Electronic tailswitch issues?

Hi all,
I recently purchased an Acebeam L17 and after an evening of testing it in my back yard after dark, I’m pretty happy with the output and the incredible throw. I have never owned a dedicated thrower, and this will fill that role for me nicely.

The UI is straightforward: press to enter memorized mode, long press to enter ultra-low, double press to enter turbo. Just perfect and simple. I have concerns about the electronic tailswitch, though (enabled by the second tube around the battery and a contact in the tailcap). Sometimes the long press and double press are not being recognized and, instead of going into ultra-low or turbo, I get the memorized mode. Also, occasionally when I press the switch I get nothing and have to press it second time to turn the light on into the memorized mode. It’s like the switch is “missing” on occasion and not recognizing a press of the switch.

I think I have an exchange figured out with the dealer, but this has me curious about diagnosing and troubleshooting E-switch issues. Have you encountered an issue like this before? If so, is it fixable without taking the light apart? Do electronic switches present a reliability issue compared to mechanical switches?

I have owned a few other lights with electronic switches without ever encountering this issue before, so hopefully I just got a lemon tailcap and can get a quick resolution.

Buttons are good or bad. If a new button doesn’t reliably work, it’s a lost cause. Can be debris from the factory or any other problem. It usually doesn’t turn good. That’s just my experience.

1 Thank

a couple details to explore further

  1. timing
    if you get no response from a fast clic, try holding the button down a moment longer to register the clic. same for the long press and double clic failures, prolong the amount of time the switch is held down each time you press it. Releasing pressure on the button too soon, could prevent the driver from recognizing the input.

  2. electrical contact,
    wipe off any excess lube from the end of the inner tube and inside the tailcap… lube is not conductive. Then tighten the tailcap extra tight… we need the inner tube to make solid contact with the tailcap contact ring.

if none of that helps, I hope the replacement solves the problem…

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I had considered that this may be at least part of the issue and my suspicions were confirmed. I got the replacement in the mail from Amazon and I do think its a bit better (I had trouble cycling modes a couple times on the first sample, but the second has not had the same issue). However, I still miss the turbo mode about 1/5 times I double press. The switch on this light seems to be just really finicky with timing. If I double press too quickly and it acts like a single press, turning on the memorized mode instead of turbo. If I double press a bit more slowly and deliberately, it acts like two single presses, turning the light on and off. There is a sweet spot right in the middle that works to enter turbo, but it takes a little practice to get a feel for it.

I guess I was just concerned because my other experience with electronic switches was much more straightforward and I didn’t have any issues with the double press or long press. And I also watched several reviews of the L17 and nobody mentioned it.

I like the light enough to keep the replacement and mail back the original sample. And, for my uses, if my first attempt to enter turbo mode fails, then I’ll just turn off the light and try again. I’m guessing that might not be satisfactory for the “tactical” market, but as someone who is primarily using the light in camping/woods situations, I have a second to spare to fumble with the light if need be.

I have no experience with your light model, but I had similar frustrations with the Zebralight I tried recently.

to get to low requires a long press from off, but it cant be too long or it will go from low to medium to high, if I dont let go soon enough.

a similar timing problem happens after turning the light on by single clic, and then doing a double clic to change modes… I kept getting strobe because the light thought I had done triple clic. I got really frustrated with the UI and resold the light the next morning. I decided the Zebra UI is just not for me.

Im most happy with Anduril lights. I never strobe by mistake. The only timing issue Ive had, is sometimes when trying to do 7 clics (to change the brightness of the Aux lights), occasionally the light interprets my speed as being 5 clics plus two single clics… The 5 clics puts the light in momentary mode, so it wont stay on after a single clic is released. I have to unscrew the tailcap to get out of the 5 clic momentary mode. so, its still a clic timing issue. Im training myself to do the 7 clics faster.

fwiw, all 3 lights mentioned use electronic switches, but that is not the source of the problem. The timing issue with Zebralight is the nature of the driver. Apparently the L17 driver is also finnicky about clic timing. Anduril is also sensitive to clic timing, but for whatever reasons, I usually dont have as much of a problem with it as I did with the Zebralight.

Hopefully you will adapt to your L17 and develop some muscle memory for the correct clic timing.