Thorfire Q8 – a shining light (review)
5.0Overall Score

The Thorfire Q8 is a 5,000 lumen LED flashlight. It is a superb feat of engineering and design. It is one of the most powerful of its type on the planet.

In the past, a torch/flashlight comprised a few batteries and a bulb. Not so with the Thorfire Q8 – it has enough electronics and sophistication to put a man on the moon.

To put it in perspective 5,000 lumens output is ten times as bright as office lighting and five times that of a para-flood spotlight. A lumen is equivalent to the light from one candle 30cm away.

Lumens are measured at the LED and brightness depends on reflector material, lens etc. Let me just say this is amazingly bright. Generally, the more lumens that you have, the further the light will travel. But conversely, it draws more power.

The problem is that most torch makers don’t publish lumens.

  • The Fenix TK7 has a 2,200 lumens and will allegedly throw a 720 metre beam – it won’t
  • A typical single LED, two cell torch is a maximum of about 10 lumens and will throw about a 20 metre beam
  • Larger multi-LED torches with 4 or more batteries typically top out at 200 lumens.

It is not a question of how many lumens you need

It is about how many lumens you need for a specific task. If you are walking at night 200 lumens is fine. If you are spotlighting then 5,000 seems just about right.

The Thorfire Q8 costs A$78.20 (including freight, excluding batteries) and has a variable output ranging from ‘moonlight’ to ‘paint peeling’.

After a weeks use, I found that I used it ranging from 600 to 5,000  lumens depending on need.

It has

  • Four Cree XP-L HD V6 3D LED
  • LED driver FET +1*AMC7135 and is running NarsilM on an Attiny85
  • Light temperature 5000K (neutral white)
  • High transmission glass lens, polished aluminium reflector, stainless steel bezel ring
  • Requires four button-top 18650 lithium-ion rechargable batteries (more on that later)
  • IPX8 waterproof – two meters for 30 minutes
  • HAIII military grade hard-anodised aerospace grade aluminium alloy
  • 132mm x 59mm x 50mm (length x head x body diameter) x 400g plus batteries (total 580g)
  • Standard ¼ inch tripod mount socket

Looks and build

Thorfire Q8It has been called a ‘soda-can’ design as it is short and stubby. The elegant black anodised aluminium body, cross hatch grips, and overall feel is of a premium product.

There has been a lot of thought go into the design – it is not a mass produced item.

Batteries

Button top 18650 batteries (like the top of an AA battery) are 18mm diameter and not stocked in Woolworths.

After lots of investigation and a bit of a shock, I found them for around $20 each (that’s $80 for four) in Australian stores. These were typically 3.6V, 2,600mAh rechargeable lithium-ion. Cheaper batteries had lower mAh – as low as 1,000mAh. Then you needed a 2-slot charger for about $35.

I was not going to spend $100+ on batteries, so this device sat on my testbed for a couple of months. By chance, I was looking for NETGEAR Arlo batteries on eBay.com.au, so I searched for the 18650 as well.

There I discovered batteries from 1,000 to as high as 6,000mAh. I bought a 10 x 5800mAh (each) combo pack with a two-slot charger for under $20 including postage. Sold!