Flashlight Reviews

Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4

provided for review by
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  Introduction:
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Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is single AAA battery based Microcontroller (µC) Controlled LED flashlight with three light operating levels and two special flashing modes. Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 has semi premium Q4 bin Cree 7090 XR-E LED. Body of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is machined from Aerospace Grade Aluminium. For environmental protection Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 has type 3 military grade hard coat anodizing inside out. The black HAIII coating provides superior corrosion resistance and high durability. The quality of machining for Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is good. There are multiple O-Ring seals at various locations in for water resistance. Fenix L0D CE meets IPX-8 Standard for being Waterproof. Reflector is built from solid Aluminium and has semi smooth ringy reflective finish. The lens in front is made up of glass with AR coating. Battery contact spring installed inside is plated ensuring very good connectivity with the battery. Light operates in conjunction of twist switching mechanism and perceived input by Microcontroller (µC) based on user actions. Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 uses digitally regulated electronic drive circuit. Overall the built quality of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is good. Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 comes in box type cardboard packaging along with user guide.

Note: This review is a result of more than 300 days of regular EDC carry. During this period, the flashlight was used with different battery types. Namely Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH, Energizer AAA Alkaline Max and AW 10440 were used. The flashlight was subjected to rough use in mostly desert, hot & humid climate. Reliability was never an issue with Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4. Fenix LOD platform has proven consistent reliability in operation. Of course, occassional positive contact cleaning on head and thread cleaning & lubrication was required as a part of regular maintenance.
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Light Features:
  • Cree 7090 XR-E LED, Q4 Brightness Bin
  • 5 mode, digitally regulated, Microcontroller (µC) Controlled drive circuit
  • Aerospace Grade Aluminium body with military grade type III hard anodize coat
  • Solid Aluminium LOP reflector
  • AAA battery based
  • Twist switch
  • Can stand on tail for candle mode
Light Operation & Output:
Light Operation: Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is very simple to operate through twist switch. Twist the bezel / head clockwise to switch on in medium brightness mode. To switch off, turn the head anticlockwise.

Changing Brightness: Twist the head / bezel back and forth in quick succession. The light cycles between Med, Low, High brightness modes and two flashing modes. One of the flashing mode is SOS where as other is blinking. Stop twisting cycle when desired brightness level / flashing mode is achieved.

Brightness Control & Digital Regulation: For efficient brightness management, Fenix L0D CE Premium uses Pulse-width modulation (PWM) cycle to control the light output. in PWM control, "duty cycle" (the fraction of time in which the light is in an "active" state) changes. At low light output levels, light remains "in-active" for more duration and thus you may notice the flicker.

Light Output: Here is the chart showing total output levels* for various AAA batteries.

Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4
Level AAA Sanyo Eneloop NiMH AAA Alkaline AW 10440 Li-Ion **
Low 80 95 285
Med 208 253 765
High 643 719 2000

*The total output levels are based on custom built Integrating Sphere with Gossen Mavolux 5032 Class B USB Light Meter as photometer. To convert total output readings in to approximate Lumen readings, simply divide the total output by 10.

**Please exercise caution while using AW 10440 Li-Ion battery for extended periods on High output level. The flashlight may get extremely hot and could even get damaged.
Light Info:
General Info
    ID
57
    Light Model L0D Q4
    Manufacturer Fenix Light
    Review Page & Image
  
