Acebeam EC60 review with measurements (XHP35 HI, 26650)

maukka

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Disclaimer: The Acebeam EC60 was provided for testing by Acebeam via hc-lights.fi free of charge
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The volley of new 26650 flashlights continues with Acebeam's EC50 Gen II and EC60. I'll test them separately, since they are for totally different purposes, EC50 using a floody XHP70 and EC60 a throwy XHP35 HI with a smooth reflector. Here's the review for the EC60. You can read the EC50 Gen II review here.

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Acebeam EC60 and EC50 Gen II

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The features, form factor and user interface are similar to the EC50 Gen II. Other than the length and the model name on the light, there's zero differences. For this reason, some parts of the review are copy & pasted from my EC50 review.

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Beamwise, the EC60 with its smooth reflector and a domeless XHP35 HI emitter is much throwier than the previously tested EC50 Gen II and the Olight R50 Seeker.

As such, the two Acebeams compliment each other well, as long as you purchase the cool white version of the EC50 Gen II. Sadly the EC60 is only available with a cool white 6500K emitter whereas the EC50 can also be bought with a neutral white 5000K XHP70 LED.

Manufacturer's specifications
Battery: 26650, the light comes bundled with an Acebeam branded 5000mAh protected battery
LED: Cree XHP35 HI with a cool white 6500K color temperature
Waterproof: IPX8 to 2m
Mode memory: yes
Low voltage protection: led indicator when battery voltage low, automatic power cutoff at critical levels
Electronic lockout: yes, press and hold switch 3 sec when the light is off, unlock in similar fashion
Thermal regulation: yes, reduces output to prevent overheating
USB charging: yes, 2A current
Regulated output, overheat protection
Type III anodization
Glass lens with anti reflective coating
Low battery voltage indicator

Manufacturer's output specs
Maximum output: 2000 lumens
Other output levels: 1200/500/180/1 lumens
Strobe: 1200 lumens
Light intensity: 90800 candela
Beam distance: 603 m

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Measured dimensions and weight
Length: 142.78mm
Head width: 39.97mm
Minimum handle width: 30.02mm
Weight: 128g without a battery (224g with the bundled 26650 battery)

Unboxing
The EC60 comes in a plain but sturdy cardboard box usual for the manufacturer.
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The light comes bundled with
Protected 5000mAh Acebeam 26650 battery (installed in the light with a plastic tab that has to be removed before use)
Micro-USB cable
Holster
Lanyard
2 spare o-rings
Spare rubber button cap
User manual
Warranty card

The bundle is comprehensive, only a usb charger would have completed the package, since everyone may not already have a 2A charger.

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The bundled 26650 battery is a high capacity protected one (pictured here with the Acebeam EC50 Gen II)

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A 26650 battery, Acebeam EC60, Acebeam EC50 Gen II, Olight R50 Seeker, Eagle Eye X7.

Size wise the EC60 is similar to the previously tested EC50 Gen II and Olight R50 Seeker.

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Acebeam EC60, Eagle Eye BLF X5, Eagle Eye BLF X6, Eagle Eye X7, Acebeam K60, Convoy L6

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A spring in the tailcap and the head makes for wide compatibility with flat tops and button top batteries. All kinds of 26650s seem to work well.

In-light charging

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Acebeam EC60 has its USB port on the side and is able to charge all 26650 batteries. Olight R50 Seeker's is in the tailcap and only charges the bundled proprietary battery. The EC60 features a fast (2 amp) integrated charger. The port is situated on the opposite side of the electronic side switch with a rubber flap covering it.

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The integrated usb charging is reasonably fast. Charging the bundled 5000mAh 26650 battery takes between 3h 30min to 4 hours. For the test above I used a Blitzwolf BW-S7 charger. I measured the current draw from a usb power supply to be 1.5-1.9A at 5 volts which translates to 1.8-2.3A at 4.2 volts for the battery itself (ignoring dc-dc-conversion losses). This is similar to the Acebeam EC50 Gen II's charging and about twice as fast as the Olight R50's integrated charging system.

