Ledlenser P7R Core, Signature and Work | Expert Review by Koen van der Jagt
I can imagine that, when you start looking for a good flashlight, you can hardly see the wood for the trees: the product pages often show dozens of options of similar-sized lights. Ledlenser does this as well with the popular P7R: there are no less than three versions! All the same or? In this comparison I check out this trio and will help you make the right choice!
All three lights are ready for use upon delivery. The Signature- and the Work version, however, take it up a notch in terms of equipment and accessories. A wall holder/charger, luxurious sheath, belt clip and charger are included with these series, the Core is the 'bare' version here with only a charging cable, lanyard and battery.
You can immediately tell that these lights are brothers when you hold them next to each other; and yet there are also clear optical differences in these medium-sized, slim lights. The P7R Core (the basic model) has the sleekest lines, which I personally like. The P7R Signature is enhanced with a solid belt clip and an adjustable lanyard, but the most striking detail is the rotating ring directly underneath the head of the light that allows you to quickly select the right light option. The P7R Work is the largest of the three and also feels completely different with its solidified rubber head and battery cap which makes the light 'bounce proof': it can survive a fall up to 3 metres!
The Ledlenser trademark is not missing either: the advanced focus system. With it you can easily adjust the beam from narrow and far away to broad and up close. The lens is slightly convex with a fine structure to spread the light, for the P7R Work the lens is protected by glass. When you turn the head you see the LED light in the flood mode, in the throw mode the light source is hidden from view.
In terms of grip there are clear differences. The Core has the least grip and this light will also easily roll away on a smooth surface. The Signature feels a little better in hand thanks to the clip and the ring for the preference modes. The Work provides you with the most grip thanks to the larger head and the coarse rubber protection. You, however, don't have to worry about the lights slipping from your hand: thanks to the length and because the buttons are bigger than the body you usually have enough grip.
Construction quality and finish are amazing; I cannot find anything wrong with this Ledlenser trio. The fact that the manufacturer gives a 7-year warranty also says a lot!
When and how:
The P7R collection is great for use in many situations, despite not fitting in your chest pocket or keychain. The P7R Core is a 'friend to all' and feels most at home in and around the house: during DIY work, a walk in the dark and much more. The P7R Signature is a great companion with practical modes that enables you to immediately select the right light mode (red when reading a map, for instance). The P7R Work feels at home in work environments and is an excellent accessory for in your toolbox. On the other hand it is also good to know that most functions and the light image of the trio 'overlap'; in other words, all three can stand their ground in many different situations.
Controls and comfort:
The lights all use the same type of 21700 battery that is charged inside the light with the help of the included charging cable with magnetic contact points. The great aspect of this system is that no water can get inside as you charge the light, a disadvantage is that you need to depend on a specific charging cable. The more luxurious versions (Signature and Work) come with a wall charger to make sure you can always take the light from its holder while fully charged. A bit of additional security during a power outage.
You can personalize the user functions for the P7R collection. For these 'clever' lights you can choose from the following: Backup mode (battery is economically used), Emergency mode (emergency function, the light will turn on when taken from the charger), Memory mode (switch on or off in the mode last used) and Low voltage mode (low battery warning). Adjusting it is challenging: I don't think you will be able to do it without manual or supportive videos via QR code. It starts with turning the light on and holding the control button for 8 seconds until the red ring on the switch flashes two times in a row. Afterwards you repeatedly press the button for 15 seconds for the desired option: the red/green ring around the switch shows you which mode you chose.
There is a lot to choose from in terms of light options. By default the lights are set on three light modes plus the additional red or white side light for the Signature or Work. Important difference: for the Work the output is as follows, low - middle - high, and for the Core and Signature this is high - medium - low. You don't have a lot of time to choose the desired light mode, the light quickly secures the mode after which you need to turn the light on and off again; the light will only go through the available options once after which it switches off. Tip: as long as the ring around the switch is burning you can change the light mode. All lights have a boost/turbo mode which you can enhance with the maximum output for a short period of time (10 seconds). You can activate this mode both from standby and when the light is already turned on. For many users these options are sufficient, but that is not all for the P7R collection!
