Fenix pack a searchlight into your pocket
I had a power cut recently and it’s at times like that when you realise how much you rely on light just being there when you need it. You can’t even read a book when it’s pitch black outside and you’re out of candles. So being the geek that I am, I decided to use this an an opportunity to buy a new gadget. When the power came back I did some digging around to find the current state of the art in flashlight technology – see what I ended up with after the jump…
Thanks to the
obsessive helpful guys over at Candlepower Forums I came across a company called Fenix. They’ve have been working hard to make torches smaller, brighter and tougher then the standard $4.99 plastic thing you’ll see on sale at the local supermarket. They have a pretty wide range but the one I settled on is the P1D CE. It’s an LED torch that’s not much bigger than the single battery which powers it – but it puts out a beam of light that would be more at home in a car headlamp!
The P1D CE has 3 power settings so you can make a choice between stupidly high brightness for about 30-45 minutes at one end of the scale or 20 hours (yes, you did read that right) of continuous light at the other. It’s also made out of “hard anodised” aluminium which is the technical way of saying that you can put it in your pocket with a bunch of keys and the finish won’t suffer. This little thing is tough!
Words alone don’t describe the wow factor that this light has so I decided to do a quick comparison with something many people will be familiar with – a fairly substantial torch powered by “D” size cells. This represents a good, solid, conventional torch.
As you can see the Fenix looks a bit lost in this company…
So on looks alone you’d expect the “old school” torch to win hands down but the Fenix has a couple of tricks up it’s sleeve. First, it’s an LED light which means the “bulb” is nearly indestructable and will last forever. Secondly it’s powered by a lithium battery which can put out huge amounts of energy. The results of my quick test?
1. The “D” cell torch illuminating my stairwell
2. The Fenix on “dim” mode. The photo doesn’t really show it well but even on this mode there’s enough light to navigate by and you do get 20 hours of it!
3. The Fenix in it’s “normal” mode. This is roughly equivalent to the “D” cell torch
4. Max mode on the Fenix. Again this photo doesn’t really do it justice, but there is a huge amount of light here, much more than most jobs require.
I think those results speak for themselves!
The P1D-CE is available from www.glowgadgets.com for about £40. One word of advice though – if you get one, don’t buy your batteries over the counter! Many shops want £6 per battery which is going to start hurting pretty fast. If you hunt around you can find them for £2 online which is a much better idea!