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POCKETLITE



Pocketlite, retail $15.95 (http://www.pocketlite.net)
Manufactured by Pocketlite, Inc.
Last updated: 09-22-02


LED Light


The Pocketlite is a stylish, all metal bullet-style keychain flashlight with a wide-beam white LED and two-function pushbutton switch. Three button cells power the light, and it comes in an attractive retail package.


SIZE: 2.66" by 0.55", weight 0.86oz



The Pocketlite comes ready to use right out of the package. To turn it on, press the rubberized tail button firmly; push it again firmly to turn it off. For momentary use, pressing the button more delicately turns the LED on and off; this is useful for just that quick peek for a keyhole or for signalling.

A unique clip on a short chain allows you to affix the Pocketlite to your keys, zipper tag, belt loop, or just about anywhere.

The unit comes with a set of batteries already installed in it plus a spare set in a small baggie. It also comes equipped with a unique spring clasp affixed to the light with a swivel and a short chain.

Although there is no mention of water resistance on the packaging, both ends are sealed with O-rings which should at very minimum make it splash proof and keep bad weather out.



This light uses three relatively common LR44 button cells for power. To change them, unscrew the tailcap of the light until it comes off. Dump out the dead batteries, and insert three new ones, positive (flat) side facing up. Replace the tailcap and you're good to go.

Battery life is not stated on their website or on the Pocketlite's packaging, so a burn test will have to be done to give you this figure. Expect an hour or so at high brightness, diminishing for another 15-20 hours.



LED Light
The Pocketlite is a compact, durable instrument that should serve you for years with a modicum of care & common sense. The case is made of anodized aluminum, and the center of the body is hexagonal (6-sided) to help prevent it from rolling away and to provide you with a better grip. It comes in a variety of eye-catching colors, and you need not be ashamed to have one of these hanging from your keys or coat zipper.

Carelessly tossing the light across a room onto bare linoleum caused no damage. It was also stepped on and thrown at a wall. It should easily survive all common flashlight accidents, including being dropped, being stepped on, or being caught in a door. There is a very small possibility that a head-first landing might loosen the LED from its socket, but should that ever occur, just remove the top of the light and press the LED back in place.

There is no statement of water resistance on the packaging or on the website. Although the light is sealed with O-rings, the lens-end is not completely sealed, so it will probably flood (albiet very slowly) if immersed. If it falls in a toilet or mud puddle, it should be fine if you retrieve it right away. And it should easily shrug off rain or splashes when used in foul weather.

LED Light

One thing you can do with the Pocketlite that you can't do with most other keychain LED lights is change the LED. If the color pisses you off or if you just want to install the latest and greatest Nichia white, just unscrew the end cap, pull out the LED, cut the leads on a new one to match, and pop the new one in the socket. Remember to observe and remember the polarity of the LED when you remove & replace it. Inside the LED casing, one metal part will look a lot "fatter" than the other. Installing the new LED with its "fat" side oriented the same way as the original LED will ensure it works the first time you try it. Now, put the Pocketlite's clear lens (it's a clear plastic thing that looks like an upside-down wastepaperbasket) over the LED if it came out, and then screw the end cap back on.

The Pocketlite's switch has a stiff action to it. In order to make it stay on, you have to press it rather firmly - use a fingernail if necessary; even short nails work fine with it.
Momentary on/off is easy though, and should present no problems whatsoever. The rubber cover does make it more comfortable to use than a bare metal or plastic switch cap.


LED Light
Wider and smoother than usual beam illuminating the target.


LED Light
If you take the cap and lens off, this is the beam you get.

The Pocketlite has a dimmer, but more even beam than most other white LED flashlights. This is because they used a wide-angle Nichia NSPW510BS (50 angle) LED instead of the usual NSPW500BS (20) that most other lights use. A small lens completely eliminates the obnoxious blue ring found in the wide-angle LED, giving you an even, white light.

The lower brightness lends itself well to tasks like checking on children or invalids at night without waking them, walking around the house at night (less possibility of ruining your night vision), reading on the can at night, and searching for dropped articles in the car. If you're looking for a high-brightness keychain light, you don't want this one. But if reduced brightness, a smooth beam, and accurate color rendition are important, then you'll get a lot of use out of this little guy.


TEST NOTES:

Battery life testing never got off the ground the first time around, so I will have to cut a niche in my schedule to perform this at some near-future time.

Also, since I have obtained new cameras and other equipment since I first reviewed this light, some of the photos will need to be re-shot and some photometrics performed.

One reviewer reported a catastrophic failure in his sample, but until that happens to mine, or if I begin to receive multiple reports of this type of failure, the rating I gave the Pocketlite will stand.

Any other updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.


UPDATE 09-22-02:
While preparing and checking the light for an upcoming battery life test (the queue for the equipment is now just two other lights), the upper section came off in my hand. Apparently, the threading stripped, so the top portion just spins on the body, and comes off with no effort. This will not impact the upcoming battery life test, but it may end up derating the product. This failure is not the same failure described by another reviewer in which the entire threaded segment sheared off; in my case, the threaded segment is still intact; but the threads themselves appear to have become stripped. As I was provided with 1 sample only, I do not have a second sample with which to compare it.


PROS:
Small & durable
Good looking
Beam has no blue spots/rings
Not likely to "go off" in storage or transport.


CONS:
Cannot be immersed
Not as bright as other keychain lights (see above for the reason)
Switch is a bit stiff, but you'll get used to it.
Don't overtighten the bezel or the threads may strip.


    MANUFACTURER: Pocketlite, Inc.
    PRODUCT TYPE: Keychain light
    LAMP TYPE: LED, white, wide-angle
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Wide-angle beam with smooth profile
    SWITCH TYPE: 2-way pushbutton / momentary & continuous
    BEZEL: LED recessed in housing, protected by a lens
    BATTERY: 3x LR44 button cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION:
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes, splash/weather resistant
    SUBMERSIBLE: No
    ACCESSORIES: Spring clasp on swivel, 2 sets of batteries
    WARRANTY: 2 Years

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star RatingStar Rating


POCKETLITE * WWW.POCKETLITE.NET




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