As I was walking through the glorious jungle of gear that was the 2022 SHOT Show, I came across a small booth for a company that has become one of my most used and most beloved flashlight brands; Ledlenser. The brand was founded in 1994, when two brothers with no more than a dream and 1,000 Deutschmarks decided they wanted to build and sell high-quality LED flashlights. In those early days, though, the brothers were turned down for loans by every major bank in Germany and were told their flashlight wasn’t a profitable idea; so they did what every successful entrepreneur does and they took to their garage and got to work.
Their website says, “With all the passion and courage of two young, newly-minted entrepreneurs, they managed without the bank and to their own surprise ended up selling more than $200 million Euros’worth of LED flashlights within the first 5 years.”
And with that, Ledlenser was a major player in the flashlight industry.
I first came across Ledlenser flashlights in 2011 when I was starting my career as a police officer. I’d just finished the 6-month police academy and I hadn’t had a paycheck hit my account in about 7 months. I did, however, need a good flashlight that I could use as a starting patrol officer. I drove to a local “police” store and was looking at Surefire and Streamlight flashlights, but quickly discovered that for the lumens I needed, I wasn’t going to be able to afford either of those. I then noticed a light on the shelf that boasted 400 lumens and was priced one-half to one-third what the other two brands’ lights were selling for. Out of necessity more than choice, I decided to go with the light that was reasonably priced; and that was my first Ledlenser flashlight.
It turns out that the light was a brilliant purchase. I used that original light daily for about 5 years before eventually buying its replacement; the Ledlenser P7R. It was more or less the same flashlight that I’d grown to love over the previous 5 years, but with one major upgrade; instead of 400 lumens it now came with 1,100 lumens. What a difference.
Fast forward another 5 years and those two flashlights have seen just about everything while on-duty. Those lights have helped me find burglars, given me vision during night-shift foot pursuits, helped me search homes, businesses, and suspects more safely than I ever could’ve alone, and have literally shed light on a number of situations that absolutely teetered on deadly. It doesn’t need to be said probably, but that isn’t going to stop me; whether you are illuminating a Taliban stronghold to collect evidence after seizing the home or you are searching for an armed suspect in the dead of night, you have to trust that your flashlight won’t let you down.
I can say with conviction that neither of my Ledlenser lights has ever let me down.
Now that you’ve got a bit of background on my history with the lights, let’s get back to SHOT Show.
When I saw the booth I noticed that my tried and true P7R flashlight had radically changed. I wasn’t at first sure that I liked the design change but I felt obligated to look. I spoke to the rep there and briefly told him about my use of their lights over the past decade and he provided me with the new P7R flashlight, the Ledlenser P7R Core so I could review it for you all. Here goes!
Unpacking and First Reaction
The first thing I noticed about the new light was that it is a bit thinner and taller than the previous generation light. I also noticed that the “on” button had moved from the back of the light to an area on the body just beneath the beam. For me, this was hard to adjust to at first since my muscle memory is solidly sided with the old design. Over the past couple of weeks using the light, though, I’ve started to adjust that muscle memory and now am starting to like the location of the switch. If you consider your hand placement when you hold a flashlight, you’ll quickly realize that you don’t hold it from the back end of the light, you hold it more centered or offset on the flashlight’s body. The old activation button required a brief change in grip to activate the light or to change its mode. The placement of the button on the new light completely eradicates this issue. This may seem like a petty detail if you only use your flashlight to check your mail after dark or to view wildlife at night, but if you are searching a home for a burglary suspect, the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with your gear to get your light on/off/brighter/dimmer/etc. From that perspective, I love the new light.
One thing I was a bit disappointed with in the light was that it didn’t come with the same amount of accessories as each of my old ones did. As cheesy as it sounds to me to write this, I miss the small, simple light holster that came with the older models. I keep that belt clip light holster in my vehicle and have attached it to my belt literally hundreds of times when I thought I may need a flashlight on my person. It was a handy little accessory that I actually do miss. Since the body of the new light has different dimension from the older ones, the new one doesn’t fit the old light holster.
