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Repost - Owner Review - SAFE-LIGHT SUPER BRIGHT

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  • amatbrewer
    Revised report per Ray s edits. Ray Thanks for the edits. Adding the additional detail caused me to rearrange the report a bit and I believe the result flows
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 6, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Revised report per Ray's edits.
      Ray
      Thanks for the edits. Adding the additional detail caused me to
      rearrange the report a bit and I believe the result flows much
      better. I just hope I did not add any new errors in the process.
      I also reposted the HTML version.
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-%
      20SAFE-LIGHT%20SUPER%20BRIGHT/


      THE SAFE-LIGHT SUPER BRIGHT
      BY DAVID WILKES
      OR
      January 23, 2008

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: David Wilkes
      EMAIL: amatbrewer@...
      AGE: 42
      LOCATION: Yakima WA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
      WEIGHT: 210 lb (95.30 kg)

      I did not really start backpacking till about 13 years ago when I
      moved to Washington State. Since then I have backpacked in all
      seasons and conditions. I have usually only managed time for 1-3
      trips a year ranging from 2-5 days and as many day hikes as I can. I
      am currently in training to start climbing some of the mountains in
      the area, starting with Mt Shasta. I prefer trips on rugged trails
      with plenty of elevation gain and consider inclement weather or poor
      conditions some of the things that make trips interesting and
      memorable.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: Safe-Light Industries
      Year of Manufacture: Purchased in 2007
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.safe-
      light.com" LINK TEXT = "www.safe-light.com">>
      MSRP: US$18.99
      Listed Weight: None
      Measured Weight: 2.3 oz (65 g) [4 oz (113 g) with battery]

      Other details:
      Safe-Light [original] 4 mode "Palm Size" waterproof LED survival and
      utility flashlight.
      Operates on a single 9V battery (included).
      Four modes of operation
      1) Constant - "Find-in-the-dark" glow
      2) Power-Save - long running low power mode
      3) Full Beam - Bright mode (approx 20 hr operation)
      4) Emergency Strobe
      Detachable (swivel) clip/hanger/magnet included
      Shock-resistant rubber casing

      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

      I received this as part of a survival kit my company purchased for
      me. I had seen these advertised and the innovative design intrigued
      me. The unit arrived fully assembled and included a battery.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Top View">>
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Side View">>
      It is rather small (not much bigger than the 9v battery it was
      designed around) and mostly covered in rubber (mine is Black, but it
      is also available in Blue and Orange) except for the battery cover
      and removable clip, giving it a very rugged feel. It has a single
      button that is slightly recessed making it unlikely the unit will be
      turned on accidentally. I found the button easy to locate in the dark
      with my bare hands and easy to operate while wearing thin gloves. The
      battery is accessed by removing the entire bottom of the light after
      first using a coin (or something similar) to turn a large screw about
      1/4 turn.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Back view
      with battery cover removed">>
      Attached to the back of the unit is a removable pivoting clip. This
      clip has a magnet embedded in it as well as a hole for attaching a
      lanyard (not included).

      Unfortunately, I disposed of the instructions and documentation soon
      after receiving it, and the manufacturer's web site does not provide
      much in the way of details on this product. Since the device is so
      simple to use this has not been a problem for using it, but it does
      present some issues in regards to creating a comprehensive review. So
      I sent the company an e-mail requesting a copy of the operating
      instructions and they sent me an electronic copy the same day.

      The Constant On or "Glow" feature (activated/deactivated by holding
      the button for a few seconds) seemed to be a very good idea, but I
      found the basic configuration of the lamp being recessed rather far
      into the housing to limit its functionality. In order to gain the
      long battery life (up to a year according to the manufacturers web
      page) the lamp is understandably dim. But it is bright enough to see
      clearly in very dark conditions, such as a power outage or in a tent.
      However, the design of the housing makes the lamp only visible from a
      rather narrow angle making it almost invisible from the sides and
      rear. It appears they may have realized this as I see on their web
      site they offer a newer version ("SAFE-LIGHT COMPANION") of the light
      that has been redesigned such that the LED is surrounded by clear
      plastic making it visible from almost any angle, and another version
      ("PALIGHT SURVIVAL") where the lens extends slightly beyond the
      housing.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "Front
      View">>
      The basic modes of operation (Glow, Power-Save, Full Beam, & Strobe)
      are selected in order with each successive click of the single
      button. This is similar to other Multi-Function LED lights I have
      operated.

