Fireflies PL47 Flashlight Review

Preface

The latest review item I have from Neal’s Gadgets is another Fireflies light.  This is the PL47, a right angle 21700 light.  It’s a “headlamp” in the sense that it ships with a headband, but most uses will likely not include it being an actual headlamp.  I’m excited to have and test it; read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There are two body colors – Black and “Yellow” (which is probably really “Champagne”).  And there are a bunch of emitter options:

XPL Hi V2 5A 4000K Neutral White (+$12.00)
SST20 6500K 10W CW

These other options are available at Neal’s Gadgets:

SST20 10W NW 4000K CRI95
XPL Hi V2 3A 5000K Neutral White
XPL Hi V3 1A Cool White

Price and Coupon

Here’s where I got mine, and where you should get yours too:  Neal’s Gadgets.  The price ranges from $48 to $60, depending on the emitters you pick.  (All the XP-L HI options are $60.  SST-20 are $48.)


Short Review

This is a fantastically fun and unusual light.  The tailcap magnet helps with practicality, and the secondary emitters are neat.

Long Review

The Big Table

Fireflies PL47
Emitter: XPL HI (V2 5A 4000K NW)
Price in USD at publication time: $48.00
Cell: 21700
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 5000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1728 (34.6% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 538lux @ 4.775m = 12267cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 221.5
All my Fireflies reviews!

* Standard measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

  • Fireflies PL47 Flashlight
  • Heaband
  • Pocket clip
  • 21700 to 18650 adapter
  • Manual
  • Spare o-rings (2), which didn’t make the photo because they were hiding in the manual!

Package and Manual

The package is a cardboard box.  The light specific are included on a sticker.  Here is told the emitter type and also the flashlight type (since this same box is used for other Fireflies lights).

The manual is a one page paper printed front and back.  It includes the UI graphic by ToyKeeper, and some other very useful information (like to not use a cell over 25A, or you could damage the emitters).

Build Quality and Disassembly

This light is overall just an unusual build.  Not quite in the headlamp category, except that it includes a headband that allows headlamp use.  It’s more of a right angle light, for handheld use.  The overall build quality is good, but unusual.

The tailcap has a some fine reeding, so removing the tailcap is easy.

The threads on the tailcap end are lightly lubed, anodized, and square cut.  These are good threads.

The head and tail both have high quality, thick springs.

Here’s the first glimpse of what’s very unusual about this light.  The head unscrews from the body of course….

The cooling fins on the head really aren’t that deep, and this light can certainly get very hot.  More (or deeper) fins would probably be useful.

And now for what’s different.  Look at how long the threads are that thread into the head!  And note that it’s through these threads that the heat must travel to get to the cooling fins.  It seems to work, but that’s putting a lot of heat on the positive terminal of the cell, for certain.

Size and Comps

Officially:

  • Size: 89mm x 28mm x 24mm body
  • Weight: 78 gram

Retention and Carry

I’m not sure what I’d consider the “primary” way to carry the PL47, but let’s start with the pocket clip.  It fits around the neck of the light, and only allows a bezel-on-top carry.  Due to where the mouth of the clip lands, it’s a little cumbersome to get the clip onto a pocket, but it works well when on.

The clip is a friction fit clip, and is fairly snug.  There are cutouts for lanyard attachment.

Also included is a headband, with a snap in connector for the light.  The band includes an over-the-top strap.

The strap works with the pocket clip installed, or without.  I still wouldn’t consider this light primarily a headlamp, even though it works fine in this configuration.

There’s also a strong magnet in the tailcap, which has no problem holding this light in place!

Power and Runtime

The PL47 is powered by a single 21700 cell.  I’ve tested it only with a Samsung 50E, but since the light has springs on both ends, other types of 21700 should work, provided they aren’t too long.

Also included is an adapter for using 18650 cells.  The adapter works well, and is convenient.  (It’s the same adapter as is used with the E07.)

I tested the light only on the default settings, even though the light is highly configurable.  Default settings will be most useful to the most users, so that seems most reasonable.

Below is the runtime on Turbo.  “Turbo” is accessed by turning the light on to any mode, then double clicking (not double clicking from off).

The light steps down so fast that the majority of the high output has already passed by the 30 second measuring point.  So I read the light as 1728 lumens (at 30 seconds), not the extraordinary ~4000 lumens at startup.  I can’t really explain the sawtooth runtime.  I didn’t notice anything unusual in the output during the tests (they’re both like this) but then the setup is designed to capture all the light anyway – if it’s set up right, then I won’t really see any light anyway.   The output seems to be moderately responding to temperature, which could easily explain the unusualness of the chart.

