On the road with 3 Fenix flashlights: Expert Review by Koen van der Jagt
Time to put them to the test!
As we say goodbye to summer I realize how quickly darkness sets in at night. Even though I love long summer nights I can also appreciate this fact. Not only because it means we can take out our flashlights again! I came up with the idea to take you on one of my virtual test sessions. My goal this time? Testing the range. So, in short, what is the actual range of the light, the beam distance? I thought it was interesting to test three modern, but completely different lights, which can also be used for tactical purposes. I will show you that each light has its own unique light image. Why don't you join me?
Brothers, but most definitely not triplets
Even though this test focuses on actual use I do want to briefly introduce our three key players. All three come from the large Fenix family that contains dozens of members, varying from search lights to keychain flashlights. For more details about the different models I recommend checking out the product pages on Knivesandtools; here you will find everything in terms of dimensions, accessories and batteries.
The LR40R is the current top model of Fenix. A large, tough light that can also be used as a power bank. The great thing about this light is that it contains a broad and a narrow beam, which you can also combine. In this test I won't use the broad beam in order to solely focus on the central LED light
The TK30 White Laser is something completely new. So new even that Fenix has never introduced anything like it before. A cross between a laser and a flashlight, something you notice when you look at the special lens that is completely different from that of its brothers. So not a higher light output, but a massive reach. Absolutely unique!
The TK22 V2.0 is an update of a model that has been popular for years. This newest version provides almost twice as much light as the previous model and even the reach is much better. These types of lights are favoured by, for instance, security personnel because you can use it for almost any type of situation. For years it is a best-seller in the Fenix range.
In terms of decency and ease of use the lights are fairly similar. They are properly constructed and easy to use. Anyone who has ever purchased as Fenix light, will understand what I mean.
To the polder!
High time to take these lights on the road! Because a forest won't do to test the beam distance of these lights, this time we will visit the Dutch polder.
The first location is the edge of a field and the target is a cluster of three trees located about 110 meters away. When you look at the specifications of the lights this distance should easily be bridged by all three lights. To clarify once again: for the LR40R I only use the central LED light, the so-called spotlight mode. The light basically needs to 'contain' itself in terms of power to make the comparison more fair. In a previous review you can read all about how the LR40R functions at full strength.
At this distance the TK22 V2.0 works perfectly. The largest part of the trees is highlighted and even the grass lights up over the entire distance. A nice all-round beam!
The LR40R shows us something else entirely! Only a part of the middle tree is brightly illuminated. The grass is only highlighted the first few meters; this is the so-called 'spill' of the beam. With this beam you can easily light up a specific area without highlighting or disturbing a large surface.
The TK30 White Laser lives up to its name! Relatively little light output, but what a sleek beam and an incredibly bright hotspot! Only a small part of the middle tree is highlighted and the beam creates one large hotspot. The grass remains dark, the beam of the TK30 White Laser does not contain a spill. Great when highlighting objects or animals without disrupting your surroundings.
We stay in the same polder, but will try to bridge a serious distance this time. The bar is raised this time: the dike in front of the river is located about 200 metres away, but the row of trees behind it is located about 500 meters away. This is serious
The dike is properly highlighted by the TK22 V2.0, but the light won't even get close to the row of trees. This is not a disgrace at all because according to the specifications this light shouldn't even be able to have this beam distance. Once again we notice how the TK22 V2.0 lights up almost everything up to the dike. Impressive for a light this size
The beam of the LR40R does reach over the dike and 'touches' the row of trees. As such it has a beam distance of half a kilometre, but it will sometimes be difficult to see all details at this distance. Still it is quite impressive, 500 metres is very long. What is also remarkable when compared to the TK22 V2.0 is that you see a lot less light on the ground; it is the result of the lower output (600 lumens less) and the narrow beam. The LR40R effortlessly bridges large distances.
The TK30 White Laser takes it up a notch. The beam slightly touches the top of the dike and clearly highlights the trees located at 500 meters away. I have never seen a flashlight this size do this. Is is amazing what this light can do. The photograph says it all!
All lights are special in their own way and can do great things. The TK22 V2.0 is the compact all-rounder of the three: up to 200 meters it will excellently highlight almost everything. In most situations more than enough. This light won't quickly disappoint you! The LR40R reaches further, but the beam is not as powerful. In this spotlight mode it will the perfect option during search ops at nights thanks to the small beam. Add the fact that you can use an additional 11000 lumens to turn the light into a real spotlight. The TK30 White Laser is in a class of its own in terms of range. You 'only' have a light output of up to 500 lumens, but also a real light sabre with a beam distance of 500 meters and more. So if you want to bridge large distances this light will be the perfect fit.
Many thanks to Knivesandtools for supplying these lights and I hope to see you again soon!
Koen van der Jagt
Ever since he could walk Koen has been interested in lights, wires and batteries. As a child he was always working with dyno torches, bike lights and electrical boxes. The krypton and halogen lights were replaced by LED lights. A couple of years ago he discovered the ‘professional’ stuff. His first brands were Led Lenser and Fenix. Photography is also one of his hobbies. In addition to nature and meteorology Koen loves to show others what a light can do and what its beam looks like at night. Koen’s reviews can often be found on forums such as candlepowerforums.com and taschenlampen-forum.de. Throughout the years Koen has collected lights in practically any category: from small and compact to enormous powerhouses.