 L0D Q4
L0D Q4
    Country  China
    Review Date 2009-07-21
    Review Update 2009-07-21
Light Vitals
    Length 74 mm
    Width / Bezel Diameter 14 mm
    Width / Tube Diameter 13 mm
    Height (if applicable)  mm
    Weight (without battery) 14 gm
Light Source
    LED Format Power LED
    Number of LEDs 1
    LED Name Cree XR - E
    LED Power 3  Watts
Light Management
    Lens Material Glass
    Lens Coating (if any) AR Coated
    Lens Transperency (typical) 90
    Lumen Management Reflector
    Material Aluminium Metal LOP
    Beam Type Mostly Throw with good side spill
Power Management
    Converter Type Step Up
    Properties Semi Regulated, Micro Controller (uC)
    Features Advanced User Interface
Batteries Supported, Output & Runtime
    Battery Size
    Chemistry
    Nominal Voltage
    # Used
    Total Output
    Runtime to 75%
    Runtime to 50%
    Runtime to 25%
AAAAAAAAA
NiMH  Alk  Li-Ion  
1.21.63.7
111
6437192000
5940
62190
64210
Switch Options
    Switch Type
    Switch Properties
Twist
Simple, Reliable
Body Material Options
    Material
    Properties
    Color
Aluminium
Type III Hard Anodized
Black
Light Rating
    Looks
85 85
    Build Quality
80 80
    Runtime
75 75
    Output
70 70
    Features
60 60
    Usability
90 90
    Bang for buck
70 70
    Overall Rating
 75.714
In-Depth Review & Pictures:
Package: Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 comes packaged in hard paper black colored box. On front side there is a transparent window displaying glimpses of product. On the back side, you will find introduction about Fenix, product specifications, website address and bar code.


Inside the box there are two leaflets; one is for introduction to L0D Flashlight and other is for Fenix Warranty.


Extra O-Ring, small keychain ring attachment and pocket clip are the accessories supplied with the package.


Size Comparison: Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 in center compared with AA Battery on left and AAA battery on right.


Another size comparison From L to R: AA battery, Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4, Arc AAA Premium and AAA battery.


Reflector: Reflector in Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is built from solid Aluminium. Cree XR-E LED is positioned almost in center. Reflector has smooth ringy finish. The reflector design allows combination of throw and side spill and there are no artifacts but side spill of beam may have slight rings in the beam pattern.


Close up of LED in Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4.


Bezel: Lens protecting reflector is toughened glass with Anti Reflection coating. There is a O-Ring protecting the lens; it acts as a barrier for water and dirt entering the lens assembly.


Body: Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is machined from Aerospace Grade Aluminium Alloy. The Machining work with Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is near perfect and without any flaws. From the pictures, it is evident that the edges on both ends of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 are chamfered. Chamfering makes the edges soft and prevents accidental injury which is usually associated with sharp edges. It also helps in easy pocket carry without worry of torn pocket liners.


Bands of diamond knurling over the the head provide good grip for twisting where as the battery tube has six flat surfaces helping to hold the flashlight firmly.


On one of the flat surface "Fenix L0D" is laser engraved. Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.


Tail end has provision of attaching ring. There is a notch machined at the tail. The design is in such a way that it allows keychain attachee to pass through and yet the light can tail stand..




Components: The body of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 consists of 2 main parts; head and battery tube.


Side view of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 components.


Head: If you look closely, the head consists of two parts. Front the portion of knurled shell holds lens and reflector. Back portion of head holds light module containing electronics & LED. Internally, both the parts of head are threaded. There is a O-Ring placed inside to provide environmental protection. The threads are sealed with loctite. As the light is not supposed to be serviced by user, head can not opened by easy means.

The positive contact with battery is achieved by means of gold plated PCB. Here is a 360° view of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4's head.


Battery Tube: Overall construction of battery tube of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is strong. There are six flat faced surfaces over the battery tube forming semi hexagonal look. On one of the flat surface, "Fenix L0D" is laser engraved.


Threads on battery tube are machined to perfection and are anodized. Anodized threads also mean that the wear and tear of thread remains minimal in a long run and light has smooth twist action. There is a O-Ring placed behind threads which provides environmental protection. The threads and O-Ring are well lubricated.


The battery tube takes active part in electrical conduction. Since almost entire battery is anodized inside out, to facilitate electrical conduction, the top of battery tube over threads is machined exposing the raw Aluminium.


The inside end of battery tube is also machined. A plated spring is present at the negative end of battery tube. The inner diameter of battery tube is sufficient to accept standard AAA battery with ease. The battery rattle is very minimal and almost non existent. The inner diameter of battery tube sufficient to accept multiple brands of AAA batteries.


Here is a 360 view of battery tube.


