Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Review: Petzl e+LITE

How about a very light headlamp that can be thrown in you rucksack or vehicle and be forgotten about until needed for up to 10 years. Well that is one of the main features of the Petzl e+LITE making it incredibly reliable so it's there in an emergency.

Petzl e+LITE in it's protective case.

The Petzl e+LITE, when in it's protective case is just slightly bulkier that the Silva Siju, as can be seen in the photo above. The weight of the e+LITE out of it's case is only 28g and 46g in it's case.

The construction of the e+LITE is dominated by the control switch and three white LEDs surrounding a very small red LED. The three white LEDs, when on full, provide 16 lumens. On the next, reduced setting, the lights brightness reduces somewhat, although no figure is given by Petzl. At this setting the lamp should last 45 hours. It's interesting that Petzl have used three bulbs to do this and Silva's Siju uses two obviously brighter LEDs to do the same.

Petzl e+LITE front layout.

Again, like the Silva Siju, the e+LITE makes quite poor use of it's 16 lumens in comparison with my LED Lenser P3 torch which also uses 16 lumens. However, the e+LITE has a few tricks up it's sleeve. Just like the Silva it has many uses, looking in rucksacks, using in a tent, reading a book, and just permitting you to find your way. But it does have a maximum range of 19 meters, which to me is a little limiting as at 19 meters the light seems to be fading considerably. So not much use for a biker, but would help you out of a sticky situation. The fact that it is waterproof to -1 meter and is in a protective case might open it up to use for pot-holers and other hard use situations. The light unit itself is mounted on a ball joint onto the back plate making it incredible flexible for positioning the light beam.

The E+LITE's flexible mounting system.

As can be seen in the photograph, the e+LITE also has a metal clip on it which allows it to be clipped onto something like a cap or rucksack strap etc. And because of the ball joint it is possible to strap the light around your wrist and essentially make it into a standard torch configuration.

Besides two brightness settings, the e+LITE can also flash it's with LEDs and also has the use of a red LED. The single red LED on continuous could be used at night for reading a map, and in turn protecting your night vision. Or the red LED can be put on a strobe setting to attract attention in an emergency rescue situation.

The e+LITE also has a whistle built into the straps locking mechanism. The whistle is quite loud and so would be useful in an emergency situation for drawing attention. The strap itself is a very simple affair and toggle system that works very fast and without any problems. When on your head the light is hardly noticeable and so easy to adjust to point where you want.

Basic strap and toggle system with built in whistle.

So, what do I think of the e+LITE. It can be bought for around £20-30 plus post and packaging. I would seriously recommend shopping around due to the large price differences that can be found. This still makes it atleast twice the price of the Silva Siju. But, it does have more features, such as the red LED, a whistle and a far simpler and quicker means to fit it to your head. So in my opinion, if you need the extra features, it's worth a look. If you just want a basic white light and nothing else then the Siju may be your ideal headlamp. For me, the feature list is the decider as the light performance between the two has little in it. And only you can decide that.