      The bright setting ("Full Beam") is bright enough to be used in low
      to moderate lighting conditions such as tracing computer cables under
      a desk (where mine has seen its most use) as well as enough to read
      by in the dark. The beam is well suited for utility work where it
      might be desirable to cast light on something specific at close
      range, and did a reasonable job for lighting the ground before my
      feet in the dark. The manufacturer's web page states it should have
      20+ hours of operation in this mode.

      The "Power-Save" or dim mode I found to be of little use except in
      VERY dark conditions, in which case it works very well for tasks such
      as locating things in a dark tent, or even reading without disturbing
      a tent mate. Moreover, given its >20 hr of operation in the Full Beam
      mode, it should run for quite some time at this lower power setting.

      Again, the configuration of the lamp recessed into the housing limits
      the usefulness of the safety strobe function. While the lamp is
      bright, it is only visible from directly in front of the light so it
      would be necessary to know where to point it for others to see it,
      thereby greatly limiting its use as an emergency strobe. However, I
      must note that most of the headlamps I have seen and/or used that
      have a flash feature have this same limitation to various extents.

      The magnet has plenty of holding power to keep hold it in place on
      most metal surfaces. But after using it in my office, vehicle, home,
      and while backpacking, I have yet to find many situations where it
      was effective at holding the light in a location/position to make it
      usable 'hands free' except for maybe above my desk (where it is
      currently) to be used in the [unlikely] event of a power outage.

      I found the operation to be to be straightforward with a single
      button that cycles through the 3 basic modes and if held for a few
      seconds toggles the constant on function. However, it is notable that
      it is necessary to cycle through all of the modes every time the unit
      is turned on or off. All other multi-mode LED lights I have used
      function in such a way that after spending more than a few seconds at
      a particular mode the next click of the button will skip all
      remaining modes and go directly to off. While this is not a major
      flaw of the unit, I once thought I turned it off by clicking it once
      (as I do for my other lights) and put it away. The next time I went
      to use it I found the battery dead. Since the battery was new and the
      unit was not in the constant on mode, I believe I left it in the
      flashing mode and therefore drained the battery.
      Note: If the light was visible from a wider angle, I would have been
      more likely to notice that it was on.

      The idea of designing a flashlight around a 9v battery seemed like a
      very good idea. They pack a lot of power in a relatively small space.
      However, after using a few other types of lights (Mini-Mag and
      various LED headlamps) I found it to be rather heavy and awkward. For
      example, I tried clipping it to the brim of a ball cap as illustrated
      in their ads but found it to be so heavy that it was annoying.
      Clipping it to something like a belt or backpack strap makes it easy
      to access but again I had a hard time finding a configuration that
      would make it usable while clipped. One exception was when I had it
      clipped to the chest strap of my hydration pack. In this position, it
      did a fairly good job of illuminating the ground before my feet as
      well as allowing me to read a map. However unless the straps are
      fairly tight (uncomfortably tight for me) the weight of the unit
      causes it to swing too much while walking. In addition, since it is
      shining down from chest height it does not illuminate obstacles that
      are head high, such as branches (found this out the hard way..."ouch,
      that's going to leave a mark").

      One note of CAUTION: It is possible to install the battery facing the
      wrong way (see "Back with battery cover removed" image above). The
      metal clips that hold the battery door closed will short across the
      battery terminals. This will quickly drain the battery and it will
      get VERY hot! I know because I did this while preparing the pictures
      for this review. I do not know if it can get hot enough to damage the
      unit, but I am not going to try to find out.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Inside
      Battery compartment">>
      It is also possible to install the battery backwards (reverse
      polarity). According to the instructions I received (and verified),
      if installed correctly the light will go into Glow mode.



      FIELD USE

      The light was clearly constructed to be rugged so I wanted to see how
      it would stand up to some rough handling. Dropping the light from
      about chest height on dirt as well a wood floor resulted in no
      visible damage, even when dropped directly on the lens. Accidentally
      dropping it in wet snow seemed to have no affect and a quick dunk
      (about 10 sec) in a bucket of water resulted in no detectable
      moisture inside the battery compartment.

