- The Boring Stuff
- What comes in the box?
- Size & Measurements
- User Interface
- Modes, Brightness & Throw
- Runtime & Currents
- Driver & Regulation
- Emitter & Beam
- Design & Construction
- Carry & Ergonomics
- Batteries & Charging
The Boring Stuff
Acebeam gave me a discount on the aluminum, high CRi version in exchange for a honest review. Once they had shipped it out, I was separately contacted by u/Commercial-Suit-5836 on Reddit who kindly offered to lend me his aluminum, XHP70.2 5000K version and his copper, high CRI version for comparison!
Here are the official product pages: Aluminum, Copper, Titanium, and Stainless Steel. Below are the official specs for the XHP70.2 version. GT-FC40 specs aren’t listed on the website except for the max lumen output (2800).
What comes in the box?
The box is excellent, as is usually the case with Acebeam It’s high quality with a magnetic closure, open cell foam insert on the inside, and a window on the front so you can see the light. It’s clearly aimed at brick-and-mortar retail and it is fantastic for that, but I’m not sure how many places actually carry Acebeam products. It makes me wonder how much cheaper the whole package would be with a basic cardboard box. It really fits the premium look of the light though. The following items are included in the box:
- The light itself
- Lanyard (pre-attached for the aluminum versions)
- Battery (if you ordered the bundle with a battery)
- Charging cable (if you ordered the bundle with a battery)
- Carry pouch
- Spare O-rings
The copper version came in a sealed plastic sleeve. I can’t find any coating on it, so I’m sure it’s raw copper and will patina very nicely once it’s removed from the sleeve and used for awhile.
Size & Measurements
|Body Tube Diameter (internal)||22.0|
|Body Tube Diameter (the main part)||27.3|
|Ride Height (sticking out of pocket)||~14.0|
|Pocket Clip Space (for pants material)||6.0|
|Pocket Clip Space (at mouth)||3.5|
|Pocket Clip Width||12.3|
|Pocket Clip Thickness||0.8|
|Pocket Cip Screw Spacing||~6.5|
|Included Battery Length||77|
|Included Battery Diameter||21.8|
When I opened the box I was genuinely surprised by how large E70 is. It’s still pocketable, but it’s really on the top end of what I would consider EDC size. It’s substantial and hefty. The copper version is especially heavy, possibly too heavy to carry.
This is a non-traditional UI. I don’t love it but it doesn’t really get in the way.
The actions are # of presses followed by a hold (H) or a release (C). So, “1C” is one click and release. “2H” is two clicks but you hold down the last one.
|Off||1H||On (moonlight, not memorized)|
|Off||2C||On (mode memory)|
|Off||3C (or more)||Strobe|
|On||1H||Cycle Mode (Low-Med1-Med2-High)|
|Turbo||2C||Back to memorized mode|
Acebeam chose to use 2C for on, to ensure E70 doesn’t get activated by accident in your pocket. A staple of good flashlight UI’s for a few years now has been “one click on, one click off” so this is a controversial decision. Personally, I see accidental activation as something that should be solved by a better switch design, not by a weird UI design.
The inclusion of two medium modes seems silly to me too. All the low-through-high modes aren’t spaced very far apart from each other and I think having one medium mode that splits the difference would be better. Direct access to turbo from off would be really nice as well, maybe momentary turbo via 2H from off like Anduril 2? Or, better yet, just put Anduril 2 on the next version of E70v2 with a better switch design.
It’s not all bad. It’s basic and it works. I do like that moonlight and turbo mode aren’t part of the main mode group and aren’t memorized. 2C to turn on the light does prevent accidental activation. There’s not really anywhere the user can get stuck (except in off) because there aren’t any funky configuration or lockout modes.
Modes, Brightness & Throw
Disclaimer: The lumen numbers in these next three sections are only estimates. I don’t have the equipment to do lumen testing, so I’m assuming the official turbo output claim for each emitter is correct at 30 seconds and I calculate all other lumen numbers relative to that. All measurements were taken using the Ceilingbounce app on my smartphone. All of these tests were performed with a fully charged Acebeam 21700 battery unless otherwise specified. CD measurements were taken at 19.4m.
|Level||Lumens (Estimated @ Turn-On)||Candela||Throw (meters)|
|Moonlight||too low to measure||“||“|
|Level||Lumens (Estimated @ Turn-On)||Candela||Throw (meters)|
|Moonlight||too low to measure||“||“|
Runtime & Currents
Try using the slider to compare the runtime graphs for each emitter option!
I did too many tests to run through each one of them here, but here are some highlights and things I noticed.
I tested both aluminum and copper with FC40 on Turbo and the graphs are virtually identical so I didn’t bother including both. During the test, the aluminum got too hot at the head to hold, but it was still holdable at the tail. The copper got far too hot to hold anywhere on the light, so hot that I think it would have burned me if I touched it for more than a split second. My FC40 aluminum version makes a faint crackling/popping sound as it heats up and cools down, but it hasn’t caused any problems.
For the top three modes, XHP70 performance is identical to FC40, just scaled up so it’s brighter and runs longer. The lowest three modes are a different story though, as FC40 is brighter on those modes.
