Acebeam E10 review: flashlight thrower
Introducing – the AceBeam E10 White. A 26350 (!) pocket thrower; this is a light I’ve had my eye on since it was announced; a White Flat emitter, and a UI I can get behind? Sign me up! It’s also available with a green or red emitter, if that’s your thing.
AceBeam is known for their high-quality lights – from the sturdy EC65 Gen II, the pocketable TK16, all the way up to the powerhouse Acebeam X70; the build quality is regarded highly in the enthusiast community. This is my first AceBeam though, and I’m keen to see if the brand lives up to the reputation.
A final note for the introduction – there’s actually somewhat of a hidden surprise with this light. I won’t spoil it though, so read on!
What you’ll get:
The packaging for the E10 is rather nice – this is probably one of the most “retail-friendly” boxes I’ve seen.
Inside the box I find:
- The AceBeam E10 itself
- AceBeam-branded 26350 (with plastic stopper for transit)
- Spare o-rings
- Micro-USB charging cable
- User manual
- Warranty card
- A small warning card, that details the potential dangers of Lithium-ion batteries.
I don’t think there’s much more I would have wanted from this – the light is small enough that popping it in a pocket isn’t a problem, so I’m happy enough that it doesn’t come with a lanyard.
Acebeam E10 specifications
|Brand / Model||Acebeam E10|
|Beam intensity||79,000 cd|
|Review date||June 2020|
Handling of the light
Given the size of the light, it’s probably only practical to hold it in one way, the “traditional” underarm hold – which is great until you realise the entire light could probably fit in your palm!
The heat sinking fins grab onto my finger a bit when holding it, which gives a nice bit of extra grip to the knurling which, while providing texture, isn’t overly grippy. That’s not a bad thing though, given that extra-grippy knurling can be painful after a short period of time.
As there’s no included attachments, this is something you’ll be popping into a pocket, or a holster if you have one – it sits neatly within a C8 holster, but it looks somewhat strange having a gap at the bottom.
As both the head and tailcap of the light are round and there’s no protrusions into that space between them, it rolls around on a desk quite happily. That said, it very easily tail-stands, so that’s the ideal way to set it down.
The button… where to start. It looks great, but feels.. bluntly, terrible. There’s almost no feedback from it at all, and quite often I’m not sure if I’ve pressed it or not. Holding it to my ear, there’s a very quiet click when pressing it in, followed by a louder noise when releasing it. I’ve had a brief look around to see if it’s just the light I received or it’s a common thing, and most reviewers of the light have also mentioned it. It’s an overall mushy feel, and definitely needs a revision.
Build Quality, knurling, threads, and anodization
The E10 feels very well built indeed! When giving it a shake around, I can’t feel anything move or hear any rattles; it’s just a very solid little light.
The anodization appears to be great; it seems to be a uniform thickness all around and isn’t too smooth or too rough – just right. There are some small issues around the knurling, but in my opinion, that’s to be expected in an area with fine detail like this.
The printing on the AceBeam logo has slightly worn from my testing and a bit of playing around, but that doesn’t detract from the light.
Threads are square cut, and on my light, very well lubricated. I’m imagining someone at AceBeam’s factory just slathering a paintbrush in lubricant and slapping it on, but that’s fine! It’s a very smooth thread, and I’ve got no complaints.
The battery tube unscrews from the head and doesn’t have a separate tailcap. The battery sits slightly proud in the tube, so you have to put a bit of effort into reconnecting the tube, but thankfully not much.
LEDs, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
The emitter used in this light is the Osram CSLNM1.TG, commonly known as a “White Flat 1”. This emitter is chosen specifically as it has a very high output to surface area, making it great in a thrower. The E10 is also available in the green and red versions of that emitter (CSLNM1.23 and CSLNM1.F1, respectively).
It’s a cool white from 5600K to 6000K, so it’s generally not my cup of tea. That said, however, it makes sense in something like this;
It uses a custom TIR optic with a textured patch in the middle which I was somewhat surprised about when I first saw, as I’d generally expect a thrower to use a reflector. It works quite well though, and I’ve got no complaints.
I’ve seen the beam created by this emitter referred to as a “pencil beam” – and it’s not far off the mark. In a large reflector, this emitter will put out a very thin cool white beam, along with an amount of spill as you’d expect from any thrower that isn’t an LEP. The pattern in the TIR smooths this out a bit though, so it’s a little wider.
- 91mm (3.58”)
- Head diameter: 40mm / 1.57”
- Body diameter: 31mm / 1.22”
Weight: 97g empty (3.42 oz)
- With included cell: 145.2g (5.12 oz)
Flashlight thrower comparisons
Picture 1: Lumintop GT Mini, Emisar D1, Acebeam E10 and Conovy C8+
Picture 3: Emisar D1, Lumintop X9L, Acebeam E10
Driver and Firmware
The driver in the E10 is a proprietary one, but that’s perfectly fine – the UI is one of my favourites, with simple access to moonlight and turbo, as well as memory mode.
