Acebeam UC15 Keychain Flashlight Review

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

Preface

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.


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s only one version of this light, but available in 4 colors: Black, Silver, Red, and Blue.

Price

MSRP is $59.90.  I’ve seen them down in the $50 range.


Short Review

This is a solid little light, and versatile.  I quite like it!!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Acebeam UC15
  • Pocket clip
  • Hex key
  • Manual and papers

20180123-IMG_9733

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.

20180123-IMG_9739.jpg

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.

Size

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.

20180123-IMG_9738.jpg

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).

Retention

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.

20180123-IMG_9744.jpg

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!!

Photo Feb 02, 7 33 25 AM.jpg

Power

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.

20180123-IMG_9751

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.

Runtime.png

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.

20180123-IMG_9740.jpg

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
 Off Click On (Memory, all modes)
 Off Long Press White, Low
 Off Double Click Turbo
 Any Triple Click Strobe
 On Hold Emitter Cycle
 On Click Off
 On Double Click Mode Advance (White)

This UI is simple enough.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) (AAA/10400) Claimed Runtime (AAA/10400) Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Amps
High 250/(1000+200) 1.1h/(1m +46m) 4250 1.20
Medium 82/200 3.7h/1.3h 1740 0.46
Low 10/10 14h/19h 255 0.08
Red 1.6h/1.5h  – 0.71
UV (365nm) 1.3h/1.2h  – 0.81

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.

20180123-IMG_9745.jpg

Tint vs BLF-348

20180129-IMG_9872.jpg

20180129-IMG_9873.jpg

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Acebeam UC15
Emitter Cree XP-L HD
Emitter Notes Also: 1*CREE XPE2 630nm, 1*Nichia 276A 365nm
Cell AAAx2
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime N/A
Lux (Measured) 89 lux @ 2.951 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 775.0
Throw (Calculated) (m) 55.7
Throw (Claimed) (m)  107

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

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.

Conclusion

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

Up Next

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.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Acebeam for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • 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!!
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