In for review today is the Acebeam L35, a light that Acebeam bills as the “Brightest Tactical Flashlight.” This flashlight has an unusual combination of a TIR and Cree XHP70.2, with a bunch of other nice features. Read on for some thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features of the Acebeam L35
Before yesterday I’d have said there’s “just this one version.” But today I saw news that Acebeam is producing a camo version of this and a few other models. There are also two emitter options: Cree XHP70.2 (seen here), and a LatticePower P70 option. There’s also a pressure switch tailcap, making this a useful weapon mounted light.
Looks like the MSRP is $126.90, but that also seems to be immediately discounted to $99.90. That price doesn’t include the cell. Adding the cell, the price jumps to $119.80. KillzoneFlashlights.com has these for $89.90 right now, though, with the cell pushing the price to $113.80. Buy it at KillzoneFlashlights.com (referral link)!!
Acebeam L35 “Brightest Tactical Flashlight” Short Review
I haven’t experienced a Cree XHP70.2 emitter behind a TIR of this sort before, but I have to say it’s quite nice. The spot is great, the beam profile is good, and overall it just works. For the price I think this is in the “pretty good deal” category – a USB-C cell is included, the dual switch user interface is great, and Acebeam’s build quality is also great. The output didn’t hit the spec of 5000 lumens in my testing, though.
The Big Table
|Acebeam L35 “Brightest Tactical Flashlight”|
|Emitter:||Cree XHP70.2 (5000K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$89.90 (without cell) at killzoneflashlights.com (referral link)|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (mA):|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port||–|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||5000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||3699 (74% of claim)*|
|Candela per Lumen||14.7|
|Claimed Throw (m)||480|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||2020lux @ 5.491m = 60905cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||493.6 (102.8% 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 L35 Brightest Tactical Flashlight
- Acebeam 5100mAh 21700 cell (with USB-C charge port) (cell is an additional purchase)
- Nylon pouch
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Spare tail switch cover
- Charge cable (USB to USB-C, with USB female port for cell powerbank feature)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
The Acebeam L35 is an extremely sturdy flashlight. It’s got a nice big ol’ head, too. I find it to be a very fetching light.
The anodizing is a very pleasant middle ground between glossy and chalkboard matte.
Check out that knurling. It’s achieved in a way that gives the diamonds a bit of edge, which gives them a bit of grip. I think most Acebeams are like this, but I couldn’t tell you another single brand that does it. It’s not necessarily superior, but it is distinguishable, which is also nice.
The tailcap has just a bit of the knurling, too.
There are moderately deep cooling fins on the head.
The cell tube has some spirals down the body, much like many smaller Olights.
There’s a tactical ring – more on that later. Interestingly this didn’t seem to pull right off….
It looks like the cell tube separates at the head as well as the tail, but this seam (below) seems glued.
Here’s a look at the TIR. Also check out the strike bezel.
As I said above, only the tailcap is removable. The threads here are very smooth, square cut, and anodized. They’re also a little long, so a bunch of turns are required.
Both the head and tail have springs.
The tailcap spring is beefy, and quite long.
The L35 does appear to have an inner sleeve there on the cell tube. I’m not entirely sure why – I’m fairly certain that the tailswitch is mechanical, so it doesn’t need power. But likely it has to be this way so that the side e-switch can still work while the mechanical tail switch is in the off position.
The bezel allows lots of light out when headstanding. This could definitely account for my readings on output being a little low but I don’t think it explains the full difference of reading 3700 lumens, and the claim being 5000. Ie I don’t think it’s spilling out 1300 lumens…
Also a feature of the L35 is the side indicating LED. This is 45 degrees around the head from the e-switch.
Here it’s lit in green.
Size and Comps
Officially: 152mm long, 54.2mm diameter in the head, 25.4mm diameter in the tail. The weight is 161g (without cell).
If a light will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If a light will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 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 format.
Here are a couple other Acebeams – the L17 and E10. Both of those are Flat White emitter lights, and that’s where I recognize this type TIR from mostly.
Retention and Carry
A pocket clip (or “belt clip,” more likely) ships attached on the L35. It’s a friction fit clip, and broad metal.
Here’s the friction fit clip hug.
Also include (seen above and below) is the tactical grip ring. This ring is removable, but it’s under a thick o-ring whose goal seems to be to keep the ring in place. You’ll need to remove that o-ring to remove the tactical ring.
That tactical ring also has a hole for attaching the included lanyard.
The pocket clip also has a hole where the lanyard could be attached, but I’d strongly go with the tactical ring hole.
The final means of carry for the L35 is the nylon pouch. It’s directional, allowing bezel up carry.
Power and Runtime
Power to the Acebeam L35 is from a single lithium ion cell. My package included a cell, but you’ll have to click a radio option on your purchase and pay $19.90 for this cell you see below. The cell is a 5100mAh 21700.
The cell is a button top.
Also interestingly, this cell has a USB-C charge port in the head!
The cell is installed into the L35 in the usual way – positive terminal toward the head.
The included cell fits well, but a flat top unprotected cell also fits and works.
