BugLit LED Micro Flashlight
Published: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, 8:53 p.m.
The claim: The BugLit is a hands-free flashlight that gives versatility a whole new meaning. The body is made from the INOVA Microlight — a tough miniflashlight that is encased in a durable polycarbonate plastic housing. It has been built to last and will stand strong against the abuse of the elements. Its moldable, flexible legs are made from Nite Ize's Gear Ties and reach to 6 inches. Twist them, wrap them or stand them out straight to create the perfect angle for lighting up the next big task.
This is a fun and generally helpful product, if you're doing a small project in which you need to have your hands free.
Thanks to the flexible legs connected to the body, you have a few choices on where you can set or hang the product, including connecting it to your clothing or wrapping the legs on a nearby pole. But again, the light isn't incredibly bright, so it has to be something nearby.
One drawback is that the batteries last only 10 to 22 hours, depending on how bright you set it, and lithium batteries can be a bit expensive, so I'm not sure I'd use it to read a book. For the price, there are plenty of other flashlights out there that are less-expensive and the batteries last longer.
But if you want a small light in a darkened room for a bit, or if you need more light to see as you put a screw in eyeglasses, this is a decent product.
Given its toy-like appearance, my initial impression of the BugLit LED Micro Flashlight was to dismiss it as a mere novelty. And, to be sure, even after coming up with some possible uses for the tiny light, there are things about it that still bug me.
I like the light's “GearTie Technology” — flexible wire covered in a rubber-like material — used to form the bug's “legs” and allow it to easily be positioned or attached to objects.
A friend who is a drummer wrapped the legs around a cymbal stand and pointed the light at a lyric sheet on a darkened stage; one of my sons thought it would be useful attached to the back of a bicycle seat and set on “strobe” mode to make night rides safer.
I tried it for several tasks, but found myself reaching for other LED lights I own, such as Stanley's mini-tripod LED light or an LED “headlamp” that attaches to your head with elastic bands.
While the BugLit's bendable legs are a nifty idea, it's illuminating ability did not create much of a buzz.
Several people who tried it complained about the need for lithium watch-style batteries that are comparatively expensive and less widely available than “AA” or “AAA” batteries. Spare lithium cells were not included.
The BugLit's high, low and strobe settings seem bright enough, but the beam is so narrowly focused that I didn't find it particularly useful for most tasks.
At about $13, the BugLit is a bit more like a sting than honey.
I love seeing this little spider-like creature on my bedside table, looking as if it might pounce into bed with me. It's cute, like an eager pet that's waiting and ready to please.
The light can be used four ways — in signal mode, on high beam, low beam and as a strobe. The battery life isn't long enough for my usual hours of reading — I have a mini-light for that purpose — but, between the clip and bendy legs, it can be used in multiple ways.
I had it standing guard and pointing the way under the bed to find shoes and dust bunnies. It clips easily to a backpack, zipper or belt loop to provide strobing visibility for dark morning or evening walks. In the basement, it hooked onto shelving while I sorted through a box of holiday clutter, lighting a dark corner.
Eventually, the BugLit made its way to my car, where it has found a permanent home looped around the rearview mirror for safekeeping. It has proved invaluable for pointing under the seat while hunting for a rolling lipstick, into my oversize handbag in search of lists and cough drops, and under the car for dropped keys.
I'll need to buy another for the bedside table.
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