      Over the course of about 6 months, I have used this light in various
      activities indoors and out. Below are examples of how/where it was
      used and my review of how I found it to perform.

      I have used the light indoors mainly to do tasks such as trace cables
      under my desk and locate connectors on the back of my computer. It
      performed quite well for this purpose and the magnet came in handy
      for storage, though not to allow me to use it 'hands free'.

      I also used it a number of times in my vehicle for various nighttime
      tasks such as reading maps and other documents as well as to help
      locate items (under seat, in console, etc). It worked well for this
      task also but I found its small size made it as difficult to locate
      as some of the items I was intending to use it to find. I was unable
      to find any effective way to operate it 'hands free'. I could not
      comfortably hold it in my mouth as I can some small 'AAA' lights, and
      it was too heavy to use comfortably while clipped to the brim of a
      hat.

      I took it with me on two summer family camping trips into the
      Washington Cascades [about 4000' (1200 m)] where I used it for
      various tasks such as locating dropped items and to light my way to a
      suitable location for a midnight 'Bio-break'. For these functions the
      light's performance was unremarkable when compared to other hand held
      flashlights I have, and as above was not effective as a 'hands free'
      light.

      Finally, I took it on one backpacking trip in the Washington Cascades
      (Late Summer, 5000' [1524 m]) I used the light while cooking dinner
      (dehydrated food) for 2 people as well as to light my way around camp
      on the first night. As above, its performance was unremarkable. My
      inability to use it effectively as a 'hands free' light and its
      weight made it a poor substitute to the other lights I normally use,
      such as a LED headlamp and 'AAA' flashlight. As a result, after one
      night of using it I put it away and decided not to use in on any
      future backpacking trips.


      SUMMARY

      I found the light to be a clever and original design. It is rugged
      and compact, and functions well as a general utility light, as such
      will most likely end up in with my tools. As part of a survival pack
      its long battery life and small size are beneficial.
      Overall, despite some items that simply did not work for me
      personally, I like the design and construction. Unfortunately try as
      I might I simply could not find a space for it in my pack or survival
      kit (I use an LED head light in its place).

      THINGS I LIKE

      Waterproof
      Rugged
      Always on Find-in-dark mode
      9v battery provides lots of power in a space effective size.
      Did I mention it's rugged?

      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      Heavy
      Design limits effectiveness of Find-in-dark and Safety Flasher modes
      Need to cycle through all 3 modes to turn off
      Easy to drain battery (and possibly damage unit) by installing the
      battery the wrong way

      SIGNATURE

      David Wilkes



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
    • amatbrewer
      Sorry forgot to fix the LOCATION, here is an updated version. THE SAFE-LIGHT SUPER BRIGHT BY DAVID WILKES OR January 23, 2008 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: David
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 6, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Sorry forgot to fix the LOCATION, here is an updated version.


        THE SAFE-LIGHT SUPER BRIGHT
        BY DAVID WILKES
        OR
        January 23, 2008

        TESTER INFORMATION

        NAME: David Wilkes
        EMAIL: amatbrewer@...
        AGE: 42
        LOCATION: Yakima Washington
        GENDER: M
        HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
        WEIGHT: 210 lb (95.30 kg)

        I did not really start backpacking till about 13 years ago when I
        moved to Washington State. Since then I have backpacked in all
        seasons and conditions. I have usually only managed time for 1-3
        trips a year ranging from 2-5 days and as many day hikes as I can. I
        am currently in training to start climbing some of the mountains in
        the area, starting with Mt Shasta. I prefer trips on rugged trails
        with plenty of elevation gain and consider inclement weather or poor
        conditions some of the things that make trips interesting and
        memorable.

        PRODUCT INFORMATION

        Manufacturer: Safe-Light Industries
        Year of Manufacture: Purchased in 2007
        Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.safe-
        light.com" LINK TEXT = "www.safe-light.com">>
        MSRP: US$18.99
        Listed Weight: None
        Measured Weight: 2.3 oz (65 g) [4 oz (113 g) with battery]

        Other details:
        Safe-Light [original] 4 mode "Palm Size" waterproof LED survival and
        utility flashlight.
        Operates on a single 9V battery (included).
        Four modes of operation
        1) Constant - "Find-in-the-dark" glow
        2) Power-Save - long running low power mode
        3) Full Beam - Bright mode (approx 20 hr operation)
        4) Emergency Strobe
        Detachable (swivel) clip/hanger/magnet included
        Shock-resistant rubber casing

        PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

        I received this as part of a survival kit my company purchased for
        me. I had seen these advertised and the innovative design intrigued
        me. The unit arrived fully assembled and included a battery.
        <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Top View">>
        <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Side View">>
        It is rather small (not much bigger than the 9v battery it was
        designed around) and mostly covered in rubber (mine is Black, but it
        is also available in Blue and Orange) except for the battery cover
        and removable clip, giving it a very rugged feel. It has a single
        button that is slightly recessed making it unlikely the unit will be
        turned on accidentally. I found the button easy to locate in the dark
        with my bare hands and easy to operate while wearing thin gloves. The
        battery is accessed by removing the entire bottom of the light after
        first using a coin (or something similar) to turn a large screw about
        1/4 turn.
        <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Back view
        with battery cover removed">>
        Attached to the back of the unit is a removable pivoting clip. This
        clip has a magnet embedded in it as well as a hole for attaching a
        lanyard (not included).

        Unfortunately, I disposed of the instructions and documentation soon
        after receiving it, and the manufacturer's web site does not provide
        much in the way of details on this product. Since the device is so
        simple to use this has not been a problem for using it, but it does
        present some issues in regards to creating a comprehensive review. So
        I sent the company an e-mail requesting a copy of the operating
        instructions and they sent me an electronic copy the same day.

        The Constant On or "Glow" feature (activated/deactivated by holding
        the button for a few seconds) seemed to be a very good idea, but I
        found the basic configuration of the lamp being recessed rather far
        into the housing to limit its functionality. In order to gain the
        long battery life (up to a year according to the manufacturers web
        page) the lamp is understandably dim. But it is bright enough to see
        clearly in very dark conditions, such as a power outage or in a tent.
        However, the design of the housing makes the lamp only visible from a
        rather narrow angle making it almost invisible from the sides and
        rear. It appears they may have realized this as I see on their web
        site they offer a newer version ("SAFE-LIGHT COMPANION") of the light
        that has been redesigned such that the LED is surrounded by clear
        plastic making it visible from almost any angle, and another version
        ("PALIGHT SURVIVAL") where the lens extends slightly beyond the
        housing.
        <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "Front
        View">>
        The basic modes of operation (Glow, Power-Save, Full Beam, & Strobe)
        are selected in order with each successive click of the single
        button. This is similar to other Multi-Function LED lights I have
        operated.

        The bright setting ("Full Beam") is bright enough to be used in low
        to moderate lighting conditions such as tracing computer cables under
        a desk (where mine has seen its most use) as well as enough to read
        by in the dark. The beam is well suited for utility work where it
        might be desirable to cast light on something specific at close
        range, and did a reasonable job for lighting the ground before my
        feet in the dark. The manufacturer's web page states it should have
        20+ hours of operation in this mode.

        The "Power-Save" or dim mode I found to be of little use except in
        VERY dark conditions, in which case it works very well for tasks such
        as locating things in a dark tent, or even reading without disturbing
        a tent mate. Moreover, given its >20 hr of operation in the Full Beam
        mode, it should run for quite some time at this lower power setting.

        Again, the configuration of the lamp recessed into the housing limits
        the usefulness of the safety strobe function. While the lamp is
        bright, it is only visible from directly in front of the light so it
        would be necessary to know where to point it for others to see it,
        thereby greatly limiting its use as an emergency strobe. However, I
        must note that most of the headlamps I have seen and/or used that
        have a flash feature have this same limitation to various extents.

        The magnet has plenty of holding power to keep hold it in place on
        most metal surfaces. But after using it in my office, vehicle, home,
        and while backpacking, I have yet to find many situations where it
        was effective at holding the light in a location/position to make it
        usable 'hands free' except for maybe above my desk (where it is
        currently) to be used in the [unlikely] event of a power outage.

        I found the operation to be to be straightforward with a single
        button that cycles through the 3 basic modes and if held for a few
        seconds toggles the constant on function. However, it is notable that
        it is necessary to cycle through all of the modes every time the unit
        is turned on or off. All other multi-mode LED lights I have used
        function in such a way that after spending more than a few seconds at
        a particular mode the next click of the button will skip all
        remaining modes and go directly to off. While this is not a major
        flaw of the unit, I once thought I turned it off by clicking it once
        (as I do for my other lights) and put it away. The next time I went
        to use it I found the battery dead. Since the battery was new and the
        unit was not in the constant on mode, I believe I left it in the
        flashing mode and therefore drained the battery.
        Note: If the light was visible from a wider angle, I would have been
        more likely to notice that it was on.

