Nitecore P16 XM-L2 LED Flashlight Review.


The Nitecore P16 Flashlight is an extremely versatile tool!


Rated at 960 lumens, and an intensely powerful throw (up to 289 meters), the P16 can cut through the darkness with greater precision than other lights in its class.

The LED XM-L2 LED and smooth reflector

The XM-L2 LED which sits at the base of the smooth reflector offers a good combination of flood and throw. This means your beam, at whatever lighting mode you choose, will provide enough outer-spill to see your immediate surroundings, while lighting a fair distance ahead of you at the same time.

Lighting Modes

You’ll find four lighting modes on the P16.

  • Ultra-low — 1 lumen
  • Low — 65 lumens
  • Medium — 230 lumens
  • High — 960 lumens

There are also three flashing modes; Strobe, SOS and Beacon.

I should also note that unlike cheap flashlights, a good quality light such as this will not force you to cycle through “flashing” modes as a means of getting to the lighting modes you desire.


Nitecore P16 LED flashlight

Nitecore P16 Mode Switch

Basic and tactical use is accomplished with the rear switch. The side-mounted “mode” switch is where you’ll select the different levels of brightness. Subsequent presses of the mode switch will cycle through each level.

Sometimes “cycling” is a necessity. If you’re on low mode and wish to get to the “ultra-low” mode, you’ll need to pass medium and high first. Fear not though, the mode button can be pressed as quickly as your finger can manage it. The switch is very responsive and doesn’t require hard or “holding” presses.

Accessing the signalling modes is a cinch! When in ANY regular mode, press and hold the mode switch. Strobe will be first. Press and hold again and SOS is activated. A third press and hold will activate Beacon mode. A quick press will return you to the lighting mode you were in initially.

For tactical use, just lightly press the rear switch.

Useful Information

The mode switch also serves to alert the user when the installed batteries are below 50% capacity. In this case, the switch will ‘blink’ in blue every 2 seconds. Then with a different operation of the switch, it also displays the battery voltage, again with a series of blue blinks. To access this feature anytime, push (and hold) the mode switch, while simultaneously “clicking” the rear switch (as if you’re turning on the light). The blue blinks will begin once the rear switch is pressed. Then release both. Please note that this operation is more useful while using a 18650 battery in the light.


You may use either;

  • 1 – rechargeable 18650, or
  • 2 – disposable CR123’s, or
  • 2 – rechargeable 16340’s, or
  • 2 – rechargeable 18350’s

All batteries above are 3.7 volts with the exception of the (3 volt) CR123.


The chiseled edges of the bezel ring can be used either as a method of self defense, or for breaking glass!

The light as a whole fits well in the hand. The rear click switch has good tension, and works very well for tactical operation.

The memory function remembers the last mode used, including strobe.

The outdoor shot below (on high), depicts how the P16 lights up an area in pitch dark. The target in this photo is at approx 75 feet.

For the images that follow; click each to view at full-size.

Nitecore P16 on low mode

on low

Nitecore P16 on high mode

on high

Nitecore P16 low mode at 20 ft

on low at 20′

Nitecore P16 on medium at 20 ft

on medium at 20′

Nitecore P16 on high at 20 ft

on high at 20′

Nitecore P16 on low beam at 75 ft

on low (outdoor) at 75′

Nitecore P16, medium mode at 75 ft

on medium (outdoor) at 75′

Nitecore P16 on high at 75 ft

on high (outdoor) at 75′












Have a question or comment? If so, please leave one below 🙂

To check out other reviews of the NITECORE P16, (and be taken to its Amazon product page) click here!



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  1. Your reviews seem a little too matter of fact. As if your leaving your feelings intentionally vague. Perhaps for economic reasons. A star rating system would be helpful, along the criteria of value, quality, build, brightness, features, etc.

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