After paying with the P7, I did not like the included holster. I hate any holster with expansion panels. In addition to being hard to insert, if my holster has a snap or velcro lid, I do not need a death grip on the sides. In the case of the P7, every time I insert and removed the light it would defocus and focus the light. It's not the end of the world, but why induce unnecessary wear and tear every time the light is used?
Two years ago I purchased a variety of flashlight holsters from Deal Extreme, just to have around. I dug one out that I never used, and it just happens to fit the P7 perfectly, and it's dirt cheap with free shipping! Did I say cheap? I meant inexpensive, for there is nothing low quality about this holster. It is sturdier than the LED Lenser holster. It has a flap with velcro and two-position snap. A snap and velcro on the belt loop. The belt loop goes through a D-ring and is cinched back on the velcro and then snapped. Very surdy. I should stress how surprisingly sturdy the entire holsgter is, considering it is from DX. If you own a P7 and are lukewarm about the included holster, you won't regret this holster with flap. It's only $3.34, or $6.14 for two.
DX SKU #1152:
DX SKU #1375:
This one fits my Hokus Focus (7438) perfectly, and it's only $1.79 for one and $2.74 for two, free shipping:
SKU # 807:
[links removed - DM51]
Last edited by DM51; 12-16-2009 at 08:46 AM.
I still have my P7's holster on my desk after a year unused. It seems to be a very very well made holster, lovely stitching, covered edges and strong elastic. The elastic seems strong enough to me that it doesn't need the flip top to hold the torch in. Anyway, it's still there after a year cos it's far too stiff and bulky for me to use. I remember the P5 I gave as a gift had a similarly strong and seemingly oversized holster.
Personally, I'd rather see them lower the price of the torch and use a cheap holster or even make the holster an optional extra. In fact, I'd really prefer a clip.
As for focusing and defocusing the torch when putting it in, well, I found that to be a problem pretty much no matter how or where I stowed it and just had to get used to pulling the head forward just about every time I used the torch. It's nice to be able to change focus with the same hand that's holding the torch but I'd happily give up that feature as a swap for a 3/4 turn arrangement instead so that the torch would hold the focus as set no matter how it was handled.
What I do miss is LED Lenser's holsters which had a large, beautiful LED Lenser logo emroidered directly on the nylon. Now it is just a small, cheap piece of rubber/plastic with their logo, stitched onto the nylon. Really tacky, compared to before.
Last edited by Turbo DV8; 12-15-2009 at 10:13 PM.
Sorry for the delay. So, here's my take on the P7 vs. the 7438 Hokus Focus Cree. Right off the bat, I'm going to have to get used to this two-stage switch on the P7! The low is so low, when in flood mode, I am sure I will leave it on low by accident after believing I have turned it off from high. I think I would have preferred the old style switch ... low-high-off. There's no way to avoind getting blasted with "Turbo" mode, since every press of the switch blasts you, even just to turn off from low.
All my playing was performed with Eneloop's. The real surprise is that the P7 has no more throw than the 7438 Hokus Focus. In a ceiling bounce test, the output of the P7 is noticeably brighter than the 7438. So where does it go? The answer is that the P7 has about 50% more spill than the Hokus Focus. It is nice to have equal throw with more spill added, but one has to wonder how can two lights with the same Cree emitter and prism optic differ so greatly in ability to collimate the beam? The flood beam is as expected... the truly unique, smooth LED Lenser "wall of light!" The low truly is very low, which I find perfect in flood mode for close-up work, and even reading without obliterating night vision. The tint of the P7 is quite a bit cooler than the Hokus Focus Cree. The three Hokus Focus Cree's I have tried had very uniform tints, all a bit on the warm side. The two P7's I tried were both cooler, and had noticeably different tint between the two.
The push-pull focusing is very nice, compared to the four full turns of the head required on the 7438 Cree. But I would prefer the pre-Cree 7438 twist focusing, which only required 1/2 turn of the head to go from spot to flood. The P7 slide mechanism can experience "stiction" ... when you want to refocus only a small amount, it overcomes the stiction and jumps beyond the desired setting. It's not a huge deal, but you don't have that problem with the twisty. Furthermore, the slide focus isn't truly "one-handed" in actual use. When you hold the light in your palm in it's tactical position (thumb on switch) you still have to reach with your other hadn to slide the head. Sure, you can hold the light "Maglite" style and use your thumb/index finger to slide the head, but then you'd need to either flip the light around or use your other hand to turn the light on/off. The pre-Cree 7438, 1/2-turn twist head was the way to go, but it looks like with the newer Cree-based LL lights, they've abandoned the 1/2 turn twisty entirely, so I'd best just let it go.
