Nitecore P30 Flashlight Review

Preface

There was a post recently, by u/Nitecore_Store, asking for reviewers of certain new lights. Here is that post. I was lucky enough to be chosen by u/Nitecore_Store for the Nitecore P03.

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They sent the light out right away, and I’ve been playing with (and using!) it for a while. Let’s check it out!


Official Specs

Spec P30
Max Output 1000 lumens
Max Beam Distance 619 m
Max Beam Intensity 95500 cd
Max Run time 680 h 0 m / 28.33 d
LED CREE XP-L HI V3
Reflector SMO
Battery 1 × 18650, 2 × CR123
Special Modes Location Beacon, SOS, Strobe
Beam color White light
Length 141.5 mm / 5.57 in
Head Size 50 mm / 1.97 in
Weight 165 g / 5.82 oz
Activity Hunting, Law Enforcement, Military
Impact Resistance 1.5m
Water Resist IPX8 (2m)
Mode Output (lm) 18650 Runtime CR123a x2 Runtime
*Turbo 1000 1h 45m
High 400 3h 2h
Mid 220 5h 3h
Low 70 17h 10.25h
Lower 1 680h 340h

*Calculated

Versions

There are no different versions of this light but there are some attachments that make this light useful in different ways, which are worth mentioning. For example, this light will work with the Nitecore RSW1 remote pressure switch. That of course means it’ll work with the gun mounts, like the GM02, GM03, and GM04. This effectively makes the light very different, and expands its usefulness.


Short Review:

I don’t have many throwers (just a couple of C8’s really), but I had a need for a thrower, and I found that the P30 greatly outperforms both my C8’s. Spec-wise that shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s still nice to note it performs as it should. I’m very pleased with this light, and can say that I’ll reach for it before I reach for the C8’s every time.

Long Review:

What’s Included

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  • Nitecore P30
  • Lanyard
  • Pocket clip
  • O-rings (two sizes)
  • Spare rubber switch boot
  • Tactical ring
  • Manual
  • Promo material/warranty card

Pictures

Here’s a photo album, some indoor beamshots, outdoor beamshots, 0.3s f8 5000K ISO1000 and ISO100, and a runtime graph.

Package and Manual

The P30 arrives in a black and yellow (you know what it is) box, as most Nitecore’s do. It has a hang tag, so it’s display ready. There’s no window into the product – just printed cardboard. Inside, the light is cradled in a plastic vacuum-sized bit, and under that, all the accessories.

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The manual

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is a nice, concise paper. It includes the UI, the workings on 18650 vs 16340×2, and warranty information and the like. I like this kind of manual because it doesn’t have tons of stuff (other languages) that doesn’t apply to me.

Build Quality, Disassembly, and Durability

The first thing you’ll probably notice about this light is how shiny it is. The fact is that many shiny lights are also very very low quality. The finish is bad and chippy on those lights. The P30’s finish is not like that. It is a shiny finish, but also high quality. The rest of the light is very well detailed too. The side switch has a great fit – it just barely protrudes from the light. The tailswitch protrudes a lot, as it’s meant to. There are some large deep fins around the shoulder of the light, and the head has some relatively deep fins as well. Truthfully though temperature didn’t seem to be a problem with the light, even on the highest mode.

There’s a tactical

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attachment which can be put on or off with ease.

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The tail end of this light

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has the normal, expected amount of disassembly. And of course Nitecore includes a spare rubber boot,

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so clearly one will be able to ingress there. The head was a different story. I wasn’t able to unscrew the bezel, though I expect with the right motivation, it could be done. I can see why someone would want in there though – this would be a great candidate for an emitter swap. (In my opinion, the XP-L HI in this build is a little cool.)

Of course the cell tube is separate,

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which means it’s easy to get cells out, and unlikely to get them stuck.

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I haven’t tested the durability of this light (I’m fairly gentle with my stuff) but the handling I’ve given the light leads me to believe it’ll be a solid light. I can say that using this as a weapon light … I don’t know – there’s a spring on only one end, and while it’s very beefy (and double spring, at that), the other end only has a contact point. Now this may be fine – but at the same time, one wouldn’t want a cell bouncing around in there during some heavy firing. I have checked some other actual gun lights and they have this same build, and a less quality spring than the P30, so I believe the P30 will hold up to some heavy use.

Size

The measurements are: 141.5mm long, 50mm head diameter, and 165g.

The reflector

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on this small light is massive!

I hope everyone has some brand of C8, because that’s what this is nearest to, and can be easily compared with. (If you don’t, buy one just for playing with!) This light is bigger than a C8, especially in head diameter, but otherwise, fairly similar. The P30 won’t be great in your pocket but in the provided pouch, it’ll be great. (But then, a C8 wouldn’t be good in-pocket either…).

