LEP, what is LEP? Laser Excited Phosphor, the new super thrower with a highly focused beam; and I was certainly excited to try out the Fenix (see MyFenix in the UK) TK30 White LEP light. I first came across the concept of LEP to be used as a long range tactical scope illuminator for snipers, and there is no doubt this is a highly specialised type of light. For long range scope illumination it is outstanding, and for the general lighting enthusiast it is a lightsaber, with near laser beam like projection.
First up is a video which covers the basics of a look round the TK30 and some outdoor video to show the incredible beam. This page has a lot more detail including the measured output figures, runtime graph and photos of the beam.
What is in the box?:
A good look round the TK30 – Things to look out for here are:
The TK30 comes with an excellent belt holster, and a 21700 cell that has a built-in USB-C charging port (in the cell, not the TK30).
Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball “Off-White”, and the walls are a light sandy colour called ‘String’ again by Farrow & Ball. I don’t actually have a ‘white wall’ in the house to use for this, and my wife won’t have one!
Yes, this really is the beam, not a mistake. There is a small bright spot with all 500lm (422lm measured) in it.
Batteries and output:
The runs on the included 5000mAh 21700 cell.
Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.
Peak Beam intensity measured 469000lx @1m giving a beam range of 1370m!!!
In this gallery are measurements of the built-in USB-C charging for the 5000mAh cell, and the runtime graph (with active cooling).
This section is included to mention any minor niggles I come across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.
It was noted that when the low battery warning is shown with the flashing indicator in the side switch, this makes the main beam output flicker. More on this is included in the ‘in use’ section below.
As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar ‘issue’ that might be fixed in the same way.
The TK30 in use
Let’s first just get the minor quibble out of the way with the output that starts to flicker when the low battery warning comes on. It is shown in the marked copy of the runtime graph and only affects the very last part of the run. I personally take this as a point of the output being so near the end and not able to maintain the full output, that I would want to recharge the battery anyway at this point.
In some ways, the visible beam flickering is only further indication the battery is too low, so is not a problem so much as a ‘feature’. Moving on…
So the operation of the TK30 is just fine, a tail-switch, and a side switch for the mode. Easy and straightforward to use.
Although the high beam output is only in the region of 500lm, I would say that the heat generated and felt at the head of the TK30 is more than I would expect for a 500lm light. But this is no ordinary 500lm light. Inside the head is a UV Laser module that is then illuminating a phosphor surface to produce the beam, so overall it is not as efficient as a typical LED emitter and so generates more heat.
Swapping from the included 21700 cell to an 18650 (with adapter), the runtime is much less, and the lower efficiency of LEP to LED becomes even more obvious. A trade off in efficiency in exchange for a beam unlike any other.
Just take a look through this gallery. (I have used the Moon to cheat with a couple of these, it’s not quite that amazing.)
The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond that covered in the review.
Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.
What doesn’t work so well for me
Not really a ‘con’, but a warning – this is a specialist light and is not suitable for general use due to the tiny hotspot and no spill.
Shorter runtime compared to an LED light.
Things I like
Super focused beam with 1370m throw!
LEP – Laser Excited Phosphor.
USB-C rechargeable 21700 cell and cable included.
Very good belt holster.
It’s just superb fun to have a lightsaber / white laser.
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