"12V 10W 5-LED Magnetic Stand Illumination Light" mini spotlight

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Oxy Moron
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"12V 10W 5-LED Magnetic Stand Illumination Light" mini spotlight

Just saw this at the "New Arrivals" page over at Manafont so I thought I'd post some quick impressions.

 

First of all, I should probably point out that I bought this light from a HK-based competitor, and not from Manafont. From the looks of it, both lights appear to be identical but I obviously can't be sure without doing a side-by-side comparison. I was going to write up a mini-review of sorts but, frankly, there's just not that much to be said about this one, except "save your money".

 

But I'm sort of getting ahead of myself here. Here's the light, in all its ineffable,  cheap, yellow plastic beauty.

 

 

Stunning, ain't it? Well, it's your standard, all-plastic affair. The light plugs into a regular UL 2089 12v cigarette lighter socket (24v will most likely fry it instantly). The magnet isn't very strong at all and the overall build quality is less than impressive: the swivel-type stand won't hold the light securely in position, the plastic is thin and even moderate amounts of sunlight will deteriorate it. There is no battery and there are no adapters - it's straight plug-in. There is, however, a reverse, two-stage clicky. I'll never know why but I suppose the designers were so absolutely blown away by the sheer awesomeness of this thing that they figured it was worth it to go the extra mile.

But this isn't your father's reverse clicky. No, Sir! Sure, you press it once and it turns on all five emitters. Then you press it again, and the clicky itself starts flashing red and blue, thereby technically putting you in violation of state law in just about every state in the union. Awesome! (In this country, flashing red and/or blue lights are generally reserved for emergency vehicles in most, if not all, states and even when possesion isn't illegal, as soon as it flashes red and/or blue, you are breaking the law. This thing isn't very bright, mind you, and nobody in their right mind would mistake you for a police officer but you might still technically be commiting a crime and, besides, it serves no purpose whatsoever and it's just plain stupid to include this in a light that is clearly intended for automotive use.)

 

 

Now, I bet you can't wait to order dozen or two for yourself and your loved ones but, wait, there's more. On top of the general meh-ness of this thing, it's also not very bright. I should probably qualify that remark by saing that I really wasn't expecting much. I realize this isn't going to outperform a CVPI spotlight or some other heavy duty device and that's all good and well but I have $5 flashlights that put this light to shame.

There are a total of five generic, run-of-the-mill emitters. The reflector is smooth but not very deep and produces a fairly well-focused beam. And that's pretty much all the "praise" I can muster. Yeah, it works. But there's very little spill, it's maybe a tad bit brighter than one of my good BLF Delights and it's definitely no thrower either. Like I said, I wasn't expecting much but if you design a flashlight with five emitters, don't do it for the hell of it. There are budget lights with a single no-name, generic emitter that are more useful and brighter than this one.

 

The strange thing is, I actually wanted to like this light because I find the concept appealing. But the reality is that it's just not very good and even though it appears some thought went into the design (the plastic thingie that holds the plug is a nice touch), as far as I am concerned, it's still a classic case of "a day late and a dollar short", which brings me back to my original point -- save your money. Wink

Edit: High-res images available here.

Edited by: Oxy Moron on 01/22/2011 - 18:46
fishinfool
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I thought about getting this for when I pretend to know what I'm doing when looking under the hood of my cars but if the magnet isn't strong enough then I won't.  Plus without being able to use batteries in it you're kind of limited to however long the cord is.

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

serra
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