Fenix LD30 Flashlight Review

Today I have in for testing a new Fenix light, the LD30.  It’s an 18650 light with the interesting Fenix optic, and a dual switch interface.  Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

Just one version.  Two kits though.  One has battery, one has no battery.

Price

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.


Short Review

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.

Long Review

The Big Table

Fenix LD30
Emitter: Luminus SST-40
Price in USD at publication time: $64.95
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: Both
Quiescent Current (A):
On-Board Charging? Yes (On-Cell)
Chargetime
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).

What’s Included

  • Fenix LD30 Flashlight
  • Nylon pouch
  • Lanyard
  • 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

Like 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 grip to prevent the light 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

Size:
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.

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 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 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 shuts off.  There is a switch warning, however.

High at 850 lumens is extremely well regulated, and runs for almost 2 hours.  That’s 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
Turbo 1600 1h30m 1706 4.40
High 800 1h55m 877 1.47
Med 350 5h30m 346 0.53
Low 150 17h30m 139 0.20
Eco 30 70h30m 25 0.03

PWM

No PWM in any mode.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

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!

State Action Result
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 Click SOS>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.

It does use a variation of the Fenix optic seen in the E18R and E16 (which I love).

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

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

Conclusion

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

Notes

  • This light was provided by Fenix 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 BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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