Acebeam K70 Thrower (XHP35 HI, 4x18650) Review

Wurkkos

candle lamp

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
1,572
Location
South Korea
The K70 is the thrower light from Acebeam, using 4x18650 with Cree XHP35 HI emitter installed. The light gives you incredible long throw tight beam.

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Packaging is a nice cardboard box with built-in packaging foam. Included inside are the light, user manual, warranty card, extra o-rings, spare tailcap boot cover, lanyard, belt holster.
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Manufacturer Specifications from Acebeam's website & manual :

• LED : Cree XHP35 HI LED with a lifespan of 10+years of run time
• Max 2600 lumens output using 4x18650 batteriesl
• Output (select by magnetic ring) :
Level 1 : 1lm 1,200hours
Level 2 : 70lm 75 hours
Level 3 : 450lm 12 hours
Level 4 : 1,000lm 6 hours
Level 5 : 1,900lm 3 hours
Level 6 : 2,600lm 2 hours
Standby : 65uA
Strobe : 2,600lm 3 hours
• Working voltage : 12V - 17V
• Max. Runtime : 1,200 hours
• Max. beam distance : 1,300meters
• Peak beam intensity : 422,000cd
• Impact resistant : 1.2 meters
• Waterproof : IPX-8 Standard (2 meters)
• Size : 206mm(length) x 88mm(head diameter) x 50mm(tube diameter)
• Weight : 590g (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
• Smooth reflector for max. light output
• Tactical knurling for firm grip
• Streamlined body design
• Mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier
• Intelligent highly efficient 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

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Notice : The above mentioned parameters (tested with four 3400mAh 18650 Li-ion batteries) are approximate and may vary between flashlights, batteries, and environments.

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The K70 is similar to the K60 I reviewed previously. Anodizing is a matte black finish (type III), with no chips or damage on my sample. All letterings are clear, bright white. There is a mark (▼) on the control ring that lines up with the labels on the head. The manufacturer, model name, are on the battery tube. Like the K60, the checkered pattern is present over battery tube.
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The light has mainly 2 parts (i.e. head and battery tube) There is a battery carrier in the tube.
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The light has a shiny stainless scalloped bezel. I can't remove it by hand on my sample. There is a waterproof o-ring between the bezel and reflector. There are lots of cooling fins on the head. The K70 has anti-roll feature (i.e., cut-outs to help limit rolling somewhat) on the head, so the light doesn't roll very easily on its side.

The head base of the light has a central positive spring to contact with the positive terminal of the battery carrier. The very wide negative contact rim surrounds the central positive contact spring. The positive contact spring is well isolated from the negative contact rim by the black small plastic insulator. Like the K60, the K70 has a low voltage warning indication (i.e., it will flash 3 times every 15 secs when the battery voltage is low).
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The K70 has a stainless steel threaded bezel to accept the red (or green filter) that Acebeam has released recently from August.
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The light uses an ultra-clear tempered glass lens (with 98.3% light transmittance), and the purple hue is reflected on it. The reflector is smooth. Its surface finish is very good from visual inspection, and well-centered XHP35 HI LED sits at the bottom of the reflector cup. The reflector is wide and fairly deep .

The XHP35 High-Intensity is a member of Cree’s new class of High-Intensity LEDs optimized to deliver maximum candelas through secondary optics. Built on Cree’s SC5 Technology Platform, the XHP35 HI LED radically lowers the system size and power required to achieve high-intensity LED lighting. XHP35 HI is a single die LED and it shares 3.45mm×3.45mm XP footprint. You can see the Cree XHP35 HI specification sheet for more information.
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There is a control ring, located below the cooling fins. All six constant output switching along with Standby and Strobe are controlled entirely by the control ring. The light has six circular indents and six trapezoidal protrusions on the control ring to help with good feel. I found these protrusions help you find by grip alone in the dark. There is a label mark (▼) on the control ring that lines up with the labels on the head. The individual six constant output levels are not labeled on the head, but there is a graded output arrow (◢) which shows the direction of the output levels (from max. to min. output). There are firm detents at each level, with a slight click as you enter into each level. So you may need to count detents to figure out what output level you are set to.
The total traverse of the control ring is around 170 degrees of the light. It is almost the same as other K-series. Also the control ring action feels almost the same as the K60, but slightly smoother than the K60 in my view.
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The light uses a metal battery carrier that has 4x18650 cells in series. It looks sturdy and well-made. The carrier has identical central positive contact point isolated by a black plastic insulator and outer negative contact rim at both ends. The positive contact points inside the carrier are slightly raised, and the negative contact springs have good elasticity. So all types (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and button-tops) of 18650's work fine. Longer cells may be somewhat tight, but all my protected high capacity (2600~3400mAh) cells fit.

You can insert the battery carrier either orientation into the battery tube (i.e., it's reversible), because it has same ends with positive and negative connection terminals. But you should be careful to insert the 18650's into the battery carrier in the correct polarity, otherwise it will create short circuit there.

