Fenix LD10-R4 review.

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Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:59 am

Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Info from Fenix:
Fenix LD10 is an outdoor flashlight for multiple uses, it combines high brightness and long runtime with 4 lighting levels and 2 flashing outputs for constant brightness. Its portable, compact size and the water-proofing of the IPX-8 standard make the LD10 a dependable flashlight for your lighting applications plus emergency use.
• Cree XP-G LED (R4) with lifespan of 50,000 hours
• Two modes (6 types) of output, generation/turbo selected by turning the bezel (patented)
• General Mode: 9 lumens (34hrs) -> 50 lumens (6hrs) -> 105 lumens (2.2hrs) -> SOS
• Turbo Mode: 132 lumens (1.5hrs) -> Strobe
• Digitally regulated output - maintains constant brightness
• Uses one 1.5V AA ( Ni-MH, Alkaline ) batteries, inexpensive and widely available
• 100mm (Length) x 21.5mm (Diameter)
• Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
• Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
• 54-gram weight (excluding batteries)
• Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard ◎ Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
• Push-button tail cap switch
• Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle
• Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
• Included accessories: holster, lanyard, body clip, two spare o-rings, and a rubber switch boot


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I like the new style holster though would mostly use this inside my pack to prevent the light from accidentally turning on. It can also be locked out by turning the tail cap a bit but nice to see the flap over the clicky.

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They changed the threads on the newer Fenix lights. These seem even smoother (if that’s possible) and are claimed to be more durable. One down side being the head, tailcap and body are no longer interchangeable with older models. I can't put my L2D-Q5 tube on the LD10-R4 head etc.

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Size comparison between my Olight T15 and Quark Mini both using 1XAA.

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It’s a bit smaller than the Olight but larger than the twisty Mini. The LD10-R4 is still small just the same.

As the name implies this model uses a R4 binned XP-G LED. I have read the emitter is larger and when combined with a smaller reflector produces a beam with greater flood than a XR-E or XP-E.

XP-G R4 LED.

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For comparison a XP-E Q3-5A neutral tint emitter from my Quark AA Mini.

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I guess the XP-G's inner part is larger though it’s kinda hard for my eyes to see. In any case the LD10-R4 has a very nice beam that does offer a larger hot spot with more flood than my XR-E and XP-E lights. It also has some throw as well but thinking this comes from raw power and smooth reflector.

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Wow this thing is bright! It seems almost brighter than some of my CR123 lights when first fired. How the heck did they pull that off using single LSD NiMH? My Fenix HL20 1XAA using an XP-E R2 is also bright but the LD10 beats it on all counts. The LD10-R4 runs for a long time on the lower modes as well. There is something more going on here with this newest offering than just a higher bin LED. Not only does this 1XAA light compare to some 1XCR123s but can also match my L2D-Q5 2XAA for all out power, granted for a shorter time. It seems to me that the 132 Turbo rating is underestimated. Come to think of it the rest of the levels look brighter than expected as well with good regulated runtimes. I first noticed this change with the HL20 1XAA headlamp. It just seemed brighter than expected for 1XAA even by Fenix standards but the LD10 is more surprising.

Pros:

1. Very very bright. Not sure if the turbo can be run this bright for more than a short time but this is all I need. The low is much like my L2D-Q5 which is ok as can actually hike using the low on known trails.
2. Great beam. The Fenix HL20 is a winner in that regard as well but the LD10-R4 has a larger hot spot. Somehow there is still enough throw as well for my needs. I think the smooth reflector helps with the throw.
3. Ok tint. I prefer warmer tints but will tolerate cooler ones. I just dislike a strong blue or squid piss green and there isn’t any of that.
4. I like the anti roll bezel and new threads.
5. The clicky takes enough force to activate that maybe it won’t turn on in my pack. I tend to lock lights out but sometimes forget.
6. I can see the turbo mode is brighter than the high. I couldn’t tell the difference between my Olight T15’s highest two modes. Well maybe for a few seconds with a LSD NiMH fresh off the charger but even then a blink of the eye and it was indistinguishable.
7. No PWM. The light uses CC on all levels.
8. Works very well with L91 (lithium primary), LSD NIMH and standard NiMH as well.