A note that won’t matter to most – AceBeam has put glue in the screws so that you can’t put a screwdriver in to remove them, but that won’t stop the determined. It does put a barrier in place for the merely curious though, which I feel would help slightly reduce the number of warranty claims they may get.
- Press and Hold: Moonlight mode
- Single-click: Turns the light on to last used (memory mode) , except Moonlight and Turbo
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Strobe
- Press and Hold: Change modes (L/M/H)
- Single-click: Turn off
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Strobe
- Yep! As above, it’s limited to L/M/H – it’ll go back to the last one you used from them.
Low voltage warning:
- When the battery level drops to 3.1V, the light will shift to Low. At 2.9V, the light will flash twice, and at 2.7V, the light will turn off. I held the light at 2.85V for a while and only saw the one double-flash – I would have hoped it’d do it once every minute or so to remind you that it’s just about game-over.
- Triple click from on or off to activate strobe – though it’s a bit of an odd thing to have on a thrower!
- If you press and hold for ~5 seconds from off, the light will flash three times, then lockout. When locked out, do the same to unlock and go to moonlight (two flashes on unlock).
- I can notice PWM when looking at the light through my phone, but not at all to my eye. This is less visible by camera as the brightness scales up.
Batteries and charging:
Given the…odd size of battery, your options are going to be extremely limited here – thankfully, AceBeam has included a cell that’s perfect for the job. It’s a 2000mAh 26350 with in-built MicroUSB charging, and as the package includes a cable, you have all you need to keep it topped up.
There’s a small LED on the top of the battery that is red when you put it on charge, and turns green when it’s finished.
Charging via MicroUSB is at around 0.75A, which then drops off over time as it approaches full. Given the battery charges happily, in an external charger at 1.5A (Vapcell S4 Plus selected this as the “Auto” current), I’d suggest charging it externally if that’s easy enough to do so.
In external testing, the cell can put out around 5A, which is more than sufficient for what the light pulls on turbo.
For my readings, I use the following:
- Lux Meter: UNI-T UT383S, and a custom tube for lumen readings
- DMM: Fluke 87 and UNI-T UT210E – 16AWG wire is used directly into the Fluke, and 8AWG wire in a loop for the UNI-T.
- Standby current: 59.5µA – almost 4 years standby!
- Moonlight: 2mA
- Low: 38mA
- Med: 285mA
- High: 712mA
- Turbo: 2.83A
This runtime was done by putting the light in moonlight, and then quickly double-pressing to turbo.
Given that the light isn’t a hotrod, there wasn’t the immediate dropoff that I’ve experienced with other lights, so there’s a slow fade over the course of just over three minutes, then a hard drop down to a regulated level. This carried through until 90 minutes, then dropped to low for more than another hour before turning off completely.
I’ve been somewhat suspect of the results out of my lumen tube lately, and as of yet, I haven’t found the right parts to make an integrating sphere locally – so these results are from my tube, as calibrated with lights from Maukka.
- Moonlight: too low to read
- Low: 13 lm
- Medium: 116 lm
- High: 254 lm
- Turbo: 644 lm
For candela, I do three full tests of charging the battery to full then measuring, to get an average. Using the light in turbo, at turn-on, we get:
- Indoors 5m: 4895 lux = 122375 cd = 699m throw
- Outdoors 10m: 1297 lux = 129,700cd = 720m throw
So… either I have an extremely happy lux meter, or this light throws considerably further than AceBeam has claimed. Given that I’ve used this lux meter many times in the past, I tend to believe its figures, so – this light well exceeds the rated numbers. This is the hidden surprise I referred to in the introduction!
In my beamshot comparison picture, I’ve compared the E10 with an Emisar D1 with XP-L HI 5000K, and a Lumintop GT Mini with an SST-20 4000K (FA3 bin).
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost, by Ledtorchshop in Australia. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Lots of throw in a small body!
- Great UI
- Feels very solid in the hand
- Very retail-friendly packaging
- The button! This really needs a re-do.
- Odd battery size, so limited options.
Rating: 4 stars ★★★★
I like it. I really do. It’s a wonderfully small thrower, with a good amount of reach. It doesn’t get too hot, the included battery can be charged via MicroUSB, and it has one of the more user-friendly UIs.As a complete package, there’s not much to fault on this light, but as I’ve mentioned, there’s one thing holding it back – the button. I really don’t like the feel of it – there’s no feedback, so it sometimes takes me several times to enter turbo unless I just mash it all the way in every time.For that reason alone, I do have to deduct marks and give it four stars; a perfect little thrower held back by a design flaw that can be rapidly addressed in new lights.