Electralume Fishing Lights, retail $39.95 each* (http://www.lindgren-pitman.com)
Manufactured by Lindgren-Pitman, Inc. (www.lindgren-pitman.com)
Updated 06-23-08

LED Light

The Electralume is an odd little critter. It is a marker type light designed to attract fish in commercial longline fishing operations.

The very thick and sturdy plastic lights feature two bright LEDs in most visible colors, and are powered by two "AA" cells. A two position rotary "switch" determines how the light will behave when you hook it to your line and throw it in the water.

The lights come with batteries, heavy duty split ring, and a special one-piece snap; a color-coded, detachable rubber bumper that fits over the wide end is also available if desired.
The two test samples were provided with these bumpers.

* The $39.95 price includes lithium batteries.

Normally, the Electralume is used in the fishing industry, to be attached to a longline setup. However, since I am not a fisherman and do not own or have access to a boat of any type, these lights will be tested for their other possible applications - that as general purpose markers, tent lights, and emergency household "power out" lights. Electralumes have already been tested extensively in the commercial fishing industry and have proven themselves there. Now they can prove themselves with some not-so-well known uses as well.

fish light

The Electralume comes equipped with two "AA" cells, already installed and ready to roll. If you were to use these as fishing lights, all you would do now is attach them to your line and dump the whole mess overboard; and the lights will come on by themselves once they've gone deeper than approximately 6 meters (around 20 feet) underwater. And when you reel in your (hopefully) fish-filled line, the Electralumes automatically turn themselves off as they approach the water's surface.

What you would do however (when not using these in a fishing operation), is to rotate the cap clockwise until the "catch" on the side rides up a special detent made for it and the unit will then turn on and stay on without having to be submerged. You will see the words "ON", "AUTO", and "OPEN" on the side of the body where this "catch" rides. It should be positioned under "ON" when you have turned the unit on, and under "AUTO" when you have turned it off.

The special snap (a unique one-piece hook of sorts) can be removed from the split ring if desired; though you may need to use a screwdriver or butterknife to get the split ring open far enough; as both pieces are very thick and beefy.

The Electralume thrives on a pair of "AA" cells. For the longest burntime and brightest operation, I highly recommend you use lithium AA cells, especially with the white, green, blue-green, and blue models. The red model should be fine with alkalines (as far as brightness) but it too would have a longer life with lithiums.
I don't normally recommend a battery type, but in this case it really does make a difference.

To change them, locate the embossing that reads "OPEN" and turn the end of the light counterclockwise until it rides up and over the side of the guide detent. The light will come on when you do this; this is normal. Once you've turned the end piece 1/4 turn, it will lift straight off.

Remove the old batteries, and install two new ones, following the polarity indicators embossed into the plastic by each chamber. Now here's the tricky part. When you go to reassemble your Electralume, look at the posts the LEDs are mounted on. One has a distinctly square profile; while the other is more round. These mate with the squarish and round holes in the other piece. The end cap has also been embossed with (+) and (-) so just match those with the batteries, and slide the end cap on. Push in firmly, and give it 1/4 turn clockwise; or until the catch is under "AUTO". Then release your grip.

Remember, these are designed to survive the horrible conditions of deep sea fishing, so the battery changing procedure might seem like a bit of overkill because of the very heavy duty design.

Battery life is long, especially with lithiums. I may have to make a chart for this light, like I've started doing for other long-lived lights.

If the Electralume can withstand the rigors of commercial longline fishing, they'll survive your next camping trip or household power outage. Nothing to worry about here!!!

One thing you should remember though: the Electralume is designed to be a fishing light, which is tantamount to a fancy marker light; not some billion candlepower spotlight that can set fire to the side of a toliet factory in the next city. This review will treat it as a marker or emergency light.

Although the light is dim when compared to most other LED flashlights, its light is diffused in all directions rather than projected in a single directional beam. This makes it suitable for use as a low-level emergency light that could be hung somewhere around the house, or a totally waterproof & weatherproof tent light that can be hung from the apex of your tent ceiling.

