Nitecore New P12 Flashlight Review

Nitecore New P12 Flashlight Review

Nitecore has released the New P12 flashlight, their very first 21700 light! It’s a tactical, dual switch light that includes a cell.  Read on!

Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Nitecore New P12 Flashlight product page.


There’s only one version.  Of course, this is the new P12 – there’s an original P12 as well.  It was a very similar 18650 sized light.


This light goes for $79.95 on (that’s a referral link).

Short Review

This is a big light and performs capably.  I like that it’s a complete package, and I like the many carry options.  The dual switch interface allows reliable operation to a single mode if desired.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore New P12
Emitter: Cree XP-L HD
Price in USD at publication time: $79.95 at
Cell: 1×21700
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
Switch Type: Dual
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1231 (102.6% of claim)^
Claimed Throw (m) 238
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 375lux @ 5.481m = 11266cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 212.3 (89.2% 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).

What’s Included

  • Nitecore New P12 Flashlight
  • Nitecore NL2140 4000mAh 21700 cell (pictured below)
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Belt mount holster
  • Spare boot
  • Spare o-ring
  • 21700 to 18650 adapter
  • Manual and papers

Package and Manual

Typical Nitecore package.

Nitecore has adopted Olight’s method of suggesting family planning options.

The manual is also very standard Nitecore stuff.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The New P12 (actual name) is a long light.  That’s going to be something you either want or don’t.  If you are ok, and this is a class of light you need, then just go ahead stop here and buy.  The light is just like it should be.  If it’s too long….  well I’m not here to convince you otherwise.  It’s going to be too long.  But the build quality and operation are still going to be great!

Both the head and tail have springs, as they should.

The threads on the tail end are square-cut and fairly fine, anodized, and properly lubed.  The pocket clip doesn’t really interfere with tailcap removal and replacement.

There’s a bit of knurling on the body.  Not excessive, and not too grippy.  For a tactical light, you might wish to have more, and more grippy, knurling.

Size and Comps

Length 154 mm
Head Size 25.4 mm
Weight 83g

Comparison to the Convoy S2+ tells the story.  The S2+ is already a long light….

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

Retention and Carry

There are a number of ways to carry the New P12.  First I’ll mention the lanyard.  It can attach through the tailcap, in a large hole.

The lanyard could also be attached to the pocket clip.  The pocket clip is a friction fit clip, which can be placed in at least 3 places on the body.  None of those provide especially deep carry, but at least the one shown does provide fine balance.  Bezel up or down is possible, and there’s no way to use the light as a hatlight simply due to weight/balance.

Finally and probably best, for carrying the New P12 is the belt holster.  It’s a plastic holster and has grippy sides for keeping the light in place.  It’ll work with the pocket clip on the light (at least in the orientation shown, but probably all others too), and allows access to both switches.

Not only that, but the bezel is uncovered, so the light can be on and used while still in the holster.

I can’t recall having had a hard holster like this before.  I think I like it better than the very common nylon pouches.

Power and Runtime

As stated above, this is a 21700 light.  Nitecore sells this as a package, so you’ll get a great cell, too.

But if you don’t wish to use the Nitecore cell, or in case you just need to throw an 18650 in there, Nitecore also provides an adapter.  It’s directional and has a bit of metal for good connection.  It’s also possible to run the light on CR123 cells, and RCR123 cells.

The cell Nitecore includes is a protected 4000mAh 21700.

It has a button top on the positive terminal and some fancy Nitecore branding on the negative.

The cell fits well inside the cell tube.  Not tight, but no slop whatsoever.

I performed a couple of runtimes.  First is High (which is the highest mode – no “Turbo”).  The light wanders down from the initial output over the course of a few minutes, down to a fairly steady 850 lumens.  After around 100 minutes, there’s another massive stepdown, and the light seems to just live there for ages.  I stopped both tests with the light still on, and bench power indicates that the New P12 does not have Low Voltage Protection.  Probably a good thing for a tactical light.

Medium is remarkably stable for almost 6 hours.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 1200 3h45m 1231 3.04
Mid 340 8h 330 0.55
Low 60 52h 77 0.18
Ultralow 1 1200h ~ 0.03

Pulse Width Modulation

I’m not really picking up any PWM on this light, despite what looks to be on mode 3 (Mid) below.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the New P12.  The first is a mechanical tail switch.

It’s very proud, and of course, prevents any tailstanding.

Secondly is the indicating e-switch on the side of the head.

Two user interfaces are available for the New P12.  One is “Daily Mode” (default), and the other is “Tactical Mode.”  Switching between them is simple:  hold the side switch and click the tail switch.  Continue holding the side switch til it starts flashing blue rapidly.  Release the side switch.  It’ll blink once (Daily) or twice (Tactical), and then the main emitter will be on (on to High, it seems).

Here’s a UI table mode!  The two UI’s are similar enough that their differences are noted in the table – otherwise, they’re the same.

State Action Result
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Last Used Mode)
Off Click Side Switch (SS) No Action
Off Tap TS Momentary (Last Used Mode)^
On Click TS Off
On Click SS Daily:  Mode advance (U>L>M>H)
Tactical:  Mode advance (H>M>L>U)
On Hold SS Strobe
Strobe Hold SS Daily:  Strobe Advance (Beacon>SOS>Strobe)
Tactical: Last Used Mode
Strobe Click SS Last Used Mode
Off Click Both Concurrently (and quickly release) Battery Indicator (then On to last used mode)^^

^ It is possible to change the mode with the SS while in momentary
^^ Battery Indicator: The side switch indicator (blue) blinks out the actual cell voltage:  Four blinks, pause, one blink = 4.1V.  Also works for 2-up cells, too.

LED and Beam

In the New P12 is a Cree XP-L HD, V6.  The reflector is deep and smooth.

The bezel is crenelated but not sharp, so light escapes when headstanding.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 ( 219b version) (affiliate link)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!


What I like

  • Very fleshed-out full package!
  • Meets throw and output specs
  • Massively long runtimes
  • Nice use of dual switches
  • User has a choice of mode order

What I don’t like

  • Suuuuper long
  • No LVP


  • This light was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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