Fireflies E07 2021 Review – E07x Substitute?

Contents

The Boring Stuff

I purchased this light second hand from another Reddit user. My sample has red anodizing, Nichia 219B SW45K emitters, and the optional 22430 battery & tube. Here is the official product page, but I recommend buying from Bright Lumen Shop. Fireflies has a reputation for poor quality control, poor customer service, and slow shipping. Buying from BLS solves all of those problems.

What comes in the box?

The box is a fairly simple, black, cardboard box. It’s not as fancy as the box included with Fireflies’ more premium models like E07x. The following items are included in the box:

  • The light itself
  • Pocket clip
  • Spare O-rings
  • Anduril reference card
  • Terrible lanyard
  • 22430 battery (optional)
  • 22430 body tube (optional)

Note: I got mine second hand so it’s possible these contents may differ slightly from a brand-new sample.

Design & Construction

The design is just beautiful, especially in this stunning red color. Fireflies offers E07 in 3 colors that few other flashlight makers do: red, blue, and sand. Notably, the classic black is not an option. I think the tailcap could use just a bit of texturing. It’s not slippery, but it’s just slippery enough that I found myself doing cell swaps from the head.

Build quality is excellent. The anodizing is even and smooth. The threads are smooth, lubricated, anodized, and easy to start. The tail threads are trapezoid cut, but the head threads are triangle cut. It would have been nice for the threads to be a little thicker and trapezoid cut on both ends. That would make the cell tube reversible too, which is never a bad thing. It’s developed a couple small wear marks in a week or so of carry, so this red anodizing probably isn’t as durable as the more typical black or grey anodizing found on most lights.

Size & Measurements

From left to right:
Emisar D4SV2 with 26800 tube
Fireflies E07x Pro
Fireflies E07 2021
Noctigon KR1
Emisar D4V2

MeasurementMeasured (mm)
Bezel Diameter37.5
Length (21700)117.5
Length (22430)91.1
Switch Diameter10.6
Switch Proudness2.0
Lens Diameter35.0
Lens Thickness1.5
Optic Diameter35.0
Optic Height (including legs)8.5
MCPCB Size<33.1
Body Tube Diameter (internal, 21700)22.2
Body Tube Diameter (internal, 22430)22.5
Body Tube Diameter (mode)26.0
Body Tube Diameter (maximum)27.6
Body Tube Length (21700)75.0
Body Tube Length (22430)48.4
Ride Height (sticking out of pocket)23.0
Pocket Clip Space (for pants material)3.9
Pocket Clip Space (at mouth)~4
Pocket Clip Width7.5
Pocket Clip Thickness0.6
Pocket Cip Slot Width5.0
Pocket Clip Slot Diameter24.3
Tailcap Diameter28.0
Tailcap Length18.0
Driver Diameter<24
Included Battery Length (22430)43.0
Included Battery Diameter (22430)22.4

Weight without 21700 battery: 129g / 4.55oz
Weight with Molicel P42A 21700 battery: 196g / 9.61oz
Weight without 22430 battery: 115g / 4.06oz
Weight with optional 22430 battery: 157g / 5.54oz

User Interface

I wish E07 came with Anduril 2, but it comes with the next best thing: Anduril 1. I’m not even remotely prepare to do a full UI table, so here are some of my favorite features:

  • Customizable mode memory
  • Shortcuts to moonlight & high
  • Customizable brightness levels
  • One click on/off, hold to change brightness
  • Battery voltage readout
  • Candle mode
  • Muggle mode (for handing to normal people who aren’t flashlight nerds)

Anduril 2 has some meaningful improvements over Anduril 1 that I did miss while using E07. Fireflies already includes it on some of their other models, so I’m disappointed they didn’t update E07 with Anduril 2 when they released this 2021 version. With that said, it is possible to update the firmware. More on that in the Driver & Regulation section.

Modes, Brightness & Throw

Disclaimer: Lumen measurements were taken on a Texas Ace 3.5″ Lumen Tube. A candela measurement was taken with an Opple Light Master III on the highest brightness, and other candela figures were calculated relative to that. Runtime tests were performed with the Ceilingbounce app on my smartphone. All of these tests were performed with a fully charged Molicel P42A battery unless otherwise specified. I cannot measure moonlight directly, so moonlight readings are calculated based on the brightness relative to the next-lowest mode.

Level Lumens (@ Turn-On)Candela (@ Turn-On)Throw (meters)
Turbo (150)303010000200
High (113)9703201113
Medium (75)16554547
Low (37)155014
Moonlight (1)0.010.030.36
Molicel P42A 21700
Level Lumens (@ Turn-On)Candela (@ Turn-On)Throw (meters)
Turbo (150)28009241192
High (113)8652855107
Medium (75)16554514
Low (37)155014
Moonlight (1)0.010.030.36
Optional 22430 Battery

Why those modes? Anduril has 150 levels, so doing measurements and tests for each mode is virtually impossible. I’ve got this light set up how I like it with 5 levels. Bottom of ramp is level 1 and top of ramp is level 150. I’ve set up the stepped ramp with 5 steps so I get the 5 modes I like.

