For your consideration is another nice light from Fenix. The good folks at Fenix Lighting were kind enough to provide this light for review.
This light follows with a trend that was started, arguably, years ago with the old “magcharger”…only in this instance we benefit from more modern battery chemistry and charging options – and of course a MUCH brighter light. This is a nice, small pocketable light that is powered by an included 18650 lithium ion battery.
The light comes in a simple plastic package and includes the light, holster, 2600mAh Fenix 18650 battery, lanyard and USB magnetic charging cable.
Specifications from the Fenix website:
My levels 1-4 match up fairly well to the factory specs – my turbo reading was significantly lower.
Level 1 – 8 Lumen
Level 2 – 50 Lumen
Level 3 – 135 Lumen
Level 4 – 430 Lumen
Level 5 – 550 Lumen
Take that as you will – regardless of numerical ratings, the light is plenty bright. Many appreciate a very low low – Fenix doesn’t seem to hear that wish and as usual, the lowest setting is more than you’d want to use in a dark room with dark adapted vision.
Operation is simple – there’s one button on the side. Also, the included nylon holster seems well made.
There have been spirited debates in TFB about the virtues of a side button. Those of you who like side buttons will probably like this one. It’s easy to find in the dark, made of metal, and has a solid feel. Activation is simple – press and hold for a half second or so and the light powers up at the last used level. Each subsequent press takes you to the next level, and it will cycle through all 5 levels repeatedly. From ‘off’, press and hold the button for 1.2 seconds and you active strobe. The light does feature an electronic lock out feature: with the light off simply double click the side switch (within .5 second) and the light will flash at medium level indicating that it is ‘locked.’ You can also loosen the head about half a turn and that will prevent the light from powering up. You unlock the same way – double click.
Based on this, those of you who aren’t fond of side button lights probably won’t rush to buy this one.
The Cree XM-L2 U2 emitter is behind a smooth reflector. The combination provides a nice sized focused spot with a decent about of spill. Note – this is NOT an area light, as it has minimal flood.
The tail is flat and will easily tail stand. A detachable clip comes on the light. It’s not very easy to remove, and I was pleased to see that after removing and replacing the clip there were no scratches in the light’s anodization.
But the coolest thing about the light is the magnetic charging port. Fenix calls it “magnetic suction”…that cracks me up. Still, it’s easy and functional, although it does require their proprietary charging cable. For those of you who regularly use lights with 18650 cells, you can simply remove the battery and charge it on your own charger. That said, the charging set up on this light is convenient – as long as you don’t lose the cable! The cable also has a traditional micro USB plug on the end allowing said cable to be used to charge other devices.
Easy to charge with included charger and battery
Small and easy to pocket carry
Decent run times with included battery
Some do not care for side switches
Some might wish for a lower ‘eco’ mode
Charging port is proprietary
List price of the light is $100 – it can readily be found for less than $80