Inova X1 Review

Posted on Friday 2 May 2008

I am not a “flashlighaholic” like the guys at, however flashlights have always been cool toys for me. Ever since the Inova X5 purchase, I have been hooked on LED lights. They are far better for every day chores than an incandescent light. For the BOB, I purchased an Inova X1 single LED, single AA battery flashlight. Like all Inova products, it is well built, and functions perfectly. What I like most is X1 runs on only one AA battery. No need for exotic power sources, and cost of replacing too many batteries at once.  There is one 5mm LED and a reflector protected by a clear lens.

Like most Inova X-family flashlights there is a twist cap on the end, with a momentary push button switch. There is a rubber o-ring seal to protect the insides from moisture. This o-ring should be lubricated with silicone grease to keep it from cracking and maintain a good seal. Unlike the X5, this light did not come with a belt pouch; there is a drilled hole on the tail-cap to insert a carry strap or a key-chain ring. After about 8 hours, the flashlight is close to 50% light output; it will go for many more hours after that with diminishing results. The beam has a bluish tint, brighter in the center. Flashlight body is made from aluminum, and the momentary on/off switch is rubber. These cost about $20 on the internet and several local retailers like Target.

Inova X1 flashlight Inova X1 switch Inova X1 review Inova X1 and X5
dmitry @ 4:35 pm
Filed under: Lighting
Rayovac Sportsman 3-in-1 Head-lite

Posted on Friday 8 February 2008

This little gem is a lifesaver. It has replaced all my other flashlights for everyday(night) use outdoors. Before purchasing this headlight on sale at Lowe’s, I used the Inova X5 LED flashlight all the time. The X5 is awesome in its own right, but the versatility of a headlamp outshines every regular flashlight. Wearing a headlamp allows you to use both hands, and the 3-in-1 mode is a bigger bonus.

The Sportsman has 3 different modes. There are two red LEDs for general use. Why RED, you may ask? It preserves your night vision, and if you are talking to somebody, and shining a light at their eyes or body, they get blinded. With red LEDs, your conversation partner can see perfectly well. The second mode is a single white LED in the middle. It is useful if you wan to get true color at night. Red washes out colors, and for more detail the white LED is best. The third mode is a Krypton bulb, on top of the LED module. This is like a conventional reflector flashlight: eats up batteries fast, and you can adjust from spot to flood. The regular bulb is most useful to see across the campsite, at distances the LED bulbs simply cannot reach.

The Rayovac Sportsman is hinged on the bottom, so you can adjust where the light shines. Anywhere from right in front of your face, or 10 feet away. There are three straps that hold in on your head. Two on the side, and one on top. This design is great; I have seen other headlights with just the side straps, and the slide down sometimes. There is a thin layer of foam padding, where the back of the headlight contacts your head. It is contoured, and makes for a comfortable fit. Three AAA batteries are used to power this flashlight, and it is waterproof. I am not sure I would go diving with it, but rain is no problem. The cap is sealed with a rubber o-ring, and all the other compartments are either completely sealed in plastic, or a thick rubber cover.

Rayovac Sportsman Top view Disassembled
Red LEDs on Krypton bulb on  
dmitry @ 10:39 am
Filed under: Lighting
MagLite LED bulb conversion

Posted on Sunday 20 January 2008

I replaced the light bulb in my 10 year old MagLite 4D cell flashlight a few months ago. The light output seems to be about the same. Color of the new LED bulb is somewhat purple. The flashlight retains its adjustable focus, since the only thing that changes is the bulb itself. With the new LED bulb, the batteries should last a long, long time.

If you have a MagLite flashlight, I recommend this upgrade. There are LEDs for various sizes and voltages. MagLite has caught on to the LED market, and they now ship LED lights from the factory. The battery cost alone will be paid off if you use the new bulb; especially with a MagLite that lasts forever.

MAGlite MAG LED conversion spot beam
dmitry @ 2:36 pm
Filed under: Lighting