To 10k LM and beyond: Acebeam X65 & X60M review

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maukka
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To 10k LM and beyond: Acebeam X65 & X60M review

In this review I will be taking a look at the Acebeam X65, one of the highest output led flashlights currently on the market. I will also compare it to its predecessor, the Acebeam X60M and provide some reference in the form of two high output soda can lights, the MecArmy PT60 (to be reviewed separately) and the Olight X7 Marauder (reviewed here).

Thanks go to hc-lights.fi for loaning me the light for a couple of weeks to do this review!

Basic specs from the manufacturer
Battery: Proprietary battery pack, 8×18650 3400 mAh, 4S2P 14.8 V
LED: 5x Cree XHP35 HI only in cool white from the factory
Waterproof: IPX8, 2 meters
Mode memory: yes (low, mid, high)
Switch: electronic side switch
1/4” tripod threads

Output (mfg reported)
Maximum output: 12000 lumens
Other output levels: 4/500/1500/3500/6000 lumens
Light intensity: 423000 candelas
Beam distance: 1301 m

Measured dimensions and weight
Length: 276 mm
Head width: 108 mm
Handle width: 51 mm
Weight: 1313 g

User interface

The basic operation via the electronic side switch is very simple but not quite as intuitive as the magnetic control ring on the X60M.

From off:
Short click turns the light on. Last mode memory for low, mid and high. Firefly, turbo and turbo max are not memorized.
Long press (1 sec) turns the light on at the lowest brightness (firefly)
Longer press (2 sec) enables lockout mode where accidental presses will be ignored. Physical lockout is also possible.
Double click turns the light on at the second highes mode (turbo)

From on:
Long press cycles modes (low-mid-high)
Double click activates turbo, from here a slower double click (turn the light off and back on) enables maximum output, turbo max

Activating the turbo max is very tedious if you haven’t yet mastered the timing of it. For a first time user it’s absolutely infuriating. According to the local Acebeam dealer (hc-lights.fi) this will be fixed in the future.

Also the button has a soft and somewhat imprecise feeling to it. This makes double clicking more difficult than it should be, although nowhere as near difficult as on the original HaikeLite MT03 Devourer.

The magnetic control ring of the X60M has the ultimate mode memory. You don’t need to remember the mode you were last in, since it’s becomes obvious when looking at the light. Also preselecting the preferred output level before turning the light on is the most intuitive way to gain instant access to all of them. The hassle of memorizing multiple shortcuts isn’t needed.

While the X60M can be used with any six 18650 cells, there’s no such opportunity with the new model. The X65 can only be powered by a proprietary battery pack, which comprises of eight Panasonic 18650B 3400 mAh cells. Acebeam offers an optional extra battery carrier / handle for about 119 euros.

MecArmy PT60 is also powered by a battery pack (4×18650), which attaches to the driver via an XT60 connector. Olight X7 makes use of four 18650 batteries, which are provided in the kit version of the light.

Box and contents


Just like previous high end Acebeams, the X65 comes in a metal reinforced carry case. The quality of materials and the workmanship of the case is nothing special, but it does its job protecting the light.

The light comes bundled with:
Sturdy shoulder strap
User manual
4 spare orings
Wall charger (DC 19 V)


There’s a sturdy should strap that attaches to the light. The front clasp takes some fiddling to put on and remove just like in the X60M. The loop on the back rotates freely if you want to set the light in some certain way on the table for example.

Charging

The proprietary battery pack is charged via a port at the end of the battery tube/handle. There’s a waterproof metal cover you have to remove first. On the X60M the plug attaches to the port magnetically, but the X65 has a typical barrel connector you jam inside the port. On the other hand, the X60M is only IPX6 water proof against strong jets while the X65 can be submerged (IPX8, 2 meters).

While charging, the small led shines red, when done it turns a slightly flickering green. The wall charger manages to fill up the batteries in 2 hours and 45 minutes during which it transfers 82 watt hours worth of energy to it (measured by a PortaPow meter). This seems low, since one 3400 mAh NCR18650B cell has a capacity of about 11.5 Wh. Charging eight of them should total at least 92 Wh (plus possible losses). Maybe the low voltage protection kicks in long before the batteries are drained below 3 volts or the batteries don’t get charged all the way. Too bad I forgot to measure the battery pack voltage after the runtime tests and after charging.

