Petzl e+LITE
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paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 11/30/2006 12:24:14 MST Print View

Just arrived complete w/2xCR2032 batts. Initial observations.

1. interesting packaging

2. very small light - PTScout size.

3. protective case has nice closure retainer - a round rubber band, of sorts.

4. case is too large & i won't be using it.

5. i will be cutting and resewing head band as it's apparently sized for use with a helmet.

6. swivel joint is multi-directional and very easy to operate. this i don't like as single axis articulation makes more sense (to me at least) if the light is primarily used as a headlamp with the included elastic band. however, for those that may want to mount the e+LITE onto pack straps (from the side of the strap using the capbrim clip) or other vertically oriented mount points, the multi-axis swivel ball joint will allow the e+LITE to be oriented so that even while attached to a vertically oriented mount point, the e+LITE can be made to direct its light downward. also, it can be mounted on the top (instead of the bottom) of a waist belt to prevent it from more easily falling off or being knocked off and then rotated to direct its light down instead of merely forward or up. In this sense, the multi-axis swivel ball joint is a clever design concept.

7. cap-brim clip appears far more robust than the PTScout's cap-brim clip

8. switch is NOT the cleanest and easiest to operate (i'm guessing it's probably downright difficult with gloves on, but this would prob. only apply to the "LOCK" position - however, it's pretty easy, when attempting to just switch the light OFF, to go from LO-Wht position THROUGH OFF and into LOCK; now, a glove might need to come off to operate the switch). also, the switch requires two fingers to operate. The right thumb is used to stabilize the right side of the light while the right index finger simultaneously operates (rotates to the right) the switch. Failure to stabilize the light with the thumb will cause the lamp body to rotate on its multi-axis swivel ball joint. To turn the switch the opposite direction, the finger position must be changed to prevent the light from rotating in the opposite direction. Poor ergonomic design, IMHO - NOT KISS (keep-it-short-and-simple). Much better would have been a button on the face of the headlamp positioned over the battery box area. Then a single finger (any finger) could have operated the light's control. The forehead (if being used as a headlamp with the strap and the light was not oriented down) would have reacted the force of pressing the button. Mounted elsewhere (cap-brim, pack straps, waist belt, etc) and with the light directed down, then a finger and a thumb would most likely still be required, but at least a single finger position would have sufficed in all cases w/o the need to shift finger positions to fully operate the light's switch.

9. HI mode is VERY bright.

10. LO mode is MUCH dimmer (yet hrs of light output are NOT too much different; not sure why; perhaps it's just a function of the newer 80% brighter white LEDs; perhaps it's the use of Li coin cell batts and their characteristic discharge curves - i just don't know - curious)

11. RED LED mode is very nice also, but i won't use it much out in the bush as it's generally too dark in my neck of the woods to see w/o a light, so, to my way of thinking, there's no need to preserve one's dark adaptation.

12. i'd prefer that the WHITE flashing mode and RED flashing mode were left off of the light as they just provide two more switch positions that will (hopefully) never be used. Why a red flashing mode? Serve as a bicycle tail light? If in an emergency situation, i would guess that the white flashing light would be seen a greater distance away, so why the red flashing mode?

IN SUMMARY
it's a very nice light. IMHO, it raises the bar for small lights in its class. The PTec Scout has been surpassed despite the Scout's nicer switch. Can't wait to see how PTec responds. This can only be good b/c the Scout II or whatever PTec decides to call it should raise the bar even higher.

Why do i say that the e+LITE has surpassed the Scout for small UL multi-LED Li coin cell powered headlamps?

0) First off, i'm not sure that the Scout had any legitimate competitor b/f the e+LITE. Other UL Li coin cell powered lights were either only single LEDs or used larger AAA batts. Any that i am familiar with that had both multi-LEDs and were powered by Li coin cells batts were "Cap-brim" lights which could only be clipped to a hat/cap brim and generally had only a single mode/level of light output.

1) Compared to the Scout, the e+LITE is FAR brighter (3 newer higher output white LEDs vs. 2 older less bright white LEDs) - no comparison using my Scout with fresh batts (ok, i tested it compared to both of my PTScouts) - on high output, the e+LITE blew away the Scout set on hi, due to the newer 80% brighter white LEDs. Petzl claims 3x the distance/"throw" from the e+LITE vs. the Princeton Tec's claims for "throw" for the Scout.

2) The Mfr claimed "burn" times for the e+LITE (due to its newer brighter output white LEDs) are better with the e+LITE using only 2xCR2032 batts than the Scout using 4xCR2032 batts. So, the light is also less expensive to operate when batts need to be replaced. The Scout claims 12hrs on "hi"; 24hrs on "med"; 48hrs on "low". The e+LITE claims 35hrs on a MUCH BRIGHTER "hi" and 45hrs on "low" which is nearly as long as the Scout on low, but the Scout uses four batts instead of just two. We just need to hope that both PTec and Petzl are using the same lower limit for light output or "cutoff" brightness when establishing their claimed burn times.

