Flashlight Review: Acebeam E70-AL CRI95+
Updated: Aug 27, 2022
Acebeam is an established flashlight manufacturer, well known for innovative high performance flashlights. The E70 is a beautiful looking pocketable EDC flashlight, available in different metal finishes, with impressive floody output from either 70CRI Cree XHP70.2 or 95CRI GT-FC40 LED emitters. This review is of the E70-AL CRI95+ model.
The E70 was purchased from Acebeam with a reviewers discount.
This review is primarily written for light painting/night photographers, but should be of interest to anyone looking at purchasing a bright floody flashlight.
The E70 arrived in a branded box. Accessories included a cloth draw-string bag, spare O-rings, warranty card, and instructions. A side clip is integrated into the light.
The Acebeam E70 is one of the most beautiful commercially available flashlights I have seen. It is available in Aluminium (AL) , Brass (BR), Titanium (TI), Stainless Steel (SS), and Copper (CU) Finishes. The AL version is considerably cheaper than the other options. The head design and spiral pattern on the tube give this flashlight a distinctive look. Tritium vials can also be added if you are into that. The E70 is available with either 70CRI Cree XHP70.2 emitters in either neutral white 5000k or cool white 6500k, or the >95CRI Getian GT-FC40 4500k emitter. The Aluminium and Copper versions have higher Turbo and High brightness levels, presumably due to their improved thermal performance.
The Acebeam E70 is a 21700 tube light format. It is 128.3mm long, with a 27mm diameter tube, and 30mm diameter head. The weight of the Aluminium E70-AL version is 102g, excluding battery. It will fit in a pocket, and has a side clip, but is noticeably larger than 18650 tube lights such as Convoy S2+. For light painters, it will fit in the Light Painting Brushes Universal Connector, and Light Painting Paradise Adapters, but the light is more suitable for the illumination side of light painting rather for use with light painting tools. (The new Acebeam P15 with one touch strobe accessory is more suited for use with light painting systems, though the highest memorised continuous light mode is only 600 lumens). The E70 will fit on a U-shaped tripod mount, and also fits a D35 diffuser.
The light has springs at both ends of the battery tube, so can fit a range of 21700 batteries. As the light has a tail e-switch, there is a inner tube, which had no technical issues (unlike some inner tube lights). An optional Acebeam 5000mAh USB rechargeable battery costs an extra $20, and due to the current global shortage of Li-ion batteries, I would recommend purchasing it for use with the light. I used an unprotected Samsung 40T 4000mAh and 50E 5000mAh battery for testing. There is no indication of battery charge level.
The light has a single tail switch, and the user interface is explained in the next section.
The Acebeam E70 uses a single tail e-switch. The light has 6 brightness levels, and a strobe. The user interface (UI) is as follows:
Single click from off - no response.
Hold from off - Moonlight.
Double click from off - turns on in memorized mode (moonlight, turbo,and strobe are not memorized).
Triple click from off - strobe.
Single click from on - turns off.
Hold from on - steps through brightness levels (excl. moonlight and turbo).
Double click from on - turbo (subsequent double click returns to memorized mode).
Triple click from on - strobe.
The strobe is constant frequency - yay!
Whilst useable for most purposes, there are a few things I'm not keen on the user interface:
Double click to turn on is annoying and unnecessary. I need a light to turn on when I need it to turn on, not have a risk of the light doing something else. If the reason for a double click is avoid accidental activation, then that should be solved by making the switch slightly recessed.
Turbo is not directly accessible from off.
Strobe is difficult to access (triple click) and not memorised.
The light can be mechanically locked out for safety by slightly un-screwing the tail cap.
Output and Runtimes
The Acebeam E70 uses large format LED emitters, either the Cree XHP70.2 or Getian GT-FC40. The Cree XHP70.2 is one of the most efficient LED emitters available, and is popular in high output lights. The tested light has a Getian GT-FC40 LED, which is an ultra-high CRI emitter that I have only come across in some Convoy flashlights previously, and is proving very popular with flashlight enthusiasts. Due to the ultra high-CRI, the LED is less efficient than the XHP70.2.