One sample of P7 has a intermittent glitch in the switch. Initially, about 1 try out of 10, when in low mode if you did a half-press to get to "Turbo" mode, instead of constant Turbo mode, it would just flash once quickly then return to low. When it was acting up, if you could get it to do it once, you could get it to do it repeated times. Then suddenly it would act normal, repeatedly. Over the course of an evening's play, the problem manifest itself decreasingly, until this evening I have not been able to get it to act up once. Who knows? Maybe it has cleared itself up forever. In any case, this one will be going back, as the switch action seems rougher than the other. So much for my praising LL for it's better switches!
Someone asked to compare the P7 to the Home Depot 4 watt Husky. P7 wins in ceiling bounce, but Husky heartily wins in throw deparment. But the Husky beam is narrower than even the Hokus Focus tight beam, to the point of being almost useless. Yes, there is such a thing as too-tight a beam! Using the Husky is like trying to pick out a certain star in the sky while looking through a straw.
I will add thoughts and omissions as they come to me.
Turbo DV8, thank you very much for posting about how the P7 and Husky 4W compare in throw. Also, that is very interesting to hear about how the P7 does not out throw the Hokus Focus.
Uh-oh. Now I did it. I was shopping today, minding my own business, and a P14 must have just jumped into the cart with the other items when I was not looking, because when I got home, there it was! I haven't opened it. Know any links to good P14 reviews? I'm on dial-up here, and searches are s-l-o-w since CPF went beta a few months ago, so any head-up on a good P14 review would be appreciated. Thanks.
Last edited by Turbo DV8; 12-18-2009 at 09:28 PM.
I always wanted to try replacing my P7 with one of those but from what I can tell from various pics they are pretty much a short version of the P17 in size so I wouldn't be able to pocket it and I have a p17 anyway.
Here's a link to a P14 review I foudn on here.
I was playing with my P14, shining it on a wall on spot, rotating it, when I noticed the spot get slightly defocused on one side. Hmmm... I did it again. It popped into focus and slightly out as I rotated it. I shook the light, and could hear the prism reflector rattle around. I checked the head, and it was as tight as I could get it. A while later it seemed to lock into place, but later on became unlocked and rattled again. I picked up two more at Fry's. I have no reservation in tearing into multiple packages of these and returning them just as quickly, as for $80 I expect a perfect light, not a baby rattle. I have not opened the second two yet. Also, when going from flood to spot, the first one also overshot the optimum position for maximum throw, by just a small margin. It wasn't enough to detract from it's usefull throw at all, simply that the beam would noticeably enlarge just a tiny bit that last millimeter of head extension. Anyody else's P14 do this? None of the P7 did this. However, my P7's don't have as tight a spot as the 7438 Hokus Focus and the P14, so it is titilating to consider that perhaps the P7's are slightly out of whack the opposite way, meaning the heads don't move quite far enough outward, hence the relative lack of spot and more spill. But that can't be proved or disproved.
It's a shame, because I think right about the same time LED Lenser got the design and parts quality "right," they shifted production to China and may have partially negated, in poorer construction assembly, what they gained in design improvements. Two steps forward and one step back? "Designed in Germany" is only good to a certain point when the units are constructed by workers with guns pointed at their heads to meet a quota. OK, maybe that's not entirely fair these days, but you get my point. Politics may change, but work ethics and practices/habits engrained in laborer's minds don't erase overnight with the shift in political winds.
I had a chance to take the P14 and P7 out to Farwell railroad trestle in Niles Canyon last night for some fun comparisons. It seems the P14 does throw further, only due to it's tighter spot, but the increase in usefulness wasn't fully appreciated, as there was a high moisture content in the air which halted observation of throw differences beyond a certain distance. In drier air with less moisture for the beam to reflect off of, the P14 would have a clear advantage to the P7. I find the P14 fits my large-ish hand in the tactical (overhand) position better than the P7. The P7 is just a bit to small for me to grip and easily actuate the tail switch... too much of a thumb bend is required. As such, I was able to get repeated "failed" actuations of turbo mode on both P7's, which I was able to attribute to the more awkward angle the thumb must take to press the switch. The P14 switch falls right in my thumb's sweet spot for reliable actuation.