I measure around 1200 lumens on High (“High” is the top of the ramp, which is accessed by double clicking from off.)

I stopped both tests soon after the light stepped to very low output.  There is LVP, at around 2.8V.

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single e-switch.  It’s on the head, and has an indicator function – more of a locator beacon function than anything else.  The light runs on Andúril, made by ToyKeeper.  The UI is the same as that of the Fireflies E07.

First off, here’s the UI chart made by ToyKeeper herself.

toykeeper_anduril.png

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Hold On (Low)
Off Click On (Mode Memory)
Off Click 2x Highest Hybrid Mode
Off Click 3x Blinkie Mode Group
Off Click 4x Lockout
Off Click 5x Momentary
Off Click 6x Muggle
Off Click 7x Toggle Aux Leds on/off
Off Click, Click, Hold Strobe Group (Mode Memory Strobe)
Strobe Group Click 2x Strobe Cycle (Candle > Bike Flasher > Party Strobe > Tactical Strobe > Lightning Storm)
Blinkie Mode Group Click 2x Blinke Cycle (Sunset > Beacon > TempCheck > BattCheck)
On Click 3x Switch between Stepped and Smooth Ramp
On Click 4x Ramp Configuration
TempCheck Click 4x Thermal Configuration
Beacon Click 4x Beacon Configuration
Lockout Click 4x Off
Strobe Group Click Off
(Basically) On Click Off
Candle Click 3x 30 minute timer to off
Strobe Group Hold Heighten selected mode (Make faster or brighter)
Strobe Group Click, Hold Lessen selected mode (Make slower or dimmer)
On Click 2x FET Turbo
Ramp Configuration [Wait for Single flash] Click N time for level N. Selection of the “Low” you like best by clicking 1, 2, 3, etc. where 1, 2, 3, etc are different levels of low.
Ramp Configuration [Wait for Second flash] Click N time for 1+Turbo-N. Selection of the “Ceiling” you like best by clicking 1, 2, 3, etc. where 1, 2, 3, etc are different Ceiling levels.
Ramp Configuration [Wait for Third flash] Click for how many steps you want in Stepped mode. Sets Number of Steps.
Thermal Configuration [Wait for First flash] Click for N times for N degrees C. Displays Current Temperature.
Thermal Configuration [Wait for Second flash] Click for N times for 30C + N. Sets Temperature Limit.
Beacon Configuration [Wait for First flash] Click for N times N seconds per flash Sets Beacon Speed.

LED and Beam

Though there are many choices, my sample has XP-L HI, in 4000K temperature.  Cree XP-L HI 4000K is practically my favorite emitter (aside from select few Nichia 219b).  These emitters are behind a clear optic, and provide a beam with a fairly tight hotspot, fading into a bit of spill.

There are also secondary emitters, which in my case are a kind of teal, aqua color.  Due to the optic, it’s hard to say exactly how many there are.  I do not believe they are adjustable like the E07.  (Below, the E07 is the blue emitter, and the aqua is the PL47.)

This is the beamshots on the stepped option.

Beamshots, as always at 0.3″, f8, ISO100, and manual temperature of 5000K.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

Sample light is on the left.  BLF-348 on the right.)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive, has the best tint, and [probably] still available!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Unusual build (don’t see many quad headlamps!)
  • 21700 and 18650 support
  • Secondary emitters are neat, and useful for locating the light
  • Reasonably priced

What I don’t like

  • Secondary emitters are quite bright
  • Output claim is a bit of a gimmick

Up Next

I have more lights for this week!  And a couple of cell reviews, probably.  In fact, I have a bunch of cell reviews upcoming!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Neal of Neal’s Gadget for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

4 thoughts on “Fireflies PL47 Flashlight Review

  1. Verry nice review, thank you!

    But in the command table there are two errors:

    Strobe Groupe
    is 2 clicks, release and hold again

    Blinky Mode Group
    is 3 clicks

    1. Strobe Groupe is 2 clicks, release and hold again

      Table says:
      State: Off
      Action: Click, Click, Hold
      Result: Strobe Group (Mode Memory Strobe)

      Blinky Mode Group is 3 clicks

      Table says:
      State: Off
      Action: Click 3x
      Result: Blinkie Mode Group

      I don’t see the errors?

      1. Yes, jumped direct in the middle of the table and overlooked the lines above how to get INTO the groups.

  2. Oh sorry for my last comment.
    You ment 2x clicks within the groups. May I suggest to change the description to?
    Advance in Blinky Mode Group
    and
    Advance in Strobe Group

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