The headlamp lumen arms race takes another step with the newest release from Acebeam the H30 Headlamp. The previous brightest headlamp I had had has been the Thrunite TH30 at 3300 lumens. The Acebeam H30 is 4000 lumens, contains a 21700 battery, and has USB-C charging and can act as a power bank. Thanks to Acebeam for sending this to me to take a look at.
Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/qikUjn8
YouTube Version of this Review:
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging is a compact full color retail box. The front advertises the big lumen number, USB-C and the 21700 battery. The back gives lots of stats. Inside The light came in a plastic bag on one side with the 21700 preinstalled. On the other side were the other accessories such as the headband, spare orings, and a USB A to USB-C cable that also has a place to plug a cable to charge your phone along with a warranty card, instruction manual, and certificate of authenticity. I do wish it came with an adapter tube like some other 21700 battery lights I have, so you can run an 18650 assuming the springs are long enough.
The light itself is made from aircraft grade aluminum and is hard anodized in a satin black. Starting at the left end cap, this is the one that gives access to the Acebeam branded 21700 button top battery. It’s got markings indicating it’s where the battery is and which way to twist for open and close. The knurling on the outside of the cap is more for looks then grip. Each end is spring loaded. The cap end has a large stiff spring. Threads were well greased, anodized, and square cut. The bore for the battery is not perfectly centered in the body of the light, with a bit more mass being on the emitter side. This is similar to how the Jetbeam HR30 that I reviewed this year was. The right side cap is similar in appearance however this is where the USB-C charging port lives and the cap is notated as such, again with directions. You must fully remove the cap to access the charging port. There is a little pin in the center under the clear plastic cover which must be for grounding? When the light is charging a red LED comes on. When being used as a powerbank you get a blue LED.
The central body is where the business is. On top are the two UI buttons, an orange square that is an on/off mostly, and a black domed circle. The back of the light has some shallow ribs for cooling. The front has the main emitter in the middle, It’s a big XHP 70.2 emitter in what’s a fairly shallow orange peel reflector. The front glass is just 19mm in diameter. Above and to the left and right of the main emitter are the colored emitters. On the left is red, and on the right is green. These are behind frosted plastic lenses. The front aluminum piece is held on with 3 recessed hex screws.
It may seem like a simple thing but I like that the headband on the H30 came pre assembled and ready to use right out of the box. On the outside band Acebeam is written in several places, it does contain a over the head strap too. On the inside of the band there are silicone strips all the way around to help keep the light in place on a helmet or something like that. It’s a nice step over not including any or a partial. The holder for the light itself is made of a silicone rubber. It has too large hoops that go over each end of the light when the caps are off. This is a pretty tight fit and not the easiest to take on or off, but holds firm for rotation. Pretty nice headband.
Overall length is 89.5mm, at it’s narrowest on the end caps are 29mm, and the widest at the center tube at 39mm. Weight with strap, and battery came in at 182g which makes is on the heavy side. This weight is noticeable but carries fairly well with the top head strap adjusted.
For the main emitter the Acebeam H30 uses a Cree XHP 70.2 LED in cool white at 6500k. It sits behind a piece of anti reflective coated glass, and a shallow orange peel reflector. The beam pattern is similar to other XHP 70.2 but without the donut at short ranges. It does have some Cree rainbow on the corona of the hotspot, it goes a bit warmer. As you keep going further out into the spill it cools off. It looks like a few other LED options may be coming, like a 5000k main emitter, and a Nichia UV emitter, or Nichia 219C for High CRI for the secondaries.
White is available in the following lumen spacing. 3 lumens, 120 lumens, 380 lumen, 1100 lumen. Turbo is good for 2200 lumens for 5.5 minutes then it drops down to 1000 lumens for about 2.4 hours. The light also has Turbo Max which has 4000 lumens for 1.5 minutes then drops to 1000 lumens for 2.5 hours.
