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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2009
Verified Purchase
I purchased the LD01 because I was looking for a durable and bright light to add to my keychain. Usually Inova or Photon are the first brands that come to mind for this type of light, but in this case I'm glad I did a bit more research because this is a very nice little light. It was also a no-brainer to go for a light that uses triple-A batteries rather than button cells, because I can have this thing back up and running with greater flexibility should it go dead, plus it's cheaper to run.

Pros:
+Small size (about the size of a Chapstick)
+Big power (80 lumens max? Better than most full-size flashlights!)
+Well built, probably will never break
+Uses AAA battery (easy to find replacements and cheaper to run)
+Three brightness settings for different applications/battery conservation

Cons:
-Anodized black finish will wear off pretty quickly when in pocket with other keys/metal
-Low/Medium settings emit a bit of a high-pitched hum (due to ultra-fast flickering technique used to achieve partial brightness, some people may not even notice)
-Can be inconvenient to toggle through medium/low/high settings. Would prefer unit to default to low instead of medium.

Other thoughts:
If you are on a budget (or just don't want to spend forty bucks on a keychain light), go with the Fenix E01 instead. It will provide great performance at less than 1/3 the price of this light.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2009
Verified Purchase
Even on "dim" this little light puts out plenty of light for walking around in the dark. On "bright" it's bright enough that I can stand in one place and scan my ~10,000 square foot lawn for toys left out. Wow.

Comparing to Maglite, it's roughly as bright as a 3D flashlight (with much shorter run time, of course), or brighter than the AAA flashlights (with longer run time).

Specs:
Dim: 10 lumens, 8.5 hours.
Medium: 27 lumens, 3.5 hours.
Bright: 80 lumens, 1 hour.

Compare with traditional Maglite:
Solitaire: 2.3 lumens, 3.5 hours.
Mini AAA: 15.6 lumens, 2 hours.
Mini AA: 15.2 lumens, 5.5 hours.
2C/D: 36.5-40.6 lumens, 5 hours C, 9-10 hours D
3C/D: 76-82.5 lumens, 5 hours C, 9-10 hours D

(Maglite does not advertise lumen rating or run time for their LED flashlights.)

I have two relatively minor quibbles:
1) Since "dim" is plenty for most uses, I would prefer if the sequence was dim-medium-bright instead of medium-dim-bright.
2) I think (though I am not sure) that I would prefer a pushbutton switch over the twist switch. Not sure where you'd put the button on a lamp this small, though.

[ April 2012 ]

Still carrying it all the time, still happy.

[ May 2014 ]

Still happy.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2009
Verified Purchase
Update: The review below refers to the LD01 which has flashing and SOS modes and 80 lumens. If you don't need the flashing or SOS modes, go with the Fenix LD01 instead. It's brighter and has less PWM flicker at the lower light levels.

Original review:
If you're looking for a compact LED flashlight that runs on a single AAA battery and will always be ready and available, the Fenix LD01 is by far the best in terms of light output, beam quality, efficiency, and durability. It's about the size of a ChapStick so you can carry it in the change pocket of your jeans. I've used it as a bike headlight with great results. Other flashlights I've tried give off a dim, poorly diffused, blue tinted beam. The Fenix LD01 provides three levels of very useful white light. It's great for camping. If you store one in an emergency kit, install a lithium AAA battery as they have a long shelf life and won't leak if it ever does go dead. I recommend getting flashlights that take either AA or AAA batteries as they're the most readily available and come in NiMH rechargeable and lithium versions. It may seen like a lot of money to spend on a dinky little flashlight, but it's worth every penny. It will outshine flashlights several times its size.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2009
Verified Purchase
After 9/11 it became apparent to me (and, I'd warrant, a good number of other New Yorkers) that it would be a good idea to carry around some sort of small flashlight, underscored every time a subway train stopped unexpectedly in a tunnel. It was one of those background amendments to life in NYC that just happened, like the way we react now when a plane flies overhead.

I bought a MagLite Mini and stuck it in my bag. The light seemed reasonably bright, the unit was small and clever with the switch incorporated into the head and being able to stand it on end to use as a candle. I felt a little smug for making such a fine choice.

But I don't always carry my bag with me and the flashlight was too big to carry around regularly in a pocket. As well, because I don't use the light enough, I worried that the batteries would leak. So I took them out. But now I'd have to remember how old the batteries were and replenish them from time to time. The light had now become an end unto itself and not much use to me in a darkened subway tunnel.

A friend gave me a small Orvis keychain light. This solved both the battery problem (some sort of life-long battery in it) and the portability problem but the light was pitifully weak - fine for reading menus but barely enough even to find a keyhole in a darkened apartment building hallway.

