This is a review of the Nitecore P12GT single 18650 light from Nitecore’s Precise Series. Neal at Banggood sent me this to review, I believe the normal price is $79.95.
The P12GT is a tube light on steroids, with a tail clicky for on/off and a side e-switch for mode changes. Hidden blinkies round out a nice full set in the UI. Sweet!
Here are some specifics from Nitecore…
The Nitecore P12GT is a longer-throwing upgrade to its P12 predecessor. Blazing forth with 147 more yards of throw to reach an incredible 401 yards, this light uses a CREE XP-L LED, which has 200% more intensity than the XM-L2 LED used in the P12. 1000 lumens across four brightness levels are ready to be called upon for whatever scenario you find yourself in. With a tactical tail cap, your light can be turned on for momentary or constant illumination, while a convenient side switch easily toggles through brightness levels or special modes of strobe, SOS, or beacon. The side switch will also blink to indicate remaining battery voltage so you won’t be caught without power. This upgrade also features a strike-ready bezel around the light’s head, offering greater protection for the light and emergency preparedness for the user.
Weighing in at just over three ounces, this compact tactical light can be taken anywhere in your backpack or pocket. It is perfect for law enforcement, military, searching, camping, hiking, exploring, security, or anything else that requires great luminosity and beam throw.
LED: CREE XP-L HI V3
Battery Run-Time (Using 18650):
1000 lumens - 1 hour
280 lumens - 5 hours 15 minutes
55 lumens- 28 hours
1 lumen- 520 hours
Battery Run-Time (Using CR123A):
1000 lumens - 45 minutes
280 lumens - 3 hours 30 minutes
55 lumens- 20 hours
1 lumen- 300 hours
Beam Distance: 401 yards / 367 meters (Nitecore updated this to 320M)
Beam Intensity: 33700 cd (Nitecore also updated this to 25.7Kcd)
Battery type supported: 1 x 18650 or 2 x CR123A
Body: 5.51 in (140 mm)
Head Size: 1 in (25.4 mm)
Weight: 3.21 oz (91 g) (Without Battery)
Waterproof: IPX-8 (2 meters submersible)
‘Crystal Coating Technology’ combined with ‘Precision Digital Optics Technology’ provide extreme reflector performance
High efficiency circuit board provides up to 520 hours runtime on low level
Side switch interface provides one-handed operation and easy access to all functions
Side switch features an indicator light which displays remaining battery power
Features advanced temperature regulation (ATR) technology
Power indicator’s secondary function displays battery voltage (accurate to 0.1V)
Intelligent memory function stores preferred brightness setting
High-efficiency regulation circuit provides unwavering output
Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating
Constructed from aero grade aluminium alloy with HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish
Impact resistant to 1.5 meters
Stainless steel titanium-plated two-way clip included
Tail stand capability
Contents in Package: Nitecore P12GT flashlight, holster, clip, tactical ring, lanyard, switch cover, o-ring
Ok, so now we know what THEY have to say about it, let’s see if it holds up…
I put a new Efest Purple 18650 in it with 3000mAh capacity. Fresh off the charger at 4.21V, this is proving to be one of the best cells available in my FET direct drive lights. The run-times listed by Nitecore are with their own branded 3400mAh cell, so there would be some variations as usual. These are the numbers I got in my lightbox…
Moon at 0.01A makes 1.242 lumens (they say 1 lumen)
Low at 0.06A makes 48.3 lumens (they say 55 lumens)
Med at 0.53A makes 280.14 lumens (they say 280 lumens)
High at 3.02A makes 979.8 lumens at start, 959.1 lumens at 30 seconds. (they say 1000 ANSI lumens)
Interesting, I’m close in most regards but their High or “Turbo” mode is listed somewhat high. Could very well be that the 1000 lumens they list is from a pair of CR123 cells, which I don’t have to test.
So I took a lux reading to estimate throw…
I got 22.25Kcd for an extrapolated 298.33M throw, they post higher numbers than that. I measured this at a measured 3M in a dark room, shoulder height for both meter and light. I’m sure they’ve got better equipment than I do, but from 298 to 367M is a pretty big difference. (Nitecore changed the Lux and throw numbers to 320M and 25.7Kcd, considerably closer to what I found)
I’ve got quite a few pictures to share, but will have to get back in the morning to do this as my internet is playing games with me all of a sudden. I’ll toss a spoiler in and tell you that they glued the bezel on this light. And I mean they didn’t want anyone getting in! Red Loctite, a lot of it. But if I’m anything, it’s peristent.