How can this be? Since for any given batt voltage, the e+LITE's newer 80% brighter LEDs produce more light, the minimum amount of light used for determining "burn" times will be produced from a somewhat lower voltage by the newer 80% brighter LEDs. Hence, they effectively "burn" longer.



NOW FOR THE IMPORTANT PART

i cancelled my pending orders for the e+LITE elsewhere (once i rcv'd shipping notification from Karst Sports) as no one else that i know of seems to have them yet, though they should have them by today or in the next few days.

you can get them for ~$30 each (full sugg. retail price) from Karst Sports - Karst told me in a telcon that they are the largest Petzl dealer in the USofA. They are going to get the vast majority of the units shipped to the US. They are getting, IIRC from my telcon, 50,000 units. Karst deals with the military, police departments, SAR organizations and often fulfills single orders for thousands of Petzl items. However, i've dealt with them for over three years and they always come through on my "nickle and dime" tiny orders.

Edited by pj on 12/01/2006 02:14:10 MST.

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
Re: Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 11/30/2006 14:21:11 MST Print View

pj, thank you for the tip about Karst. i've been waiting and waiting to hear from mountain gear about my order. i'm trying to get one as an Xmas present for my husband (but i confess i'm deadly curious about it myself).

Scott Ashdown
(waterloggedwellies) - F

Locale: United Kingdom
Re: Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 11/30/2006 15:05:22 MST Print View

PJ,

I wish I lived in the states, your outdoor gear is so much cheaper than here in the UK. Everything hear is really expensive.

I just got my Petzl e+Lite and it cost double what yours did. I agree with everything you said about it though!!!!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 11/30/2006 18:04:29 MST Print View

Scott,

Double??!! I never would have guessed.


[Now i'll put my ignorance on display]

Doesn't being part of the EU and the common Euro help any with pricing?


At some point would it be more cost effective to have me/someone here on this side of the pond buy something for you and ship it to you?

Nigel Sanderson
(onthefells) - F

Locale: The Chilterns and Peak District
pricing on 12/01/2006 02:29:09 MST Print View

PJ we in the UK still use £ not euros thanfully...I don't want some unelected beaurocrat in Brussels determining UK interest rates!!!

re pricing its always been a rip off over here, I believe the e-lite retails at around £26-27 v your $30. At current exchange rates that makes our price roughly $50!!

Obviously the weak $ makes this 'difference' particularly large at present.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: pricing on 12/01/2006 03:07:32 MST Print View

Nigel,

Many thanks for taking the time to educate me so that, in part, i no longer wallow in ignorance.


>>"Obviously the weak $ makes this 'difference' particularly large at present."


Now being an engineer, i have a pretty good handle on numbers. However, put a dollar sign in front of some digits and i have no idea what they mean!!

Can you please take a moment to further my financial education. Regarding the above quote that i extracted from your post, what does the dollar have to do with pricing in England and/or the UK?

Petzl is a French company and the lights are an imported product here too, just as in England/UK.

I'm not saying your comment is wrong; i just don't understand it in this case.

Wouldn't it be more of the English/British (sorry, i don't know the correct word to use) £ relative strength/weakness vs. the Franc or the Euro that is the reason for the English/UK price? I'm assuming by "$", you meant the US dollar. As you can see i'm really quite confused, probably b/c i don't really understand finance. Many thanks in advance for your time and reply.

Oh, BTW, i liked your opening comment, viz. "PJ we in the UK still use £ not euros thanfully...I don't want some unelected beaurocrat in Brussels determining UK interest rates!!!". Unfortunately, in the USofA we do have a similar situation. The "unelected" Federal Reserve sets our prime rate - sometimes inexplicably, or so it seems to an uninformed individual like myself.

Edited by pj on 12/01/2006 03:10:41 MST.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
pricing on 12/01/2006 04:28:39 MST Print View

I buy up on goodies when I go to the USA but I also buy over the internet from Australia as US prices can be so much better and the choice is huge.

Andy Dixon
(sideshowandy) - F
hmm... Uk pricing on 12/01/2006 05:20:27 MST Print View

comments were off thread - removed!

Edited by sideshowandy on 12/05/2006 01:03:23 MST.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
EMS has them on 12/01/2006 05:47:51 MST Print View

EMS also has the e+lite. Got mine for $23 bucks on sale last week. Not sure if that sale is still going though.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: EMS has them on 12/01/2006 09:13:23 MST Print View

Jonathan,

sale is over.

when did you rcv. yours? lights were supposedly not in dealer's hands until ~28nov.

Erin McKittrick
(mckittre) - MLife

Locale: Seldovia, Alaska
Re: Petzl e+LITE waterproofness on 12/01/2006 12:40:44 MST Print View

Hey. Would someone who has one of these help me out by testing the waterproof claim?
I've had terrible luck finding any sort of small light that's actually waterproof, which makes me hesitant to buy one without a test...