Though not as bright as the Mini, the MagLite Silhouette was an improvement over the Orvis (now I could see my shoes in a darkened apartment building hallway), uses only a single AAA battery which I always have on hand to power my insulin pump, and I could attach it to my keychain and as such I'd probably use it more often mitigating the risk of leakage. It felt good in my hand. I congratulated myself for another fine choice.

But in a pitch black subway tunnel?

A review here of small flashlights mentioned the Fenix (pronounced Phoenix) with all the convenience of the Silhouette - a single AAA battery, portability, good build quality, and most important vastly more light than the Silhouette. But $41 (ca. $50 full price) for keychain flashlight? I was suspicious (and bridled at the pronunciation of Fenix). Reluctant, I ordered it.

The scales have fallen from my eyes. It's as trim as the Silhouette, with better build quality and an on/off twist-switch that permits 3 light levels of varying intensity (turning it off and back on within 1.5 seconds moves to the next intensity in order: med, low, high). Unlike the MagLites, the head is loosened to switch it off, not tightened. I've found that I can easily manipulate the switch with one hand and that it quickly becomes apparent how much to loosen it to insure that it won't inadvertently turn on in one's pocket or be so loose that the head will fall off - a few dozen times of turning it on and off and pushing on the lens end with one's thumb sort of trains the fingers, and the threads of the head seem long enough and tightly machined enough to prevent loosening so much that the head will fall off.

But the light! More than enough to see the third rail in a darkened subway tunnel and to scare the bejesus out of rats. $41 will quickly get absorbed and sufficiently amortized by the comfort and confidence I get from reflexively clutching it my pocket when the train stops unexpectedly in a tunnel. Now I'm REALLY smug.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2009
Verified Purchase
Who would want to spend 40 dollars on a mini flashlight? Once you have this baby in your hand, and see the light output, all quells of spending the money will disappear! This is one fantastic flashlight in a tiny package. I'll compare it to other fenix flashlights that I have.

Compared to the E01:
I think the E01 is hand's down the best mini *best value* keyring flashlight ever built. It's so good, and cheap that I would love to buy one for everyone I know. It offers good light for 20 hours! Compared to the E01, the LD01 in the same mode only offers 10 hours. (both use AAA). The E01 is slightly shorter.

Compared to the LD10:
This is fenix's AA version of the flashlight. The LD10 is almost 2x the size of the Ld01. It takes AA batteries, and just feels more solid than the LD01 or E01. I actually prefer the light outout of the LD01, as it is not as concentrated a light spread and seems less hot-spottish.

Major gripe of the LD01.

I had to go through 3 shipments of LD01's from Amazon to find one that didn't have a electrical problem. The electrical problem was light would automatically cycle through the different modes by itself. I was using fresh batteries to test. This means their quality control (their meaning fenix) is really poor. On any other typical product, I would have given up after 2 defective products, but since the LD01 is such a fantastic light in a minature package, as long as my current one doesn't die on me, this is the best keyring flashlight I've ever used!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
First, a disclaimer: I have no connection to Fenix. I saw a review on [...], ordered two, and am just ordering a third for my son, who's about to set off world traveling. I have mine on my keyring. It's extraordinarily bright (and has three controlable brightness levels for battery conservation (or discretion), which the catalog info doesn't seem to mention. It's waterproof, built like a brick s**thouse, and barely adds to the bulk or weight of the keys in my pocket. This new generation of super-brilliant LEDs is instantly transforming flashlights, making ANY older light obsolete -- and is apparently on the verge of transforming household lighting too. Fenix mini LD01 CREE Q5 80 Lumens LED Flashlight - black color, using one AAA battery
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
Verified Purchase
I would agree with the positives mentioned about this light, but it recently stopped working after @ 4 months. No damage or hard usage caused it...it just seems to have shorted out. Currently contacted and waiting to hear back from their customer service department...which is based in China. I'm left wondering if I'm going to have to mail this thing back to China to get it replaced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Before I bought my Fenix LD01, I used the video light from my Blackberry Storm as a flashlight, and it worked surprisingly well. In fact, it was the only thing I actually liked about the phone. When it came time to replace the phone, I realized just how much I missed having a flashlight on my person at all times. I had some requirements: It had to be able to fit on a keychain comfortably, it had to take a common battery type(no 123A or watch batteries) and it had to have a decently wide spillbeam.

As I do before I buy ANYTHING, I did a lot of research. I had settled upon the Arc AAA, which is far pricier than this. Long story short, I got outbid on an ebay auction for one, and didn't feel like coughing up the $54.99 plus shipping to buy the light off of Arc's webstore. So it was back to square one. A bit more research yielded the Fenix E01, a flashlight with a similar beam for 1/3rd of the price. Then I noticed I could get the LD01 for not much more, but with a lot more output. So I ordered the light, and waited. While I waited, I had to justify the cost of a $40 keychain flashlight, which is easier said than done.