The P14 spill on wide angle is wider than the P7. However, the brightness at that level of flood is dimmer than the P7. The P14 also has a single ring in the middle of it's beam, which is absent on the P7. It is interesting to note that when the P14's flood is tightened up a bit to bring the angle down to that of the P7, the ring disappears into the periphery. Less surprisingly, when the P14 flood is reduced a little to the same angle as the P7, it's overall brightness increased slightly to the level equivalent to the P7. It seems the P14 allows the head to be adjusted for more flood, at the reasonable expense of brightness and a ring artifact.
Also want to note I dug up another DX holster, this time absolutely perfect for the P14. I don't know the P/N right off hand, but will post a link when I'm back on a high-speed connection and can do a search in under an hour! The holster has a Velcro lid flap, but with no snap closure. Again, dirt cheap but amazingly high quality. The selling point is, again, it is neither too big nor too small for the P14, and it slips right in with no disturbing the focus of the head.
Mention was made about the relative high price of the LL lights, and also that LL is "endorsed" (in use, anyway) by some law enforcement units in certain areas of the world. On those notes, I just want to point out that connecting any flashlight brand with use in any branch of law enforcement is a "Surefire" way to guarantee prices stay inflated, and that's all I have to say about that ...
Last edited by Turbo DV8; 12-22-2009 at 02:05 AM.
OK, the second P14 I opened had a rattling prism also, so I unscrewed the head. The prism reflector is secured in the head by a white retaining ring, similar in concept to the ring that holds the guts in a clicky tail switch. Both white rings had backed out a little bit. A quick torque with needle nose pliers cured the problem.
It's good to see this company making improvements to their line. I used to own a handful of older Coast lights, and am down to just their multi-color output "Recon" model. As for the others I used to own ... Gave one away, the rest just died on me.
"The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.
I have a Led Lenser P7 since almost one year ago, work as a security crew (...imagination ), and I use NiMh accus, until this time, no problem with them ( as other users stated ) , and all I can say is...this flashlight is fantastic, I use the flood setting when it´s necessary in small places with a complete darkness environment, and the spot is incredible for hunting, or at least watching...bad boys running away; what more to tell you..it´s German technology ( and chinese manufacturing, I know..), just tell to anyone who don´t like this brand...give a try ¡¡ btw I also have a LD01, ITP a3 eos...I´m beginning love this flashlight´s world, cheers.
"The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.
( If you like P7 videos on youtube, wait untill have the flashlight in your hands, it´s amazing...even in low mode )
Regards from Spain.
Last edited by homermalou; 12-31-2009 at 07:50 AM. Reason: poor english
I don't understand the choice of 4xAAA rather than 2xAA. That means 3200mAh versus 4200mAh using the capacity values from my Panasonic Infiniums. Or have I missed something?
I suspect the appeal of LED Lensor is primarily that it is one of the few non junk LED lights on general sale, the other one being the LED Maglites, and people compare them to non LED lights, and go "wow".
Cycling at night on the twisty two lane roads out here in the middle of nowhere puts one in danger of being mashed by a car at high speed so I'd have thought that using an ordinary torch instead of a dedicated cycle lighting system would be unwise (maybe that's different in the cities?).
Those few cyclists I do know personally (two of whom rode in the tour de france last year) that do ride at night have big flashing red lights on backpacks so they can be seen by cars from far away and white lights attached to the front of their bikes so they can see and I'd imagine that based on that I'd reckon you were wise to cancel the order for a hand held torch and go for something different.
But on the subject of ligtht dimming appreciably, I haven't actually had that happen on my P7, it's often dimmed a little bit in use since the quad A's just don't have the oomph of bigger batteries but I've had plenty of notice to change the batteries before it went low enough that it wasn't what one would consider "bright".
On the other hand, for a while I did carry my Fenix L1D and its batteries went down on me one night out in the middle of the bush. The L1D went from having bright useable light to a dim moonlight mode that was too dim to walk in thick bush with and thank Dog I wasn't taking a shot with my twelve guage at the time (but I do wish you could switch to that mode intentionally with full batteries). That all happened within a matter of twenty seconds leaving me rather stranded.
Fortunately I had a backup light but if that's the normal behaviour of a regulated light then I think I'm far safer with the non-regulated behaviour of the P7.
For me, the total light output of a torch is irrelevant, I don't use my carry torches for ambient lighting or ligthing rooms, I use them for looking at objects at a distance and when necessary, for lighting my footsteps to get to that distant object. All other uses (like looking for objects in dark sheds etc) are completely secondary and I'm happy to compromise on them.