The charger doesn't listen to the D-lines from the usb power supply. It will charge at maximum speed even if the charger only claims Apple 1.0A but is able to provide more current. I tested this with the Olight charger that came with the R50.

I measured the bundled 26650 battery at 5042mAh and 18.038Wh at 2A discharge rate down to 2.5 volts on the SkyRC MC3000 charger.

User interface

The EC60 has a single electronic side switch. Thus there’s inevitable standby current, which I measured at negligible 70.5µA. You get instant turbo with a double click either from off or on, but from turbo it is not possible to cycle modes by a long press. You have to click the light off first. Moonlight is accessed by a long press and hold from off. From moonlight the cycling does work though.

From off:
Click to turn on
Long press and hold for moonlight
Double click for turbo
Triple click for strobe

From on:
Click to turn off
Press and hold to change modes, release to select (moon-low-mid-high)
Double click for turbo
Triple click for strobe

For feel, I prefer the Olight R50 Seeker's softer touch. A light press on the EC60's button did also sometimes register as an unintended double click. There's also significant difference in the mode cycling speed Olight being much faster. Add to this the additional moonlight mode on the Acebeam, and a full cycle takes much longer on the EC60.

Low voltage protection

The EC60 has a low voltage protection, i.e. it cuts off power to the LED when battery voltage drops below a certain point. However, just like with the EC50 Gen II I think this point is too low. I measured 2.33V from an unprotected Liitokala battery right after the light shut off. It is not advisable to let the light reach its low voltage cutoff.

The resting voltage of the battery rose to 2.80 volts after a couple of minutes, so no serious harm was done. Repeated abuse like this will shorten the lifespan of the battery. If you happen to forget the light on and totally drain the battery, try to recharge it as soon as possible.

Fortunately the bundled Acebeam 26650 battery has an integrated low voltage protection that trips at a bit under 2.5 volts. During my runtime tests, this protection circuit kicked in every time. I wasn't able to reset the protection on the Acebeam battery with my SkyRC MC3000, but fortunately the integrated USB charger does it automatically and reliably.

Beam

The beam is very throwy thanks to the XHP35 HI emitter and a smooth reflector. Not quite a pencil beam of the big reflector lights, but the ~600 meters of throw is nothing to sniff at. For the head size it is quite far reaching.

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Logarithmic y-axis reveals the spill width

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Color temperature and tint

I measured the Acebeam EC60 6500K at almost 7000K. This is a bit too cool for my tastes, but the cool light will certainly please some people. It just washes out natural colours of objects such as trees and greenery in general compared to a neutral white light. I haven't experimented, but there has been reports of a warmer light cutting through fog more effectively due to less scattering of higher wavelenghts.

The tint is natural (no visible green or magenta shift) and stays fairly consistent throughout the hotspot and spill, which helps the eye to adapt to the color temperature.

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Color temperature in different parts of the beam.

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Tint in different parts of the beam.

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Tint in different brightness modes

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Tint comparison between lights.

Spectral data and color rendering

For spectral information and CRI calculations I use an X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometer with HCFR, Babelcolor CT&A and ArgyllCMS spotread for the graphs and data. For runtime tests I use spotread with a custom script and an i1Display Pro because it doesn’t require calibration every 30 minutes like the i1Pro.

Explanation of abbreviations

CCT = correlated color temperature, higher temperature means cooler (bluish)
CRI (Ra) = color rendering index consisting of 8 different colors (R1-R8), max value 100
CRI (R9) = color rendering index with deep red, usually difficult for led based light sources, max value 100
TLCI = television lighting consistency index, max value 100
CQS (Qa) = Proposed replacement for CRI, RMS average of 15 color samples
CRI2012 (Ra,2012) = Another proposed replacement for CRI, consists of 17 color samples
MCRI = Color rendering index based on the memory of colors or 9 familiar objects
NEW Read more about the IES TM-30-15 method
TM-30 = The newest color rendering method using 99 samples. Preferred for comparing LEDs.
TM-30 (Rf) = Accuracy of colors, fidelity index. Replaces CRI(Ra).
TM-30 (Rg) = Gamut of colors, saturation index. Higher number means more saturated colors.
Tint dev. (“Duv” in the CTA screenshots) is the tint’s distance to the black body radiator line in the CIE graphs. The higher the number, the greener the tint. 0,0000 means absolutely neutral white and negative numbers mean rosy/magenta tint. Anything over 0,0100 can be described as visibly green.

