Acebeam L16 Review: LED Flashlight for Elite Performance and Long Run Times
The Acebeam L16 is an LED flashlight that bundles elite performance together with long run times. From specialists to your average Joe, the L16 is the LED flashlight of choice when looking for a compact yet powerful flashlight that combines elite performance and long run times. It delivers elite illumination and toughness for the men and women in the search & rescue, military, and law enforcement sector. Many self-defense, hunting, and outdoor enthusiasts also love the L16 for its bundled elite performance and long run times.
CREE XHP35 LED HI (6500k)
Up to a max of 2000 lumens
Max beam distance up to 603 meters
Peak beam intensity 90800cd
Average Rated Life (ARL) - 50,000 hours
5-year limited warranty
Aircraft grade aluminum body
Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish
Micro USB charging port
Charge indicator light
Threads are well machined.
Acebeam L16 USB port for charging.
Side switch for accesses for the four modes - firefly, low, medium, high for the Acebeam L16 led flashlight. Cannot access the turbo mode on the side switch.
Belt clip for Acebeam L16 LED Flashlight
Striking bezel for Acebeam L16 LED Flashlight
IPX 8 standard, 2 meters
155mm(length)x40mm(head dia)x25.4mm(body dia.)
128g (without battery)
1 x 18650 Or 2 x CR123A
Mode, Lumens & Runtimes
Determined and tested using an Acebeam 18650 Li-ion battery (3.7v/3100mAh/20A)
Review of the Acebeam L16
The Acebeam L16 finally came today and it showed up in the usual packaging and bubble wrap. The product box was pristine and looked like it just came from the line. Here is what it came with.
Front packaging for the Acebeam L16 rechargeable led flashlight.
What's Included In the Box
- Nylon holster
- Acebeam battery
- USB charging cable
- 2 spare O-rings
- Spare switch boot
- User manual
- Warranty card
After opening it up and laying down the contents on the table, I popped in the Acebeam battery and tested it out if it would light up. It did, but before further testing, I examined the black nylon holster.
Durable holster for Acebeam L16 LED Flashlight included.
It looked like your typical and ordinary LED flashlight nylon holster, the stitching was fine and secured the L16 snugly. I strapped it on, put the L16 inside and made a few draw and holster moves and I found that the nylon holster gave easy access to the flashlight when needed and it was equally easy to put it back in.
Holding an Acebeam in one hand is very comfortable.
Next, I examined the flashlight itself for imperfections. The clip was fine, the bezel was OK, the tactical ring was solid, the knurling gave sufficient grip surface, the finish was perfect.
It would have been better if it had a more sturdy and durable steel bezel. I then took a moment to check the manual and found that there were tactical accessories that I needed.
Accessories (sold separately)
- Tactical remote switch
- Light diffusers (red, amber, green & white)
After that, I checked the spare o-rings, the spare switch boot, clip, and lanyard, they were all in good condition. Then I remembered that I had some CR123A batteries so I removed the 18650 and I put in the CR123A batteries, the L16 worked fine.
Acebeam customized battery for long run time and higher lumens.
It was a little dim but that was probably because the CR123A batteries were used/old or they may have lost their charge while in storage. It seemed lighter with the CR123A batteries but I did not bother to weigh and compare them.
Up to this point, I was using the tail switch and it worked fine. It had no issues turning on and turning off the flashlight. It wasn’t too stiff and it was easy to switch it on momentarily. One full press of my thumb also activated it in the continuously on Turbo mode. I then checked the side switch.
Clicking the flashlight on and off went well so I decided to test it and see if it worked as indicated for the various modes. I turned on the flashlight using the side switch. I then pressed the side switch again and held it, the L16 started cycling from Firefly-Low-Mid-High modes. The moment I released the switch, it stayed in that mode even after turning it off.
I went about it many times to ensure proper function when selecting the 4 modes and it was all good. To get it on Turbo mode, the L16 required a double click of the side switch and to get the strobe mode you needed to triple click the side switch. It worked fine for both Turbo and Strobe but I preferred the tail switch compared to side switch when it came to accessing Turbo mode.
I also tested locking and unlocking the L16 to prevent it from getting turned on using the side switch. It was a simple process of holding the side switch for 3 seconds to lock it and doing the same unlocks it and turns it on in Firefly mode. One further click turns it off. When the flashlight is locked, it was still possible to use the flashlight using the tail switch and I think it will be permanently in this setup moving forward - side switch locked.
As I was going through the motions of checking the flashlight’s functions, the CR123A batteries started to die on me and that reminded me to check the L16 charging port.
I grabbed the USB charging cable and my power strip which had a USB connection port. I dumped out the CR123A batteries and put the Acebeam 18650 battery back in. I then slipped the L16’s rubber stopper for the micro USB port aside and plugged in the cable.
