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Old 09-17-09, 10:23 PM   #1
ginsoakedboy
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Fenix lights SUCK !!!

After reading positive things on these forums, I invested in a couple of the Fenix P2D lights – the supposedly “Premium” Q5 version. Wow – these things SUCK !!!! I can’t believe how completely unsuited they are as bike lights. TOTAL FAIL !!! I can’t believe they market them for bike use. I can’t believe that there were morons who endorsed and wrote favorable reviews of them. Mostly, I can’t believe that I was stupid enough to listen. Given that they are dark in color and tubular in shape, I’m going to say that they resemble turds much better than they resemble bike lights.

The lights themselves cost me about $55 each, plus shipping I paid about $120. Another $15 for helmet and handlebar mounts. These use the C123 cells, and I wanted rechargeables, so I ordered a set of 4 rechargeables and a smart charger to go with them – about another $40. All told about $175. I don’t know about your town, but around here, a guy can get [edited by Mods] for a lot less than that. Worst bike-related money I’ve ever spent, and I’m just furious with myself thinking of the decent lighting systems I could have gotten for that kind of $$.

With the rechargeables, the lights will just spontaneously turn off. The battery isn’t dead – the light will just cut out. In fact, this will happen with a fully charged battery. After a minute, they can be switched back on – and they will run a few minutes until they decide to turn back off again. This happens most notably in the cold (you know, like in the early spring, fall and winter, when it gets dark early so you probably need lights for riding.) I was told here that the rechargeables have a protection circuit that is responsible for this delightful and surprising “Lights Out” game. I’ve had the cells tested, and they all hold a good charge, so it isn’t a matter of the cells running out of juice. The lights do work better with disposable cells, but that sure is expensive. Moreover, even with the standard cells, if you hit a good bump, they will reset to the lowest setting.

Let’s see – a light marketed for biking use that won’t work with rechargeables, turns off spontaneously at varying intervals (especially on cold dark nights), and can’t handle a bump without interruption. Wow – that would be the worst possible kind of bike light.

Just wanted to rant because I’m so #*&$ing mad, and to warn off others – DON’T BUY THESE FENIX P.O.S. LIGHTS, and don’t listen to those who tell you that they work. I’d like to find a representative of Fenix to beat my $175 out of.

Last edited by Juha; 09-18-09 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Guidelines
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Old 09-17-09, 10:34 PM   #2
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The p2d's were good lights 2 years ago but the technology has advanced so quickly that these are now outdated.. I use to use a p2d as a helmet light because of the small form factor and would only use it in high mode, not turbo with 3.7v rechargeables.. If you are using 3.0v rechargeables you will not get very much in terms of runtime at any of the higher settings.. You are much better suited getting a AA or preferably an 18650 torch..
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Old 09-18-09, 12:01 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have some bad batteries, not lights. Exactly which battery and charger are you using? Where did you buy the Fenix from?

FWIW, I used Fenix lights(LD2- they take AA batteries and have about a two hour runtime on 'Turbo') for two years problem free, until I upgraded to an MC-E. I still use them around the house nearly every day, and they have always been problem free.

EDIT: It also sounds like you didn't do your homework, and are now mad at the lights. No one's fault but your own if you bough the wrong light.

Last edited by Ziemas; 09-18-09 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:19 AM   #4
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... I invested in a couple of the Fenix P2D lights – the supposedly “Premium” Q5 version. ....
The version that most of us have is the L2D Premium Q5 which runs on 2 AA rechargables and continues to be my helmet light of choice. The L2D Premium was discontinued and is (evidently) replaced by the LD20+ Premium. On Turbo mode (read directions on how to get this mode; be certain both front and back parts of the light are screwed in all the way) both lights are rated at 180 lumens.

Evidently you have some other model Fenix light. You may be able to contact Fenix, explain you wanted the "D", not "P" model, and get an exchange for the price difference.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:28 AM   #5
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Well I must be a "moron" then... I have had the same L2d Q5 for a little over two years and it works great. I not only use it as a bike light, but as my primary light at work. On the job the light has stood up to substantial abuse and endured. This abuse would include being dropped from a height of about 15 feet, Cold temps, and a mix of rain and snow. Our line mechanics saw me using it one night and asked to borrow it... they fell in love with it... I went back to that city a month later and they both had bought one for themselves. They must be morons too

The point here is not all Fenix models suck...Maybe the model you got did not work for you, but don't condemn all models and their owners.

