Acebeam has dropped a new headlamp in the form of a three emitter 18650 light with USB-C charging. It’s a nice looking device with three emitter options. Read on for more thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features
There’s only one body but there are three emitter choices available.
3 x Samsung LH351D LED (Seen here)
3 x Osram KW CSLNM1.TG LED
3 x Nichia 219C CRI≥90 LED
The going price for the H50 is $89.90.
This is a nice little light. There are so many modes that it’s unlikely you’ll be unable to find the desired output. But that’s at the expense of a UI that requires navigation and memorization to get to that mode. And the switch is a little hard to press.
Still the output is spectacular, and the emitter options are nice.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Samsung LH351D (6500K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$89.90|
|Turbo (3 emitters) Runtime||High (3 emitters) Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||0.00003|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||All modes, with or without cell|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1992 (99.6% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||137|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||297lux @ 4.83m = 6929cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||166.5 (121.5% of claim)*|
|All my Acebeam 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).
- Acebeam H50 Headlamp
- Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Manual and paperwork
Most of the accessories are in the the box seen above.
Package and Manual
Acebeam ships in some very nice packages. And the back of the box has quite a bit of information.
The manual is complete, and has info for all the emitter options.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The H50 is possibly a bit unusual for an 18650 headlamp. The emitters are in the center of the body, along the cylinder of the cell. It’s a good, very balanced design, and the light as a whole is very well built. Also symmetrical, which is something I like and appreciate.
Both of the ends unscrew. And they’re both labeled too – you’ll need to put them back on their proper end.
The threads are big and beefy, and very smooth. They have just enough lube. The non-charge end has a big thick spring, too. Both ends have an o-ring.
The positive terminal inside the body also has a spring, which is great for impact during use.
The tailcaps look exactly the same and they even have the same threading. However they are not swappable: One of the tailcaps will not make electrical contact with the wrong end, and so will not work.
As you can see below, the end with charging has much longer threads.
Also the end with charging has a tailcap with no spring. (Seen below are the parts that don’t go together.)
The charge port is well hidden under the threads.
There looks to be some slop in the cell when an unprotected 18650 is used, but there’s really not. The cell fits in the tube just right.
Size and Comps
;83mm long, 26mm in diameter (tube only), and 62g in weight.
This probably isn’t a light you’ll use off the headband, but as far as 18650 lights go, this one’s not all that big.
To be honest, barely bigger than the 18350 TorchLAB BOSS. (!!!)
Retention and Carry
The main carry will of course be the headband. There aren’t any other options – no magnet, no pouch, no pocket clip etc. Just (and understandably) the headband.
This band alone weighs 44g.
It’s a solid headband and the light fits into it very comfortably. The silicone arms allow rotation but also keep the light in place. And it’s easy to get the light in and out.
The headband is quite branded.
It also has some grippy strips, to keep it from slipping around on your head.
It’s possible to completely remove the top strap. Both ends of it have a “quick connect” de-strap area as seen on the “M” in the logo below. So they can be cleanly removed.
Power and Runtime
A single 18650 powers this light. It’s also possible to use 2x CR123.
The positive terminal of the cell goes into the H50.
There are so many modes on this light… I threw in a bonus runtime. I picked the three highest current modes – two from a “three emitter on” group, and one from a “two emitter on” group. So here’s the highest output:
Output is respectably steady at ~2000 lumens for around 2 minutes, then drops dramatically. The light does have LVP, too.
And here’s the second runtime. Sorry, temp shut off during this test, but still captures most of the important part.
As for the two emitter output, here’s Turbo. (Note that it’s a little higher than High of 3 emitter output – more on that in a bit.)
Runtimes look good. Output is certainly good with these LH351D emitters.
The H50 also has built in charging, by means of a USB-C connection on the tailcap. The tailcap must be removed fully in order to access this port.
The necessary cable is included. USB to USB-C, not USB-C to USB-C.
