Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight Review

The Nitebeam X12UV is a flashlight with both 9x Osram emitters (unstated, but 6500K), and 3x ultraviolet emitters.  Very simple user interface, and USB-C charging.  Read on for thoughts and testing!


Official Specs and Features of the Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight with Ultraviolet

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There are two versions.  First is the X12UV (seen here).  There’s also an X12, which differs from the UV version in that the three center emitters are very warm white.

Price

The Nitebeam X12UV is available for purchase here, for $59.95.


Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight with Ultraviolet Short Review

This is a fairly neat light, which has a nice host of current features, including USB-C charging.  The built in cells don’t meet the demands of the host, though, and so the rated output of “10,000” lumens isn’t met even briefly.  If you need a UV light and also a can light/wall of light flashlight, the Nitebeam X12UV flashlight is a respectable choice.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight with Ultraviolet

Emitter: Osram (9 total) (6500K)
(Probably OSLON® Black Flat, LUW HWQP)
Price in USD at publication time: $59.95
Cell: 3×18650
High Runtime Graph Low Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port
Claimed Lumens (lm) 10,000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 2113 (21.1% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 7.5
Claimed Throw (m) 500
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 1119lux @ 3.83m = 16414cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 256.2 (51.2% of claim)*
All my Nitebeam 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 with the Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight with Ultraviolet

nitebeam x12uv flashlight what's included

  • Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight with Ultraviolet secondary emitters
  • Carry baggie
  • 18650×3 (“built in”)
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Lanyard
  • Manual

Package and Manual

nitebeam x12uv flashlight manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

nitebeam x12uv flashlight feature photo

The Nitebeam X12UV flashlight with ultraviolet is solidly build.  It feels like a bit of a chunk in hand.  Not unusual for a can style flashlight.

The emitters (9 Osram 6500K and 3x ultraviolet 365nm) are behind a standard optic.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight emitters

The tailcap has a bit of printing, mentioning a website (www.nitebeam.com) which does not seem to be active now.  Not up and running yet, I’d guess….

nitebeam x12uv flashlight tailcap

One of the biggest features of this light is the display.  It will cover a few things about the light and status, which we’ll cover later.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight switch and display

The bezel is flat, so when headstanding no light escapes (except on my not-flat surface seen below.)

nitebeam x12uv flashlight headstanding and on

nitebeam x12uv flashlight battery level

nitebeam x12uv flashlight displaying mode L

nitebeam x12uv flashlight displaying battery level 9

nitebeam x12uv flashlight displaying U for UV

The UV emitters are driven quite strongly.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight UV on

nitebeam x12uv flashlight UV beam

This is a USB-C charging light, which is nice to see.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight charge port open

nitebeam x12uv flashlight charge port closed

nitebeam x12uv flashlight charge port profile

nitebeam x12uv flashlight lanyard loop

I was unable to remove this bezel to show the emitters better.  Sorry!

nitebeam x12uv flashlight display off

I said above that the cells are “built in,” in quotation marks.  That’s true, they are “built in” but it’s very simple to get into them.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight tailcap removed

Just three Philips screws hold this pcb in place.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight pcb removed with 3 screws

nitebeam x12uv flashlight pcb

The flip side of that pcb are these three thick and sturdy springs.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight pcb spring side

nitebeam x12uv flashlight beefy springs

Once that pcb is removed, these three 18650 cells are revealed.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight standard cells inside

These cells are “standard” 18650 cells.  More on that later!

nitebeam x12uv flashlight 3x18650

The other end of the cell tube is the head of the light, with usual contacts.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight inside cell tube

Like I said, those springs are very springy.  When just resting in the tail of the light, they sit up this high (see below.)  So when you’re returning the pcb to it’s place, you have to really press down against the springs.  I recommend doing about a fourth turn per screw, to keep the pressure even.  And you’ll need to screw them down all the way.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight springs

Size and Comps

Officially the X12UV flashlight is 116mm long, 50.4mm in diameter (head), and 45.4mm in tail diameter.  The X12UV weighs 384g.

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.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

There are two ways primarily to carry the Nitebeam X12UV.  First is the lanyard, which can attach in either of these holes on the head.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight lanyard holes

The lanyard has a quick release, which if nothing else, makes installation simpler.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight lanyard installed

nitebeam x12uv flashlight lanyard

Second means of carry is the pouch.  It’s a crushed velvet type pouch, which has a double drawstring at the top.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight crushed velvet baggie

No other means of carry is included.  There are no magnets or pocket or belt clip.

