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EDC or Tactical…Nitecore P12 Review [Shine Bright]

Are you looking for a light that you can carry with you? Are you looking for something small, but powerful? Do you need a light you can rely on in a real emergency? If this sounds like the type of light you are after you need to look into the Nitecore P12. With the Nitecore P12 you will experience the same features as many other lights in the Precise series, but with more power. Keep on reading to find out even more about what the Nitecore P12 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

With so many EDC lights out there, purchasing one can be overwhelming. When selecting the best EDC light, you want to find one that is compact and lightweight in order to easily carry it with you. You also want to find one that is bright enough to light up the distance. You need an EDC light that you can rely on in an emergency, something that can double as a weapon.  If you are looking for a small, but powerful light that can double as a weapon the Nitecore P12 is an ideal choice.

Nitecore P12

Nitecore Rechargeable Bundle P12 1000 lumens Compact Tactical LED Flashlight, Genuine 18650 Rechargeable Battery and LumenTac Charger

The Nitecore P12 belongs to the Nitecore Precise series. Coming in at 5.47 inches with a 1-inch diameter the light is one of the more compact in the series. Geared towards military, law enforcement, security, and search rescue personnel the P12 is one of the easiest lights to use. Tail cap switch provides access to the momentary on feature and powers the light. Located on the side of the light the mode switch is designed to provide easy access to all of the functions, as well as one-handed operation.

The Nitecore P12 features a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED to emit up to 1,000 lumens on its highest setting. The P12 features intelligent memory allowing the light to store your preferred brightness settings. The Nitecore P12 can be powered by a single 18650 battery or 2 CR123 batteries. The runtime will vary based on battery type. An IPX-8 rating allows the light to be fully submerged in 6.5 feet of water for no longer than 30 minutes without affecting performance. A U-shaped tail cap allows for operation with gloves and prevents accidental activation.


  • U-shaped tail cap
  • Momentary-on function
  • Tactical ring
  • Comes with charger


  • No overheat protection
  • Slight activation delay


  • Dimensions: 5.47 inches long with a 1.0-inch diameter
  • Weight: 3.10 oz without batteries
  • Lowest Setting: 1 lumens for 520 hours
  • Highest Setting: 1000 lumens for 1 hour and 15 minutes

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Nitecore P12 Features & Benefits

User Interface


The user interface is one of the things that makes the Nitecore P12 such a great light. The Nitecore P12’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.

Multi-Functional Indicator Light

A multi-functional indicator light is always nice to have. The indicator switch on the Nitecore P12 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 P12 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.


Optional Accessories

With the Nitecore P12, you have the option of purchasing additional accessories. The optional accessories available for the Nitecore P12 allow you to use the light in a variety of environments. Optional accessories include rail mounts to attach the light to handguns for improved aiming. The tactical tail cap can also be switched out with pressure switches. Diffusers and filters can also be added to improve the functionality of the P12.

Social Proof

I have spent hours reading through different reviews of the Nitecore P12. In reading through several reviews it is easy to see that the Nitecore P12 ranks highly among flashlight enthusiasts. One of the things mentioned with the Nitecore P12 is that it is more compact and user-friendly than previous Nitecore lights, including the P16 and P25. Feature and power wise the P12 are almost identical to the P16. The Nitecore P12 easily fits in the palm of your hand and provides a range of lumens for a variety of tasks. The biggest downfall to the Nitecore P12 is it doesn’t come with a thermal regulation system, so the light can overheat if certain precautions are not followed.


Nitecore P12GT

Nitecore P12Gt Flashlight Cree XP-L Hi V3 LED, 1000 lm

The Nitecore P12GT makes a great alternative to the Nitecore P12 because it shares many of the same features. With the Nitecore P12GT, users will notice improved beam distance of up to 1,050 feet. An advanced thermal regulation system monitors the internal temperature of the light to prevent the light from overheating.  The Nitecore P12GT offers a compact and lightweight design, which is ideal for EDC lights. The P12GT is powered by a single 18650 battery and utilizes a CREE XP-L HI V3 LED to emit a range of 1 to 1,000 lumens. Runtime on a single battery ranges from 1 hour on High up to 500 hours on Ultralow.

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Fenix PD35 TAC

Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC Flashlight, 1000 Lumen, Black, 5.5 in

The compact, but powerful Fenix PD35 TAC is an improved model of the original Fenix PD35. The PD35 TAC exceeds the original PD35 in both performance and tactical ability. The Fenix PD35 TAC features a CREE XP-L V5 LED to provide up to 1,000 lumens in light. With the Fenix PD35 TAC, you can choose between outdoor and tactical modes. With Outdoor Mode, you can use the side switch to cycle through 6 output modes. Tactical Mode turns off the side switch for tactical switch operation only. In tactical mode, you have limited mode selections. The Fenix PD35 TAC can be powered by a single 18650 or 2 CR123A batteries.

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Thrunite TN12

ThruNite TN12 2016 1100 Lumen Flashlight, CREE XP-L V6 EDC LED Handheld Flashlight for Emergency, Security or Camping - Cool White

Geared towards law enforcement and military personnel the Thrunite TN12 is a bit more powerful than the Nitecore P12. 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.

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Nitecore P12 Review Final Thoughts

Everybody needs an EDC light that they can rely on. An EDC light should be small enough that it is easily concealed, but powerful enough to light up the distance. The Nitecore P12 is small enough to easily fit in the palm of your hand allowing it to be easily concealed. Emitting a maximum of 1,000 lumens with a beam distance of 761 feet the Nitecore P12 is more powerful than before. Now that you know what the Nitecore P12 has to offer, go on out and purchase one today.

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