Fenix LD20 LED Flashlight Review

Do you prefer flashlights that can use regular old Alkaline batteries instead of special lithium cells that are expensive and hard to find? Me too. That’s why I was more than happy to test the LD20 from Fenix.

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

Flashlight Specs

Light type: LED
Bulb: Cree Premium (Q5) 7090 XR-E LED up to 180 Lumens
Lens: Glass
Reflector: Textured
Beam type: Spot
Case type: Metal
Powered by: 2 AA (Alkaline, NiMH or Lithium) batteries not included
Water resistant?: Waterproof to IPX-8 Standards
Size: 6.0 x 0.75 in (150mm x 21.5 mm)
Weight (with batteries): 4oz (115g)

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

Package Contents

LD20 flashlight
Holster
Lanyard
Two spare o-rings
Spare rubber switch boot

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

I rarely use belt cases that are included with some flashlights, but it’s nice that companies include them for people that do.

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

The LD20 is made of T6 aircraft grade aluminum with a durable Type III hard anodized finish. I like that you can place this flashlight on a table or other flat surface and not be worried that it will roll away.

The barrel of the flashlight has a knurled grip, which gives it a rugged and balanced feel in your hand.

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

A rubber power button is located in the tailcap, which unscrews to allow access to the battery chamber. An extra power button is included, which I think is a nice touch. Also included are extra O-rings for the tailcap and the bezel.

The power button is stiff, but not hard to press with your thumb. The cool thing about this light is that it has six light modes that are accessed by turning the bezel and pressing the power switch.

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

The head of the flashlight (or bezel) can be twisted (loosened), to switch from Turbo to General mode. Then the power button can be soft pressed to switch from normal beams, to a flashing survival mode beam.

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

Here is a picture of my office with no lights on, at night, with the door closed. You can only make out my iMac’s display and the glowing LEDs from some of my electronics. I’m standing in the corner of the room focusing on the opposite corner approximately 16 feet away.

Now let’s power on the LD20 and see what it can do…

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

This picture was taken with the LD20 in Turbo mode (bezel fully tightened). As you can see, the beam is bright enough to illuminate the room. Turbo mode is 180 lumens and will work for 2hrs at that level.

Fenix LD20 Flashlight

This picture has the light in General mode (bezel loosened). It’s hard to discern from the picture, but the light is dimmer than turbo mode, but is still bright enough to distinguish everything in the room.

General mode has three different brightness levels that are accessed by soft pressing the tailcap button – 9 lumens (71hrs), 47 lumens (13hrs) and 94 lumens (5hrs).

Both Turbo and General have a blinking mode that can be used for emergency signaling. According to the literature, you can get up to 36 days of survival use (2 continuous hours per day on the lowest brightness setting).

I really like this flashlight and found that my only dislike was with the mode changing mechanism. I’d rather it have some sort of stop, so that you wouldn’t be able to continue to unscrew the head.

The Fenix LD20 is the brightest LED flashlight that I’ve reviewed so far. I like its small size and ability to use regular AA sized batteries. I think this makes a good torch for indoor and outdoor use. The price isn’t too bad either.

 

Product Information

Price:69.95
Manufacturer:Fenix
Pros:
  • 180 lumens
  • Uses regular AA batteries
  • Strobe feature
Cons:
  • Needs a better mode changing mechanism - other than unscrewing the head
Posted in: Gear

20 comments… add one

  • Sebastien Comtois November 17, 2008, 3:12 pm

    Hi Julie,

    I the unscrewing of the head allows for a ‘lantern’ mode, as with the old Maglite flashlight? If you keep unscrewing, maybe you could allow for the light to show 360 degrees in all directions; would be useful with the kids in the tent for example ;)

    1
  • Julie November 17, 2008, 3:24 pm

    Sebastien,

    If you continue to unscrew the head, it will come off and expose the batteries…

    You can use the LD20 as a candle though. It can stand up on its tailcap.

    2
  • Hai November 18, 2008, 10:47 am

    Julie,
    I am always drooling for one of those Surefire flashlights, but this one can be had for a bout half of the price and it uses AA battery. Wow!

    I would like to suggest a way to make photographs for comparison purpose: before taking the first photo (the turbo mode), record the aperture and shutter speed. Put your camera into manual mode with those settings and take the second picture. This way, you compare apple to apple. Cheers.

    3
  • Keith Anderson November 18, 2008, 2:55 pm

    Yes, AAs are cheap and ubiquitous, but cr123s give you twice the power in a smaller, lighter package. You can buy 2 Surefire CR123s at Lowes for under $5, and you can also get a rechargable version. My Fenix PD30 puts out 220 lumens in turbo (yes, it goes to 11…), but is only 4 5/8 in x 13/16 in and weighs 1.7 oz empty. It lives in its (supplied) holster on my belt all the time. Personally, I think the more light/smaller package outweighs the “batteries not as easy to find as AAs.” Oh, and its $2 cheaper.

    [Edited at November 18, 2008 14:56:41 PM.]

    4
  • Julie November 18, 2008, 3:39 pm

    Hai:

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll try that next time for sure.

    Keith:

    220! Now I need to try that light for sure! :o)

    5
  • Geakz November 19, 2008, 1:48 pm

    I have the Fenix E01 which you also reviewed – which is why it’s on my keychain presently. This model might very well find it’s way onto my Christmas list.