The blue version was tested in a bathroom by hanging it from a hook in the ceiling in a corner, and it lit the whole bathroom well enough to see by without need for dark adaptation. The blue-green version is supposedly even brighter and more efficient than the blue or any of the other colors available.

Because the battery life is so long, the Electralume is cheap to feed and you need not feel guilty leaving them on longer than necessary. Let 'em burn.

Here are a few other possible uses for when the power isn't out and it's not hanging inside a tent:
  • Dog collar light.
  • Safety marker light for Halloween trick-or-treaters.
  • Safety marker light for wheelchairs.
  • Safety market light for the kid's scooter or bike. Hang them off the handlebars or seatpost.
  • Hang one outside the tent door when you run off to the latrine; makes your tent easier to find.
  • Throw them in the pool and let the kids dive after them.

Although you can do a lot of these things with chemical lightsticks, with those things you only get to use them once and then you have to throw them away. Electralumes can be used over and over and over again, and they're virtually indestructible. If you go through a lot of lightsticks, then Electralumes will pay for themselves fairly quickly.

The units are very durable. Weather and water are the least of your worries. Repeatedly throwing one into a box full of other hard objects (to simulate the light being thrown into a bin on a fishing boat) has resulted in no damage of any type. They should survive fine in a glovebox, trunk, toolbox, or with the miscellaneous camping gear and be ready to go anytime you need them.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in the blue Electralume.
A PC2000-ISA spectrometer was used here, which is why the graph looks different from the one directly below.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in the white Electralume.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Lights have been used sporadically since last summer (2000) when I got them, and I'm still on the same batteries.

Saturday, November 17, 2001 at the Washington State Convention Center.
Just look for the wheelchair with a couple of Electralumes (and a bunch of other lights!) on it, wandering the exhibition area and hanging out at mostly lighting & electronics booths.

UPDATE 11-15-01:
As you've probably seen, testing has been slow on this product, as there are a lot of other tests to run, many of them on loaner lights. Don't give up yet... I'll get these done eventually. :-O

UPDATE 02-19-02:
Lights have been used on multiple occasions, mostly as outdoor marker lights at night and as a power failure or a "the bulb burnt out" light. I'm still on the same batteries, so I have no question at all that the figures quoted in their literature are reasonably accurate.

in use

in use
One of the samples in use as an emergency light in a small room.

The white LED model has an LED that flickers and almost goes out, but tapping on the light restores operation. I am as of yet unable to determine the exact location of the fault. I believe this to be an isolated incident, as no problems have been reported by other users of this product. The blue Electralume has functioned properly since I've had it.

UPDATE 03-23-06:
One of the two LEDs in my white Electralume has gone out. This failure appears to be as an open circuit, because the other LED appears to operate at its designed intensity. When I gently hit the unit while it is on, the LED flickers very briefly; so the failure is probably not in the LED itself.

Very tough and durable construction.
Nice looking, tidy and small units can fit in most places.
Waterproof and submersible - they're fishing lights, remember?
I think they're as bright or brighter than chemical glow sticks - but I don't have any chemical glow sticks to compare these with.

They're not very bright - not when compared to a flashlight or flashing bicycle light anyway. But these were not meant to be eye-killing toliet destructors anyway :-)
Requires lithium L91 (AA) cells to provide maximum runtime and brightness

    MANUFACTURER: Lindgren-Pitman
    PRODUCT TYPE: Lighted fishing lure
    LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm super oval, diffused
    No. OF LAMPS: 2
    BEAM TYPE: Wide field 360
    SWITCH TYPE: Rotary, see above
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 2 AA, lithium preferred
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to hundreds of meters
    ACCESSORIES: Large closed hook attachment, lithium batteries
    WARRANTY: Unknown


Electralume Fishing Lights * WWW.lindgren-pitman.com

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