Fenix L0P-SE Special Review

UnknownVT

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Lots of current interest in the Fenix L0P-SE -
deservedly so - as this is a gem among jewels of a flashlight.....

Important note: this is a sort of "Special-Special"
biggrin.gif

a Fenix L0P-SE that has been mod'd with a U-bin LuxIII (UWAJ).

Note: I have now also reviewed the Stock/Unmod'd L0P-SE (link)
Fenix L0P-Special Edition Comparison Review

My current take is that on Medium (default) and Low this will be about the same brightness level as a standard L0P-SE except for perhaps some tint variation (usual Luxeon lottery) - but on High this Special-Special is going to strut its stuff.

Size:
L0PSEsz.jpg


Heads -
L0PSEhds.jpg


Since there are 3 levels of brightness - this is like 3 different flashlights - I'll do side-by side comparison beamshots grouped by the L0P-SE Special brightness levels. Starting with the default Medium level -
initial twisting on the light defaults to this Medium brightness level.

This is most like the Fenix E1-47 "Special" by 4sevens -

L0P-SE Special on Medium (default) vs. Fenix E1-47
L0PSEmed_E1-47.jpg
L0PSEmed_E1-47U2.jpg

as described by others the L0P-SE on medium is slightly less bright than the Fenix E1-47 sold at the Fenix-Store.com -
and this Special on medium is also slightly less bright than the E1-47.

Medium vs. Fenix E0
L0PSEmed_E0.jpg
L0PSEmed_E0U2.jpg

different beam characteristics so makes it hard to judge - I would say the L0P-SE Special on Medium is brighter - although the "blue" hotspot of the Fenix E0 makes it more noticable therefore seem brighter. But overall the L0P-SE Special has a much more usable even hotspot.

Medium vs. classic ArcAAA (circa 2003)
L0PSEmed_Arc.jpg
L0PSEmed_Arc2U.jpg

just to show this against a previous generation 5mm 1AAA light - it's pretty obvious that the L0P-SE Special on medium is noticably brighter and with much better beam and tint.....

The next twisty setting is the Low -
twisting the light to off from the default initial Medium level - then twisting back on within 1.5 secs gets this Low level

L0P-SE Special on Low vs. Fenix E1-47
L0PSELo_E1-47.jpg
L0PSELo_E1-47U2.jpg

the low is substantially lower than the Fenix E1-47

Low vs. Fenix E0
L0PSELo_E0.jpg
L0PSELo_E0U2.jpg

Again hard to judge because of the very different beam characteristcs - but overall the E0 is probably brighter than the L0P-SE Special on Low - which actually is a good thing since one wants the low to be low for practical usage.

Low vs. classic ArcAAA (circa 2003)
L0PSELo_Arc.jpg
L0PSELo_Arc-1.jpg

comparable?

Now on to the High setting -
(Note: this is where the Special-Special may deviate from the standard L0P-SE - I may be able to get hold of a standard L0P-SE to compare sometime next week - watch this space)
twistng off from the Low setting and twisting on again within 1.5 secs gets the High setting.
So to get to the High setting from a cold-start 'off'-position - one has to twist on, then off, on, then off - then on - all within 1.5 secs between each off to on stage. Sounds tedious but in practice this is real easy and kind of nice to prevent accidentally putting the light on High which will drain the poor little AAA battery PDQ.

L0P-SE Special on High vs. Fenix E1-47
L0PSEhi_E1-47.jpg
L0PSEhi_E1-47U2.jpg

er-hum - the L0P-SE Special is definitely brighter -
this is actually pretty spectacular for a light on a mere single AAA battery.

High vs. Fenix E0
L0PSEhi_E0.jpg
L0PSEhi_E0U2.jpg

no real contest - I would have been disappointed otherwise.....

High vs. classic ArcAAA (circa 2003)
(I know, I know, this is pretty silly...)
L0PSEhi_Arc.jpg
L0PSEhi_Arc2U.jpg

just for completeness......

OK the L0P-SE Speical (with UWAJ) is pretty spectacular on High - but how "spectatular"?

Let's play with some more serious company -
L0PSE_L1Tsz.jpg
L0PSE_L1Thds.jpg


High vs. Fenix L1T also on High (see, I'm not joking...)
L0PSEhi_L1Thi.jpg
L0PSEhi_L1Thi2U.jpg

comparable - with perhaps the L1T on high somewhat brighter....
so the L0P-SE Special on High is some serious little light........

