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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Small, light body
External button so you can place the light anywhere
Good battery - a rare thing for chinese bike lights
4 stages battery indicator
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.
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