INOVA T4R

Review: INOVA T4R

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The versatile INOVA T4R is a rechargeable LED flashlight designed for the needs of the professional user. The largest and most powerful rechargeable option from INOVA, the T4R is powered by a user replaceable lithium-ion battery and is rated to produce up to 303 lumens in its highest output mode. Two lower output modes and a flashing strobe are also available, all accessed via the mid-body tactical switch.

With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $149.99, the INOVA T4R can typically be found at retail for less than $120.00. The sample used in this review was provided by Nite Ize.

INOVA T4R – Overview

The T4R arrives in a cardboard retail package with everything needed to put the light to use, including the lithium-ion rechargeable battery, low-profile charging cradle, AC Adapter, 12VDC auto adapter, and two screws for mounting the charger.

INOVA T4R

Made from solid aluminum bar stock, most of the T4R’s exterior is machined with a checkered pattern for improved grip and has a matte black hard-anodized finish for corrosion and wear resistance.  Markings on the exterior are minimal with only the model and serial numbers engraved on one side and the INOVA brand name on the tailcap.  No defects were observed with regard to fit, finish, or machining and engraving is crisp and legible.

INOVA T4R

At the head, a thick aluminum bezel provides protection for the anti-reflective mineral glass lens.  Output from the Cree XP-G emitter is focused by a textured machined aluminum reflector.

INOVA T4R

Activation and mode selection is handled by the mid-body electronic switch mounted near the head.  The switch has a smooth rubber cover and allows momentary and constant operation of the light.

INOVA T4R

On the first press of the switch, the T4R will provide its full 303 lumen output with additional presses advancing to the 144 lumen medium mode, 17 lumen low mode, and finally off. If left in one mode for more than 2 seconds, the next press of the switch will turn the light off. A rapid double-click of the switch will activate the strobe mode. When the light is off, momentary operation of the high output mode is possible by pressing and holding the switch. If held for at least one second, the light will shut off when the switch is released.

The machined aluminum tailcap is engraved with the INOVA brand name and features a completely flat design, allowing the T4R to tail stand. Although there is no tailcap switch, the light can be locked out to prevent accidental activation by loosening the tailcap two and one-half turns.

INOVA T4R

Removing the tailcap allows easy removal or replacement of the proprietary 2200mAh lithium-ion battery.  As there is no tail switch, the tailcap does not have any electrical contacts, only a rubber bumper to push the battery into the dual springs at the head of the light.

INOVA T4R

Owing to the built-in recharging capability of the T4R the tailcap would typically be removed only to swap in a spare or replacement battery. Spare batteries are available from INOVA for $19.99.

The T4R is recharged by simply inserting it into the provided low-profile charger where a keyed opening on the flashlight body ensures proper alignment of the charging contacts. A colored LED next to the switch turns red during charging and then green once the battery is fully charged. Charge time varies according to how deeply the battery has been discharged, up to 3 hours for a fully discharged cell.

INOVA T4R

A pair of spring-loaded rollers securely locks the T4R into place while charging, allowing the charger to be mounted horizontally or vertically.

INOVA T4R – Manufacturer’s Specifications

 INOVA T4R
High Output (Runtime)303 lumens (2 hours)*
Medium Output (Runtime)144 lumens (4 hours 45 minutes)*
Low Output (Runtime)17 lumens (43 hours)*
Length7.90 inches (201 mm)
Body Diameter1.10 inches (27.9 mm)
Bezel Diameter1.40 inches (35.6 mm)
Weight (with battery)8.81 ounces (250 grams)

* Runtime until output drops to 10%

INOVA T4R – Performance

The T4R uses its Cree XP-G emitter and textured reflector to produce a smooth beam with a tight center hotspot capable of providing good illumination well beyond 100 yards. The spill beam is smooth and broad with no sign of artifacts aside from a slightly noticeable ring at the very edge of the spill. The overall beam is generally white with a somewhat cool tint.

The following slides compare the INOVA T4R to other selected 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 viewed using the navigation buttons in the bottom-right corner of each image.

Lights used for this comparison include:

  1. INOVA T3R (Review)
  2. SureFire G2X (Review)
  3. SureFire P2X Fury (Review)

INOVA T4R Beamshots – 40 Yards to Swing

 

INOVA T4R – Runtime

Testing was conducted with the proprietary lithium-ion battery to determine runtime in the highest output mode.

INOVA T4R Runtime

The T4R maintained very stable output exceeding its 2 hour rated runtime. After 2 hours 14 minutes of continuous operation, output began to rapidly drop until the light began to flash, signaling the battery was almost depleted. In continuous testing there is very little time between the warning flashes and the light automatically shutting itself off. Over the course of the test, the head of the T4R became slightly warm but not hot.

Output was also extremely stable in medium mode (not shown on chart) with 4 hours 45 minutes of flat regulation followed by a steep decline before the light shut itself off.

INOVA T4R – Conclusions

Although it is not as powerful or fancy as some other duty lights on the market, the T4R does its job well and at an affordable price.  During several months of use there have been absolutely no issues with either the light or its charger.

As with the smaller T3R, the checkered body of the T4R provides better grip than a completely smooth finish, although not quite as much as a conventional knurling.  However, the extra length of the T4R provides plenty of room to wrap your hand around the light and it’s not slippery by any stretch of the imagination.  The additional length also makes the T4R better suited for holding under an arm or between the neck and shoulder.

INOVA T4R

Personally I’m not a huge fan of body mounted switches, usually because they sacrifice momentary operation, but the T4R does not have that issue.  The switch is easily located in the dark as it is directly opposite the charging contacts and there are plenty of body details that allow it to be found by touch. The switch is responsive although I miss the tactile feedback as with conventional (non-electronic) switches. However, that type of feedback isn’t really needed for operation of the light.

Reasonable output, good runtime and durable construction make the T4R a good candidate for a rechargeable duty light. Also, its price and simplicity make it a viable option for a home emergency light that will always be ready to go in event of a power failure.

Strengths

    • Solid Construction
    • Three constant-on output modes provide options for output vs. runtime
    • Extremely stable regulation and long runtime
    • Mid-body switch also provides momentary operation
    • Limited Lifetime warranty

Concerns

    • Electronic switch requires getting used to if you are accustomed to conventional switches
    • Perfectly round design is prone to rolling

A full line of accessories are available for the T4R including colored signal cones, spare batteries, and a universal holster.

The INOVA T4R is USA designed and engineered, with manufacturing in China.  Visit the INOVA website for more information about the T4R and their other products.

The INOVA brand is owned by Nite Ize, a USA company headquartered in Boulder, CO.

 

 

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