Are you looking for a light you can use outdoors? Looking for something that can hold up in tactical situations? Need something that isn’t going to eat through batteries? If this sounds like the kind of light you are looking for look no further than the Nitecore MH12. Designed to meet the needs of tactical and outdoor users the rechargeable Nitecore MH12 can emit up to 1000 lumens. Keep reading to see what else the Nitecore MH12 has to offer.
If you are particularly interested in Nitecore check out our Nitecore Buyers Guide that has the history of the brand and some of their top current lights. We also link out to all of our other Nitecore light reviews from there.
Before You Buy
What you plan on using a flashlight for is a big factor when purchasing a light. If you need a light for nighttime excursions or cave exploring you are not going to choose something that can hook to your keys. If you plan to use your light for a variety of tasks you want something universal. You need a light that can provide enough light to light up the darkest night, but you also need something that isn’t going to destroy your night vision. If you need a light for a variety of jobs you need to consider the Multitask Hybrid series by Nitecore.
The Nitecore MH12 utilizes a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED to emit a maximum of 1000 lumens. This high powered LED paired with a reflector that provides integrated precision digital optics technology offers a peak beam intensity of 13,50 candelas with a maximum throw of 761 feet. The Nitecore MH12 is current controlled; you never have to worry about the light flickering at any brightness level. A timed step down is used to protect the LED from excessive heat in Hi mode only.
For the best runtime use a single 18650 battery to power the light. Two CR123 batteries can be used, but run times will be decreased. The constant current circuit provides a maximum runtime of 520 hours with a single 18650 battery. A tactical tail switch provides access to momentary on and powers the light on and off. The mode side switch allows you to cycle through the four brightness levels, as well as the three special concealed modes.
- Momentary on
- Multifunction indicator light
- Heats up quickly
- No lockout mode mentioned
- Dimensions: 5.47 inches long with a 1.0-inch diameter
- Weight: 3.10 oz without batteries
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 520 hours
- Highest Setting: 1000 lumens for 1 hour and 15 minutes
Nitecore MH12 Features & Benefits
The Nitecore MH12’s intuitive interface features a front-facing tactical tail switch and an easy to use side switch. The tactical tail switch is used to access the momentary on feature, as well as power the light. The side switch is used to cycle through the four different brightness levels from lowest to highest. The side switch also referred to as the mode button, provides access to the three hidden modes with a simple press and hold. The light will recall Strobe mode when turned off, but other flashing modes are not stored. The light defaults to the last brightness level used when powered back on.
Multifunction Indicator Light
The multi-function indicator light on the Nitecore MH12 alerts users to low power levels, as well as battery voltage. To display the battery voltage, which is accurate within plus or minus 0.1 volts, press and hold the side switch while pressing the tail switch. The light must be turned off to display the battery voltage. When the Nitecore MH12 is powered on, the indicator switch acts as a power indicator. When power levels reach 50% the indicator light will blink once every two seconds. Once the power levels drop too low the indicator light will begin to blink rapidly. Blue light located on the side switch will turn on while recharging the battery. Once the battery is fully charged light will shut off.
When powered by a single 18650 battery the Nitecore MH12 is fully rechargeable. With the Nitecore MH12, you have an integrated Micro-USB charging function. This function allows the Nitecore MH12 to be safely charged in two ways. With the Nitecore MH12, users can recharge the 18650 battery via a car charger or a wall adapter. Overcharging is a reality of rechargeable lights. To prevent damage from occurring from over or under charging the 18650 battery the MH12 automatically detects the battery status. Once battery status has been detected the light will begin charging using the appropriate charging mode.
After spending several hours reading through reviews of the Nitecore MH12 I have to say it is an excellent light. If you are looking for a light that can be used for a variety of tasks the Nitecore MH12 more than meets the requirements. Almost all reviewers agree that the MH12 is a great light; several even states it is one of their favorites. The light is comfortable to hold and the mode spacing is ideal as each one is an obvious step up from the next.
While the Nitecore MH12 is a great light that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any flaws. One of the downfalls of the light is how easy the USB flap is to open. The problem with the easy to open flap is you can easily open it without realizing it, which can compromise the IPX-8 rating. Many users report they can feel the light begin to heat up after just one minute on High.
If you are looking for a light similar to the Nitecore MH12 but want something that offers a little more, check out the Nitecore MH12GTS. This MH12GTS is the upgraded version of the MH12. With the new version, users will discover an improved CREE XPH35 HD LED. The Nitecore MH12GTS emits up to 1800 Lumens and has a beam distance of up to 226 meters or 741 feet. Like its predecessor, the upgrade uses a single rechargeable 18650 battery for up to 250 hours of runtime on its lowest setting. The tactical tail switch allows for one-handed operation while a side switch allows for cycling through the four brightness levels offered.
If you are looking for something that is not as bright as the Nitecore MH12, the Fenix UC35 makes an excellent alternative. The Fenix UC35 utilizes a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED to emit a maximum of 960 lumens. The rechargeable light can run off two styles of batteries, a single 18650 or two CR123A batteries. The Fenix UC35, when powered with a single 18650 battery, is fully rechargeable using a micro-USB port found near the head. The UC35 has an excellent runtime, but how long of a runtime you achieve will vary based on the style of battery used. The Fenix UC35 features five different brightness levels, plus a Strobe mode.
Geared towards law enforcement and military personnel the Thrunite TN12 is a bit more powerful than the Nitecore MH12. Utilizing a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED the TN12 can emit up to 1,050 lumens. With a centralized bulb, the TN12 provides better beam focus than similar lights in the industry. An easy to use light the Thrunite TN12 operates on a single 18650 battery and provides you with six brightness levels and a thermal limit system to prevent overheating. If you are looking for a compact tactical light that provides you with plenty of features at an affordable price the Thrunite TN12 is a great choice.
Nitecore MH12 Final Thoughts
For those of you that need a small, but powerful light the Nitecore MH12 is an excellent choice. With four evenly spaced brightness levels and the ability to emit up to 1000 lumens of light, the Nitecore MH12 will work for whatever you need. The tactical tail switch allows for one-handed operation, while the side switch allows you to quickly cycle through various modes to find just the right amount of light. Now that you know what the Nitecore MH12has to offer, head on out and purchase one today.
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