        The idea of designing a flashlight around a 9v battery seemed like a
        very good idea. They pack a lot of power in a relatively small space.
        However, after using a few other types of lights (Mini-Mag and
        various LED headlamps) I found it to be rather heavy and awkward. For
        example, I tried clipping it to the brim of a ball cap as illustrated
        in their ads but found it to be so heavy that it was annoying.
        Clipping it to something like a belt or backpack strap makes it easy
        to access but again I had a hard time finding a configuration that
        would make it usable while clipped. One exception was when I had it
        clipped to the chest strap of my hydration pack. In this position, it
        did a fairly good job of illuminating the ground before my feet as
        well as allowing me to read a map. However unless the straps are
        fairly tight (uncomfortably tight for me) the weight of the unit
        causes it to swing too much while walking. In addition, since it is
        shining down from chest height it does not illuminate obstacles that
        are head high, such as branches (found this out the hard way..."ouch,
        that's going to leave a mark").

        One note of CAUTION: It is possible to install the battery facing the
        wrong way (see "Back with battery cover removed" image above). The
        metal clips that hold the battery door closed will short across the
        battery terminals. This will quickly drain the battery and it will
        get VERY hot! I know because I did this while preparing the pictures
        for this review. I do not know if it can get hot enough to damage the
        unit, but I am not going to try to find out.
        <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Inside
        Battery compartment">>
        It is also possible to install the battery backwards (reverse
        polarity). According to the instructions I received (and verified),
        if installed correctly the light will go into Glow mode.



        FIELD USE

        The light was clearly constructed to be rugged so I wanted to see how
        it would stand up to some rough handling. Dropping the light from
        about chest height on dirt as well a wood floor resulted in no
        visible damage, even when dropped directly on the lens. Accidentally
        dropping it in wet snow seemed to have no affect and a quick dunk
        (about 10 sec) in a bucket of water resulted in no detectable
        moisture inside the battery compartment.

        Over the course of about 6 months, I have used this light in various
        activities indoors and out. Below are examples of how/where it was
        used and my review of how I found it to perform.

        I have used the light indoors mainly to do tasks such as trace cables
        under my desk and locate connectors on the back of my computer. It
        performed quite well for this purpose and the magnet came in handy
        for storage, though not to allow me to use it 'hands free'.

        I also used it a number of times in my vehicle for various nighttime
        tasks such as reading maps and other documents as well as to help
        locate items (under seat, in console, etc). It worked well for this
        task also but I found its small size made it as difficult to locate
        as some of the items I was intending to use it to find. I was unable
        to find any effective way to operate it 'hands free'. I could not
        comfortably hold it in my mouth as I can some small 'AAA' lights, and
        it was too heavy to use comfortably while clipped to the brim of a
        hat.

        I took it with me on two summer family camping trips into the
        Washington Cascades [about 4000' (1200 m)] where I used it for
        various tasks such as locating dropped items and to light my way to a
        suitable location for a midnight 'Bio-break'. For these functions the
        light's performance was unremarkable when compared to other hand held
        flashlights I have, and as above was not effective as a 'hands free'
        light.

        Finally, I took it on one backpacking trip in the Washington Cascades
        (Late Summer, 5000' [1524 m]) I used the light while cooking dinner
        (dehydrated food) for 2 people as well as to light my way around camp
        on the first night. As above, its performance was unremarkable. My
        inability to use it effectively as a 'hands free' light and its
        weight made it a poor substitute to the other lights I normally use,
        such as a LED headlamp and 'AAA' flashlight. As a result, after one
        night of using it I put it away and decided not to use in on any
        future backpacking trips.


        SUMMARY

        I found the light to be a clever and original design. It is rugged
        and compact, and functions well as a general utility light, as such
        will most likely end up in with my tools. As part of a survival pack
        its long battery life and small size are beneficial.
        Overall, despite some items that simply did not work for me
        personally, I like the design and construction. Unfortunately try as
        I might I simply could not find a space for it in my pack or survival
        kit (I use an LED head light in its place).

