Hello mystery monitor. Since I'm not sure how I will feel the next few days I'm getting this in tonight. I should feel like uploading by the time it is edited. text below, test folder copy here
Thanks for any edits and or comments!
Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light
Test series by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: October 4, 2012
Tester: Coy Starnes
Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Height: 6 ft (1.8 m)
Location: Grant, Alabama
I live in Northeast Alabama. I enjoy biking, hunting, fishing, canoeing/kayaking and most other outdoor activities, but backpacking is my favorite pastime. I enjoy hiking with friends and family or solo. I hike throughout the year and actually hike less in the hot humid months of summer. My style is slow and steady and my gear is light. However, I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability. A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food or water.
Initial Report: October 4, 2012
Test Item: Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.energizer.com
Setting: 3, area high, area low and directional
Run Time: 5 hrs on area high (other run time/settings not listed)
Output: 50 lumens on area high (other settings not listed)
Power Source: 4 AAA batteries
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 5.4 oz (153 g) *with 4 AAA batteries installed and carabiner attached
Size: approximately 6 in x 1 3/4 in x 1 in (152 mm x 44 mm x 25 mm)
The Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light (I will refer it as the light for the most part later in the review) is just what it says it is; a light designed to light up an area as apposed to a directional light. However, there is directional light capability on the light by using the single LED located in the front end of the light. It is also designed for hands free use by hanging it with the carabiner just about anywhere light is needed. The only limitation would be having to have a suitable place to hang it since light is not designed to be free standing. Fortunately, most tents are equipped with some sort of overhead loop, and of course my hammock, which is where I plan to use it, has a ridge line. The light is also shaped to be conveniently hand held. I would most likely be using it in the flashlight mode if using it hand held but of course could use the area lighting feature if that type of light proved to be needed. I could see this being handy when walking at night with someone else who did not have a light by just holding the light down to the side at arms length with the area light on.
And now for a closer look at the light itself. The outside of the light is made of plastic and is waterproof. The shape is interesting in that it is flatter than round but not perfectly flat on any side, edge or end. It has 7 LEDs, three on each side and one facing forward. The 6 LEDs for area lighting (3 on each side) are covered with a translucent plastic material. This materiel not only protects the LEDs but diffuses the light a little. I have already taken the light out at night just to get a feel for it. The area light is bright but more of a glow as apposed to a piercing harsh beam. Having looked directly at several LED lights I can say this is a good thing. Speaking of which, the directional light has a clear plastic cover and it is much brighter to look at. Disclaimer, don't look at any light directly as it could cause eye damage. I only looked at this one quickly and at a slight angle to establish the facts...
The light switch is a simple push button affair which cycles the light on in area high, then area low, directional and back off. The switch is firm but not hard to mash. It has a pretty decent feel in that it clicks smoothly but crisp as apposed to having a mushy feel. The light is shipped with Energizer Max AAA alkaline batteries which use Power Seal Technology. I have no idea what this is but the website claims they will store up to 10 years without loosing power. Of course I use my lights quite a bit and never have had to worry about my batteries lasting that long, but I'll be honest, if they made it half that time period I would be pleased. Here are the key features listed on the website.
Features and Functions
3 light modes: 360 degree bright white area light (high/low) and directional light
Carabiner clip for hands free use
Slim design for maximum portability
Packed with 4 AAA EnergizerÂ® MAXÂ® batteries
As can be seen, this list is missing a few of the details that I as a light aficionado like to see mentioned. Fortunately, the packaging mentions a few, but sill does not list the weight of the light, the run time for any but the the max area light setting or the lumens for the other various settings. And for the record, the area light on high is listed as 50 lumens and the run time on this setting is listed as 5 hours.
Trying it out
First of all, kudos to Energizer for making the packaging easy to open. I had the light out of the packaging in just a minute or so and without the need for a knife. The next step is to open the light by mashing the 2 marked areas on each side (or edge) and pulling the cover off which exposes the inner portion of the light. The next step is to insert the 4 AAA batteries which are included. They go in slots on either side of the light. I would like to say I got the polarity right the first time but I failed to notice the little indicators which point out that 2 of the batteries are inserted in the opposite direction of the 2 on the other side. I was going by the springs located on the same end on both sides. I normally find that putting the flat (negative pole) end next to the spring is the correct way to go. Anyways, once the batteries were in correctly I slid the cover back on. It doesn't exactly snap into place but you can tell it is properly seated. It does take a little force to pull the cover off or slide it back on but I think this is due to the rubber o-ring being plenty big to make a good water tight seal. One other thing to remember is to be sure the switch is located on the proper side. The cover will slide on and close with the switch on the wrong side...don't ask me how I know. Here is the light with the cover off.
My next step was to attach the carabiner which is about 3 in (76 mm) long and appears to be made of aluminum. The swinging gate is easy. To put it on the light you just open it and pass the end through the hole in the light and let the spring loaded gate close. Now the light can be hung by just clipping the carabiner wherever needed.
After it got dark I carried the light outside and walked around in my yard. I noticed that the shape of the light fits very comfortably in my hand so it works great as a flashlight. It also fit comfortably into my pants pocket but would have rode better with the carabiner removed. Anyways, the single LED is plenty bright for walking around in the dark. I also tried the area settings on high and low. Both settings lit up my immediate surroundings nicely. I carried a book and could easily see the text easily just holding it a few feet over the page. I did note that while walking around, light held down at arms length, that there was quite a bit of glare from the light itself in either area setting which was distracting as I walked around. When I put it in the directional mode the glare went away and it was just like walking around with a flashlight. It remains to be seen how the light will perform in my hammock as a reading light but I'm hoping I can position it slightly behind my head and I and can see the text clearly. My only concern right now is that any motion in the hammock may cause the light to move enough to be a distraction. Here is the light hand held in the area high setting.
That's all for now. I will be having my knee scoped tomorrow (the 5th) so it will be several weeks before I get to do any serious testing. Please stay tuned for my Long Term Report which should follow in 4 months time. I would like to thank Energizer and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this light.