Acebeam X50 Searchlight Review
Acebeam just released the X50 Searchlight, which has some massive features, and most importantly is available in 5000k! Read on for a bit of testing.
Official Specs and Features of the Acebeam X50 Searchlight
Only one body style is available, but two emitter options exist. The 6500K (Cool White) option churns out more lumens (at around 40,000) and has better throw (at around 800m). But the 5000K version comes in very close on both counts – probably close enough you can’t tell the difference!
The Acebeam X50 Searchlight comes in at a price of $369. That includes shipping.
I had very high expectations for the Acebeam X50 Searchlight. I mean very high. When someone asks me what my “most impressive” flashlight is, I always reach for my Imalent DX80. On paper, the Acebeam X50 Searchlight should unseat that. At 38,000 lumens and 750m of throw, the 5000K version boasts USB-C charging and is smaller than the DX80…
And it has a handle.
I love the X50. The specs come up just a little short of the claim, but based on how the light feels in use, it could not possibly be pushed much harder.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XHP70.2 (8) (5000K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$369.00|
|Cell:||Internal (10.8V, 4250mAh)|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||?|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port||Yes but also not really: charging stops when output starts|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||38000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||30801 (81.1% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||2.5|
|Claimed Throw (m)||750|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||2910lux @ 5.64m = 92566cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||608.5 (81.1% 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 X50 Searchlight
- Acebeam handle (with screw)
- Wall wart with USB-C output
- Long USB-C to USB-C charge cable
- Nylon holster
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Manual and papers
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
It’s going to be hard for me to not gush about this light. Acebeam didn’t “send this light for review” – I bought this light because I knew I’d love it. Acebeam makes a high-quality product that usually meets the specifications.
Acebeam did give me a discount on the light thought (and that’s why it’s not a Fun Fund Friday review.) There’s no real point to me saying that aside from the fact that I went into this testing essentially knowing I’d love the light. But testing is testing, so there’s no skew here.
The Acebeam X50 Searchlight is a robust little light. It’s little, too – it’s really a can-style flashlight. What I typically call a “wall of light” flashlight. It has a very good weight in hand too and just oozes good build quality.
Despite being a can-light, the head flares a little because of these cooling fins. You can see more below on why that’s needful (spoiler, it has something to do with the 240W being pulled on Turbo).
Along the body is no knurling, but these fins do aid in grip.
Here’s something you’ll really never have to do: disassemble the light.
That’s for two reasons. One is that the emitters are already 5000K, so you won’t have to swap those. The other is that the battery is built-in and with onboard charging, you’ll never need to swap the cells.
There are no springs, but that brass button is springy.
You can see below on the battery side how there’s a sort of a long neck above the threads. I don’t know what the purpose of that is, but I can say it aids in threading the parts together. It’s like a runway to line things up accurately.
And finally, the handle! I love a good handle, and this is a good handle. (The DX80 doesn’t have a handle…)
Size and Comps
Officially the Acebeam X50 Searchlight is 132.5mm x 75mm x 51.5mm, and weighs 690g with the battery included.
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 formats.
Retention and Carry
Let’s first talk about one of the two best features of this flashlight. (I’m not actually thinking of two specific, and I think there are more than two best features but… let’s just go with that).
It’s not just the handle. The handle is fantastic. But that handle attaches on a UNC1/4″ tripod mount. So even if you didn’t want to use the handle, you could use a tripod, and facilitate room lighting or whatever. It’s a nice feature.
On to the actual handle. You can see above there’s a little cutout below the 1/4″ screw hole. That’s important because it’s a keyed slot for the handle. When the handle is installed, it fits in exactly one orientation and doesn’t have any side-to-side movement.
At 240W (albeit briefly), you’ll likely want your hand that far away from the light if you’re running Turbo.
I initially fussed that the text on the tailcap you can see below not lining up with the handle or switch or anything. But that turns out to be a great feature. This means that the handle does not interfere with the charge port!
The handle also has slots. So for example you could run the lanyard here and have a good wrist strap. It’s possible to consider the handle a bit thin, so you might like this extra assurance.
Here’s the downside of a “dumb handle.” Dumb meaning, of course, no electronics. The switch is on the opposite side from the handle. That’s just the facts, but essentially means two hands will be required for operating the Acebeam X50 Searchlight when also using the handle.
Interestingly the tripod screw included with the handle is not captured. So be sure to keep up with it. That said, it’s a standard screw, so available for very cheap.
Next up is the nylon pouch. It’s a directional pouch, into which the X50 fits only bezel up.
While the bottom is open and the light can slip in fully, the top is closed. Thus, the light can not be used while in the pouch. The pouch has a velcro closure.
Finally, there’s a lanyard. I attached the lanyard only through these holes in the side of the body, but the handle provides many attachment points as well.
Power and Runtime
Power is provided to the X50 via the included and built-in battery pack. This is a 10.8V (nominal) battery pack, providing 4250mAh.
Almost certainly inside this battery pack are three 21700 cells in series. However, they’re built in.
Spare battery packs are available, but at $129, it’s a hard purchase. It’s unclear whether the spare battery pack is a complete tail section of the light (likely) or if you’ll have to remove those three screws seen below and swap in the battery pack into your tail section.
Companies usually get a ton of grief for built-in battery packs. And sure, I wouldn’t mind being able to swap in my own three 21700 cells. However, with these cells in series, it’s … more dangerous … for users to use their own cells. Unmarried-cells-in-series are when problems happen, and one way to alleviate that issue is to just build them into the light.
Here are some runtime tests. I wanted to test until at least the mode where there was no stepdown, and you can see that below. Med2 is that mode, which holds steady at around 6000 lumens for well over an hour.