Acebeam recommends you use the high-drain unprotected 18650 cells or protected ones where the PCB includes 3 MOSFETs.. But my VicLite ICR protected 18650 (2600mAh) and Keeppower ICR protected (3400mAh) on max. output level did just fine, as my runtime graphs showed as below. I couldn't find a distinctive difference in output between the high-drain unprotected cells and the regular ICR protected cells in my test. I just assume Acebeam probably copied the spec. from the K60.
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You can see the fully loaded battery carrier with unprotected & protected cells. I don't have any issue to insert my shortest & longest 18650 cells into the carrier. The battery carrier introduces some rattle if you shake the light laterally when it's loaded with unprotected 18650's. But no rattle with the protected cells installed in my sample. Note that only 4x18650 li-ion cells can be used in the light (i.e., it doesn't support multiple CR123A or RCR123A due to 12~17V working voltage range).
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Screw threads are square cut of good quality. They came well greased. Note that both male & female threads on the head & tube are anodized for head lock-out. They are smooth with no cross-threading or squeaking on my sample.

Note that the heads and tubes between the K60 and the K70 are physically interchangeable. You can perfectly swap the heads or tubes between the lights.
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The battery tube continues the cylindrical shape with four long flat rectangular surfaces. The large deep checkered pattern is presented over most of the battery tube except rectangular sides, and it's aggressive on the handle, helping with grip.
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The switch is the forward click switch which allows the light to be momentarily activated by half-pressing the switch while not affective the mode changing which is completely controlled by the control ring on the head. The switching travel is slightly longer than average, with average resistance and provides audible click when engaged. The switch cap sits recessed within the tail end which allows the light tailstand perfectly. There is a wide cut-out facilitate easily access to the switch. It's nice to access it with my medium-sized hands. There are four wide holes at the rear end for lanyard attachment.
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There are dual springs (i.e., inner & outer spring) in the battery tube base. The negative current path is carried from the negative contact rim on the battery carrier, carried through the outer spring in the tailcap and the battery tube of the light. Note that another current does flow from the central positive contact point on the battery carrier to the inner spring in the tailcap. It seems the tailcap is screwed to the battery tube together similar to other K-series, I am able to remove it from the tube without any tools. I assume you will see the mechanical tail switch with an electronic circuit similar to other K-series.
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From left to right, VicLite 18650 protected, Olight SR52UT Intimidator (XP-L HI, 3x18650), Nitecore TM16GT (4xXP-L HI, 4x18650), Acebeam K70 (XHP35 HI, 4x18650), Acebeam K60 (XHP70 N4, 4x18650), Olight M3XS-UT Javelot (Dedomed XP-L, 2x18650) for size comparison.
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From left to right, Nitecore TM16GT (4xXP-L HI, 4x18650), Acebeam K70 (XHP35 HI, 4x18650), Acebeam K60 (XHP70 N4, 4x18650), Olight M3XS-UT Javelot (Dedomed XP-L, 2x18650) for beamshot comparison.
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Acebeam has released the screw-type (red and green) filters consist of glass lens and threaded aluminum cap to thread into the threaded bezel of the K60 and K70. Just tighten the filter by your hand. These filters are of very high quality.
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If your K60 or K70 has a non-threaded bezel like the above, you are able to buy a threaded bezel. According to Acebeam, all K60 and K70 come with a new threaded bezel from August this year.
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The light is a reasonably good size with a right weight to manage for 4x18650 thrower high-output class. The operating the control ring with two fingers (i.e., thumb and index finger) is easier than using the K60 for me. The overall gripability seems good. Handling & balance of the light is good. The overall build quality is very high.
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K70 comes with a nylon belt holster with a velcro strap on the head and belt loop. The light fits in the holster head-up only. I wish the velcro adhesion of the belt loop would be stronger or button-snap would be required there.
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Measured Dimensions
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User Interface

On-off is controlled by the tailcap forward switch and output switching is controlled by the control ring in the head. Turn the light on-off by the tailcap clicky – press for momentary, press and release (i.e., click) for constant on.

There are six constant output levels, standby, and strobe. Change output modes by turning the control ring in the head. Arranged from left to right (with the head facing forward) in the following order. L1 (min. output) -> L2 -> L3 -> L4 -> L5 -> L6 (max. output) -> standby -> strobe.
No light is produced on standby, but a small current will be drawn to allow to respond to the control ring turn and for the tail switch assistance as described below.
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Standby Current Drain

Due to the control ring and electronic tail switch, the light has a small current when fully connected and control ring arrow is pointing at standby mode and the tailcap switch is clicked on. I measured this current at the head as 66.8μA and at the tailcap as 12.1μA with 4xVicLite 18650 (2600mAh) cells. There is no current draw when the tailcap switch turned off. Since the cells are arranged in series for 4x18650, that would translate into around 3.7 years before the cells would be fully drained. Note that total standby current drain (78.9μA) is slightly higher than 65uA standby current listed in the manual, but this is quite reasonable for a standby current, not a concern. If you want to break this current, store the light locked-out by loosening the head or turn the light off by the tailcap switch when not in use.
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PWM
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The light shows no sign of PWM at any output levels. I think the light is actually current-controlled. I notice there is no buzzing sound at all output levels in my sample.
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Runtime
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The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for L6 and L5 is as above graph.