On a dollar:

Some comparison shots with lights you may know and love:

Retention

The Nitecore P30 comes with a few carry options. First, it has a pocket clip.

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In all honesty I found this completely useless for pocket carry, but it’d probably clip on a belt or a backpack strap very nicely. And the clip is directional,

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so one can carry this light only in a bezel-down direction. Strangely there’s a route for the pocket clip on both ends of the body tube, but I would imagine that’s because this body tube is probably reused from some other Nitecore lights. (Which makes sense because the light works with the RSW1 remote pressure switch.

There’s also beefy nylon pouch with a nice D-ring attachment point, and a velcro strap that goes behind/over a belt for attachment. It’s a nice pouch, and does pouchy things well. It’s thick nylon, too.

Power

The P30 runs on one 18650 cell. It has no preference for protected/unprotected, button top, flat top, etc. It’s cell agnostic. It’ll even work with cr123a (2) cells, and Nitecore kindly provides an adapter

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which prevents cell rattle.

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Output should be fairly higher with 16340×2. The manual states “Full Power” up to 6.4V with two of these cells. I didn’t test throw with two cr123a’s, but even with just the 18650, throw was incredible.

In my testing, the light shut off at a low cell voltage: 2.67V on High, and 2.76V on Medium. This should be into the “cell protection” range and the cell protection might have tripped (but in neither case did the cell actually trip.) Either way 2.7V is ok for the cell, so all is good here.

User Interface and Operation

The P30 has two switches: A mechanical tail switch, and an electronic side switch. The tail switch is quite pronounced (and I can see why they provided a spare). But it hasn’t gotten in the way and has held up well). The side switch is the opposite – very flush with the head of the light, and can be a bit hard to find. It is an indicating switch, too. In my runtime tests, when the light was off (due to low voltage) the indicating side switch will blink blue fast (2hz or so). I didn’t observe it, but the switch will also blink slowly if the cell is <50% capacity, too. That’s a very nice feature, but as always with these indicating switches – I wish they’d do more with them. Especially since Nitecore already knows how to use the side switch right (see: MH20) – that would be a GREAT addition here. Some kind of locator feature, for example.

State Action Result
Off Tail Click On (Memory)
Off Tail Half Press Momentary
On Tail Click Off
On Side Click Mode advance (next higher)
On Side Hold Special Modes (Strobe/SOS/Beacon)

LED and Beam

The P30 comes with a Cree XP-L HI

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behind a smooth reflector. Should be great for throw (and it is). Only when doing beamshots compared to my warm Convoy C8 XP-L HI did I think that the P30 is slightly cool. Otherwise, it’s not too noticeable, or annoying. It’d be nice for Nitecore to offer the NW option, though.

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Brand Nitecore
Model P30
Emitter Cree XP-L HI
Emitter Notes V3
Cell 18650
Runtime 18650
Chargetime 18650
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 18650
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1000
Lux (Measured) 3960
At (m) 5.19
Candela (Calculated) in cd 106666.96
Throw (Calculated) (m) 653.20
Throw (Claimed) (m) 618

Nitecore P30 [0.3s f8 5000K ISO1000]:


Nitecore P30 [0.3s f8 5000K ISO100]:

Compared to:
Klarus XT11GT (XHP35 HI) [0.3s f8 5000K ISO100]
Klarus XT11GT (XHP35 HI) [0.3s f8 5000K ISO1000]
Convoy C8 XP-L HI [0.3s f8 5000K ISO100]
Convoy C8 XP-L HI [0.3s f8 5000K ISO1000]

Far wall is appx 26m. All shots taken on the same night.

Noteworthy also is that the P30 has PID, which will “dynamically adjust output performance” to prevent damage to the light. In my experience, this was around 38 degrees C, which really seems kind of low. But my testing is approximately around the bezel, and it could be higher on the board.

Here is the runtime for high and medium.

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Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Just about any C8 will be a good comparison to this P30, but I strongly prefer the P30. But the P30 is about 3x more expensive – so you have to ask if the P30 is 3x as good? I’d say yes, because I really prefer the dual switch. I hate changing the modes on the regular C8, and the side switch fixes that. The head’s also bigger, and so it does in fact throw better. The C8 is much more modable, and even the C8 XP-L HI has a slightly better tint than this P30.

Another light more of the same class as the P30 would be the Eagletac M30LC2. Similar bezel size, available in more emitters and more tints, but is also more than twice the cost of the P30.

The P30 seems to be a very nice middle ground between the inexpensive C8’s, and the more expensive “big throw” lights.

Conclusion

This is my go-to thrower right now. No question.

What I like

  • Dual switch
  • Indicating switch
  • Size for a thrower is good
  • Well built

What I don’t like

  • Tint is a little cool
  • Underutilized indicating switch

Final Thoughts

I really like the P30!

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Notes:

Thanks to u/nitecore_store for picking me to review this P30, and sending this light out so quickly.

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