Yesterday, I got something new in the mail to review, but this time, it’s not a robot or DJ equipment. This is a little more practical and can come in handy if I get stranded by the side of the road or just want to go camping. It’s a flashlight, and a really good one, too. Anyone who’s ever had the need for a decent flashlight knows the value of a professional grade compared to the plastic ones you find in the grocery store. It’s an LED Lenser, and it’s a bright little beast, but before I show you, let’s get to know a little about it.
The LED Lenser P7 sent to me by Coast Products, came with a nice product guide and a full 2009 product catalog, but I was excited to try the P7 out, so I went right for the box. It’s a nice little box with everything tucked away in a manner that shows the flashlight off, which is nice. Inside the box is the P7, four “AAA” batteries, a wrist strap, a sheath and a user’s manual. At first sight, I was immediately impressed with the look of the flashlight and when I dug a little deeper, I was even more impressed with the sheath to carry it in. It’s seriously durable and covers most of the P7 well. I doubt I’d ever have to worry about losing my flashlight as long as it’s safely nestled in its sheath. The back top folds over and stays closed with some heavy velcro. On the back is the belt strap which also velcros and snaps for added security. Better still is the carabiner attached to the belt strap so I can just clip it almost anywhere for fast access.
The P7 Model 8407 I have here uses the four included “AAA” batteries to produce some really bright light with a max of 192 Lumens at up to a staggering 738 feet, and their flashlight line gets even brighter, although this is plenty brightness for most people. In fact, the user manual comes with a warning.
My first thought at reading this warning was that warnings like that have always been about the sun and lasers. You’re probably not going to be pointing it into your own (or other people’s) eyes, but it says something about how incredibly bright the light is that comes from this little package. At 5.25 inches long, it’s about an inch longer than my iPhone and fits easily into any of my jeans pockets and with its aluminum body, it weighs a sturdy, but not encumbering, seven ounces. According to the product guide, I should be able to get about 78 hours out of the batteries, which is pretty decent.
What really intrigued me was all the advanced flashlight technology crammed into this thing. For starters, it has an Advanced Focus System that helps it focus the light much more cleanly. It’s pretty easy to notice in the photo to the right and the demo videos below, too. I’m sure this also helps the light reach as far as it does. Another thing that the P7 includes is a heat sink. If you’ve heard of one of these, it was probably in reference to your computer’s processor or video card. They get really hot and a heat sink cools them down. The same is true here. The P7’s LED system is pretty efficient with it’s power consumption, but still could produce some heat throwing all that light out, so they included a heat sink to keep it cool, and it hasn’t felt warm to me yet, so I guess it works.
To see the LED Lenser P7 in action, just watch the two short videos below. The first is a quick example of the levels of illumination provided and the second is a demonstration of easy and accurate light focusing with one hand while I recorded the video with the other.
I think the only real gripe I had about this flashlight was the turning flashlight head. From everything I’ve read (and just using it), I’ve found no logical reason for the head of the flashlight to easily turn on it’s body like it does. It’s not really a problem until I focus the beam with my thumb by pushing the flashlight head for ward or pulling it back into the body. It just barely reduces the ease of use in focusing the beam, but it does so unnecessarily. That said, it was my only gripe and is certainly forgivable, but has to be mentioned regardless.
Before I opened the box, I knew where this flashlight would live if it lived up to my expectations, and it has exceeded them. I’ve been meaning to buy a torch for my car and I no longer have to. I work late a lot and Michelle and I love road trips, so this is a must. She has a decent high end flashlight in her car and I’ve been planning on buying the same one for mine, but now I’m glad I procrastinated. Though they’ll both perform well, I’m certain I have the better flashlight. I couldn’t help but think, however, about other uses for a P7. Since I’m going camping again in a couple weeks, that popped in my head right away. Then I thought of some other obvious uses. Obviously, police officers, firefighters, EMTs and other rescue personnel could really benefit from the bright light, which is why this is considered a professional grade flashlight. Spelunkers would love it, and anyone who works for the power company and has to climb a pole at 2 AM might find it handy. It’s waterproof, so I wonder if it would be a good deep sea diver’s tool.
While this flashlight will cost you a few dollars more at around $90, it’s built to stick around long enough to make up for it and then some, compared to most of the cheaper flashlights. Trust me, I know all too well. It’s also one of those “you get what you pay for” products… Well, maybe a bit more. It’s water proof, has gold plated contacts for optimal performance, the aforementioned technology built in, great battery life, and of course, really good light output. In short, it’s a serious flashlight from a company that seems to know what they’re doing, judging by their product line.
If you bought one, what would you use it for?