The TorchLab Triple series of LED drop-ins is a family of ultra high-output light engines that provide a drastic performance upgrade for SureFire flashlights based on the common P60 lamp assembly format. Produced and sold exclusively by OVEREADY, the TorchLab Triple is available in various configurations with different user interfaces, output levels, and beam characteristics.
Three different user interfaces are available:
- A single-mode version for use in weapon lights or when only the highest output level is required
- LMH (Low / Medium / High) version with three output levels at 1%, 30%, and 100%
- HML (High / Medium / Low) version with the same output levels as the LMH but in reverse order
Modes are advanced by briefly turning the light off and back on again within 3 seconds, with each cycle advancing to the next mode in sequence. If left off for 4 or more seconds, the Triple will return to its initial mode the next time it is activated. Illustrations courtesy of OVEREADY.com. Click image for larger version.
Depending upon availability, there can be up to four emitter options:
- Cool White XP-G2 – highest output levels
- Neutral White Cree XP-G2 – slightly lower output with 4750K color temperature
- Nichia Neutral 219 – still lower output with 4500K color temperature and best color rendering
- Cool White Cree XP-E2 – lowest output but provides tightest beam
All versions of the TorchLab Triple have the same retail price, currently around $170. A LMH Neutral Cree XP-G2 version (purchased 2/12/2014) will be the subject of this review.
OVEREADY TorchLab Triple – Overview
The TorchLab Triple has a unique appearance with its black hard-anodized finish. A printed label around its perimeter clearly identifies the firmware version, emitter type, voltage range and mode set.
The solid brass contact ring at the base of the drop-in ensures reliable contact between the Triple and host while a heavy duty spring maintains connection with the positive battery terminal.
A triple optic is used to focus the output of each emitter individually.
As nice as the TorchLab Triple looks from the outside, much of the design’s beauty is hidden inside. Shock proof components, Teflon insulated 22 gauge silver-plated conductors, and a metal core printed circuit board combine to enhance durability, efficiency, and thermal management whether the Triple is used in a handheld or weapon-mounted light.
To help shed excess heat, the TorchLab Triple is machined to fit tightly into the host body. The tolerances are so tight that if the tailcap is already installed on the light, an “air spring” effect can be observed when inserting the Triple.
As with many other P60 LED drop-ins, installation of the TorchLab Triple can result in a slight gap between the stock Z44 bezel and the flashlight body. Aside from aesthetics the small gap has no effect on the light’s operation or water resistance.
OVEREADY TorchLab Triple – Manufacturer’s Specifications
The TorchLab Triple provides fully regulated output between 4.8 and 9.5 volts and is optimized for use with two lithium-ion batteries. Below 4.8 volts it drops out of regulation and continues running until battery voltage drops to 3.0 volts per cell. When powered by a single lithium-ion cell, the rated output is approximately 75% of the two-cell output.
Cell count detection allows the Triple to recognize whether it is powered by one or two lithium-ion batteries and adjust the cut-off points accordingly. When battery voltage (under load) drops to 3.4 volts per cell, output is automatically reduced to warn of the battery (or batteries) becoming depleted. A separate battery protection circuit activates when the battery voltage falls to 3.0 volts per cell, shutting the light off.
|Emitter||Single Lithium-Ion||Two Lithium-Ion|
|Cool White Cree XP-G2||1200 Lumens||1600 Lumens|
|Neutral Cree XP-G2 (4750K)||1100 Lumens||1500 Lumens|
|Neutral Nichia 219 (4500K)||825 Lumens||1100 Lumens|
|Cool White Cree XP-E2||Not Specified||Not Specified|
Note: Output levels are measured at the LED. Due to optical losses, actual “out the front” lumens will be lower.
Some stock tailcap switches, such as the SureFire Z59 click switch, may not be able to handle the current requirements of the TorchLab Triple. Recommended switches include the SureFire Z41 (stock or modified with McClicky Switch) or a TorchLab Zero Resistance switch.
OVEREADY TorchLab Triple – Performance
The TorchLab Triple produces a beam with an extremely large center hotspot and intense spill beam. Due to its sheer amount of power, the Triple is able to provide better reach than might be expected from such a small package and projects a substantial amount of light out to 70 yards and beyond in its highest output mode.
Medium mode still produces enough output to provide good illumination to 30-35 yards while the lowest mode is well suited for up-close tasks or navigating a familiar area.
The following slides compare beamshots from the Neutral Cree XP-G2 Triple and a variety of other lights to provide a perspective of its output and beam profile. The beamshots can be compared across their full width using the slider and additional images can be accessed by using the navigation buttons in the bottom-right corner of each image.
