Fenix E01 – A Classic?

Disclaimer: The light was purchased as NOS (New Old Stock) by the reviewer. Lights purchased currently, will come in blister packaging and have a flat run time of 16.5hrs.

Packaging & First Impressions

This is what the light will come with as shown below.

  • Light will roll freely if left on its sides, adding the provided keychain split ring eliminates the issue.
  • There is no lens to protect the LED but it’s sufficiently recessed to prevent possible external damage.
  • The threads and o-rings were slightly lubricated. Threads were smooth and clean (almost gritty feeling at all) – great for twisty lights.
  • Ample threads for a twisty light to remove any likelihood of the head unscrewing off  from the body and dropping off by accident.
  • Anodizing of the light is uniform without any missing specs, as expected from Fenix.
  • Battery compartment holds Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloops, GP ReCyKo+, Energiser Ultimate Lithium (L92) and (Energiser and Duracell) alkaline batteries without any fitment issues.
  • Great battery vampire light – it will even run on almost dead AAA batteries.

Front:

Back:

Sides:

Box Contents:

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Material: Alumnium
  • LED: Nichia white GS
  • Colours: Black, Olive, Blue, Purple or Gold
  • Battery Format:  AAA (1.2V NiMH rechargeable/1.5V lithium primary batteries/1.5V alkaline [not recommended]) ONLY
  • Output & Runtime:
    • Mid (13 lumens / 21 hr – 11hr “sun” mode & 10hr “moon” mode)
  • Max Beam Distance: 21m
  • Beam intensity: 115cd
  • Waterproofness: IPX-8 (underwater for 2m)
  • Impact Resistance: 1m
  • Dimension: 71mm (length) x 14.2mm (diameter)
  • Weight: 14g (excluding batteries)
  • Accessories Included:
    • 1*Split Ring
    • 1*Spare O-rings
  • MSRP: ~$15

UI (User Interface)

UI for this light is great for keychain or pocket duty due to its ease of operation.

Switching ON and OFF is done by twisting the head of the light. Twist the head clockwise will activate the light. Likewise, twisting the head anti-clockwise will deactivate the light.

There is only 1 Mode for this light in-line with the KISS (Keep it simple, st*pid) principle. With only 1 Mode, the circuitry is rather straightforward which makes it a more reliable tool, with less parts to fail. Thus, making it  a great SHTF (Sh*t Hit The Fan) light as well.

All twisty activation of the light can be done with one hand.

No blinky (Strobe/SOS) modes are available.

Form Factor

The light is extremely small and is barely bigger than the AAA battery it uses to power the light. So much so that it could even disappear from view in a clenched small sized hand.

Owing to its light weight and size, it will slip into a pants coin pocket or any place you would like to carry it and you wouldn’t notice it is there till you actually need it. Alternatively, just place them on your keychain (like what we at TLR do) and insert a Energiser lithium L92 (1,5V) battery and forget about it.

The light would definitely benefit from a Quick Release mechanism like the Prometheus Lights Beta QRv2 but this light is normally used for backup EDC for us at TLR so it doesn’t matter as much.

Mentioned earlier, the light with the split ring attached will prevent it from rolling freely on its sides and still enables it to tail-stand perfectly.

Owing to the ample knurling on the light, it can be activated with one hand easily, even when wet or with gloves.

Long Term Usage

The purple Fenix E01 below had been on one of TLR’s loved one’s keychain for the past year with only some cosmetic scuffs and dings. It had been subjected to constant banging with the other keys, dropped countless times and exposed to the elements with no ill-effect whatsoever (light fires up without any hesitation/flickering).

Beam Style/Beamshots

For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is predictable due to the shallow Smooth Reflector and emitter used. As such, it is a predominantly floody beam light sufficient for close range duty only.

The beam has a circular spill with a wide circular hotspot and the corona blending almost entirely with the spill. It also helps that the Nichia GS will always be centred. There are numerous rings in the beam when whitewall hunting but they are less noticeable visible in real world usage.

All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (1/3, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB). Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.

Control shot:

MID (13 lumens):

Mode (Output) Spacing

Okay let’s be honest here – 13 lumens isn’t that impressive in today’s context. Any current gen handphone (Android or iOS) will have their LED putting out anywhere from 40 lumens and above.

Where this light excels in is that it is extremely hardy and it will keep running far beyond the manufacturer claim of 21hrs , albeit at a much lower output (~5 lumens). No current handphone’s battery life will possibly last that long running its LED, be drop-friendly or can slip into a pocket/hook onto a keychain.

With that in mind, this light will be able to light up a room with night-adjusted eyes and is even a little too bright for midnight snack runs.

Tint & CRI

Fenix usually does not disclose the tint (color temperature) and/or the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LEDs used in their light. For this light, a guesstimate would be in the 7000K and 65CRI ballpark.

In any case, the tint has a nasty blueish-purple hotspot that most early gen Nichia GS were known for. However, the tint varies across the samples of E01 that passed through our hands.

Thankfully, a quick brush of the LED’s glass with sandpaper or steel wool will get rid of the blueish-purple hotspot and provide for a more neutral floodier beam profile. We hope that Fenix would phase out these LEDs and implement the newer gen neutral Nichia GS which has more consistent tints.

Waterproofness

The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on MID. No signs of water intrusion in the head or body was seen.

Lockout Capability

Being a twisty light, it has no electronic lockout but mechanical lockout is possible as needed.

A quarter turn (anti-clockwise) of the head from OFF will enable mechanical lockout.

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own EDC or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?

For this light, it is an absolute YES as it makes for an excellent backup light and gift.

The lightweight, small form factor and KISS nature of the light makes it an extremely reliable backup to other lights on hand, especially when attached to a keychain.

However, as mentioned earlier, we look forward to the day that Fenix replaces the Nichia GS with a neutral tint from a newer gen.

Here’s a bonus size comparison picture of the light next to TLR’s recently reviewed AAA light – the Prometheus Light Beta QRv2.

Lastly, with all that is said, is this a classic light?

Well perhaps it is, in its own rights but one thing is for sure, it will always be a mainstay on TLR’s keychains – as our SHTF backup light.

Stay safe,
The Lite Review


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Fenix E01
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