At one time, with the release of the CL25R, Fenix established themselves as a manufacturer of comfortable and reliable camping lights. The mentioned model, in fact, has been serving me faithfully for 5 years now, having survived both falls on asphalt, and immersions in puddles, and the most fail-safe test — repeated use by children.
And I have a lot of other Phoenix lamps, from the underestimated and tiny CL09 to the real CL30R chandelier. They were all Li-Ion powered, and now I got my hands on the CL23 powered by AA. I will talk about him
- Compact and fashionable, maximum brightness 300 lumens
- Batteries: 1-3 AA batteries
- Dimensions: 55mm (length) x 55mm (width) x 85mm (height)
- Weight: 140 g (without batteries)
- Lighting for camping and tents
- Lighting diameter 20 meters
- Two light sources: white and red
- Protection against incorrect installation (polarity reversal) of batteries
- Tripod connector at the top for effective control of the direction of the light and fixing the flashlight
- Easy and fast flashlight control with one button
- IP66 water and dust resistant
Packaging and appearance
A plastic box familiar to Phoenix with a good design. In terms of quality, there is nothing to complain about.
The set includes everything you need: the lamp itself, 3 batteries, instructions, sealing ring.
The Fenix CL23 case is a plastic cylinder slightly rounded at the poles with a translucent central part that hides 6 sections with LEDs strung on the battery compartment pipe. The luminaire itself looks good, and what looks and feels like a branded thing in the hands. The plastic feels decent. There are no gaps, squeaks, backlashes, casting defects and this is expected. By the way, in addition to the conspicuous emergency orange, there is also an imperceptibly green version of the case.
With its 85mm height, the luminaire is quite compact.
There is a hanging hole on the top. If desired or excessive effort, it can be removed. It also acts as a stop when twisting the upper part of the lamp serving as a cover for the battery compartment.
There is also a thread for a tripod. For some situations, this is convenient, but I would prefer to see a magnet there. The ideal option would be to complete the lamp with an adapter in the form of a bolt with a wide powerful magnet on the cap.
Having twisted the cover, we see a compartment for 3 AA batteries.
Here it is worth noting an important point. The lamp works quite well on 1 or 2 batteries, except that the maximum brightness is turned off. As an emergency, NC option is extremely convenient.
The thread is plastic and quite dry, I did not like it. But even as it is, the lid moves on it completely smoothly, without the slightest scoring and distortions.
The batteries themselves are in a metal (probably aluminum) flask.
At the bottom of the cover is a wide pad.
The gray round buttons slightly recessed into the case are responsible for the control. It feels effortless to the touch. A translucent plastic round is clearly visible here, behind which is another unidentified LED. Dismantling, by the way, was not crowned with success. And I don’t see the point in it either. Buyers of phoenixes are far from customization and modding, and the prospect of repair is covered by a long and really working one (had experience, Fenix were Very stubborn and customer-oriented in attempts to send a replacement part of the flashlight) manufacturer’s warranty.
This diffuser is symbolically recessed deep into the body and will not touch a smooth surface if a lamp is placed. I would, however, raise the diffuser even higher.
That’s all. It looks good, there is no reason to complain about the quality of workmanship, as in all cases before.
That one button is good. But I would not call the control convenient — there is a mode memory and there is no bookmark for both minimum brightness and red light. If you turn on the lamp in the middle of the night, you can go blind, getting to the desired level through brighter ones.
Ease of operation is common in the Phoenix and for many this is a plus. I would have preferred at least the inclusion in the minimum brightness on hold and in the previous used mode on a double click from OFF.
The luminaire can be blocked with a slight flap of the cover.
How the Fenix CL23 shines
The light is not bad both in terms of color temperature and distribution.
So. The main light around the perimeter is somewhere around 5000-5500K, the bottom light is somewhere around 4000K. Nice!
Further, it is worth mentioning that in the main light it is possible to turn on the mode from the 2/6 sector. This In fact convenient: you can direct the side light in one direction -> do not blind others and save battery. And since the brightness in this mode is small, it is purely, for example, directed to a book, the total operating time will be very large.
In this mode, I hung the CL23 to the wall on the veranda of the cottage and it successfully served as a night light there. The light did not go to waste in the wall, while 25 lumens was more than enough to illuminate the veranda for those who decided to go out at night before the wind. For the eyes of an awakened person, this seemingly inexpressive brightness in numbers turns out to be very, very far from some kind of useless fading.
As for stabilization, it is clear that the older modes will not keep the declared brightness all the way. But the younger ones will allow you to count on a long and uniform light. Especially, taking into account the fact that 40 lumens will be quite enough for an adapted eye in field conditions. Many are chasing lumens, while at least my experience of using camping lights for many years shows that they are often redundant and uncomfortable. The eye successfully compensates for the lack of lumens by dark adaptation.
Well, one more thing, which I note in the end — the lower light. The ability of the CL23 to give a directional light allows you to use it as an ersatz hand-held flashlight if necessary. And here the 40 lum mode is more than enough to move around the camp-cottage.
Actually everything, see for yourself.
bottom + 26 light
bottom + 26 light
This lamp definitely left me more good impressions. It has a pleasant and comfortable light, good build quality and the ability to work on perhaps the most common power supply in the world, including 1 battery. In lower modes there is normal stabilization. The light has three directions and negates the main functional disadvantage of fixtures of this size — the blind zone under it when used in a suspension.
Of the minuses, I note the absence of a really minimum brightness in the all-round light mode, it would be convenient for the night light mode. And I would have preferred more flexible control without having to flip through absolutely all modes and a magnet instead of a thread. For myself, I would choose the CL26R with support for 18650 (and I will hope that Phoenix will make a 21700 version), but I am sure that many will be interested in the AA option, since buying such batteries or (which is more reasonable) capacious batteries is not difficult at all.
Actually everything, I hope that the review was interesting. For those interested, here is mine management selection of LED camping lights.
Where to buy and how to save
you can buy Fenix CL23 on Aliexpress► YANDEX-MARKET ►SBERMEGAMARKET
You can save on purchases with coupons and promotional codes from the discount channel in telegram, see the link to it below in the “about the author” block