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A penlight is basically a flashlight that has taken its form from a pen. Don’t get it wrong though, penlights do not function as a pen but are more like of a full-pledge flashlight – except it’s inside a pen-like structure. Usually, it measures 3-6 inches in length but thicker compared to a regular ink pen. Generally, it’s not commonly used and hardly seen carried by a normal human being walking the streets but it provides a handy small tool in some special scenarios. Most common scenarios where penlight comes useful is when there’s no light, of course.
Assuming it’s a dark rainy season and the power is out, as well as generators, the penlight can act, well, as a flashlight wherever you’re located since it’s very handy and can be put inside your pocket. Another general use of a penlight is when trying to fix small electrical wirings or small devices. Professionals mostly benefit from penlights like nurses, doctors, police, among others. Due to nature of the work, inspection is their common denominator. It comes in handy for a doctor or a nurse who regularly check-up a patient either of the mouth, teeth, or ears. This way, they can assess the pre-condition of the patient.
Furthermore, doctors are provided ease of use when performing surgeries, especially in a cramped small space. Police, as well as normal citizen, can examine a person in emergency cases where lighting up the pupil will cause a reaction to determine the condition of a person needing first aid or such. A penlight might not be as strong as a flashlight but its portability makes it a good choice for emergency cases. But of course, this requires a battery to work. Luckily, people already invented a rechargeable penlight in replace of buying a separate battery.
Streamlight 66133 Stylus Pro USB Rechargeable Pen Light
When looking for a rechargeable penlight, nothing beats, of course, a good-quality that’s up to standards. Introducing the Streamlight 66133 Stylus Pro USB Rechargeable Pen Light, just like what the name states, it charges via the micro USB port and upon full battery – the C4 white LED lights up to 70 lumens or equivalent to 630 candelas that can last up to 3.5 hours of on-time. The battery inside the penlight won’t die easily as it’s rechargeable up to 300 times. The battery is based on lithium ion made for tough resistance.
Along with the 120V AC adapter that comes with the package, is the removable holster to secure it further inside your chest pocket. What’s more interesting here is that it’s made for durability with the military grade materials that allows it to survive underwater and has impact-resistance of 1-meter. In short, it’s rated IP4X – making it built to last.
Coast A9R Rechargeable LED Inspection Penlight
Unlike the first product, the Coast A9R Rechargeable LED Inspection Penlight has a more refined look due to its subtle, sleek, and continuous design all over, thus showing a closer rendition to a real pen. Measuring at 7 inches in length, the penlight from Coast is clad in stainless steel for a more sophisticated look. The LED beam light makes it suitable for quick inspection as it can light up as far as 20 meters or 65 feet. Its body is also made with impact and water resistance for strained uses.
What’s unique and interesting on this penlight is the way it charges. The Pro-flex charging cap that came with the packaging must simply be only attached to the head of the light while the other end will be connected to a USB port for power. The holster is made of rubber that gives better flexibility – to avoid breaking it in half. A variety of different colors to choose from makes it more appealing to the buyers, but if you want to look like an executive that matches your corporate outfit, the silver stainless is the way to go. It goes very well with black and shouts nothing but sophistication in style.
Streamlight 66134 Stylus Pro Rechargeable Penlight
Streamlight 66134 Stylus Pro Rechargeable Penlight shares similarities with the first product mentioned – the Streamlight 66133. It also packs the same features. It’s made from a military grade material with IP X4 rating that allows being underwater and an impact-resistance of 1 meter. The removable holster is also included. Lighting up to 70 lumens, the rechargeable battery can last up to 2.5 hours with 300 recharge times.
The difference marketed on this Streamlight 66134 is the color charging indicator. The red color indicates it’s charging while the green color indicates it’s fully recharged. Other minor details like the length are pretty much taken from the same textbook. Regardless, it’s still a reliable penlight.
Coast HP3R Rechargeable Penlight
For the HP3R Rechargeable Focusing Penlight, it comes with some nifty features and extra power. When we say extra, it harnesses power from two sources: the alkaline battery and the built-in rechargeable battery. This ensures longer usage time and will not allow you to run out of light whenever or wherever you may be. The feature is called Flex Charge Dual Power System and it can do a lot more. To charge the penlight, just slide back the tail cap and it will provide the microUSB port. It can charge solely the built-in battery OR you can charge the alkaline battery instead while in use. Furthermore, the feature is not solely for charging.
The extra power allows the LED beam optic to be controllable, meaning, the light can be focused by either going high or low. It can go as high as 245 lumens that last up to an hour and 30 minutes but using the lower light at 226 lumens – the battery can last up to 6 hours. Distance-wise, high output can reach up to 93 meters or 305 feet while low output reaches up to 31 meters or 101 feet. We say that this penlight from Coast packs interesting features – perfect for professionals.
Coast A8R Rechargeable Inspection LED Penlight
The Coast A8R Rechargeable Inspection LED Penlight is the predecessor of the Coast A9R but the differences and features hardly veer away from each other. You still get the same sophisticated look pen but in a much thicker diameter. The Pro-flex charging cap is also featured here that can also work with AC or DC or car chargers.
The sole difference lies on the LED beam optic, in which can reach up to 19meters or 62 feet and lasts up to an hour only. Regardless, the aluminum case with an included holster stays the same.
What to Look For
Penlights that are in the market are not as apparent as any other products, in terms of quantity. Due to its small circle of features, some might just find opting for a flashlight or keychain light instead. However, both are bigger in size when compared. It’s also worth noting that penlight is different from tactical penlight, the latter offers more features like hardened casing and brighter light but of course, it costs more since it’s aimed at professionals.
Regardless, choosing a penlight can still be tricky and varies from features. To choose the best penlight, know first what to look for. Do you go with brighter light or longer battery? Also, don’t forget to set standards as penlight can only lit a small space compared to small flashlights.
- Lumens – Lumens basically stands for how strong the LED optic can emit light. The higher the lumens the brighter the light. But in this case, there’s also one major drawback – power. Allowing the penlight to illuminate light at its highest lumen point harnesses more power resulting in shorter operating time. In short, your light won’t last that long in case something happens when you needed it the most.
- Durability – there are instances that we drop our pen accidentally, the same thing goes with the penlight. Due to its nature of being inside the pocket or being clipped on our chest pocket, drops are the most common reason why a penlight would stop working. To avoid this incident, check the quality of the pen if it’s made of aluminum. Better, if you can find a military grade material penlight that offers impact-resistance and even water-resistance.
- Battery – rechargeable batteries are the most important feature in this write-up. Penlight that requires alkaline batteries (AA, AAA) to operate are not considered rechargeable but rather removable. Only built-in batteries were featured in this article. However, there are special cases where it allows to work with either a built-in or an alkaline. It’s a great feature to have and it’s very unique – this mostly can be found on penlights with higher lumen the usual.
Most of the mentioned penlights offer almost the same features from the sturdy design down to the light intensity. Others may offer brighter illumination but this is at the expense of shorter battery life. What’s important, though, is to look at the durability, battery, and lumen level in order to know what are the capabilities of the penlight that will cater to your needs. It’s also worth noting that penlight is different from keychain light and tactical penlight where the latter is pricier and offers a wide range of features.