Dorcy 3-LED Flashlight , retail TBA (
Manufactured by Dorcy (
Last updated 04-25-04

The Dorcy 3-LED flashlight is a very nice looking light that can go in a woman's purse or a man's briefcase or pocket. It has a gold colored aluminum body with ribbed rubber inserts on the body and on the head to help you keep a grip on things.

It features 3 white LEDs in the head and runs on only 1 AA cell, which is included with the flashlight when you buy it. So you don't have to run out and get a battery for it before you can see it light up.


To use the Dorcy 3-LED flashlight, first you have to get it out of the plastic hell it comes in. To do that, just slit the package along the length of one side with a sharp knife or razor blade - then get the flashlight and alkaline AA cell it comes with out of the package. Install the battery (see below) and it's ready to go.

To get the flashlight to turn on, turn the tailcap clockwise (tighten) until it lights. Turn it counterclockwise (loosen) around half a turn and it ought to shut off.

To get a shot of light anytime, push the black plastic end of the tailcap, and light should pour out of the other end. Release the button and it should shut off. The light also has a LOTC (Lock Out Tail Cap), which you can activate by unscrewing the tailcap approximately 1 1/4 turns from the "on" position; this helps to keep the light shut off in your backpack, camping gear, or box; helping to prevent unwanted turn-on in such a container so you don't find a dead battery in the light when you go to unpack it.

There's a small loop on the tailcap, so you can hang the light from nails in the wall, or attach it to a lanyard of your choice to hang it around your neck, or hang it from tree branches or tent ceiling apexes.

To change the battery in the Dorcy 3-LED flashlight, just unscrew & remove the tailcap, and dump the dead battery in the nearest garbage can. Insert just one new one in the barrel, positive (+) button-end first. Replace the tailcap, and back it off a bit after the flashlight turns on. The flashlight is designed so you can't accidentally overtighten the tailcap; the light will come on when you tighten it all the way, but no harm will be done.

The tested sample draws 370mA from its 1 alkaline AA cell. Because there's a DC-DC inverter in there, the LEDs aren't really seeing 123.3mA apiece, so this flashlight isn't driving them as hard as you might think with that current usage.

(Update, 10-05-03) This flashlight draws approximately 400mA from an Energizer L91 lithium AA cell.

The Dorcy 3-LED flashlight feels nice in the hand both because of its small size and the ribbed rubber cover over the barrel. The tailcap switch can be rotated with just one hand (the same one holding the flashlight), so you don't need to use them both to turn this flashlight on and off. It's actually quite comfortable and fits the hand nicely.

The momentary tailcap button did raise a teeny weeny little red flag for me though. Like its big brothers, the instructions say you should have the tailcap unscrewed 1/2 a turn from the constant on position in order to use the momentary tailcap button, I found it better for me to unscrew the tailcap around 1/8 of a turn (or even a bit less) from constant on, then I could use the momentary tailcap button with no loose or wobbly feeling from the tailcap. This seems to be common with all the Dorcy LED lights I've tried, so I don't think it's anything to worry about.
As usual, your mileage may and probably will vary. Just play with it until it feels right for you.

If you unscrew the tailcap 1 to 1 1/4 turn from full-on, the momentary button becomes locked out (does not turn the light on when pressed), so there's your LOTC (Lock Out Tail Cap) function. This means you can pack it in a duffel bag, suitcase, or box and it won't turn itself on and waste the battery.

Water resistance is not stated on the packaging, but a suction test against the tailcap showed the light did admit a SMALL bit of air, so try to keep this one away from toilets, sinks, tubs, wall urinators, mud puddles, rivers, lakes, ponds, snowbanks, piles of slush, and other places where water might be found. There are O-rings sealing both the head and tailcap, and they should at least be good enough to allow you to use the flashlight in rain or snow and not have to worry too much about it.

If it does fall in the water and it looks like water got inside, just remove the head, tailcap, and batteries; and let the pieces dry. Then reassemble your flashlight, and it should be as good as new.

One reviewer noted that the paper loop in the barrel that indicates battery polarity would interfere with the battery itself; however I did not find this to be a problem at all. Individual results may vary. If this paper pisses you off, just remove it and dispose of or recycle it as you see fit. But if it's causing no interference with the battery, just leave it in.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measured 22,800mcd at 12" using a Meterman LM631 light meter.
Beam has a bluer tint than some other white LED flashlights.

Four new Dorcy LED flashlights - including this one - were received from Dorcy around June 25 2003. As of July 01, this flashlight is just in its beginning stages of being tested.

UPDATE: 03-05-04
I've read that all the Dorcy LED lights are to become available in Target stores by 03-12-04.

UPDATE: 04-25-04
I received the following information today, from a fan of the website:

Just wanted to let you know that today at a Big KMart in Southern Illinois I found the
(1) LED/ (1) AAA cell
(3) LED / (1) AA cell and the
(4) LED / (2) AA cell
Dorcy flashlights priced at about 8, 17 and 20 dollars.

Small size fits most pockets and purses

Beam is bluer than expected for a white LED flashlight

    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 3
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with soft fall-off toward edge
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist tailcap on/off, momentary tailcap button
    BEZEL: Plastic lens protects LEDs which are in a reflector
    BATTERY: 1x AA cell
    WATER RESISTANT: Not stated, but weather-resistant at least
    SUBMERSIBLE: Probably not
    ACCESSORIES: 1 alkaline AA cell
    WARRANTY: Not explicitly stated, but presumed lifetime


    Star Rating

Dorcy 3-LED Flashlight *

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