The following lights and drop-ins were used in the comparison:
- Sportac High CRI P60 triple drop-in (Review)
- Sportac Cool White P60 triple drop-in (Review)
- Mac’s Customs Neutral XP-G2 triple drop-in
- Malkoff Wildcat Triple XP-G2 (Review)
- Malkoff Wildcat MT-G2 (Review)
Beamshots – 30 Yards to Swing
Beamshots – 40 Yards to Swing
Beamshots – 5 Yards to Building
These photos were deliberately underexposed to highlight the center hotspot and surrounding spill of each beam.
OVEREADY TorchLab Triple – Runtime Testing
A Moddoolar “Shorty” custom flashlight with ZeroRez Shorty tail switch and Cryos Z44 Cooling Bezel was used for tests with a single 18350 cell. The remainder of the runtime testing was conducted with a SureFire C2 Centurion, bored for 18mm batteries and equipped with extensions to accommodate the various battery sizes. The C2 was also outfitted with a Cryos Z44 Cooling Bezel and McClicky conversion tailcap switch.
Due to the TorchLab Triple’s built-in protection circuitry, runtime results for the highest output mode can vary considerably depending upon ambient temperature, host configuration, and other factors. To eliminate some of this variability, a small cooling fan was used during the high mode runtime tests.
The following graphs show runtime until the output was reduced due to battery voltage dropping to 3.4 volts. With all battery types, the TorchLab Triple can still be operated at lower modes for a considerable length of time (not shown on the graphs).
The TorchLab Triple demonstrated good regulation when powered by two lithium-ion batteries, staying well above 90% of its rated output before stepping down due to low battery voltage. Real-world continuous usage should result in runtimes as much as 50-60% longer due to output declining as the operating temperature rises. When tested without a cooling fan, the exterior temperature of the bezel reached 150° Fahrenheit after several minutes of continuous operation.
When powered by a single lithium-ion cell, output was slightly below the estimated 75% level but remained reasonably steady until battery voltage dropped to 3.4 volts.
Medium mode measured very close to the estimated 30% level and, as would be expected, provided much longer runtimes. Temperatures were very manageable in medium mode, never exceeding 105° Fahrenheit.
OVEREADY TorchLab Triple – Conclusions
The TorchLab Triple is a high performer in every way with its huge output and impressive list of features. Construction is extremely solid with perfect fit and finish. I had concerns that the beam may be unfocused and floody but was pleasantly surprised to see that it has a very useful profile and offers a surprising amount of reach. Needless to say it is extremely powerful as well and is well suited for lighting up everything in front of you. However, focusing solely on the Triple’s output misses much of what makes this light engine special.
With its advanced battery monitoring in place, the TorchLab Triple helps ensure that the batteries will not be over discharged and also warns the user of the need to change or charge them. Many drop-ins offer no such warning, instead operating until the battery’s own protection circuit activates and shuts off the light, leaving the user unexpectedly in the dark. Also, the fact that the Triple has its own separate battery protection circuit which activates at 3.0 volts allows the use of unprotected cells without concern of over discharging them. Some users who want to milk every last bit of high-output runtime out of their batteries may be a little frustrated by these set-points but they strike a good balance between performance and protection.
When operated for more than a few minutes at a time, the Triple can generate quite a bit of heat. Although the stock Z44 bezel can handle this heat, an aftermarket version like the Cryos Cooling Bezel can help dissipate it better. For short duration usage this is a non-issue but under no circumstances should the TorchLab Triple be used with Nitrolon bezels or bodies, such as those found on the SureFire G2 or G3.
From the time I began upgrading old SureFire lights the Torchlab Triples have been on my wish list and, even before buying this first one, I have considered them to be the best among the many great drop-ins available. Needless to say I had high expectations but after working the Triple hard for a few months I can say it has easily met or exceeded every one of them. The Triple has found a permanent home in my favorite SureFire C2 where it receives plenty of use.
- High output with a choice between single or three mode operation
- Useful beam with good reach and intense spill
- Electronic protection for the light engine and batteries
- Step-down at 3.4 volts warns user to change or charge the batteries
- Can operate with one or two lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
- High retail price pushes the Triple out of range for many enthusiasts
- The Triple is not a toy. It is capable of producing a ton of light and heat thus it must be used responsibly
- They are made in batches which sometimes means waiting on availability
The TorchLab Triple is designed, machined and assembled in the United States using American and Russian components. For more information about the items mentioned in this review, visit the OVEREADY website or use the links to specific items below.