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Spectral graph.

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Acebeam EC60 detailed CRI data.

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Runtimes and output

Please note: lumen measurements are only rough estimates
My diy 40 cm integrating styrofoam sphere has been calibrated using Olight R50 on high that has been measured by valostore.fi at 1178 lumens with their Labsphere. Results may vary with especially throwy or floody lights.

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Even though there's no difference in output, the stepdown occurs at vastly different times with different batteries. The stepdown seems to happen when the battery voltage drops below a certain points. Because of this a higher drain battery such as the Vappower will keep the output higher for longer.

Acebeam 5000mAh: stepdown at 17 minutes
Liitokala 5000mAh: stepdown at 25 minutes
Vappower 4200mAh: stepdown at 28 minutes

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Just by cooling the EC60 doesn't regain the maximum output but you can restore it by turning the light off and on again. The maximum output is achieved even after the batteries have drained quite a bit.

Thermal video



All lights on Turbo without external fan cooling. Bundled batteries for the Acebeams and the Olight, Keeppower 3500mAh 18650s for the Nitecore EC4SW.

The clicking noise first heard at 1:11 on the video is made by the Acebeam EC60 when it gets hot or cools down.

PWM

There is visible PWM at about 500 hertz on the moonlight mode.

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Verdict

The Acebeam EC60 is a nice thrower especially considering its small head size (40mm). The XHP35 HI really has a great distance with only a 34mm reflector. I would still hope this light was offered with a variety of emitter temperatures.

The integrated USB charging is fast and fills the 5000mAh battery between three and a half to four hours. The EC60 like the EC50 Gen II will also charge any 26650 battery unlike the Olight R50 Seeker's charger, which only works with Olight's proprietary battery.

While the bundled battery is protected and will activate its own cutoff circuit before the voltage drops too low, the EC60 has its own low voltage cutoff set to a very low level (<2.50V). The light does warn you of a low battery with some flashes, but it is not advisable to leave the light unattended. The integrated charger can reset a tripped battery protection.


+ Pure cool white light, no visible green/magenta tint
+ Maximum output is achieved even with drained batteries by cycling the power
+ The tint stays fairly consistent throughout the beam
+ Electronic and physical lockout by twisting the tailcap 1/4 of a turn
+ Works with flat and button top batteries of varying lengths
+ (Almost) flat regulation
+ Perfectly comfortable form factor
+ Reasonably fast integrated usb charging (battery full in under 4 hours)
+ Usb charging works with any battery
+ Comes with a nice holster

- Available only with a cool white LED
- I couldn't reach manufacturer's claimed turbo output level of 2000 lumens
- Visible PWM on moonlight mode
- Crackling noises while the light heats up and cools down
- Low voltage cutoff too low (<2.5V)
- Very small charging indicator LED
- Can't cycle modes from turbo without turning the light off first
- Moonlight not memorized if originally activated from off by a long click and hold
 
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SG Hall

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Thanks for a great review once more. Very compact thrower, apparently accuracy in lumen output is not important! Still looks like an impressive light regardless. [emoji4]
 

Capolini

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Thanks for your review! :thumbsup:

Maybe you can give me input with how/why mine acted the way it did, outdoors with a Vappower IMR 26650 4200mAh. Thanks for using that battery which shows it can hold high output the longest before it steps down.

Mine is the EC60vn VERSION with a few hundred more lumens than the STOCK version[Vinh tested Factory light @ 1590 lumen].

Should NOT make too much difference in terms of step downs.

MY VERSION BELOW:


$135 Spec 2: Neutral White 5000K XHP35 HI (Recommended)
ANSI
Lumen: 1785
Lux: 103K
Throw: 641m


This is regarding your fan cooled TEST VS. Me using mine Outdoors in 54F/12C temperatures.

