PAK-LITE



Pak-Lite, retail $23.99 (www.9voltlight.com)
Manufactured by Pak-Lite Company (www.9voltlight.com)
Last updated 06-25-06





Thuh kompanie thaat maks thuh Pak-Lite kant spel "pack" orr "light", but they still make an excellent product.

The Pak-Lite is a small LED flashlight with two intensity levels that snaps directly onto any ordinary rectangular 9 volt transistor radio battery. It was made so that none of its edges overhang the battery, and it really does look like it belongs there.

It arrives already attached to a lithium 9 volt battery, so you do not have to go out and buy one or hunt around the house for one before using your spiffy new Pak-Lite.

A lithium battery is recommended, but you can use an ordinary alkaline or zinc-carbon battery if you cannot obtain a lithium.


 SIZE



The Pak-Lite comes ready to use right away as soon as you remove it from the package. Use a sharp knife or a pair of household scissors to remove it from the package.

On the front top of the unit (as the LEDs are facing forward), flip the little switch all the way to the left to turn the LEDs to "low", flip the switch all the way to the right to turn the LEDs to "high", and position the switch lever to the center position (vertically) to turn the Pak-Lite off.

There is no momentary or signalling mode on this flashlight, so please do not look for or expect to find one.



To change the battery on the Pak-Lite, just unsnap the upper portion from the used battery itself, and dispose of or recycle the battery as you see fit.

Snap the Pak-Lite onto the terminals of a new 9V battery, orienting the Pak-Lite so its large terminal goes over the small terminal of the battery, and vice versa. Snap the light firmly onto the battery terminals so it fits pretty much flush with the top of the battery, and there, that's it.

Note that I did not advise you to stomp on or flush anything away here.

Due to the way the Pak-Lite is constructed, I am not able to provide you with any current readings.




Photograph of the flashlight's business-end, showing the two LEDs and the switch.

The Pak-Lite seems reasonably durable. I removed the battery, and performed that terrible smack test on it (ten whacks against the corner of a concrete stair; five whacks against the side of the Pak-Lite and five whacks against the top of the Pak-Lite where the switch is), and found no damage. No optical or electrical malfunctions were detected.

The Pak-Lite by itself does not appear to be submersible, but it should function adequately when wet or submerged. If it gets douched, just dry it off and it ought to be as good as new. If it fell in seawater or the dog lifted his leg on it, run it under the faucet or take the garden hose to it and then let it dry off.

The Pak-Lite has a two-way switch: high and low. For brighter output, use it in high mode. For use when night vision has started to kick in or when you don't need a high output, use it in low mode. Low mode is just 1,200mcd in intensity, so it's not super bright.

Because the unit basically consists of a 9 volt battery with a cap over the end, the Pak-Lite is comfortable to hold and use. You can hold it in a "cigerette grip" (holding it between the index and middle fingers), an overhand or underhand grip, or whatever. There really is no uncomfortable way to hold the Pak-Lite.

And because of its rectangular shape, it won't roll away from you, no matter how uneven the surface you set it on is. This means you can also stand it upright with the LEDs aimed up at the ceiling and allow its light to reflect off the ceiling to illuminate the room hands-free.

The beam consists of a medium flood with a soft fall-off at its perimeter. The central hotspot has a bluish tinge with a white corona; this is a normal beam configuration for 5mm white LEDs, and is nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.



Beam photo (low) at ~12".
Measures 1,200mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.



Beam photo (high) at ~12".
Measures 16,470mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrometer plot of the LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.



TEST NOTES:
Unit was purchased from the Pak-Lite website on 04-19-05, and was received on the afternoon of 04-29-05.

Product was made in the United States. A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.


UPDATE: 05-27-05
I broke the switch on my Pak-Lite, rendering it totally inoperative.
This happened when I removed the 9 volt battery to test something else, and I noticed the Pak-Lite's circuit board had come out of its plastic housing; when I attempted to reinstall it, the switch lever broke off flush with the switch housing, rendering the product not capable of functioning at all - there's simply no way to switch it on in either mode anymore.


Here's a close-up of the switch area. Note that there is no little grey rod sticking up.

Let's see if I can get a warranty replacement...please stand by for an additional update.


UPDATE: 07-11-05
I was told I needed the receipt for return, and I have not yet been able to locate it. And I don't have the money to buy another one. So this evaluation will remain incomplete for the forseeable future.


UPDATE: 07-16-05
I found an online retailer that accepts Paypal, and ordered a new Pak-Lite that way. So I'll be able to finish this evaluation after all.


UPDATE: 07-20-05
I received the Pak-Lite today that I ordered on the 16th.
This one has the "glow cap", which glows green in the dark when exposed to light first. For the photograph below, I exposed it to ~400nm NUV radiation from an Inova X5T for a couple of seconds shortly before taking the photograph.





UPDATE: 09-25-05
I have decided to rate this product 4 1/2 stars and place it in The Trophy Case on this website.
I'm just guessing here that the breakage of my unit was just a horrible fluke, and that the average Pak-Lite will not become broken in this manner.


PROS:
Seems to be durably constructed
Two levels (high and low)
Potential for long battery life


CONS:
Uses a battery that could be expensive or difficult to find in an emergency
Not waterproof - but is easy to dry off if it becomes douched


    MANUFACTURER: Pak-Lite Company
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small LED flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 2
    BEAM TYPE: Medium flood with soft fall-off at perimeter
    SWITCH TYPE: Small lever switch low/high/off
    BEZEL: Plastic; LEDs protrude from it
    BATTERY: 1x9 volt rectangular transistor radio battery
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Light splash-resistance
    SUBMERSIBLE: No
    ACCESSORIES: Lithium 9 volt battery, two pieces of mating Velcro
    WARRANTY: Lifetime

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star RatingStar Rating





Pak-Lite * www.9voltlight.com







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