My newest flashlight, the eLED, comes from Underwater Kinetics, a company that makes high performance diving accessories. UK’s 2-AAA pocket light projects a soft, wide beam, is extremely compact, is waterproof down to 10m, and will burn for about 15 hours on a single set of batteries. It also features a removable clip — perfect for attaching the light to safety glasses or the brim of a hat — and a robust keyring.
After using this flashlight over the past two weeks, I’ve grown to like it a lot. The beam is soft and relatively uniform, making it ideal for reading or other close-quarter tasks. You turn the light on by twisting the lens assembly.
A feature (read: flaw) that I don’t like, is the way the light turns on if you press the lens assembly towards the body. However, this isn’t too terrible since the minimum force required to ignite it is much higher than typically exerted accidentally in pockets and purses.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that all of the circuitry is found in the lens assembly. There could be any number of reasons for this. Perhaps the circuit placement contributes to the waterproofing or allows for a more compact design. I don’t ordinarily think about such minute details, but the observation arose when I was examining the quality of the light.
Aside from a tiny shadow resulting from the placement of a capacitor too close near the LED lens, the projected beam pattern is perfectly circular. Replacement lens assemblies are available, but for the price one may as well purchase a new flashlight.
A note about availability: the UK eLED is also distributed by Nov8 (known for their lifehammer and ResQMe), as the Waterlite. The Waterlite version isn’t disguised or rebadged, but comes in simple packaging with concise and blurry instructions. Giving up the retail-ready packaging really saves a few bucks, though: the UK eLED has an average street price of $15, but the Waterlite is available for $11 via Amazon. Luckily for us scrutinzing detail-obsessive folk, UK put together a very nice product page and a detailed spec sheet for the eLED (links below).
The Waterlites are available in bl\ack, transparent red, and transparent blue, and the UK distributed units are available in black, transparent blue, and yellow. You may be surprised that unlike many cheapo LED products, these flashlights are made in the USA.