the button, charger, battery and:

    Manual, in chinese and english (click to view full-size and read the text), warranty card and a small QC sticker.
    This QC sticker is not only for show, from my experience trustfire products have good quality and they're usually better than cheap noname stuff.

    DESIGN

    TR-002 is the smallest 2 XML light at the moment from the cheap chinese bike lights (not counting custom designs and some expensive brand-name lights like Lupine Piko), it has a small light's head which is controlled with an external button. Such design was firstly used on MJ-816 and then applied to many other lights, it gives you the advantage of being able to control the light without removing your hands from the grips.

    Cable from the battery goes to a small splitter which has 2 cables going to button and light's head.

    Light's head is very, very small. Dimensions are 49x32x33mm, weight of the head is 85g.
    It has 2 XM-L2 leds installed inside, these are 2nd gen XML leds which are about 20% more efficient. These leds are only used in this light (009,010 models use normal XML leds) and you'll see why later.

    Back of the head has a simple metal plate with model name printed on it and a cable. There is also a very weird symbol on top of the light, i'm not sure whats it supposed to mean


    TR-002 compared to SolarStorm X2 and D99.


    Button uses simple rubber ring mount, light's head has a more advanced mount. This mount is used on other brand-name lights too, for example on Xeccon Spiker 1206, Niteye B20.
    It has a plastic clamp with a threaded strap, screw to tighten it on handlebars and a quick-release connector to the light's head.

    Here is it compared to Niteye B20, its basically the same.

    Attached to 22.2mm carbon tube, its a very sturdy and tight mount which can hold the light steady on any roads.

    BATTERY
    Usual 4x18650 2S2P 7.4v battery. These trustfire batteries are one of the very few chinese batteries with a guaranteed >3500mAh capacity, I have bought many of them and haven't encountered any bad batteries yet. Thats a big plus for this and other trustfire lights.

    Battery comes with a nice rubber-coated pouch and is covered in a protective silicone sleeve that can be orange or black.

    This sleeve can be opened from the bottom to get access to the battery inside and offers a good water protection for the battery.

    Battery capacity was measured on my Imax B6 charger at 0.7A discharge current and the result was 3600mAh to 6v and then additional 135mAh to protection PCB activation at 4.5v. It can also handle high-current charge at 4A, so the battery is very good.

    UI
    4 modes, controlled by a single button press (holding down the button does nothing). From turned off state - High, Medium, Low, Strobe, Off.
    I don't really like this modes arrangement - light always starts at high and there is a useless strobe mode in the main cycle. But some people may like it.

    TEARDOWN
    Lets open it up and see how its made
    We'll start with the button:

    Very easy, just unscrew the top part and you'll get access to the pcb with a switch, plastic spacer and a rubber button. I'll explain how it works in the electronics section. Button's case is made from metal, mount is plastic and fixed with a single screw to button's body.

    Going on to the light, here is a quick-release mount disassembled. Simple 2 parts design with plastic spring and 2 screws.

    Moving on to the front, front metal plate is fixed with 2 screws and holds the glass and the reflectors.
    Reflectors are smooth and made from aluminium. There are 2 green GITD o-rings placed over the 2 glass lenses, they glow for a few minutes after you switch off the light. Oh and nvm the topeak box, its just used for holding the reflector to show its side shape

    Light body is made from a single CNC-machined piece of alimunium, led's stars (14 or 16mm stars, forgot to measure them) are mounted directly on the body with a thermal glue. While this makes it harder to replace the leds its probably possible to heat up the whole body (remove the driver pcb before doing this) to unsolder them or try to freeze it and break the glue.
    Nothing else to see in the front, let's move on to the back.

    Backplate is held on with 2 screws, power cable has a metal retainer ring clamped on it - this protects it from pulling out from the body. There is also a green o-ring for water sealing.

    This is the driver pcb and its one of the problems with this light - its just so tiny! Btw these wires were cold-soldered on the board and fell off as soon as I removed the board...trustfire still needs more quality control on this part. I resoldered all 3 wires from the cable, wires to leds were soldered much better and didn't need fixing.

    Here is the driver pcb compared to SSX2. TR-002 driver is smaller and less powerful, its the smallest driver that i've ever seen in 2 xml lights. And imo thats exactly why this light uses XM-L2 leds - trustfire probably tried to compensate for this underpowered driver by using more efficient leds.

    28AWG silicone wires are used for connecting driver to leds. You can also see 2 current sense resistors mounted on top of each other. If you solder additional low-ohm resistor over them you can increase the current to leds - but this driver probably won't be able to work with higher current.

