ReviewTheLight: Fenix PD22UE (Now accepting 16340's)

Bigmac_79

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Fenix is one of the leading names in high-end flashlights, making lights of all shapes and sizes. Now, they've taken one of their popular compact models, the PD22, and upgraded it to a new emitter for higher outputs, and also added functionality to accept 16340 sized lithium ion batteries, in addition to lithium CR123's. Presenting, the PD22UE:


Thanks to Fenix for providing the PD22UE for review.

I’ll be reviewing the PD22UE in two sections: first, I’ll discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I’ll discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Video Review

Below is a video review of the PD22UE. Due to my old image hosting site closing down, I've got new restrictions on image uploads and have replaced the "Construction" section of my reviews with a more detailed video review.


This video is available in 1080p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


Objective

Manufacturer's Specifications

Price: 52 USD





Plus, here's a few shots with some good detail.








User Interface

See video for description of interface.


Action Shots

You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

Light in Hand


MugShot


BeamSlice


White Wall
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/20"


Indoor Shots
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1"


Outdoor Shots

ISO 100, f/3.5, 2.5"
Without Diffuser
With Diffuser



Performance

Submersion: I submersed the PD22UE under a foot of water for about an hour, clicking the switch several times. I found no evidence of water entering or damaging the light.

Heat: The PD22UE drops in output a few minutes after being turned on, so there is no significant heat buildup.

PWM:

Drop: I dropped the PD22UE from about a meter onto various surfaces (including grass, carpet, dirt, and hard wood), and found no cosmetic or functional damage.

Reverse Polarity Protection: Fenix claims the PD22UE to have reverse polarity protection, and I found pressing the buttons with the battery reversed to cause no damage.

Over-Discharge Protection: The PD22UE drops significantly in brightness before the battery is fully discharged.


Spectral Analysis



All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

Output and Runtime



ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

Mode Comparison


Turbo



High


Medium





Throwing Distance

ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.


Coming Soon…
Note: A calibration factor of ~6.88% has been added into my throw measurements starting on 9.11.14. To compare the throw of a light I reviewed previous to that date, multiply the candela value by 1.0688 to get the corrected value.


Subjective Review

Quick break down:

+

-

Coming soon...


Long Term Impressions
I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
 

SeamusORiley

Enlightened
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Dec 1, 2012
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444
I just got mine and like it. The low lumen level with the diffuser cap makes for perfect nighttime reading. The 500 lumens for outside is pretty powerful. I will also have to give it more time to give a better review, but thus far it seems up to Fenix quality.
 

blah9

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Mar 10, 2011
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Thank you for the nice review! I haven't gotten into these smaller lights other than AAAs, but this looks really intriguing. I might have to pick this one up sometime. :)
 

blah9

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Ah, a purple tint doesn't sound nice. That's a shame.
 

Tachead

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Ah, a purple tint doesn't sound nice. That's a shame.

Yeah, it's a pretty cool emitter(in mine) with a noticeable purplish hue to the hotspot. It might be partially due to the AR coating on the lens as well. The upside is it is one of the brightest models I have seen in this size/battery class. It totally blows my other 1 x Cr123a lights out of the water. Especially on turbo with a fresh 16340/RCR123A. However, for an EDC light, I am finding higher CRI neutral emitters are much nicer to use. I don't know if I could ever buy another XP-L or XM-L2 based light after trying a Nichia 219. I just don't like the tint shift and poorer colour rendering performance.
 

blah9

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Mar 10, 2011
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That Nichia sounds nice. I've heard so much about them but have never bought a light with one in it. Maybe I'll branch out and try one sometime.
 

SeamusORiley

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Dec 1, 2012
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444
I put this elsewhere, but it belongs here: Can someone recommend a 16340 battery specific to the PD 22 UE? Thank you!
 

csr.sao

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Jul 19, 2007
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Thanks for the review. Am I reading the runtime graphs right? The actual LM during the run time seem terrible. Medium mfg rated for 60LM for 7hrs, what you actually get is 70LM for 1.5hr then 10LM for 12+hrs? High supposed to be 200LM for 1.5hrs, yet you're really getting 75LM for 1.5hrs. Does that seem right? I understand that is within ANSI spec but those drop offs are terrible.
 
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markr6

Flashaholic
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Jul 16, 2012
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Throw a nice neutral white LED in this batch and I'd be interested.
 

Effing_Jeff

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Aug 26, 2005
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Thanks for the review. Am I reading the runtime graphs right? The actual LM during the run time seem terrible. Medium mfg rated for 60LM for 7hrs, what you actually get is 70LM for 1.5hr then 10LM for 12+hrs? High supposed to be 200LM for 1.5hrs, yet you're really getting 75LM for 1.5hrs. Does that seem right? I understand that is within ANSI spec but those drop offs are terrible.
If those graphs are right there is something seriously wrong with his sample. My own PD22UE gives me 1 hour 25 minutes flat regulation at 200Lm from a Nitecore NL166.
 
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