EDC Flashlight Review | Fenix LD12 AA Battery Flashlight
When looking for a compact flashlight that will fit in your pocket and be perfect for everyday use, you generally look for something that is small enough that it won't bother you to be carried, will hold a AA battery, but yet be bright enough for that everyday sort of carry.
I chose the Fenix LD12 flashlight, and I couldn't be happier with that decision. This little flashlight packs a punch with a powerful 320-lumen output at just over four inches long. This Fenix flashlight is fit with a neutral white LED for brighter color rendering. It has a strike bezel over the lens. It has toughened ultra-clear glass that's anti-reflective. The body is made of aircraft-grade aluminum.
It has two switches, a tactical tail switch for momentary-on and a side switch for selection output. It also has a low-voltage warning reminding you when the battery needs recharged or replaced. Overheat protection, so you don't accidentally burn up the LED in turbo. Has a really cool black pocket clip that comes with it. The whole thing is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, so very durable, very sturdy.
Like all Fenix flashlights, it is waterproof and submergible to two minutes and it's drop-resistant up to a meter, but I've dropped mine plenty higher than that and it still works perfectly without a scratch. Like I said, when I go looking for a flashlight I like to put in my pocket and have for an everyday carry, I look for one that holds AA batteries because AA’s are easy to find anywhere, they're cheap, and if all else fails you can generally find them in a remote floating around the house.
Fenix has taken it a step further by making the Fenix LD12 flashlight compatible with a 14500, which is like a AA but a bit more powerful. Fenix sells them right on their web site, and they make a huge difference to this compact flashlight. The average AA battery has 1.2 to 1.5 volts and this powerful little 14500 has about 3.6 volts. The 14500 makes the Fenix LD12 double its lumens. The Fenix LD12 will produce 150 lumens with a AA battery, and it will produce the maximum 320 lumens with a 14500, which is just crazy for something that fits in your pocket.
The 14500 and the AA battery have around the same run times in turbo mode, with the AA battery at about 50 minutes and the 14500 at about an hour, but the throw dramatically changes from 308 feet with the AA battery to 443 feet with the 14500. When I bought mine, even though it came with the AA, I immediately had to buy that 14500, because the dramatic difference in performance was just so obvious I needed that battery.
With the Fenix LD12 flashlight, having two separate buttons makes the interface very easy to use. Anyone can master it in just a few seconds. With the side switch it has four intensities and a hidden strobe. The fact that the strobe is not in the main selection makes it great. Means one more that you don't have to cycle through to get the correct brightness that you want. You simply press and hold for a few seconds and the strobe will come on.
Now, the tail switch is for on-off, and the side switch is for mode selection. Since there is a mechanical switch, there is no parasitic drain on the flashlight. It's just simply off. With the tail switch turned off, it won't accidentally come on in your pocket, won't drain the battery. Makes the battery life last longer than it will in most flashlights.
The tail switch has two pressed-in positions. When you lightly press it provides a momentarily on so you can simply use the flashlight, and when you press the button in firmly and hear the click, it comes on into permanent mode. One cool thing about this flashlight, it has a memory selection so when you find which brightness you want to keep your flashlight in, use the tail switch to turn it off, and when you turn it back on it will be in that mode again.
You can use the side switch to select between the four modes, turbo, high, medium, and low. Turbo is great for outdoors. With the 14500 in it, it has 320 lumens. It will last for about an hour and the throw is 443 feet. Makes it perfect for looking out in the yard or going camping with, for using in that absolutely darkest of places.
The high mode could be used for around the house or in the garage or for the not quite so open areas but still yet dark. The medium is perfect for looking under the couch or under the bed or in the back of a drawer when there's not enough light. The low. Personally, I use the low at night when I have to get out of bed and walk around the house. It's perfect to just illuminate without too much light.
From personal use, this flashlight can tail stand, but the button can get in the way sometimes when it's not tail standing on a completely flat surface. I can't tell you how many times I have needed a light and with the Fenix LD12 flashlight in my pocket I am always glad it's there, and thank goodness I don't have to use the LED on my phone anymore. Gram for gram, dollar for dollar, this is one of the most, if not the best, flashlight on the market today. I have had many people ask me what light I'm using when hanging around outside, and once they get their hands on it they don't want to give it back.