PALight Survival, retail $22.95 (
Manufactured by Light Technology, Inc (

NOTE: Two seperate reviews are on this page, please read them both for complete information.
Last updated 12-31-09

PAL Gold

The PALight Gold (now the PALight Survival) is a small, single LED, single battery LED flashlight. Packaged in a stylish Sanoprene (tm) case, this light is about the size of a large, heavy cigarette lighter case. It fits easily into a pocket or purse, and uses a common 9v transistor radio battery for power.
Unlike most regular flashlights, this one has several operating modes, and stays continuously lit to help you find it in the dark.

This light is feels stout and robust in the hand, without that "flimsy" feel you get from those $2 plastic drugstore flashlights. The Sanoprene case has a rubber-like feel and is textured to make it easy to grip. It is handsome to look at; and resembles an expensive lighter, with a shiny gold band encircling its center.


To turn this light on, press the rubberized button near the front of the light. The first time you press it, the light comes on at about 1/3 power. Push it again, and it comes on full-strength. Push it again, and the light strobes or flashes brightly once every couple of seconds. Pushing the button again turns the light "off" - although "off" isn't quite true: the light continues to emit a dim glow, which is designed to help you locate the light after a power failure or in the bottom of your camping bag. PAL Gold

The PAL Gold has several operating modes, each with its specific intended usage. When the light is "off" or not in use, it emits a continuous dim glow; in this mode the battery is said to last approximately two full years. No more fumbling in the dark to find your flashlight in a drawer, bag, or nightstand.

In "dim" mode, the light burns at approximately 1/4 to 1/3 power; this mode produces enough light to read by or find your way through the house after dark. The battery lasts approximately 200 hours in this mode.

In "bright" mode, this flashlight is truly brilliant: it projects a piercing blue-white spotlight beam into the darkness, and illuminates objects many times farther away than any other single LED light. A lens on the end of the flashlight helps to produce this tightly focussed beam.
The battery is supposed to last for 20 hours in this mode.

"Strobe" mode causes the light to fire brilliant pulses at the rate of about 1 flash every 1.8 seconds. This is designed as a survival signalling aid, and its strobes should be visible to a distant observer several miles away in total darkness. Battery life in this mode is stated at 200 hours, and testing so far shows that to be a truthful figure.

When it's time for a new battery, you simply squeeze the gold band on either side of the light until it unhooks, slip it off, and pull the two flashlight halves apart.
Pop off the old battery, pop a new one on, and reassemble the light. The only difficulty I encountered was dealing with the gold band that fastens the two halves of the light together, it has a hook & slot arrangement that can be a little tricky if your hands are freezing or shaky. But it is a completely tool-free operation and can generally be done in the dark if need be. The light will work fine without the gold band, so if you must, you can wait until later to put that on, although you may lose some weather resistance and be at risk of losing the lower half of the cover if you're not careful.

Battery life is greatly extended by the use of a sophisticated regulator circuit; everything is on a tiny circuit board inside the end of the light.

flashlight guts

As you can see from the picture, every component is surface-mounted directly on the board, with no wires or connections to break or come loose. Even the LED itself is an SMD component, which I found interesting. One benefit here, is that the LED can never get whacked out of alignment with its lens.

Battery life testing is currently in progress, as of yet I have no results to post. Since this sample flashlight is a loaner and must be returned to its owner, these tests will be conducted over the weekend.

This light appears to be quite tough, although looks may be a little deceiving here. I would never try to stomp on one or throw it hard; as that would probably spell the end of the circuit board on the end of the light. This is one light you don't want to have get run over by a car for this very reason; however it should easily survive other common flashlight mishaps like being dropped or falling down a rocky cliff.

The lower half of the flashlight consists of the Sanoprene battery cover; the battery itself is the light's strongest structural component. Anything that will destroy a regular 9v battery will probably do in this light as well.

The lens where the light comes out is not adequately protected; the test sample I received already shows marring and several severe scratches & gouging to the lens's surface. A better way to go might have been to add a clear, replaceable optical window in front of the lens, so the delicate optic would be protected by a more-or-less disposable window that could be replaced when damaged or broken. They used to make flashlight lenses just for this purpose; whenever you broke or scratched one, you went to the store, paid a nickel or a dime, and bought a new one.
If cost is an issue, recessing the lens-end into the light to help protect it would also give acceptable protection under most circumstances.
My advice: be careful with this light. Try not to set it down on its face too many times, as the lens will eventually become scratched & gouged.