Before the CV charging phase the charger pumps out 18.9 volts at 1.6 amps which equals 30 watts. It’s a nice and fast but still a safe rate of charge, which would otherwise require two four bay 18650 chargers with a maximum current of over 1 amps per slot.

After the charging is finished, there’s a 0.009 A trickle through the charging port. Probably just to keep the green charging indicator lit.

Unlike in the MecArmy, you don’t need to remove the head to charge the light. But it does come out if you want to swap the battery handle to a fresh one out in the field. The X60M also has a removable handle which contains the 6×18650 battery carrier, so you can charge the batteries in a dedicated charger or swap them for a fresh set.

Beam and tint

Unlike the X60M which used three massive Cree MT-G2 emitters, the new X65 has five XHP35 HI quad die emitters. Their smaller size and no dome enable high intensity and therefore longer throw distance.


The emitters are mounted on a bronze pill behind an AR coated glass lens and overlapping smooth reflectors. The stainless steel bezel has some crenelated tacticalness to it.

The reflector arrangement results in a flower petal style beam on the X65, which is very visible in use. The beam profile of the X65M resembles a typical one emitter light except at short distances, where some yellowish artifacting in the middle of the beam can be seen on a white surface.

Most of the energy on the X65 is concentrated in the middle of the beam, but the hotspot is significantly larger than on your typical thrower such as the Thrunite TN42. This makes the 1500 meter throw distance even more impressive as it lights up a huge area at longer distances. Lighting a white surface in close proximity is uncomfortable to the eyes. The X60M’s hotspot fades much more gradually to the spill and doesn’t have nearly as much throw.


X65 tint in different parts of the beam.


X60M tint in different parts of the beam.


The tint shift between the hotspot and mid spill is almost identical.

The MT-G2 has one of the lowest tint shifts (color difference within the beam) of Cree emitters, but the XHP35 HI is right up there in that regard. The difference in tint from the hotspot to the middle of the spill is pretty much identical on both lights. The spill is a bit warmer and just a bit further towards green from the black body radiatior line. In my opinion the overall beam color aesthetic is much preferable to the multiemitter leds such as the XHP70.

They are both also very neutral with regard to tint, that is to say the beam doesn’t look greenish or magenta to the eye. Naturally the 5000 K MT-G2 of the X60M has a much more warmer tone than the cool white XHP35 HI on the X65. There’s also no distracting corona on either of them.

The same can be said of the XP-G2 + optics combo on the MecArmy PT60. The tint shift is negligible, while the beam itself is very clearly defined and large. The slight shift however happens to the opposite direction. The color temperature gets cooler and more pinkish towards the edges. This isn’t really visible in use though.

Olight X7 Marauder with the three XHP70 is clearly the worst in terms of beam tint consistency. The hotspot is fine, but the tint shifts through yellowish green in the corona towards cool white in the spill. However, during use outdoors the shift isn’t that distracting if the terrain is not totally flat.

Beamshot comparisons

Note: all the beamshots have been taken within a few seconds after turning the light on.


Download individual beamshots: X60M, X65, PT60, X7


Download individual beamshots: X60M, X65, PT60, X7

Spectral data and color rendering

For spectral information and CRI calculations I use an X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometer with HCFR, Babelcolor CT&A and ArgyllCMS spotread for the graphs and data. For runtime tests I use spotread with a custom script and an i1Display Pro because it doesn’t require calibration every 30 minutes like the i1Pro.

Explanation of abbreviations

CCT = correlated color temperature, higher temperature means cooler (bluish)
CRI (Ra) = color rendering index consisting of 8 different colors (R1-R8), max value 100
CRI (R9) = color rendering index with deep red, usually difficult for led based light sources, max value 100
TLCI = television lighting consistency index, max value 100
CQS (Qa) = Proposed replacement for CRI, RMS average of 15 color samples
CRI2012 (Ra,2012) = Another proposed replacement for CRI, consists of 17 color samples
MCRI = Color rendering index based on the memory of colors or 9 familiar objects
NEW Read more about the IES TM-30-15 method
TM-30 = The newest color rendering method using 99 samples. Preferred for comparing LEDs.
TM-30 (Rf) = Accuracy of colors, fidelity index. Replaces CRI.
TM-30 (Rg) = Gamut of colors, saturation index. Higher number means more saturated colors.
Tint dev. (“Duv” in the CTA screenshots) is the tint’s distance to the black body radiator line in the CIE graphs. The higher the number, the greener the tint. 0,0000 means absolutely neutral white and negative numbers mean rosy/magenta tint. Anything over 0,0100 can be described as visibly green.