High vs. Fenix L2S (1watt R-bin) head on 1AA body also on High
L0PSEhi_L2S1AAHi.jpg
L0PSEhi_L2S1AAHi2U.jpg

hmmm..... maybe the L0P-SE Special on High may be just brighter - but very comparable.

All I can say now is WoW! what a great light the Fenix L0P-SE is
and this Special-Special with UWAJ mod puts it into a league of its own.......

Update - ADDED Nov/3/2006 -

I have another Fenix E1 on loan thanks to 4sevens (http://Fenix-Store.com) -so can compare the L0P-SE Special with the E1 -

on Medium (default) vs. Fenix E1
L0PSEmed_E1.jpg
L0PSEmed_E1U2.jpg

hard call because of the different beam charateristics - I think the E1 is brighter - but then when I shine the lights across the room - about 12 feet I think I see better with the L0P-SE Special - could just be the more even hotspot though.... Of course the L0P-SE Special's beam and tint are a lot better than the E1's typical ringy beam and blue-ish tint.

on Low vs. Fenix E1
L0PSELo_E1.jpg
L0PSELo_E1U2.jpg


on High vs. Fenix E1
L0PSEhi_E1.jpg
L0PSEhi_E1U2.jpg

well not much doubt the L0P-SE Special is brighter here......
 
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jch79

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Nice comparison!

Any runtimes for your "Special-Special" light? :)

That poor blue tint of the Arc AAA is all the more bothersome when next to these lights!!! It's exactly why I sent mine to MillerMods to get a different LED in it... Cree XR-E anyone???
 

zapper

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Try a 10440 (Li-Ion AAA) in it and take the same shots....4Sevens and I have already. You'll be very impressed!! (ymmv and try at your own risk)

:whistle::drool::grin2::naughty::faint::wtf: :devil::eeksign::eek:oo::duck:
 
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UnknownVT

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jch79 wrote: "Any runtimes for your "Special-Special" light?"

I can't do runtimes.....
icon11.gif


But I have been told by someone more knowledgeable than me that the runtimes should be very similar, if not the same as a stock L0P-SE.

This stands to good reason, since the electronics are the same -
therefore the current draw from the battery should be very similar........

My curent draw at the battery for the L0P-SE Special on UWAJ

Alkaline AAA 1.516V Open-Circuit
NiMH AAA 1.344V o-c

Medium
Alk =0.28A
NiMH = 0.27A

Low
Alk = 0.13A
NiMH = 0.13A

High
Alk = 0.82A
NiMH = 0.80A

For comparison
Fenix E1-47 -
Alk = 0.26A
NiMH = 0.30A
 

nightrider

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Great comparisons UnknownVT. Much appreciated.

zapper said:
Try a 10440 (Li-Ion AAA) in it and take the same shots....4Sevens and I have already. You'll be very impressed!!
Zapper. What's the danger of burning out the circuitry/LED with the 10440 battery? I might have to try it.
 

zapper

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Someone in another thread about the L0P-SE said they translated a memo stating that it was actually a LUX III with a board that used .9V~4V but was underdriven with the 1.5V AAA. The ckt board has L0T printed on the back Sooooo...4Sevens tried it first and I did as soon as I read about it as well. High for 1 minute bursts or med and low for as long as the battery holds out. Your performance may vary and no one is responsible for you trying this yourself. I will continue to use mine this way till the end !!
:devil::poof:

nightrider said:
Great comparisons UnknownVT. Much appreciated.

Zapper. What's the danger of burning out the circuitry/LED with the 10440 battery? I might have to try it.
 

UnknownVT

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zapper wrote: "Someone in another thread about the L0P-SE said they translated a memo stating that it was actually a LUX III with a board that used .9V~4V but was underdriven with the 1.5V AAA. The ckt board has L0T printed on the back Sooooo...4Sevens tried it first and I did as soon as I read about it as well. High for 1 minute bursts or med and low for as long as the battery holds out. Your performance may vary and no one is responsible for you trying this yourself. "

hmmm.... are you saying the standard L0P-SE has a 3watt Luxeon III in it?

I would have my doubts - since that would be a huge marketing advantage -
and Fenix would be pretty dumb to continue to advertize the L0P-SE with "only" a 1watt LuxI - albeit a pretty premium R-bin.

I'd understand if the board was designed also use a LuxIII - so if one mod'd a L0P-SE to a LuxIII - then I would say that it is pretty safe (again disclaimer this is only my guess) using a 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable even on high.

