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Petzl e+ Switch Failure
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Petzl e+ Switch Failure on 12/02/2008 17:35:09 MST Print View

Just a FYI on my experience with a Petzl e+ Lite.

I do like this LED headlamp. It is small, powerful, easily, adjustable, and has a reported 45 hour burn time. It has 2 intensity settings in white mode on one in red mode. I used it primarily in red mode, per Mike Clelland's recommendation, and thought it was great. A much mellower experience that the stark WHITE typical of most LEDs. And if it extends battery life, then so much the better.

However, on night 2 of a recent trip the multi-position switch became nearly inoperative. I thought I was going to break it before it would move. I struggled with it for 2 more nights, then on the 3rd night the switch became nearly free floating.

I had sent it to Petzl and got a call today saying they have seen "one or two" like this. The ratched/detent inside the switch freezes.

They are sending another, covered under warranty, no charge, to me. They were easy to deal with and I appreciated the phone call regarding the outcome.

I did ask I there was something I could have done to break it, or if I could have fixed it in the field. The answer to both questions was Nope. It just happens.

I feel this is a great light and it will still be my primary light on upcoming trips. But, if others have problems I'd appreciated hearing about them.

Edited by greg23 on 12/02/2008 17:36:34 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Petzl e+ Switch Failure on 12/02/2008 17:40:58 MST Print View

You will likely hear from JasonKlass -- who experienced problems with the switch twice -- the second time after an exchange. I was hiking with him both times -- and it takes very, very little to damage the switch. Wind-driven sands will jam it right there.

Too bad Petzl paid so much attention to cuteness and precious little to reliability.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Petzl e + Switch Failure on 12/02/2008 18:08:54 MST Print View

My new Petzl e works great I really like [red] night vision and the weight of the headlamp. Mr. Tang- Mr.Positive

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Dirty Switch Problems... on 12/02/2008 18:32:30 MST Print View

I let my little girl use mine to look for something. It came back very dirty and the switch was sticking. I definitely thought it was going to break at one point. I eventually got it all worked out and it's as good as new.

Edited by RomanLA on 12/02/2008 18:33:20 MST.

christian gagas
(chummysaladbar) - F
Different kind of problems on 12/02/2008 18:36:15 MST Print View

I own two of these lights, and I too have had switch issues. On one of them I can't engage the high intensity setting without wiggling the switch around, sometimes quite a bit. The other has performed flawlessly so far, but is not all that old either.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Different kind of problems on 12/02/2008 19:07:21 MST Print View

To recent and future posters to this thread, if you have issues I encourage you to take 15 minutes to call Petzl and then send in your e+.

It is the only way something will change. They'll re-engineer and add a o-ring, or they'll drop it. Either way the community gets a better light or a bogus one goes away.

Thanks all for chiming in. It definitely impacts my decision on what to take.

jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
Switch on 12/02/2008 19:09:18 MST Print View

I had the same problem. I was using the it as my primary light on a trip to the guadalupe mts when the sitch got a little sand in it(70 mph wind gust in the desert). I got it to move (spring and ball bearing that fell out) but it moves freely now. I love the light but if it not going to do its job I am moving on.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Petzl e + Switch Failure on 12/02/2008 19:20:04 MST Print View

Jay wrote, "Mr. Tang - Mr. Positive".

Actually, I like to think of it as "Mr. Realistic". The switch is poorly designed -- and cuteness/features can only go so far.

Edited by ben2world on 12/02/2008 19:28:48 MST.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Petzl e+ Switch Failure on 12/02/2008 20:22:25 MST Print View

I've been using mine for almost a year with no problems thus far. Then again, I rarely use a light at all and there's no sand to speak of where I hike. Its worked well enough for me in camp, in/around/under the house, and in the duck blind/fields where I hunt to provide a few moments of illumination when needed.

In accordance with all the reports I fully suspect its death will come by way of stuck switch.


Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
alternative to e+lite on 04/10/2009 14:54:00 MDT Print View

Any suggestions for a good alternative to the e+lite?

Basically, a headlamp that is about the same weight, but that doesn't have switch issues.

James Hopson
(jbhtek) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
Alternative UL Headlamp on 04/10/2009 18:23:02 MDT Print View


The only alternative I have seen in this weight class is the Black Diamond Ion.