While I still prefer my dinotte on my primary road bike, the L2d is the main bike light for my folding bike and my fixed gear bikes. Even when I use the dinotte, the L2d is in my bag as a backup. I may give it a try on my helmet as mentioned by the above poster.

Morons ... unite!!!!

Last edited by bicycleflyer; 09-18-09 at 01:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-18-09, 09:52 AM   #6
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My Fenix L2Ds worked great out of the box. I had 2 of them that I bought a couple of years ago. I now have a generator hub and light for my bicycle so I have kept one of the lights for myself and then gave the other one to my mother who was phenomenally impressed with the light. We have not had any problems at all with our lights. Sounds like you got either bad batteries or possibly 2 bad lights(which would be very odd). I would go ahead and check the batteries and if they are fine contact Fenix to see about getting replacements. Or, as someone else suggested, see if you can upgrade to the LD20+ Premium.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:39 AM   #7
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Its a flash light, if you like it great, if you don't fine.

You guys act like this post was about your mother.

[edited by Mods]

Last edited by Juha; 09-18-09 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:11 AM   #8
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I always love these types of threads. The OP reads a bunch of threads from satisfied users, goes out and buys the product and then has problem and figures everyone is an idiot, the product sucks and he has to warn everyone away. The OP never comes and asks if there may be an issue with the way they are using the product or maybe had a defective unit. No everyone is an idiot, the product sucks and the company that makes the product sucks. LOL

BTW - I have L2d that I have been using for two years with rechargeables and never had it turn off during a ride once.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:16 AM   #9
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The problem is too much gin.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:20 AM   #10
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@ OP: This particular moron has endorsed L2D with reservations, so take this with a grain of salt. My L2D acted exactly the way you describe when I used it with old rechargeable NiMHs. In my case, occasionally switching modes turned out to be caused by weak cells too. Not bumps (which is what I suspected at first).

Now I carry a spare set of slow-self-discharge rechargeable AAs - I can keep them in the bag for weeks without noticable difference in performance. They have less capacity but will get me back home when (not if) the light runs out of juice.

You have two lights, so it's unlikely they're both faulty. You seem to be sure it's not the cells, so maybe the P2D is indeed inferior light. I haven't used it myself, so don't know. I do know not all Fenix lights are like that.
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Last edited by Juha; 09-18-09 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:27 AM   #11
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A letter from MOM

Dear (fill your name here),
Like all things in cycling or in your daily life things always change, but are yet the same.
My best (fill in item here), may not be your best (fill in item name here).
I remember son when you bought that saddle everyone raved about and I have to
run out and buy you a pillow because your bum was bummed out.

Oh, I remeber the Fenix light that was your pride and enjoy until it was lost when you crashed. Luckily for you that was the only thing that broke.

You bought another light, not a Fenix and its just not the same.

My suggestion is you gone on and find another one of todayss best (fill in item here) and when you do enjoy it.
If not, there's always Ebay, where my junk becomes your treasure, which becomes your junk and then someone elses treasure.

Hugs and drugs (for my bones)
Love MOM
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Old 09-18-09, 11:27 AM   #12
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The OP missed several crucial details. The Fenix P2D is not rated to run on LiIon rechargeables. The nominal 3.7 volt cells come off the charger at over 4 volts, and this can either ruin the light, or cause anomalies like the low mode not working. The manual should indicate only (disposable) lithium 3v should be used. In addition, the protected 123 LiIons do not deliver the current the disposables do, and the regulated 3v LiIons are even worse as a rule, often shutting down when too much current is drawn.

I also use the L2D version and have no problems. 2 AA NiMH cells. I don't believe I've ever had a bump-reset, but I use turbo mode and it should just reset to turbo. If you used low-med-hi-SOS then yes, a bump reset would go back to low.

I didn't even think this model was still sold. Sounds like he should just sell the goods on candlepowerforums.com
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Old 09-18-09, 12:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Giro View Post
The version that most of us have is the L2D Premium Q5 which runs on 2 AA rechargables and continues to be my helmet light of choice. The L2D Premium was discontinued and is (evidently) replaced by the LD20+ Premium. On Turbo mode (read directions on how to get this mode; be certain both front and back parts of the light are screwed in all the way) both lights are rated at 180 lumens.