Mode Spacing: is fine. There are no oddly large or oddly small jumps. When in the smooth ramp, there is a little hiccup around level 10 where the ramp stops for a moment. Notably, there are no blinks anywhere in the ramp like there usually are in Anduril.

How does it compare to the official specs? There are no limen nor candela specs listed for Nichia 219B’s on the product page.

Runtime & Currents

Use the sliders on the images below to compare performance between a Molicel P42A and the optionally included 22430 battery.

Molicel P42A | Fireflies 22430
Molicel P42A | Fireflies 22430

Turbo (21700): Starts out just over 3000 lumens and drops very quickly down to about 200 lumens before the 1 minute mark. It settles around 165 lumens and stays there until the four and a half hour mark when low voltage stepdowns begin.

High (21700): looks almost identical to turbo, it just starts out lower and has a weird brightness jump in the first few minutes.

Medium (21700): is a perfectly flat 165 lumens for over 5 hours.

22430: runtimes look virtually identical to 21700 runtimes, just two hours and fifteen to thirty minutes shorter.

165 lumens sustained is abysmal from a light this size. Part of that is the inefficient driver, and part of it is the inefficient LED’s I’ve chosen. Some high efficiency LED’s like SST20 5000K+ or XPL-HI’s would help sustained output a fair bit.

LVP: I observed low voltage stepdowns in all of my tests, and one of them ran long enough that I observed the light completely shut off. Anduril has the best low voltage warning & shutoff system I’ve used.

Current: I’m not equipped to do extreme duration runtime tests or extremely high current measurements. I only measure the currents on low modes and I calculate the estimated runtime of those modes based on the capacity of the battery or batteries I’m using for testing.

LevelCurrent @ Tailcap (milliamps)Estimated Runtime (P42A)Estimated Runtime (22430)
Low16.210.8 days4.8 days
Moonlight1.73.3 months45 days
Standby (aux high)1.194.7 months2.1 months
Standby (aux low)0.1283.7 years19.4 months
Standby (aux “off”)0.0825.8 years2.6 years

Driver & Regulation

E07 uses a FET+3 driver, so that’s direct/FET drive for high modes, and 3×7135 chips for low modes. This is a big step down in regulation and efficiency from the Lume1 Buck driver used in E07x. But, it’s also the reason you can buy an E07 right now and not an E07x. That fancy Lume1 driver can’t be produce right now due to a parts shortage, but this basic E07 driver can. It’s worth noting that the highest regulated level is level 83.

Notably, E07 has flashing pads visible on the driver, and they’re in a Lexel layout! E07 runs PL47g2’s firmware which is still getting regular updates from Toykeeper. I was able to update mine to Anduril 2 using the latest PL47g2 firmware from Toykeeper’s repository and a Lexel flashing adapter. That’s a significant difference from E07x, which has had zero firmware updates since its release despite using the more common Emisar/Noctigon flashing pad layout.

Regulation is poor on higher modes and great on lower modes.

Note: All regulation measurements are taken at turn-on so they do not reflect any thermal or low voltage stepdowns that may occur. A value of 0 indicates low voltage shutoff immediately upon activation.

Thermal regulation: Anduril has the most sophisticated thermal regulation available and it works extremely well.

PWM: No PWM is visible to my eye on any mode, but my camera is able to pick it up on a few modes. Using an Opple Light Master III, I found the slowest PWM to be 4000hz on Moonlight (Level 1) and the fastest to be 32000hz on High (Level 113).

Emitter & Beam

My sample has Nichia 219B SW45K emitters. These are known for their fantastic tint & color rendering, not high brightness or efficiency. They are beautiful.

The beam is lovely. It’s a little bit rosy and a little bit warm. It’s floody with a wide hotspot and wide spill. There are some minor artifacts at the far edge of the spill, but they’re not noticeable unless you’re white wall hunting close up.

I measured CCT at 4000-4300K and RA (CRI) at 96 with my Opple Light Master 3.

In the beamshots above, the trees where I’m aiming the hotspot are 175M away. In the beamshots below, the park bench where I’m aiming the hotspot is 42M away.

Outdoors this beam is rosy, floody, and beautiful. In the comparison shots you can see how much floodier the beam is than my E07x with SST20’s. Personally I find I like something with a little more punch and sustained output outdoors, but this is still a joy to use.

Moonlight & Tint Comparison from left to right:
Noctigon KR1 | SFT40
Fireflies E07x Pro | SST20 4000K FA4
Emisar D4V2 2-channel | Nichia 219B SW45K
Fireflies E07 | Nichia 219B SW45K

This E07’s moonlight is an order of magnitude lower than anything I own. I estimate that it’s 0.01 lumen. You can stick it right up to your eye with zero discomfort. It’s incredible. It’s less than one one-hundredth as bright as E07x’s “moonlight” mode. Bravo, Fireflies. This certainly isn’t an E07x!

