Acebeam L16 Flashlight Review

Preface

Another Acebeam review today!  I do not have all that much experience with this brand, but what I have seen, I like.  This is a medium range 18650-sized thrower, with on-board charging, and dual switch.  Read on to see how it performs!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s only one version of the L16.  There are actually two versions of the L16.  KillzoneFlashlights had a special 5000K edition made, and that’s what I have here.  The box doesn’t indicate that, and I just missed it on the product page.  The other version is a 6500K emitter version.  The 5000K version is only available at KillzoneFlashlights.com!!

Price and Coupon

KillzoneFlashlights.com has this one for $99.99, which is 12% off the MSRP.


Short Review

This is a well built tactical thrower, and the dual switches are good to use.  It’s also a complete package, which is a nice touch.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Acebeam L16 Flashlight
  • Acebeam 3100mAh 18650
  • Lanyard
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Spare rubber switch cover
  • Nylon pouch
  • Manual and paperwork

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Package and Manual

Acebeam’s nice packaging; black and orange with photos and specs and UI.

The box flips open and latches with magnetic closure.

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The lens is protected with a peel off sticker.

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Same thing I said about the EC65 manual:The manual is just fine.  I would love for the table that’s on the back of the box to be in the manual too; seems like just an oversight.  Based on my experience with Acebeam, I think manuals might not be their top concern.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The build and feel in-hand is very good.  In particular the anodizing is very good.  It’s a mix between the more standard anodizing, and Armytek’s matte finish.  So it doesn’t feel quite like a chalkboard (which I find gross) but isn’t slick, either.

Straight to a minor disassembly:  The bezel comes off easily, revealing the emitter.  The reflector doesn’t just fall right out, though.

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Three main parts make up the light.  Head, body (cell tube) and tailcap.  The cell tube is directional, with one end (tailcap end) having unanodized, thick square cut threads, and the other having anodized, fine threads.  The tailcap threads do mean that this light can’t be mechanically locked out easily (and you wouldn’t really do this on the head end).  It does allow mechanical lockout, it just requires more turns than normal (almost one full turn).

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The internals are… quite unusual…. There are a number of reasons for this.  Internal charging, unique UI (with the mechanical switch never really being “off”), and so on.

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Even though unanodized, these threads are very smooth.

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Size and Comps

Officially:
Size:155mm(length)x40mm(head dia)x25.4mm(body dia.)
Weight: 128g without battery.

This isn’tsmall light, but I think it’s comparable to other lights in it’s class.

Below, beside the GT Mini, which isn’t in it’s class, but still generally comparable in side (and you should own one of those, so you should be able to compare.)

And beside the Convoy S2+.  It’s much longer than the S2+, which is saying something, since the S2+ is already quite a long 18650 light.

Retention and Carry

The primary means to carry this light is the nylon pouch.  The light really only fits bezel up, though with enough motivation you could probably flip it.

There’s also the included pocket clip, which attaches only on he tail end (of the non-reversible body tube.)  Realistically a pocket clip on a light like this is not all that useful, since the head is big enough to get in the way.

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It’s a friction clip, and would be useful on a belt more than a pocket.

The included lanyard can only attach on the tactical ring.  The pocket clip attaches snugly enough, and has the proper holes, for attaching the lanyard there.

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Power and Runtime

The L16 is powered by a single 18650.  The package includes a single 18650, too.  It’s a button top 3100mAh cell, with no mention of protection.  Both ends of the light have springs, so there’s no good reason any type of cell won’t work (flat/button top, protected/unprotected).

Turbo doesn’t step down officially until 5 or so minutes into use, but the output does trend downward in those 5 minutes.  I read 30 second output at around 1800 lumens, which is reasonably within the 2000 lumen claim.  Note the blue blobs at around 40 minutes.  That’s the main emitter giving low voltage warning, and then the light finally shutting off.  Later, I turned the light back on to turbo (60/70 minutes) and the light shuts off nearly immediately.  The stepdown at 5m is a stepdown to High.

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The runtime on high looks essentially the same as Turbo, but lasts a little longer.

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The cell is black and orange, and Acebeam branded.

On-board charging is done via a micro-USB port in the head, and there’s a snug rubber cover over the port for protection.

Charging is good, proceeding at over 2A, and requiring barely 2 hours.  Bonus is that it’s not a proprietary mechanism; any normal 18650 can be charged in this light.  The charge port has a very small indicating emitter beside it.  When charging, it’s red.  When charging is complete, the indicator turns green.  Unfortunately this indicator is used for nothing else.

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Using the bench power, there seemed to be no LVP.  But when testing the light with a cell, there seems to be LVP somewhere around 3.22-3.0V.

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the L16.  There’s a metal switch like is on the EC65, in the center of the head.

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It’s a very flush button, and very positively clicky (but not loud).  I like this switch a lot.

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Also included is a “mechanical” switch on the tail cap.  Because of how the light actually works, I’m not willing to call this a mechanical switch.  I think it might be an e-switch disguised as a mechanical.  But it lacks many of the niceties of an e-switch.

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Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Side Switch On (Mode Memory)
Any Click Tail Switch (Even during Lockout) Turbo (Steady) (and preculudes Side Switch use)
Any Tap Tail Switch (Even during Lockout) Momentary Turbo
Any Double Click Side Switch Turbo
On Hold Side Switch Mode advance (FLMH)
Any Triple Click Side Switch Strobe
Off Hold Side Switch Firefly
Off Hold Side Switch >3s Lockout
Lockout Hold Side Switch <3s Unlock

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 2000 1.1h 1775 6.25
High 1000 1.2h 1032 2.18
Mid 500 2.2h 400 0.68
Low 150 9h 140 0.21
Firefly 1 500h

LED and Beam

Acebeam has a Cree XHP35 HI in the L16.  Great choice for a small thrower, of course.  And the reflector is deep and smooth.

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Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

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Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Acebeam L16
Emitter Cree XHP35 HI
Emitter Notes 6500K
Cell 18650
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? Yes
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1800 (90% of claim*)
Throw (Claimed) (m) 603
Lux (Measured) 2160 lux @ 6.215 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 83432.6
Throw (Calculated) (m) 577.7 (95.8% of claim)
All my Acebeam reviews!

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Not much else in the class of this light!  Dual switch, on-board charging, tactical.  The build quality makes it good, being a ‘full package’ light makes it great!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Complete package
  • Good Acebeam charge port cover
  • Throw and Output are [within measurement error] of specification

What I don’t like

  • Much too long
  • Pocket clip is of questionable use

Up Next

I have cell reviews and flashlight reviews for this week, but weather isn’t cooperating for photos.  We’ll see how it goes!

Notes

  • This light was provided by KillzoneFlashlights for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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