The PAL Gold's Sanoprene casing appears to give the light superior weather resistance. Although you don't want to use this as a dive light, you won't need to be afraid to use it in the rain. If water does somehow manage to get in, the Sanoprene cover comes off both the battery and the electronics assembly, allowing you to easily and quickly dry it out if necessary. Gently BLOT (do not rub!) excess water off of the board with Kleenex or TP; then allow it to air-dry. Use a towel or tissues to wipe & mop out the rest of the light as needed.

This light produces by far the BRIGHTEST beam I have ever seen in a single-LED flashlight of any color or type as of the date this review was written. It should easily be able to illuminate objects much farther away than any other single-cell light made in this time period. However there is a catch: the light is emitted in a very narrow, confined beam which would make using it to light wide areas impractical. As a spotlight though, this light far, far outshines everything else out there. Put one of these things in your emergency kit or on the nightstand, and surviving that next disaster just got a little easier.

beam shotbeam shot
Left: PAL on "dim" setting. Right: PAL on "bright" setting.
Note the extremely narrow, confined beam this light makes.

This is a "loaner" light which must eventually be returned. Testing for breakage or actual water resistance in this sample will not be conducted; and tests will be limited to nondestructive battery life and visiblity assessments.

Once testing is complete, the rating this light received will be posted.

A major distributor of the PAL, The LED Light, has graciously provided a new, undamaged sample for review. This review will be posted incrementally, as testing is performed. Watch for a preliminary set of results to appear within the next several days.


PALight Survival Gold, retail $22.95 (
(Manufactured by Light Technology, Inc (

(NOTE: Seperate review, please do not skip based on intro photo!)

PAL Gold

This is the same type of light I just reviewed above. Shortly after reviewing the above loaner sample, a major distributor sent another, brand-new one to test. The previous review was conducted with a sample which arrived missing a part and with some minor damage; however I only discovered it was incomplete after receiving this one.

This example has a tiny reflector behind its lens, which increases the overall brightness by 10% to 15% (possibly more); not including the outer "ring" caused by this optic.

These unretouched photographs should show the difference in the beam pattern; however since even the "damaged" PAL is bright enough to overload the camera's CCD element, the difference in brightness may not be apparent here.

The PAL as it should appear, with reflector in place.
See how much brighter this one is?

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Pal with reversed lensThe overall usefullness of the PAL is somewhat handicapped by its extremely narrow, confined beam; but if you carefully remove the lens and re-insert it backwards, the beam widens considerably and turns the PAL into more of an area light or walking light, at the expense of some brightness and beam quality. (see photograph at right)
The modified PAL also makes a very usable full-page reading light as well, when held or placed a couple of feet from the page.

If you're reasonably careful, a small screwdriver or even a pocket knife can be used to remove the lens. Sneak the blade in between the edge of the lens and its opening, and just kind of lift it out with the tip of the blade. A wide flange on the lens's edge provides some protection from accidental gouging.
Flip the lens over and simply push it back into its opening.

Another issue is that there is no provision to attach a lanyard or keyring to its Sanoprene case. You can't hang the light from your neck or from another object; and must therefore hold it in your hand or mouth, or balance it on something and try to get it pointed where you need the light.

The PAL Gold comes with a limited lifetime warranty, excluding the battery or damage caused by misuse. Tipping a refrigerator onto the PAL or dropping it into one of those machines that returns your bowling ball will probably void this warranty; however if the light quits working on its own, you're guaranteed to receive a full repair or replacement for as long as you can prevent somebody from stealing it. So keep an eye on it. :)

Would I recommend this light? You bet. Its tight beam pierces the darkness and shoots farther than any other LED-based flashlight I am aware of (as of mid 2000). Battery life ranges from very good to excellent (depending on what brightness level you use most), the battery it needs is very common and can be purchased inexpensively (at some places, $2.63 for two alkaline 9V batteries).
The light also looks nice and feels good & stout in the hand, and a fitted belt holster is available to keep it within easy reach.

With only a modicum of care (that means don't wham it against the wall or flush it), this PAL will always be your pal.

Even brighter than previous test indicated, good color rendition, doesn't discolor badly when battery runs down, multiple lighting modes.

Not all that "bulletproof", beam is awfully narrow to be truly useful in some situations (see above for one remedy), cannot hang from neck or keychain.

    MANUFACTURER: Light Technologies
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small Handheld Flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: LED, White, SMD
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Very narrow, rectangular spot with 1 ring. No corona.
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton with digital interface
    BEZEL: Magnifying lens, internal reflector
    BATTERY: 1 rectangular 9v battery
    ACCESSORIES: Battery
    WARRANTY: Limited lifetime



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