The LED Lenser P7QC was purchased by myself.
OK, I know this is “Budget“LightForum, but I’m sure there is room a review of a fairly unique, non-budget light. I’ve owned the LED Lenser P7QC for two years now, and it is one of my favourite lights. As this light has not been superseded, I thought it would be a good time to finally write a review. There are very few formal reviews of this light available online.
The LED Lenser P7QC is a quad emitter flashlight with red, green, blue, and white emitters. The QC part of the name stands for “Quattro Colour”. It uses 4 AAA batteries, either alkaline or NiMH are permitted. Unfortunately LED Lenser release very little product information, and thus the actual quad emitter is unknown, but assumed to be a Cree XP-E.
The light is aimed at lots of specialist uses (including hunting, forensics), though I suspect that many purchasers are light painters.
Manufacturer specifications are as follows:
Designation Multicolor Power LED (W/R/G/B)
LED Configuration1 x Multicolor Power LED (W/R/G/B)
Luminous flux MAX 220 lm MIN 40 lm
Beam Distance MAX 60 m MIN 20 m
Burning Life MIN 3 h MAX 25 h
Power 4 x AAA 1.5V
Energy Tank (Wh) 7.2 Wh
IP protection class IPX6
Length flood 132.3 mm
Head diameter (mm) 37 mm
Weight (w/o packing) 175 g
I have been unable to find manufacturer figures on the lumen output for the colours.
The LED Lenser P7QC is available in either a blister pack, or box. It comes with good instructions, warranty (5 years), a velcro holster, and lanyard. The light does not fit into the holster easily. There is no pocket clip supplied.
Plenty of accessories are available including clips, various mounts, and anti-roll devices. Many third party diffusers are also suitable for this light. Various light painting tools (e.g. acrylic blades and wands) can be attached using various sizes of clear PVC drain pipe.
Ergonomics and Construction
The light is reasonably compact (slightly wider, and slightly shorter than a typical P60 host). The light can tail stand (just). There is some knurling, though not too grippy. There isn’t anything included in the package to stop the light rolling on a slope, other than the lanyard.
The light has a tail switch, and the head is turned to change colour. More about that later…
Construction is excellent, as always for LED Lenser, and this light has survived multiple accidental falls onto hard surfaces. The light is rated IPX-4 to IPX-7 depending on the advert (? different product revisions). Lack of IPX-8 may be due to the rotating head, but I have had no issues with light getting a few accidental dunks in water. It is certainly a solid reliable workhorse.
Operation and Beam
The user interface is simple, as with most LED Lensers. The tail switch is in order high > low > strobe with memory. A full press changes modes. A light press allow for faster moving between modes. There is a 5 second timeout for mode changes, which is a bit too long e.g. if I turn the light off high, change colour, and then turn back on within 5 seconds, it changes to low mode – not what I want when light painting. It also prevents morse code signalling. A momentary switch would be more preferable. The strobe is quite slow at approx. 1Hz, which is useful for firefly effect photos (as below).
To change colour, you simply twist the head, allowing for colour changes within a fraction of second. The colours are in order white – blue – green – red or vice-versa. A white dot in the head lines up with the colour on the body, and there is a “click” into position for each colour The ability to quickly change between colours in a major advantage of the LED Lenser P7QC torch compared to most other multi-colour flashlights.
The beam is diffused with a prismatic filter. There is a diffused hotspot and floody spill beam. This light is definitely a ‘flooder’. As none of the four emitters are exactly centre, the diffused beams are elliptical. The prism diffuser created some artefact around the edge of the beam. Both artefact and elliptical beam are not an issue when out in the wild. It should be noted that whilst LED Lenser are well known for their zoom (flood to throw) lights, this light is not a zoomy.
The colours are all of similar perceived brightness to the eye, and on maximum brightness the outputs (being able to illuminate up to around 60m) are just right for most light painting purposes. I find that cameras (or at least my Nikon D3300) are more sensitive to the blue. The blue is more of a blue-violet, and the red is at the orange end of the red spectrum (i.e. not deep red).
Runtime was tested on high and red, with a recently charged 4th Gen FDK Eneloops – the light shut off rather abruptly after 2 hours runtime. This is far less than the claimed 3 hours runtime. The brightness seems to reduce slightly during the runtime. If the modes are cycled, the brightness on high seems to slightly increase again. The light gets quite warm when kept on high, but does not get too hot to hold or overheat. Wall bounce tests agree with the claimed 220 lumens on white.
The light is micro-processor controlled and PWM is evident to my iPhone camera on all modes (though only just about noticeable on high) making this light unsuitable for video lighting. PWM is not an issue if using the beam to illuminate an object during a long camera exposure. My eyes could see no evidence of PWM when illuminating objects/normal use. However if you are moving the light within a long exposure photo (e.g. creating a light trail), PWM may be evident when using low mode. In some cases this could be used for artistic effect!
As the white is around 6000k, the CRI could be better.
This is one of my favourite lights, an essential tool for light painters, and has many specialist uses as well. It is not a cheap light, and is not perfect due to lack of momentary light, and shorter than advertised runtimes. However I like the relatively high brightness of the colours, ease of changing colour, and solid build quality.