Nitecore P30 Flashlight Review
Nitecore has released the P30, a flashlight capable of running on a single 18650 or two 18350 cells. It uses a Cree XP-L HI emitter. Read on!
They sent the light out right away, and I’ve been playing with (and using!) it for a while. Let’s check it out!
Here’s a link to the Nitecore P30 flashlight product page.
|Max Output||1000 lumens|
|Max Beam Distance||619 m|
|Max Beam Intensity||95500 cd|
|Max Run time||680 h 0 m / 28.33 d|
|LED||CREE XP-L HI V3|
|Battery||1 × 18650, 2 × CR123|
|Special Modes||Location Beacon, SOS, Strobe|
|Beam color||White light|
|Length||141.5 mm / 5.57 in|
|Head Size||50 mm / 1.97 in|
|Weight||165 g / 5.82 oz|
|Activity||Hunting, Law Enforcement, Military|
|Water Resist||IPX8 (2m)|
|Mode||Output (lm)||18650 Runtime||CR123a x2 Runtime|
There are no different versions of this light but there are some attachments that make this light useful in different ways, which are worth mentioning. For example, this light will work with the Nitecore RSW1 remote pressure switch. That of course means it’ll work with the gun mounts, like the GM02, GM03, and GM04. This effectively makes the light very different, and expands its usefulness.
I don’t have many throwers (just a couple of C8’s really), but I had a need for a thrower, and I found that the P30 greatly outperforms both my C8’s. Spec-wise that shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s still nice to note it performs as it should. I’m very pleased with this light and can say that I’ll reach for it before I reach for the C8’s every time.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L HI (V3)|
|Price in USD at publication time:|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1000|
|Claimed Throw (m)||618|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||3960lux @ 5.19m = 106667cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||653.2 (105.7% of claim)^|
|All my Nitecore reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Nitecore P30
- Pocket clip
- O-rings (two sizes)
- Spare rubber switch boot
- Tactical ring
- Promo material/warranty card
Package and Manual
The P30 arrives in a black and yellow (you know what it is) box, as most Nitecore’s do. It has a hang tag, so it’s display-ready. There’s no window into the product – just printed cardboard. Inside, the light is cradled in a plastic vacuum-sized bit, and under that, all the accessories.
is a nice, concise paper. It includes the UI, the workings on 18650 vs 16340×2, and warranty information, and the like. I like this kind of manual because it doesn’t have tons of stuff (other languages) that doesn’t apply to me.
Build Quality, Disassembly, and Durability
The first thing you’ll probably notice about this light is how shiny it is. The fact is that many shiny lights are also very very low quality. The finish is bad and chippy on those lights. The P30’s finish is not like that. It is a shiny finish, but also high quality. The rest of the light is very well detailed too. The side switch has a great fit – it just barely protrudes from the light. The tailswitch protrudes a lot, as it’s meant to. There are some large deep fins around the shoulder of the light, and the head has some relatively deep fins as well. Truthfully though temperature didn’t seem to be a problem with the light, even on the highest mode.
There’s a tactical
attachment that can be put on or off with ease.
The tail end of this light
has the normal, expected amount of disassembly. And of course, Nitecore includes a spare rubber boot,
so clearly one will be able to ingress there. The head was a different story. I wasn’t able to unscrew the bezel, though I expect with the right motivation, it could be done. I can see why someone would want in there though – this would be a great candidate for an emitter swap. (In my opinion, the XP-L HI in this build is a little cool.)
Of course, the cell tube is separate,
which means it’s easy to get cells out, and unlikely to get them stuck.
I haven’t tested the durability of this light (I’m fairly gentle with my stuff) but the handling I’ve given the light leads me to believe it’ll be a solid light. I can say that using this as a weapon light … I don’t know – there’s a spring on only one end, and while it’s very beefy (and double spring, at that), the other end only has a contact point. Now this may be fine – but at the same time, one wouldn’t want a cell bouncing around in there during some heavy firing. I have checked some other actual gun lights and they have this same build, and a less quality spring than the P30, so I believe the P30 will hold up to some heavy use.
The measurements are 141.5mm long, 50mm head diameter, and 165g.
on this small light is massive!