A great ultralight backup light, the new Ion is small enough to stash just about anywhere, plus the reflector-housed, 1/2 watt LED casts a far-reaching beam for finding your way up that final pitch of 5.11 or down that last mile back to the trailhead. Our lightest headlamp at 30 grams (1 oz), the Ion has a pivoting head that angles the light anywhere you need it, and a replaceable 6-volt battery provides power for 15 hours at the low setting and 3 hours on high. Yes, the Ion is unnoticeable in size and weight, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you—this two-setting headlamp is Black-Diamond-tough, able to withstand apocalyptic levels rain and sleet.
Black Diamond Ion

James H

Edited by jbhtek on 04/10/2009 18:23:53 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: alternative to e+lite on 04/10/2009 19:20:02 MDT Print View


The e-Lite isn't all that bright, so am I right in assuming that you use your light mostly for doing camp chores, etc. -- and not for any serious night hikes? If so, then the Phton Freedom LED's are plenty bright and an even lighter option (though not as cute).

I really like the Photon's alligator clip with swivel. Cliping the thing to my cap or even just my tee shirt and pointing the light to an angle, I don't have to worry about inadvertently shining my light at people when I am talking to them.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Petzl e+ Switch Failure on 04/10/2009 19:33:20 MDT Print View

Hi Greg,

Sorry to hear about your problems; hopefully Petzl takes care of you. Functionally, I prefer the Photon Rex to the e+lite, but of course there's no red mode and to my knowledge no headstrap yet. But it puts out much more light and is infinitely adjustable, as well as allowing for daily charges to keep the battery topped off.

I don't believe we'll ever see a button cell light that's truly useful for navigation more than a fraction of an hour. Those batteries don't offer the capacity.



Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
BD Ion and Photons.. on 04/10/2009 20:04:27 MDT Print View

Thanks for the alternatives! My tikka plus will be my goto for hiking at night, so this is really for trips when I am very unlikely to need light other than for camp use.

After reading a few reviews on the ion, it doesn't look like that great of an alternative, although, certainly the only direct competition for the e+lite right now.

I wasn't really considering the photon freedom/rex style lights as I didn't think they would work well hands-free when not wearing a hat. I may have to give them a shot. The rex looks to have excellent light output, but with significantly lower battery life than the freedom. I'd like 1/2 hour use per day for a 5-7 days without recharge/battery swap. The freedom may have the edge given that desire.

Edited by roguenode on 04/10/2009 20:05:13 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: BD Ion and Photons.. on 04/10/2009 20:41:53 MDT Print View


I too hesitated on the Photons, thinking the alligator clip wouldn't work well unless it's clipped to the bill of a cap -- and who wears a cap at night? But I've found that just clipping it to your tee shirt works very well -- yes, hands free to do chores -- and even night hike by angling the light appropriately (on non-treacherous trails).

Kenneth Kortge
(KennK) - F
Ritter eQ Light on 04/10/2009 21:07:47 MDT Print View

This is similar in battery type and weight (<1 oz), but a much simpler and robust design.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: BD Ion and Photons.. on 04/10/2009 21:59:16 MDT Print View

> The rex looks to have excellent light output, but with significantly lower battery life than the freedom.

Note that if you let the battery get flat you probably won't be able to get it to recharge. You have to recharge it before it is flat. This is not a fault with the Rex; it is a characteristic of the battery.

> I'd like 1/2 hour use per day for a 5-7 days without recharge/battery swap
At low power, no trouble at all.

High power on the Rex is BRIGHT.


Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
e-lite quality control on 04/10/2009 22:09:10 MDT Print View

I love my e-lite but my friend's switch broke this past weekend near the foothills trail. He can only turn it off or use the first 2 functions.

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 04/10/2009 22:09:52 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: e-lite quality control on 04/10/2009 22:26:12 MDT Print View

Steve -- I think this is a design problem with the switch mechanism -- and not a quality control problem...

Eddie Hollander
(HaChayalBoded) - F
have a backup on 05/18/2009 21:12:48 MDT Print View

If you're hiking or camping in the evenings you should ALWAYS have a backup light source. Check candlepowerforums for the various flashlights out there.

Oh yea, since you should always have a flashlight and a knife on you, maybe you can not count the weight as part of your kit, since you'll be carrying it either way.

The zipka doesn't weigh much, but the headband mechanism might fail if you have oily hair or sand gets in it.