        THINGS I LIKE

        Waterproof
        Rugged
        Always on Find-in-dark mode
        9v battery provides lots of power in a space effective size.
        Did I mention it's rugged?

        THINGS I DON'T LIKE

        Heavy
        Design limits effectiveness of Find-in-dark and Safety Flasher modes
        Need to cycle through all 3 modes to turn off
        Easy to drain battery (and possibly damage unit) by installing the
        battery the wrong way

        SIGNATURE

        David Wilkes



        This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
        Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
      • rayestrella1
        Hello David, Thanks for putting the field info in there. I see only one edit in your review now, which is below. But I am going to have to ask the higher-ups
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 7, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello David,

          Thanks for putting the field info in there. I see only one edit in
          your review now, which is below. But I am going to have to ask the
          higher-ups if this can stand with only the one backpacking trip and
          to camp outs. I know that you have used it a lot at work and such but
          want a determination as to whether that is OK.

          If it is a go I will make a folder and post a link for it on
          Saturday. I am going to be gone for the next couple of days, and can
          not get on the site right now anyway.

          In the future please choose something that has been used at least the
          equivalent of 5 nights in the field. Once you begin testing this will
          be required.

          I will talk to you soon,

          Ray


          ***LOCATION: Yakima Washington

          EDIT: Yakima, Washington USA
        • amatbrewer
          Here is the revised report. I have also updated the HTML version. THE SAFE-LIGHT SUPER BRIGHT BY DAVID WILKES OR January 23, 2008 TESTER INFORMATION NAME:
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 8, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Here is the revised report. I have also updated the HTML version.

            THE SAFE-LIGHT SUPER BRIGHT
            BY DAVID WILKES
            OR
            January 23, 2008

            TESTER INFORMATION

            NAME: David Wilkes
            EMAIL: amatbrewer@...
            AGE: 42
            LOCATION: Yakima, Washington USA
            GENDER: M
            HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
            WEIGHT: 210 lb (95.30 kg)

            I did not really start backpacking till about 13 years ago when I
            moved to Washington State. Since then I have backpacked in all
            seasons and conditions. I have usually only managed time for 1-3
            trips a year ranging from 2-5 days and as many day hikes as I can. I
            am currently in training to start climbing some of the mountains in
            the area, starting with Mt Shasta. I prefer trips on rugged trails
            with plenty of elevation gain and consider inclement weather or poor
            conditions some of the things that make trips interesting and
            memorable.

            PRODUCT INFORMATION

            Manufacturer: Safe-Light Industries
            Year of Manufacture: Purchased in 2007
            Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.safe-
            light.com" LINK TEXT = "www.safe-light.com">>
            MSRP: US$18.99
            Listed Weight: None
            Measured Weight: 2.3 oz (65 g) [4 oz (113 g) with battery]

            Other details:
            Safe-Light [original] 4 mode "Palm Size" waterproof LED survival and
            utility flashlight.
            Operates on a single 9V battery (included).
            Four modes of operation
            1) Constant - "Find-in-the-dark" glow
            2) Power-Save - long running low power mode
            3) Full Beam - Bright mode (approx 20 hr operation)
            4) Emergency Strobe
            Detachable (swivel) clip/hanger/magnet included
            Shock-resistant rubber casing

            PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

            I received this as part of a survival kit my company purchased for
            me. I had seen these advertised and the innovative design intrigued
            me. The unit arrived fully assembled and included a battery.
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Top View">>
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Side View">>
            It is rather small (not much bigger than the 9v battery it was
            designed around) and mostly covered in rubber (mine is Black, but it
            is also available in Blue and Orange) except for the battery cover
            and removable clip, giving it a very rugged feel. It has a single
            button that is slightly recessed making it unlikely the unit will be
            turned on accidentally. I found the button easy to locate in the dark
            with my bare hands and easy to operate while wearing thin gloves. The
            battery is accessed by removing the entire bottom of the light after
            first using a coin (or something similar) to turn a large screw about
            1/4 turn.
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Back view
            with battery cover removed">>
            Attached to the back of the unit is a removable pivoting clip. This
            clip has a magnet embedded in it as well as a hole for attaching a
            lanyard (not included).

