Preface Official Specs Versions Price Short Review Long Review What's Included Manual and Packaging Build Quality and Durability Size Retention Power User Interface and Operation Modes LED and beam Tint vs... Beamshots, Runtime, etc table. Comparisons Conclusion What I like What I don't like Up Next Notes
Here’s a new little Acebeam keychain light, but with some unusual bonus features: red emitter, uv emitter, and AAA cells, and 10440 support! And a metal body, which is an even nicer touch. I’m pleased to have this one, and happy to put it through the paces.
There’s only one version of this light, but available in 4 colors: Black, Silver, Red, and Blue.
MSRP is $59.90. I’ve seen them down in the $50 range.
This is a solid little light, and versatile. I quite like it!!
- Acebeam UC15
- Pocket clip
- Hex key
- Manual and papers
Package and Manual
The box for the UC15 is a nice little display-ready slip-fit box, with a bunch of printing on the outside. Runtimes, features, etc. The box also has a checkbox for “Cree XP-L” or “Nichia” but I have a feeling that doesn’t mean that the main emitter would ever be a Nichia, and that the Nichia on the box just concerns the UV emitter, which is Nichia. Strange labeling, in any case. (The product page does actually seem to give credence to the possibility that there could be a main-emitter Nichia model, however.)
The manual is pretty good, with a good graphic of the UI, and nice description of the light.
Build Quality and Disassembly
As I’ve already said, this is a solid little light. It’s got a nice heft without being large, and all the connections are very snug and well fit. Also it’s a metal body.
Aside from being well built, it just looks cool. It has a nice three-emitter symmetry. The reflector for the main emitter is surprisingly large.
There are three hex screws on the body. Two are for the pocket clip. The other is likely for further disassembling the head (or at least taking the guts out of the light). I believe the bezel is press fit in, and has quite an edge.
I didn’t disassemble the light further than the above. The tail unscrews by the key loop. This tightens down fairly snugly but I can’t say for certain that it won’t unscrew when being used on a keyring.
Officially 66.10mm (Length) x 29mm (Width) x16.3mm (Thickness). It’s probably a little bigger than many keychain lights, but it’s quite versatile.
It’s larger than the Nitecore TIP, another metal body light. (Notable differences include multiple emitters on the UC15, and that the UC15 runs on AAA/10440 cells, not internal pouch battery).
As this is a keychain light, the primary means for carry will likely be the key loop on the end. As stated above, I’m not sure if this would unscrew through regular carry of the light on a keyring, but it’s something I would evaluate if you intend to carry the light this way. I don’t, so it’s a non-issue. This is what’s also unscrewed to replace cells in the light.
The light also ships with a pocket clip, unattached. Acebeam kindly includes a hex key for installing the clip. This is easy, and it’s how my light lives now. The clip attaches very securely, and is also very sturdy. It’s thick steel. It’s rides a little farther off the body than I’d like, but the mouth is nice and big and it really carries well. That said, the clip is nice and roomy because it’s intended to fit on the bill of a cap. And for that, it’s perfect!!
Interestingly this light is powered by two AAA cells. I’ve used Eneloops of course, but the light isn’t picky. It’ll even work with Li-Ion 10440 cells. Even more interesting is that the cells are in parallel. So yes, the light will work with a single cell!
The cells go positive-end-in. The removable part on the tail has two brass springs.
A runtime test of turbo with Eneloop cells goes as follows. Output staysabove 90% for around 20 minutes. Not bad. The temperature stays reasonable too.
I apologize for not having 10440 cells for testing. I’d love to see this little light churn out 1000 lumens, though.
To be honest, the manual doesn’t really cover what the indicating switch does. It certainly lights green when the light is on, if nothing else. I believe it also provides some low voltage indication.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single switch on the UC15. It’s a side, indicating, e-switch. It’s very clicky, and a little mashy. This mashiness is most noticeable when double clicking, which is required frequently in the UI.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Memory, all modes)|
|Off||Long Press||White, Low|
|On||Double Click||Mode Advance (White)|
This UI is simple enough.
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm) (AAA/10400)||Claimed Runtime (AAA/10400)||Mode Measured Lux||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
There’s a bit of contradictory information on the main emitter. The manual I have says it’s a Cree XP-L HD. The product page says both XP-L HD and XM-L2. I’m not sure which it actually is. I can’t see the dot on the background for polarity, so I’m thinking it’s likely the XP-L HD.
The main emitter has a nice spot, which is quite broad. There’s a good bit of spill, too. It’s a fine beam profile for a keychain light.
The other two emitters are CREE XPE2 630nm, and Nichia 276A 365nm. The side emitters, of course, are completely flood.
Tint vs BLF-348
Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements
|Emitter||Cree XP-L HD|
|Emitter Notes||Also: 1*CREE XPE2 630nm, 1*Nichia 276A 365nm|
|Glamour Shots||Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]|
|Lux (Measured)||89 lux @ 2.951 m|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd||775.0|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||55.7|
|Throw (Claimed) (m)||107|
This light compares more easily with keychain lights (of course) but is in reality more of a flashlight enthusiast’s keychain light. So nothing in the keychain light realm compares at all.
What I like
- Metal body
- Uses AAA and 10440 as well
- Ridiculous output with 10440
- Pocket clip is very secure
What I don’t like
- Pocket clip is a little bulky (but also perfect for a ballcap)
- Button is mashy
I’m not really settled on what I’ll have next week. Most likely a couple of Nitefox lights, and possibly either a Klarus, or a JETBeam.
- This light was provided by Acebeam for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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- Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!! Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!