Combined with an shallow orange peel reflector, the large format LED allows for a wide floody beam, which measured approx. 85 degrees (much better than the 60 degree beam in the Convoy M21C). There is a defined hotspot with an intentionally low peak beam intensity at 14,400cd for XHP70.2 and 10,000cd for GT-FC40 respectively. The E70 uses a constant current boost driver.
The claimed brightness levels of the tested E70-AL CRI95+ 4500k (GT-FC40) version are as follows:
Moonlight/Ultra-Low - 2lm (30h)
Low - 70lm (16h)
Mid1 - 180lm (8h 30m)
Mid2 - 420lm (3hr 45m)
High - 880lm (1hr 45m)
Turbo - 2800lm (1hr 30m)
I measured all brightness levels to be within 10% of claimed output at 30 seconds. Turbo, High, and Mid 2 runtimes were also within 10% of claimed (using a 5000mAh Samsung 50E 21700 battery). Turbo stepped-down from above 2500lm at 50 seconds, to a minimum of 790lm at 70secs, and then stabilised at 900lm from 5 minutes. High mode was stable at 830lm irrespective of ambient conditions - which is nice and consistent for night photography!
The Getian GT-FC40 is popular with flashlight enthusiasts for good reason. On my sample light, the tint sits just below the Black Body Line (BBL) with a very slight "rosy" magenta shift, and neutral white yellowness. Some reviewers have mentioned a slight green tint, so there may be a tint lottery. CRI is excellent at 95CRI, with all colours rendered well including reds and browns, so good for night photography in woodlands for example. There is no noticeable tint shift between hotspot and spillbeam (unlike the "fried egg" Cree XHP70.2) . Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) could not be detected in any mode.
The output is bright enough for the majority of night photography and general use purposes. The sustained brightness is just about enough for outdoor backlit photography, and great for indoor backlighting (noting that I usually recommend much larger lights for these purposes). The E70 should also be compatible with backlight scanners.
For those who are happy with a 70CRI flashlight, the claimed brightness levels of the E70AL 6500k (XHP70.2) are as follows:
Moonlight - 1lm (11 days)
Low - 50lm (50h)
Mid1 - 180lm (12h 45m)
Mid 2 - 650lm
High - 1300lm (1hr 45m)
Turbo - 4600lm (1hr 30m)
Things I liked:
"Best in class" maximum brightness for the size and 95CRI.
"Best in class" sustained brightness for the size and 95CRI.
Beautiful looking light.
Fantastic floody beam profile.
Constant frequency strobe.
Well spaced brightness levels.
Stable output on High mode (and Turbo after step-down).
Fits U-shaped tripod mounts.
Optional USB rechargeable 21700 battery.
Things I didn't like:
Double click for on/off.
No direct access to turbo from off.
Strobe is tricky to access and not memorised.
No battery charge indication.
The Acebeam E70 is a beautiful flashlight, and that is a selling point in itself. The user interface could be better, in particular the double click for on is an annoyance.
The 95CRI+ version has very impressive brightness to size performance for the light's compact size and CRI, and has similar sustained brightness performance to the Convoy M21 series with the same GT-FC40 emitter. If you need better sustained brightness at 95CRI you will need a considerably larger and more expensive flashlight like the Acebeam X50! For most (but not all) illumination purposes the E70 is bright enough, and the well spaced brightness levels are very useful.
The XHP70.2 version (based on published reviewers by others) also has an excellent brightness to size performance and stable High output at approximately 1,200 lumens in a range of different ambient conditions.
Overall, this is an aesthetically pleasing, and very useful flashlight for neutral white, ultra-high CRI illumination purposes. I have rated the Acebeam E70 as the "best compact flashlight for illumination" in my 2022 flashlight buying guide.
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