Cons:

1. I can hear a very very faint buzz on the high setting. The light must be very near my ear (almost inside) for me to hear it and there is no sounds whatsoever on the rest of the modes.
2. Higher low mode than some lights. I guess this is a pro or con depending on use.
3. I like the larger lanyard holes in the tall cap but find the cutout sections actually makes activation a bit harder than the L2D-Q5. Also it can’t be as stable when tail standing though it will stand. Not sure why everyone seems to be making tail caps this way.
4. Between the new bezel front plus anti roll feature, tail cap, and clip I find the light less comfortable in my hands than the older/smoother Fenix lights. I may remove the clip.
5. The circuit doesn’t support higher voltage rechargeable batteries (14500). I don’t own any but reports indicate it will only run on the highest mode.
6. Alkaline batteries aren’t the best for higher power lights though ran the low and medium modes well.
7. It cost me 54 bucks shipped.

Conclusion:

I think this could be one of the brightest and most efficient 1XAA lights on the market. If looking for a 1XAA Fenix spend the few extra dollars and get the R4 version over the older models.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by the_alias » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:29 am

Great review Woods. Would you think this could be used as a koppoken/striking implement in self defense or is it just too small?
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Sealegs » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:16 am

How is the clip?

Never much liked the snap on kind but it looks solid?
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by NYKh » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:23 am

Thanks for the write up.

I now have yet another item on my wish list
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by RepeatDefender » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:44 am

Great review! I really like my LD10 and I use it more often than any other light I own. It's just so handy. I also like the single AA battery it uses, always common and easy to find.

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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by retrospeaks » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:29 pm

WW-

do you by chance have any 4 sevens lights? i keep flip flopping between fenix and the quark series and their different models. i favor aa battery powered lights, but i am unsure if i really need 205 lumens max on a light. then again, better to have and not need than to need and not have.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Sealegs » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:52 pm

retrospeaks wrote:WW-

do you by chance have any 4 sevens lights? i keep flip flopping between fenix and the quark series and their different models. i favor aa battery powered lights, but i am unsure if i really need 205 lumens max on a light. then again, better to have and not need than to need and not have.
:lol: I say the same when I am shopping for something, but I am referring to the cash in my wallet.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Luminary703 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:09 pm

Appreciate the review. Looking for a light my parents can comfortably EDC. They both work desk jobs so having to carry one around in a holster is a no go. Might have to pick one of these up as a back up for my LD20 though. :o
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:57 pm

The_alias.

Maybe this one would be better. :lol:

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 34&t=66181" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sealegs.

The clip seems good but haven’t used it.

Retrospeaks.

I have a 4sevens light posted for comparison in this thread and also played around with a few. The build quality is a bit higher with Fenix and think they run better with common battery types. On the flip side 4sevens has (more) lower modes and works better with some types of higher voltage rechargeable. Honestly the decision would come down to what model from either brand that fills your requirements best.

Luminary.

The LD10 fits my pockets and so far hasn’t accidentally activated.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by BobtheBreaker » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:52 pm

The spring tension that holds the clip to the body will slowly degrade with use and even faster if you don and doff the clip frequently. Fenix Gear sells replacements.

The special Titanium coating on the clip...will not last very long.

It sucks as a hand held strike implement in my border line XL mitts.

The ridges are more for creating standoff should you place the light on its face while running.

The tail cap switch will develop a gremlin, specifically the gremlin inconsistent function.

Being able to stand it up on the tail cap is a neat feature, however its about as stable as s drunk townie with an ear infection, in rough waters on a small boat.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Woods Walker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:11 am

BobtheBreaker wrote:The tail cap switch will develop a gremlin, specifically the gremlin inconsistent function.
The clicky feels the same as my L2D-Q5 and it has worked for years. Did they change something? I have read the retaining ring can come loose in some Fenix lights over time but this is user fixable though that hasn't happened to me.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by BobtheBreaker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:26 am

Gah! sorry, I wrote those things in that stupid authoritative tone that eerks me.

