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Nitecore TM06

 Budda    23 Feb 2017 : 16:45

I received the Nitecore TM06 from BangGood for the review.
Here’s the purchase link (link is external) , and save some money with this coupon: 63b0a5

The Nitecore TM06 is a member of the Tiny Monster family from Nitecore, lights that packs thousands of lumens in a relatively compact package.
The TM06 is a flood light, packing 4 XM-L2 U3 emitters, powered by 4 18650 batteries.

The TM06 comes in a cardboard box.

The box is quite thick, containing a tiny monster

Inside the box there’s some rubber foam, some paper (guarantee, manual…)

The TM06 is hidden in its sheath

The whole content: light, holster, lanyard, o-rings.

Here’s the TM06. The glass is not blue, there’s a coloured adhesive on the glass for additional protection from scratches.

The very wide tailcap has two lanyard holes, and a mechanical switch.

On the head there’s engraved the SN

The glass has an AR treatment and it is protected by a stainless steel, with sand finish. The blue adhesive has an invitation to peel it away easily.

The 4, perfectly centred XM-L2 emitters, in 4 small and partially fused, smooth reflectors.

The body has a smooth, cylindrical design, with some knurling.

The two point of control of this light are the switch at the tailcap, seen before,

And the dual stage electronic stage, near the head. It’s a bit stiff.

It is really easy to access, a bit because it stays in a milled zone, but rather because it protrudes a lot.

Dimentions: 12,3 × 4,9 cm.

The anodized, triangle cut threads at the tailcap. In order to be physically unlocked, a simple untwist of the tailcap is not enough, you’ll need to almost untwist it.

A silica bag was in the light (yes, other light manufacturer, this is where you should put the silica bag).

The tailcap

and the body, that have the typical multi-cell construction. Only button top cells will work.

The cordura sheath, with a belt loop, MOLLE compatible and with a big plastic D-ring

User interface
When inserting the batteries, the blue LED under the switch will blink giving the average voltage value of the cells.
The light has 2 switches, one at the tailcap, and one at the head. The one at the head is an electronic dual stage switch.
The switch at the tailcap turns the XM-L2 emitters on or off, and allows momentary on; while the switch at the head change modes.
When the switch at the tailcap turns the main LEDs off, the light is in a standby mode, and it is possible to activate the locator by a full press of the electronic switch. The locator consists in the blue LED under the switch will blink 2 times every 3 seconds.
When the light is on, the dual stage switch allows both to progress forward in the level sequence (ultralow, low, medium, high, turbo, in loop) with a half press of the electronic switch, and backward (turbo, high, medium, low, ultralow but not in loop, the light will stop at ultralow).

When the light is on at all levels but ultralow, the blue LED under the side switch will stay on, and will start blinking as the batteries are running low, and blink even faster when they are almost empty.

There are some shortcuts:
When the light is on, a long half press of the electronic switch will activate turbo, while a long full press will activate strobe.
From off, keep half pressed the electronic switch and turn the light on to access directly to low; do the same with a full press of the electronic switch to turn the light on at turbo mode.

The fact that the light stays in a standby mode even when the main LEDs are off means that there will be a parasitic drain. Nitecore says the light can stay 108 days in standby mode, or 30 days in standby mode with the locator on, before discharging the batteries.

100 meters at the tree.

Zoomed with the camera. There’s some mist, and, as usual, two Rabbits of Caerbannog enjoyed the light and run in the field.

Open field

The 4 XM-L2 emitters in the TM06 give a very wide beam, with a spill that comes out of the light practically perpendicular to the ground. The spill has some of “petals”, but way less than the XP-L Hi lights, like the TM16GT. The useful throw is, as expected around 100 meters, for this flood light.
On my sample the tint is, surprisingly yellowish. There’s a slight hint of green at low level, visible only when wall hunting.

Output and runtime
Output and runtime has been tested with 4 18650 Olight IMR Protected 3500mAh cells.

As you can see, the measured output at turbo mode is much brighter than the specs. I waited 24 hours, recharged the batteries of both lights and instrument, repositioned them in my setup and I got a second measure, which is consistent with the first one. For all the runtime Plots I kept the value of the 2nd measure.

The brightness of turbo mode lasts around 3’ then it reaches the brightness of the high mode. The brightness of the high mode lasts 20’ and then reaches the brightness of mid mode, that lasts until the light turns off.
When starting at high mode, the stepdown happened after around 40 minutes.

Nitecore claims this light has a built in thermal regulation system that prevents the light from overheating by lowering the output as the internal temperature increases.
I used a big fan to cool close to the light to keep it cooler.

The cooling will delay the main stepdown, also prevents the second stepdown (light will keep the brightness of high mode until the batteries are empty).


My thoughts
Fit and finishes are as expected from Nitecore.
I like the sheath, it is well built, and helps protecting the light when carrying or when transporting it.
The regulation is good and the output well spaced on the bright part of the output, but I feel the lack of a intermediate level between the ultralow and 400ish lumens.
The ATR system works well, but I wonder if the stepdown at high mode after 40’ could be avoided.
I was interested to try this light because is one of the few lights that uses a dual stage electronic switch for progressing forward and backward in the level sequence. When using the light I found this very useful, because it allows to change levels without being forced to pass through several levels, and or without getting blinded. For the same reason, I like that the “backward” sequence stops at ultralow.
I like the presence of direct access to ultralow and turbo from off, I would have liked that also when the light is on.
The 2 switches system allows momentary on, but the quick access to turbo and ultralow requires 2 hands. Nitecore has released an “updated” version of this light featuring only the electronic switch, the TM06S, for those who are willing to give up the momentary on in favour of a single switch.
The TM06 is an easy to use light, with good output, level spacing and output-runtime/size ratio (it is quite compact). It doesn’t hurt that is often on sale for a very competitive price.

I would like this light to have a tripod screw on the body, and a NW version of this light.

Thanks to: AntoLed for the camera advices and the luxmeter.