The Pelican L1 is a small and very bright "keychain style" LED flashlight. They come in a sturdy polycarbonate plastic body, and have rubber "O" rings under the head to seal out the weather.
The tailcap-mounted switch button is also rubberized, and is pressed into the body in such a way that it too acts like a seal.
This flashlight comes in three LED colors other than the blue-green shown here: white, a distinctly reddish orange, and IR. All are powered by four LR-44 button cells.
The L1 is ready to use right out of the package. It comes with a lanyard attachment that fits in a hole in the flashlight by means of a small metal ring.
A clip is also built into the body of the flashlight to allow you to clip it to your clothing.
The L1 now comes with the lanyard ring already installed; I had to use a screwdriver and a pair of pliers to get it on the first L1s that I received in mid-2001. But once on, it stays put. A break-away safety clip on the lanyard attaches to this ring, and can be removed and reattached at will.
To turn the L1 on, press the button on the tailcap until it clicks. Press it again until it clicks to turn the light off. The light will come on well before the click, so it may be used to signal via morse code or other blinking pattern you wish to create.
The L1 is powered by four LR-44 button cells, mounted in a row inside a tray inside.
Changing batteries in this light is easier than in most other lights using these batteries. To do so, unscrew the head of the light until it comes off.
Then apply pressure to the tailcap switch until the "guts" of the flashlight come loose (don't worry if the light turns on during this step); the "guts" will simply slide out at this point.
Remove the old batteries, and lay in four new ones, following the polarity markings on the bottom of the tray. Drop the guts back into the body, and screw the head back on. If you're reasonably careful, you should be able to accomplish this even in the dark.
The Pelican L1 seems to be about as tough as any flashight can be made. They take drops and throws with utter impunity. The lens is recessed into the head, giving vital protection for what is the most vulnerable part. This means you can set the light onto a surface face-down with no worries about scratching or breaking the lens.
The only possible weak point may be the clothing clip itself, however you would have to make a very serious and purposeful effort in order to break it off.
Even if it somehow does break, this will not in any way affect the electrical or optical function of the flashlight.
One feature I find handy in many flashlights is the ability to stand it on its tail and use it to illuminate a small room. This feature is lacking, primarily because the switch is located on the tailcap.
For a keychain style flashlight though, this is a very minor point, and probably will not figure in the final rating. This capability is most often desired in larger flashlights, not these super compact models.
The L1 has two finger pads on the sides. When holding the light, your thumb and forefinger "automatically" fall into place in these indentations. As a result, this light should be slightly more comfortable to use for longer durations
than other keychain lights.
The L1 is "water resistant", but it is NOT waterproof.
After five minutes in a styrofoam cup full of water, the flashlight had a considerable amount of water inside. A few drops were found behind the reflector, and the bottom of the battery tray was substantially soaked. None was found around the switch actuator; the rubber dome protected it enough. However, if the light were left immersed for a longer period and/or fell into deeper water, I'm willing to guess that water would be found more widespread inside the light.
Take it out in the rain - it will work just fine. But try to keep it off the pond bottom, and for Christ sakes, please don't repeat my tests in any test location that flushes.
A light of this type and size is ideal for use inside the car or tent, inside the airplane cockpit, and looking for dropped or misplaced articles in the home.
Their tough construction gives them added protection if you decide to keep one in the toolbox or glovebox.
Pelican offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee for all but the batteries. The warranty does not cover sharkbite, bear attack, or children under 5, so you might want to keep the L1 out of baby's crib and out of reach of large animals.
The switch is a "clickie" type on the tailcap. It provides an audible and tactile sensation when you click it on and off. The pressure needed to click it on and off isn't terribly high, so it can be activated with any free finger on your hand.
You can also use the flashlight for signalling or just quickly flashing at something (momentary operation) just by pressing more lightly on the button; as the light will come on well before the switch clicks.
The rubber cover gives it a better feel than just a bare switch rod would; and this cover is ribbed to help you keep a "grip" on things.
Those colored graphics toward the left are my "Viva Piņata" posters, and that clock on the right that looks like a gigantic wristwatch is my Infinity Optics Clock.
You may also be able to see two of my SpongeBob SquarePants plush (Squidward Tentacles & Patrick Star) and a Digimon plush (Greymon)
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.
Beam cross-sectional analysis. Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.
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