Comparison of the new Fenix T1 and the Regal WT1 first edition (aka the “Wrestler”).
For a detailed comparison to all the other thrower lights in my collection, please see:
Thrower review: DBS, Spear, MRV, Tiablo, Regal & clones: THROW, RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS!
UPDATE 1/7/08: I've just updated the throw and runtime numbers/graphs with the preliminary results from the new second edition WT1 currently being sold by tango-lui in the Dealer's forum. Sorry no pics, but the light looks exactly the same as shown in the dealer's thread (with updated holster).
From left to right: Fenix T1, Regal WT1 (first edition)
These 2xCR123 lights represent one of the latest trends in appealing to more “tactical” personal LED lighting. Build like tanks, they sport deeper reflectors for more throw than standard lights. Although still not in the range of the monster throw lights (see my review of those here), they do throw further than the current single cell champion, the Lumapower D-mini. Outfitted with Cree Q5 emitters, I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of their features and output.
Included in the package:
Fenix T1 – purchased from fenixtactical.com.
Note the light only comes with an OP textured reflector. The reflector has an unusual design: it sits higher on the emitter than normal, with a sloped edge leading to the opening for the emitter. This produces a much smoother transition from hotspot to corona, and helps to reduce the infamous Cree rings (see beamshots below)
Regal WT1 (first edition) – “CPF special” bought directly from Regal light. A second generation is now available from tango-lui - see the current thread in the Dealer’s forum on CPFMP
The smooth reflector is shown above, but the light also comes with an OP textured reflector. Beamshots below are taken with the OP reflector, for direct comparison to the T1.
Spillbeam comparison at ~.5 meters from a wall. Both lights are running on 2xCR123A with OP reflector, on Hi. The WT1 is focussed for maximum throw.
- The Fenix T1 produces one of the smoothest beam profiles I’ve seen for a Cree emitter, while still maintaining considerable throw.
- The Regal WT1 still shows signs of rings even with the OP reflector installed, so I recommend running it on the smooth reflector for max throw.
- My first edition WT1 has a slightly misaligned emitter, leading a darker semi-circular region on one side of the hotspot. I’ve seen this before on other lights, and I think it stems from not having the emitter/star sitting perfectly flat against the heatsink. My second edition WT1 is well centered.
- The Fenix T1 is brighter overall, with a broader hotspot and wider spillbeam than the WT1. However, The WT1 has a more focused hotspot with further throw.
- Note that the WT1 can be slightly defocused into a broader hotspot by turning the head counter-clockwise relative to the body tube.
For overall output comparisons, here are the results of a "ceiling-bounce" test in a small windowless room, with my light meter on the floor near the base of the light (which is shining upward in candle-mode). Both lights are on primaries with OP textured reflectors installed (and as always, the WT1 is focussed for maximum throw):
Regal WT1 (1st Edition, OP): 7.0 lux
Fenix T1: 9.2 lux
As you can see, the Fenix T1 is definitely putting out a lot of light. Note that the second generation WT1 should be out soon (and Dealer claims to have increased output by ~10%). UPDATE: Just received my new second edition WT1, and my lightbox tells me its overall output has increased by ~13% compared to the earlier version.
Throw/Runtime Measurement Method:
Throw values are the square-root of Lux measurements taken at 1m using a light meter. Note that my lightmeter tends to report lower absolute values than most, but I have verified it is linearly responsive over the range of intensities in question.
Regal WT1 (1st Edition) - Q5 - Smooth Reflector
- 18650 x 1 on high: 10,200 Lux
- 18650 x 1 on low: 1,650 Lux
- RCR x 2 on high: 11,350 Lux
- RCR x 2 on low: 6,200 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on high: 10,650 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on low: 3,800 Lux
Regal WT1 (1st Edition) - Q5 - OP Reflector
- 18650 x 1 on high: 7,900 Lux
- 18650 x 1 on low: 1,220 Lux
- RCR x 2 on high: 8,800 Lux
- RCR x 2 on low: 5,000 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on high: 8,300 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on low: 2,750 Lux
Fenix T1 - Q5 - OP Reflector
- RCR x 2 on high: 7,900 Lux
- RCR x 2 on low: 1,850 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on high: 7,600 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on low: 1,780 Lux
Lumapower D-mini - Q2 - Smooth Reflector
- RCR x 1 on high: 6,900 Lux
- RCR x 1 on med: 1,950 Lux
- RCR x 1 on low: 510 Lux
- CR123A x 1 on high: 6,650 Lux
- CR123A x 1 on med: 1,850 Lux
- CR123A x 1 on low: 530 Lux
Regal WT1 (2nd Edition) - Q5 - Smooth Reflector
- 18650 x 1 on high: 13,350 Lux
- CR123A x 2 on high: 13,400 Lux
I haven't tried the 2-stage switch yet - but as you can see, throw has increased noticeably from the first edition.
- The second edition Regal WT1 throws about ~13% further than the original WT1 (both on the smooth reflector). Overall output (as measured by my light milk carton lightbox) also shows ~13% increase for this new WT1.
