Fenix LD01 SS XP-G R5, AAA light, includes measurements and outdoor beamshots

HKJ

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[SIZE=+3]Fenix LD01 SS XP-G R5[/SIZE]

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Fenix has been active from the start of led flashlights and made many good lights, this one here is a stainless steel version of their classic AAA light and it is the second time they make this model, but with updates. The light has 3 levels and no flashing modes. It is turn on when screwed together, it will always start in medium, a quick off/on will change to low, then high. This light is also sold in an aluminium version with nearly the same specifications.

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The light is delivered in a small cardboard box with a window and selected specifications printed on the box (The runtime and brightness is not for the same level).

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The box contains the light, a split ring, a spare o-ring, the manual (With full specifications) and a warranty card.

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The light has a OP (Orange Peel) reflector with the XP-G led at the bottom.

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The head has knurling, there is not much "bite" in it.

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Moving to the backside of the head there is the battery connection, the center has a bump for connection to the battery plus pole, the ring around the center is used for connection to the battery tube. The light will only turn on when the tube is touching the ring.

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The threads are on the battery tube are nicely done and a o-ring makes the light waterproof. Inside the battery tube is the usual spring.


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The back end of the battery tube has a hole that can used to mount the split ring and because of the grove the light can still tail stand.

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Here is all the part the light can be disassembled in without tools.



This light is a solid and well performing light and because of the stainless steel it can handle just about any key chain use. The first LD01 lights Fenix made did not have a really low level, this has been fixed some generation ago and this light has both a good low level and a good high level. The automatic reduction on high will extend the battery lifetime at the cost of a invisible drop in brightness.



[SIZE=+2]Technical specification and measurements[/SIZE]

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This light is designed for 1.5 volt AAA batteries (Alkaline, NiMH, Lithium).

Measured size and weight:
Length: 76.1 mm
Diameter: 14.4 mm
Weight: 53 gram with eneloop

The light uses a Cree XP-G R5 led.

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In the above table I have used 800mAh eneloop batteries for measuring and estimating the runtime. The estimated lumen are based on the specified 77 lumen and then scaled according to measured brightness. High will automatic be reduced after some minutes.
Note: The above table is based on values at 1.2 volt.

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I have automated the metode I uses for voltage sweep, this has made it possible to use much higher resolution, add a power curve and do runs at different brightness settings. The light tries to stabilizes the brightness down to 1 volt. The maximum current draw is around 1.8 ampere, but will drop nicely when the battery voltage goes down, this prevents the light from turning off when the battery is nearly empty, instead it will run with low brightness as can be seen on the runtime curve.

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The reduced high output works the same way, but stabilizes down to 0.8 volt and has reduced the maximum current drain to 1.25 ampere.

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Medium can keep the stabilization down to 0.63 volt.

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Low will stabilize down to 0.45 volt.

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I have tested multiple LD01 lights and one of the lights showed this curve, where the stabilization is lacking. This is probably due to component tolerances.

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The runtime clearly shows that the light reduces brightness after some time and that alkaline has a very short runtime (on high).




The light uses current control and has no flashing modes.




[SIZE=+2]Comparison to other Flashlights[/SIZE]

TITANER ET20 XP-G R5, Fenix LD01 SS XP-G R5, 4Sevens Preon Revo SS XP-G R4 NW
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4Sevens Preon Ti XP-G R5, Olight Xmas 2010 XP-G S2, Klarus Mi10 XP-E R2
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For the full comparison to other lights with graphs and beamshots see here.
 

Kestrel

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Thanks for the good review, HKJ. I've tried to keep up with the other LD01 threads but this is the first time I've heard about the automatic 'reduced-high' feature. Seems like this wouldn't be a popular feature @ CPF - I know that when I want high, I want HIGH for as long as necessary. :shrug:

Any idea how these constant-current LD01's perform from 2xAAA input voltages? The older versions really do well on a Streamlight SP 2xAAA body - that configuration is one of my favorite lights (2xEneloop AAA's, ~140 est. lumens for ~45 minutes or so on 'high'). I have no idea if the new driver design permits the same lego options.
 

Norm

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I've been carrying the original version on my keys for a couple of years and it looks as good as the day I received it.
Great key ring light.
Thanks for the review.
I looked at getting the new one when it first came out but I decided I'm perfectly happy with my original version.

Norm
 

HKJ

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I've tried to keep up with the other LD01 threads but this is the first time I've heard about the automatic 'reduced-high' feature. Seems like this wouldn't be a popular feature @ CPF - I know that when I want high, I want HIGH for as long as necessary. :shrug:

The advantage of automatic reduction is longer battery lifetime and less heat. On a AAA light this can be a good feature.

Any idea how these constant-current LD01's perform from 2xAAA input voltages? The older versions really do well on a Streamlight SP 2xAAA body - that configuration is one of my favorite lights (2xEneloop AAA's, ~140 est. lumens for ~45 minutes or so on 'high'). I have no idea if the new driver design permits the same lego options.


