When I was a kid growing up on Cape Cod was fun. Each night my friends and I would play Manhunt. Manhunt is basically flashlight tag, but played over an entire neighborhood instead of one backyard. I think the boundaries were within a three-four block area. We hid everywhere within that area. We also had incandescent flashlights that had very weak beams and we needed battery changes after every session of play. I can remember going to Job Lot to buy bricks of AA batteries.
Had there been a flashlight like the LED Lenser P7 available at that time I think it would have been worth the investment of $89.00 to have a flashlight that would run 78 hours on 4AAA batteries. It would virtually pay for itself in one summer of use in the cost savings of batteries alone. Also, with an illumination range of 738ft I’d be able to dominate the game.
In all seriousness I received a LED Lenser P7 to test out, review and keep.
The LED Lenser P7 arrived in a black matte box with sharp sliver writing. Certainly presentation worthy when you give one as a gift.
The LED Lenser P7 is certainly not a kid’s toy. It was designed for professional and tactical use. It certainly would have been the coolest thing ever playing Manhunt, though. It features a lumen output of 200 and as I stated earlier it can run for 78 hours on 4AAA alkaline batteries. The 2009 model of the P7 is even a 14% increase in light output of the original P7 from 2008.
The inside cover of the box shows the features and benefits of the flashlight itself. A quick set of stats and as well as a rundown of the functions. The flashlight is sitting on a piece of foam that is cut out to prevent the flashlight from rolling around. There are 4 batteries included which will provide you with 78 hours of light. Underneath the foam board is a rigid nylon sheath to use for carrying the LED Lenser P7. Detail and care was put into the packaging of this product.
When I received my package I was very excited to try out the flashlight but I had to wait and take some nice pictures of how it was packaged. The presentation of the flashlight was above average and something I would have expected for a flashlight of this high grade and quality.
The LED Lenser P7 has the dual purpose battery pack and switch as well as the water resistant high-grade aluminum casing. You will also notice the One-Handed Speed Focus. The user need only push forward with their thumb to focus the beam to a tight circle or pull back to illuminate a wider area.
Probably my favorite feature of this flashlight was the One-Handed Speed Focus. I was able to shift back and forth from a very tight narrow beam of light to focus on a toy in the yard to a wide swath of light that illuminated my entire backyard. My neighbors probably were wondering what the heck was going on out there.
The LED Lenser P7 comes with a rigid nylon sheath with a Velcro closure and a belt loop in back. What I liked about the belt loop was that you could unbutton it and put it on your belt without having to take your belt off. A small carabiner also comes with the sheath.
I liked that I didn’t have to take off my belt to loop the sheath on my belt. Next time I wear it I’ll make sure to coordinate my black belt with that black sheath.
To test out the flashlight I first tried it in the bedroom. I had a small LED flashlight from a set that my Uncle had given me one Christmas. He’d actually given me a set of 3 of them, all about 3 inches long with the switch built into the end of the shaft. The whole set cost about $19.99 or something like that, probably from Job Lot. I kinda was figuring that those lights were going to throw the same beam that the LED Lenser P7 was because, let’s face it an LED is an LED, right? Wrong!
When LED’s first started hitting the flashlight market they were certainly brighter than incandescent lights and everyone thought they were great, however they were just the starting point. There are many different types of LED lights. In fact LED lights are created on silicon wafers in semiconductor cleanrooms. The LEDs go from entry level to best quality as you move in on towards the center of the wafer. That means that the LEDs in the center of the wafer are the best and brightest. Those are the ones that LED Lenser uses for their flashlights.
LED Lenser flashlights have many different systems for focusing the beams of light from the LEDs. The LED Lenser P7 uses the patent pending Advanced Focus System. Basically this is a spot to flood focusing beam that captures all usable light. The transition from spot to flood is also stageless and smooth because of the One-Handed Speed Focus. This is much better than twist focus that requires two hands. You will notice on my video that I’m using one hand to shoot the video and the other to switch my focus from spot to flood and back again easily. Here is an example of how the light looks as a flood or a focused beam.
This is an example of the LED Lenser P7 on the High setting with the focus on wide. You can see that there are very few if any dark spots in the beam.
The LED Lenser P7 on a very narrow focus and such an intense light that the bear from the previous photo is completely washed out in this photo.
The LED Lenser P7 has three power settings, max, normal and high. It uses the patented Quick Cycle Switch System to go from high to low. When you turn the flashlight on initially, a single click on the Quick Cycle Switch System, it is in the high setting (75% the illumination of the max setting). To get to the low setting you need only click twice in succession. At any point if you hold the switch in you will achieve max brightness. This is great if you are in low mode and want to pop up to max brightness quickly or if you are on the high setting but just want it a bit brighter. It is also good because you can just push the button in a little way and get a quick maximum illumination without having to turn the flashlight on completely.
This is an all around solid piece of precision tech. From the construction to the attention to detail and ease of use the flashlight performed wonderfully. It fit great in my hand, the use of the One-Handed Speed Focus was intuitive as was the Quick Cycle Switch System. I was flipping through the catalog for Coast Products and saw that there were many accessories for law enforcement. This makes sense because the flashlight is tactical grade. When designing the switch system, feedback from law enforcement officers was gathered to create a system that was natural and intuitive in tactical and law enforcement situations.
Personally, I could see myself using this on camping and hiking trips to do some night hiking or to illuminate the camp area for those times when we end up getting to the site late. Darkness in the woods comes really quickly. We’ve never had a light that would illuminate such a wide area before. I can picture using it to spotlight lost tent spikes quickly to avoid a lot of swearing and frustration. I can also picture flooding the camp area to see if we’re pitching the tents on a rock that will eventually make its way into the middle of my back and keep me up all night. Yeah, I can see great potential with this flashlight.
Here are some stats on the LED Lenser P7.
- Lumens: 200
- Max Watt: 2.43
- Battery: (4) AAA
- Battery Life: 78 hours
- Length: 5.5″
- Diameter: 1.4″
- Effective Range: 0-738ft.
- Aluminum Body
- Advanced Focus System
- One-Handed Speed-Focus
- Three step Quick-Cycle Switch Function
- Rigid Nylon Sheath Included
Here is a video demonstration of the LED Lenser P7 that I made.
I plan to give the LED Lenser P7 to my friend Mike, who is in law enforcement, and let him test it out in the field. That is, if he is allowed to do so and then ask him his thoughts on the LED Lenser P7. I’ll update this post after he tells me what he thinks.
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