Fenix L0D-CE Comparison Review

Glen C

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Thanks Unknown, very informative. May I ask how far from the wall were the lights in the beamshots? Thanks
 

hurld

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Thanks for all the reviews, this sounds like an awesome little flame thrower. Mine was just shipped today, now the dreaded WAIT! I also ordered some 10440 batts with a charger, are these really safe to use in this light? And if I run them till the light dims will this still be at a safe level (2.75 v ?)for the unregulated 10440's or because this light was desighed for 1.5v batts will it dim at about 1 volt and trash my 10440's ? Thanks Doug
 

Doug S

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The last scenario: because this light was desighed for 1.5v batts will it dim at about 1 volt and trash my 10440's

I have never quite understood which part of ''do not discharge Li-ion cells below 2.5V'' people have trouble understanding.
While it would be technically feasible to design a driver circuit to recognize whether it was being driven by an alkaline vs a Li-ion and behave accordingly, I am confident that this particular light is not so designed.

hurld said:
Thanks for all the reviews, this sounds like an awesome little flame thrower. Mine was just shipped today, now the dreaded WAIT! I also ordered some 10440 batts with a charger, are these really safe to use in this light? And if I run them till the light dims will this still be at a safe level (2.75 v ?)for the unregulated 10440's or because this light was desighed for 1.5v batts will it dim at about 1 volt and trash my 10440's ? Thanks Doug
 

paulr

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The HDS EDC lights figure out what battery type you're using through voltage measurements, and they also have temperature sensors. They're also pretty expensive compared with these Fenixes, and quite a bit bigger.

I'm very reluctant to use 14500 or 10440 li cells in anything or have them around the house, just because of the likelihood (murphy's law) that if I have any of those cells, someone (maybe me) will eventually put them into a device (like a digicam) that expects ordinary AA's or AAA's and is destroyed by the higher voltage. The L0D-CE/10440 combo sounds like quite a dazzle bomb but maybe they could choose a different cell type.
 

UnknownVT

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UnknownVT wrote: "Current draw -
10440 Open-Circuit voltage = 4.03V
Medium = 0.38A
Low = 0.17A
High = 1.11A"


From current draw above -
if we can assume the light is in direct-drive with 3.7V Li-Ion 10440 -
that's 4.03V (or perhaps 3.7V under load) at 1.11A ....

Now look at the Cree Specs -
EDIT - this is the latest Cree Spec - thanks to WildChild in another thread for bringing this to my attention -
NOTE: the retroactive Max DC forward Current -
CreeSpec070131.jpg



The Maximum spec'd forward current is supposed to be 1,000mA (latest specs) -
this means the Cree XR-E LED is over-driven beyond its specs on a 10440 Li-Ion by at least 10%.
This is not good news - and I probably would not suggest using 10440 in the L0D-CE regularly.

My guess to why this sample may be drawing such high current could be the LED has a particularly low Vf? and may be that's why it's so bright?
 
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gadgetnerd

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The literature with the light states a max input voltage of 3.3V, so I guess you're taking chances with a 3.7V (>4V off charger) Li-Ion. I'm not gonna bother, it's plenty bright with a 1.2V NiMH and very bright with a 1.7V Lithium.
 

UnknownVT

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gadgetnerd wrote: "The literature with the light states a max input voltage of 3.3V"

You're right -
L0DCEinstr.jpg


so the 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable 10440 exceeds the input voltage range of the instruction sheet - therefore its use is probably not recommended by Fenix.

My current draw of 1.11A on High also means that it exceeds the maxumum DC forward current of the Cree spec by 11% -
so another reason why the 10440 probably should not be used on any regular basis.
 

Robocop

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I am curious about these AAA Li-Ion 4.2v rechargeables used in this light as I have 4 of these batteries. I wonder if anyone will ever offer a true 3 volt AAA rechargeable such as has been done with the ever popular 123 size 3 volt rechargeables. I am not even sure if it is possible or even practical to make a 3 volt rechargeable AAA however if it can be done with the Li-Ion 123 then could it not be done with any other size Li-Ion?

It seems as if this would almost be the perfect match for this new light however unless it were in high demand I honestly do not think any maker will try to offer such a battery.......Regardless this is a very interesting thread and really shows how far our hobby has come. Can you imaging this light being shown here 2 years past....we would all be crazy trying to gobble all of them up......as if we are not doing that already....hehe

As always nice review and thanks for all the hard work on your review.
 