Trying… here’s the Nitecore P12GT with it’s box, holster, and the clip installed. It also comes with a lanyard and a couple of O-rings…
The clip goes on pretty strong, but it sits far too close to the middle of the light to be much good. In loose pants it’s not secure.
An in-the-hand shot to show it’s size. For a tube light, it’s on the long side, construction is nice, fit and finish is as expected from Nitecore with a good hard anodize…
Tail cap is firm, stands a bit proud but is a very positive engagement and tail stands with the high wings on the tail cap, plenty of space for the lanyard to attach but it will try to get in the way of tail standing as there’s not a center divider in the slot, as such the lanyard attachment will have to be manually moved to the side for a good tail stand and even then it’s not real solid.
Like a lot of other Nitecore lights, there’s an LED on the driver board under the e-switch to signify current when a cell is loaded and to warn you of a depleted cell. Pretty handy stuff that!
The Cree XP-L HI V3 2B emitter is perfectly centered, the centering ring fits squarely around the substrate and the fitment of the ring to the reflector is not done in the standard way, it’s fitted into a pocket in the base of the reflector, then the outer diameter has ample clearing space for wires. Pretty thoughtful design here, and quite welcome!
Notice anything different up above? That’s right, the reflector is threaded and goes into the bezel independently of the head! Interesting twist, and it works nicely. Glad to see someone’s awake and trying.
Tailcap has anodized threads, so it will lock-out. But isn’t something odd here? The tailcap threads are normal triangular threads, the top end has square threads. Aren’t square threads supposed to be more durable, longer lasting? As such, wouldn’t you think they’d be at the tail for battery changes? Hmmmm……
Here at the top of the battery tube, going into the head, nice square threads!
Anodized threads no less, so the top will lock it out as well. Obviously, the battery tube has to be installed in the correct orientation, with different styles of threads on either end it only works one way.
The black plastic piece around the center post is the physical reverse polarity protection. Only button top cells work. They say this keeps the driver more efficient by not having electronic LVP, but for a great many of us, this is a major hassle… I use flat tops almost exclusively and only have a very few button top cells.
Here’s a close-up of the head, before I managed to get the bezel off…
And after I got the bezel loose… not horrible damage but damage all the same. I ended up putting the bezel in my lathe chuck and using the hex nut style of the battery end of the head to put a 12” Crescent wrench on. It was SO tight, the jaws on the big 12” Crescent were trying to spread! As you’ll see, the ano was compressed on the contact points inside the wrench and the chuck jaws did similar damage on the bezel. It was TIGHT!
Nitecore’s proprietary copper mcpcb, somewhat thinner than we’re used to seeing
I guess we’re used to seeing this divot under the emitter, I’d rather it be smooth and flat but it is what it is…
And all this brings us to the coup de gras, the driver! This driver is a pleasant surprise, I was fully expecting wires to the e-switch but instead, a modular unit that dropped right out! Very nice!
A diffuser clear plastic piece spreads the light of the tiny LED’s for voltage monitoring, into the e-switch button. Very slick, very easy to remove and install once you’ve found your way inside…
Does anyone think I left these alone?
Some driver measurements…
A base shot and a test shot in our game room this afternoon, showing the beam profile with the HI emitter…
The obligatory 97 yds to the red oil drum beam shot…
Wide angle at 28mm
Zoomed to 112mm (4X Optical)
The road is 240 yds down this lane, but this light won’t quite reach it, regardless of what the ANSI numbers say.
Zoomed in, again 4X Optical zoom at 112mm
All in all a very nice smallish light with a pretty sophisticated driver. Nitecore quality, excellent finish, with a surprisingly decent beam from such a small diameter reflector. Build shows some thought and planning, if we could just get em to leave the glue out…
I give it a 4 Star only because of the PITA glue, it’d be a 5 Star light otherwise.
Thanks for checking it out!