Here are a few runtimes. First Turbo. Note that inset graph – you can see the output bouncing. When the L35 steps down from Turbo to the 1200 lumen level, it flashes a few times. First slowly, then faster. Maybe 5x total. I don’t really understand this aspect of the light. I don’t really need a warning that the light is about to step down. You have to think with such an aggressive warning, it’s saying something else – maybe the temperature inside is becoming too great? Once the light steps down, the output is very stable at around 1300 lumens.
This stepdown from Turbo is to “High” level. The High runtime is very well regulated throughout the run, until the shutoff for low voltage protection at around 3V.
And here’s the third highest mode – technically “Med 2” I believe. I ran this test uncooled, so you may be interested to see the difference in High and Med 2 temperatures.
All tests indicate low voltage protection at around 3V. The LED on the head near the switch also indicates power, as follows:
Green: >30% power
Red: Between 10 and 30% power
Red Flashing: <10% power
Also included is a charge cable. It’s a short cable with USB on one end, and USB-C on the other. The USB end has a female USB port too, for using the cell as a powerbank (!!!).
Here’s a charge graph. This is from USB power (not USB-C). Charging is good, but just a bit slow at around 1A. That’s around 0.2C, which is fantastic for your cell life, but requires five hours to complete. Also charging seems to stop at around 4.14V. In all my tests, I topped the cell up to 4.19-4.2V in a charger before runtimes!
You may wonder, with a charge cable of that sort, can this cell be used as a powerbank?! Well the answer is YES. The L35 product page does not cover this (probably because the cell is technically a separate product). And the cell product page does not cover it either, so I just had to poke around for maximums. Looks like the cell is good to around 1.2A output while staying at (or nearly) in USB spec. With the 5100mAh capacity, you’re likely to get a cell phone charge out of it. Here’s a couple of graphs. This covers a ramp up to max before the output shuts off, and also (then) a steady run of around 1.2A output from the cell powerbank.
Here’s some detail just of the first ~1m. I take the discharge up to the point it shuts off, and then restart it. Then I set the output to around 1.2A. When the voltage dropped out of range, I lowered the draw to around 0.8A.
In powerbank mode, the cell will stop outputting current at around 2.9V.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
|Turbo||5000||1h15m||3699||15.5 (or more)|
The L35 does not have PWM on any mode! That’s great. And one of the things I love about Acebeam flashlights.
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 are two switches on the Acebeam L35. First is this tailcap switch, which feels to me to be a mechanical switch. It clicks very positively, and has a forward clicky action. This means there’s a momentary option.
The switch is proud, and does prevent tailstanding completely.
There’s also a replacement tailcap which adds a remote pressure switch to this Acebeam L35. I don’t have that, but I can say that it’d probably be great for long(er) gun usage!
Also for operation of the L35 is a side e-switch. The switch has a metal cover, and is completely flush with the body. It’s possible to find the switch without looking, because the opposite side has cooling fins, and is therefore not smooth.
The UI’s a little interesting, but quite easy. The tailswitch takes absolute precedence. No matter if the light is on or off, or on through one of the e-switch modes, clicking the tailswitch into the on position will always yield turbo. Reliable switches are useful.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off (and unlocked)||Click Tail Switch (TS)||Turbo|
|Off (and unlocked)||Tap TS||Momentary Turbo|
|Off||Click Side Switch (SS)||On (Mode memory (excluding Moonlight and Turbo))|
|On (by TS action)||Any SS action||No change in state|
|On (by SS action)||Hold SS||Mode advance (L>M1>M2>H)|
|Off||Double Click SS||Turbo|
|On (by SS action)||Double Click SS||Turbo|
|Turbo (from SS)||Double Click SS||Previously used mode|
|Any (except Turbo from TS)||Triple Click SS||Strobe|
|Off||Hold SS 5s||Lockout (Indicated by triple flash in Moonlight)|
|Lockout||Hold SS 3s||Unlock to Moonlight*|
- The tailswitch must be in the off position to unlock! The manual states that the power indicator can show whether the tailswitch is “on” or “off” but doesn’t state how, and I’m unclear on this. It’s possible to do this by feel though. When “off” the tail switch button is quite firm. When “on” the tailswitch has around 1.5mm-2mm of give.
LED and Beam
The emitter, which you can’t see here, is a Cree XHP70.2. Acebeam specifies this as a 5000K version. As mentioned above, this emitter sits under a TIR, which provides a nice hotspot with little spill.
It’s hard (or impossible) to tell it from the photos but the divot, or whatever you’d like to call it, in the center of the TIR is not exposed. Either there’s a glass lens to cover it, or the TIR has a cover itself. I can’t remove the bezel, and I can’t see or feel if it’s a lens or part of the TIR. I would guess that it’s a lens over the TIR.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure. The following beamshots really bring out the green of the emitter, but in person I wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near this dramatic.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
Test light is on the left!
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Great beam profile
- Very high output
- Very good throw
- Alternative emitter option that trades a little bit of output for a little bit more throw
- The optional cell can be used as a powerbank
- Modes are very well regulated
What I don’t like
- Tint of 5000K XHP70.2 high is a little yellow
- Cell is extra, at $20.
- Cell charging is a little slow
I worked on this review a number of times, and I got some revisions crossed up. So if there’s a section unusually blank, let me know. It was undoubtedly lost in switching computers and not saving drafts. Sorry about that.
- This light was provided by Acebeam for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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