I am a self-taught computer technician. I’ve been working on computers, as a hobby but also out of necessity, since my late teen years. That is almost a decade and a half, actually at the time I am writing this article (July 16, 2018).
Since about 2014, I’ve been trying to assemble an EDC kit for when I am servicing any kind of computer.
In July of 2018, I think I almost have the right gear combination:
An incandescent Mini Maglite-just because it is a tried and true flashlight and I like flashlights.
A Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro-a bit overkill, but may be needed to assist a computer programmer or computer engineer.
A SanDisk 16 GB flash drive-storing all of my latest operating system .ISO files.
A Victorinox Cyber Tool S-coming soon in the mail.
An Energizer® Hard Case® Professional LED Inspection Light-for inspecting the inside of a computer while it’s turned on.
A Baval Portable PU Hard Storage Case-to conveniently store and carry all of these items.
This review will focus on the Energizer® Hard Case® Inspection Light and how I think it is a winner for working on computers.
I have wanted one of these flashlights since about November 2016, but no one would stock them either locally or online. I tried every brick and mortar store in my area, but not a single one sold them. I also did an extensive online search but had no real results.
Then in June of 2017, I was shopping at my local NAPA Auto Parts dealer for a headlight bulb and as usual, looked at the flashlight section of the store.
There I saw it on display.
I knew I would be buying one soon.
That following July I purchased it. I have EDCed it very much ever since.
Yes, it is an excellent flashlight for auto mechanic work, don’t get me wrong. That is probably why it was sold at a NAPA Auto Parts store. It is very rugged. It is water and chemical resistant. It is bright enough but not too bright. And it is non-conductive.
However, it is equally, if not more useful in the field of Information Technology.
Unlike it’s bigger brother, the 2AA model, it runs on 2 AAA batteries and has only one brightness setting, with a light output of 100 Lumens. This makes it bright enough for navigating around a dark server room or working late into the night but dim enough for close up work when inspecting the inside of a server mainframe.
The runtime is 4.5 hours on a set of Alkaline batteries, which should be enough for at least a days to maybe a week’s worth of work, depending on how dark the job site actually is.
This flashlight is compact enough to fit inside a breast pocket or side pants pocket and features a sturdy, but removable metal pocket clip.
The switch is a forward clicky, which allows for momentary illumination.
What really makes this flashlight stand out though for use in the IT field is the fact that it is constructed of non-conductive Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and the one exterior metal piece, the pocket clip, is completely removable.
The reason why this feature is so important to me is because this flashlight can be used while servicing the inside of a computer while it is turned on. If the flashlight is accidentally dropped inside the tower or mainframe, it won’t short out any of the circuitry (provided the metal clip was removed.) Also, the technician won’t be shocked if he or she is holding the flashlight and it comes in contact with a live electrical circuit (again provided the metal clip is removed.) Also, the flashlight is rated to survive a 7 Meter drop on hard concrete. This should well exceed the durability requirements for an IT professional.
I have two suggestions on improving this flashlight:
Let the pocket clip still be removable, but instead make it out of a non-conductive plastic, so the user doesn’t have to remove it when working on a live circuit.
My other suggestion is for the color of the LED. Instead of Neutral White, I think it should be a Warm White, so the user can better recognize the color coded parts inside of a computer or other machine being worked on. A Neutral White LED while not as bad as a Cool White LED, still doesn’t show true color rendition of the object it illuminates. A Warm White LED, however, has the best color rendition that LED technology currently has to offer and is almost as accurate as an Incandescent flashlight.
I also think Energizer should market this flashlight more, especially to the IT professionals but also HVAC or Appliance Technicians and Electricians.
All in all, I give this flashlight a rating of 4.75 out of 5 Stars!