LED Lenser Photon Pump Torches Review
We’ve been playing with an assortment of flashlights from LED Lenser recently, and it’s been quite fun. This company has a very large range of LED flashlights, with something aimed at just about every section of the market. We’ve already talked about the neat little F1 model, so now let’s look at the slightly more traditional Photon Pump range.
If you’re familiar with Mini Maglites the Photon Pumps will definitely ring a few bells. They’re all encased in sturdy aluminium tubes, with a hard-anodised black finish, and the grip sections are chequered to give a good grip even if your hands are wet. The two smallest models are parallel-sided for their whole length; the bigger pair have a larger diameter head. Tail caps with lanyard rings seal the battery compartments and also let you tie the light securely to your belt or pocket. One of the funny things about flashlights is that when you drop them it’s always dark and they’re never switched on.
There are four sizes of Photon Pump, plus a head torch with the same name but no other resemblance (we didn’t look at that.) The smallest is the ZL7002, and it really is tiny. It’s only 62mm long – two and a half inches – and weighs 14 grams. We thought the F1 was handy, but this can easily hang off your keyring until it’s needed. It’s powered by four AG5 batteries, giving up to 60 hours use, and puts out 8 lumens. That’s not a lot, but it’s still impressive for such a small package. The slightly larger ZL7003, powered by a single AAA cell, has about the same performance and a shorter – 58 hour – battery life, but on the other hand the batteries are a lot easier to find.
Move up a bit and you have the ZL7004. This is about six inches long and runs on two AA batteries. These are really easy to find, of course, and they also pack a lot more power. Battery life is a lot shorter though, at 20 hours; that’s because the ZL7004 has three 5mm flush LEDs instead of one, and can project a useful beam nearly 30 metres.
The biggest of the Photon Pumps – which we didn’t try – is the ZL7007. This is a bit shorter but a lot chunkier, and has a 58 lumen output and beam distance of over 100 metres. LED Lenser’s website says it also runs on four AG5 batteries but we’re not too sure about this; given its size and power we think that might be a typo. If you know better please let us know!
Overall we were very impressed with the three Photon Pumps we tested. They’re pretty traditional, but they’re solidly made and feel like quality items. They also produce a lot of light for their size, and that’s what you want from a flashlight, isn’t it?