            Unfortunately, I disposed of the instructions and documentation soon
            after receiving it, and the manufacturer's web site does not provide
            much in the way of details on this product. Since the device is so
            simple to use this has not been a problem for using it, but it does
            present some issues in regards to creating a comprehensive review. So
            I sent the company an e-mail requesting a copy of the operating
            instructions and they sent me an electronic copy the same day.

            The Constant On or "Glow" feature (activated/deactivated by holding
            the button for a few seconds) seemed to be a very good idea, but I
            found the basic configuration of the lamp being recessed rather far
            into the housing to limit its functionality. In order to gain the
            long battery life (up to a year according to the manufacturers web
            page) the lamp is understandably dim. But it is bright enough to see
            clearly in very dark conditions, such as a power outage or in a tent.
            However, the design of the housing makes the lamp only visible from a
            rather narrow angle making it almost invisible from the sides and
            rear. It appears they may have realized this as I see on their web
            site they offer a newer version ("SAFE-LIGHT COMPANION") of the light
            that has been redesigned such that the LED is surrounded by clear
            plastic making it visible from almost any angle, and another version
            ("PALIGHT SURVIVAL") where the lens extends slightly beyond the
            housing.
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "Front
            View">>
            The basic modes of operation (Glow, Power-Save, Full Beam, & Strobe)
            are selected in order with each successive click of the single
            button. This is similar to other Multi-Function LED lights I have
            operated.

            The bright setting ("Full Beam") is bright enough to be used in low
            to moderate lighting conditions such as tracing computer cables under
            a desk (where mine has seen its most use) as well as enough to read
            by in the dark. The beam is well suited for utility work where it
            might be desirable to cast light on something specific at close
            range, and did a reasonable job for lighting the ground before my
            feet in the dark. The manufacturer's web page states it should have
            20+ hours of operation in this mode.

            The "Power-Save" or dim mode I found to be of little use except in
            VERY dark conditions, in which case it works very well for tasks such
            as locating things in a dark tent, or even reading without disturbing
            a tent mate. Moreover, given its >20 hr of operation in the Full Beam
            mode, it should run for quite some time at this lower power setting.

            Again, the configuration of the lamp recessed into the housing limits
            the usefulness of the safety strobe function. While the lamp is
            bright, it is only visible from directly in front of the light so it
            would be necessary to know where to point it for others to see it,
            thereby greatly limiting its use as an emergency strobe. However, I
            must note that most of the headlamps I have seen and/or used that
            have a flash feature have this same limitation to various extents.

            The magnet has plenty of holding power to keep hold it in place on
            most metal surfaces. But after using it in my office, vehicle, home,
            and while backpacking, I have yet to find many situations where it
            was effective at holding the light in a location/position to make it
            usable 'hands free' except for maybe above my desk (where it is
            currently) to be used in the [unlikely] event of a power outage.

            I found the operation to be to be straightforward with a single
            button that cycles through the 3 basic modes and if held for a few
            seconds toggles the constant on function. However, it is notable that
            it is necessary to cycle through all of the modes every time the unit
            is turned on or off. All other multi-mode LED lights I have used
            function in such a way that after spending more than a few seconds at
            a particular mode the next click of the button will skip all
            remaining modes and go directly to off. While this is not a major
            flaw of the unit, I once thought I turned it off by clicking it once
            (as I do for my other lights) and put it away. The next time I went
            to use it I found the battery dead. Since the battery was new and the
            unit was not in the constant on mode, I believe I left it in the
            flashing mode and therefore drained the battery.
            Note: If the light was visible from a wider angle, I would have been
            more likely to notice that it was on.

            The idea of designing a flashlight around a 9v battery seemed like a
            very good idea. They pack a lot of power in a relatively small space.
            However, after using a few other types of lights (Mini-Mag and
            various LED headlamps) I found it to be rather heavy and awkward. For
            example, I tried clipping it to the brim of a ball cap as illustrated
            in their ads but found it to be so heavy that it was annoying.
            Clipping it to something like a belt or backpack strap makes it easy
            to access but again I had a hard time finding a configuration that
            would make it usable while clipped. One exception was when I had it
            clipped to the chest strap of my hydration pack. In this position, it
            did a fairly good job of illuminating the ground before my feet as
            well as allowing me to read a map. However unless the straps are
            fairly tight (uncomfortably tight for me) the weight of the unit
            causes it to swing too much while walking. In addition, since it is
            shining down from chest height it does not illuminate obstacles that
            are head high, such as branches (found this out the hard way..."ouch,
            that's going to leave a mark").

