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Acebeam Terminator M1 Review: Flashlight & Laser in One Small Package

Packing both LED and LEP 'white laser' lighting in a single package, the Acebeam Terminator M1 goes from flashlight to lightsaber in an instant.

acebeam terminator m1 flashlight(Photo/Nick LeFort)
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I was a kid working in a camping store in 1997. Princeton Tec launched its first LED module to replace its standard halogen headlamp bulb. I thought I was living in the future. Today, LEDs rule the lighting world, from flashlights and headlamps to home light bulbs.

But have you ever heard of LEP? It’s not a big deal if you haven’t. I hadn’t heard of it, either.

LED and LEP are both efficient. But where LED shines at low- and medium-output levels as a floodlight, LEP, short for “Laser Excited Phosphor,” excels at high-output levels and as a spotlight. Not only can LEP throw light at a greater distance than LED, but it can also be focused into a thin beam.

It is, in essence (and often called), a white laser, which is then diffused to give it a bit more beam width. This makes it a great choice for locator beacons and makeshift lightsabers.

That’s not to say there aren’t high-output LEDs that can throw a light beam down a football field. We recently tested out the “World’s Brightest Flashlight,” and that beast can cast light over 2,000 m. But LEP shoots a much tighter, more efficient beam of light. For outdoor folks like me, that translates to lower lumens and a much smaller tool.

Back in January, Acebeam reached out to me to see if I wanted to test out its Terminator M1 Dual Head LEP/LED Flashlight. Having more than 20 years of experience with headlamps and flashlights, I was eager to see what LEP was all about. Through 3 months of testing, I found the value in having both LED and LEP options. I just wish I could have them at the same time.

In short: Acebeam’s Terminator M1 combines the benefits of LED and LEP technology to create a complete illumination solution in an effective and durable package. It’s durable, reliable, and has incredible brightness for such a small tool.

Shopping for flashlights? Check out our complete guide to the best flashlights.

Acebeam Terminator M1 Flashlight


  • Dimensions 4.09” x 1.39” x 2.5”
  • Weight 10.7 oz.
  • Battery 5,100 mAh / 21,700 Li-ion
  • Charging USB-C
  • IP protection IP68
  • Distance 1,600m (LED), 231m (LEP)
  • Battery life 1 hr., 52 min. on turbo (LEP); 2 hrs., 42 min. on turbo (LED)


  • Powerful and efficient LED and LEP modules
  • Focusable/zoomable LEP light
  • IP68 rating
  • Battery life


  • Can't use both the LED and LEP settings at once
  • Lanyard could be longer to fit around your neck
  • It could use a ¼” threaded hole for mounting on tripods and walking sticks

Acebeam Terminator M1 Flashlight Review

Design & Features

The Acebeam Terminator M1 combines LED and LEP technology in a compact, durable, and submersible case. The LED module consists of three CW 6,500K bulbs capable of up to 3,500 lumens that can be projected up to 231 m (758 feet). The LEP module can reach 700 lumens and throw a beam of light up to 1,600 m (5,249 feet), or roughly an unobstructed mile.

The LEP feature is zoomable, allowing you to adjust the beam from 3 to 16 degrees. As it creates a solid light bar, this feature is handy as a safety beacon. It can also come in handy if you need to focus on something at a great distance in the dark.

Charging the battery
Acebeam Terminator M1 – Charging the battery; (photo/Nick LeFort)

This flashlight uses a rechargeable, 5,100 mAh / 21,700 Li-ion battery for power. The battery itself has a USB-C port that allows for easy recharging. Additionally, the Terminator M1 has an IP68 rating, which means the unit can be submerged for up to 30 minutes in water up to 1.5 m deep.

Additionally, the unit has a voltage warning, which will turn on when your battery is at 20% or lower and flash when it’s at 10% or less.

LED & LEP Specifications

man holding acebeam terminator m1 flashlight and showing lep and led lenses
Acebeam Terminator M1 – LEP and LED lenses; (photo/Nick LeFort)
  • Settings: Output (Runtime)
  • Moonlight: 1 lumen (2.8 days)
  • Low: 50 lumens (22 hours)
  • Med1: 150 lumens (14 hours)
  • Med2: 500 lumens (5 hours, 30 min.)
  • High: 1,000 lumens (2 hours, 50 min.)
  • Turbo: 3,500 lumens (2 hours, 42 min.)
  • Strobe: 3,500 lumens (5 hours, 2 min.)
  • Distance: 231 m (758 ft.)
  • Battery life: 2 hours, 42 minutes (turbo) – 2.8 days (moonlight)
  • Settings: Output (Runtime)
  • Low: 50-100 lumens (5 hours, 30 min.)
  • High: 150-250 lumens (2 hours, 30 min.)
  • Turbo: 400-700 lumens (1 hour, 52 min.)
  • Strobe: 400-700 lumens (4 hours, 7 min.)
  • Focus range: 3-16 deg
  • Distance: 1,600 m (5,249 ft.)
  • Battery life: 1 hour, 52 min. (turbo) – 5 hours, 30 min. (low)

First Impressions

terminator m1 dual head lep led flashlight on table
Acebeam Terminator M1 Dual Head LEP/LED flashlight; (photo/Nick LeFort)

Aside from late-night trips to the campground bathroom with the kids, or hunting around the basement for the breaker panel when the power goes out at the house, I am a headlamp person. I like to be hands-free, especially when wandering around in the woods in the dark.