Power and Runtime

As stated above, the X12UV is powered by three 18650 cells, which are included.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight built in cells

They’re “built in” but can be easily accessed with no specialized tools.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight cell install direction

nitebeam x12uv flashlight the included cells

They’re “standard” cells, but probably the shortest 18650 cells that have button tops that I’ve ever seen.  That is, with the button top included, they’re exactly the dimensions 18mm x 65mm.  (Usually the button would add a bit of length to the 65mm dimension.)  So this is unusual, but still considered standard.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight button top 18650 very short

Now there are a few things of note here.  First, you’ll have to use button tops.  Secondly, the springs on the tailcap pcb are already compressed pretty dramatically – I’m not certain a longer button top 18650 would fit.  Thirdly, you’ll see below that the runtime on High doesn’t even come close to the claimed 10,000 lumens.  I spoke with Nitebeam about this and they said that the output claim was a “theoretical maximum.”  For example if you used high current cells, then you could achieve this output.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight 18650 compared to 25R

And Nitebeam didn’t use high current cells in this light.  So if you wish to have higher output, you may supply and swap in your own cells.  Will anyone do that?  Probably not.  So you’re left with a can light which hits a fairly regular 2500 lumens or so.

The runtimes look fairly good, with the exception that the light never seems to shut off when the cell voltage is low.  In both tests, I disassembled the light in order to test the cell voltage.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight runtime graph on high

With the cell setup (parallel), you could likely run the light on any number of 18650 cells, though output would likely suffer with just 2 or 1 cell.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight runtime graph on low

The display beside the switch is intended to serve also as a battery indicator.  I did note when fully charged, the display would read “9,” which I took to be accurate.  But the site describes a scenario where the display will read 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 as the cell voltage descends.  I didn’t experience that.  It was either 9 or 1, and at 1, the cells were below 3V.  So the display is mostly useless, except for a very broad idea of the cell state.

Charging

Also a feature of the Nitebeam X12UV is built-in charging.  This charging is by way of a USB-C port in the head.  The USB-C port has a nice press-in cover, and is different enough from the switch that you’ll never confuse the two.

An appropriate cable is included: USB to USB-C.

Charging looks good, capping at around 2A, and taking just over 3 hours.  That’s pretty good for a 3×18650 battery.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight charge graph

There are actually two charge indicators.  One is on the display, which appears as a little red dot whenever power is connected through the USB-C port.  This only indicates “on charger” and not “charging state.”

The other is a very small indication through the optic – when charging is active, this indication is red.  When charging is complete, this indication is green.  It’s very subtle, but useful.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 10000 2113 7.80 (ish)
Low 2000 846 1.53
UV 3.73

Pulse Width Modulation

Low utilizes PWM but it’s fast enough that I can’t pick up on it.

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

A single switch controls the X12UV.  It’s an e-switch near the head, and beside the display.  The switch is yellow, and fairly low profile.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight e-switch

This display beside the switch indicates some useful things.  It will state the mode (L, H, U), or battery level.

“L” for “low”:

nitebeam x12uv flashlight display "L"

“9” for battery level:

nitebeam x12uv flashlight display "9" battery level

“U” for “UV”:

nitebeam x12uv flashlight display "U" for UV

Also “H” for high, but that’s not shown here.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Low
Off Hold High
Any Double click UV
Off Click 5x Lockout
Lockout Click 5x Unlock (also turns on Low)
On Click Off

LED and Beam

Nitebeam uses two types of LED in the X12UV.  First, on the outer rim are 9 Osram emitters, with a temperature of 6500K.  That’s quite cool, and you’ll see that reflected in the photos below.  Research indicates this is probably the OSLON® Black Flat, LUW HWQP emitter.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight osram and UV emitters

The inner three emitters are UV, and have a wavelength of 365nm.  They are operated separately from the cool white emitters.

nitebeam x12uv flashlight uv emitters on

nitebeam x12uv flashlight UV emitters on

nitebeam x12uv flashlight headstands flat

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

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!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Solid build quality
  • “Built in” cells can be changed easily if a user is determined to do so
  • Very simple user interface

What I don’t like

  • Not nearly the claimed 10,000 lumens.
  • Only two white modes
  • Battery indicator largely useless

Notes

  • This light was provided by Nitebeam for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • For flashlight related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
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Author: zeroair

1 thought on “Nitebeam X12UV Flashlight Review

  1. I may have missed it, but does the head unscrew?
    The brass ring that makes contact with a positive end of the battery looks like it has the normal circular pattern of a head that screws on and off.
    So did it come marked up that way from the factory?
    Is the body a single piece?
    How do you think they installed the driver?

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