Evidently you have some other model Fenix light. You may be able to contact Fenix, explain you wanted the "D", not "P" model, and get an exchange for the price difference.
Giro:

What do you use to attach the L2D to your helmet?
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Old 09-18-09, 01:49 PM   #14
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The OP missed several crucial details. The Fenix P2D is not rated to run on LiIon rechargeables.


Exactly.

And if the OP doesn't know that then he probably doesn't know that generic LiIon cells shouldn't be left to charge unattended - they have been known to burst into flames, although it's rare.

Anyway, the moral of this tale is RTFM.

Last edited by meanwhile; 09-18-09 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:09 PM   #15
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The OP missed several crucial details. The Fenix P2D is not rated to run on LiIon rechargeables. The nominal 3.7 volt cells come off the charger at over 4 volts, and this can either ruin the light, or cause anomalies like the low mode not working. The manual should indicate only (disposable) lithium 3v should be used. In addition, the protected 123 LiIons do not deliver the current the disposables do, and the regulated 3v LiIons are even worse as a rule, often shutting down when too much current is drawn.

I also use the L2D version and have no problems. 2 AA NiMH cells. I don't believe I've ever had a bump-reset, but I use turbo mode and it should just reset to turbo. If you used low-med-hi-SOS then yes, a bump reset would go back to low.

I didn't even think this model was still sold. Sounds like he should just sell the goods on candlepowerforums.com
The p2d can use 3.7v rechargeables with no issues, it is the new model pd20 that cannot use 3.7v rechargeables..
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Old 09-18-09, 04:51 PM   #16
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Giro:

What do you use to attach the L2D to your helmet?
Not Giro, but I used a large O-Ring and a wine cork cut into a wedge as a shim.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:59 PM   #17
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Giro: What do you use to attach the L2D to your helmet?
I use the TwoFish LockBlock, I think that is the most popular solution. The TwoFish BikeBlock might be better on some helmets. With either mount you put one Velcro strap through 2 holes in you helmet and the other Velcro strap secures the light. You can have a look at Fenix's flashlight (and frame pump or whatever) mounts HERE.

I know I've see photographs of mounted Fenix's and the like by of posters on this subforum. I think searches on twofish or lockblock or bikeblock should turn up some photographs which may help you determine which is the better solution for your helmet. It might also turn up some even lower cost alternatives at, for example, DealExtreme including a review of the alternative mount.

Be sure to use NiMH AA's not alkaline cells which are not suitable for a high current drain. I really like the helmet mounted Fenix. On Turbo it is amazingly bright with about the right throw and spill. Handy to look into turns before you actually turn, flash inattentive motorists, and take it all with you without detaching a separately mounted light to prevent theft; just take your helmet. Carrying a pack of two low self-discharge AA's such as Eneloops provides good insurance to avoid running out of light.

Edit: A fourth advantage of a helmet light is if you have mechanical (e.g. flat tire) or non-helmet light problem during a ride at night, you have a light to troubleshoot the problem that leaves both hands free to work.

Last edited by Giro; 09-19-09 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 09-18-09, 07:59 PM   #18
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The p2d can use 3.7v rechargeables with no issues, it is the new model pd20 that cannot use 3.7v rechargeables..
I recall differently on CPF:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=195048
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=168710
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=204476

as a few threads where some users report loss of modes with 3.7v liions until the voltage drops.
I am not going to try them in mine.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:54 PM   #19
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I recall differently on CPF:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=195048
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=168710
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=204476

as a few threads where some users report loss of modes with 3.7v liions until the voltage drops.
I am not going to try them in mine.
I used my P2d and p3d with 3.7v for over a year with no issues as a helmet light.. It is still going strong today.

