The E12 V2.0 by Fenix is proof that you don’t have to be the Biggest and Brightest to be the most useful. In essence, Size Doesn’t Matter. Not really when it comes to Lights that is. Okay, so the E12 is a compact little LED light powered by a single AA battery, that has proven to be far more useful for common tasks than it has any right to be. Small and Simple, sure… But at the same time, damn near perfect.
The previous Fenix lights I’ve reviewed are much larger by comparison, and by order of magnitude, far brighter. They project enough light to make even a Lighthouse blush. And that’s fantastic for the purpose of signaling for edgy superheroes or for hunting German Bombers over London… But sometimes you just don’t need to fire off that many photons. Like if you are in your office and drop a contact lens, or you’re trying to follow a cable under your desk… Or the supply closet is just too dim to read which printer toner cartridge you need because they all look the same and you have to actually read the code in small print and it’s not your job to find a ladder to change the lightbulb overhead… But I digress. No, that’s not oddly specific… just a plausible example, you know? Don’t judge me.
As you can see, the E12 isn’t as long or as girthy as the others. But it’s about how you use it… and it gets more play than the others because it’s never “Too Much”. It’s sized just right. And while the others use Rechargeable batteries, the E12 is only using a single AA battery type which is as common and basic of a battery as a pumpkin spice latte is in the hands of a white girl in October. I’m not judging, I’m just saying they’re everywhere. *Gestures around* Just look. Every line at the Grocery Store has them hanging there waiting for you. Every 7-11 or Quick Trip has them for you at 3:00 AM if you need them. And they’re cheap. You can buy a pack of 4 for the same price as 1 of another popular tactical-type battery that I won’t mention. It’s probably the most universal battery type on the planet. I was once in a place that didn’t speak English as a norm and when I said “Double A Battery” they still knew what I wanted and I got them. Now, just for safety sake, if you have to go to LA, bring an extra set of batteries just in case… you know?
But you’ll probably not need an extra battery… because at the Low Setting, that little AA battery is going to last 70 hours. Using the battery that came in the package with the light, the longevity was as advertised. With an ADVANCED LITHIUM, well, I don’t know… it’s still going strong and I’ve been using the hell out of this E12 because it’s become just so very useful. It’s replaced my STREAMLIGHT Pen Light that uses two batteries. I liked the Streamlight for the same reasons, useful output without being too much, and a common battery type. But it’s too long, and it doesn’t have selectable brightness modes. This makes the E12 a clear winner if you’re looking for a flashlight that is just flat-out USEFUL. It’s small size is handy “EDC” purposes and it saves the batteries in my more serious use lights from mundane purposes that don’t involve blinding Antifa Zombies.
At HIGH, 160 Lumens is more than enough for going into the basement to find that can of paint you knew you put away. Medium’s 30 Lumens is actually perfect for most things. And if your wife is asleep and you don’t want to wake her up, the Low setting’s 5 Lumens will get you to the bathroom and back without stubbing the everliving crap out of your little toe, again.
The body of the little E12 is solid aluminum, with some ridges going around it to help prevent it from getting slippery. This is important because it is small in the hands and could be difficult to keep hold of without it. Small, lightweight, but doesn’t feel “Cheap” at all. Sturdy. Like Gimili from LOTR. And if you don’t know who that is, you are sad, and Google is your friend.
The Tailcap Switch is great… A quick tap to change between the three modes, and a firm Click to turn it on and off while staying in the last mode you used. This is about perfect, and is a feature missing from the other light I mentioned that this has replaced. In fact, I gave the other light away. I don’t need it anymore. I have the E12 now.
The Clip allows for “Tip Up” or “Tip Down” carry and it does carry very well… and I find it goes nicely in my pocket alongside a folding knife without competing for space. I also find that I’m carrying this light more than the others and after using it for a couple of weeks, I can find no fault with it.
If you are interested in this light, or the many others Fenix makes, take a minute to browse their Site. They have no less than a Dozen lights for EDC use, and they have lights all the way up to serious Search and Rescue use and everything in between. A truly impressive array of options. But get the E12… It’s too damn good not to have one of these. Just Get it:
FENIX E12 V2.0