Acebeam X65 spectral graph.


Acebeam X65 CRI data.


Acebeam X60M CRI data.


Color comparison.

Runtimes and output

Please note: lumen measurements are only rough estimates
My diy 40 cm integrating styrofoam sphere has been calibrated using Olight R50 on high that has been measured by valostore.fi at 1178 lumens with their Labsphere. Results may vary with especially throwy or floody lights. Since the Acebeams have such a big head, they don’t fit into the opening on my sphere. That’s why the measurements were made through the sidewall. This might introduce more uncertainty between throwy and floody lights.

The MecArmy has a new firmware with longer turbo output than on my previous measurements of the light. The Acebeam X60M was tested with 6 Samsung 30Q and the Olight X7 with four Samsung 35E cells.

Due to its high mass and big head, the X65 can output over 5000 lumens for over an hour without cooling at room temperature. In room temperature the temperature regulation kicks in to prevent overheating after a couple of minutes on turbo max and at 16 minutes on turbo. According to Acebeam the limit is 70°C, but doesn’t specify where the thermal probe is located. Adding a cooling fan delays the stepdown from 2:30 to 4:30 on turbo max and removes it altogether on turbo.

The thermal regulation is a big step up from the timed nature of the X60M, which always limits output after one minute regardless of the ambient temperature or possible airflow.

On the X65 after the thermal stepdown, the turbo and turbo max have the same output. When cooled the turbo mode sustains the output without stepping down and stays just a bit higher (6240 vs. 5760 lumens) than the turbo max after stepdown. No amount of cooling after the stepdown will recover the output, rather the light has to be switched off and back on again to achieve maximum output. In this way the behavior is similar to the X60M. The X65 just doesn’t step down as fast or easily.

Verdict

The output is absolutely ridiculous. Not only does it also almost match the current reflector candela king the Thrunite TN42 in throw, but the 10000 lumen breaking output makes for a big hotspot and wide spill. In foggy weather or slightly snowy situation the cool white light washes out your vision pretty effectively though. And of course the Thrunite will sustain its output for almost throughout its runtime.

The X65 and X60M don’t really share much else than the similar form factor. The lights are totally different in emitter and battery configuration, UI and overall functionality. I prefer the magnetic ring adjustement on the X60M to the softer than ideal X65 switch. At least until the UI has been reworked to make accessing turbo max easier. In its current form it requires too much finesse and experience if needed quickly.

The nice even and neutral beam of the X60M is great for most uses, but the hard timed stepdown throttles its capabilities a lot. The X65 puts out more light for longer while transferring some responsibility to the user with regard to the dangers of heat. The X65 does get very hot on maximum output but it won’t destroy itself while the X60M doesn’t even get to flex its muscles.

If a floody light is more preferable, the soda can monsters offer almost similar levels of total light in a much smaller package and a bit lower price. Especially the combination of nice throw, even beam and small size in the MecArmy PT60 will surely impress. Olight X7 on the other hand has excellent regulation and sustained output (at least when properly cooled) considering its small size.

+ Amazing throw and bright spill at the same time
+ Tint shift is under control thanks to HI emitters
+ Beautifully neutral tint (no green or magenta)
+ Temperature regulation is not too aggressive
+ No timed stepdown
+ Fast charging (under 3 hours)
- No neutral white (4000-5000 K) option from the factory
- Difficult to access max output (to be fixed)
- Switch could have a more precise feel to it
- Proprietary battery, optional extra battery pack/handle is expensive (119 €)

Edited by: maukka on 02/19/2017 - 10:08
mrheosuper
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A LIGHT
when you want to spot a thieft
behind the fridge
at your neighbor’s house
on the other side of the road

Forgot my pen

Mstevens113
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I daren’t even look at what the cost of that thing is…

mrheosuper
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but the highest lumen in this year still doesnt arrive
olight X9 ftw