In regards to the switch, I have no idea if its L2D-ness don't own one. At the height of dysfunction, where I was having to click 3 or 4 times to get light. I did eventually notice that the retaining ring was loose, I backed it out to "service" the button and sealed it all back up tight. The very next time I depressed the button it failed to light up. But the failure rate is way, way down. Maybe the first click of the day is a dud, but since almost all my use is in a duty format. I have the time set aside to function check everything so it really, rarely affects me.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Woods Walker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:46 am

BobtheBreaker wrote: In regards to the switch, I have no idea if its L2D-ness don't own one. At the height of dysfunction, where I was having to click 3 or 4 times to get light. I did eventually notice that the retaining ring was loose, I backed it out to "service" the button and sealed it all back up tight. The very next time I depressed the button it failed to light up. But the failure rate is way, way down. Maybe the first click of the day is a dud, but since almost all my use is in a duty format. I have the time set aside to function check everything so it really, rarely affects me.
Glad to hear your light is working better. If my memory is correct for a short time Fenix was using Loctite to seal the tail cap on the body in some of their lights. I speculated this was done to help reduce the chances of the retaining ring getting loose after multiple battery changes aka twisting on and off of the tail. But guessing people didn't like that so it was short lived. Maybe there is a down side to a user accessible switch that someone can replace the boot/switch if worn out but darn if I know. I wonder if removing the head for battery changes might be a total solution over the long term? Going to keep an eye out for this issue but so far all is well. I agree that the tail standing capability is marginal at best. The L1D/L2D stands just fine and wish they returned to the old tail cap format but liked the larger lanyard hole.

On a side note I trust the tail caps of the SF 6P/G2 (and all SF models using it) the most but it's more of a twisty.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Spoils » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:21 pm

Is it normal for the LD10, or any Cree LED for that matter, to get hot when left on for a while? I used it as a candle for about 15-20 minutes and was surprised at how hot it was when I went to turn it off.

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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by BobtheBreaker » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:29 pm

In my experience, Yes. Especially in Turbo or Seizure mode. I can get this torch up to unhandle-able temperatures.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:09 am

Spoils wrote:Is it normal for the LD10, or any Cree LED for that matter, to get hot when left on for a while? I used it as a candle for about 15-20 minutes and was surprised at how hot it was when I went to turn it off.
Your hand acts to transfer heat away so if left alone on highest modes the light will heat up and this isn't good for the LED. On the positive side at least Fenix has made the light to transfer the heat away from the LED. A very small hard driven LED light in which the outside doesn't heat up could be bad news I would think.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Exploriment » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:01 pm

I have an LD10 and I’m very happy with it.

Best flashlight I've ever owned. Small, light and bright.

And the F off strobe is a great self defense tool.

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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Kiwi Bowhunter » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:36 am

Good review! Been wanting one of these, my LD20 is a bit long for EDC and has a stupidly placed pocket clip :roll:
I'd rather have it, and not need it, than need it, and not have it!

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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by airballrad » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:18 am

I have an LD10 Q5. Does anyone know (or have a link to) the comparison in specs and such between the Q5, R4, and R5? I've been looking around but all I can find is information on the Fenix products currently being sold.

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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by Woods Walker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:16 pm

airballrad wrote:I have an LD10 Q5. Does anyone know (or have a link to) the comparison in specs and such between the Q5, R4, and R5? I've been looking around but all I can find is information on the Fenix products currently being sold.
The LD10 R4 has a big jump between high and turbo and the XP-G R4 LED is more efficient but seems floodier than my L2D-Q5 XR-E. The LD10 Q5 turbo isn't all that more than the high. The R5 should be up to 7% more than the R4 bin (nothing your eyes will notice) but don't know if Fenix did any changes to the circuit and have read conflicting reports on this. I do know that Fenix started to use a more conservative lumen rating system with the R5 light which on paper makes the performance look worse.
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Re: Fenix LD10-R4 review.

Post by NX02GT » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:40 pm

Great info. Been thinking of getting a new one, this may be it. You have inspired me to do a review of my new headlamp tonight.
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