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NiteCore P12

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: NiteCore P12 flashlight

Light, bright, with a simple user interface, this light carries easily. A variety of accessories increases its versatility.


  • Long runtime at moderate lumen levels
  • Uses rechargeable batteries
  • Ultimately very economical


  • Uses 18650 batteries which have their dangerous quirks.
  • A bit heavy for ultralight users

The user interface is straightforward and quickly mastered. You can set the light to turn on at any of four levels. A strobe, blinking beacon, and SOS are readily available using a separate switch. The light is compact and reasonably light, although too heavy to appeal to ultralighters.

The light uses either CR123s or an 18650 battery. Go to school and learn about 18650s; they can be dangerous if not handled properly, essentially because of their high energy density. You will also need a charger that handles 18650s; the one I obtained also will charge AA, AAA, C, and a variety of lithium-ion sizes. It will run from either 110 or 12 volt sources.

The light is essentially a thrower with good, even beam quality. The easy adjustability of light levels is really helpful when hiking. An included lanyard keeps the light with you when blundering around in the dark. At moderate light levels, the light will easily last all night

A variety of accessories allows mounting the light on a bicycle, weapon, or on one's head (we'll see how that turns out). A variety of filters and light wands are also available.

Ultimately the light requires a noticeable initial outlay—not just the light, but also the battery ($20), the charger ($40), and various accessories. I regard this as an investment which will repay itself many times over.

I recommend this light because of its build quality, versatility, and ease of use.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60

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Price Historic Range: $47.93-$59.95
Reviewers Paid: $60.00
Product Details from NiteCore »