Forgot my pen

leaftye
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Nice review. Too nice to only be loaned the lights. Doing reviews like this take way too much time to do it for nothing but our thanks, and thank you for the detailed analysis.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

maukka
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Can’t really expect manufacturers (or especially small dealers) handing out $500 lights willy nilly to some internet reviewers Smile

leaftye
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Manufacturers have done it. That’s just a cost of launching a new light, and giving away lights for lots of publicity from a good review by a respected reviewer to a targeted audience is smart business and much better returns than buying traditional Internet advertising. Dealers, not so much, which makes sense.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

djozz
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maukka wrote:
Can’t really expect manufacturers (or especially small dealers) handing out $500 lights willy nilly to some internet reviewers Smile

I think a thorough and quality review, like yours on the two largest flashlight forums, may generate quite a bit more than $500 of profit in extra sales for Acebeam, but perhaps not for the finnish dealer alone.

Thanks for another great review, of an impressive flashlight.

Hikelite
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maukka, see that 55cd per lumen constant?

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Thank you for a fantastic review. Well done!

Hardusvd70

AlexGT
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Thank you for the review, I always liked the X65, would have bought one in a heartbeat but I totally refuse a proprietary battery pack that I cannot select the 18650’s I want to use. Flat Stare

I notice 2 holes in the front of the X65 battery pack, is that a threaded ring? Can you access the battery compartment of the X65? Maybe there is hope after all… Wink

maukka
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I don’t have the X65 anymore as it was a loaner, but maybe someone can answer.

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I am using unprotected button top in my acebeam x60. Its modded with xml2 PDT dedome. I got it for $200 excellent condition. 18650 are very tight fit.. will the spring ok in the long term?? Thanks

_the_
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As a “someone”, I can try.. Smile

The pack is glued, but can be opened by any experienced modder. At least the battery pack of the first ones produced did contain 8 x NCRB, tightly wrapped, welded and glued together with some boards. Not easy to disassemble / swap cells, but the original cells are good (and in my sample they were even properly matched).

=the=

 

AlexGT
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Thank you so much for the reply the Beer

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NCR18650B? Ok, so how many amps are going through each cell? Anyone knows?

will34
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hIKARInoob wrote:
NCR18650B? Ok, so how many amps are going through each cell? Anyone knows?

Runtime at turbo is a little bit more than an hour… So a wild guess would be a little bit less than 1C.

Not ideal for an NCR-B, would love to see a GA pack instead.

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Not an expert. I think 4.6 to 5 amps.

hIKARInoob
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will34 wrote:
hIKARInoob wrote:
NCR18650B? Ok, so how many amps are going through each cell? Anyone knows?

Runtime at turbo is a little bit more than an hour… So a wild guess would be a little bit less than 1C.

Yes but here’s the thing. You’re looking at the turbo output of 6000 lumens with a runtime a bit over an hour right? That’s how you get the a bit less than 1C rate. But turbo max is about double the light output. This means discharge rate is closer to about 2C, 6 or 7 amps? NCR18650B is rated at 5A or not?

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Hi Maukka.
Do you know if they have fixed the following?
- Difficult to access max output (to be fixed)
- Switch could have a more precise feel to it

DB Custom
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Very nice review, once again. And once again, I WANT! Silly

Edit: Oops! Looked up the MSRP, No Can Do! Sick This reminds me why I build my own 12,000 lumen lights. Silly

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I have one of those x60vn in XML2 dedome.. I have no problem using turbo mode.. I think acebeam fixed that in 2016.

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Acebeam is one of those lights that you put on the wishlist and stays on the wishlist. for me anyway Big Smile

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rizky_p wrote:
Acebeam is one of those lights that you put on the wishlist and stays on the wishlist. for me anyway Big Smile

Yes, it is true. Unless I do not hit jackpot lottery.
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Hey Maukka, now that you have a better sphere to measure lumens, have you ran the X65 to see if your lumen measurements were accurate?

Is it still 10,500 lm at 30 seconds?

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

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maukka
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The X65 was just a loaner so I don’t have access to it anymore.

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maukka wrote:
The X65 was just a loaner so I don’t have access to it anymore.

Ah, bummer.

Do you still have your R50 that was measured at 1178 lumens? Have you measured that with your current setup?

10,500 ÷ 5 is 2100 lumen each. Do you think that sounds about right for an xhp35-HI at 30 seconds?

It might be accurate assuming the driver was pushing the leds really hard. I don’t think you took the driver out or measured the amp draw on it, did you?

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

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