Penlights, unlike typical flashlights are more specialized lighting devices that are smaller in size. Just as large as a fountain pen, pen light is an essential equipment that anyone willing to tread in the dark wants. As bigger flashlights are heavier to carry around, a pen light serves as the best alternative when it comes to special lighting needs. Though penlights are particularly popular among medical practitioners, there are other occasions when you might need one.
Why use a penlight?
Medical Practitioner– If you’re a doctor or a nurse, then you come across numerous situations when you want to examine your patient under a bright light. Mainly, penlight is most used for ‘pupil test’ which is a technique of determining the response of a patient’s pupil to light. Moreover, penlight is used also for checking mouth and throat for infections and sores.
Mechanics and Electricians– If your job involves checking engines and wires, then pen light is one of the most useful devices you can possess. When you need to check the parts on the interior of engines and devices, a penlight can assist you in a brilliant way by allowing you to illuminate that particular area with a bright light.
Other uses: Apart from specialized lighting needs, penlight can be useful for general purpose uses as well. Penlight can serve as a great self-protection bright when walking around in night. Since most of the penlight manufacturers are also the makers of tactical flashlights, you can even find pelights that can be used as defense equipment.
Things to consider before buying a pen light
Pen light flashlights are indeed versatile and sleek devices. With a wide range functionality and ease of use, they can lighten of one’s life if used wisely. As there are extensive selections of manufacturers and brands in the market for pen lights, it is always necessary to do some research and learn about what to look for when purchasing one that best meets your needs.
Here, we have explored some features that you might want to consider before deciding which pen light to buy:
Lumens/ Light Intensity
In lay terms, Lumens is defined as a measure of the total amount of visible light to the human eye illuminated from a lamp/bulb or any other light source. Bright lamps have higher lumen rating. You should keep in mind the purpose of your pen light use. If you want to use it for checking eyes of your patients, you need to consider the lumen range that might not hurt patients with unnecessary intensity. For ease of selection, you may use pen lights in the range starting from 80 all the way upto 160 lumens.
Batteries/ Run Time
One of the most crucial parts about choosing a pen light is dependent on the battery it uses. Mostly, pen lights use AA or AAA type batteries as these batteries are slim and don’t add too much weight. Depending on your budget and need, you can choose between either the traditional batteries or high performing Lithium cells. Though Lithium cells are a bit costly, they have enhanced performance with longer run time and brighter light outputs.
Size and Shape
Penlights are designed to fit easily in your breast pocket or external pen pocket bag so that you can carry it around. Usually, the perfect size for a pen light is the one that fits right in your hand while using and has built tough enough to match the lighting necessities. Longer pen lights can have space for additional batteries and hence more power and runtime.
Pen lights are devices made for the convenience of users. Needless to say, the ease of operation is something dependent on the type of on/off switch it uses. Generally, there are following different types of switches:
- Tail Click: It is convenient for one-handed operation. Since the switch is positioned at the tail, it may sometimes cause accidental activation. It is an option for those who need quick on/off.
- Twist Top: This type of switch is the most common on keychain lights. This is a two-handed operation where you twist the head of the light in clockwise/counterclockwise fashion to turn it on/off. Twist Top type pen lights are best for those who need stable lighting and don’t want to bother about accidental switching.
- Side Click: This system involves a thumb-forward grip. The switch is on the side of the body, and it best fits for outdoor use.
Top 3 Penlights 2018 Review
After researching a great deal and gathering information on the best Pen lights, we have prepared this review for you. Based on the different features, here are the best pen lights in the market:
Streamlight 66133 Stylus Pro USB Rechargeable Pen Light with 120V AC Adapter and Holster
The Stylus Pro USB rechargeable Pen Light is a super bright that you can use for all kind of application around the home. Whether you need to fix a fuse box or navigate a map, this pen light is the product that you need.
Streamlight has manufactured Stylus Pro with aluminum alloy case that gives it durability and high water resistance. It is light and sleek and looks very attractive due to its matte black metal construction. It has LED lights that produce 70 lumens for a runtime of 3.5 hours. The lithium-ion battery is fully rechargeable with the recharge duration of 2.5 hours.
This pen light contains USB cord and hence allows you the flexibility to charge on the go. Alternatively, you can charge it on the AC wall adaptor. The USB charge port is protected with a sliding sleeve that prevents any dirt and water ingress into the port.
Streamlight 66133 Stylus Pro USB Rechargeable Pen Light with 120V AC Adapter and Holster is the perfect pen light for general purpose users. If you’re one of them, you should go for it.
HP3R Rechargeable Focusing 245 Lumen Penlight
Produced by Coast, a highly revered name in Focusing Optic System industry, HP3R Penlight is one of the best in the market. With lumens as high as 245, it offers a great lighting function. The barrel diameter of this penlight is 0.63 inches, and it weighs just 1.8 ounces that makes it easy-go.
The best part about this pen light is that you have two options for power. You can use either the alkaline AAA batteries or a rechargeable Lithium battery. Under high output setting, the battery lasts for 1.5 hours and under low output, it can last up to 2 hours. The beam length is 305 feet for high lumen setting and 102 for low lumen setting while using rechargeable batteries. The advantage of battery selection option is that you can use it for a variety of ranges.
Operating this pen light is very easy: you just need to adjust the focus with a twisting mechanism. The switch is on the rubberized tail cap that makes turning it on and off very easily.
The Coast HP3R comes with AC, DC, and USB adapter, which provide enormous flexibility in recharging the battery. So whether you are on the road, on vacation, in the office, or out in the woods multiple options exist to keep the flashlight functional.
Pelican 1920 LED Flashlight, Black
Designed smoothly to meet functionality and style, Pelican ProGear 1920 224 Lumen LED is one of the best pen light that you can own. This device works with AAA batteries and creates an incredibly vivid and white beam.
With running time much longer than previous models by Pelican, it is an efficient lighting tool for both specific and general purpose uses.This light is built with durable aluminum and hence is very light. It is one of the best pen light for personal use. Equipped with 3 volts LED flashlight, it produces an impressive 224 lumens and the beam length is up to 81 meters in dark conditions. Its lightweight, crisp build and size make it unarguably the top handheld pen light that you can find in the market.
Indeed, choosing the best pen light is always a bit of a dilemma as there are varieties of options. Depending on whether you are a professional or just want it for personal use, you should choose your penlight accordingly. After all, the one that best suits your needs and budget is the one that you should buy.