Name: Ernest Engman (AKA SGT Rock)
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 155 pounds
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
City and State: Fort Polk, Louisiana
Date: 12 October 2002
Manufacturer: Clear Products, Inc.
369 S. Main St.
Moab, Utah 84532
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Other weights - Lanyard: 0.5 ounces; Headband: 0.8 ounces
Similar products used: Photon Microlight II, Laserlyte Minibrite, Krill Light.
Reception and packaging:
I received the LazerBrite by first class postage in a standard bubble wrap envelope. Inside was the LazerBrite with red and green LED lights, a lanyard in separate packaging, a headband in separate packaging, spare batteries for both the red and green lights, and an extra O ring seal. The lights already had batteries, but there was only a seal inside the green LED. I assume that since it was still inside the retail packaging that all LazerBrites will come this way. I liked the packaging, it shows exactly what you are getting but doesn't allow a person purchasing the light to see how bright it really is like some light displays do. Good point is the batteries are always fresh, bad point is the consumer must assume the light is bright enough.
The back side of the packaging shows the various configurations that you can make with the LazerBrite. Inside the cardboard of the packaging is a sheet with contact information, warranty registration, O ring replacement ordering, and information about ordering the lithium batteries at about 1/2 price (good idea). The instructions explain exactly what batteries to use in which light and the fact that a blue O ring is not needed on the red LED (that answered my first question).
The instruction explain the very easy twist on/off operation of the lights and how to put the light into its various configurations like wide angle flashlight, candle lantern, micro lantern, etc.
No instructions were included for the lanyard or head band.
The construction is very simple. Both the bottom and top assemblies of the light are simple molded plastic with rubber O rings to make the assembly waterproof when combined with the light tube.
The metal parts are either molded into the plastic or glued in place and appear to be very solid and fool proof. The only points of concern at this time are the LED bulb which protrudes beyond the bezel of the light assembly, and the lanyard rings which are molded into the lower assembly of the light - they are thin plastic and look vulnerable to rough handling.
The lanyard is braided cloth that appears to be cotton with a snap together link in the middle for safety in case the lanyard was to catch on something while around the user's neck.
The head band is a nylon band with a Velcro fastener for securing to your head or neck, and a small Velcro closure loop for securing the LED lights. It appears that this headband could be used for other lights if needed.
LED Light Weight: 1 ounce with battery
Tube: 0.9 ounces
These lights are very bright LED lights, better than what I am used to with most LEDs. In the light stick configuration is also brighter than the Krill light 180 extreme which was the brightest model available. Compared to chemical light sticks, the LazerBrite is brighter and is very convenient since you can turn it on and off. Another technique I learned and was not mentioned was to twist the on/off control to the point where you could make the light turn on and off with thumb pressure for signaling.
Battery change was also very easy since you simple unscrew the light bezel and the batteries sit right on top of the lower body. I really like this because it is much easier to change batteries in the LazerBrite than other LEDs I've used which require a very small screwdriver to remove then replace 4 very small screws. The LazerBrite would be much easier to replace batteries under adverse conditions than most LED lights.
The thing that struck me most about construction was the size. Although the size is listed on their web site, I only glanced at it without really paying attention and translating it into reality. I was expecting a system about the size of a chemical light stick or a Krill light. The LazerBrite is about twice as long as well as much thicker.
I've been backpacking and hiking as long as I can remember. My first overnight backpacking trip was in the late 70's on the Appalachian Trail. Places I've hiked: 350 miles of the Appalachian Trail - sections in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Bankhead Forest, Alabama. Sipssey Forest, Alabama. Pinhoti Trail, Alabama. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. Desert of New Mexico and Texas north of El Paso. Kistatchi National Forest, Louisiana. Slick Rock/Joyce Kilmer Forest, North Carolina. Cradle of forestry in America, North Carolina. Standing Indian Trails, North Carolina. Many more. My current gear selection is in the lightweight realm with a summer base weight is about 12 pounds and a winter base of 15 pounds.
I'm including this since I consider it important to the tests I intend to do. Over 17 years of active federal service as a 19D Cavalry Scout which is a reconnaissance specialty, and a forward area combat specialty that often works inside enemy area of operation. I have served in scout platoons for an Infantry battalion, an Armor battalion, a heavy armored cavalry regiment, and I'm currently in a light armored cavalry regiment. I have extensively used chemical light sticks, filtered lenses flashlights, electronic light sticks, and LED lights in tactical situations.
Similar products used: Photon Microlight II, Laserlyte Minibrite, Krill Light, chemical light sticks.
Location: Tests were conducted in the Kistachi National forest and Fort Polk training area.
Description of location: 90 meters above sea level in pine forests with some hardwoods.