Turtlelite II

TurtleLite II, retail $27.95 (URL no longer valid)
Manufactured by LEDCORP (1-888-394-2001)
Last updated: 03-02-01

LED Light

When you open your flashlight drawer and see a pair of Turtlelites in it, you might be confused for a minute. Why? Because the new Turtlelite II looks almost exactly like the original Turtlelite.

An evaluation unit of the Turtlelite II has just become available, and I was surprised it looked the same. But you can tell the two apart if you know what to look for: this new Turtlelite has two LEDs and a faceted reflector, while the original uses a single LED and a mirror-smooth reflector.
Also, the hanging ring is black and not chrome, and the Turtlelite logo is bigger and oriented in the opposite direction.

All quibbling aside, you will want to grab the Turtlelite II and start using it right away. So grab the one with the faceted reflector, and get busy.

This sturdy flashlight comes in a dark green plastic case with rubber armor on both the head and tail end. The pushbutton switch is mounted in a small cowling, making it easy to find and use. A set of four "AA" cells powers the Turtlelite II, and they are included with the light.


Rip open the box and start using it right away!
The Turtlelite II is ready to go as soon as you get it, so you do not need to fumble with battery installation or going to the store for batteries in the first place.
A gentle push of the rubberized pushbutton switch turns it on, and another push turns it back off. This action is accompanied by a soft but satisfying "click" you can both hear and feel.

This flashlight is unusual in that it uses 4 cells. Most LED lights only use three, so you will use more of the battery chemistry and get a longer life in the Turtlelite II than you might in a similar 2-LED flashlight that uses only 3 cells.

Changing the batteries is a tad bit more complex than with some other lights. Unscrew the large reflector head until it comes off, and dump the dead batteries in the garbage can or recycle them. The battery compartment has springs in the bottom of two of the cavities; insert an "AA" cell, button-side facing up in both of them. The other two cavities with no springs accept the batteries button-side down. There is a large plastic flange on the base of the reflector and you will see it has a flat side. Line the flat side up with the flashlight's switch and lower the head into place, then screw it back on snugly.

This is another flashlight you may have some minor difficulty with if you must change batteries in total darkness, because you have to see some of what you're doing in order to get it right.
Unless you have average to smaller than average hands, you won't be able to get your finger (try your greenie) deep enough inside to feel for the springs; however you can "test drop" a single AA cell into a cavity, and tell whether it has a spring in it or not; and then be able to sequence the remaining batteries in correctly. Just like with the original Turtlelite, to put the head on in the dark, you can place a thumb over the switch with one hand, and feel for the flat edge of the reflector flange with the other hand, and line them up that way. Difficult perhaps, but by no means impossible. A white dot is on the bulb receptacle flange, and another white dot is on the threaded portion of the flashlight body - just line up the dots and the head will slip right on.

A set of batteries is supposed to last 65 hours, and I have little reason to doubt that figure. My original Turtlelite has been used daily since I've had it, and I'm still on the original set of batteries. No noticeable change in brightness has yet occurred to it, but we'll see what happens when I start using the Turtlelite II instead. (see updates below).

99.0mA with new alkaline cells (2 LEDS * 54.5mA per LED)

Like its predecessor, the Turtlelite II is virtually indestructible, it is weather and waterproof, and it floats.
Drop it in the mud? Just take the garden hose to it. Overboard? A fishing net will rescue the light, and nobody even has to know you dredged it.

The Turtlelite II uses two super bright Nichia white LEDs, so you will never have to worry about changing bulbs. The LEDs are not ground like the ones in the original Turtlelite, so this model throws a much wider beam, and many people will find it more suitable as a "tromping through the forest at night" flashlight than the original Turtlelite is.

A comparison with other two-LED flashlights showed the Turtlelite II to outshine them all!
It is at least twice as bright as the Mini Trek, and it even slightly edged out the Quantum 2000 - and for almost half the price of the Quantum.

For a general purpose household flashlight, the Turtlelite simply can't be beat. Whether it's changing a blown fuse in the basement at three in the afternoon, or raiding the fridge at three in the morning, the Turtlelite II is simply outstanding.
For those who still need that piercing beam to light up a distant target, you should choose the original Turtlelite, but even this model should be able to reach out thirty or fourty feet into the night if your eyes have adjusted somewhat.
For around-the-house use, you don't need to adjust at all - this makes the Turtlelite II a good choice if you are plunged into instant darkness.

LED Light
Bright beam shooting out of a Turtlelite II.

The photograph shows this light provides a wider and more diffuse illumination than the original Turtlelite. It easily shines across a large room and doesn't require any dark adaption of the eye to take place first - which means the Turtlelite II will work great no matter how dark it gets or how quickly darkness came upon you.

More testing is to follow (see above and below), so don't go away.


UPDATE 10-30-00:This is my first day of using the Turtlelite II, so the above information is preliminary. Expect frequent updates before a final product rating is given.

UPDATE 11-21-00: The Turtlelite II has been meeting all expectations, and has been doing very well.
I have been using it every day for the last several weeks, and I'm still on the first set of batteries. I can't yet discern a noticeable decrease in brightness.
The light still fully illuminates a wall from across a large room, and can be used candle-style, by shining it on a white ceiling and either walking around the house like that or setting it down on its heel.

The flashlight has been dropped on a couple of occasions, and just kind of bounced around harmlessly. It should also float in the toilet or other water as well as the original, since they use the same body.

UPDATE 03-02-01: The Turtlelite II was destroyed in an earthquake on 02-28-01, after a very heavy object fell directly on it. So I no longer have the sample for comparisons or analysis.

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

Tough light just bounces around a little when dropped.
Very bright for 2 LEDs.
Useful in "candle" mode (sitting on its tail aimed at the ceiling).
Weatherproof, waterproof, and it floats.
Feels better in the hand than the Quantum; a similar 2-LED, 4-cell flashlight.

Changing batteries in the dark can be mildly difficult.

          PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, white
          No. OF LAMPS: 2
          BEAM TYPE: Semi-flood with corona
          SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off
          BEZEL: Rubberized with clear lens, stippled reflector
          BATTERY: 4 AA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 130 milliamps
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: Yes. Depth rating unknown, positive buoyancy
          ACCESSORIES: Dorcy batteries
          WARRANTY: 10 years on body, lifetime on bulb

                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 10
                BRIGHTNESS: 10
                USEABILITY: 10
                BATTERY LIFE: 10
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10

                OVERALL SCORE: 50 (Highest possible rating!)

Turtlelite II * URL no longer valid

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