LED swap options for an old Fenix L0D

Talk about a “golden oldie.” Well, it was a great light for its time. I can’t recall precisely but I think max output is like 80~85 lumens. I can’t even recall the emitter. Someone may recognize it immediately. Probably an old CREE XR-E.

Anyway, I don’t use this light anymore. Never really cared for the M-L-H UI. And then of course, really cheap decently made AAA lights are available that are double the brightness. Well, I thought it might be fun to try an emitter swap, with no great loss if I screw it up. I just don’t know what’s compatible. Maybe a direct 10mm MCPCB swap with an existing mounted LED? I don’t know if I’d have to attempt removal of that metal ring and seat it on the new LED, so that the reflector is properly mated with no gaps. Any ideas?

remove the entire XRE LED, install an mcpcb with the LED of your choosing

(pic is Nitecore D10… it fits a 16mm mcpcb from kaidomain)

I would expect to use a plastic centering ring such as this, to support the reflector

you may need to fine tune the beam if the new LED sits too low… by adding a shim under the mcpcb… I use thermal tape as a shim… 0.5mm copper sheet would be better…

it is important to get the spacings from the centering ring on the mcpcb to base of reflector correct so the lens applies proper pressure thru the mcpcb… we dont want a loose lens or reflector rattling around…

in some of my mods, I have had to reduce the thickness of the centering ring by half… (sandpaper)…

in others I have not used a centering ring, instead relying on Kapton Tape, to insulate the reflector from the mcpcb and solder joints

Worse case scenario if you can't get the beam correct with the reflector you slap some diffuser film on it and make it a high cri super soft floody retro light .

I have a couple of old Fenix L1T/L2T v2.0 lights that I used for bicycling back in the day. They were great on a helmet. Had some pretty decent success updating the rebel version to an XPG2 but the other two had XRE directly seated on a little pedestal and that gave me spacing issues resulting in too much flood. I’d bet you’ll see the same thing here. It’ll work fine, especially if you prefer a floody light.

I loved the L0D and I’d be still edc’ing mine if I could find it. I liked the M-L-H since I think the levels were set up well for that. I don’t think I’d bother trying to mod it since it is great the way it is. If you’re tired of it, gift it to someone and buy yourself a light that you like better.

Fenix’s current version of this light (E01 2.0 or something like that) is a lot cheaper but seems nowhere near as nice. I may buy one someday but I decided to edc other lights for a while.

Thanks for the tips, Jonathan. Looks like the board that would fit is 10mm. I’m thinking… 660nm host? :smiling_imp: The reflector and glass are mounted in the front bezel/sleeve part, so no worries about rattling around. But I get you about the shims to help achieve proper height.

Excellent point. Given how weak the output, not a thrower here, so diffusing could definitely smooth out any artifacts.

Yeah, I’m looking at that rather large ring around the LED… thinking maybe I could heat up the mcpcb and lift it off, then glue it to the new board.

Yes, have to hand it to Fenix—this was a very well made light. Of course, back in the day, Fenix was quite smaller and the offerings of LED lights was miniscule compared to today. So they put a lot of expense & effort in making this right… and thus priced accordingly. I think this was something like $40 back in the day. Threads are very smooth and generous. Plus, two threaded parts (front part of head, then entire head assembly). Still, the output is rather anemic compared to what’s offered today. And of course, there’s the efficiency factor. I had gifted my mother a red one and she still uses it. One time she almost got hers taken by the TSA at her local airport… morons that they were back some years, thinking it could contain something nefarious. Anyway, I also gave her a Jetbeam Jet-U and she really likes that (it’s noticeably brighter and has a lower low than the L0D).