The K70 continues to have a defined stepdown on L6 (after about 2 mins of continuous runtime). The difference on the light is that the stepdown is a bit gradual, taking about 1 min to level off at the lower L6 level (i.e., higher output than L5). This means you are unlikely to notice the step-down on the light. This is a timed stepdown feature, not a thermally stepdown. You will see the almost flat regulation period after stepdown which depend on the batteries capacity. On L5, K70 maintains perfectly flat regulation for an extended period. I expect excellent flat regulation on the other output levels (L1~L4).
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The light settles around the 87% output mark after stepdown on L6 under cooling fan. There is perfect flat regulation after only minor drop (~4%) due to thermal sag on L5 as well. As you expect, the K70 doesn't produce as much as output as the K60 equipped with XHP70. However, the XHP35 HI on the K70 has a lot tightly-focused hotspot (please see the beamshot).

Note that there are big blips near the end of the run which are from the low-battery warning function of the light. The K70 would flash three times shortly every 15 secs.
you need to pay attention to the overdischarge of the unprotected cells in the light. I suggest that you should replace your unprotected cells or recharge them when the light indicates the low battery warning.
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Output-runtime efficiency seems very good on my sample, with relatively flat regulation period at max. level (L6).
It's a bit hard to compare the K70 to other lights with multi XP-L (or XM-L2) installed. But the K70 is the best thrower high-output light with good efficiency and reasonably long runtime.
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Beamshot

1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door) on max. output on 2x or 4x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
- ISO125, F/8.0, 1/25sec, Auto white balance
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- ISO125, F/8.0, 1/100sec, Auto white balance
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- ISO125, F/8.0, 1/800sec, Auto white balance
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- ISO125, F/8.0, 1/2000sec, Auto white balance
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The intensely small hot spot is well focused, and the spill beam is as wide as the K60. The overall beam profile is clean without noticeable flaws. The raised crenalations on the bezel cause minor spill beam effects. The beam has a cool temperature on my sample.
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You can see the side by side beamshot comparisons as shown in the above.
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2. 7m Indoor Beamshot on max. output on 2x or 4x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
- ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance
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The red & green filter give you their own colors without distortions or beam artifacts.
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3. 85m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 2x or 4x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
- ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance
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5. 390m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 2x or 4x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cells
- ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance
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The K70 is an outstanding thrower, allowing farily impressive tight focus beam. This is number one throwing stock XHP35 light I have tested to date.
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You can see a characteristic of Cree XHP35 HI. The K70 gives you a good firefly output level.
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Overall Impressions

• Very high build quality
• Give you incredible throw and high-output (Number one throwing stock XHP35 light)
• Output-runtime performance is very good
• Good mode spacing
• Lots of constant output levels with control ring interface
• True flat-top batteries work fine
• Very long or wide cells may be a bit tight depending on brand name
• Mechanical reverse polarity protection function
• Firefly mode is available.
• Low battery warning indication function (i.e., the light blinks about 3 times every 15secs when the batteries voltage is low).
• No sign of PWM flickers at any output modes
• Overall gripability seems good
• Overall beam pattern is clean
• Better anti-roll indentations on the head comparing to the K60
• You can use only 4x18650 (i.e., doesn't support multiple CR123A cells)
• Recommend high capacity 18650 of good quality
• Bundled belt holster needs some improvement
• Overall beam tint is cool white

The Acebeam K70 provided by Acebeam for review.
 

richbuff

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
2,209
Location
Prescott Az
Thank you for your very detailed review.

I did not plan on the K70 as being one of my favored lights; I purchased it because of the many glowing reviews, and to see what all the glow was all about, and to add a high performance thrower to my collection, just for the sake of expanding the scope of my collection.

Surprisingly, I found myself, with each passing night, liking this light more and more. I thought I would not like it, because of its size and heft, but have to be honest with myself and admit to myself that I do like its size and heft.
 

ven

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
22,477
Location
Manchester UK
Thanks for the great review:), although pipped by the tn42 i prefer this and the UI . Surprised by the excellent filter pics, wow that can throw red/green a good way for hunters or anyone wanting..........well to throw a red or green beam. The white filter looks like a good flood option for the k60/k70 also...............pretty cool idea by acebeam with the screw on bezel ring.
 

seery

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,613
Location
USA
Fantastic review, sir.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to enjoy and learn from it.

Having used the K70 and TN42 side-by-side, I prefer the K70. But they are both awesome lights!
 

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