LVP: I all my tests, the light would turn back on after it shut off. That means it has low voltage protection that reliably kicks in before the protection circuit in the battery is tripped. Good job, Acebeam.
Current: Unfortunately I’m not equipped to do current testing on a dual-tube light like this.
Driver & Regulation
Since E70 runs on one cell and drives FC40 at 12V and XHP70.2 at 6V, so we can assume this is some kind of boost driver. Unfortunately, Acebeam decided to fill in the heads of the screws with some hard, transparent resin so the driver cannot be accessed. Not cool.
Regulation here is fairly good in both emitter options. Turbo is highly affected by cell voltage (as is the case in virtually every light) but all the other modes can produce at or near their maximum brightness throughout most of the battery’s voltage range. Make sure to drag the slider back and forth to see how the brightness compares between emitters!
PWM: There’s no PWM I can detect with the naked eye from either emitter option.
Emitter & Beam
There are three emitter options available at the time of writing: an XHP70.2 in 6500K, an XHP70.2 in 5000K, and a GT-FC40 in 4500K and 95+ CRI. The FC40 is the one I chose and it’s just delightful. It’s a 12V, 7070 footprint, domeless, high CRI alternative to Cree’s XHP70.2. I also happened to have a 5000K XHP70.2 sample to compare with. Between the two, I think GT-FC40 is the clear winner. It’s interesting how much warmer FC40 looks when turned off, despite only a 500K color temperature difference between these emitters. All versions come with a silly film over the lens, and you need to remove it before use.
With such a large emitter and such a small reflector, the hotspot is very wide. I found the 4500K color temperature on FC40 a little cooler than I like for walking around the house at night, but it’s just perfect during the day. There’s not really any tint shift to speak of from FC40 but it’s quite apparent from XHP70.2. You can clearly tell the difference in CRI when using these two emitters side by side as well. Overall I found FC40 more pleasant to use.
Outside, both of these emitters can really stretch their legs. The brightness is spectacular, and they throw a decent distance too despite how floody they are. Thanks to all the bright spill you miss nothing in the periphery either. The FC40 version is particularly pleasant to use thanks to the excellent tint and high CRI, but there is a noticeable brightness increase when using XHP70.2.
Moonlight & Tint Comparison from left to right:
Sofirn IF22A | SFT40
Noctigon K9.3 | SST20 2700K
Acebeam E70 AL | XHP70.2 5000K
Acebeam E70 CU | FC40 4500K
Acebeam E70 AL | FC40 4500K
Fireflies E07x Pro | SST20 4000K | FA4
Emisar D4V2 | SST20 4000K | FA3
The brightness of moonlight mode varies a fair bit between my samples. The Aluminum XHP version is dim enough that I think it’s a proper moonlight mode and is satisfactorily dim. The copper FC40 version is noticeably brighter, about as bright as E07x Pro. It’s not offensively bright, but it would be nice if it were dimmer. The aluminum FC40 version is offensively bright. It’s probably a few lumens which is just too bright to be called moonlight. I have no explanation for this discrepancy between copper and aluminum, because all other modes are identical between the two.
Design & Construction
E70 is highly stylized and is just beautiful to look at, especially in copper. The cutouts in the main body tube beautifully show off the blue anodizing on the inner tube underneath. It looks like a several-hundred-dollar custom light but it comes in at at a mid-to-high end production price point. E70 is just as much pocket jewelry as it is a flashlight.
Just in case you were wondering, the copper is uncoated so it will patina. The comparison above shows it right out of the sealed plastic envelope and after several days of being handled for testing. At first I couldn’t understand why the steel parts (clip, button, bezel) were so dark on the copper version, but now I see that they’re color matched to the eventual dark, patina’d color of the copper. What a thoughtful design detail!
E70 utilizes an electronic tailswitch. That means that the head of the light always has power, and the switch just sends electrical signals telling the head what to do. Lights with mechanical switches completely interrupt power to the head when turned off. For an e-switch to be on the tail, there has to be a conductor to carry the power and a separate conductor to carry the signal from the switch. Most lights with this design (including E70) use two separate body tubes, one inside the other, to accomplish this. In the case of E70, you can actually see the blue inner tube even when the light is all closed up thanks to the styling cutouts in the outer tube.
These cutouts look great, but they will be perfect traps for dust, lint, and grime. I reached out to acebeam to ask for cleaning tips, and they said there’s no way to separate the tubes for cleaning. They recommended using a brush, and running the light under some water (with the head tightened down all the way) to clean out any debris.
The threads between the body tube and head are thick, square cut, well lubricated, and anodized (just on the AL version). On all three of my samples, the threads are a bit difficult to start. You have to apply a higher-than-normal amount of force to compress the springs while turning the head and body. It can be difficult to get the threads aligned properly, and I find that I usually have to give it two or three tries when closing up the light. Copper was particularly fiddly, as it’s more “grabby” than anodized aluminum.
E70 uses a black, flat, stainless steel, electronic, tail switch. It’s got very little travel distance with good tactility and relatively little sound. It feels high quality, moreso than most e-switches. Accessing and pressing it is super easy, which may be the reason for their 2-click-on choice in the UI. I would have preferred a better (harder to press by accident) switch and a more normal UI with 1-click-on. I do wish they had left off the “www.acebeam.com” branding though.
