X5 Blue, retail $34.00 (
Manufactured by Emissive Energy Corp. (5 Division St. Warwick RI 02818)
Last updated 10-13-11-10

The Inova X5 is a small and powerful LED flashlight, using a pair of lithium camera batteries to power an array of 5 intense blue LEDs.

It is made of aluminum, and is pretty much indestructible.

But check out the fixture on the tail end. Hand-made by one of the fine folks at Berkely Point, this Inova was outfitted with a ball-bearing swivel and one of Berkeley's high quality coil tethers with mini-clip.

Here's a close-up of the hand-made, but professionally done swivel attachment. This was affixed to the Inova without going through the base of the flashlight itself, so water resistance and structural integrity is maintained.

 Size of product w/hand to show scale SIZE

They say good things come in hard-to-open packages. The plastic retail package which includes the Inova and a set of batteries was found to be incredibly difficult to open. I ended up using an old knife and the side of a fire axe to chop a slice down one side; the light & batteries could then be pulled from the opening. I don't have a decent knife, but if you do (and it's sharp enough to shave with), that might do the trick.
Install the batteries as directed below, and you're good to go.

Unlike most twist-on flashlights, the Inova works exactly the opposite of what you would expect. Turn the bezel counterclockwise (loosen) to turn the Inova on, and turn it clockwise (tighten) to shut it off. Even the battery installation is backward from most other lights.

To change the Inova's batteries, unscrew the bezel until it comes off in your hand. Carry it to a bridge over deep water (the Brooklyn Bridge would be ideal; however, the Juneau-Douglas Bridge would also do in a pinch here), and throw it over the side so that it goes "blub blub blub" all the way to the bottom of Gastineau Channel with all of the bowling balls that were lobbed over that bridge in the 1950s and 1960s...O WAIT!!! THAT'S THE GOOD PART!!! So just set it aside instead.

Dump the used-up old batteries out of the barrel and into your hand, and recycle or dispose of them as you see fit.

Install two new CR123A lithium cells, sliding them into the barrel button end (+) positive first. This is opposite of how the batteries go in most other flashlights, so be wary of this when you change batteries.

Screw the bezel back on. The Inova will light up as you're tightening the bezel, and then go back out when you have it on all the way.

The Inova's batteries can easily be changed in total darkness, simply by feel.
Aren't you glad that you didn't throw that bezel over the side of the Juneau-Douglas Bridge now?

This is what the Juneau-Douglas Bridge looks like...or what it lookED like anyway before it was replaced in 1976.

And this is what the bridge looks like now.

Unable to measure current usage due to how the flashlight was constructed.

The blue LED Inova X5 is a very tough, and is made entirely of 2011 "aircraft grade" aluminum. It is said to withstand being run over by a car. According to the package, a stainless steel version is also available which is stronger yet. For most users however, the aluminum version is beefy enough to take whatever misfortune you may bestow upon it.

The LEDs are recessed into individual hosels (compartments) on the business end of the Inova, and are fairly well protected from damage unless something gets in there. Standing the Inova on a flat surface with the LEDs facing down will do no harm, but since they're just barely recessed, it is possible for small rocks and sand to get to them and eventually lead to the possibility of scratching or marring them. The walls of each compartment are also a millimeter or so away from the sides of the LEDs, so after spending a lot of time in a pants pocket, you may find lint stuck in there. Should this become bothersome, it can be taken care of by turning off the Inova (screwing the bezel all the way down), running the light under the faucet and gouging the lint out with a toothpick; or blasting the lint out of the holes with one of those "water pick" type teeth cleaners.

The Inova is waterproof and submersible to 150 feet, provided you maintain the O-ring as directed on the instruction card. In this case, that means cleaning the threads & O-ring & lubricating with silicone grease at least every six months. The instruction card says to use petroleum jelly (Vaseline), but this can't be too good for the O-ring in the long term. It will work fine if nothing else is available, however.

The wheelchair test

The Inova X5 (the original black case / white LED version) being run over by one of those 400lb Rascalator electric scooter/wheelchair thingies.

The body of the X5 is textured with a series of deep vertical ribs. While this is nice, they are less useful than they could be because the bezel (the part you turn) is completely smooth. This could make the X5 harder to turn on & off with very cold or wet hands, and maybe even next to impossible with thick gloves on. They should add some kind of deep texturing to the bezel; as this would greatly extend the Inova's overall usefulness in harsher environments.

Beam on the target from ~12 inches away.
Measures 12,500mcd on an Amprobe LM631A light meter.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this flashlight.

Spectrographic plot
Same as above; newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; yet newer spectrometer software & settings used.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis of the blue Inova X5.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

I was furnished with the test unit by a Candlepower Forums on 07-29-02 (or "29 Jul 2002" if you prefer).

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Super tough -- damn near indestructible actually
Waterproof and submersible
Blue LEDs are quite bright
Lithium batteries aid in cold weather operation

No texturing or longitudinal ribbing on the bezel (applies to original white LED X5 and this X5 only).
Batteries aren't as easy to find as AA, C, or D sized ones would be in an emergency.
Batteries can be locally expensive, up to $14.00 apiece in some areas.

    MANUFACTURER: Emissive Energy
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small tactical-style UVA torch
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm blue LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 5
    BEAM TYPE: Narrow flood with soft fall-off toward perimeter
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist tailcap on/off; push tailcap momentary
    BEZEL: Metal; LEDs inset into individual hosels for them
    BATTERY: 2x CR123A cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 150 feet
    ACCESSORIES: 2x Sanyo CR123A cells
    SIZE: 4.750" (12.07cm) L x 0.865" (2.20cm) D
    WEIGHT: 3.490 oz (99.0g)
    WARRANTY: Limited lifetime (10 yrs. in Germany)


    Star RatingStar Rating

Inova X5 Blue *

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