I did not think your fan cooled test would have such different results in the step down as my actual use in the outdoors?

Here is a review of mine,it baffled me when prior to buying it I saw yours last for 25 minutes w/out step down! That was a determining factor for me buying the VN version,,,knowing that colder temps are around the corner!

I do NOT think this has anything to do with Vinh.

That is the STEP DOWN it has which I am 100% sure is NOT timed! Do not like it ONE bit!! It stepped down after initially using it 3 minutes. Back to turbo and stepped down in 2 minutes. Next time it was 1m 40s.The last few BEFORE voltage was an issue were under 1 minute! It basically became a shorter step down from turbo as the light HEATED up.At this time the voltage was not low enough to cause this. You are talking a fresh battery w/ 5 , 6 or 7 minutes of use.

Impossible lumens tested this light and read on a Acebeam site that it has a 5 minute [timed] step down. I disagree.

Maukka tested it and has a chart on post # 218 and stated: No timed stepdown, but looks like it could be a hybrid of temperature and voltage based.

That may be true but my light had plenty of voltage left ~3.92V at that point.


My Guess w/ no equipment just on how the light acted is that it has a THERMAL STEP DOWN.Why else would my light step down quicker as it heated up???
So, my run time/voltage test I posted earlier was done inside during the day light. that is NOT accurate now that I found out about the Mystery step down which I choose to call thermal step down!!

My hope is in the coming months it will not step down at all because of the colder temperatures. If that is the case and it is what I expect, than that will PROVE that it indeed has a thermal step down.


The flashlight was NEVER too hot to hold during all the step down/step ups. After 1 or 2 step downs it stepped down to medium output not high??
:thinking:

Thanks,,,,,what do you think?

Do you think a fan could make that much of a difference considering the COOL outdoor temps, with me walking briskly[with CAPO] AND my hand as a heat sink??

 
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twistedraven

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I happen to like pure cool white tints myself. I prefer them over anything that tries to be more neutral and has green-magenta tint shifts.
 

maukka

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Do you think a fan could make that much of a difference considering the COOL outdoor temps, with me walking briskly[with CAPO] AND my hand as a heat sink??

It is very possible. Fan cooling is more effective in keeping the temps down than just cool ambient temperatures.

I measured this with a Zebralight H600Fd III a while back outside in -8°C. The light stepped down pretty much at the same time as inside at 24°C ambient with a fan. But the fan configuration kept the output higher after the stepdown. The stepdown was avoided altogether outside with a fan.
 

Capolini

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Thanks,,,,,,I think that is more proof that this light has a thermal step down. So, as the temps get colder it will take longer to step down! :D
 

maukka

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One of the biggest negatives of the stock EC60 was its too cool cool white XHP35 HI. Yesterday I swapped it with a much better suited version of the XHP35 HI. It's the 0D0HC445E, 4500 K, CRI80+ middle flux bin. Probably lost about 20 % of output but at least now the light is usable with longer distances. Amazing difference in color rendering when the foliage doesn't wash out and tint is perfectly neutral with just a hint of rosyness. Recommend this for everyone getting the EC60. The XP-L HI and XHP35 HI are my absolute favorite Cree emitters by far (after the MT-G2 of course...).

Tint before and after:
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CRI before CW (Turbo):
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CRI after NW (Turbo):
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maukka

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Some might consider it heresy, destroying throw on a thrower but bear with me. Applying d-c-fix (3460211 Sand) to the EC60 with the swapped 4500 K XHP35 HI seems to make for the most beautifully tinted and smooth beam I've seen. Since the non domed HI emitters have very little tint shift to begin with, they feel the most natural choice for this sort of experiment. Think about Zebralight H600Fd quality beam with a bit more output.

Compared to the very nice Nitecore EC4SW with MT-G2, I believe the EC60 with d-c-fix takes the cake. The beam fades perfectly without any noticeable artifacts and no visible shift in tint. While the spill in the EC4SW turns a bit greener, the EC60 on the other hand is a tiny bit more rosier although cooler.

