Reviewer's Note: Due to a large backlog of lights that I have to test, I will limit some of the descriptive text in my reviews for the time being. Full commentaries are still provided under the Potential Issues and the Preliminary Discussion sections, but I will let the pictures and graphs speak more themselves in the body of the review.
The K60 is the latest light from AceBeam, featuring the high-output Cree XHP70 emitter. Let's see how it compares to the earlier AceBeam/SupBeam lights, and other competing high-output lights.
Acebeam Reported Specifications:
Note: as usual, this is just what the manufacturer provides. Scroll down to see my actual testing results.
- LED: Cree XHP70 LED
- Max 5000lumens output using (4x 18650 power cell)
- Output (select by magnetic ring): Level 1 : 1lm 1300hours; Level 2 : 50lm 60 hours; Level 3 : 700lm 8 hours; Level 4 : 1700lm 3 hours; Level 5 : 3400lm 1.5hours; Level 6 : 5000lm 1 hours; Standby : 65uA Strobe : 5000lm 3 hours;
- Working voltage: 4V - 17V;
- Max Runtime: 1300 hours;
- Max beam distance: 704meters;
- Peak beam intensity: 124100cd;
- Impact resistant: 1.2 meters;
- Waterproof : IPX-8 Standard (2meters);
- Size: 206mm(length) x 88mm(head diameter)*50mm(tube diameter);
- Weight: 570g(without batteries);
- Aircraft grade aluminum body structure;
- Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
- ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
- momentary forward click tactical switch.
- Strobe mode for tactical and emergency use.
- Light orange peel reflector for both smoothing out the beam and max. beam distance.
- tactical knurling for firm grip
- streamlined body design
- Mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier
- Intelligent highly effcient circuit board design for max performance and long run time;
- Specially designed for military,Law Enforcement, Self-defense, Hunting,Search&Rescue and outdoor activities.
- Intelligent temperature controlled light output for user safety
- Accessories include: 1x user manual; 1x lanyard; 1x holster; 1x Replacement O - ring and Tailcap gummi;
- MSRP: ~$190
The K60 comes in the standard plain cardboard box with packing foam. Along with the light is a holster, extra o-rings, spare boot switch cover, decent quality wrist strap, warranty card, manual.
From left to right: Keeppower protected 18650 3100mAh; Acebeam K60; Supbeam K50; Acebeam K40M; Thrunite TN35.
All dimensions are directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:
Acebeam K60: Weight: 593.2g, Length: 207mm, Width (bezel): 88.0mm
AceBeam K40M: Weight: 498.4g, Length: 188mm, Width (bezel): 76.2mm
SupBeam K50: Weight: 645.0g, Length: 230mm, Width (bezel): 90.1mm
Crelant 7G10: Weight 643.4g (827g with 4x18650), Length: 198mm, Width (bezel): 79.0mm
Eagletac MX25L3C 3x18650: Weight: 345.9g, 352.0g with kit tailcap (485-491g with 4x18650), Length: 141.9mm, 143.6mm with kit tailcap, Width (bezel): 61.9mm
Fenix TK61: Weight: 605.7g (790g with 4x18650), Length: 218mm, Width (bezel): 96.0mm
Fenix TK75: Weight: 516.0g (700g with 4x18650), Length: 184mm, Width (bezel): 87.5mm
Niwalker BK-FA02: Weight: 687.6g (870g with 4x18650), Length: 209mm, Width (bezel): 80.0mm, Width (tailcap): 50.3mm
Olight SR52: Weight: 396.7g (497g with 6xCR123A), Length: 162mm, Width (bezel): 63.1mm
Thrunite TN35 (MT-G2): Weight: 571.4g (723g with 3x18650), Length: 201mm, Width (bezel): 78.9mm
The K60 is similar to the K40M reviewed previously, with revised styling for a more "rakish" look. I believe you have a choice of anodizing colors, but mine came in flat black. Anodizing seems to be in very good shape on my sample. Labels are sharp and clear, and include a serial number.
Rather than traditional knurling, the handle has a checkered pattern. Combined with the extra ridge detail on the control ring and head, overall grip is pretty good. The light can roll fairly easily, although there are cut-outs to help limit that somewhat.
The control ring feels and looks like the earlier AceBeam lights. All black, there are slight indents on the control ring to help with feel. There is a label mark on the control ring that lines up with the labels on the head. The six constant output modes are not individually labeled, but there is a graded output bar pictogram over the first four levels (i.e., shows the direction to turn to raise or lower the output). There are firm detents at each level, with a slight click as you enter into each one.
Screw threads are traditional triangular cut, but seem of good quality. They are anodized, but it is the tension on the spring in the head than determines if you can lock out the light by a twist. On my sample, a quick turn is enough to lock out the light.
The lights can tailstand. Tailcap has cut-outs to facilitate access to the switch. Switch is a forward clicky switch (i.e., press for momentary, click for locked-on).
Let's take a closer look at the battery carrier and bundled 18650 cells:
The positive contact points inside the carrier are slightly raised, so all types of 18650 cells should work fine (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and small button-tops). There seems to be plenty of room in the carrier for length, so longer cells should fit fine. All the cells point the same way here (i.e., negative terminals at the base, positive terminals toward the head).