However, I like cool things. The Wuben X3 flashlight I tested out last year was cool. But, as it could be clipped to my pack, I wouldn’t call that a traditional flashlight. I think the last hands-only flashlight I had was a crazy SureFire flashlight back in college that could burn holes in paper. So, I was due for something cool in handheld illumination devices.

The Terminator M1 answered that call.

Sizewise, it’s like two modern Li-ion pocket flashlights stacked side by side. This is a handful. However, considering that you’re getting both flashlights, one with a larger, adjustable head, it’s a wonder it’s not any bigger. It still fits easily in your pocket, and if it had a longer lanyard, it could be worn around your neck for easy access.

Like many modern flashlights and headlamps, the light settings can be accessed by holding down a button. This type of technology has been baked into numerous products to minimize the buttons needed to operate them.

However, occasionally, you will end up shutting any of those products off when trying to access a different brightness setting. The Terminator M1 is no exception.

One of my favorite features, which took me about 10 minutes to figure out, is that you recharge the battery, not the unit. This allows you to have a backup battery charging via USB-C on the go and easily accessible.

In the Field

Acebeam Terminator M1 – ground to sky; (video/Nick LeFort)

How often do you think I can refer to the fact that this thing makes a great lightsaber? I appreciate the durability and reliability of this dual-head flashlight. I think it would be fantastic in a tactical situation, but for me, it’s the closest thing I will have to a Star Wars lightsaber — and I would like to cherish that moment a little longer.

In all seriousness, I am beyond impressed with the capabilities of this flashlight. Like many of you, I am familiar with all LED lights and lighting aspects. But I had zero experience with LEP and the ability to narrow the beam down so it could focus on something up to a mile away.

One night, my kids and I were outside, and a few turkeys passed through the neighbor’s yard a football field away. I could narrow the beam down to focus on a singular bird and then make it even smaller so that it followed the beam like a cat would a laser pointer.

using acebeam terminator m1 flashlight during daylight
Using Acebeam Terminator M1 flashlight during daylight; (photo/Nick LeFort)

What does this translate into in the outdoor and tactical worlds?

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is safety. That LEP beam can throw light into the sky or down a trail and act as a personal locator beacon. The strobe setting could be applied in an emergency and help anyone who’s looking for you to find you. It can also help pinpoint a distant target, which can be beneficial for shooting or pathfinding. It can be utilized both at night and during the day.

However, I relied mostly on the LED settings when I was using it to navigate and roam around. In those situations, a flood light is better suited than a spotlight. Many people probably can’t fathom how bright 1,000 lumens are, let alone 3,500.

The Terminator M1 can throw a beam of light at 3,500 lumens, up to a little more than 750 feet. You turn that on during the black of night, and it’s like someone dragged the sun back over the side of the mountain. I generally only used the Low and Med1 settings when using the LED function. But if you were setting up a campsite at night or getting out to a remote cabin, you could light up your whole area with the Terminator M1.

Acebeam Terminator M1 illuminated the house
Acebeam Terminator M1 – LED vs. LEP – LED; (photo/Nick LeFort)

The one thing I would like to change would be the ability to use the LED and LEP simultaneously. Currently, the M1 only allows you to operate one or the other. This would allow you to illuminate your immediate surroundings and set up a beacon or focal point in the distance. Even if having both the LEP and LED modules operating simultaneously cuts the battery life in half, it could still be worth the sacrifice.

Another thing that could be cool would be a ¼-inch threaded hole to mount the Terminator M1 on a tripod or monopod walking stick. This would allow it to remain in one place as a beacon or indicator.

All said, these two things could be baked into a future iteration of this light as “nice to haves”. As it stands, the features found in the Terminator M1 are more than sufficient.

In Conclusion

acebeam terminator m1 flashlight pointing light to the tree so it looks like a moon
Acebeam Terminator M1: That’s no moon; (photo/Nick LeFort)

In the end, I enjoyed the Terminator M1. I found that LEP is an experience all its own. Zoomable and focusable, you feel that the light can cast a beam through walls — day or night.

It’s nearly unfathomable to see that far in the dark, especially when you adjust the beam so that it is only an inch in diameter. But don’t get in its way. It’ll mess up your eyesight for a minute.

When I wasn’t screwing around and making lightsaber noises, I am happy to report that I only had to recharge the battery twice. That’s pretty impressive, as I’ve brought it everywhere for the last 3 months. Keep in mind that I wasn’t trying to illuminate all of the woods, just the area around me. So, I generally used the Med1 setting when using the LED side of things.

Overall, at $280, the Acebeam Terminator M1 might not be for everyone. It’s a pricey tool with pretty niche uses. But if you need reliable, constant outdoor illumination, I believe it could be worth the investment.

All the Star Wars references aside, tools like this prove their worth over the years. All it takes is one situation where things go sideways, and you find yourself stranded for something like the Terminator M1 to prove its worth in spades.

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