It was the moment of truth, the powerstrip was plugged in and I connected the USB cable to the powerstrip connection port. It worked, the red indicator light came on. I know it will be several hours of waiting till I get a green light so took a nap. I was out like a light pretty quickly and I dreamt of taking a nighttime stroll with the darkness illuminated by my new L16.
It was around 7 pm when I woke up from my nap and about 5 hours had passed. I came back to the L16 and the indicator light was green - fully charged. I pulled out the charging cable, switched off the power strip and came out to the yard to test the L16 out.
Low mode accessed by the side switch.
First, the Firefly mode. I activated the Firefly mode and went in the garage with the lights turned off. At 1 lumen, I was able to get around and clearly see things that were up close and that goes the same for things at a distance inside the garage.
Venturing out, I started losing sight of distant objects so it was onto the next setting which was Low at 150 lumens. I do not have a big yard so I was able to see pretty much everything with the Low setting.
To test the Mid setting at 550 lumens, I had to go out to the driveway, and I was able to see the treeline by the highway which was about 120 yards out.
For the High setting at 1000 lumens, I took a walk out to the highway so I could point it at the water tower down the valley which was about a 7 minute walk from the house.
I could see it but it was not too brightly lit. Finally, in Turbo mode I directed the full 2000 lumens toward an observation deck that was about 2 or 3 times farther than the water tower. It wasn’t so bright but I suppose since it was more than 600 meters away, it was OK.
Runtimes seem excellent as it can run for up to 500 hours on the Low setting. I do not intend to test runtime for all the modes but I had to test Turbo. Like I dreamt, I took a nighttime stroll along the highway towards the local convenience store. I was 10-15 minutes into my walk and as expected, the bezel along with the flashlight head started to heat up.
I turned Turbo off and set it to High, it was still getting hot but not as much as when it was on Turbo. A few minutes later, I got to the store and turned off the flashlight.
After 30 ounces of soda and a few donuts, I started walking back to the house. It was a similar scenario going back, the L16 heated up so I had to go from Turbo to High. Back at the house, I thought to myself that the L16 should have more than half an hour left so went to the yard, turned on the L16, and dropped in a bucket of water.
Turbo Mode is 2000 lumens from Acebeam L16 - 100 feet towards the tree.
High Mode is 1000 lumens from Acebeam L16 - 100 feet towards the tree.
Can you see the difference?
Everything was fine and now I just needed to wait. I went to the kitchen and made 2 sandwiches. I got 2 slices of bread, slathered on the mayo and stuffed in some ham slices. The other sandwich was made from a slice of baguette, a couple of cucumber slices finished off with some egg salad on top.
I finished my sandwiches and checked the L16. It was still going but the water had warmed up slightly. I went back in the house and took a shower. When I was done, I looked out the window and it was still going so checked my email.
It was now a quarter to nine so I went out to the yard to get the L16. It was still going and that was it for me. Although I was not so precise with my testing. The L16 passed and fulfilled all my needs and expectations.
Pros and Cons
Weighing the pros and cons of the Acebeam L16 is a short list of items and here they are.
- Delivers as advertised.
- Notable finish and ease of use.
- Anodizing on the body is excellent.
- Quick access to turbo mode from the tail cap.
- Access to the other four modes on the side switch.
- Has last memory mode recall.
- Has the fly mode of 1 lumens. Needed in situations where you do not want it so bright like reading a map or not disturbing others while asleep. Just don't want that bright glare. Not found in the manual but found out from the dealer.
- It does have a low battery indicator. Turn on the side switch at turbo and periodically it will blink three times. It then pauses a bit and then blinks three times again. It will not blink under the tail cap access.
- Holster looks sturdy and durable.
Not really cons but more like improvements.
- Steel bezel.
- Better heat dissipation.
- Minor: Anodizing on the clip and cigar ring is fair. Some very small parts are not anodized and can see the bare metal.
- If you are constantly going to use the turbo mode all the time, it is definitely going to drain the battery. Had to recharge the battery every two days for constant usage.
- Must use their customized battery. Tried another brand like Nitecore, Eagletac and Olight brands and it does not work.
- The body side switch is very hard to find in the dark. The side switch should be raised a bit so that you can feel it. However, you can position the clip in line with the side switch and then you can know where the side switch is.
Acebeam L16 lanyard.
The illumination provided by the L16 exceeded my expectations and came through for all my needs. Performance wise it delivered light as expected and though I only tested the runtime on its Turbo setting, under very non-stringent conditions, the L16 passed without issues so I assume the rest of the runtimes would be as advertised. The L16 heated up as expected but I suppose a steel bezel with a larger surface area should help in that aspect. Affordable, elite performance and long runtimes, it works for me.
Side switch to access firefly, low, medium and high mode.
Videos coming soon.
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8339 Kennedy Rd
Markham, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 416 477-8439
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: (647) 989-6009