Color temperature dropped a hair compared to the non d-c-fixed version, but overall CRI is the same.

This is what I wished the the Zebralight SC600Fd III Plus would have been.

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twistedraven

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These newer batches of Neutral White XHP35 HIs look to have just the perfect tint. Looks like a 219B tint, but with way higher output and even better consistency between hotspot and spill. When tint and CCT values are near identical, CRI differences become much more subtle.

I ordered a couple new SC600 HIs in hopes of getting an emitter that looks very much like my 219B light.
 

tjswarbrick

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Thanks for both your (EC60 and EC50 GII) reviews.

I've been out of the loop for a while. Very happy with my HDS EDC, a couple EagleTac's, and some modded P60's. Many others, too. But these have kept me occupied and satisfied for probably 4 years now.
Never liked the idea of multiple Li-Ion's, and live with kids and a senior, so always put safety first.
I've been awaiting some new CREE emitters that offer something more that the next-generation of the same-old, same-old. (Nothing wrong with XP-G's and XM-L's, and love the 219, but saw no benefit to adding more and more of them.)
Just came across the R50 Seeker Pro the other day, and fell in love. Single cell, USB rechargeable, perfect form factor, side switch, practical UI, great utility beam. Really like the blue trim, but that's just 'cause "ooh, shiny." Thought it would be nice to find something very similar with about double the throw. My best currently is an L2 with M3 head that Vinh dropped a XP-G2 into. Nice distant pencil beam, but no useful spill and it eats (CR123) batteries.
Stumbled upon the U21 and EC60 as candidates. Discovered that neither will fully interchange charger/battery/UI with the Olight. Which kinda defeats the purpose for me.
So, now I have an EC60 and an EC50 II NW on the way!
Working on a SkyLumen DHT bezel for one, just so the non-flashaholics have a way to tell them apart before blinding somebody.
The addiction begins anew...
 
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tjswarbrick

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I received my EC60, and used it for my first extended use last night.
Nice light!
A few notes:

Vinh didn't have any extra bezels to send my way.
Since it's more of a particular-use light, I didn't bother to order the VN version with stronger throw and warmer output. If it was going to be a primary-light situation, I would have.

Using the included Acebeam 5000mAh 26650, fully charged: Turbo doesn't look, or throw, significantly brighter than High. Will try again just to make sure.
Love the in-light charging.
Tint is cooler than my preference (I knew that going in), but after about 1/2 hour it looked perfectly normal. When I switched on my Hi-CRI 219 HDS, it looked red!
(Afterward, I could see green in the EC60 beam, but quickly re-acclimated.)
Throw isn't quite as far as my VN-modded de-domed XP-G SolarForce M3 on 2 CR123's in a very similar, but slightly larger, package. But total output from the EC60 is significantly greater, and the wider spill helps to get my bearings and light up the surrounding area. Both throw farther than I regularly need or use.
Beam has a couple prominent rings toward the outside of the spill, which I was not expecting.
Navigating on low or medium, with the super hotspot and broad spill, I found I could shine it way out ahead of me to see what's out there, but still navigate successfully using the side spill. Felt unnatural - I'm not used to shining my light so far out to just walk around!
"Prominent" side switch can be difficult to locate. I've really gotten used to tailcap clickys!
Overall, I love the form factor and UI, and appreciate the effectiveness of the beam output.
I think I'm really going to love my backordered NW EC50 GenII for general walking-around duty.
Side note - that's what I got the EC50 II for; EC60 is backup for extra throw. It fulfills that requirement quite handily, though I would appreciate a less ringy beam, and warmer light. Guess I should have picked up SkyLumen's VN version after all...
 

tjswarbrick

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Took it out again.
On stock battery, step up to Turbo is just noticeable.
Tough to use in Moonlight - too much spot, not enough spill to navigate.
Low and medium are quite nice. Ringiness is on the fringes, and doesn't interfere with the utility of the beam.
Serves the exact purpose it was acquired to fulfill.
 
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