Charging is high for an 18650 – you’ll likely want to pick a good 18650 that can handle being charged at 1.7ish amps.
While charging is happening, the end of the light (not the indicating switch!) indicates completion. During charging, the indication is red. When charging is complete, the indication is green.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
|Turbo (3 emitters)||2000||2h15m||1992||4.80|
|High (3 emitters)||1000||2h30m||1063||2.41|
|Mid (3 emitters)||450||3h||408||0.77|
|Low (3 emitters)||55||3h30m||33||0.13|
|Ultra-Low (3 emitters)||10||16d||1.4||0.04|
|Turbo (2 emitters)||1350||2h15m||1326||3.25|
|High (2 emitters)||700||2h30m||656||1.72|
|Mid (2 emitters)||300||4h30m||281||0.63|
|Low (2 emitters)||40||5h15m||25||0.10|
|Ultra-Low (2 emitters)||5||21d||0.77||0.04|
|Turbo (1 emitter)||650||3h||612||1.60|
|High (1 emitter)||350||4h45m||340||0.84|
|Mid (1 emitter)||150||9h||145||0.36|
|Low (1 emitter)||20||10h30m||14||0.06|
|Ultra-Low (1 emitter)||3||30d||0.6||0.03|
All modes but Turbo (of each emitter setup) have PWM. It’s very fast PWM though, and not something I can detect by eye. Acebeam’s product literature say clearly: “Highly efficient constant current circuit design (Non-PWM).” This is clearly not true.
One emitter on:
Two emitters on:
Three emitters on:
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
There is a single switch on the H50. It’s an indicating e-switch, and can be on top or bottom when wearing the light. Logos matching common sense, it’s a “top” switch.
The switch is my biggest gripe with the light. …. really the only gripe, since the second one hinges on that gripe. It’s hard to press. It requires a bunch of force, and is recessed a bit, and just in general is not a pleasure to use. I really have to aim to hit it, and I have to hit is straight down too. No side or angle activation. Now, that could be ideal for you – I do not think you’ll ever once accidentally activate the light – but for me it’s not ideal. Particularly because switching between 1, 2, and 3 emitters requires a double click. So you really need to be perfect twice to get a good double click. Or more if you’re going from 1 to 3 emitters, for example. Couple that with the UI itself – by which I mean the modes go [all 5 single emitters] double click [all 5 two emitters] double click [all 5 three emitters] and you end up with modes that seem quite out of order.
Better in my opinion would be to just mimic a ramping UI and switch seamlessly between 1, 2, and 3 emitters, but always keep the output increasing. That might put the emitters all out of order, but as a user what do I are about that? I’m not picking a mode because it has 2 emitters on or 3 emitters on, I’m picking a mode because it has the output I need.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode and Emitter memory)|
|Off||Hold||Ultra-Low (Emitter memory)|
|Off||Long Hold (3s)||Lockout (3 flashes to indicate)|
|Lockout||Long Hold (3s)||Unlock (3 flashes to indicate, then Low with emitter memory)|
|Any||Click then Click/Hold||SOS|
|On||Double Click||Emitter Advance (1>2>3>1)|
|On||Hold||Mode advance (Low > Mid > High > Turbo) (No Ultra-Low)|
LED and Beam
The emitters here, and there are three, are Samsung LH351D. This isn’t a standard “triple” but there are three and they’re behind optics. There are two other choices, mentioned above, and all three have their merits. The Osram for example will likely throw better. The Nichia are touted for their higher CRI. And the 6500K Samsungs have higher output than the other two. No, it’s not possible to mix the three and have the best of all three worlds.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot!
What I like
- Very solid light
- Meets specification on output, and 2000 lumens is quite good
- Emitter options for exactly what your needs are
- USB-C Charging is quite fast at ~1.7A
- Headband is comfortable
What I don’t like
- Hard to press switch coupled with an improvable UI
- This light was provided by Acebeam for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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