I`ve seen “Brightest” and “Most Powerful” tactical flashlights. Just marketing toys with seconds of turbo-blitz with the bonus of wild price tag and a bunch of other nonsense features. But it looks like that is not a problem make a truly powerful tactical flashlight with a long turbo mode. And the Acebeam P18 is the proof.
you can buy it at:
➤ ACEBEAM OFFICIAL STORE
- LED: 4 x Luminus SFT-40
- maximum brightness and range 5000 lum and 629m (98910cd)
- 2 buttons on the tailcap
- 21700 battery
- Type-C charging built-in
- Everyday, tactical #1, tactical #2 modes
- aluminum body
- size and weight: 144.9 x 50.8 x 26 x 29mm and 255.8g (with battery)
Brightness & Runtime
- Ultra Low: 1lum 22 days
- Low: 100lum 1.5days 107meters 2862cd
- Medium: 580lum~100lm; 5h 30min +20min; 214m 11449kl
- High: 2200lm~1300lm~580lm~100lm; 9min+2h+10min+20min 402m 40401cd
- Turbo 5000lum~1300lum~580lum-100lum; 60sec+2h 5min+10min+20min; 629m; 98910cd
Package and appearance
Excellent packaging. Don’t be ashamed to give away as a gift. Thick-walled cardboard box with a wonderful design and printing.
Kit includes almost everything. Almost…where is holster? It is frankly strange that a flashlight that has never been cheap does not include such a budgetary and useful thing as a holster. Everything else is there: a 5000mah 21700 battery, type-c cable charging, o-rings and a manual.
Ah, stop. Didn’t they put a lanyard too? Well, this is amazing … So it is, of course, this is probably not your first flashlight and lanyard you have. But still, a strange decision to save on trifles.
With such and such an optic, Acebeam P18 will not be a compact flashlight and, yes, it is larger than the same P17. Canon’s professional L-line lenses have two models, the 24-70 and 70-200, which are used by all photographers to cover most of needs. Acebeam has L35 for close to medium range and L18 for long range. I always recommend this pair if your budget allows. I really like it.
So, with its 50mm head, Acebeam P18 will no longer be so convenient to lie in your pocket, a holster would be just right here. But you can’t call it bulky either. Optics, by the way, are different for all models, see.
And here is the flashlight itself. This is almost 100% the same Acebeam P17 with the difference of an enlarged head. Everything else remained unchanged. This is the same type of flashlight. Thoroughbred, but without some of its own zest and in a row of the same black ribbed bodies available, it will not stand out in any way.
The flashlight can be disassembled into 3 parts, although there is no need for this for the end user. By the way, you can see an additional tube which transmits a signal from a button at tail. Good old time tested solution, unlike damn expensive proprietary battery which i`m so against of.
On the tail is the same pair of ON-OFF main and a small triangular additional button that starts the strobe and switches the brightness. The traditional set, in general.
The dimensions of the flashlight allow you to gun mount it. Of course, there are springs both in the tail cap and at the side of the head.
The knurling on the body is pleasant to look at and quite contrasting. The grip is reliable and comfortable, except for the knurled clip and saddle of the body.
Acebeam is ditching in-flashlight charging by using a rechargeable battery. Some people like it, but not me. And finally, Acebeam P18 has built-in charging.
To get to it, you need to unscrew the ring under the head. Charging, of course, via type-C and takes about 3 hours.
The head is quite large sized for the category of tactical flashlights. But this is only relative to this category of flashlights. For example, there are a lot of long-range flashlights with much larger head. In general, if you used something like Sofirn C8G, then the head Acebeam P18 will not seem large to you at all.
As in the case of Acebeam P17, the fins here are excellent. And as in the case of the ultra-long-range Acebeam L19.2, the bezel is blackened.
Bezel teeth are wide and non-aggressive, here this flashlight is as tactical as any conventional long-range one.
