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Fenix LD01 Flashlight Review

fenix_ld01-side

I have had the privilege/opportunity/perk of reviewing some very high-end flashlights and lasers over the years. Many readers have commented on the fact that $200+ is too much to pay for something as simple as a flashlight. In many ways I agree, but have to say that Surefire makes incredibly nice pieces of hardware engineered from great materials, ultra bright LEDs, precision manufacturing/engineering/lifetime warranty/etc. The most recent LED flashlight I have reviewed was the Surefire Titan, a small, very pocketable flashlight. Yet, at $240, not the most cost effective choice out there. That said, there are MANY less costly alternatives on the (small) LED flashlight market. The Fenix LD01 is one of those more reasonably priced options, that may not surpass Surefire’s Cadillac quality, but holds its own none-the-less.

The Fenix LD01 is constructed from T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and finished with a Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish (Fenix also makes a limited edition, stainless steel version of the LD01 as well). The Fenix construction, materials, and coating are very similar in quality to the Surefire’s I have tested.

fenix_ld01-contense

Package Contents:

  • LD20 flashlight
  • Pocket clip
  • Spare o-ring

Specifications:

  • Cree Premium (Q5) 7090 XR-E LED with lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Three output modes: 80 Lumens (1hrs) ->  27 Lumens (3.5hrs) -> 10 Lumens (8.5hrs)
  • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Uses one 1.5V AAA battery
  • 7.35cm (L) x 1.4cm (D) |  2.9 in (L) x 0.6 in (D)
  • 14.8-gram (or 0.5 oz) weight (excluding batteries)
  • Made of durable T6 aircraft-grade aluminum

Features:

  • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with AR coating
  • Waterproof to IPX-8 Standards
  • Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle
  • Reliable twist-switch
  • Includes pocket clip, key ring and spare rubber o-ring

fenix_ld01-led

The light source is a Cree Premium (Q5) 7090 XR-E LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours. The light shines through a ‘toughened’ ultra-clear glass lens with a anti-reflective coating. The LD01 is powered by a single AAA battery. Like the LD20 (Julie reviewed) and LD10, the LD01 uses a much more common (and less expensive) battery than the 123A lithiums that all of the Surefire flashlights I have used.

fenix_ld01-battery_sm

That single AAA battery does a relatively good job of powering the LD01. The flashlight has three output modes: 80 Lumens, 27 Lumens, 10 Lumens, draining the standard battery in 1 hour, 3.5 hours, and 8.5 hours respectively. I am using a higher capacity rechargeable battery that has yet to be recharged. To turn on the LD01, the topcap acts as twist-switch. Instead of ratcheting the power settings, you have to turn it on, then off, then on again to get the lower output settings. Not exactly intuitive, but workable.

fenix_ld01-candle

The LD01 has a flat base, allowing the flashlight to stand upright to ‘serve as a candle’.

fenix_ld01-oring

The LD01 is waterproof to IPX-8 Standards. Like many other flashlights there is a rubber o-ring at the base of the threads that keeps the water out. Fenix includes a spare o-ring in case the original wears out.

fenix_ld01-keyring

Fenix also includes a pocket clip for attaching the light to your clothing.  Or you can connect an eye ring to the base allowing you to attach the LD01 to your keyring, bag, purse, or the like.

fenix_ld01-lineup

The best thing about the LD01 is its light output compared to size (second from the left). It is a fraction of the (already small) Surefire Titan’s size and weight, comparable to the mini mag lights. Without a battery the LD01 weighs just half an ounce, barely an ounce with.

fenix_ld01-keys

At one sixth the cost, half the volume, and 40% the weight of the Surefire Titan….the LD01 is a great bang for the buck. It is well made, bright, very compact and pocketable.

 

Product Information

Price:Between $40-$50
Manufacturer:Fenix
Pros:
  • Well made, quality construction
  • Small and lightweight
  • 80 lumens
  • Uses regular AAA batteries
  • Waterproof
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • Better control of the brightness settings

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Chad October 4, 2009, 7:01 pm

    I have used two of these (first one lost, second one has a stuck battery I can’t get out). Other than the stuck battery, it is a great little light. I wore it in my pocket with the clip and it was great to have a small and powerful light always available.

    Highly recommended, be careful with the battery.

  • nathan October 5, 2009, 11:19 am

    I love this light. No matter how you do the math, the price-size-light output ratios are excellent. Many people have commented on mine, saying “you can get that much light out of something that fits with your keys in your pocket?”

    Mine will be going on its second anniversary this Christmas.

  • Andrew October 5, 2009, 11:19 am

    I have one of these with a handlebar mount for my bike. It’s a really capable little light. And it meant I could get rid of the heavy halogen+battery I used before. Plus I get more use out of it per charges (I use a single AA rechargeable in it).

  • Mike October 5, 2009, 1:54 pm

    I started carrying one of these a few weeks ago and never realized how handy it is to have a bright flashlight with you all the time. I use it all the time. It is a great light. I looked at a fair number of other lights and I can’t think of a better one to carry with you every day. The only thing I would change is I would prefer the light to start off in the low mode when you first turn it on instead of the medium mode. The low mode is adequate for 90% of situations and uses less battery.

  • Bob Quinlan October 5, 2009, 8:07 pm

    I own several LD01s and have given a few more away to friends. They are great lights! The combination of size, power, versatility, and reliability is awfully hard to beat.

    Despite my fondness for the LD01 I have found a comparable light that I like even better. The Maratac AAA is made by ITP and sold by CountyComm (http://countycomm.com/aaa.html). It has similar characteristics to the LD01 (including the AAA battery) while coming it at less than half the cost, 2/3 the weight, and a bit smaller size.

  • Steve October 10, 2009, 8:00 pm

    I just ordered an ld01 a few days ago and am awaiting it’s arrival. I know when you power the flashlight on, it automaticaly goes to the default mode(27 lumens). Is there anyway to change it so it comes on every time at the 80 lumens. I don’t want to have to turn it on/off 3 times to get to 80 lumens.

  • Barbara D January 27, 2014, 1:02 am

    I cannot find a replacement o-ring. Ordered a small set of o-rings from a flashlight site but they were too large. Any suggestions?

  • Tom Purcell March 25, 2014, 4:57 pm

    Help.
    I cannot get the old battery out in order
    to replace the battery. Any ideas? AAA
    alkaline. Thx

  • foghorn September 14, 2014, 1:55 pm

    With this flashlight in short supply (discont’d?) and selling for $139 at amazon, it’s seen its commercial day, apparently. Yet the one I’ve had for five years goes strong, and when I went to get another, I ran into availability and price problems. BUT:

    Fenix has popped out with the 2014 model of the E05 that seems to have the same 3-power setting in much the same AAA configuration. Got a couple on Amazon for $15.00/ea. Can’t review it yet, but it seems like a great package to replace the LD01

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