White runtime had a total of 150 minutes from turbo max down to low voltage protection kick in. I saw a little more length in runtime for Turbo max, about 2.5 minutes before it decreased. The decrease is quite substantial. Down to about 25% relative output from those 4000 lumens, so about 1000 lumens. Still a ton of light for a headlamp. The light as able to maintain that 1000 lumens for the remainder of the 147 minutes. That
is a long runtime for 1000 lumens. The 21700 5100mAh battery shows it’s advantage here over an 18650. Heat was pretty well controlled. The light gets on the upper end of warmish but never uncomfortably hot when on the head.
The Red Emitter is a Cree XPE2-R2 emitter at 630nm. Red has only one mode at 50 lumens but is diffused very well. It’s runtime is 10 hours. It has no hotspot. I would prefer a dimmer red mode for up close map reading because 50 lumens is fairly bright.
Green Emitter is a Cree XPE2-G3 emitter at 530nm. It’s rated at 70 lumens for a runtime of 11h. It’s diffused very well and has no hotspot.
The H30 has 2 buttons on the top a circle and a square next to each other for UI control The Square is flat, and the circle is domed a bit. Depending on what color mode you are in the buttons do slightly different things. For normal white operating modes, the orange square is On/Off. When the light is it comes on in the last previously used mode. Use the circle to go up in mode up to Turbo (Not Turbo Max). Double click the square to go to Turbo Max (Full 4000 lumens). Triple click to go into the Red SOS mode. When in any mode long pressing on the circle (about 1.5 seconds) will go into the color modes. A short press of the round button will switch color modes (Red to Green, Green to Red), and a long press of the circle will move back to white mode at low output.
Moonlight mode is also available if you hold the square for about 1 second when the light is off. Overall the UI takes a little getting used to. I think 2 buttons make sense.
Recharging And Powerbank
*Recharging: *This light has a USB-C port under the right side cap. You must completely remove the tailcap to access the port. Maximum charging rate I saw while charging from an empty battery was an even 2A. This is great to see and speed the charging process up but it still took 3 hours and 23 minutes to charge the battery to completely full. While charging there is a red LED in the center of the light that goes solid when completely recharged. The included Acebeam branded battery is a button top but flat top cells work too, for all functions of the light. Standard USB A to USB-C cables work or the cable that’s included.
What was odd and I am seeing on more and more USB-C flashlights are that they seem to have a problem charging with USB-C to USB-C cables/power sources. The H30 is no different. I tried charging it using an Anker USB-C to USB-C cable and a couple of different charger I have that support USB-C and none work. If I used a USB-A to USB-C charger it works without an issue.
*Powerbank: *This light can also be used as a powerbank. Included was a special USB-C cable that has a female USB A port on it to allow you to plug in another cable (Not included) to charge your phone or other device. I was able to pull 2.5A from a full battery for a while, but the light is happier pulling 2A for a longer time. When using as a powerbank you get a Blue LED under the plastic cover showing which way the power is flowing.
- Preassembled headband with silicone all the way around.
- Pretty good heat control for such a bright light
- Really long runtime for 1000 lumens 147 minutes)
- Ok beam profile for an XHP 70.2, Great beam profiles for Red and Green
- Good charge/discharge speed.
- On the heavy side – the top band helps when on the head.
- I would like an additional lower power red mode for map reading.
- USB-C to USB-C charging doesn’t work.
Acebeam has built a flagship headlamp with the H30 that ticks a lot of boxes. The XHP 70.2 isn’t my favorite emitter due to the Cree Rainbow and beam pattern but if your not super picky I think you won’t mind. They have made a light that can sustain 1000 lumens for a substantial amount of time and burst up to 4000 lumens for short duration. The penalty you pay for this is weight. At 182 grams it’s on the heavy side but I got used to it, especially after adjusting the top head strap. I am glad USB-C is becoming more common on lights, and the extra powerbank feature here is a nice bonus. I think the Acebeam H30 is best for someone who needs a high output headlamp for a long amount of time, it certainly has significantly better runtime then some of it’s 18650 based counterparts.