Whereas if the LED is a 1watt LuxI (R-bin) as advertized, then using a 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable on High - may shorten the life of the LED - even if it were to be used only minutes at a time - it depends on how quickly the heat builds up - and being so small I would suggest there isn't that much heat-sinking.

May I suggest taking a current draw reading at the battery on High -
since it's suspected direct-drive on high with a 3.7V Li-Ion -
then the current x (nominal) battery voltage - is going to be reasonably close to the actual wattage consumed.
Now check the Luxeon maximum ratings to see how much they are exceeded on a 1watt LuxI (R-bin) and a 3watt LuxIII (T- or U-bin) -
then decide whether it's risky or not.....
 
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quantile

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I hope this is not too far off topic. Yesterday I made my L0P-SE "special" as well :)

I didn't like the tint on mine, was a bit on the purplish side so I decided to put a SX0H LuxI in. Not too difficult to do, it just took a bit of heat to loosen the original emitter from its heat sink.

These are "milk carton" readings, taken with the same Energizer e2 AAA battery:

Before: 53/122/360 (low/medium/high)
After (SX0H): 70/160/445

Current draw readings from the battery are exactly like UnknownVT's, give or take 1-2 mA.

Love the tint now, no more purple and the emitter is a bit less off center as well.

Marcus
 

amanichen

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UnknownVT said:
hmmm.... are you saying the standard L0P-SE has a 3watt Luxeon III in it?

I would have my doubts - since that would be a huge marketing advantage -
and Fenix would be pretty dumb to continue to advertize the L0P-SE with "only" a 1watt LuxI - albeit a pretty premium R-bin.
It seems Fenix would be dumb to recommend a course of action that could damage the emitter or circuitry, leading to failures of its lights.

Apparently the direct drive from a 3.7V lithium battery makes the head of the L0PSE very hot. An AAA light just doesn't have enough mass or surface area to be a good heatsink for a (supposed) mult-watt Luxeon.
 
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zapper

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Ofcourse, all the previous "translated memo" info could be bunk to encourage someone to try a 10440 in their L0P-SE... It may well be an R bin LUX I and everything negative about this use may well be true. Although it does have "L0T" printed on the ckt. (oh yeah, who here follow the mfg's reccomendations for batteries, runtime, use...) The simple fact remains that for the last few days, with 10 -15 minutes of use at various outputs, it works fine. If I suspect I need a lower low, then I use a Nimh AAA. If it shortened the life to 200 hours then so be it. At 15 mins per day every single day that would still be over two years and by then I would surely replace the emmitter with the latest whiz bang item. Even now the Cree is looking very strong!! :grin2:

Again, YMMV and try at your own risk. Speculate away as none of us know the truth yet!!
:goodjob: :dedhorse: :touche:


Oppps, sorry unknown if this has gotten off topic. Great review and pics!!
 
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UnknownVT

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quantile wrote: "I hope this is not too far off topic. Yesterday I made my L0P-SE "special" as well
smile.gif

I didn't like the tint on mine, was a bit on the purplish side so I decided to put a SX0H LuxI in. Not too difficult to do, it just took a bit of heat to loosen the original emitter from its heat sink."

I don't think this is off-topic at all -
the beauty of threads is that we can read about CPF'er's input and experiences with a particular (or even related/similar) flashlight.

In fact, I thank you for your valuable input.

quantile wrote: "These are "milk carton" readings, taken with the same Energizer e2 AAA battery:
Before: 53/122/360 (low/medium/high)
After (SX0H): 70/160/445"

Ah! - great! this means that a S-bin LuxIII is brighter than the Luxeon LED that came stock right?

So given a S-bin LuxIII has lower flux than a typical T-Bin - this means the stock Luxeon LED probably was NOT a T-bin - right?
and it mostly likely means that the stock Luxeon (at least in your case) most probably was a R-bin LuxI - as advertized by Fenix and 4sevens.

So the printing on the circuit board of "L0T" probably is a designation that the board was designed to accomodate a T-bin -
BUT the evidence above presented by quantile shows it is most likely a R-bin - just as advertized.

So many thanks, again, for that input -
even more valuable.......
thumbsup.gif



quantile wrote: "Current draw readings from the battery are exactly like UnknownVT's, give or take 1-2 mA."

Yes! thanks for that -
I was really concerned about the current draw reading being NON-typical for my special-special -
you've just helped confirm that it should be very similar/close/same.

