The technology race for the most powerful torches brings us all benefits, as the editor reports

credit: Archant

About eight years ago, I spent a fortune on an American-made ‘flashlight’, used by the world’s special forces, to use on my lamping forays. I always have a scope-mounted lamp and a hand-held torch for searching for potential shots, and collecting downed game. I was blown away by its ‘incredible’ 65 lumen output, which was far and away the most powerful I’d ever seen, and it used two, ultra-expensive Cr123A lithium batteries. On my desk, as I write, I have the new LD11 from Fenix. It’s much shorter than my old torch, puts out 130 lumens for two hours and runs on one common or garden AA battery. Oh, and it also costs just £39.95. Wow! It’s over twice as powerful and can be run for pennies. It can also run on the 14500 rechargeable battery that can be bought for around £5, which then boosts it output to 300 lumens and will work out cheaper in the long run; that would be my choice.

Tough testing

I’m familiar with the Fenix brand, regularly using some of their products, and I can happily report 100% reliability and performance as claimed, despite some pretty rough treatment. The machined aluminium bodies are ‘O’ ring sealed at every joint and have passed the toughest international test protocols with flying colours.

Perfect work light

The LED produces a clean, white, even light that belied the tiny size of the torch. The light quality made searching for rabbits in the grass much easier than older LEDs and was just right for my eyes.

While looking at the ‘My Fenix’ website, I noticed an innovative light - the CL20 - that they refer to as ‘a camping lantern’, but I could see another use for it. When I’m lamping rabbits, I prefer to gut them in batches rather than one at a time. When I have enough, I choose a good location and then work through each in turn, ensuring that it is healthy, and that I’ve cleaned the cavity fully before hanging them to cool. Hanging the CL20 from a branch above made the perfect work light, and the whole mucky business far easier. It weighs just over 100 grammes and is 80mm in length, so it’s no trouble to carry along, and it makes loading the car much easier, too.

A good spread

The light output is, again, a nice, natural white and the domed top gives a good spread over a large area. In the base are two magnets, allowing it to be stuck to your car if you’re working beside it, and there’s a swing-out metal loop that I used to hang it from a twig. Wiping blood off with a wet cloth was simple because most of the outer surface is smooth.

These are two products that I can happily recommend and endorse.

LD11 £39.95

CL20 £34.95

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