LED PEN LIGHT, retail $9.95 (http://www.Pocketlights.com/penlight.asp)
Manufactured by International Parallel Machines, Gemlite Division (http://www.Pocketlights.com)
Last updated 07-08-02

Pen light

The LED Pen Light is a small metal flashlight about the same diameter as a common disposable pen, but about 1" longer (about 6.2" total length). It uses three "AAAA" cells, and features a rotary on/off switch that also has a momentary "push-to-light" action. The LED color is blue.


To use the Pen Light, first load it up with batteries. To get a shot of light anytime, just press the end of the barrel and it lights up; relieve the pressure and it goes out. This switch also has a rotary "click" action to it; so if you need the light to stay on, just turn the knurled switch knob clockwise until it clicks. Turn it some more to shut the Pen Light back off. Although the switch turns in both directions, if you always tu rn it clockwise, you won't accidentally unscrew the end and lose the batteries.

The unit comes with a spring clip that can be slid anywhere along the barrel so it will fit pockets of various depths.

To change the batteries, grasp the body of the light in one hand, and grasp the collar at the end, just below the plastic switch knob, with the other. Unscrew the collar/switch until it comes off, and run for the nearest wastebasket and fill its tummy with yummy batteries. Slide three new AAAA cells in the barrel, button (+) end first, and replace the piece you took off.

The Pen Light is very slim for a penlight, and should fit any pocket deep enough to accomodate it. The adjustable spring clip can be positioned anywhere along the barrel to fit pockets that might otherwise be slightly too shallow.

The light is made of aluminum, with a black paint finish. Although it withstands normal falls and bumps, the black finish scratches easily. You'll probably see scratches and dings in it the first time you try to reposition the pocket clip.

I have to be honest - this isn't the best light to have crossed my bench in recent memory. In fact, it's one of the lowest quality lights I've seen since the invasion of the Chinese violet LED "money detectors" last winter. The switching mechanism, although novel in thought, is terrible in execution. Sometimes it works alright, sometimes it doesn't work at all and you have to sit there and screw with it. The "push-to-light" more often than not just winks the LED quickly on and back off, no matter how much or how little pressure you apply. And sometimes you have to turn the rotary knob several times before the light will stay on.

Then there's the finish. It's not anodised, it's painted on. Simply sliding the pocket clip down the barrel once was enough to leave several small patches where bare metal shows through on the barrel. So don't expect it to stay perfectly black and new-looking for that long.

The LED is driven much harder than is good for it; I measured 93mA on slightly used batteries. It does not appear to be a Nichia part, and it isn't as bright as a Nichia would be if driven at the same current.

Finally, the threads which mate the switch to the barrel also appear to be of marginal construction - and the peaks of the threads are thinner than they ought to be, leaving open the possibility of stripping if you manhandle it too many times during battery changes. They're also clogged with an as of yet unidentified material - possibly a plastic or metal residue. If it's any consolation, the switch collar does mate properly to the barrel with no wobbling when it's screwed on all the way. The flashlight also does not rattle when shaken, as many penlight style flashlights so often do. So it does have a fairly solid feel to it that is often lacking in cheaper penlights.

Beam photo.
6,420mcd (max) blue LED
Wavlength appears slightly longer than usual; ~475nm dominant.

Sample of the LED Pen Light with blue LED and batteries was received on 06-17-02, not long before the old computer went tits-up and had to be replaced. I apologise for the delay in evaluating this product.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Slim design
Light weight
Does not rattle or feel loose when handled.

Uses batteries that can be hard to find (see LED FAQ for one solution)
Not anodised; painted-on finish only
Switch mechanism is cheap and flunky
LED is driven very hard - 93 milliamps!

    MANUFACTURER: Unknown Chinese manufacturer
    PRODUCT TYPE: Penlight
    LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Round with darker spot in the center
    SWITCH TYPE: Momentary push and continuous rotary on/off
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 3x AAAA alkaline
    WATER RESISTANT: Splash resist only
    ACCESSORIES: Spring clip
    WARRANTY: Not known


    Star RatingStar Rating

LED Pen-Light * http://www.Pocketlights.com/penlight.asp

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