Fenix LD30 Flashlight Review
The Fenix LD30 flashlight is an 18650 light with an interesting Fenix optic, and a dual switch interface. Read on!
Official Specs and Features
Just one version. Two kits though. One has a battery, one has no battery.
The no-battery option is $64.95. The with-battery kit is $79.95, so it’s clear that the no-battery option is the better choice.
The LD30 is very flashlighty, and I love flashlighty lights. Silly as it may be. I don’t love the tint of the SST-40, and I think the interface could be improved. I’d like to even see an e-switch only version. But overall I really like the LD30.
The Big Table
|Price in USD at publication time:||$64.95|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||–|
|On-Board Charging?||Yes (On-Cell)|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||–|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1600|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1706 (106.6% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||205|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||412lux @ 5.048m = 10499cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||204.9 (100% of claim)^|
|All my Fenix reviews!|
^ 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).
- Fenix LD30 Flashlight
- Nylon pouch
- Spare o-ring
- Manual and paperwork
My package also included an 18650 with built-in charging.
Package and Manual
Standard Fenix package and colors.
The manual’s pretty good, too.
Build Quality and Disassembly
As I said, the LD30 is very flashlighty. It’s hard to explain exactly why, but overall the feel in hand of the LD30 is just great.
The body doesn’t have traditional knurling. Instead, it has ridges, which provide a grip to prevent the light from slipping out of your hand.
The switch has some nice detailing, too – the trim matches the bezel.
Inside the light, the head has no springs – just a small pad. The tail end has a spring and is held together by a circlip. So this would be very hard to disassemble since the split-ring tool you need will have to be as long as the barrel. The tailcap doesn’t come off by unscrewing.
The threads are thick and square-cut and properly lubed. They’re also anodized, so aside from the mechanical tail switch, it’s possible to further lock the light out by loosening the head a bit.
The trim isn’t copper. It’s some metal-coated bronze colored.
Size and Comps
Officially, the LD30 is
Length: 4.3” (109mm)
Body: 0.9” (21.5mm)
Head: 1.0” (25.4mm)
Weight: 2.1 oz. (59g) excluding battery
It’s a very nicely sized light. Just if all the length from the mechanical switch was gone… this would be a great sized 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
Included with the LD30 is a nylon pouch, in which the light can fit bezel up or down. The clip doesn’t really get in the way.
Next is the pocket clip. This is a bi-directional friction fit clip, which is a type of clip I typically hate. These most often offer the worst of both worlds. This clip isn’t much of an exception to that, but it’s long enough to be slightly usable… I’d strongly prefer a one-direction clip. The clip offers a few attachment points for the included lanyard.
A stronger point for the lanyard, however, is the holes in the tailcap. Two holes on both sides.
As shown in the Fenix documentation, the pocket clip does allow the use of the LD30 as a hatlight, but the balance would likely be wrong.
Power and Runtime
The LD30 runs on a single 18650 cell. Fenix included the cell below, a 3500mAh micro-USB charging 18650.
It can be purchased with the package but adds $15 to the price. If you have a charger at your disposal, spending $15 on this cell wouldn’t be a good use of your funds.
This is a button-top cell.
Runtime on Turbo. Stepdown from 1800ish lumens to 800, then steadying off at 1200 or so after the temperature regulates. The stepdowns based on voltage end in the lowest mode, and from what I can tell, never shut off. There is a switch warning, however.
High at 850 lumens is extremely well regulated and runs for almost 2 hours. That’s a great performance, and something many users often look for.
The LD30 doesn’t have on-board charging, but the cell Fenix included does. So here’s a single test of that cell. Charging is around 0.7A and takes around 5.5h.
When the light is turned on, the indicating switch shows the cell capacity for around 5 seconds:
Steady Green: Saturated. (ie, “Charged”)
Green Flashes: Sufficient.
Steady Red: Low
Red Flashes: Insufficient.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
No PWM in any mode.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
The LD30 is a dual switch light. The tail switch is an on/off mechanical switch. If this is in the off position, there is no parasitic drain. It’s very clicky, like all mechanical switches.
The second switch is an indicating e-switch on the head. This switch can not control on/off – if the mechanical switch is on, then the light is on in some mode, period.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click Tail Switch (TS)||On (mode memory)|
|Off||Tap TS||Momentary (mode memory)|
|Off||Any Action, Side Switch (SS)||No action|
|TS On||Click SS||Mode advance (Eco>L>M>H>Turbo)|
|TS On||Hold SS||Strobe|
|Strobe||Hold SS||On (mode memory)|
LED and Beam
In the LD30 is a Luminus SST-40. I can’t see the temperature mentioned on the Fenix website, but ultimately it’s a bit green.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Love the build, and the build quality
- Output bests specifications
- UI is dead simple and allows one to effectively use this as a “one mode light” (ie never change the mode with the side switch? Light is always in that mode).
What I don’t like
- SST-40 tint is not good
- This light was provided by Fenix for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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