Xygen

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Robocop said:
I wonder if anyone will ever offer a true 3 volt AAA rechargeable such as has been done with the ever popular 123 size 3 volt rechargeables.
I don't think there will be a high demand, because there are no primary 3.0V AAA's which it can replace.
But I'm looking forward for my LOD-CE. I like it to have a low output, because most of my other lights are just too bright for some tasks.
Thanks for the review Vincent! :goodjob:
 
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Robocop

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Xygen you are probably correct on that however it would be perfect it seems for the circuitry and limitations of this light......maybe using this same design on a 2 AAA body would hit that "sweet spot" so to speak. I am also looking forward to my LOD-CE however I am trying to hold out until the natural color is available....I have had much better results with the finish holding up on the natural versions. I am giving it a week and then if not available the stress of waiting will win me over...hehe
 

Flying Turtle

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I'm still a little bothered that the low will not be low enough. Not a big drawback, though. Not sure if I can wait for the competition to come through.

Geoff
 

paulr

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The low of this light is fine from the point of view of being too powerful to use at night. You can always put your finger over the bezel to dim it too. What I'd really like is a low with about the same lumen output but with a wide, no-hot-spot flood beam. That would require a different setup, like the Surefire A2 having an incan bulb for throw and three 5mm leds for flood. I guess a 1aaa light is too small for anything like that but it would be great if Fenix made an A2-like version of the L2P, with a 30mm turbohead and Cree for throw, and three 5mm or 3mm leds for close-up low powered flood.

For battery runtime I think they could make the L0P CE low power lower. Right now they have 10-20-40 lumens or thereabouts, a 2x increase at each increment. I'd make it 2.5-10-40 for a 4x increase at each increment. I'd also get rid of the strobe or else slow it down a bit. Its current speed and duty cycle is near useless, it's like the light is on but flickering. And I'd either get rid of the SOS or decrease its brightness so that it can run at least an entire night on a cell.
 

cdosrun

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I think the problem with making the light any dimmer is in Fenix's choice of PWM frequency. At 100Hz, it is too low to dim the light any more than they do without creating even more visible flicker. Obviously, the larger the difference between maximum and minimum output on a purely PWM controlled light, the more noticeable the flicker in the low modes.

To make a really usable low, I think some sort of current control is required, possibly combined with a bit of PWM to retain colour tint (like the HDS?).

As for the strobe; I don't know about the L0D-CE, but on my P1D-CE it is quite disorientating, try walking towards it in complete darkness (it may just be me) it could be that was the intention rather than as a warning strobe.

Andrew
 

Moat

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Just a wild guess/thought on my part (and maybe DougS or Newbie would care to comment) - it seems like the simple addition of a small cap somewhere on the driver's output would smooth the transients of the PWM's pulse, and lessen/eliminate the "flicker effect" in the low modes...??

Hmmm... I smell a mod...
 

Doug S

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I haven't specifically looked at this particular light's circuit but it should be possible with the addition of one capacitor and one diode. While this would cost about 8-10% in electrical I/O efficiency this would be more than offset by the electrical to light efficiency gain on low and medium. You would be stuck with that 8-10% loss on high. Unfortunately, if the frequency is low enough that it bothers some people, the required capacitor value would need to be very large and thus preclude this as a viable mod.

Moat said:
Just a wild guess/thought on my part (and maybe DougS or Newbie would care to comment) - it seems like the simple addition of a small cap somewhere on the driver's output would smooth the transients of the PWM's pulse, and lessen/eliminate the "flicker effect" in the low modes...??

Hmmm... I smell a mod...
 

UnknownVT

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Part 3 - "Practical" Stairway beamshots -

Please see "Practical" Beamshots? for a repository of standardized beamshots which are directly comparable.

StairFenixL0DCEalk.jpg
StairFenixL0DCENiMH.jpg

The NiMH appears to be brighter than the plain alkaline - I think this stands to reason - the alkaline is not fresh out of the package - but the one used for the beamshots (only a few minutes) but it probably is just over its initial peak high.
NiMH basically can deliver higher currents for more sustained periods - hence its better brightness despite having a lower open-circuit voltage.
StairFenixL0DCELi.jpg
Stairs_P1DceRCR123prot.jpg

on 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable 10440 (NOT recommended for regular use) -compared to the fabulous P1D-CE I thnk we may have a new stairway champ?

Notice that the P1D-CE has a noticably more concentrated/brighter hotspot - so it will definitely out-throw the L0D-CE. The L0D-CE has a much smaller reflector - which spreads its light out more - hence brighter side-spill making it better for the stairway shot.
 

paulr

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I'm confused, I thought the p1d-ce used current reduction (not pwm) for dimming. I figured it did that by adding a capacitor to integrate the pwm pulses, something that wouldn't fit in the smaller L0D.

Nice stair shots, vt.
 
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