General Purpose Tools

Fenix L1D-CE Flashlight

Ultra-bright mini-torch

As a flashlight enthusiast, I review many lights on, a site for “flashaholics.” So I’m often asked which flashlight I reach for the most. My answer: the Fenix L1D-CE, a pocket-sizeLED light that uses only a single AA battery. At one time, LED lights were considered very efficient but not really bright enough, especially when compared to the ultra-bright, xenon bulb, 2x lithium CR123 battery specialist lights like the SureFire 6P, SureFire G2 and Streamlight Scorpions (the ones frequently used in CSI). The Fenix L1D-CE uses a newer Cree 7090 XR-E LED that is spec’d to produce 90 lumens at its maximum brightness, some one and a half times as bright as the typical xenon 2x CR123 lights, which are about 60 lumens. That’s brighter than the typical 3D cell flashlight — amazing for a single AA battery!

The L1D-CE has become my EDC (every day carry) because of its versatility. Being bright and compact (about the size of a Swiss Army Knife) is a plus, but for closer tasks, a blindingly bright light is not really suitable. Most of the xenon 2xCR123 lights are just way too bright for close up work, as is the L1D-CE’s Turbo setting (90 lumens).The L1D-CE also has a general mode that has 3 levels of brightness: Low (9 lumens), Medium (40 lumens), High (80 lumens), all accessed by a simple untwist of the head. This allows one to use the light at more appropriate levels for different tasks. Also, the head from the Fenix L1D-CE is fully interchangeable with other models. Fenix sells “powerpacks” with different combinations of heads and bodies, but they also let you purchase the bodies independently. Thus, the strategy is to buy one full flashlight and then just pick up the bodies as you go, like Fenix’s L2D-CE (a two AA light) and even the P2D-CE (which takes a single CR123). By having the Fenix L1D-CE, I can also get the larger L2D and P2D bodies, which means having a 2x AA light that can manage 135 lumens and run on low for 55 hours. Or I can also use an even more compact 1x CR123 lithium light. So you can get three lights with one head and satisfy more needs. Like having your cake and eating it, too. Still, I always return to the L1D-CE configuration because it’s just the right handy size, has brightness levels appropriate for most of my indoor uses, and I can use one rechargeable AA battery for almost no cost and environmentally-friendly illumination.

— Vincent Tseng

Fenix L1D-CE Flashlight
Available from Amazon

Also available from

Manufactured by Fenixlight Ltd.

Related items previously reviewed in Cool Tools:

Stanley Tripod Flashlight

StylusReach Flexible Flashlight

Solar BoGoLight


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