Gear Review: LED Lenser P5R.2 Rechargable LED Flashlight

LED Lenser P5R.2Pros: Great looking, exceptionally bright little rechargeable torch with excellent build quality. Small, sleek, lightweight and robust — ideal for slipping in a pocket or pack. Outstanding flood-to-spot functionality with LED Lenser’s patented fast-focus system. Extremely versatile little light. Convenient magnetic charging system powered through USB.

Cons: Proprietary LiIon battery limits replacement options.  20 lumen low-power option sometimes seems a bit bright. No mode memory function. Shame there’s no belt-holster included.

Price: c. €100

Value: good

Rating: Highly Recommended

View P5R.2 information on the LED Lenser website.

The P5R.2 is a high performance pocket-sized LED torch from market leader LED Lenser. While small in stature this torch is big on performance, sporting 270 lumens of bright white light focussed through LED Lenser’s patented Advanced Focus System to give an impressive throw (or reach) of 240m . 

All that in a body that measures a paltry 117 mm long and weighing in at just 77g including the rechargeable LiIon battery.

The innovative “floating” charging system is one of the most ingenious aspects of this torch. No removing batteries, no fiddly connections — just attach the magnetic USB charging system to the tail-cap of the torch for hassle-free charging wherever you are. Charge via your computer’s USB port, a usb car adapter or the supplied USB A/C adapter. There’s even a handy wall mount for charging your torch.

It’s not cheap, but the P5R.2 is a premium product that’s built to last. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, and are looking for a small, powerful, rechargeable light that slips in your pocket, you won’t go far wrong with an LED Lenser P5R.2

Buy an LED Lenser P5R.2 on Amazon:

LED Lenser P5R.2 Full Review

The LED Lenser P5R.2 is the market leading German LED torch manufacturer’s brand new replacement model for their very popular P5R flashlight. It’s identical in terms of its dimensions and design, with the exception of some “snazzy” red dots embedded around the flashlight head that identify this as the newer model.

Under the hood things are a bit different — the new model sports a more powerful LED, emitting 270 lumens of bright white light, compared to 200 lumens for its predecessor, and an increased specified “throw” distance of 240m — which is very impressive for a torch of this size.

First Impressions

LED Lenser P5R.2 PackagingThe P5R.2 comes in a neat moulded plastic carry case complete with all the relevant accessories. You get the torch, a detachable plastic belt clip, a lanyard / wrist cord, a rechargeable 3.7v LiIon battery, a USB charging cable and A/C USB power adapter and a plastic wall mount that will hold the torch and charger.

While I was expecting the torch to be small, I was frankly surprised by just how small it was. I couldn’t help wondering whether it something that tiny could be as bright as the marketing hype promised.

But before I could find out I’d need to charge it up.

The coolest charging system in the world?

One of the most impressive things about the P5R.2 is the really innovative charging system. You don’t need to take the battery out of the torch to recharge it — the USB charging cable couples magnetically with the circular metallic contacts on the torch tail cap. It’s quick, convenient and easy — and the fact that its powered by a standard USB connection means that you can charge your torch anywhere — in the car, plugged into a spare USB port on your laptop, or using the supplied USB A/C adapter.

It’s simple, elegant and effective. There’s even a wall mount that lets you simply hang the torch from the magnetic charger when you’re not using it, so it’s always topped up when you need to grab and go. Brilliant!

Design and build quality

P5R.2 in the handThe P5R.2 is  lovely piece of engineering that looks and feels great in the hand. It is made from high quality aircraft-grade aluminium, so it’s light yet very strong, and is covered in a robust hard-anodized matt-black finish.

The switch in the tail cap consists of two striking metal rings, which contrast wonderfully with the black anodised body and serve as contacts for the charging system. When you open up the torch the quality and attention to detail continues: from the machining of the thread for the tail cap to the use of high conductivity gold-plated contacts everything suggests that this is a premium product.

Using the torch

The build quality and design gives you a very positive first impression… but with that comes hightened expectation when it comes to performance. That can be a double-edged sword… leading to disappointment when you come to use the product.

That didn’t happen with the P5R.2. After waiting impatiently for darkness to fall I took it outside and switched it on. The tail switch is a little stiff — but not too stiff — and I guess that’s a conscious design decision to stop the torch from activating inadvertently in a pocket or pack.

A wide flood of bright white light illuminated the driveway. The unique LED Lenser Advances Focus system combines a patented lens and reflector design that delivers a uniform beam of light without the bright central hotspot and peripheral spill you typically see on other LED torches. I have to say I found it excellent as an area light for illuminating a large space, but it was when I switched to spot mode that I had the real “wow!” moment.

Flood to spot with one hand

LED Lenser P5R.2A slight twist of the head unlocked the focus mechanism, and simply sliding the head back and forth with my thumb took me smoothly from full flood, to high intensity spotlight and back again. All with one hand, and all with negligible effort. What was more amazing was the reach or “throw” of the focussed beam on spot mode.