There is a low voltage warning through the indicator beside the switch. It indicates as follows:
Green steady: 100-30%
Red steady: 30-10%
Red flashing: <10%
I observed the above; it’s quite noticeable (and useful). As you can see from all these runtime graphs, the light also steps down a few times and does finally shut off. After every test, the battery pack was either 0V or some very low (ie negligible) reading. I am sure (but unable to test) that the cells are not “0V” but the battery (as a whole) has a protection circuit that trips to prevent over-discharge.
Absolutely remarkable! The runtime claim for this mode (above) is 2 hours, so we’re falling quite short of the runtime but the output is spot on!
Having the built-in battery is not so bad, because of the built-in charging by USB-C.
This charging port is on the bottom (or tailcap) of the Acebeam X50 Searchlight and has a nice press-in cover. The cover is thick and quite secure. Interestingly (and intentionally, I’m sure) the charge port covers the charge indicator light (which you can see to the right of the charge port below.) Note that this is not the same indicator that’s used to tell the charge level during light output.
Despite the charge port cover being extremely secure, I found it to be fiddly when actually charging. Not so much with the included charge cable (which is all you’ll probably use) but with my testing devices, that little squishy cover just got in the way and in the way…. I had to forcefully twist it out of the way. But that’s a good testament to its quality. My wrenching on it didn’t break it or pull it out of the light. A spare charge port cover is not included
Here’s the included wall wart. The output of 20V is used for charging the Acebeam X50 Searchlight. That’s a nice high charge voltage, and it also uses a nice high charge current. Charging is in fact quick!
This included USB-C to USB-C charge cable is longer than most I’ve seen (probably a full meter?) and also very thick. Unusually thick. T H I C C thick. Very good for those high currents!
Charging progresses nicely at 2A or so, and finishes in a blistering 90 minutes! Again, that’s charging at 20V, so… capacity measurement at the right of the graph doesn’t account for that (I’ve just realized….)
One more minor note about the protection of the battery pack. Most of the time after a test (when the battery pack didn’t read a meaningful voltage), I could just plug the provide charger into the light and it’d go. There were a couple of times, however, that plugging the provided charger in did not do anything – there was no red light to indicate charging. In those cases, I used some other random USB-A to USB-C charge cable to “bump start” the charging. This seemed required (sometimes) to “untrip” the protection. I don’t know why that is, and maybe I just wasn’t patient enough with the included charger (very possible)…. After the bump, charging with the included charger progressed normally.
The USB-C output is covered in the manual to serve as a powerbank too. I tested with a number of USB-C items and just simply did not have any devices (or testers) that could work with the powerbank feature.
Finally, I plugged in this little laptop I tested a long while back, and while I am unable to log with this setup, I can confirm that the Acebeam X50 Searchlight does work as a powerbank on some devices. The manual covers this actually, by saying something about protocols not matching and in those cases charging won’t work.
In fact, not only does USB-C output work, but this laptop was able to negotiate 5V and 12V output from the Acebeam X50 Searchlight. So while I was unable to log it, please take comfort in knowing that it does work!
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps @~12V|
Pulse Width Modulation
No PWM on any mode! Another thing to love about Acebeam flashlights!
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). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. 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’s just one switch on the Acebeam X50 Searchlight. Long-time readers will expect me to love it because it has an actual metal cover and I do. It’s a great switch.
The action is very low, and there’s not much of a positive click.
Beside the switch is this power level indicator. It’s not a charge indicator, since that’s a different LED elsewhere on the light (beside the charge port, actually). This one is bigger and has a nice even light. The opposite of a cheap indicator. It’s a very high-quality indicator.
Another extremely important aspect of operation for the Acebeam X50 Searchlight is this second switch. It’s possible to physically lock out the X50 using that physical toggle switch seen below (just above the logo.) In the “up” position, the e-switch can not be pressed. It’s physically blocked. I would guess that this physical block on the e-switch does not affect any quiescent current that might be present in the system, so if you want a lockout that breaks the electrical connection, you’ll want to loosen the body ever so slightly, too.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Hold||Mode Advance (Low>Med1>Med2>Med3>High)|
The user interface is very simple.
LED and Beam
In the Acebeam X50 Searchlight are eight (8) Cree XHP70.2 emitters. Two CCT’s are available – 6500K (CW) and 5000K. I picked the 5000K because I prefer the warmer option. The cooler option will have a higher output and more throw. But at something like 5% difference, you’re extremely unlikely to notice the difference in output or throw levels but you will certainly notice the difference in CCT between 6500K and 5000K.
Each emitter has a nice little reflector. So while there is a massive amount of output from this light, it also reaches out there quite well.
The throw is rated at 750m (for the 5000K version) but I measured it at 608m. As a replacement for the DX80 (which throws something like 700+ meters), this falls a little short. But the difference in size (that is, the X50 is so much smaller) makes the 600m quite impressive nonetheless.
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
The CCT measures nicely at around 4800-4900K! This is only the lowest 4 modes. Past that, my sensor was saturated.
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)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like about the Acebeam X50 Searchlight
- Has an awesome handle
- Great build quality
- Super quick charging in 90 minutes with the 20V ~2A charge rate
- Incredible output
- 5000K is an option (and an accurate claim, if even a little cooler than actual!)
- USB-C charging
- Great charge indicator
What I don’t like about the Acebeam X50 Searchlight
- Switch inaccessible from the thumb of hand that’s holding the handle
- Ultra-Low of 200 lumens is… not quite “ultra-low”
- Required to bump start charging from a USB-A power source a time or two
- Battery pack does not allow users to swap cells
- Replacement battery pack is expensive
- I purchased this light at a discount for my enjoyment and also to review. I was not paid to write this review.
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