So this most probably means that the runtimes for our special-specials are going to be very similar/close/same as the standard Fenix L0P-SE runtimes

So much for your "off-topic" post
tongue.gif
 

UnknownVT

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amanichen wrote: "It seems Fenix would be dumb to recommend a course of action that could damage the emitter or circuitry, leading to failures of its lights."

Neither Fenix nor 4sevens recommends the use of 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeables in the L0P-SE - please check the information at Fenix L0P Special Edition at the Fenix-Store.com

QUOTE:
Notes
• The input voltage of Fenix L0P SE is 0.9V~1.7V. Please do not use other types of batteries (especially 3.6V lithium battery) except AAA alkaline or Ni-MH battery.
UNQUOTE

Please see Post #12 above that the stock emitter is most likely a R-bin 1watt LuxI, just as advertized.

amanichen wrote: "Apparently the direct drive from a 3.7V lithium battery makes the head of the L0PSE very hot. An AAA light just doesn't have enough mass or surface area to be a good heatsink for a (supposed) mult-watt Luxeon."

Need more convincing? - I have a S1801 1w Luxeon 1xCR123 - which is most probably a "clone" 1watt
in this thread Nuwai Q3 with RCR123 + Nano Charger I tried the S1801 with a 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable and it worked showing noticably brighter - but the head also got very hot - and by simple calculation one knows this emitter is being grossly over-driven - so the life is going to be shortened.

Be warned - use a 3.7V Li-Ion in a standard L0P-SE at one's own risk.........
 
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quantile

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UnknownVT said:
quantile wrote: "These are "milk carton" readings, taken with the same Energizer e2 AAA battery:
Before: 53/122/360 (low/medium/high)
After (SX0H): 70/160/445"

Ah! - great! this means that a S-bin LuxIII is brighter than the Luxeon LED that came stock right?

So given a S-bin LuxIII has lower flux than a typical T-Bin - this means the stock Luxeon LED probably was NOT a T-bin - right?

The emitter I put in was a SX0H Luxeon I not III. It is an "S" flux bin at 350 mA, it should be brighter than a R-bin LuxI or a T-bin LuxIII at any drive level.


Marcus
 

amanichen

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UnknownVT said:
Neither Fenix nor 4sevens recommends the use of 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeables in the L0P-SE - please check the information at Fenix L0P Special Edition at the Fenix-Store.com

Need more convincing?
If you're trying to pick a fight, count me out because I'm not here for that.
 
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UnknownVT

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quantile wrote: "The emitter I put in was a SX0H Luxeon I not III. It is an "S" flux bin at 350 mA, it should be brighter than a R-bin LuxI or a T-bin LuxIII at any drive level."

Ooops - my misunderstanding - sorry.
 

mcmc

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amanichen said:
If you're trying to pick a fight, count me out because I'm not here for that.

I know...looks like some incendiary-ness going on here. Let's keep it nice and civil! =D
 

UnknownVT

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mcmc wrote: "I know...looks like some incendiary-ness going on here. Let's keep it nice and civil! =D"

Hold on a mo', please.

Before I am found guilty and executed......

I certainly was NOT trying to pick a fight - I merely used the "not convinced" as a link to the next part where I tried to explain that a 1watt would also get very hot, using my S1801 as an example -

I thought I was being helpful
huh.gif


Look at my track record here on CPF - when have I tried to pick a fight?

I definitely was not picking a fight - why would/should I?
I'm sorry if it read that way.

I had already sent a PM to amanichen to explain.
 

EngrPaul

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If your medium brightness suits your needs, consider the E1-47. It's very efficient for it's output level, and perfectly white.

If you will frequently use the Low mode, consider the E0. Much more efficient, but blue. Maybe put a whiter LED in it as an easy mod.

If your favorite mode is high, go ahead and get this light. I find the light slightly more useful than a L0P, and no downside beyond a slightly higher purchase price and more time to select the high setting. The flexibility of a lower setting is undeniably attractive.
 

Badbeams3

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UnknownVT said:
mcmc wrote: "I know...looks like some incendiary-ness going on here. Let's keep it nice and civil! =D"

Hold on a mo', please.

Before I am found guilty and executed......

Hu...trying to wiggle out of it eh. Shame shame.

Hey guy`s, how about we try hooking these SE`s up to car batteries. That out to be waay bright.

Don`t listen to Unknown, I think he`s just out to spoil the fun.

Ken
 
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