The most useable new feature that I noticed on the new model was its brightness. I compared all of my Ledlenser lights and the difference was clear; the illumination of the new light was superior in every way to the previous generations (see above photo).
Materials and Features
The new light model (the P7R Core) is described by Ledlenser as “a versatile and sleek flashlight that offers exceptional power.” The light illuminates its surroundings with 1,400 lumens and can throw a beam up to 300 meters. Additionally, battery life on HIGH power is an impressive 2 hours. On its lowest lumen setting, battery life lasts a whopping 90 hours.
In real-use scenarios that I’ve experienced, those numbers roughly equate to 1-2 months of 12-hour night shifts on patrol. I used my light sporadically on and off during every night shift I ever worked and I would always get at least a month of use between charges.
The P7R Core runs in the color temperature around 6,500, which is on the bluish-white side of that spectrum. For comparison, traditional “yellow” lights usually range in the color temperature in the 2-3,000’s.
The P7R Core is IP68-rated, which means it can be submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. It can also function and be used underwater. Some other great features the P7R boasts is its innovative “Smart Light Technology” and a “Magnetic Charge System.”
The Smart Light Technology essentially describes the variable features the light offers. The light offers the following functions:
- Mid Power
- Low Power
You can program the light to use the pattern of your choice. I personally just prefer using the light cycle of: boost, mid power, low power and power off as my settings. You can configure it any way that suits your needs, though.
Similar to the new Apple iPhone technology “MagSafe,” the Ledlenser P7R ensures the charging cord is correctly aligned and attached through the use of powerful magnets. It is reassuring to know that when the charger cord attaches to the light that it is indeed charging. You never have to experience the same issue I’ve had dozens of times after setting my phone on a wireless charger only to find out later that it was a quarter centimeter away from the area it needed to be to charge. Once the magnetic cord on the P7R connects, you can rest assured your light will be charged upon your return.
A handful of other features this light boasts are:
- Multi-Core Optics
- Temperature Control Systems (keeps light from overheating)
- Memory Function (lights starts in the last mode used)
- Back up Mode (light indicator changes colors when you have one hour of remaining light -see above orange glow)
- Transport Lock (light won’t turn on accidentally when utilized)
- 7-year Warranty
The final feature I like about all of the Ledlenser lights I’ve used is their easily-adjustable beam focus. When searching a field, you can quickly rotate that upper housing around the beam clockwise and it will focus the beam up to 300 meters. When searching a house for an intruder, you can quickly rotate the head counter-clockwise to widen the beam out to full-room light coverage. This feature was easily the one I used most as an officer.
H5R Core Headlamp
The H5R Core headlamp is a comfortable, semi-bright light for use when you need to be hands free but still need quality light. I used mine over the past two weeks doing some work in the garage that required more light and used it when cleaning my weapon to better see what I was doing. It has been a handy light that I think would make a great addition to anyone’s illumination repertoire. In addition to its convenience, the H5R is water rated to IP-67 and it provides 500 lumens for up to two hours and throws a beam of light up to 200 meters. It also features the Advanced Focus System that the P7R lights use.
K6R Keychain Light
The K6R keychain light delivers 400 lumens for up to 1.5 hours and fits easily inside your blue jeans pocket or center console. Mine currently resides in my center console to be used as a backup light during an emergency. Ledlenser also included a red light on the keychain light that you can use to help preserve your night vision in an applicable scenario. I thought that was a nice feature as well. The keychain light recharges using a built-in foldable USB port. It requires no external cabling.
To be transparent, I expected to like the Ledlenser light before my testing and review of them even began. My original Ledlenser lights have been to hell and back with me and have yet to let me down. The new lights now have better features, more battery life, and more lumens. Honestly, what’s not to love. At times, I’ve literally trusted my life to this light and here I sit. For me, that’s enough said. If you’re looking for a high-functioning, long-lasting light that won’t break the bank, look no further than Ledlenser. I really do believe that you won’t be disappointed.