Fortunately, it was a LOT easier done once I got to use the flashlight. Quality out of the box is rather outstanding considering how we're taught to be mistrusting of Chinese products. The threads are smooth and well-machined, but could use a tiny bit of lubricant. The hard anodized finish is rather consistent, and looks attractive. The first time I turned it on in a dark hallway, I was impressed with the illumination, and the amount of spill produced. Suddenly $40 didn't seem so bad after all.

In the 3 weeks I've owned the product, I've already used it enough to know that it's going to be an excellent flashlight, and a permanent fixture to my keychain. Battery life is a tad lower on medium/high than I'd like it to be, but that's what rechargeables are for. If I had to come up with complaints, I'd say that the twisting of the light to turn it on is a bit difficult to operate with one hand. It's not hard to twist, but sometimes your fingers will slip and put the light into low mode without meaning to, hard to explain, but it has happened to me a couple of times. Like others, I don't know how long the anodizing will hold up, but mine looks excellent so far.

Everybody I show it to is rather impressed how much light comes out of it in comparison to the average push-button keychain light, and I think that speaks volumes about how good of a product this is. It beats expectations of what a keychain light can do, and that's totally worth it for my money.

Pros:
+ Well-balanced modes, incredibly bright bright, very useful medium and low
+ Svelte, attractive, looks welcome on a keychain
+ Good quality control from the latest batches

Cons:
- Slightly low battery life
- Twist controls can be slightly difficult to activate with one hand, but practice makes perfect

HIGHLY recommended
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2009
True, for a small sized light you can go with one of those diamond shaped squeeze lights. Actually, the Photon Freedom is a very nice one with several useful functions in it (the most useful being a variable output control). But if you want a real substantial and capable light that you can still put in your pocket, you won't find anything to match the Fenix LD01 for the price.

I've owned mine for two years now and it is still going strong (it is the L0D, basically the same light as the LD01 but with a slightly lesser emitter--the Q4 vs. the Q5). I can tuck it in my pants or jacket pocket and not feel substantial bulk. And when I need to use it, the Fenix LD01 provides the following useful modes: medium (27 Lumens @ 3.5hrs), low (10 Lumens @ 8.5hrs), and high (80 lumens @ 1 hr). Medium is the most commonly used one, so it is provided first. Selection is achieved by rotating the light on/off positions, and will cycle sequentially through the settings until you've shut off the light for more than 2 seconds (which then delivers medium (1st) setting again when you turn it on).

One other nice feature you might not really appreciate until you try to use it is standing it on its end (tail standing). Although I have a lanyard attached using a small circle clip, there is a groove in the end that allows the clip to sit recessed so that you can still tail stand the light. It's very useful, especially if you need both hands free. On low mode, it's like having an electric candle. It's hard to find this feature in a light this small--most vendors provide rounded ends (like MAG lite).

There is a slight residual drain of the battery over time, so if you don't plan on using it for a long while you should remove the battery. But if you're a flashaholic, it would be heresy to do so.

I carry mine wherever I go, finding a frequent use for it: movie theaters, walking around at night, dimly lit stores, restaurants (so you can see the menu when lighting is poor), etc.

The one unfortunate change from the L0D is that the LD01 does not have strobe or SOS. I could do without the SOS, but I find the strobe handy at times (like catching someone's attention or parting my way through a saturated crowd). The brightness and runtimes are nearly identical, so I'd say go with an L0D if you can find one. If not, the LD01 is a great light nonetheless.

If there's one improvement I do like about the LD01, is a reduction of flicker (PWM) on the LOW setting (it's not a problem on medium or high). This was likely a limitation of the CREE LED Q4 used on the L0D. It is reported not to be as noticeable on the LD01. In any case, you won't really notice flicker unless you move the light a lot or move your eyes from side to side a lot. Another would be to have a protective bezel. I've dropped my light a few times and have a couple of tiny nicks on the rim.

Some of the cheaper Chinese light vendors sold through websites like Deal Extreme offer similar lights, but none really match the functionality and quality of the LD01/L0D. Believe me, I wasted some money buying some of those others and can tell you it's not worth it. Pay a little more and get the L0D. You won't regret it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2009
Verified Purchase
The Fenix LD01 is what flashlight aficionados call a "key chain light;" a very small light that can live in your pocket, purse, or briefcase ignored and forgotten, until you need it. Just like a Swiss Army Knife, it is not designed for heavy, complex work. If you need a flashlight for heavy work or serious emergencies, get something bigger, brighter, and more versatile. However, most of us do not need, or already own, a big torch if we need one. This flashlight is so small and light that you will not notice it until you need it, then, it will be right there with three levels of light, including a maximum setting that is surprisingly bright. This is the flashlight you carry when you think you will not need a flashlight, or as a backup in case your primary light goes out on you. If a key chain light is what you need, get this one. It will last a lifetime and never let you down.
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