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Old 10-17-09, 09:00 AM   #1
rideon7
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Problems with my new Fenix L2D

I bought a new Fenix L2D from Amazon.com a short time ago. It worked fine out of the box when I tested it. I used it on my commute (as a helmet light) for the first time last week. My commute is 40 minutes or so one way, and the temperature that morning was just above freezing, so the light should have been well cooled. It was set at steady light, medium brightness.

I arrived at my coffee stand and turned off the light so as not to blind the barista. After getting my coffee, the L2D would not turn on again. Completely dead. About an hour later, at work, I tried the light again and it turned on, but would only operate in four of the six modes it's supposed to have (the three steadies--low, medium, and high, and the SOS flashing mode). I was using Sony NimH rechargeable batteries, which were fully charged when I started my ride.

Went home that day and switched the rechargeables for Costco Kirkland AA batteries. Used the bike the next day, and the same thing happened--light won't turn on again after it's been turned off--only four of six modes working. I pulled the Kirkland AAs out of the light and one of them was leaking. The batteries were brand new when I put them in!

Also, when I've turned the bezel to switch between 'general' and 'turbo' modes on the light, per the instructions, the only thing that happens is that the light goes from on to off; there is no change in brightness.

I've sent the Fenix back to Amazon for an exchange, but I'm wondering if I chose the wrong light. I'm not impressed with the L2D so far.

Has anyone else experienced similar problems with the Fenix L2D? Is this an anomaly or is this a flashlight I'm going to have to baby, make sure it doesn't get too hot, check the batteries every day, etc., and even then not be sure it will work when I need it?
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Old 10-17-09, 10:30 AM   #2
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I have 2 L2D's and 2 L1D's, the only issue I have had has been the batteries, I have used one of the L2D's for a year now, the others, less time.
With L2D, all it takes is one battery to be bad, like high series resistance, and the light will do what you say. The light goes to low output when the series battery voltage goes lower than "X" volts, that is by design.
I only use NiMH AA's and have a good battery charger that can evaluate each battery for health. I have found some batteries are not good, many batteries will be greatly improved by doing a refresh cycle. Do not assume the light is bad before you are sure about the batteries.
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Old 10-17-09, 10:34 AM   #3
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Sounds like a battery problem. I used the LD2s in temps down to -25c with no problems at all. I used high quality batteries; either Eneloops or Sanyo 2700s.
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Old 10-17-09, 10:41 AM   #4
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Why, then, after switching to alkaline batteries, as well as with the rechargeables, would the flashlight only operate in four of six modes? Also, why would the bezel not switch between general and turbo modes (tried this with new batteries in it)?
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Old 10-17-09, 10:43 AM   #5
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Did you turn the back bezel? If you turned the back, all it would do is turn the light off--the back stays screwed on all the way until you need to change batteries. You need tighten the front to switch to turbo mode from the low-med-high-sos mode. That matches your symptoms.

I use the L2D with NiMh rechargeables and get well over 2 hours on turbo. It can run on turbo without overheating, even when there's no extra airflow from riding.

Edit-- I use a cheap $11.00 recharger, too.
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Old 10-17-09, 12:51 PM   #6
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Sounds fishy. Make sure the back bezel is tightened, and then that the front bezel isn't falling off.

If that doesn't fix it, send it back. FENIX has excellent customer service and will get you a new one stat.
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Old 10-17-09, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideon7 View Post
Why, then, after switching to alkaline batteries, as well as with the rechargeables, would the flashlight only operate in four of six modes? Also, why would the bezel not switch between general and turbo modes (tried this with new batteries in it)?
Clearly one of the alkaline batteries was bad, and I suspect that the rechargeables might also be bad. In my experience the LD2 UI goes wonky when batteries are about dead.
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Old 10-17-09, 01:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
Sounds fishy. Make sure the back bezel is tightened, and then that the front bezel isn't falling off.

If that doesn't fix it, send it back. FENIX has excellent customer service and will get you a new one stat.
Back cap was tight. Front bezel was tight, loosened it (no effect), loosened it more and the flashlight switched off (because the contact was broken).

Sent it back and am waiting for the new replacement. Amazon shipped out a new one as soon as I made a claim--didn't even wait for the old one to arrive. Very nice.

I'll see how the next one works. Hopefully, no problems.
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Old 10-17-09, 01:37 PM   #9
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Alkalines don't do well compared with NiMH in high drain applications.

"NiMH cells are particularly advantageous for high current drain applications, due in large part to their low internal resistance. Alkaline batteries, which might have approximately 3000 mAh capacity at low current demand (200 mA), will have about 700 mAh capacity with a 1000 mA load"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel-...ydride_battery
http://www.greenbatteries.com/chart.html
Sounds like the alkalines might've got hot
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Old 10-17-09, 01:42 PM   #10
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There is a chance of defects with any product. Don't judge the Fenix too harsh yet. See what the new one does. It should be fine. FWIW I've had mine for over two years and use it on the job and as a bike light when I travel with my folder. Never a problem.
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Old 10-17-09, 01:43 PM   #11
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Lithium batteries have a better tolerance to cold than alkaline or NIMH batteries.. It is a much more expensive way to go.. I would try getting a good set of NIMH batteries and charger, Sanyo 2700 or Duracell 2650's are both good choices in my experience..
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Old 10-17-09, 11:13 PM   #12
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i ride at freezing temps w/ eneloops and alkalines all the time with no problem. sounds like it could be a tailcap issue or contact issue. i'd take it apart and clean all of the contacts. i have a l2d q5, and occasionally it won't turn on. if i wiggle the tailcap, it turns on. after cleaning the contacts, i haven't had any problem. as for a place to get fenix flashlights, i'd try 4sevens and use code cpf8 for 8% off. they also have free shipping as well. also, look on candlepowerforums and do a search. i remember seeing posts where people had the same problem.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:22 AM   #13
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Thanks, people. I'm waiting for the replacement and will see how that works out. Will post here then.
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Old 10-18-09, 10:16 AM   #14
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BTW - the FENIX is an awesome 2xAA LED light, but if you are strictly using it on the bike, the flashlights by Terralux (google it) go for $28 (half the price of the Fenix L2D) and have the exact same beam intensity, color, and throw pattern, as well as a heavy metal casing. There's no strobe feature on the Terralux, but with regards to the "turbo" mode, it's every bit as bright and as good as the Fenix, and you can get it from a US supplier.

The fenix is slightly smaller and slightly lighter (hence much better for runners who mount it on their head with a strap) but for bike applications, the Terralux lights are the equal of the Fenix. I've got 2, one mounted on the helmet (rocks! use a rubber band to mount it - works amazingly well) and one on the bars. My fenix is now a running-only light for me.
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