Aux LED’s: E07 also has colorful auxiliary LED’s behind the optic. They’re only in one color though: cyan. They’re pretty, but I would have liked to see RGB here (and in the switch). Notably, they’re very bright. So bright that they’re distracting when trying to fall asleep if the light is on my nightstand. Just as with all Anduril lights, you can set them to low mode, but that’s too low. Anduril really needs a medium level for Aux LED’s. E07x Pro is the only light I’ve tried with just the right aux LED brightness. I wish that were the case with E07 as well.

Above is a comparison of the aux LED’s of Fireflies E07x Pro (set to cyan-ish), Emisar D4V2 (set to cyan-ish), and Fireflies E07 2021. E07 is by far the brightest.

Switch

E07 uses an electronic, backlit, side switch covered by a transparent rubber boot. It’s a fine switch that’s tactile and audible. It’s easy to find in the dark by looking for the backlight, or just by feel because of its prominence. Keeping the clip positioned opposite the switch makes it even easier.

My favorite thing about this switch is that it doesn’t turn on in my pocket. That’s probably my biggest gripe with E07x, which turns on every time I get out of my car. I’ve carried E07 for about a week with zero accidental activations. I see lockout mode as a way of patching a bad switch design, and I’m pleased to say that E07 doesn’t need lockout to be carried (in my personal experience, YMMV).

There are four switch backlight LED’s. The top and bottom are controlled with the aux LED’s through Anduril, but the side LED’s stay on all the time, nomatter what unless you disconnect the battery. That’s just silly. They should be tied to all the other auxiliary emitters so they can all be controlled in the firmware. Fortunately, the always-on switch LED’s draw very little power and aren’t distractingly bright.

Carry & Ergonomics

Ergonomics in-hand are pretty good. It’s not quite as hand-filling and right-feeling as E07x, but it’s pretty close. I can comfortably use the button with either the tip of my thumb or the first knuckle. There are no sharp edges (unlike E07x, which has a couple) and all of my fingers have a place when holding it. It’s also reasonably easy to use in a reverse grip with your pinky on the button.

Carry is fine. The stock clip (first photo below) is fine. It’s not great though, as it’s pretty shallow carry and it lands right on the body texturing. Sofirn/Wurkkos’ silver IF22A/SP35/HD20/TS21 clip (second photo below) is a much better fit as it carries deeper and lands on the smooth transition between the body tube and head of the light. It requires zero modification and is well worth the ~$7 it costs to get. A Noctigon KR4 clip (third photo below) can work as well with some modification (grinding the inside of the clip ring to increase the inside diameter, and making a conductive spacer to go inside the tailcap). KR4’s clip is a particularly great option if you’re using the 22430 battery and body tube (5th photo below) as it lands right on the lanyard hole, allowing for easy insertion and removal from the pocket. It carries nice and deep too, just barely sticking past the tailcap.

There’s a magnet in the tailcap that’s very strong. It has no trouble holding E07 up horizontally on a vertical surface.

Batteries & Charging

E07 2021 takes one unprotected flat top 21700 cell. I’m using a Molicel P42A. I tried and unprotected flat top 18650 and it was too short. Fireflies includes a very nice 18650 adapter with E07x, but not with E07. For maximum brightness you’ll want to use one of the ~4000mah ~30A+ cells on the market, but you could get away with one of the ~5000mah ~10A cells for more runtime.

No charging solution is included with E07. There’s an optional extra tailcap (presumably without a magnet in it) that will add some extra length inside so you can use a USB-C rechargeable 21700 cell like this one. I think Fireflies carried such a battery on their site at one point as an add-on, but I can’t find it now. That extra tailcap should allow for the use of protected button top 21700’s too if you want to go that route.

Competition

Here are some lights in the same class and how they compare.

Fireflies E07x Pro: slightly larger, better aux LED’s, better firmware, better driver, integrated charging, more expensive (but indefinitely out of stock)

Emisar D4V2: significantly smaller, fewer LED’s, marginally better driver, better firmware, better aux LED’s, 18650 instead of 21700, can also be had in a dual-channel version, less expensive

Emisar D4SV2: a little chunkier, no pocket clip, fewer LED’s, more throw, marginally better driver, better firmware, better aux LED’s, 26650 instead of 21700, can also be had in a dual-channel version, less expensive

This section is not comprehensive. If I didn’t include a particular light here, it doesn’t mean it’s bad or doesn’t deserve to be here. I simply cannot list every possible competitor.

Conclusion

E07x was supposed to completely replace E07, and it did until the world ran out of parts used in E07x’s driver. E07 was re-released as a 2021 version so Fireflies has something to sell while they wait for E07x parts. E07 is not E07x, and you can tell. You miss out on some things from E07x: the good (excellent driver, integrated charging, RGB) and the bad (accidental activation, no firmware updates, lofty price).

Ultimately, E07x is better overall, but E07 2021 is a pretty darn good substitute in the mean time, with a reasonable price to boot. If you’re looking for a beautiful hotrod with some fun emitter options and Anduril, this should be on your radar.

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