New Defender P15 Weapon Light from AceBeam

New P15 from AceBeam

The new Defender P15 is a versatile every day carry flashlight and the first weapon light offering from AceBeam. Featuring a precision CNC machined 7075 aluminum body and 1700 lumens of output, the P15 is solidly built with impressive output for its size. It features a newly designed accessory port for tape switches and a quick function button.  

My daily carry setup for the past couple weeks.

First Impressions

The P15 feels rugged and is well machined with no rattles or gaps between the body and head. 7075 aluminum is much stronger over traditional 6061 and is a nice change. It looks like a standard flashlight except for the mounting bracket where a pocket clip comes pre-installed from the factory. A weapon light with a pocket clip, that’s odd! The pocket clip does seem out of place on a light intended for firearms, but the P15 was designed to be used as both an EDC and a mounted weapon light. Removing the pocket clip reveals a traditional Scout style mounting base.

The P15 is compact and lightweight compared to its performance.

A scalloped bezel sits at the head of the flashlight and protects the glass lens from impacts. The P15 has a smooth parabolic reflector paired with a Luminus SFT40 HI emitter. The beam profile has nice tight hot spot while providing enough spill light to see your surroundings. This is ideal for EDC situations and maintaining your situational awareness when engaging a threat.

A parabolic reflector gives the P15 a nice floody beam pattern.

One of the most interesting parts about the P15 can be seen at the tail cap. There is an accessory port with 2 exposed metal contacts for the pressure switch, charging cable, and “quick function” switch. A rotating ring at the tail cap serves as a lock to hold the accessories in place. You can feel a detent ball on the underside of the locking that keeps it in place, but I’m slightly skeptical at how well it will work in extreme situations. It has been able to withstand recoil from my AR-10 without failure. I turned it on and placed it in a bucket of water for an hour with the tape switch connected. It survived without problem. For now, it’s a welcomed innovation.

New accessory port for charging, pressure switch, and quick function switch.
Sitting in the bucket for an hour was no problem.

The tail cap is all aluminum and has a short throw activation switch with positive tactile feedback. It’s not mushy or loose and doesn’t have the loud click most rubber activation switches have. Build quality and machining are fantastic.

Specs:

Light Output (Lumens) – 1,700 Turbo, 600 High, 200 Medium, 45 Low, 2 Moonlight
Light Modes –Turbo, High, Medium, Low, Moonlight, Strobe
Max. Light Intensity – 27,225 candela
Max. throw distance – 330 meters
Weight – 5.34 oz
Length – 5.1 in.
Bezel Diameter – 0.96 in.
Body Diameter – 0.90 in.
Max. run time – 105 minutes on Turbo
Battery – Proprietary 18650 (included)
IPX68 waterproof rating – waterproof up to 2 meters
Warranty: 5 years
MSRP (as shown): $162.50

What’s in the box

All the optional accessories came with my P15.

Depending on which version of the P15 you purchase will determine what accessories come with it. The P15 Tactical light comes with a battery, picatinny rail mount, M-LOK offset mount and screws, pressure switch, charging cable, spare o-rings, Allen wrenches, and a lanyard. Optional accessories include the quick-function switch, and tactical ring. The battery is a proprietary 3100 mAh 18650. It features a positive and negative terminal on the top of the battery. I’m seeing manufacturers shift to a proprietary battery which is a turn off for me.

Daily Use

Operating and using the P15 is intuitive and easy. Click the tail cap activation switch to turn it on and off. The light will turn on with the previously used setting, except for turbo and strobe. With the light turned on, hold the switch for ~2 seconds to cycle through high, medium, and low light settings. Turbo mode is activated with a quick double press. Triple click to turn on the strobe. Press and hold the rear switch for ~3 seconds to activate moon light setting. Holding the switch for >5 seconds turns on lock out mode.   

The quick function switch slides in only one direction. Rotate the locking cap to keep it in place.

The quick-function accessory switch is machined from aluminum and by default turns on turbo mode. You can change this to strobe by pressing and holding the quick function button for >10 seconds. It is an interesting feature that eliminates the need for extra clicks and can be used in lieu of a tape switch. I’d only use this when mounted on a gun. Carrying it in the pocket is bulky and uncomfortable.

To charge the P15, use the provided USB charging cable and slide it into the accessory port. There is a charging indicator on the side of the body that turns green when the battery is fully charged. I’m not sure why, but this indicator is purely for charging and won’t come on when the battery is low.

Charging indicator on the P15 is only for charging. It’s not a low voltage indicator.

The P15 feels great in the hand, not so much in the pocket. The weapon mounting rail forces the pocket clip lower on the body resulting in ~1.5” of the light sticking out of the pocket. It never fell out of my pocket; I just prefer a deep carry clip. The tail switch is one of my favorites of any light I’ve used. It’s a quality switch that just feels good to use.

The weapon mounting base makes the P15 ride a little high for my liking in the pocket.

The tactical ring is sturdy and solid once screwed into the mount. You can use a Harries grip technique, and a neck index easily while maintaining dexterity with your hand holding the light. It’s possible apply the combat ring technique to get a two-handed grip on your pistol, but you need to train and get used to that. For me, I think the tactical ring is positioned too far forward to get a comfortable grip. You can install the tactical ring on top of the clip, but it is awkward in the pocket.

Optional tactical ring accessory.
While the combat ring grip is possible, it’s a bit challenging with the way the tactical ring is positioned on the P15.

Before mounting the P15 to your weapon, you must remove the pocket clip. Install the provided mount that best fits your rifle or use your existing Scout compatible mount.  The provided M-LOK offset mount worked best for me and my setup. It keeps the P15 close to the handguard, but I wish it were even closer. The mount itself is solid and didn’t move once installed.

Mounted up on the COX Arms USA Wulf AR Pistol. I wish the offset mount brought the light closer to the rail.

The tape switch comes with a longer than necessary cable, and mounts to your pic rail like any other tape switch. At the range the P15 withstood recoil from 5.56, and .308 AR rifles. The lock for the tape switch never came loose or indicated it was going to fail. Even though there are 3 distinct buttons on the tape switch, they all activate turbo mode only. Long press for momentary, short press for constant on.

The pressure switch only activates turbo mode.

Beam pattern from the P15 is ideal for tactical situations. It completely illuminates large rooms indoors and produces plenty of light spill to see your surroundings outside. Choosing the proper beam pattern for your use is critical when selecting a weapon light. If you regularly engage targets at night past 100 yards, you will want a tight focused beam with little spill. For CQB and home defense, a beam pattern with a lot of flood and spill is ideal. Color temperature of the Luminus SFT40 is right around 6500K.

Indoor beam shots.

I’d put the P15 right between a CQB and a long-range capable light. You can easily see and identify targets out to 125 yards, but that’s the maximum distance I’d use this light at. The claims of 360-yard light throw I don’t think are accurate. There might be some light hitting the target at 360 yards, but you won’t be able to tell what it is. In turbo mode the light gets warm to the touch after a minute or so, but never gets too hot. Turbo mode will step down after approximately 1.5 minutes to 600 lumens.

Outdoor beam shot – turbo mode. 60 yards to opposite bank.

I’m pleased with the light output and performance of the P15. It works well as both an EDC and a weapon light. However, if your budget allows, I’d recommend getting a dedicated weapon light separate from your EDC. The Scout mounting base makes it difficult to quickly install or remove the P15 for EDC use. And the mounting base makes it awkward to put the P15 in your pocket. The innovative accessory port is a welcomed change and only time will tell how durable it will be. The P15 comes in several different colors and has an MSRP of $139.90 without the additional accessories.

Learn more at AceBeam

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