'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: FOURSEVENS Preon P2 in 'Toxic Green' (2xAAA)

subwoofer

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'SHOT SHOW Specials' are a series of reviews inspired by, or as a consequence of, my visit to the SHOT SHOW 2015.
These may contain photos taken while travelling, and may be of a slightly different format.


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Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
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The Preon P2 is not new, however it is new to me, as I've never handled one before. While at SHOT I had the opportunity to meet David Chow and discuss FOURSEVENS in general, as well as to get hands-on several of the FOURSEVENS stable including this Preon P2. It did not disappoint!

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Taking a more detailed look:

Like the other lights in the FOURSEVENS range, the Preon P2's packaing allows you to look all round the light and looks very clean and crisp.

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Included with the Preon P2 are spare o-rings, and a lanyard ring with split ring. The lanyard ring can be fitted in place of the pocket clip.

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Black is SOoo old-hat! The Preon P2 is in 'Toxic Green' to inject some colour into your lighting line up.

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The P2's pocket clip. This can be removed and substituted for the lanyard ring.

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Another view showing the pocket clip design and model designation printed on the side.

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Unlike most other tailcap switched lights, the P2's switch has a metal button cover.

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Using a metal button gives the P2 a great feel, and allows for a crisp engraving of the FOURSEVENS logo.

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Another look at the lovely button and awesome Toxic Green colour.

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The gold plated contacts inside the P2's head.

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Fully anodised and cleanly cut threads are used.

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The P2 is not much larger than the two AAAs it houses.

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The XP-G2 LED sits in a textured reflector.

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Looking at an angle lets you see the reflector depth.

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For an idea of size, here is the P2 amongst a batch of lights on test.

From left to right these are: Olight S10R, Olight S15R, Olight S30R, FOURSEVENS Bolt-Action, FOURSEVENS Preon P2, FOURSEVENS MMU-X3R, Streamlight ProTac HL3, MAG-LITE XL200, NITECORE TM06, Lumintop ED20-T, V54 DC25Cvn and the Streamlight Siege AA.

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The beam

An ideal all-rounder beam for this size of light. There is a wide spill making it great for indoor close-range use, but there is enough of a hotspot to give you some range. No harsh transitions anywhere from the hotspot to the outer edge of the spill.

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Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!




Modes and User Interface:

The Preon P2 has two sets of modes, normal and special. The tailcap switch is a reverse clicky.

Normal modes (starting from OFF) are: Low – Medium – High. There is no memory so the P2 if left of for 2s will default back to Low.

Special modes are: Strobe – SOS – Beacon (High) – Beacon (Low).

To access Special modes you need to cycle through Normal modes twice, then you enter the Special modes.

So first switching onto LOW and then using quick half presses of the button to cycle through the modes you get:
(Low – because you are already on this) – Medium – High – Low – Medium – High – Strobe – SOS – Beacon (High) – Beacon (Low)

In practice I find this quite difficult to stop in the right place, so count how many half presses I need for each Special mode.

From 'On' Low this becomes:

Strobe – 6 half presses
SOS – 7 half presses
Beacon (High) – 8 half presses
Beacon (Low) – 9 half presses



Batteries and output:

The Preon P2 uses 2 x AA either Alkaline or NiMh. The batteries can be inserted either by unscrewing the tailcap, or the head. I find it easier to unscrew the head.

To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

FOURSEVENS Preon P2I.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
High1930
Medium412500
Low32430
Strobe6810
SOS1030
Beacon High202Flash every 11s
Beacon Low45Flash every 11s


An impressive performance from a slim 2 x AAA powered light, keeping output at over 150 lumens for most of the runtime. Not using hard regulation, but a pretty well maintained output.

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Troubleshooting

This is a new section I am adding to mention any minor niggles I came across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

Nothing to report on during testing.

As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.



The Preon P2 in use

Some lights are just a pleasure to hold, and the Preon P2 is certainly one of those. Rounded edges and smooth flawless finish has me picking it up again almost as soon as I put it down.

I'm just as much a fan of black as anyone else, but despite being called 'Toxic' Green the bright metallic green has a depth to it and is not garish or jarring to look at, the opposite in fact.

The metal switch cover gives the P2 a very different feel to most lights making it seem somehow more refined than rubber booted switches. However, the other side to that is that the switch cover can rattle slightly and the switch's click seems slightly amplified. While talking of rattle, the batteries do suffer from a bit of rattle too.

Compared to 1 x AAA lights the pen-sized P2 gives you something to get hold of and to me feels better in the hand than smaller lights. As much as I like very small lights, I'd prefer to have the P2 if possible.

Some people are of the opinion that memory is essential, I would argue otherwise. An EDC light such as the P2 is not a 'tactical' light. Generally tactical lights need to be able to simply come on maximum without having to even think about modes.

For my own EDC requirements, I don't want a blinding blast of full power when I first turn it on. I always want the lowest output after which I can choose to increase IF I need it. Knowing that the P2 will always come on low first means I can confidently turn it on in any situation knowing I won't disturb anyone or blind myself.

Access to the special modes initially felt quite difficult as the presses need to be quite quick and you have to then stop in the right place. Using the counting technique described in the 'Modes and User Interface' section makes this really easy. Of course the P2 could have been a simple three mode light, but by including the special modes, FOURSEVENS have made this all the more useful.


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Review Summary
Things I likeWhat doesn't work so well
Excellent fit and finishSuffers from a few rattles (switch cover and cells)
Toxic Green colourRelatively loud switch click
Always comes on in Low firstSpecial modes can be tricky (but see the tip to make this easier)
Great EDC beam
Consistent output for the majority of the runtime



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Boko

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Oct 29, 2013
Messages
48
Location
Guernsey
Great review. I have the P1 in toxic green. It's a pleasure to hold and behold. Photographs don't do it justice.
 

not a fighter

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Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
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For my own EDC requirements, I don't want a blinding blast of full power when I first turn it on. I always want the lowest output after which I can choose to increase IF I need it. Knowing that the P2 will always come on low first means I can confidently turn it on in any situation knowing I won't disturb anyone or blind myself.
I wholeheartedly agree. This is much preferable to the alternative in my opinion. Great light and great review.
 
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