A nice touch is that the light came with the batteries locked out by use of small adhesive stickers on the carrier springs (need to remove them to use the light).
The batteries are labelled as high-drain IMR 18650, 2500mAh capacity and 20A rated. I recommend you stick with the IMR cells when running level 5 or 6. Note that these batteries don't come with protection circuits, so you will need to make sure you do not over-discharge the cells by running the light down.
The large XHP70 emitter die shows four quadrants, with very little overhang of the emitter base (i.e., relatively small dome, just covering the die). This should translate into reasonable throw for the size and output. Reflector has fairly heavy texturing (orange peel finish). There is a clear anti-glare coating on the lens.
Scroll down for beamshots.
Turn the light off/on by the tailcap clicky – press for momentary, press and release (i.e., click) for constant on.
Change output modes by turning the control ring in the head. Arranged from left-to-right (looking down at the light, held in traditional flashlight carry), the modes are level 1 > level 2 > level 3 > level 4 > level 5 > level 6 (max) > standby > tactical strobe.
No light is produced on standby, but a miniscule current will be drawn to allow the circuit to respond to a ring turn (see below). As always, I recommend you store the light clicked-off at the tailcap, or locked-out by a head twist.
For more information on the light, please see my brief overview here:
As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.
There is no sign of PWM on any level – the light is current-controlled.
The K60 uses an oscillating strobe design, switching between two frequencies every ~0.7secs or so. Here is a blow up of the two frequencies:
As you can see, it rapidly switches between 14Hz and 7Hz. This is very similar to the K40M that I previously tested.
There must be a standby drain when the clicky switch is turned on and the light is in standby position of the control ring. I measured this traditional standby current as 85uA on 4x18650. This is similar to my K50, and not a major concern. Given the in-series arrangement, that would take over 3.3 years to fully drain the bundled 2500mAh cells.
Note that on other lights that use a similar design (e.g., Thrunite TN3x series), I know there is an additional circuit to assist the switch when high current draw is required. This necessitates a secondary circuit in the tailcap that has its own standby drain when connected to the carrier. Typically, these are in the uA range and not a concern in practice (although it would be additive to the carrier drain below when fully connected).
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on their respective 18650 battery sources, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance, except for the MT-G2 (daylight white balance, to better compare tint).
For outdoor shots, these are done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground). Note there are a lot of bugs out at this time of year, so expect to see some flight trails. And I accidentally left the camera on auto white balance, so the MT-G2 looks unnaturally cool in these outdoor shots.
The Nitecore TM16 (4xXM-L2) and Lumintop SD75 (1xXHP70) will be examined in upcoming reviews. Please see my review catalog at flashlightreviews.ca for the AceBeam K40M, Eagletac ZP10L9 and Niwalker MM18.
Scroll down for direct beam measurements.
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).
The K60 certainly lives up to its published specs – and exceeds them for throw on my sample.
I currently do all my runtime testing on Panasonic NCR18650A (3100mAh) based protected ICR cells. In this case, I have used the bundled AceBeam 2500mAh IMR 20A cells for L5 and L6 testing.
As you can see, there is a timed step-down on the highest level. And I'm glad to see the low battery warning, given the use of unprotected cells here.
As with all lights that share this design, there is a stand-by current when in the "Stand By" mode of the control ring. But this current is very low (85uA), and will not be problem for regular use. And you can easily break this current by clicking the tailswitch off, or loosening the head a quarter turn.
Only 18650 Li-ion cells may be used in the light (i.e., doesn't support multiple CR123A primary cells). Use of high-drain IMR cells is recommended for the highest levels (i.e., L5 and L6). Note that IMR cells are all unprotected, so you will have to make sure you do not let the light run down and damage the cells.
The K60 is another solid light from Acebeam. I have a couple of XHP70 lights on my desk in testing right now, and all show the promise of this new emitter for high output (and potentially throw, when coupled to a large reflector). Part of Cree's Extreme High Power (XHP) class, the XHP70 apparently delivers twice the output of the MK-R, with similar lumens/watt - and without increasing the overall package footprint. Please see the Cree XHP70 datasheet for more info.
Working from the previous K40/K50-series build, styling is updated somewhat on the K60 – but the light otherwise feels very similar to its predecessors. Personally, I've always been a fan of the Acebeam/SupBeam builds. The user interface is clear and uncluttered, with a good ring feel. The ring has clear and firm detents, and the output levels are well spaced. The battery carrier is of solid construction, and works well. And the presence of an actual clicky switch is always welcomed, to cut any unnecessary standby drain. Note that as with the K40 series, there is no in-light charging feature on the K60.
The K60 shows excellent output/runtime efficiency and regulation (i.e., very flat). You can really see the efficiency advantage of the XHP70 compared to the MT-G2, XM-L2 or SST-90 emitters in the runtimes above.
You also get a very "traditional" flashlight beam pattern here, with strong throw and good spill – but with incredibly high output overall. And all that without multi-emitter artifacts, thanks to the large and well-focused reflector and single emitter. So far, I'm impressed with what the XHP70 can do - this XHP class has a lot of potential for heavy-duty flashlights.
For those looking for very good throw and super high output, the K60 is definitely a strong option to consider. Beam pattern, user interface, output/runtime efficiency and regulation were all excellent in my testing.
K60 provided by AceBeam for review.