    By the way, have you ever considered adding a category of “manufactured in:” to your Review at a Glance? There may be readers who might be more inclined to buy a product if it is ‘Made in the USA’. Are Fenix flashlights? Thanks.

    [Edited at November 19, 2008 13:50:37 PM.]

    6
  • Julie November 19, 2008, 1:56 pm

    Geakz:

    I’m pretty sure that they are made in China…

    Cool idea for a new site feature!

    Julie

    7
  • Mike Orr January 5, 2009, 11:39 am

    Hello,

    Geakz made mention that you had done a review on the Fenix EO1? I could not find it. Also have you ever reviewed the Streamlight Microstream? How does one get into the reviewing business? I love toys, and would love to review torches and various other geeky items.
    Also in your opinion who did you think had the better product Fenix or LED Lenser? I am looking at both. I am mainly trying to find out if the LED Lensers are durable and if the battery life is true on the website or if they are exgagerated.
    You have wonderful reviews, I am really glad that I found your site.

    8
  • Julie January 5, 2009, 8:21 pm

    Mike:
    I’ve not reviewed the Fenix E01. The LD20 was the first one I ever tried. No, haven’t reviewed the Streamlight Microstream. Do you recommend it? If so, I’ll have to check into it.
    It’s not fair for me to compare Fenix to LED Lenser when I’ve only reviewed one Fenix light so far versus several LED Lenser lights. :)

    9
  • Mike January 6, 2009, 1:32 am

    I love the Streamlight Microstream. I have never heard a bad review of one either. I got to see one and I should have bought it. The nest time I have one in front of me I will buy it. They are only like $20.00 But, they are very nice little lights.

    10
  • Julie January 6, 2009, 7:01 am

    Mike:
    I just found it on Amazon.com for ~$17. Is this the one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-66318-MicroStream-Alkaline-Battery-Powered/dp/B00143JZ08

    11
  • Chris Owens January 10, 2009, 6:11 am

    I’ve got an LD20 (2xAA) and an LD01 (1xAAA, keychain). I’ve had the LD01 for 6 months and it’s very, very bright and very reliable: I’m extremely pleased with it. For about twice the money of the Streamlight, it puts out about 4 times the light (80 lumens vs 20 lumens according to the specs). I got the LD20 for Christmas, and it’s another huge step up in brightness (180 lumens) – I think it must be visible from space :-) . This sort of brightness in an everyday torch has simply not been possible until the last year or two with recent advances in white LEDs. Build quality seems high. I intend to use it on my bike – it has about the same performance as a bike light that’s four or five times the money.

    12
  • Julie January 10, 2009, 9:52 am

    @Chris Owens: Great idea for flashlight use – bike light! How are you going to mount it?

    13
  • John January 30, 2009, 3:22 am

    Fenix offers a bike attachment for around $12. It has 2 thumbscrews to attach to the bike handlebar, and 2 to attach the flashlight. You leave the attachment on your bike and then you can remove the light. It has a 360 degree swivel for aiming. Check the fenix website and you’ll see it there.

    I’ve been looking for a good light and think I’ll pick up one of these LD 20s. thanks for the review!

    14
  • neoseikan March 1, 2009, 12:04 pm

    Hi. I am neoseikan, the producer of Neofab Legion II, the brightest single LED flashlight. Would you like to introduce this light in your blog? It has 742~748 real torch lumens.
    If you are interested, here is the link: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?t=191371

    Thank you!

    15
  • BORAT July 21, 2009, 4:26 am

    what do you guys… recommend? fenix or led lenser..?

    im much into throw of the beam and total brightness,that can be use both indoor , outdoor..

    16
  • Mike October 5, 2009, 2:07 pm

    @Borat: LED lenser lights are not regulated, meaning they begin to lose brightness as soon as you start using it. Fenix lights are regulated and maintain a constant brightness until just before the battery runs out. For detailed flashight info, check out http://www.candlepowerforums.com and http://www.light-reviews.com.

    @Keith Anderson: Yes CR123 lights have their advantages, but sometime try to buy a CR123 battery at a convenience store. This keeps me from using one as my EDC light. It would be a problem to be away from home and need a replacement battery and not be able to find one. In addition, all of my gadgets I travel with use AAA batteries, meaning I only need to carry one type of battery with me when I travel.

    17
  • simon reynolds January 16, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Hi

    Ive just purchased the Fenix LD20 and awaiting its delivery.
    I also have the Petzl tactkka headlight which is AAA batteries

    So now I will have 2 types of batteries to carry BUT Im happy that wherever I am in the world I will be able to source fresh batteries for one of the flashlights.
    Im gonna upgrade them both to Lithiums which will reduce wait and give me peace of mind that there will be no leakage!

    18
  • Keith B February 15, 2010, 3:15 pm

    Good review, very nice detail and pictures. I put a link to your review from mine. I also highly recommend the LD20 and it’s my favorite all-around flashlight.
    http://keithspr.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/review-fenix-ld20-led-flashlight/

    19
  • Alvin March 8, 2010, 11:37 pm

    I’ve a Fenix LD20 too, just bought it 2 weeks ago. Its cool you know, 180 lumens. I have another flashlight that produces around 50-55 lumens… I can see a great differeence between 180 and 50 lumens.

    Perhaps i’m getting a Surefire G2 LED sometime… =D

    20

Leave a Comment