I hope everyone has some brand of C8, because that’s what this is nearest to, and can be easily compared with. (If you don’t, buy one just for playing with!) This light is bigger than a C8, especially in head diameter, but otherwise, fairly similar. The P30 won’t be great in your pocket but in the provided pouch, it’ll be great. (But then, a C8 wouldn’t be good in-pocket either…).
On a dollar:
Some comparison shots with lights you may know and love:
The Nitecore P30 comes with a few carry options. First, it has a pocket clip.
In all honesty, I found this completely useless for pocket carry, but it’d probably clip on a belt or a backpack strap very nicely. And the clip is directional,
so one can carry this light only in a bezel-down direction. Strangely there’s a route for the pocket clip on both ends of the body tube, but I would imagine that’s because this body tube is probably reused from some other Nitecore lights. (This makes sense because the light works with the RSW1 remote pressure switch.
There’s also a beefy nylon pouch with a nice D-ring attachment point, and a velcro strap that goes behind/over a belt for attachment. It’s a nice pouch and does pouchy things well. It’s thick nylon, too.
Power and Runtime
The P30 runs on one 18650 cell. It has no preference for protected/unprotected, button top, flat top, etc. It’s cell agnostic. It’ll even work with cr123a (2) cells, and Nitecore kindly provides an adapter
which prevents cell rattle.
Output should be fairly higher with 16340×2. The manual states “Full Power” up to 6.4V with two of these cells. I didn’t test throw with two cr123a’s, but even with just the 18650, throw was incredible.
In my testing, the light shut off at a low cell voltage: 2.67V on High, and 2.76V on Medium. This should be into the “cell protection” range and the cell protection might have tripped (but in neither case did the cell actually trip.) Either way, 2.7V is ok for the cell, so all is good here.
Here is the runtime for high and medium.
User Interface and Operation
The P30 has two switches: A mechanical tail switch, and an electronic side switch. The tail switch is quite pronounced (and I can see why they provided a spare). But it hasn’t gotten in the way and has held up well). The side switch is the opposite – very flush with the head of the light, and can be a bit hard to find. It is an indicating switch, too. In my runtime tests, when the light was off (due to low voltage) the indicating side switch will blink blue fast (2hz or so). I didn’t observe it, but the switch will also blink slowly if the cell is <50% capacity, too. That’s a very nice feature, but as always with these indicating switches – I wish they’d do more with them. Especially since Nitecore already knows how to use the side switch right (see: MH20) – that would be a GREAT addition here. Some kind of locator feature, for example.
|Off||Tail Click||On (Memory)|
|Off||Tail Half Press||Momentary|
|On||Side Click||Mode advance (next higher)|
|On||Side Hold||Special Modes (Strobe/SOS/Beacon)|
LED and Beam
The P30 comes with a Cree XP-L HI behind a smooth reflector.
Should be great for throw (and it is). Only when doing beamshots compared to my warm Convoy C8 XP-L HI did I think that the P30 is slightly cool. Otherwise, it’s not too noticeable, or annoying. It’d be nice for Nitecore to offer the NW option, though.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Nitecore P30 [0.3s f8 5000K ISO1000]:
Nitecore P30 [0.3s f8 5000K ISO100]:
Far wall is appx 26m. All shots taken on the same night.
Noteworthy also is that the P30 has PID, which will “dynamically adjust output performance” to prevent damage to the light. In my experience, this was around 38 degrees C, which really seems kind of low. But my testing is approximately around the bezel, and it could be higher on the board.
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Just about any C8 will be a good comparison to this P30, but I strongly prefer the P30. But the P30 is about 3x more expensive – so you have to ask if the P30 is 3x as good? I’d say yes, because I really prefer the dual switch. I hate changing the modes on the regular C8, and the side switch fixes that. The head’s also bigger, and so it does in fact throw better. The C8 is much more modable, and even the C8 XP-L HI has a slightly better tint than this P30.
Another light more of the same class as the P30 would be the Eagtac M30LC2. Similar bezel size, available in more emitters and more tints, but is also more than twice the cost of the P30.
The P30 seems to be a very nice middle ground between the inexpensive C8’s, and the more expensive “big throw” lights.
This is my go-to thrower right now. No question.
What I like
- Dual switch
- Indicating switch
- Size for a thrower is good
- Well built
What I don’t like
- Tint is a little cool
- Underutilized indicating switch
I really like the P30!
- This light was provided by NitecoreStore.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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