Nitecore P16 minireview

Hi all,

I was one of the very lucky Illumination Supply 1k giveaway winners and my choice was a Nitecore P16, as I've never owned a 18650 thrower torch. This is by far the nicest light I've ever owned, so hopefully I'll be able to retain some perspective :) I'll start with the unboxing, just because I took the pics so I might as well use them..

This was an exciting moment:

short work with a pair of scissors:

and it's free! LED is a bare XM-L2 T6 3C that Calvin very generously threw in as I'm a bit averse to CW lights (more on that later):

the contents:

light balance was a bit off on my camera and I was in too much of a rush to get this thing outside, sorry!

the torch:

with clip attached (handy to stop it rolling):

with it's very fancy lanyard attached. It can still tail stand without the additional base, although its not as stable. The image is supposed to be rotate, but I guess Photobucket is fibbing:

close up of the lens/ reflector. The lens is so antireflective it's hard to tell that it's there. Almost blemish free and I had to look very hard to find a tiny smudge:

in pieces. Threads are absolutely beautiful and o-rings are greased:

firefly/ moonlight mode:

now onto the beamshots. The first is taken at 2s exposure, the rest at 1s. By way of comparison, I have included beamshots of my EDC (or EDN, EveryDayNightstand) a Fasttech C20 with XM-L2 TC 3C at 2A (I think) and a 10deg TIR optic. Not a very fair comparison, as you'll see :)

Dayum, that's bright!

now at 1s

it makes me sad for my EDN :(

Although it clearly throws like stink, it's still a very useable beam at close to mid distances. Not quite as nice as my EDN, but still perfectly useable. For a reflector based light, it's easily the most pleasant beam I've seen.

Before I broke it (more on that in a bit), I spent some time playing with it and annoying the neighbours/ wife (ha, try watching The Voice with this on strobe!). Although it has a slightly odd configuration of buttons, as my brain is wired to use JUST ONE BUTTON, I soon got used to turning it on and off with the tail cap and changing modes with the side switch. I did occasionally forget and tried turning it off by holding down the side switch, which just reminded me of the hidden strobe modes.

UI - other than the occasional brain fart on my part = excellent. 4 light levels is about as many as I'm willing to unicycle through and the levels are spaced just about perfectly. Low is very very low and perfect for sneaking to the fridge for a midnight snack without walking into the recently rearranged furniture. One up from low is useful for non-sneaking around tasks. Mid is bright enough to be useful outside without being too close to the one before it or high and high is just awesome. The hidden strobes are nicely hidden (press and hold side switch, then tap to change strobe mode) and the locator beacon is very cool, even if I hope I'll never have to use it.

Tail cap readings - I only thought to test high and it was a smidge under 3A according to my HF test meter with 14GA leads. I'll measure the other modes once I've fixed it.

Complaints? Main one for me is tint. It's handy for seeing what my kids would look like if they ever turn into zombies, but rather yuck otherwise. Second, and a niggle at that, is that this is button top or flat top+magnet 18650 only. Oh, and Nitecore really don't want people tinkering with their lights.

Overally, I'm extraordinarily happy with my new light and I'll be even happier when the new reflector arrives to replace the one I melted after heating the head with a propane torch to loosen the red loctite :)

Thanks for the review.

This is like many lights/manufacturers today that step down from MAX in 3 or 5 minutes! They[Nitecore in this case!] boast 960 lumens and then say “after 3 minutes it steps down to a ”lower mode” for safety reasons!! That lower mode is 230 lumens!! No where in the manual does it say that it has a GRADUAL step down to the lower mode!

Have you tried to step back up to “High” numerous times ? It is probably like my EA4,you can do it several times and then heat is an issue.

I just got [ a few minutes ago] the Olight M22. Very similar light in relation to battery type, size and output.

The BIG difference is the M22 sustains high[960/860 lumens] for 6 to 8 minutes and then steps down gradually to 640 lumens[ a lot better than 230!]. It is such a gradual step down that it is unnoticeable to the human eye!! Better yet, you can step up again. That output will be somewhere between the max and the output where the light is right before completed step down,basically between 641 and 959 depending on the battery strength.

A few threads were written about this on CPF[ Me and another guy]’

Basically saying how the manufacturers mislead us by high lumen ratings/run times when the light CAN NOT sustain it through out the duration of the battery charge.

Please don’t take this personally. Nitecore, Sunwayman, Jetbeam, Thrunite and several others practice this deception!

I am most curious to see if the P16 goes from 960 to 230 lumens and has to stay there? That to me, even if you can step up a few times, is a huge drop and disappointing .

Take care,Roberto

I left it on high for 20 or more minutes to warm the head up and I never noticed it stepping down to a lower level. It was pretty chilly (2C or so) in the garage where I was working, so it never got too hot to touch. If it works off a temperature sensor that might explain the difference.

I see what your saying but that is strange because the “User Manual” says for safety and to prevent overheating it will AUTOMATICALLY step down after 3 minutes.My EA4 ABSOLUTELY does it every time,even if it is 20 F. out! That is a Timed step down not a thermal step down. Strange but good news for you, unless you did not notice it! But that would be hard to miss,960 down to 230 lumens!

Where in Pa. do you live? Usually do not hear people from Pa./U.S.A. mention Celsius!

manual states that it steps down to a “lower” level. it doesn’t specify that it steps down to MED!

but yes the 3 minute timer is pretty dumb. i though the 3min timer was already out of fashion. but i guess nitecore had to cripple the P16 a bit to preserve the SRT7 sales