Petzl E+Lite mini review
Every once in a while, I stop by at the outdoor goods store (Bever zwerfsport Megastore in Den Haag) across the street form my work. Usually when I'm in desparate need of something and can't wait to order over he internet, or when I'm so excited about a product that I'm willing to pay 200% MSRP. This time it was neither of those, I went in to look for a pair of gloves, but the ones they had were either non-fitting or freaking expensive. But on my way out, I passed the headlamp display. Immediatly the tiny Petzl E+Lite immediately caught my eye. When a light does that, it usually ends up being bought. This one was no exception...
Petzl advertises this light as a Emergency backup light. I haven't had any emergencies in the past 54 minutes since I bought it, so I can't tell you if it's any good for that sort of thing. But I can see this light coming in very handy in a lot of situations, emergency or not.
Let's kick off with the most important part: The light it puts out. It has 3 very bright white 5mm LEDs and one red 3mm LED. Those 4 LEDs give you a total of 5 lighting modes: Dim white, bright white, strobe white strobe red and continuous red. The claimed maximum brightness is 16 Lumens, I have no means of measuring it, but by comparing it to other lights I'd say 16 lumens is about right. My guesstimate for the dim white is about 5 lumens and the other levels are impossible for me to say
The Runtime is advertised as 35h on max and 45h when using the economy mode. As they specify a different distance range for various periods of use, I guess the only form of regulation is the batteries discharge curve. The light uses CR2032 lithium cells, so discharge is pretty flat, but as the used button cells don't have a very high capacity, output drops off pretty quickly. The included manual states 19m throw on max with fresh cells, but after 30 minutes of use the throw is reduced to 12m, after 10h 5m and after 30h 3m. While some form of regulation would have been nice, I think these results are pretty nice for a light as small as this.
Yes, it is small, very small. +/- 45mm by 32mm by 19mm and loaded with batteries weighs in at a hefty 27 grams. The plastic housing is very nicely finished, quite sturdy and very multifunctional. At the front of the housing you find the 4 LEDs and the rotating lever switch to turn it on and select the desired mode of operation. The switch can select 1 of 5 modes, has off positions at both ends of the switch range and a lock function, reducing the risk of accidental activation. At the underside of the housing, there's a ball joint that connects the light to the baseplate. The balljoint allows the light to be put in almost all thinkable positions. And even though everything is just tiny, the balljoint feels nice and solid. The baseplate also has a few features. First of all, it has some flowing ridged on the back that help keeping it in place on your forehead. It also has a clip, which allows it to be pinned on the brim of a hat or pretty much any other thin edge. Also the elastic headband is removable, this can be done easily enough to get it out of the way when clipping the light to something, but not so easy that the band comes off during normal use. The length of the headband can be adjusted with a small cordlock.
The light is water and dustproof too, rated at IPX6-8 water and dustproofness, which would mean that it is completely dustproof and suitable for continuous immersion at -1m. Also it is said to work from -30c to 60c, which is pretty impressive. The light has a ATEX cat. 3 rating.
The light also comes with a carry/storage case. Which fits the light nicely, but with a bit of tactical packing of the headband, there will be enough room inside for a set of spare CR2032s.
I must say I'm pretty impressed by this tiny little headlamp and I think it will see a lot of use in the future. Only the batteries are a bit of a turnoff, but I have a few ideas to solve that. I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but I'm thinking about a small 2xcr2 or 2xcr123 batterypack behind the head with a connector that replaces the original batterycover
... Never underestimate the power of human stupidity ...