I'm an ordinary person in need of a torch I can carry every day and night in my normal daily clothes in an open non-urban area and I'm not one who measures the performance of a light in the ways I've seen used on this forum, ceiling bounce tests do nothing to help me. All I can do is look at the beam and see how bright it is in the middle on a very distant dark wall. That's the closest test to how I use a torch in real life so perhaps I say wow when I see that concentrated beam but that's the test that's appropriate to me.
For me it's all about the amount of light at the centre of aim and the Lenser P7 uses its optic system to do this better than most other "ordinary person" torches. I had maglites since the early eigthies but they were intitally were useless to me until I found the focussed bulbs for sale.
The P7's optic system on "long range" means it wastes no light on "spilling" and as such it leaves my Fenix TK20 for dead in longer range use yet if I do sometimes need to use a "spill" size beam I have it at my finger tips. but wihtout a distracting "hotspot" in its middle. That arrangeemnt suits my usage and my eyes a whole heap better than the spot and spill arrangements on all my other LED lights.
That "spill" setting is also good for dimming the light even further on the low setting (yes, I know it still puts out the same amount of light but the "spill" setting spreads it so the object in the centre gets less light) so it helps make the torch an even more multi brightness tool.
Yes, I'm happy to admit the four AAA's of the P7 is bad but now I've gone rechargeable I don't care about that anymore, I can carry plenty of spares and no longer need to worry about finding them in shops or paying the seven to eight dollars they were charging for four alkaline AAA's.
I have two questions about the P7/P14 switches. I've read that the first generation of three-mode switches began on low first click, then high on second click. Now they begin on high on first click, then low on second click. I really am thinking that I would prefer low first, mainly so that I don't go to click it a second time thinking it is "off" when it is actually on "low," which is truly very low. If in flood mode on low in anything under total darkness, you will not see it, and holster it in low mode and drain the batteries.
So, do the battery carriers on the P7/P14 unscrew off the switch? How to do this without breaking something? I never was tempted to try to force it. Also, I wonder if anybody has both lights with both style switch, and can confirm other than the switch order, the length and threading are identical and interchangeable. If so, perhaps I could buy an older switch from Coast or somewhere. Thanks.
My original version one goes "low" on the first click, "high" on the second click and in either postion one can half press for momentary "turbo". There is, due to that "momentary" arrangement, a quick preflash to "turbo" when one first switches the torch onto "low". I've always actually thought that I'd prefer to go to "high" first (although the "momentary" sort of allows it anyway) but the problem I see there is if one switches off in daytime use one could inadvertantly leave it on "low" instead thinking it had been switched off since "low" is harder to see in daylight, especially since the lack of a reflector makes the emited light less visible if one does no more than glance at the torch end. Much harder to do if one has to switch through 'high" instead.
However - I did read someone on here who has made changes to the switch wiring to make "turbo" lock on instead of "high" mode so it's highly likely you could instead make a wiring swap over to make "low" come on before "high".
The nice thing about NiMh rechargeables in a 3AAA or 4AAA carrier is that those cells turn the light from direct drive into semi-regulated. Not sure on the technical aspect of why, but it's the nature of the batteries.
"The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.
But would it really be cheaper to make a battery carrier torch in this case when you look at all the work and intricacy that's gone into the P7's 4xAAA battery carrier with all that gold plating and switchery and screws and what nots?
I had a look at the graphs inside that review link that was posted a few posts ago and I am having a real problem seeing any major difference to the basic shape of the profiles between NiMH and Alkalines (or in fact to the fenix L2D on turbo wiht NiMH).
Sure the actual runtimes are different but the profiles are still very simlar. The Lenser on Alkies may have a bit more of an incline to the first portion before the drop off but it's in no way dramatic and does nothing to convince me that being denied regulation or NiMH is something to cut the throat over. I have to say that those graphs, which I saw for the first time today, convince me that most of the negative stuff written about the lenser's lack of regulation is just a theoretical technical irrelevance to my world. Turns out looking at those graphs that the P7's performance is no way near as bad as I was almost beginning to be brainwashed into thinking it was. No wonder I was having such a hard time correlating what was written to what i was actually seeing out the end of my torch.
Last edited by JaguarDave-in-Oz; 01-01-2010 at 12:11 AM.
JaguarDave-in-Oz: They are all reasonable points that you make. I'm no torch-geek either. Regarding dimming, the eye is actually not that sensitive to changes in brightness, especially if the dimming is gradual. For walking it is probably not important, but for running it is. That is just my point of view.