When you turn the light on and press the button again for approx. 5 seconds you will see that the red ring in the switch will flash once. Now you can add extra light modes and there are a lot of them! I will mention some of them: dimmable, flashing, position signalling, SOS and stroboscope. As you program the light you will notice that the switch is a little small so you won't always have the best overview of the illuminated ring around it. And it is exactly that ring that tells you what you did. When turned on push the button for five seconds until the ring flashes once. Now you can personalize it and program your favourite light options. It takes some getting used to at first, but at some point it will become easier. Practical on the one hand, and perhaps also fun for the freaks amongst us. Here the supporting video will also help you if you are unsuccessful, the QR is listed in the manual. Please keep in mind that the lights only have an electronic lock-out/transport lock which you (de)activate by holding the switch for four seconds when the light is turned off until the LED flashes a couple times.
The Signature is the only light in the collection enhanced with a ring underneath the head of the light with four stops. If the ring is in line with the switch the P7R Signature will function just like its brothers. When you turn the switch to the left you can only use the red side light. Turn it to the right and you end up with the stroboscope mode and (when you click again within three seconds) and the high mode. In the mode most to the right you have immediate access to the SOS and flashing mode. I personally love this switch, it enables you to select the right option more directly.
This is what I love about the P7R collection:
Simple: the strong assets of this collection are the advanced focus system and the fact that you can personalize the lights.
This could be better:
The switch is a little small, especially when programming it this could be impractical. Personalizing the lights takes some patience and time: fortunately you don't have to do this on a daily basis.
Value for money?
Granted, the P7R collection is not cheap and especially the Luxe Signature is quite expensive. On the other hand you get a clever product in return with many accessories and a 7-year warranty. Looking at that I can only say that it is definitely worth the investment.
All three lights are top-quality products, they can be charged in a solid manner and have a surprisingly good light image for a focus light with a combined light profile. The option to personalize the light is a great feature, but does require some patience.
The P7R Core as entry-level model wins in terms of size and fits in your pocket best. The most friendly-priced and the most suited as an all-rounder in and around the house.
Secretly the P7R Signature is my personal favourite which is the result of the ring that enables you to choose the right option, amongst which red to maintain your night vision. It is, however, by far the most expensive one from the collection.
The P7R Work is the 'rock' in this collection, you don't have to be as careful with this light as with the others. A great feature of this light is the natural colour-rendering of objects in the dark thanks to the CRI with an index of 90. The Work is also enhanced with a practical (white) side light.
Light image and beam shots
The light image of this trio is almost identical which is not surprising with the same type of reflector and head. You do see that the Signature and Work have a larger light source, which results in a larger hotspot. The most remarkable is the divergent light colour of the P7R Work with its neutral-white colour temperature of 4000 Kelvin. This colour provides you with an even better colour rendering at night, but generally has less 'power' than the cold-white shade of the P7R Core and Signature. Because pictures say more than words I made some comparison photos of the trio.
The first location is an abandoned road in a wooded area. I find it impressive that Ledlenser was able to design a '2-in-1' light beam without annoying rings or irregularities. For all lights I used only the highest light mode and made sure the lights are focused to the maximum.
Below the three P7R's with focused beam. The difference in light intensity between the P7R Core and P7R Signature and the less powerful 'warm' light beam of the P7R Work is remarkable.
Once again the same location, now with the lights zoomed out. At a short distance almost nothing escapes you, while the end of the path does not light up.
The next location is at the edge of a forest. Here I hold the lights in hand to get a good idea of the dimensions. Here you also see the most important differences between the three: the P7R Core has the narrowest light beam, the P7R Signature the most light intensity and the P7R Work the most natural colour rendering.
Again, but now the lights completely zoomed out. You can see that the 'cold white' versions have more reach than the 'warm' P7R Work. You can see that the advanced focus system is a combination: even in the maximum focus position you still easily achieve a distance of dozens of metres.
Koen van der Jagt
Ever since he could walk Koen has been interested in lights, wires and batteries. As a child he was always working with dyno torches, bike lights and electrical boxes. The krypton and halogen lights were replaced by LED lights. A couple of years ago he discovered the ‘professional’ stuff. His first brands were Led Lenser and Fenix. Photography is also one of his hobbies. In addition to nature and meteorology Koen loves to show others what a light can do and what its beam looks like at night. Koen’s reviews can often be found on forums such as candlepowerforums.com and taschenlampen-forum.de. Throughout the years Koen has collected lights in practically any category: from small and compact to enormous powerhouses.