- Even the first edition Regal WT1 throws further than the Fenix T1. Although with the OP textured reflector installed in the WT1, the throw is just slightly higher than the T1 (at least as measured by lux @1m).
- The Fenix T1 is an impressive thrower for its size, although the beam is bit more diffused with a wider hotspot than any of the dedicated “thrower” lights out there.
- I’ve added the single battery D-mini Q2 Digital with smooth reflector for comparison purposes. As you can see, it doesn’t throw quite as far as the T1/WT1, but with a Q5 emitter it should be pretty much equivalent to the OP-textured T1/WT1.
These runtimes charts are different from my other reviews - they represent throw, not overall output. Since my home-made milk carton lightbox doesn't accurately capture overall output on these intense throwers, I have adjusted all my relative output numbers to initial throw (measured as the squareroot of Lux @1m). This allows you to directly compare the relative throw of each light over time on the graphs below (although you can't directly compare these graphs with my other reviews).
Note: For the runtimes, the WT1 is using the smooth reflector for maximum throw. With the OP reflector installed, initial throw is pretty similar to the Fenix T1 (as determined by lux @1m).
- Just a reminder again: the Fenix T1 produces more overall output than the first edition Regal WT1 on primary CR123A. The graphs above are throw-adjusted to lux @1m with the smooth WT1 reflector. With the OP reflector in the WT1, the initial portion of the curve would look about the same as the T1.
- The second edition WT1 has ~13% more output and throw than the first edition, but with similar runtime.
- On Hi, the Regal WT1 has very flat regulation on primaries, and a typical decay pattern on 18650.
- On Hi, the Fenix T1 also has very flat regulation on primaries, with a nice long moon mode.
- Both lights performed as expected on 2xRCR - flat output, but short runtime.
- On Low, the current-controlled Fenix T1 lasted considerably longer than the the resistored-low mode of the WT1 (as expected). Note that although the WT1 throws farther than the T1 on low, their overall output on primaries is actually similar (again, the runtime graphs and lux numbers above relate to throw, not overall output).
- Both lights are built like tanks, and feel very solid in the hand. Good weight and balance – I wouldn’t want to be smacked with either of these!
- The WT1 has an aggressive 3-point scalloped bezel head, while the T1 has a silver-coloured ring with a few divits along the edge. Both would do some damage if used against another person (especially the WT1, I would think).
- The WT1 can be de-focussed slightly by turning the head counter-clockwise relative to the body tube. This produces a broader hotspot.
- Both lights come with forward “tactical” clickies with good tactile feel. The WT1 comes with an optional 2-stage standard reverse clicky with resistored low mode. The Fenix T1 features current-controlled low mode by a twist of the bezel.
- The Fenix T1 has a built-in metal clip, which unfortunately scratches against the knurling every time you twist the bezel for the low mode (this needs to be fixed in future versions!)
- The T1 also has a very rakish-looking design to the tailcap, with 3 raised points that allow for tailstanding. Normally a nice feature, but this seems a little over-done and makes it harder to access the switch.
- Both lights feature reverse polarity protection in case you put the batteries in wrong (new for Fenix).
- The WT1 can take 18650, RCR, and 2xCR123A, while the Fenix T1 is CR123A and RCR only, AFAIK.
- The Fenix T1 comes with a good quality holster, as you would expect from Fenix. The first edition WT1 came with a cheap holster – although the second generation WT1 has a much higher quality model (haven't taken pictures yet - but mine looks the same as in the Dealer's thread).
- The first and second generation WT1 seem to have identical build quality, just a different anodizing finish (dark gray on the first edition, black or light gray on the second edition) and slightly more output/throw on the second edition.
- Anodizing is good on both, but the WT1 is particularly outstanding (I quite like the dark gray colour of the WT1 as well).
- Lettering is much higher quality on my WT1, one of the best I’ve seen. The Fenix logo and lettering look somewhat “splotchy”.
- The T1 has anodized threads allowing for tailcap lock-out. Unfortunately, the WT1 lacks this useful feature.
- I haven’t dissembled the T1 yet, but the tailcap switches seem to be of good quality on both lights.
- The T1 has only one o-ring in the tail portion of the body (the WT1 has two), but it is quite thick and likely to be fairly water-proof.
- I’m not into “tactical” uses of lights, so I can’t speak to how well either one functions in that regard – but both are excellent quality general use lights. My novice impression is that the Regal WT1 is better suited for tactical use than the Fenix T1.
- The T1 is the first “throwy” Fenix light – it throws ~50% further than my Q5-equipped L2D. With some minor body improvements (e.g. clip replacement, altered tailcap edges), this will be a great light. Its overall beam pattern is very pleasing, and a good balance between throw and spill.
- The Regal WT1 has excellent throw for its size – in fact, the first edition WT1 performance matches the first generation MRVs (P4/Q2). The second generation WT1 has ~13% more throw and overall output than the first edition.
- As you might guess, I like both lights.