One of the better helmet mounts for using a flashlight is the zefal doodad.. These were made to hold small pumps onto your frame but work great as helmet mounts..

http://www.amazon.com/Zefal-Doodad-P.../dp/B000AO3FTE
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Old 09-18-09, 08:59 PM   #20
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L2D Q5 here. My newspaper comes with the mount every day, rubber bands. No complaints whatsoever. I highly recommend it.
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Old 09-19-09, 10:18 AM   #21
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@ OP: This particular moron has endorsed L2D with reservations, so take this with a grain of salt. My L2D acted exactly the way you describe when I used it with old rechargeable NiMHs. In my case, occasionally switching modes turned out to be caused by weak cells too. Not bumps (which is what I suspected at first).

Now I carry a spare set of slow-self-discharge rechargeable AAs - I can keep them in the bag for weeks without noticable difference in performance. They have less capacity but will get me back home when (not if) the light runs out of juice.

You have two lights, so it's unlikely they're both faulty. You seem to be sure it's not the cells, so maybe the P2D is indeed inferior light. I haven't used it myself, so don't know. I do know not all Fenix lights are like that.
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That's pretty close to my experience too with my L2D Q5. I discovered the regular rechargeable batteries don't last anywhere near as long as I thought after having problems with the light dimming after 20 minutes in the cold, and switched to the slow discharge rechargeables while carrying additional batteries. Using the refresh feature on the battery charger helped too, but using better batteries helped even more.
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Old 09-19-09, 11:55 PM   #22
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This is really tiresome, but I’ll take one shot at responding for what it’s worth. Mostly, though, for those considering lighting choices – STAY AWAY FROM FENIX !! The lights I got were marketed as bike lights, and they are a total failure for that purpose. I used exactly those batteries that Fenix recommended for use with this light, and they don’t work at all. If Fenix was willing to sell this light and claim that it was great (right up until the time they replaced it with a different model), they will try to dump other crappy lights on the market and make similar claims. Why take a chance when there are decent lighting systems available?

SoCal & others: These were supposed to be the latest & greatest when the Premium Q5’s were being introduced – what was that, about a year ago? Fenix’s specs for the batteries are 3.0v lithium CR123 – rechargeables -- says so right on the box and the other product literature. If the lights are not suitable for use as bike lights using the exact cells Fenix specifies – well, that’s pretty much the point I was making. Complete failure to function for the purpose intended. The fact that the P2D was so quickly discontinued by Fenix is an acknowledgement of what a crappy product it was.

Ziemas & others: batteries are fine – had them tested at Batteries Plus in the process of trying to figure out why these expensive, heavily-hyped, supposedly high-tech leading edge technology lights were so completely useless. Bought the batteries and the smart charger as a set at the same time, and from the same retailer, that I bought the lights. I thought I did do my homework -- what else could I reasonably have done? – I read the forums and the Fenix descriptions. Given that they’re not retailed anywhere near me, what else could I have done to determine that they were “wrong”. That’s kind of my point – you can’t rely on Fenix, because they’ll sell a totally useless piece of junk and market it as a great bike light.

Litespeed: It’s you that missed it. Fenix specifies the use a 3.0v CR123 right on the box and in the product literature enclosed, and that same info was on the Fenix and the retailer’s website that I looked at when choosing the lights and the correct batteries to use with them. But if there’s anything more annoying than your bold (and dead wrong) assertion that I used the wrong battery, it is the response from Meanwhile, who endorsed your mistake (clearly without knowing what he was talking about) while stating that the problem was my failure to RTFM – wow!

And to Giro, bicycleflyer, kabir424 and several others: Your responses relate to a completely different light, and therefore have no bearing.

Rant on!!
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Old 09-20-09, 12:13 AM   #23
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Nah, you're still missing it. My Fenix instructions say "...use high quality 3 volts CR123 batteries..." and does not say to use rechargeable RCR123 batteries. Wow! You are certainly entitled to your opinion that Fenix lights suck, however.
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Old 09-20-09, 06:31 AM   #24
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Have you tried them with plain old off the shelf CR123 batteries?

Do the rechargeables rattle even the slightest bit?
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Old 09-20-09, 12:43 PM   #25
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Fenix Lights SUCK !!!
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STAY AWAY FROM FENIX !!
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And to Giro, bicycleflyer, kabir424 and several others: Your responses relate to a completely different light, and therefore have no bearing.
But they're Fenix lights! All Fenix lights suck!! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!!

Have you tried contacting the seller you bought the lights from? Or Fenix?

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