The P5R.2 produces 270 lumens from the high performance CREE LED chip. That’s a lot of light for a small torch, but nothing like as impressive as the 850 lumens emitted by the only slightly chunkier Fenix PD35. But while the Fenix produces a lot more light — a significant amount of it spills into the wide peripheral area of the fixed focus beam. That makes for a very useful all-round light — and the Fenix certainly lights a larger area than the P5R.2… but if its distance you’re after it’s what you do with the light you have available that counts. LED Lenser’s Advanced Focus System concentrates that 270 lumens of light and throws it out to an incredible 240 metres — outreaching the PD35 by around 50m on spec.

I didn’t measure the actual throw of either torch — but through casual observation the P5R.2 could pick out objects in darkness the PD35 simply couldn’t penetrate. It was a very impressive performance.

3 light modes

P5R.2 ChargingYou don’t always want a super-bright dazzling light — so as well as the full-power 270 lumen mode the P5R.2 offers a low power 20 lumen mode that’s great for checking a map or lighting your way without destroying your night vision. While the 20 lumen offers a very useful low level illumination, particularly in flood mode there are times when less light would be better. In general though the combination of high and low power, coupled with the versatile flood-to-spot focus system will have you covered in practically any situation.

There’s also a defensive “strobe” mode designed to disorientate a potential aggressor by rapidly flashing the light at high power — it works well, but let’s hope we never need to put it to the test for real.

Switching modes is easy, and is all done using the switch in the tailcap — one click for full power, two clicks for low power, three clicks for strobe. You can also partially hold down the switch for temporary light without clicking through to the on position — very handy if you just want to check something quickly.

If I have a criticism it’s that there’s no mode memory — so the light always comes on at full power first. I can think of lots of situations where you don’t want to cycle through super-bright mode, even briefly, to get a lower light output. Being able to set the startup mode in some way would be very handy.

Weatherproofing

While not completely waterproof (you can’t submerge it) due to the moving advanced focus head, the P5R.2 is fully o-ring sealed and is weatherproof to IPX4 standard — which means its unlikely to be troubled by most conditions the Irish climate is likely to throw its way. Just try not to drop it into a pond or stream.

Power

Convenient pocket sized torchThe LED Lenser P5R.2 is powered by an AA sized LiIon 3.7 volt battery rated at 700 mAh. That will power the P5R.2 for up to 12 hours of continuous use at low power according to the spec (but with the light level dropping gradually as the battery runs down).

In practice though it’s rarely going to reach that stage — and keeping the battery topped up using the convenient USB charging system is a breeze — so you should always have plenty of light available when you need it.

Replacement / spare batteries are available from LED Lenser — but its a bit of a shame the company opted for a proprietary contact at one end of the battery. I think this is something to do with the in-torch charging system, but it does mean you have to go to LED Lenser for your spare / replacement battery rather than buying a standard 14500 from a third party supplier.

That said the quality of some third party LiIon batteries can be questionable, and given the premium nature of the product it’s probably safer to buy batteries from the manufacturer for your torch.

Warranty

As with all of LED Lenser’s high performance flashlights the P5R.2 comes with an excellent 5-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship — which means if something goes wrong LED Lenser will repair or replace your torch free of charge.

A convenient, easy to carry, high performance everyday light

The P5R.2 is a superb little torch to carry in a pocket or pack,  or attached to the included belt clip. It’s small enough and light enough that it won’t get in the way — you won’t even notice it — yet versatile enough to deliver the light you need in practically any situation.

It performs brilliantly out in the field — but is equally at home around the house, in the garden or in the car. If you want a small, convenient rechargeable torch that’s a solid performer then the LED Lenser P5R.2 could be just the product you’re looking for.
Buy an LED Lenser P5R.2 on Amazon:

Specification

Taken from the LED Lenser website:

Technical data
  LED   High End Power LED
  Length   117 mm
  Weight   77 g
  Luminous flux   270 lm* (Power)
  Batteries   1 x AA Li-Ion 3,7V
  Energy tank   2,6 Wh***
  Burning time   12 h** (Low Power)
  Beam range   240 m* (Power)

Acknowledgements

I’d like to thank Peterson of Dublin, Ireland’s LED Lenser distributor, for sending the LED Lenser P5R.2 in to Ireland’s Wildlife for review.

NB. Ireland’s Wildlife has no specific affiliation to any optics or gear manufacturer and all reviews on the site are completely independent and objective. See our disclosure statement for more details. If you’re an optics or gear manufacturer and would like to submit your wildlife related product for review on the site please drop us a line using the contact form and we can take things from there.

About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of IrelandsWildlife.com. He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success

Comments

  1. Hi Calvin, nice review! The Lenser’s magnetic USB charging system sounds really cool!

  2. Wao ,this is looking so great. It is just because of its high performance. So thanks for nice post.

  3. Great review Calvin, There is a lot of new models of the LED Lenser flashlights and headlamps out lately which all come as .2 models and it is very impressive the amount of extra Lumen’s of light that they are producing.

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