Today I am taking a look at the Acebeam TK18 in Aluminum. This is triple LED light thats powered by an 18650 battery and is available with 3 different LED options in 3 different materials. Today I have the Aluminum light with the Samsung LH351D LED’s. Thanks to Nitetorch for sending this to me to look at and review.
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Packaging & Accessories
Packaging on the TK18 is a nice white pull out box with a line drawing of the light on the front. On the side it has all the LED options and materials on it marked with small stickers. Inside you get an assortment of things, such as the light, an optional Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh battery, 2 spare orings, button cover, branded lanyard, and a USB-A to MicroUSB charging cable that has a optional area to plug in another cable to say charge your phone if needed.
The TK18 is available in 3 different materials, Aluminum which I have here, a raw copper, and a titanium. The anodizing here is a flat black that reminds me kind of Armytek since it’s a little chalky. Starting at the tail as always the only button on this light is a nice contrasting gray silicone, and recessed. It’s an electronic switch so it doesn’t take much pressure to actuate, and it’s non magnetic. The lanyard attachment point is on the tail cap as well.
Inside the threads are anodized, square cut and nicely greased. There is a inner tube in this light which is a little surprising with it’s small diameter. In the tail cap there is a short spring as well. The body tube has small rectangles for grip, these are short and everything is nicely chamfered, it’s similar to a frag pattern but smoother and less harsh. The pocket clip only attaches near the head of the light on the body tube and is non captured. More on that in a minute. The front of the body tube does have a retaining ring in it so the battery can only slide out from the rear.
The head features a spring as well inside, on the outside it’s pretty basic and has minimal heatsinking. The front bezel does have crenulations and has a nice patinated copper color. The edges of it are a little up, especially considering this is a bezel up EDC. Underneath is a carillo style optic, with a glass ARC lens on top.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 105.27mm, minimum diameter on the body at 22.28mm, maximum diameter on the head of the light at 25.19mm. Weight with the clip and the Acebeam 18650 battery was 109.1g. The light is IPX8 water rated. Here are a few pictures of similar lights so you can see a size comparison.
The Acebeam TK18 comes with a dual direction pocket clip that attaches on the front side only of the body of the light. It’s a pretty long clip in comparison to the light and it’s fairly deep carry with about 9.5mm sticking up out of your pocket, but the retention to the light could be a little better. I also didn’t care for the bezels sharpness here when EDCing it in a front pocket, my hand caught it once or twice. The clip does also allow for you to attach it to a baseball hat if you want, that side is fairly stiff.
LED & Beam
The LED’s in use on my light are the Samsung LH351D in cool white. At this point I think I have all major tints of the LH351D, and unfortunately cool white happens to be my least favorite just because of the tint mainly. In the TK18 you do have that carillo style optic which puts out a pretty even beam like most triple LED lights. It’s fairly floody but can throw at the higher powers, great for EDC and this is a smaller diameter light then a lot of triples. No PWM was observed.
Stated mode spacing with the Samsung LH351D CW Emitters and a 20A 18650 in Power Mode.
- Ultra Low – 3 Lumens
- Low – 80 Lumens
- Med – 200 Lumens
- High – 1000 Lumens
- Turbo – 3000 Lumens
Stated mode spacing with the Samsung LH351D CW Emitters and a 20A 18650 in Eco Mode.
- Ultra Low – 3 Lumens
- Low – 80 Lumens
- Med – 200 Lumens
- High – 630 Lumens
- Turbo – 1450 Lumens
Heat & Runtime
I did all my runtime tests with the included Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh battery. You need a battery capable of at least 20A sustained to get close to the rated outputs. The light will also run off 2 CR123A batteries with about half the normal outputs in high and turbo but similar overall runtimes. My tests were unknowingly done in Eco mode, read the directions guys. I will put some graphics of what Turbo mode looks like at the end.
In Eco I was able to hold turbo 1450 lumens for 5:30 before stepping down and this was pretty good. Step down was 55% of relative output where it held till the 2:17:00 mark. Starting at 2:00:00 the light starts flashing, dropping output down near 20% then back up to 55% to let you know the battery is getting low. This continues as the light does it’s last major step down to 6% relative output for the remaining hour. Total runtime in Eco from Turbo was 3:15:00. I saw max temps of 52C at the 10 minute mark in Eco.
Here are 2 graphs of what output was like in Power mode with the same supplied battery.
You have 2 main UI groups with this light, an Eco and a Power mode, by default the light ships in Eco mode. To switch between them you have to lock the light (From off press and hold for 5 seconds), While locked click 10 times and the light will go from low output a higher output and this will mean the light is in power mode. It’s a similar action to go back to eco.
Normal operation is a short press to turn on where you last left it (Not for ultra low or turbo) then press and hold to cycle through each mode steps (Low, medium, high). Double click at any time to get to turbo, triple press to get to strobe. It’s a fairly simple UI thats similar to many other lights. Just read the manual for switching between eco and power.
My light came with the Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh protected button top battery. It has a MicroUSB port on the side for charging and is pretty long a 69.95mm in length. It also has an LED indicator on the positive terminal side, it’s always green when charged, but does turn off when fully discharged.I charged the light from LVP at 2.961V tyo Full at 4.168V in 2:31:35. Max charge rate I saw was 1.1A. The charge curve started off slow as I like to see then increased substantially and then trailed off. No issues here other then it’s a bit slow.
- I find this as a good looking light with the copper colored accents
- Small diameter for a dual tube, triple LED light.
- On the pricey side for not having a battery that comes with all packages. Aluminium is fairly affordable.
- No tint data for the LED choices are given, the LH351D’s here are cool white, quite floody.
- Doesn’t seem to hit 3000 lumens when compared to other lights, this is supported by a few other reviewers.
- Front bezel needs to be toned down a little for a head up EDC light.
The Acebeam TK18 is an interesting light overall. Visually I like most of the look here, the aged copper colored accents are nice, I wish the clip didn’t have the Acebeam website on it, because I think that’s a little distracting. It’s pretty thin for a triple LED too, which helps it cary well in the pocket. It’s as narrow as many of the competitors single LED lights. That said I don’t care for the semi aggressive bezel when carrying.
While I typically love the Samsung LH351D emitters, here I would probably recommend you go with the Nichia 219C instead to get high CRI and hopefully a warmer emitter. You give up some output but I am ok with that. The UI here is easy to follow but I don’t care for the Eco and Power settings, it adds unnecessary complexity. It’s nice to be able to use CR123A too in a pinch, it’s not something you see that often anymore. Overall if you were looking for a small diameter triple and wanted something a bit different with LED options that was reliable this would be a solid choice, just make sure your using a very capable battery for max performance.