No, I do not like to risk damage to my lights (But I did burn on LD01 SS due to over voltage:mecry:).
 

candle lamp

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Good job and thanks for your excellent review. HKJ!

In the above table, what is 'High reduced'?
And what do you mean 'High will automatic be reduced after some minutes.'?
 

HKJ

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In the above table, what is 'High reduced'?
And what do you mean 'High will automatic be reduced after some minutes.'?

Fenix has copied the ReVO in that the LD01 reduces the brightness of High after a few minutes. It is easy to see in the runtime curve, high drop down to just below 70%, after a few minutes.
This 70% of high is what i call "high reduced"
 

candle lamp

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Fenix has copied the ReVO in that the LD01 reduces the brightness of High after a few minutes. It is easy to see in the runtime curve, high drop down to just below 70%, after a few minutes.
This 70% of high is what i call "high reduced"

I get it!

Thanks again.

Oh, I'm sorry that you burn LD01 SS.
 

rvsasa

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Thanks for the review. Originally I was going to get this one but because of the weight I went for the LD01 R4 aluminum version. I was wondering how the R5 compares to the R4.
 

HKJ

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Thanks for the review. Originally I was going to get this one but because of the weight I went for the LD01 R4 aluminum version. I was wondering how the R5 compares to the R4.

The beamprofile is the same, but the R5 has about 7% higher brightness, this is an invisible difference.
I wonder why the weight difference is important for you, the 50 gram for the SS version with battery is not much weight.
 

HKJ

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I have an aluminum R4 & SS R5....

The R4 is white and the R5 green tint

Tint differences does not have anything to do with R4 and R5 brightness bin, it is defined with the tint bin.
But the newest led is usual not sold in tight tint bins, i.e. the risk for green/blue/etc. tins are larger when getting the newest brightness bin.
The Cree bin datasheet is here: http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/XLampXP_B&L.pdf
 

stoli67

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I wish I could rip the led out of the aluminium one and change it over....... will they ever release a neutral or warm version I wonder
 

rvsasa

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The beamprofile is the same, but the R5 has about 7% higher brightness, this is an invisible difference.
I wonder why the weight difference is important for you, the 50 gram for the SS version with battery is not much weight.

Without battery the AL version is 14g, vs 35g for the SS version. I guess the weight difference is negligible as an EDC on a key chain, but my scope of usage may not be limited to that. For example, I like to travel light and a mini flashlight isn't the only tool I carry, the size/weight adds up if I'm not careful about my selection. For the weight of one SS LD01, I could carry 2+ AL LD01, one of them can be used as a backup, but ideally I'd like to get another lightweight AAA flashlight to complement features LD01 lacks and be there to substitute the LD01 if it fails. I was also going to reverse the pocket clip so I could 'mount' the the LD01 in front of a baseball cap, a lighter LD01 results is less momentum from quick head movement, which makes the mount sturdier and less likely to fall off.
 

tickled

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Thanks for the good review, HKJ. I've tried to keep up with the other LD01 threads but this is the first time I've heard about the automatic 'reduced-high' feature. Seems like this wouldn't be a popular feature @ CPF - I know that when I want high, I want HIGH for as long as necessary. :shrug:

Any idea how these constant-current LD01's perform from 2xAAA input voltages? The older versions really do well on a Streamlight SP 2xAAA body - that configuration is one of my favorite lights (2xEneloop AAA's, ~140 est. lumens for ~45 minutes or so on 'high'). I have no idea if the new driver design permits the same lego options.

The one I have does get quite warm to the touch after running on high for a couple of minutes. I can sort of understand why they auto dial it back. I don't have an aluminum version to compare it to.
 

tickled

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Oh I have one question about your graphs. Do they apply to standard 800mAh Eneloops correct? When my Eneloops run down and voltage starts to drop, mode switching gets sluggish. While the light does dim gradually towards the end, it eventually just stops and starts blinking at me. Is this a sign of not enough voltage to get the circuit kick started? I'm not an expert by any means. Other than that, I liked its nice smooth beam. Quite a difference from my other XP-G lights which have smooth reflectors.
 

HKJ

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Oh I have one question about your graphs. Do they apply to standard 800mAh Eneloops correct? When my Eneloops run down and voltage starts to drop, mode switching gets sluggish. While the light does dim gradually towards the end, it eventually just stops and starts blinking at me. Is this a sign of not enough voltage to get the circuit kick started? I'm not an expert by any means. Other than that, I liked its nice smooth beam. Quite a difference from my other XP-G lights which have smooth reflectors.

The runtime graphs are done with 800mAh eneloop for NiMH and Duracell Plus for Alkaline. The voltage sweeps are done with a computer controlled power supply, no batteries are involved in that.
The flashing you see is probably due to high resistance in an empty battery, the light starts up and due to the high current consumption the voltage drops below minimum operating voltage and the light goes out again. When the light goes out, the current drain drops to nearly zero and the voltage will raise again, repeating the cycle.
 
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