Sharper Image Ear Lite, retail $14.95 (
Manufactured by The Sharper Image (
Last updated 06-10-04

The TSI (The Sharper Image) Ear Lite, or "Personal LED Headlamp" as they would have you call it, is a small LED flashlight that fits over your ear. It features a white, wide-angle LED (probably a Nichia NSPW510; a holographic sticker on the package reads "CERTIFIED NICHIA LED"), has two CR2032 lithium coin cells powering it, and has three lighting modes (high, low, blink) selectable by an easy-to-use pushbutton.


To use the Ear Lite, feed it first (see below), and then you can go to town.

Press and release the pushbutton switch once to get "high" mode, press and release it again to get "low" mode, press and release it again to get "blink" mode, and finally, press and release it a fourth time to turn the Ear Lite off.
Just like the back of the shampoopoo (or shampeepee) bottle reads, "lather, rinse, repeat".

The Ear Lite is labelled to fit over either ear. It appears to be tailored specifically to fit over your left ear though, as the pushbutton switch will be on the outside, where the light can be activated and deactivated easily; and the grey rubbery tubing that fits on the outside of your ear will go over the top.
It does fit over the right ear, but it feels a LITTLE less secure than it does over the left ear because it fits over your right ear upside-down, with the end of the grey rubber tubing over the top of your ear rather than under or behind it.

There is a piece of grey rubber or rubber-like tubing that fits over the outside of your ear. The part of the light containing the LED and the switch (the "turret", as it's called) can be swivelled up or down over an approximately 65 degree angle; this turret also pivots inward and outward over a 10 to 15 degree range of motion. I do not have the equipment to measure these angles though, so I kinda had to "eyeball" them.

In this photograph, the Ear Lite is shown affixed to my left ear; the turret is aimed straight ahead.
I really need to get my hands on a Foam Head Fred, as seen on Quickbeam's site, assuming it has ears, of course.

To change the batteries, turn the Ear Lite so the turret (the part with the switch and LED) is on the bottom. You'll now see a circular battery door with some projections on it. Turn this door approximately 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn counterclockwise (as if loosening it), note how the projections on the battery door are oriented with regards to the rest of the Ear Lite, lift it straight off, throw it in the john, and flush it away...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead. ;-)

If necessary, remove the two expired CR2032 cells from the battery compartment, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert two new CR2032 cells, orienting them so the flat side (+) positive faces up.

Place the battery door back on, rotating it so the projections on it are oriented the way they were when you first removed the door, and turn it 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn clockwise (as if tightening it). Just turn until it stops - it is now on and should not fall off of its own accord.
Aren't you glad you didn't flush away that battery door now? ;-)

Due to the way the Ear Lite was constructed, I cannot take current consumption readings.

The Ear Lite is reasonably durable - at least to the point where it won't just fall apart or go out during normal use. This product is intended specifically to be used on your ear, not abused or manhandled like a regular flashlight. So I won't try to slam it against a steel rod or flush it down the can. I did throw it to the floor a few times, and did not damage it in any way I can detect.

This product has a circuit of some type in it. When set to "low", the LED flicker becomes readily apparent when the Ear Lite is rapidly waved about. This is evidence of PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) at about a 50% duty cycle, in which the LED receives full current 50% of the time, and is switched off the other 50% of the time. So the discoloration that white LEDs often show at lower drive currents does not occur with the LED in the Ear Lite.

Beam photo (high) at ~12".
Measures 3,080mcd.

Beam photo (low) at ~12".
Measures 1,880mcd.

That "rotten dog urine green" color in the corona does
exist, but not as much as these photographs would indicate.

The low readings are caused by the wide LED angle,
and are nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.

Both measurements were taken on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Test unit was ordered at the downtown Seattle Sharper Image store on 06-02-04, and arrived early on the morning of 06-10-04. Cost was $14.95 plus tax.
The box was unnecessarily large; but I did not pay for the shipping, so that's ok.
I know that TSI has some gun control horse puckey going on and that they should be boycotted by flashlight users, but a fellow CPF member wanted it reviewed, so here ya go.

UPDATE: 00-00-00



    MANUFACTURER: The Sharper Image
    PRODUCT TYPE: Hands-free headlamp
    No. OF LAMPS: 1, wide-angle 5mm white LED
    BEAM TYPE: Very wide spot with minimal corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Digitally-controlled pushbutton
    BEZEL: LED inset into chrome plated end of plastic "turret"
    BATTERY: 2x CR2032 cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Some splash-resistance at best
    ACCESSORIES: 2x CR2032 cells
    WARRANTY: 90 days


    Star Rating

Sharper Image Ear Lite *

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