Review: Nitecore P12 Flashlight

The Nitecore P12 is an amazing, durable, and high-power flashlight. I only got to examine it for a few minutes at a local outdoors retailer and I was able to put it through some of its paces and compare it with my Streamlight 1L-1AA light. The diameter of the P12 is 1″, about 5.5″ long, sells for about $60, and can output 1000 lumens with 12,450 candelas. It is roughly the size of my Streamlight ProTac HL but it does not have the enlarged front head. The machined aluminum body appears to be of top-notch construction. The knurling makes the body of the light easy and comfortable to grip. It has a tail button and a side selector switch. It is powered by either 2 CR123 batteries or one 18650 rechargeable battery.


This light has some really nice features including:

  • Very bright with a maximum output of 1,000 lumens
  • Decent candela power at 12,450 to give the beam some distance
  • Side selector switch to set light output mode
  • Nicely machined aluminum body
  • IPX8 waterproof (submersible)
  • Can use rechargeable 18650 battery or two CR123s
  • Side switch can show current battery voltage

I did not think that I would like a side selector switch but I was mistaken. You can activate the light and set the output mode using the side switch. Then next time you activate the light it will default to that setting. This is a REALLY nice feature. If I want to use my flashlight in tactical strobe mode then I can select that mode, turn off the light, and when I activate the light again it defaults to strobe mode (or whichever mode was selected). This means I can single-click into whatever mode I want. This is REALLY nice. The feel of the button is good and the flashlight appears to be v waery well constructed. The cost is extremely reasonable for a flashlight of this caliber.


While this appears to be an excellent light it is just a bit larger than I prefer as an everyday carry (EDC) light. With an EDC light I want to be able to easily conceal the light in a pocket. This light would work well on a belt holster but this creates another issue. With I carry a light on my belt I use a holster with an elastic, friction grip. If I need to grab the light quickly I have to overcome the friction fitting of the holster. My ProTac HL light has a larger head making it easier to grasp and remove from the holster. The P12 body is the same diameter and would be slightly more difficult to remove from certain belt holsters. The P12 has a tactical strike bezel on the tail but a smooth bezel on the lens. While this is not a deal breaker I would prefer to have a tactical strike bezel on the front lens also. These are minor points. I did find some user reviews that stated that the light is not as durable as others. I could NOT verify these claims but saw these in the comments of YouTube review videos.

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