There are two reasons for a flashlight housing to be any color other than black.
First, a splash of color can help make a flashlight stand out, whether in a tool box, bag, table, or junk drawer. A flashlight that stands out is easier and quicker to grab.
Second, like other EDC (everyday carry) tools, there’s a “pocket jewelry” aspect. When you buy a pair of shoes or boots, there might be 2 or more colors to choose from, right? Footwear is functional, but they’re not all only available in black.
Even for functional items that aren’t displayed to the world, it’s good to have color options.
Fenix has offered different flashlight colors before, mainly with their keychain-sized lights. Some of their headlamps are available in different colors or with headband strap color options.
But what they’re doing here is different. With recent PD36R Pro marketing materials, Fenix introduced 4 new colors of this popular rechargeable flashlight. You can now buy it in black, red camo, “dragon’s breath,” magma, and urban gray.
The pricing varies – $120 for the black flashlight, $125 for the red camo, and $130 for yellow, orange-grey, and gray camo options.
While checking the pricing for this story, I saw that Fenix has new colors for another rechargeable flashlight model, the TK20R UE.
Here, you can choose from copper camo, metallic sand, city gray, and tropical green. At the time of this posting, they’re all $139.95 each.
Readers pushed me towards trying out rechargeable flashlights a few years ago, and I overdid it with Fenix.
I have a PD36R test sample that I purchased based on reader recommendations, but it mainly sits in the corner of a shelf, along with a bunch of other generic-looking flashlights that I’d be hard pressed to tell apart from each other. I grab them on occasion, but none have been upgraded to go-to flashlight status.
Part of that reason is because, for my personal use, I tend to lean towards 16340 and 18650-sized lights, at least in the context of rechargeable flashlights. I prefer smaller lights.
Both of the lights discussed above are powered by 21700-sized Li-ion batteries, and they charge via USB-C.
The magma color is a $10 upgrade from the black.
When choosing shoes or boots, with most other aspects and the price being equal, I might lean towards a particular model based on color or aesthetics. Because of that I don’t feel too bad that I’d do the same with flashlights.
While it’s way too garish for public-carry, the magma-camo PD36R Pro would likely get a spot on my desk or workbench. At this time, I have four flashlights on my desk, two of which I used this week. I used two other models for different purposes – a long-throw spotlight flashlight for checking the tree line for deer, and a compact EDC flashlight with magnetic tail cap came in handy for aligning the holes of my benchtop mill stand.
It seems strange to talk about color without a single mention about brightness output or emitter color temperature. But, Fenix has done that too.
Checking my inbox to see if there was lower introductory pricing, I found an email that Fenix sent at the start of the year – “Black flashlights are so 2022” – where they featured their Cerakote-finished flashlights. Cerakote? I should start opening Fenix newsletters.
Correction: The Cerakote-finish flashlights are from Fenix-Store, a Fenix flashlights retailer.
The new color options are also exclusive to Fenix’s direct store.
I hope that more brands jump onto the colorful flashlight finish bandwagon. Every model should always be available in black, but I for one like having color options.
And yes, I know some of you are screaming about the price. To put it bluntly, most people don’t need a premium flashlight, let alone multiple premium flashlights. Some do. For many it’s a daily or very regular-use tool. In the middle are enthusiasts who want more powerful, featured, and reliable flashlights that can endure more demanding usage environments.
If you’re such a “cheap is good” user, Fenix’s E-series starts at $12.95. I bought my wife an E01 (they now have an E01 V2.0) back in 2010, and it’s still working reliably. Fenix’s modern pricing quickly climbs upwards from there.
Do you care about having more color options?