REVIEW – Do you love EDC flashlights but hate feeding them batteries? If so, then I have a flashlight you’ll want to check out. It’s the NITECORE TUP and it packs some nice features into a very pocket-friendly package. Let’s check it out.
What is it?
The NITECORE TUP is a 1000 lumen USB rechargeable flashlight that is the perfect size for EDC/pocket carry.
LED: CREE XP-L HD V6
Maximum Brightness: 1000 lumens
Peak Beam Distance: 197 yards
Peak Beam Intensity: 8130 cd
IP Rating: IP54
Impact Resistance: 1 m
Battery: 1200 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions: 2.76″L x 1.16″W x 1.16″H
What’s in the box?
- NITECORE TUP flashlight
- micro USB charging cable
Design and features
The NITECORE TUP doesn’t really look like a flashlight when you first take a look at it. First of all, it’s small at not even 3 inches long. Then it has a square shaped aluminum case which isn’t typical of most flashlights. And finally, it has two control buttons and a built-in OLED display that shows you the lumen setting and time left at that setting before the battery needs to be recharged.
The NITECORE TUP flashlight has a strong clip that you can use to clip the NITECORE TUP to your belt, pocket, or even the brim of your cap. If clips aren’t your thing, you can attach the included keyring and use that instead.
The left side of the TUP has a micro USB charging port that is protected by a rubber seal. The flashlight has an intelligent charging system that includes overcharge protection and indicators that alert you when the 4.2V battery needs to be recharged.
While charging, the power and mode buttons will blink Blue. When the battery is fully charged (it can take 3.5hrs to fully recharge), the status LEDs will stop blinking and will glow steadily.
The TUP has 5 brightness modes that you can cycle through with the mode button when the light is powered on. Info about the mode will show up on the display for a couple of seconds.
The display shows the current lumen setting and runtime remaining in that setting. If you press the mode button while the flashlight is off, the TUP’s display will show the real-time voltage level so you can get an idea of how much longer the flashlight will continue providing light or how long it needs to charge if it’s recharging.
Using the NITECORE TUP is easy. Just make sure it’s fully charged and then press the power button to turn it on and the mode button to cycle through ultralow, low, mid, and high settings which go from 1 lumen up to 200 lumens. The flashlight will remember the brightness setting last used and will use that setting the next time that you power it on.
Here’s a table that gives you an idea of how long you can expect to use the NITECORE TUP before the batteries need to be recharged and how far the beam will shine at that setting and the intensity.
But how do you use the 1000 lumen turbo mode you’re wondering? With the flashlight on or off, just hold down the mode button for a couple of seconds and the flashlight will turn on in turbo/1000 lumen mode for as long as you’re holding down the button. You can’t lock the flashlight on in that mode since it uses a lot of power and the flashlight can overheat in turbo mode.
Here are some images that show the brightness levels in my Gadgeteer HQ office at night with all the lights off.
The room was completely dark with just LEDs from my monitor and some other gadget glowing on the desk. I had my smartphone on a tripod about 10 ft away. Indoors, I find that the 65-lumen setting works fine for most things.
This flashlight works great but the only small issue I had was that it’s a little too easy to toggle on the half lockout mode. The NITECORE TUP has two lockout modes. The half lockout mode just locks the power button and the full lockout mode locks out both the power and mode buttons so that pressing them has no effect. These modes are there to prevent the flashlight from turning on while in a bag or pocket if you run into that issue.
The half lockout mode is turned on by holding down the power button for more than a few seconds while the light is on. I have a habit accidentally of pressing and holding that button instead of the mode button when I want to use the turbo/1000 lumens mode. Luckily turning off the half lockout mode is just a quick press of the power button followed by a longer press. But I do wish that the buttons on the flashlight were reversed so that the power button was on top instead of the other way around.
What I like
- Rechargeable battery
- The display shows the battery charge level
What needs to be improved
- Put the power button on top of the mode button instead of the other way around for better ergonomics
I’ve really enjoyed using the NITECORE TUP. I like the small size and easy user interface. Although I rarely need more than 65 or 200 lumens, I like that I can use 1000 lumens if I need to.