    ELECTRONICS
    Current is measured on UT61E multimeter using custom-made 18AWG cables with very low resistance.
    Current on leds (leds are connected in series):
    High - 1.55A
    Middle - 0.67A
    Low - 0.22A
    Strobe - about 0.68A, high mode is used for strobe.

    Current draw from battery. For this test I use my bench psu with voltage set at 7.5v, same psu and same voltage will be used for all light's reviews.
    Standby - 0.027A (light turned off). Thats the current draw for voltage indicator led and its high enough to slowly discharge the battery - so be sure to disconnect the battery if you're not going to use it for a long time.
    High - 1.30A
    Middle - 0.59A
    Low - 0.22A

    Battery indication.

    This button is used on many chinese bike lights, so I'll explain it in more details (to copy-paste this section in the future reviews ).
    Basically this button has driver controller (14 pins chip) and a voltage indicator (4 leds) mounted on a small circle pcb. There are 4 soldering holes and a cable has 4 wires inside - but on this light 1 wire is unused, so its cut off from the cable (you can see it on the photo) and one soldering hole is empty.
    2 wires are power and ground and 2 signal wires are used for pwm controlling the driver's pcb (they're submitting signals to quickly turn on-off the leds, this allows to regulate the led's brighness).
    Full set of 4 wires is used for MJ-816 clones, they have exactly the same button and the controller. For them 1 pwm wire is used for central led and 1 for side leds. This light only has 1 set of the leds, so 1 pwm wire is not used.

    This button also has advanced 4-stages voltage indication, it works like this:
    Blue led on - indicates fully charged battery, battery voltage is 8.07v or higher (voltage measured at battery connector).
    Green led on - battery voltage is between 8.07v and 7.57v
    Yellow led on - battery voltage is between 7.57v and 6.85v
    Red led on - battery voltage is between 6.85v and 6.2v
    Red led blinking - battery voltage is less than 6.2v

    I think its supposed to indicate remaining battery capacity in 25% steps, so blue means 100% charge, green 75% and so on, red blinking means that the battery is almost empty and you should replace it immediately.
    But that really depends on battery discharge curve (some cells hold higher voltage under load) so I measured voltage for each step and will do so in the future reviews of lights with such indicators.

    This 4-stages battery indicator works very well, my own bike light has it. But it will display voltage correctly only when the light is turned off - chinese lights use very thin and long wires so there is a huge voltage drop under load.
    Basically if you turn on the light at high mode voltage will drop very high even on a 100% charged battery (voltage at button will be much lower than the voltage on battery cells because of the resistance of wires at high current) so the indicator will be yellow. As soon as you turn off the light it will go back to the blue again. So use it to estimate the remaining battery capacity only when the light is turned off.
    You can probably replace the wires with thicker and shorter ones to fix this, but imo its not worth it.

    BEAMSHOTS AND BRIGHTNESS
    This section will be added later, I'm currently building a database of brightness measurements with my lux meter. Beamshots in the city/forest will also be made later, for now here is a simple beamshot on the ceiling:

    And thats a second problem with this light. Beam is very weird and has several rings in it. These is a hotspot, then a yellow-tinted ring around it, then a spill area and then another green-tinted ring around it (and then there are some faint sub-rings around these that are not noticeable on the beamshot). All these rings are very noticeable in use and you can easily see them on this sample beamshot. Imo the optics are not optimised at all, for example 4th ring is probably made from the reflections off the green o-rings in the front, they're too thick and located in the beam's path.

    CONCLUSION

    Pros:
    Small, light body
    External button so you can place the light anywhere
    XM-L2 leds
    Good battery - a rare thing for chinese bike lights
    Good mount
    4 stages battery indicator

    Cons:
    Underpowered small driver
    Modes arrangement with strobe in a main cycle (can be a pro for somebody though)
    Ringy beam profile, which is very annoying to look at
    No headstrap/helmet mount (can be bought separately)

    Overall I wasn't impressed with this light. It's not really bad, but I expected more power from it (I will measure the brightness later, but it's probably the least powerful 2 XML light) and this ringy beam is very weird and distracting. Still could be useful if you need to mount it somewhere like on fork or under the handlebars since it's the only 2 XML light with external button. Or maybe for the helmet use, again better with external button control.
    Decide for yourself, but I don't recommend it for general use - there are much better options like SSX2 and D-50.
    Last edited by Kir; 08-24-2013 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Kir
    Kir is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    165
    This turned out longer than expected, so excuse me for any possible errors - I'll proofread it tomorrow and fix them, going to sleep right now.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,370
    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    TR-002 is the smallest 2 XML light at the moment,
    Probably should edit this to say "smallest mass produced 2 XML light". There are smaller, lighter low volume/custom lights available.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    901
    this 85 gram light is smallest dual XML light ? i don't think so. i have owned Lupine Piko Dual XML and it is only 55 grams and looks a lot smaller than this light as well.

