The LED Lenser P7.2 was purchased by myself around 18 months ago.
The LED Lenser P7.2 is a very popular consumer light, particularly in Europe and Australia, and has been around for a few years. It has improved upon the P7 with improved optics and higher output.
The LED Lenser P7.2 is a zoomy / flood to throw light, and uses 4x AAA batteries. Alkalines are recommended (likely due to the light being direct drive), though I use NiMH batteries in this light with no apparent issues.
Limited manufacturer specifications are available, and are listed below.
Low: 40 lumens; 50 hours run-time; 100 m beam range
Power: 250 lumens; 4 hours run-time; 220 m beam range
Boost: 320 lumens; 2 hours run-time; 260 m beam range
Note: The boost mode is obtained by pushing and holding-in the tail cap switch.
Type: Professional hand-held torch
LED: High End Power LED
Operating Modes: Boost: 320 lumens / Power: 250 lumens / Low: 40 lumens
Beam Range: Boost: 260 m / Power: 220 m / Low: 100 m
Run Time: Boost: 2 hours / Power: 4 hours / Low: 50 hours
Maximum Luminous Flux: 320 lumens
LED: CREE LED chip
Focus: One handed speed focus
Optics: Advanced Focus System: Spot to flood
Batteries Required: 4 x AAA alkaline (Included)
Overall Length: 141 mm
Head Diameter: 37 mm
Barrel Diameter: 29.5 mm
Weight: 175 grams
Colours Available: Matt Black
Body Material: Aircraft grade aluminium
Electrical Contacts: Gold plated contacts
Switch Type: End cap switch
Warranty: 5 Years
Regulatory Compliance: CE / RoHS
The light was supplied in a black presentation box and included:
1 x LED Lenser P7.2 LED torch
1 x Durable Nylon Holster
1 x Wrist Lanyard
4 x Alkaline AAA battery
Anti-roll device, mounting device, pocket clip, and filters are available as options at extra cost.
Ergonomics and Construction
LED Lenser are known for solidly built lights, and this one is no exception. It has survived many drops onto hard surfaces with no issues. The 5 year (now 7 year) warranty stands by the build quality. The light is only rated IPX-4 due to the zoom mechanism, and thus it is advisable to not use the zoom mechanism in wet weather.
The light has a good knurling, is well anodised (in black), and fits comfortably in the hand. The zoom is operated in push pull fashion, and can be operated easily with one hand. There is no zoom lock, though the zoom position has never been loose. The threads were reasonably well lubricated. The switch is located on the tail cap, more on that later in the next section.
The LED Lenser P7.2 has a very simple user interface. Half-pressing and holding the switch in allows for 320 lumen turbo (boost) output. This allows for momentary/tactical use, but means that you cannot run the light continuously in turbo (unless you have a thumb of steel).
Continuing with a full-press “click” engages 250 lumen high mode. Another click engages the 40 lumen low mode. Another click goes to Off. You have to cycle through both modes, and there is no memory.
There is no firefly mode, moonlight mode, strobe, SOS, or any other fancy mode such as battery capacity check. This light is very low tech! On the plus side, the light has a reputation for high reliability due to its simplicity, and for many users the limited user interface still does the job.
The LED Lenser has an excellent optic system, and I have yet to see a zoomy light with better optics. This optics contains a plastic lens with TIR and aspheric elements. The LED is on a raised extension. This design allow for minimal loss of light when in zoom/throw compared to aspheric lenses where around half of the output can be lost when at full zoom/throw.
At the wide/flood end the beam is very uniform, with a sharp beam cut off. This allows for very even illumination of objects compared to the typical hotspot and spill beam of non-zoom flashlights.
At the zoom/throw end of the beam, there is an almost circular bright hotspot with no spill beam. There is minimal halo effect compared to other zoomy lights. Thus as the zoom/throw end, this light produces an impressive pencil beam of light that is useable (i.e. can identify animals) at over 150m.
Whilst this light has an impressive beam at both ends of the zoom range, things do get a bit funky in the middle of the zoom range (in particular closer to the zoom end of the scale) as the below photo shows. This beam artefact is less obvious when not looking at a white wall!
Output and Runtime
Whilst the optics of this light are impressive, the output and runtime are less impressive. Testing was performed with freshly charged 4th Gen FDK Eneloop NiMH cells. On 250 lumen high mode with NiMH batteries, the output follows a typical NiMH discharge curve as would be expected for a direct drive light. There is a drop in output during the first few minutes, though this is difficult to notice in reality. The output appears to fairly constant until around 75 minutes, when the light starts to noticeably dim. By 90 minutes the output was around 15 lumens, and continued at this output until I stopped testing at 165 minutes, at which point the most discharged cell was at 0.96V. Thus the claimed 4 hour (240 minute) runtime on high, is more around 75 minutes until the light looses its usefulness.
LED Lenser do not publish the emitter type, emitter bin, tint, or CCT. However it appears to be a cool white Cree XP-G2. There is slight purple tint. The CRI is estimated to be in the 70-80 CRI range, and is noticeably better than the LED Lenser P7QC. As the light is resistor controlled, there is no PWM.
This light is a bit of a mixed bag. The construction and optics are excellent, and the light punches above its lumens for throw. The low-tech user interface is easy to use, but the light lacks many modes found on other lights. The useful runtime is far less than the claimed runtime. The light is also not particularly cheap (AU$110, though can be found for AU$70).
If you want a well built light with great zoom optics and only require relatively short runtimes, then this a great option. It is also a good option for those who do not want to use li-ion batteries (which is most of the consumer market). However, if you require higher brightness, or longer runtimes, then look elsewhere.
The optics in the P7.2 are patent pending (? in which countries) so this may limit the number of manufacturers who are able to use a similar optical design, but in an otherwise better light (higher output, better runtimes, better user interface).
The larger and slightly more expensive LED Lenser P14.2 uses 4x AA (a battery combination that can reach 1000 lumens from some manufacturers). Unfortunately, the maximum output of the P14.2 is no better than the P7.2 at 320 lumens, though runtimes will obviously be better.
LED Lenser have recently released the more hi-tech P7R which uses a (low capacity) ICR li-ion battery with in-built charger, has an electronic LED driver, battery charge indicator, zoom lock, and 1000 lumen boost mode (with stepdown). The P7R is unfortunately also ridiculously expensive at AU$230 (especially when compared to the Convoy BD04 at AU$26), though I’m sure the P7R will still be popular with the consumer market.
It seems that the path to zoomy flashlight utopia is not yet complete.