But the most interesting thing is inside. I have already come across flashlights that used a bright and long-range SFT40 LED, but the Acebeam P18 is the first to use several of these LEDs.
4* SFT40 LEDs are located at the bottom of relatively deep, smooth reflectors.
To my surprise, i could disassemble the head of the flashlight without effort. By the way, do you see the thread inside the bezel? For Acebeam P18, you can also buy a red light filter.
So here are the LEDs. SFT40 - dedomed LED, i.e. without light-diffusing silicone dome. Such LEDs are somewhat less bright, but noticeably more long-range.
It is exactly the same as the Acebeam P17. For those who are interested, it is convenient UI, where only tactical2 turned out to be some kind of useless mode. Well, at least I don’t see any use in it. However, now I am discussing the logic of this mode with the manufacturer, it is quite possible that it will have an instant strobe and start from the turbo.
How Acebeam P18 illuminates
Despite the impressive brightness, Acebeam P18 has a loooong runtime in turbo mode even without cooling. A lesson for all sorts of super-bright type-tactical flashlights with a 5 second turbo.
To my surprise, there is even some cooling effect even on the turbo!
The situation is even better in High mode. If you are somewhere outdoors where there is some breeze, then you can expect the turbo to last much longer than advertised.
Mid mode, the most requested indoor or walk around light will last for all evening. I think that one spare battery will be enough for you to cover all your needs for light for the whole night.
Somehow it turned out that the SFT40 LED in flashlights of large brands shone disgustingly, with visible green tint in lower modes, an excellent example of this is the Fenix PD35 v2. At the same time, I had no complaints about the light quality of this LED in inexpensive flashlights, for example Wurkkos FC12. Miracles, right?
However, Acebeam care about the quality of the light, so I was sure that the LED would not turn green. And so it happened. Moreover, the flashlight is even slightly warmer than the P17, which can be clearly seen on the 150m gif below.
The specification says there is non-CW version of SFT40, by the way. The only trouble is that, as I understand it, for some reason you can’t buy them. It’s a pity, cold light is clearly worse then it comes to long throw.
However, Acebeam P18 produces a noticeably more focused light than P17. Focused, of course, not to the level of long-range model. And this makes Acebeam P18 a more convenient flashlight for working at distances of 2-3 hundreds. You can clearly see the difference between the light of many current models of Acebeam flashlights on the gifs below.
So, for a distance of about fifty meters, the mid mode should suffice.
But any use from this brightness quickly disappears and at distances beyond a meter you have to rely only on the two highest brightness levels.
Well, I see the limit of some useful range in the region of 300m. Next, you already need to use something like Acebeam L18
Acebeam P18 is a tactical flashlight for those who lack the range of P17, i.e. for those who do not want to be limited to a distance of 200m and have a light reserve for a distance of up to 300 meters. Acebeam P17 can also illuminate this distance, but not so sure.
And in general, at distances beyond 50-70m Acebeam P17 will require more brightness than P18.
However, it is worth noting that the wider light makes the Acebeam P17 more comfortable at close to medium distances relative to 18.
On this, in fact, it is worth stopping. Both of these flashlights are very bright by standards of tactical model. They both have remarkable runtime in brightness levels up to turbo and a clearly visible cooling effect. They have convenient UI (for everyday purposes, too, by the way). And the P18 also has built-in charging.
Actually, choosing between these two models should be based on the distance at which you plan to work. For indoors and work at near-medium distances, it is better to take P17. If you’re more likely to work outdoors, if you’re willing to trade light width in favor of long range, then P18 will be better. I repeat, both flashlights are good and choosing between them (if you do not take into account the built-in charging) it comes down to the different nature of the light and distance to work at.
If tactical UI is not so important to you, then I once again recommend the Acebeam L35, which wins with a good color temperature. However, whether Acebeam P18 has a version with neutral light, then, honestly, I would prefer it - here the flashlight bribes me with built-in charging and UI.