    maybe the thread title should be smallest CHINESE dual XML light ...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    3,905
    Very good review. Too bad the driver is under powered. I've notice the same rings in one of the XM-L2 drop-ins that I own. Must be something about the XM-L2 emitter dome that is different than the previous versions. That might be why we aren't seeing more lamps using the L2's. Messing around with my drop-in I tried a reflector from an older XP-E ( or G...? ) drop-in I had and "presto-change-o", all the rings disappeared and I had a super white hot spot. I now use it inside my Solarforce L2N for helmet duties. I tried it out a couple days ago and it was super great with lots of throw ( for a torch drop-in ). I should note that I'm using a slightly warmer bin so if I was using the brightest bin I figure it would look awesome.

    Going forward there might be issues with the L2's and maybe reasons why the bigger names aren't using them yet.

  6. #6
    Kir
    Kir is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    this 85 gram light is smallest dual XML light ? i don't think so. i have owned Lupine Piko Dual XML and it is only 55 grams and looks a lot smaller than this light as well.

    maybe the thread title should be smallest CHINESE dual XML light ...
    Fixed this, thanks for suggestions. I kinda forgot that some ppl here have expensive brand-name lights that are smaller. Atm I'm comparing and writing reviews only about cheap chinese lights.
    Btw I haven't said anything about it being the lightest It has a heavy body for its size, but that helps with overheating - it doesn't get hot while in use, unlike SSX2 for example (same ~90g weight, but much higher current on leds).

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    901
    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    Fixed this, thanks for suggestions. I kinda forgot that some ppl here have expensive brand-name lights that are smaller. Atm I'm comparing and writing reviews only about cheap chinese lights.
    Btw I haven't said anything about it being the lightest It has a heavy body for its size, but that helps with overheating - it doesn't get hot while in use, unlike SSX2 for example (same ~90g weight, but much higher current on leds).
    maybe we should petition the moderators to have a separate forum for " Big Name " lights and " DX / Ebay / Chinese " lights.

    after all we have a separate forum for DIY lights. so we already have 2 forums - we could have 3.

    i think Ebay lights are right in the middle between brand lights and DIY ones.

    it seems most people are either not interested in Ebay lights or not interested in paying premium for the name. almost nobody is actually considering a choice across the two categories.

    the only question would be - which category does MagicShine go into ?

    i'm a member on a forum about recording equipment where they have separate subforums for budget gear, mainstream gear, and high-end gear. one might be thinking a budget microphone is something you remove from an old telephone, but no - according to that site a brand new $200 microphone designed by a huge microphone company ( 10 times the size of biggest bike light company ) and built in Australia, with a 2 micron diaphragm coated with 24K gold, which comes in an aluminum shock proof padded case - that mic would go into the "budget" forum on that site. a $1,000 microphone made in Vienna, Austria by one of the oldest companies in microphone business that was already famous 50 years ago would go in the "mainstream" forum. and on the "high end" forum you would find stuff like $3,000 to $30,000 microphones which are either custom designs, bleeding edge technology, or collector's items.

    and you know what ? it makes perfect sense to have the forum split this way. this way teens in garage bands can discuss what is relevant to their needs. guys who perform in local clubs can discuss what is relevant to their needs. and engineers who record big name artists can discuss what is relevant to their needs. when i was looking for a microphone for my youtube channel i researched it for 3 months, had over a 100 posts, got great help and very happy with my mic.

    i think here on MTBR lights forum we would benefit from such a split as well. i know i would probably be in both forums, but in each of them i would know what we are talking about instead of feeling lost

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    497
    Kir,
    another nice review. It sucks that this light is so underpowered, as is like a bar light with a remote. The point of having two leds is that it's almost twice as bright as the one led light! It was hard to have any faith in this light once I saw the garbage packaging .

    Looking forward to the D-50 review, if there's one coming.

    Androgen -
    The forum is fine the way it is. Stop trying to mess with it. Whatever happened to not hijacking the thread?

Similar Threads

  1. Anyone tried the Trustfire 5 x XM-L light out yet?
    By DeeEight in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 03-16-2014, 06:03 PM
  2. User Review: Shadow BL20
    By Kir in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 01-20-2014, 01:14 AM
  3. User Review: Xeccon Geinea 1 Rear light
    By Cat-man-do in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 07-30-2013, 12:04 AM
  4. Trustfire 3 way bike light highly configurable.
    By gadgets&gear in forum Where are the Best Deals?
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-27-2013, 06:50 PM
  5. The smallest but very bright light for helmet/bike
    By quazzle in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 07-08-2011, 09:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •