Nitecore MH12 Pro Review

I wanted to do a written review on the Nitecore MH12 Pro flashlight that Nitecore sent to me to check out. They have been very patient as my personal life has taken precedence over the past several months over flashlight reviews. It’s running Nitecore’s first Proprietary LED the NiteLab UHi 40 and it’s round instead of the more traditional square LED. It’s also running Nitecore’s new higher capacity (5300mAh) 21700 NL2153HP battery. 


Pick it up at the Nitecore Store at


What’s inside

The box is typical of Nitecore’s retail experience with quite a bit of info and full color on the outside. Inside you get the light, a clip, lanyard, extra oring, next-generation holster, the NL2153HP battery, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, manual, and warranty card. 


Construction & Design

Typical of other recent Nitecore flashlights in this price range the MH12 Pro is well built. The large rear mechanical tail switch stands proud at the tail but the two wings on the side allow it to tail stand. The milling on the tail is shallow and doesn’t really fit aesthetically to the body tube in my opinion. Threads are square cut and anodized with a proper amount of lubrication and oring in the usual places. 

The body tube had deep triangle-shaped rings milled in and then some cuts going length-wise in a slow spiral for contrast grip. I think it looks great and is very functional without being too hard on the hand to hold. Works pretty well with gloves too. The pocket clip is dual direction, nondeep carry, and fits on either end of the body tube. 

The head is glued in place and has your main mode button, USB-C recharging, and emitter. As talked about more in detail below, the light does have power level indicators and mode LED lights to the left and right of the button that are on when the light is on. These work well and are easy to see at a glance. The bezel is lightly crenulated and stands slightly proud of the glass lens. Underneath is a smooth reflector with the new round LED in the center. 


User Interface

The UI is pretty easy to pick up the first time you power on the light. The main on and off is a large mechanical button in the rear, and then to change modes you have a large textured electronic button in the head. To the left of the button you have 4 small blue LEDs to indicate what output power level you are on, and on the right you have 4 green LEDs showing the battery level. These remain on when the light is on. The light also has a proximity sensor that is in use on high and turbo modes. It’s reactive and will dim when it senses too much reflection and drop the light down in mode to where it won’t damage any fabrics or burn skin, and the nice thing here is that it steps back up to the mode you were in once the obstruction was removed. This is the way it should operate. You can also override the proxy sensor if it comes on in the use of the light by just clicking that mode button once, and the sensor will be disabled then until the light is powered off and on again.



The MH12 Pro uses Nitecore’s NiteLab UHi 40 LED, this is a new LED made by Nitecore’s parent company and is round instead of the normal square LED we see typically. I tested this on my Opple light meter. I tested the tint at about 5440k and CRI at 57.5 CRI. The tint here is a bit yellow-green, more noticeable on lower powers. To my eye not a huge flaw but it’s definitely noticeable more in the spill. No apparent PWM in lower modes or turbo. The beam shape isn’t noticeably different from other Square LED lights. I think the optic that’s chosen has a greater effect than the shape of the LED. Night shots show it’s round shape, especially in the spill with a focused center. This throws well for not being a thrower an easy 200 yards to the building in the distance. A nice choice for a lot of urban or rural uses without being so narrow like a lot of throwers are. 


Heat & Runtime Graphs

Heat and runtime are pretty simple here, for my test of Turbo I disabled the proximity sensor (Check the UI section for how this is done), and got about 2400 lumens at peak output but this dropped pretty quickly to around 1250 lumens at the 30-second mark, and after 1 minute it was around 700 lumens where it ran slowly declining and hit its steady output of around 550 lumens for 3+ hours. Total runtime was 3:48:00. Max heat during this time was around 54C at the 50-second mark. 



The light has a larger port cover opposite the main operation button on the back of the light. It’s a bit unique instead of being solid silicone rubber like most other flashlights it’s got a harder plastic exterior and soft silicone interior. This should be good for durability. Recharging itself is done via USB-C and I had no issues with USB-C PD chargers indicating they have the correct pulldown resistors here. Charging took 4:26: in total, with charging hitting a peak of 2A for the first 110 minutes roughly. No complaints here with the charging curve or terminal voltage of the cell at 4.16v. The battery itself is protected and rated at 5300mAh, but in my testing, it was even larger at 5448mAh. The light takes a nonproprietary button top protected 21700-sized battery.



The beam pattern here is good i’m not sure it’s substantially better than square LEDs with a good optic from a similar style of lights. Personally, the somewhat green output here for me is a turn-off, and I would rather take some minor beam artifacts for a more pleasant, neutral or even cool white tint. So I’m not sure this new LED is meeting the marketing hype in this application. That said I don’t think a majority of Nitecore’s fan base will care that much round vs square since Nitecore generally has decent optics but some may care about the tint here. 

The rest of the light has quite a bit to like about it. The size here is nice for a 21700 light in my opinion, controls and user interface are good and it has a nice amount of grip in the hand. I like the LEDs around the button that show mode and power level all the time and the markings are minimal on the light. Overall a solid flashlight, but hopefully as Nitecore continues to use this LED, the binning and tint will improve.