Fenix E05 - 85 lumens - CREE XP-E2 LED - AAA x1
Fenix's E05 is an AAA-battery powered keychain flashlight that has a surprising light output for its small size. With a max output of 85 lumens coming out of such a small aluminum tube, the output is definitely impressive for its size.
- Cree XP-E2 LED with a lifespan of 50000 hours
- Uses 1 AAA battery
- Digitally regulated output – maintains constant brightness
- Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle
- Reliable twist switch
- Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
- Premium type 3 hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
Low: 8 lumens/15hr
Medium: 25 lumens/4hr 15min
High: 85 lumens/45min
- Beam distance: 148ft (45m)
- Beam intensity: 505cd
- Impact resistance: 1m
- Waterproofing: IPX8, underwater 2m
Included in the packaging:
- AAA battery
- Spare o-ring
- Key ring for attaching to keychain
- Manuals/Warranty information
Review of the E05
This light is tiny, and a real looker too. Not because of any fancy edges or pronounced curves, but because of its simplicity. It's a very simply designed light and that's a good thing, especially if used as a keychain light. Being a simple light means that it won't get in the way when fumbling around for keys, and it won't make any weird uncomfortable-feeling bulges when in your pocket. The light has four deep lines surrounding the body, giving it a pleasing aesthetic, and inside the body there’s a spring to cushion the battery. Protruding at the end of the body is a triangular shape with a hole on one of its sides. This end makes for very stable tail-standing if you wish to use the E05 to fill a room with light, and the small hole on the side let's you attach the included key ring (or anything that fits). It's worth noting that with the key ring in place, the light still tail-stands effortlessly. Moving over to the head of the light, you'll notice that there's no reflector there. Instead, there's a TIR optic that's just very slightly recessed into the head. The optic houses the XP-E2 emitter that's only a hair's width off-center. It takes a good eye to even notice it, and most people wont be able to tell.
Out of the box, the E05 came flawless with no scratches or faults in the machining.
The light is covered in type III anodization that feels great, and is tough too. After a week on my keys, there's only one small nick that has appeared on the body. It's flawless apart from that nick. The anodizing is great, but the color on my unit is not uniform: the head of the light is blue while the body has a slight purple hue to it. This is a very minor problem that doesn't affect the operation of the light in anyway, but it's still a notable trait. It could just be that I got unlucky.
The knurl on the E05 is phenomenal. This light has the perfect amount of aggressiveness to the knurl that makes it very grippy, but not so much that it's digging into your hand. There's knurl almost everywhere on the light minus the areas where the logo and serial number are. One-handed use isn't a problem here. Holding onto the light while twisting the head with one hand is a breeze, and is just as easy as if operating it with two hands. The knurl, and the smooth threads make one-handed use easily doable.
Speaking of threads, they are triangular cut, anodized, and very smooth. There are a lot of threads on this light and that's great, this being a twist operated light. It takes exactly four full rotations to fully unscrew the head. Due to the number of threads, there's no worry of the light unscrewing completely when the light is off. On the threads where the head screws into the body sits a chunky o-ring which makes this light waterproof, up to IPX-8 standards according to Fenix. This light passed my personal bucket test after being submerged "off" overnight. The fact that the light was "off" is important. Being my first twisty light, I was afraid that the o-ring would not make a full seal when the light is "off", since "off" in a twisty means the head is slightly unscrewed. Thankfully, the way the light is designed means that the o-ring is making a great, waterproof seal with the head even after two full rotations of the head.
Overall the light is definitely premium made, with a solid feel in-hand. The E05 is definitely reliable.
The light is operated by twisting the head; there's no buttons to press. By fully tightening the head, the light comes on, while slightly unscrewing the head turns it off. There's three modes: low (8 lumens for 15 hrs), medium (25 lumens for 4 hrs 15 min) and high (85 lumens for 45 min). The runtimes differ with alkalines, and Ni-MH batteries. (On Ni-MH, low is 14h 30 minutes, medium is 4h 15 minutes, and high is 1 hour.) Modes are changed from the on position by quickly untightening and tightening the head within a second. The light has no mode memory and will always start on the low mode. I personally prefer it this way since it means I'll always know what mode the light will start in, although some may not like that as much.
I was very surprised at how tight the broad hotspot is on such a small light. I expected nothing but flood with no discernible hotspot, but the hotspot is very distinguishable. I believe the tight beam is accomplished with the combination of the XP-E2 emitter and the TIR optic. For such a small light, it can reach quite a bit. Now, you won't be lighting up a tree on the other side of the yard with the E05, but it has some decent reach for its size; 45 meters according to Fenix. The tint of the beam is on the cool side of white, but isn't at all blue. The tint is really white.
The spill is very, very wide, thanks partly to the fact that the optic is only slightly recessed into the head. The balance of the brightness between the spill and flood is great, and it makes the light usable for a variety of tasks. The evenly spaced modes also make the light versatile, and there's a visual increase in brightness with each mode change.
The beam pattern is good, but I will mention that the beam has a lot of artifacts. If you point the light at a pure white wall, it's pretty easy to notice many rings and discrepancies with the beam. Also, the fact that the emitter is a very, very tiny bit uncentered makes the hotspot look "layered." Just know that in real world use, the beam looks clean and you'll honestly never notice any rings or discrepancies. The beam looks perfect when being actually used. Let's acknowledge the fact that the optic and emitter are very tiny, so for its size, the beam is great.
- Minimal design.
- Very light weight.
- Well-spaced modes.
- Really bright.
- Easy to operate one-handed.
- Defined hotspot.
- Always starts on low.
- Color didn't match on my sample.
- Beam is a bit ringy.
- Tad bit off-center emitter.
- Always starts on low. (Some people might not like that.)
The pros really outweigh the cons, cons which are pretty minor. The colors don't match, but its honestly not a big deal; the light functions fine, and you really have to look closely to see that the colors are a bit off. The beam is ringy, but it isn't noticeable in use. It's not ringy at all unless you're pointing at a perfectly clean white wall. The light starts in low, but that's a feature some might welcome (as I do).
Who is this light for?
The obvious use for the E05 is as a keychain light, and as a keychain light, it is a fantastic choice. The small form factor means it won't make any keychains heavy, big, or cumbersome, and the large amounts of threads prevents the light from unscrewing when you bang your key around. Its solid construction means that dropping the keychain onto the concrete floor won't stop the E05 from functioning.
But apart from being used as a keychain light, this light has plenty of other uses too.
Ultralight backpackers will love its compact size and weight, saving valuable space.
The light is plenty bright and the spill is nice and wide which makes it a good tool for moving around and setting up camp.
The smallness of the light makes it comfortable to hold with your teeth, leaving you hands-free to easily do different small tasks around the house where the brightness of a full sized light isn't necessary.
As a travel light, its maneuverability makes it easy to carry around to help you find things in your bag, or read a book in dark places.
Its also definitely usable as an EDC light, as most people might not need more than 85 lumens for most situations.
I give this light a solid 4/5.
The build quality is awesome, the output is great for many tasks, and its small size means it'll be with you wherever you go. I took off one star for the mismatched color, and the slightly ringy beam.
Overall, this is a great multi-purpose keychain light that will last a long time. Just scroll back up to buy an E05 and see for yourself.
This review was written by Jesse Soto
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