Light Type: 0.5 Watt 8mm LED
Light Class: Outdoor / General Use
The Advancedmart 0.5 Watt 2 Level AA (TM-317X) is made by Nuwai, a manufacturer who makes many Security Quality LED lights of varying but generally rather good quality. This particular offering uses the new 8mm 0.5 Watt Security Quality LED and is powered by a single AA cell and has 2 selectable power levels.
The body is made from anodized aluminum. The entire body has a fine texture made of very fine rings all the way around which improves grip relative to a smooth body. The head is slightly larger than the battery tube and it has an abrupt, inward curved shoulder which leads at the swithc area. The switch is a rubber covered clickie and is located on the side of the light just below the head. After the switch area the body necks down further to the battery tube. The tailcap is larger in diameter than the body tube and has a wide shelf at the body end and a narrow tapered shelf at the tail end. There is a lanyard hole in the dise fo the tailcap end and a wrist lanyard in included and attached. In total, the light changes diameter no less than 7 times in its entire 5 inches. The battery tube has a removable clip attached. The clip is a bit flimsy and doesn’t do a very good job of holding the light in place if clipped in the pocket due to the fact that the head end above the clip attachment point is heavier than the body tube and tailcap below the clip attahment.
The head of the light is larger than the body tube so that it may house the fairly large smooth slivered plastic reflector. At the very end is a plastic lens to protect the reflector and LED. Since the Security Quality LED is powered by a single AA cell ,there is a DC-DC boost circuit inside the head to increase the voltage to the point needed to drive the LED.
Output is in the form of a very high color temperature (slightly bluish) beam. The beam has a brighter central spot surrounded by an irregular corona and a wide spillbeam. Some artifacts can be seen in the beam at close range, but these blend together into a smooth spot at a distance. For a single LED, output is very good. The switch and circuitry inside the light allow for two separate output modes. Click once for low output, click a second time for high output, click a third time for off. Having a low and high output feature in a single light can be very handy. Low mode is great when working up close and/or when battery conservation is needed. High mode gives an extra boost of light for those times when more detail resolution is needed or for more distant objects. Having choices is never a bad thing! High mode puts out roughly 4 times the light of low mode.
Runtime Plot: Pretty good! The boost circuit does a pretty good job of getting all it can from the single AA cell.
The switch is a rubber covered clickie just below the head of the light. It does protrude from the side, so could be accidentally activated. Lying the light on it side on a flat surface reveals that the switch cannot come into contact with the surface. The switch does not have a lockout function. The rubber cap on the switch has a slightly visible texture and grips the finger rather well.
The light does have an O-ring seal between the body and the tailcap. I was unable to remove the head to discover the seals that may be there. The switch has a tight fitting rubber cover. I would give it a “splashable” rating at the very least.
Ergonomics: Small, but easy to use. Gripping the light in the palm with the bezel sticking out the thumb end of the hand allows the user to operate the switch easily with the thumb. The switch provides positive tactile and auditory feedback.
A single AA alkaline cell powers the light. To change the batteries simply unscrew the tailcap and drop out the old cell. Drop in a new cell positive first and tighten the tailcap fully.
The light comes with an attached pocket clip, but it really isn’t that good of a clip and I don’t think I would trust it that much. Drop the whole thing in your pocket instead of relying on the clip. You may want to leave the clip attached, however, as it does serve as an effective anti-roll device. A nylon wrist lanyard is included with the light and comes attached to the tailcap through a hole drilled in the side of the tailcap. Removal of the lanyard will allow the light to stand on end well. Since the lanyard is very thin where it attaches to the tailcap, you can get the light to stand with the lanyard attached if the surface is flat and you fiddle with it a bit.
What I Liked: Two output levels, Water resistant at a minimum, Appears generally tough, Impact resistant Security Quality LED bulb, Semi-regulated DC-DC boost circuit, Bright for a single Security Quality LED light, Easy battery change, Lightweight, Good runtime
What I Didn’t Like: Clip not that great.
Other Things I Noticed: Beam is slightly irregular, but not a significant detriment to the light or its use at all.
Conclusions: Nice little pocket light! Output is quite good and it seems to be rather well made. Having two levels of output can be very handy when working at various distances and when battery conservation is needed. Good for the pocket, purse, briefcase, etc. Runtime graph is pending, so we’ll see how it does for output over time very soon.