Posted by Deliverator on October 25th, 2006
Purchased yet another LED flashlight, a Fenix P1 from user Eliteled on eBay. The flashlight cost me $45+$5 S&H, which seems about par for the course. Shipping was quite prompt, arriving via USPS in 2 business days from California. Eliteled answered a post-purchase question I had about acceptable battery types quickly. So far, they have a 100% track record on eBay. If you are in the market for this or any other LED flashlight that they carry, I highly recommend them. Anyways, back to the flashlight itself.
The Fenix P1 is one of the smallest LED flashlights on the market that use a 3 watt Luxeon emitter. There are some that are smaller, but most seem to have little or poor voltage regulation. One of the big attractions of the P1 is its excellent voltage regulation. With the P1, the flashlight will stay uniformly bright throughout the battery’s discharge cycle. Many flashlights without regulation drop to a fraction of their initial brightness after only a few minutes of use. The P1’s superior regulator is able to maintain a substantial percent of its initial brightness until the battery is almost totally drained.
One of the things I like about this flashlight is its ability to use 3.7 volt rechargeable CR123 LION batteries. Non-rechargeable Lithium CR123’s are rather expensive, so the ability to use a rechargeable battery is most welcome. Make sure to use cells which come off the charger no “hotter” than 3.7 volts. There are more or less two types of LION rechargeable CR123 cells. One of these types comes off the charger with a exceedingly high 4.2 volts, which will fry many devices that are designed to only operate on a narrow range of voltages. The P1 has a top voltage that is explicitly stated as 4.0 volts, so using the higher voltage rechargeables will almost certainly Fry it. Even the 3.7 volt cells probably result in some overdriving of the emitter. LEDs can potentially last a long time (100,000 hours is commonly quoted), but if you let them get overly hot, you run the risk of burning out the emitter or severely curtailing its useful life. This flashlight definitely gets hot, so I would recommend you don’t use it continuously for very long unless you are hand holding it (such that your body’s circulation acts as a heatsink for the flashlight) .
The flashlight is nicely machined out of aluminum and is deeply annodized, so scratches won’t mar the finish. The flashlight has a few rings on the tail end for attaching lanyards and it comes with a “lobster claw” clip for attaching to your keychain, as well as a belt holster.
All in all, I consider the Fenix P1 one of the best “keychainable” LED flashlights on the market today.