Pelican 2020 Sabrelite LED, retail $42 (
Manufactured by Pelican Products (
Last updated 03-05-07

The Pelican Sabrelite is a fairly large (as LED flashlights go) plastic flashlight using a 1.2 watt Luxeon LED, and powered by three C cells.

What sets this flashlight apart from the others isn't that fluorescent neon yellow Xenoy plastic body (which makes it difficult to photograph; see above), and it isn't the three C cells that power it. It's the Recoil LED Technology™, in which the LED is placed up near the top of the bezel, aiming down at the reflector. So all of the light in the beam comes from the reflector, and not from the LED itself.

The Sabrelite is waterproof and submersible to 500 feet, so you don't have to worry at all about using it in bad weather.


To use the Sabrelite, remove it from its package, install the batteries (see below), and then you'll be ready to go to town.

Twist the octagonal (8-sided) portion of the bezel (head) clockwise (as if tightening it), and the Sabrelight will come on. Twist the bezel counterclockwise (as if loosening it) to turn the Sabrelight back off.

The bezel is well-sealed by an O-ring, so it will probably take two hands to operate.

To change the batteries in your Sabrelite, unscrew and remove the bezel (flashlight head), and throw it away...O WAIT, YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead. ;-)

Tip the open end of the barrel into your hand, and a red plastic battery carriage should come out. Gently shake the barrel up and down if the carriage does not slide right out. Remove the used C cells from this carriage, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit. Insert three new C cells into the carriage, observing the polarity markings embossed into the bottom of each battery chamber. Once the carriage is full, insert it into the flashlight barrel, so the button (+) side of the topmost battery goes in first and the flat (-) negative end of the last battery in the carriage shows. Screw the bezel assembly back onto the flashlight barrel, back it off a bit when your Sabrelite springs to life, and you're done.
Aren't you glad you didn't get rid of that bezel now? ;-)

The battery carriage is designed like a tray, with an open top and enclosed bottom. So one or more of the batteries could fall out if you aren't paying attention to how you're holding the carriage.

In my opinion, this battery changing procedure is a little asinine; Pelican could have done without the battery carriage. But remember this is my 2¢, and individual results & opinions may vary.

I've since been told that the battery carriage was in response to quite a number of users installing one or more of the cells in the wrong way, and wondering why the flashlight did not work. This can actually wreck an LED flashlight, if the reverse voltage was high enough. So Pelican decided to make the Sabrelite as "idiot proof" as possible; hence the battery carriage which has polarity markings embossed in each chamber, and only fits the flashlight one way.

As of the late afternoon of 06-26-04, I'm running a battery discharge analysis using Energizer alkaline C cells. Assuming I don't queer the test, the machine should poop out a chart later this evening.

And here's the chart.
Runs for 3 hours 50 minutes in regulation, and 4 hours 30 minutes overall.

Picture above shows the business end of the Sabrelite, showing the Recoil LED Technology™; a 1.2 watt Luxeon LED at the top of the bezel, aiming inward at the reflector.

The Sabrelite has a lightweight body made of Xenoy® plastic, and it has a polycarbonate lens and ABS plastic shroud helping to protect the lens. Try to break one of these things, and you might give out (or give up) before the flashlight does.

It is waterproof (submersible) to 500 feet, so using it in the rain or snow isn't a problem, and if something pees on it, just take the garden hose to it and wash it off. Good as new.

Falls into water won't harm the Sabrelight a bit. Just shake it off and keep going.

There is a one way "umbrella" valve near the front of the barrel; this is designed to allow gases to vent out of the flashlight body, while blocking water entry. Please do not try to gouge this valve out; water (and pee) resistance would be compromised if you did that.

The beam is a pure white color, with no yellow, blue, purple, or "rotten camel urine green" anywhere in it. It does have a rather unusual rectangular profile to it; this may take some getting used to if you're accustomed to circular beams from flashlights.
There is also virtually no spill light outside the main beam; if you require that, you may wish to choose another flashlight.

Here are a couple of photographs that show the
unique rectangular beam configuration from ~6'.

The Sabrelite comes with a spring-loaded clip, allowing you to affix it to belts and similar articles. There is no provision to open the clip from the top (from the outside) once you have it affixed to something, so you'll need to use both hands to remove the flashlight from whatever you clipped it to. So it wouldn't do you much good in a "quick draw" situation or if you were already carrying something in one hand and decided you needed light.

The Sabrelight comes with a split ring and a generous wrist lanyard, already attached. This lanyard can go all the way around the flashlight, so you can hang it from a small diameter pipe or small diameter tree branch. Note I said "small diameter" here. Much larger than an inch around or so and you would no longer be able to loop the lanyard all the way around the flashlight.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 610,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrometer plot of the LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Sample was provided by Kevin at The Battery Station, and was received on 04-12-04.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Tough and durable construction
Waterproof and submersible to 500 feet
One-way "umbrella" valve to prevent excessive pressure buildup inside flashlight
Very good brightness for one 1.2W Luxeon LED
Uses unique "Recoil" technology
Batteries are inexpensive and readily available

Battery changing procedure is a bit asinine (there goes half the star)
Belt clip cannot be released with one hand (and there goes the other half)
Non-round beam could take some getting used to
Low level of spill light

    MANUFACTURER: Pelican Products
    PRODUCT TYPE: Large handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 1.2 watt Luxeon LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Rectangular spot
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off
    BEZEL: LED and reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 3x C cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 500 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Wrist lanyard, large split ring
    WARRANTY: Lifetime


    Star Rating

Pelican 2020 Sabrelight LED *

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