Beam Shots:
Beam with excellent hotspot providing combination of throw and side spill. Here Beam shot Matrix shows Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 on Low and High light levels with Sanyo Eneloop AAA battery. All beam shots are taken at f/8 aperture with varying shutter speed. You might have noticed that at high shutter speeds image is completely dark. This is due to the concurrence of off cycle in PWM while shutter is open.
Low Med High
1/1000
1/500
1/250
1/100
1/50
1/25
1/10
1/5
1/2.5
1


Extreme Closeup Pictures: Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4
Here are a few extreme closeup shots. The workmanship of Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 is good.


Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 Battery Tube.


Battery tube for Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 has diamond shaped knurling.


Closeup of battery tube with laser engraving on Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4.


Closeup of battery tube with laser engraving on Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4.


Tail cap.



Runtime:
Equipment Used: Custom built Integrating Sphere with Gossen Mavolux 5032 Class B USB Light Meter as photometer. Mavolux 5032 B USB is high precision, high accuracy and high quality light meter with conformance to DIN 5032-7 and CIE 69 standards. Utmost care has taken to ensure that the light measurements are accurate.

Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH - High: The runtime for Fenix L0D Q4 with fully charged 750 mAh Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH battery on High light output level is about 1 Hour 2 Minutes till 50%. Fenix L0D Q4 runs in full regulation for the whole duration. The regulation of light output level is attributed to mainly two factors. Firstly due to the flat constant current discharge curve of Sanyo Eneloop battery and secondly due to the digital electronic regulation circuitry in Fenix L0D Premium. The total light output out front stays between to 60 and 50 Lumens.

Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH - Med:
The runtime for Fenix L0D Q4 with 750 mAh Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH battery on Medium light output level is about 3 Hours 1 Minute till 50%. Fenix L0D Q4 runs in full regulation for the whole duration. The total light output out front stays near 20 Lumens.

Here is the runtime graph for Fenix L0P Premium Q4 on Sanyo Eneloop NiMH AAA battery on High and Med light output levels.


Alkaline AAA - High - 1: The runtime for Fenix L0D Q4 with Alkaline AAA battery on High light output is about 19 Minutes till 50% which looks to be considerably less. The total light output level starts at around 80 Lumens which quickly settles at 70 Lumens in a couple of Minutes. The drop in output then continues to steadily to 40 Lumens over the period of 15 Minutes. Once the output reaches 35 Lumens, it drops drastically. It should be noted that Fenix L0D Q4 demands very high currents at high output levels. Alkaline battery is not capable of delivering such high currents due to its inherit cell chemistry. This explains why the runtime is less on continuous usage. At the same time, Alkaline battery has a property to recover itself. We performed two tests on same alkaline battery with a gap of one day to prove this fact.

Alkaline AAA - High - 2: The second test carried out on Fenix L0D Q4 with Alkaline AAA with depilated battery showed additional 14 Minutes of runtime till 50%.

Alkaline AAA - Med - 1: The runtime for Fenix L0D Q4 with Alkaline AAA battery on Medium light output levels about 1 Hour and 15 Minutes till 50%. Again, this looks to be little when compared to Sanyo Eneloop battery. But as said before, the battery will recover and provide more runtime.

Alkaline AAA - Med - 2: The second test on Medium light output level provided additional 40 Minutes of runtime till 50%.

Here is the runtime graph for Fenix L0P Premium Q4 on Alkaline AAA battery on High and Med light output levels.


Runtimes Conclusion: To conclude, as you can see the Sanyo Eneloop delivers consistent performance across the output range where as Alkaline is cannot. Such a small light is capable of delivering upwards of 50 Lumens for more than 1 Hour on a AAA NiMH battery is an achievement in itself. The runtime test on Low output level was not carried out however, we estimate that the runtime will be around 6 to 7 Hours on both batteries. If you intend to use Fenix L0D Premium on a daily basis, we recommend use of Sanyo Eneloop batteries. Alkaline battery may be used if you use the light less frequently with short bursts at high output and more frequent use of low light output levels.


Buy Fenix L0D CE Premium Q4 Flashlight at www.lighthound.com
 
Jump To: Top - Light Operation - Light Info - In-Depth Review & Pictures - Beam Shots - Extreme Closeup Pictures - Runtime
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