Apparently many people do use torches such as the Fenix L2D as a bike light. I can only speak for myself, but I would never go out with only one torch, either running, or on a bike, it's just too dangerous/risky. One of the great advantages of these small torches is that you can always keep a spare in a pack, or even on the handlebars. (Maybe you only need to keep spare cells in a pack, but I prefer not to swap cells at night.)
I'm not against the LED Lensor P7, and in many respects it looks nice. But I feel I was misled by the marketing claims which make it look as if it outperforms all other similarly priced torches. I think they need to tone down the claims in order to establish more credibility.
It would be interesting to compare the beam shots of the P7 against typical 2xAA torches in a typical outdoor situation (which is quite different from indoors).
I think you cancelled your P7 order prematurely, especially if you had found out what that incredibly even P7 flood looked like illuminating your path.
I have an electronics degree, so if there is enough space inside the switch and the resistor layout is such that it is ammenable to tinkering, I have a reasonable amount of faith that I can get the switch to do pretty much anything I like. I thought I remember a passing reference in that mod article you also recalled about the author simply "unscrewing the battery holder from the switch," but there were no further details. Does it entail simply grasping the holder at the base near the switch and turning? I tried mine a little but it didn't budge, and unless someone has tread there before, I am not willing to crack a $80 lights!I did read someone on here who has made changes to the switch wiring to make "turbo" lock on instead of "high" mode so it's highly likely you could instead make a wiring swap over to make "low" come on before "high
Last edited by Turbo DV8; 01-05-2010 at 12:56 AM.
I can get a flood with the Fenix using the flip up diffuser, but I was surprised to find that it is not good for running. It puts me inside a well lit bubble with a sudden light to dark transition not far ahead. I find that creepy, especially when listening to some ambient music on an iPod. For me the naked Fenix beam is ideal, as it has a bright hot spot for navigation, but lots of spill so I see the area around me. I am sure that flood has its uses.
I compare them real world according to me, ie I look for objects with them at a distance and I use them to count sheep and horses roaming in my paddocks.
In terms of how far they'll light a target the Quark's maybe at best ten percent longer than the L1D-2AA but it's barely enough to notice and it's R2 compared to Q5.
My TK20 shoots an obviously much more concentrated hotspot that goes quite a distance compared to those two but my P7 still outshoots it (in terms of me being able to see a moving object with it) by at least fifty yards, the difference is very noticeable despite the fact that my particular P7's beam is nowhere near as concentrated as the TK20 so from what I can tell the P7 is longer range despite also lighting a larger area which really says something for the amount of light it puts out and maybe also shows how much the TK20 is let down by the sacrifice in light output that was made just so it could have that ugly yellow-orange beam which for my eyes makes identification of very small targets at any distance quite difficult since it tends to paint them all yellow/orange (for my eyes that torch's tint certainly does not help colour differentiation as claimed).
I guess I should also note that in my particular longer range general nightly use the P7 torch is rarely ever on for more than five minutes at a time (on high with three or four flashes to turbo) maybe two hours apart three times a night and the alkalines do tend to recover quite a bit when resting so I have never actually experienced any noticeable drop off in brightness while I am actually using the thing unless the batteries are nearly expended and it takes a fairly lonnnnnng period before it ever dims enough that I need to change batteries.
The long aspect of their performance is obviously far more relevant to my particular kind of use than to most people here, especially when copmpared to someone using their torch for running and for that sort of use (not that I'd ever run more than fifty feet at one time, I gave up ruuning except in emergencies about thirty years ago) I'd personally grab my AA2 cos it has a good wide beam spread that seems to throw an enormous amount of light into what I would call the middle distance and the P7 on high and "flood" doesn't seem to be as good at those closer ranges. In fact if I wasn't working over more than say seventy yards I'd probably opt for the AA2 altogether since it has a bunch more modes than the P7 whihc means I could also do away with carrying my Nitecore D10 in th epocket as a very close range utility torch (though the AA2's rattly batteries do annoy the crap out of me).
Incidently, one of my big complaints about the P7 was how easy it was to accidently bump the switch on when I was sliding it into the torch sleeve in my overalls etc but I yesterday (finally after a year and two months of use), managed to discover that the spring tension for the switch could be increased by turning the plastic retaining ring inside the tailcap. Now my switch is much harder to press to the click point and likely will never accidently be switched on again yet is still comfrotable to operate in use (maybe better even). All this time I put up with it when the fix was so simple, what a goose.
Last edited by JaguarDave-in-Oz; 01-01-2010 at 06:35 PM.