            One note of CAUTION: It is possible to install the battery facing the
            wrong way (see "Back with battery cover removed" image above). The
            metal clips that hold the battery door closed will short across the
            battery terminals. This will quickly drain the battery and it will
            get VERY hot! I know because I did this while preparing the pictures
            for this review. I do not know if it can get hot enough to damage the
            unit, but I am not going to try to find out.
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Inside
            Battery compartment">>
            It is also possible to install the battery backwards (reverse
            polarity). According to the instructions I received (and verified),
            if installed correctly the light will go into Glow mode.



            FIELD USE

            The light was clearly constructed to be rugged so I wanted to see how
            it would stand up to some rough handling. Dropping the light from
            about chest height on dirt as well a wood floor resulted in no
            visible damage, even when dropped directly on the lens. Accidentally
            dropping it in wet snow seemed to have no affect and a quick dunk
            (about 10 sec) in a bucket of water resulted in no detectable
            moisture inside the battery compartment.

            Over the course of about 6 months, I have used this light in various
            activities indoors and out. Below are examples of how/where it was
            used and my review of how I found it to perform.

            I have used the light indoors mainly to do tasks such as trace cables
            under my desk and locate connectors on the back of my computer. It
            performed quite well for this purpose and the magnet came in handy
            for storage, though not to allow me to use it 'hands free'.

            I also used it a number of times in my vehicle for various nighttime
            tasks such as reading maps and other documents as well as to help
            locate items (under seat, in console, etc). It worked well for this
            task also but I found its small size made it as difficult to locate
            as some of the items I was intending to use it to find. I was unable
            to find any effective way to operate it 'hands free'. I could not
            comfortably hold it in my mouth as I can some small 'AAA' lights, and
            it was too heavy to use comfortably while clipped to the brim of a
            hat.

            I took it with me on two summer family camping trips into the
            Washington Cascades [about 4000' (1200 m)] where I used it for
            various tasks such as locating dropped items and to light my way to a
            suitable location for a midnight 'Bio-break'. For these functions the
            light's performance was unremarkable when compared to other hand held
            flashlights I have, and as above was not effective as a 'hands free'
            light.

            Finally, I took it on one backpacking trip in the Washington Cascades
            (Late Summer, 5000' [1524 m]) I used the light while cooking dinner
            (dehydrated food) for 2 people as well as to light my way around camp
            on the first night. As above, its performance was unremarkable. My
            inability to use it effectively as a 'hands free' light and its
            weight made it a poor substitute to the other lights I normally use,
            such as a LED headlamp and 'AAA' flashlight. As a result, after one
            night of using it I put it away and decided not to use in on any
            future backpacking trips.


            SUMMARY

            I found the light to be a clever and original design. It is rugged
            and compact, and functions well as a general utility light, as such
            will most likely end up in with my tools. As part of a survival pack
            its long battery life and small size are beneficial.
            Overall, despite some items that simply did not work for me
            personally, I like the design and construction. Unfortunately try as
            I might I simply could not find a space for it in my pack or survival
            kit (I use an LED head light in its place).

            THINGS I LIKE

            Waterproof
            Rugged
            Always on Find-in-dark mode
            9v battery provides lots of power in a space effective size.
            Did I mention it's rugged?

            THINGS I DON'T LIKE

            Heavy
            Design limits effectiveness of Find-in-dark and Safety Flasher modes
            Need to cycle through all 3 modes to turn off
            Easy to drain battery (and possibly damage unit) by installing the
            battery the wrong way

            SIGNATURE

            David Wilkes



            This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
            Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
          • rayestrella1
            Hi David, It looks like you are good to go. You can place your review here; http://tinyurl.com/ypnddx Log in to BGT, and then navigate to that folder. Click
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 9, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi David,

              It looks like you are good to go. You can place your review here;

              http://tinyurl.com/ypnddx


              Log in to BGT, and then navigate to that folder. Click "Upload File,"
              be sure to select the "Owner Review" button, and follow the
              instructions to upload your HTML file and pictures.

              Thanks for the Owner Review!

              Ray
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