The copper version came with a weird plastic cover stuck to the tailcap. It was held on with some adhesive that left a bit of residue behind. It rubbed off after a day or two.
Carry & Ergonomics
E70’s ergonomics are pretty excellent. It feels substantial and high quality in-hand, especially in copper. The button is easy to access and actuate. A wide variety of grips work and there aren’t any uncomfortable spots anywhere on the light. It’s worth noting that, on the aluminum version, the head does get hotter than the body, so a cigar grip will be best if you’re using a high brightness for an extended period of time. Copper gets way too hot to hold anywhere on turbo and high, so stick to medium 2 for sustained use.
The aluminum version carries fine. It’s pretty large, but not so large or heavy that I don’t consider it EDC-able. The copper version is very heavy, probably too heavy for EDC, but it’s so pretty and impressive you’ll want to carry it anyway.
The clip really doesn’t impress me. The titanium and stainless steel versions come with a really nice milled clip that matches the design of the body, but the aluminum and copper versions comes with a cheap bent steel clip. It does its job but it just looks out of place, and it bends out of shape fairly easily. I had that happen once during my time carrying it and some of the black coating on the clip chipped off where it bent. The screws holding it on can be un-done, but you have to be careful. They use miniscule little hex heads instead of the more reliable torx heads so I nearly stripped a screwdriver bit. This kind of clip is fairly common on custom tailswitch 18350 lights, which this light somewhat resembles in style. Perhaps that’s why Acebeam chose this style of clip. The whole body tube has milling on it and the clip doesn’t have a nice smooth spot to land on, so it will be a little bit aggressive on pockets.
The included lanyard is nice. It appears to be identical to the one Thrunite includes with Catapult Mini, just with Acebeam branding instead of Thrunite. It comes pre-attached (on the aluminum version) and it’s very difficult to reattach. You need some kind of really small hook to pull it out through the second hole. I was able to use a sim card tool and got it through again after fiddling with it for a few minutes.
Batteries & Charging
If you choose, Acebeam will include a 5100mah, USB-C rechargeable, protected, button top, 21700 cell with your light. Notably, it’s 7mm longer than a normal 21700 cell thanks to all the added circuitry. 5100mah is currently the highest capacity available in a 21700 cell. Most ~5000mah cells normally available to consumers top out at 10 amps of continuous discharge. Acebeam advertises this cell with 20 amps, but they’re not clear about whether that’s burst or continuous discharge.
I tried an unprotected flat top Molicel P42A in each of my three E70 samples and it would not work reliably in any of them. A gentle jostle was enough to disconnect it. On the copper version, simply rotating the light vertically made gravity enough to pull the battery down and disconnect it. You’ll either need to use long cells in E70, or short cells with some spacers. It would have been nice for Acebeam to include longer springs so unprotected flat top cells would work reliably.
Update: It has come to my attention that some E70’s do work with flat top cells. The key is NOT to buy E70 with or use E70 with these long Acebeam cells. They compress and plastically deform the springs and make them shorter, which makes flat top cells not work reliably. If you never use an Acebeam battery, the springs don’t get squished as much and they work fine with flat tops.
Three of my four battery samples stopped charging at 4.15-4.16V and the last one stopped at 4.21V. They take an abysmal six hours to charge. That’s a little better for long-term cell health, but I would have preferred something closer to a two hour charge time. Then, if I wanted slow charging, I could just use a low-current USB power source like a computer’s USB port.
These batteries can output power from their USB port too. Acebeam includes a special charging cable for this purpose with both male & female USB-A ports on one end of the cable. For charging the battery, you use the male port. For charging another device, you use the female port. I tried connecting the cell directly to my phone via a C-to-C cable but no charging took place either way.
That cable is extra handy because it acts as a splitter too. When it’s plugged into a power source, both the USB-C male plug and the USB-A female port receive power, so you can plug another USB-A cable in to charge two devices from a single USB-A power source.
Here are some lights in the same class and how they compare.
Fireflies E07x Pro: Wider head, slightly shorter, magnetic tailcap, fabulous Anduril 2 UI, RGB aux LED’s, much better clip, USB-C recharging, slightly more expensive, many emitter options (but not GT-FC40), 7 emitters with TIR optic instead of 1 emitter with reflector. I reviewed it here.
Convoy M21B FC40: Way less expensive, three color temp options of FC40 (and more color temps of XHP70.2 if you like that version better), larger overall size, mechanical tailswitch instead of electronic, only one material & color option, no clip by default, works with unprotected flat top cells, marginally narrower hotspot, marginally more spill, much less fancy looking
E70 is a beautiful, bright light and I think those are its main selling points. No one’s going to buy it for its wonky UI and it doesn’t really have any other particularly unique features. It’s made to be a pocket rocket that wows with lumens and looks. For the intended buyer, I think Acebeam hit a home run with E70. If you want the prettiest light around, high output, and an affordable price, and you don’t mind it being a little bit big, this is the light for you. Make sure to get the FC40 version!