Thanks
-Erin
www.aktrekking.com

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 12/01/2006 21:09:28 MST Print View

pj's analysis has hit the nail on the head. I got mine at Eastern Mountain Sports here in the US during their 20%-off Thanksgiving sale, for about $24.

I agree that the swivel joint offers more flexibility with attachment options, but I wonder--since there's no way to tighten it, as with the hinge on the Scout--whether it'll last with use.

I like the red light since it's seemingly a real red LED (not a white LED with a red lens), and I've been hooked on "red light at night" with my TacTikka. The e+Lite's red LED about 50% darker, though.

I also like the how the e+Lite's rotary switch can be set so that the first "on" position is either steady red or dim white--my most common choices.

The red rear face of the e+Lite, which doubles as a protective cover when swiveled around completely, has a dimple that is comfortable against my forehead. And the slender elastic strap works well since the lamp itself is so light. The strap adjusts with a small cord lock.

I won't be able to field test until next year, but the comparisons in my darkened bedroom have been amazing.

Frank Perkins
(fperkins)

Locale: North East
Re: Re: Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 12/02/2006 08:49:36 MST Print View

>I won't be able to field test until next year, but the comparisons in my darkened bedroom have been amazing.

That's what she said.

Sorry, I couldn't resist

Nigel Sanderson
(onthefells) - F

Locale: The Chilterns and Peak District
£/$ on 12/02/2006 16:14:04 MST Print View

PJ re your question what does the $ have to do with pricing in the UK its pretty simple...its all relative, see below.

I bought my e-lite today for £22.50 you said yours costs $30

If $/£ is 2 to 1 my £22.50 is equivalent to $45, if its $1.50 to £1 my cost is equivalent to $33.75 and if its $1 to £1 my £22.50 is equivalent to $22.50

at $1.33 to £1 exchange rate the cost would be the same in both countries.

Here endeth my economics lesson of the day ;-)

Edited by onthefells on 12/02/2006 16:19:18 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Petzl e+LITE waterproofness on 12/03/2006 03:10:40 MST Print View

Erin,

Petzl claims -1m waterproofness. i don't know what the standard designation is, but Petzl lists several certifications for the e+LITE. i would assume (always risky i know) that one of them supports the -1m waterproofness claim.

So, acc. to Petzl, it's more than just "splash" resistant (i forget the standard designation, but some BD headlamps are just splash resistant, so, you could check their website for the standard designation for splash resistant).

It comes w/a 10yr warrantee which is listed on the Petzl website immediately below the -1m waterproofness claim lower down on the webpage.

-------------------------
Nigel,

Many thanks for the economics lesson.

Edited by pj on 12/03/2006 03:12:13 MST.

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Re: Re: Petzl e+LITE - initial impressions on 12/03/2006 06:00:57 MST Print View

Echos of "The Office" (American version) are echoing thru my head :-)

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: EMS has them on 12/03/2006 06:14:34 MST Print View

They had them in one of the stores up here in Mass. If anyone is up in the Boston area, check out the Marlbourgh store as they had quite a few of them.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Re: Re: Re: EMS has them on 12/04/2006 19:22:33 MST Print View

This Jonathan bought one in the Hadley/Amherst EMS store in Western Mass on Nov 22.
I had read about it before, but had no plans to buy one, although when I saw it on display it was just irresistible! (Plus the 20% off was nice too.)

Jan Rezac
(zkoumal) - MLife

Locale: Prague, CZ
e+lite disassembly on 12/06/2006 03:29:57 MST Print View

I'd like to know if it's possible to open the body of the torch and have a look at the electronics inside. (Hope it isn't glued together.) Have someone already tried it? And if so, can this brave person post some pictures how does it look inside?

To explain my curiosity:
I'll go and buy it immediately, if I know I can replace the original guts with my circuitry. I'd definitely like to have regulated output, and maybe I can add in more... I've build many headlamps, most of them with an advanced electronics, but the limiting component is the case, and in this case, and this one seems to be just perfect.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: e+lite disassembly on 12/06/2006 05:14:06 MST Print View

zkoumal,

i'll look at it later today and get back to you.

i'm with you on the packaging aspect.

i've built headlamps, a few yrs ago, and the problem was always the packaging.

so, i'd buy a cheap headlamps that looked like it was sized right for my uses and basically discard the innards. i haven't done this in quite a while though as i like some of the newer designs just fine.

for one microprocessor controlled 4x5mm LED headlamp that i built 'bout 3-4yrs ago, maybe 5yrs ago, i'm forgettin', i actually "made" an all duct-tape (Nashua 357) "housing" for it - even the microswitches controlling output modes and switching it on and off are actuated through a single layer of duct tape. it's quite a waterproof design, but downright butt ugly!!! This one is living proof that, when it comes to fabrication, i'm definitely no Bill Fornshell.