Photonenpumpe V8 (LED-LENSER), retail $TBA (
Manufactured by LED LENSER Optoelectronics (
Last updated 04-23-02

LED Light
LED Light

You've heard the saying "If looks could kill...", right?
Forget you ever heard it. At least let me twist the words around for you. "If great looks made a great flashlight..." Unfortunately for the LED-LENSER flashlight, its very cool futuristic look is about the only thing it has going for it!

This small keychain type micro-torch features a red LED and uses two LR-44 type button cells for power. Oh, and it has a nice combination switch (I guess it does have something else in its favor) not found in other bullet type LED flashlights. Oh, and you can change the LED and add a battery to run the newer LEDs in it. I guess it might not be such an awful, horrible flashlight after all. But we'll see.


The LED-LENSER comes in two known variations - one with English instructions and one with German instructions. The English variation apparently comes with the batteries outside the flashlight, mounted in a cut-out compartment in the box; while the German variation comes with the batteries pre-installed and no cut-out in the packaging for them. For the sake of discussion, let's assume you received the light pictured here - the German "Photonenpumpe". In this case, just whip it out of the box and start using it right away.

The LED-LENSER has a dual-function switch under a small rubber button on the barrel. Press it lightly to get a momentary light; releasing pressure turns it off. Pressing the button more firmly will allow it to "click" and locks the light in the on mode. Pressing firmly again turns it off. This is a nice feature to find in a small, bullet-style keychain light.

According to the instructional material, the pocket clip also functions to protect the switch from accidental activation. You simply spin the clip around on the body until the clip is centered directly above the pushbutton. When in this configuration, pressing firmly on the clip itself will allow for momentary use; letting go turns the light back off. This mode is fine for searching for that keyhole in the dark, but it does take considerable pressure to activate so it is not comfortable to maintain light long-term this way. In this case, spin the clip out of the way and use the switch normally. In this sample, the clip has a *very* firm grip on the flashlight body, and takes considerable effort to turn it; so once you have it positioned over the switch, it will truly protect it from virtually any source of accidental activation.

To change the batteries, unscrew the tailcap until it comes off, then dump out the dead batteries. Drop in two new ones, button-end first, and then screw the tailpiece back on. Alternately, stack the batteries on a table and lower the barrel of the light over them, then pinch it off with your finger while picking the light up so the batteries don't fall out. Then put the tailcap back on. Many button cell lights are prone to having cells go in cockeyed; this is one way to avoid that.

Overall, the LED-LENSER seems reasonably durable, but there are a couple of weak points that should be mentioned. For one, there is no "lens" on the LED-LENSER. The end of the flashlight, including the deep reflector and LED, are exposed to the elements. Secondly, the light is not water resistant. Although there's an O-ring present on the tailpiece, there is no environmental protection whatsoever on the front half of the flashlight, and water will just pour right in if it falls in the toilet or in a mud puddle.

The "reflector" is just a plastic tube that's been chrome plated like a model airplane part. This will probably be the first thing to go, but the reflector only has a minimal function in this light; it is mostly for aesthetics. Some side spill is generated by it, but not a whole lot. The true function of the "reflector" is to act as a retainer for the LED to prevent it from falling out or wiggling loose.

Speaking of the LED, that is one plus the LED-LENSER has going for it: you can CHANGE the LED if you the original color pisses you off. Unscrew the bezel, and remove the "reflector". If the LED doesn't come out with the reflector, it can be pulled free using your fingers.
Now, just cut the leads of the new LED to the same length as the old, and pop it in the socket. If it doesn't light, turn it around and plug it back in.

For infrared, red, orange, yellow, and yellow-green LEDs, you only need to change the LED itself.
For true green, blue-green, blue, violet, ultraviolet, or white; you'll also need to add a third battery to the battery compartment. The spring is long enough to accomodate both two and three cell configurations without having to hack up some fix on your own.

There have been reports of the rubber switch cover coming off these things. Should that happen to yours, just remove the tailcap and look behind the spring. That little black thing inside there is a spare switch cover.

Beam photo.
I'm out of LR-44 cells, so I'll need to buy more before I can take any measurements.


UPDATE: 00-00-00



    MANUFACTURER: LED LENSER Optoelectronics
    PRODUCT TYPE: Keychain torch
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Varies with LED color
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off/momentary
    BEZEL: LED recessed in vented collar
    BATTERY: 2 or 3 ea. LR44 alkaline button
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, split ring, swivel, spare switch cover
    WARRANTY: Not stated


    Star rating


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