Review: Nitecore P30

This light was provided by Banggood for review purposes and can be bought here

This light is pricier then the average linear driven XP-L (HI) flashlight but comes with several advantages over its much cheaper competition. Its main selling points are an advertised 618m of throw, temperature regulation and constant brightness. I don’t have the equipment to measure throw but it does seem to maintain constant brightness till the low battery indicator comes on (locks out higher modes as battery depletes) and it does not overheat. The glass is AR coated.

Compared to a C8 with XM-L2 (U2) @ 3.5A the hot spot is more then double the brightness, yet surprisingly its hot spot is less well defined. Interestingly within a few inches of a wall you will find the center of the beam to have no light. I can’t explain this though i assume this is down to reflector design. I also compared it to the Crelant V4A from my last review which runs at 3.6A and the same XP-L(HI) chip and they are very comparable in hot spot size and brightness. This is actually surprising because the reflector of this light is slightly larger then a C8 and almost 50% larger then the V4A. This suggests most of the throw is due to the XP-L HI chip and not the reflector (yet the center donut i mentioned when examined close to a wall, interesting contradiction).

The operation of this light is a bit different then most 105C lights we are used to. The physical switch on the back turns the light on and off. The electronic switch on the head is only used to change modes.

This light has 5 modes which the manual says are:
1 lumen
70 lumens
230 lumens
400 lumens
1000 lumens

The light cannot be turned off from the electronic switch, only cycled through these modes. Holding the electronic switch in any mode will lead to strobe and holding it again will lead to SOS and a third time will lead to “beacon” mode which is a very quick flash every few seconds (probably extends battery life quite a bit). All these blinky modes appear to be 1000 lumen and the blinky modes are well hidden and don’t get in the way during normal operation. The electronic switch has a built in blue LED which has several purposes, at 50% charge the blue led will blink slowly going to a fast blink at 10. It seems to maintain constant brightness even at 10 which is very impressive (though i can’t confirm this with an integrating sphere). It locks out the top modes as the battery approaches depletion, Also you can check the battery voltage in the light, with the light turned off press the back physical button while holding the electronic button and the light blinks out the voltage, first the volts then 0.1V. So 4 blinks, pause and 2 blinks means 4.2V.

The manual claims this light also takes 2 x CR123s as well.

The head is glued shut so you cannot mod it (easily), and there is no indication when the temperature regulation has kicked in which is about the biggest improvement i suggest for this light. Interesting quirks of this light, the tailcap has double springs and the reflector is a bit ringy. According to another thread about this light the anodizing is very strong. It comes with a pocket clip (black in colour though claimed to be titanium coated), tactical ring, lanyard, cigar tube for CR123s, replacement tailcap switch rubber and replacement o-rings for head and tailcap ends and finally a holster. This is a nice touch because custom holsters are fitted to the light which is very convenient.

618m claimed range, courtesy of the XP-L (HI) LED chip.
Apparent constant brightness till the battery is under 10%
Temperature regulation keeps the light from overheating
Physical on/off switch which suffers no parasitic drain
Ability to check battery voltage in the light
Accepts 18650 3.7V 18650, 2 x CR123 lithium primary and RCR123 3.7V batteries (though the manual does not specify if RCR123 can be used in series and there is no dummy cell provided for one RCR123)

Cons (improvements the manufacturer can add to enhance this light)
No indication when the light has gone into temperature regulation
The threads on the end of the tube screwing into the head cap are thicker then those on the tail cap end
The light cannot tail stand

More information:

I'd wonder how this light would fare beside the non-turbo EagTac M25C2. I bought one instead of the NC P30.

Does anyone have both to do a review?