For technicians, mechanics, and inspectors, LED inspection penlights are a must-have item in their respective toolboxes. Penlights are essential for literally shedding light on malfunctions and other problem areas that require thorough inspection. A typical penlight is thin enough for users to shine light into narrow passageways, making them popular for jobs that made larger flashlights useless.
If you really want a versatile LED inspection penlight that can tackle just about any job, look for one that offers one or more of the features listed below.
It's not unusual for penlights to get wet, whether it involves an unplanned dip in a nearby puddle or being left out in the rain or a high-moisture environment by accident. Losing an LED inspection penlight to water damage is something that many users do their best to avoid. Once moisture finds its way into the casing, the resulting corrosion can signal a very short life for your penlight.
These days, getting a penlight wet is no big deal. Most penlights feature varying levels of protection against water intrusion. The level of protection you can expect against water intrusion depends on your penlight's IPX rating. For instance, most LED inspection penlights are rated at IPX-4, meaning you'll get basic five-minute protection against splashes of water.
Some penlights may feature IPX-7 protection, allowing them to be submerged in water up to one meter deep for a minimum of 30 minutes. There are also IPX ratings available for dust intrusion, making rated penlights valuable for use in dusty or desert environments.
Changing out batteries on a penlight can be time-consuming process, especially when dealing with time-sensitive inspection activities. Some penlights require the use of one or more "AAAA"-size batteries. These and other unconventional battery sizes can be hard to find on short notice, which could lead to possible delays on critical jobs.
A growing number of penlights now feature rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Instead of fumbling around with an open penlight and a set of disposable alkaline batteries, you can connect your penlight to a standard wall outlet or use a nearby USB charging port. Built-in rechargeable batteries cut out the hassle of dealing with a drained penlight, making them a feature worth considering.
Once you've found a problem, chances are you'll want to pinpoint it to nearby technicians or supervisors. Accuracy is important, which means that the broad beam on your LED inspection penlight won't be able to pick out detailed
Keep in mind that laser pointers on an LED penlight aren't just for pointing out problems. Laser pointers also come in handy for pointing out diagrams, schematics and other information on whiteboards during meetings and conferences.
Inspecting tight areas with plenty of nooks and crannies can be a bit of a pain. This is especially true when you have limited room to maneuver an ordinary penlight. Holding a penlight at awkward angles just to achieve the best possible angle can bring about fatigue and lead to frustratingly short or incomplete inspections.
Some penlights solve this issue by using a long, flexible cable with a LED light mounted at the end. These penlights are specifically designed to tackle inspection tasks in hard-to-reach places. This feature also comes in handy if you're inspecting overhead equipment and need the extra few inches to shine a light on a potential problem area.
The last thing you want to do is fumble your LED inspection penlight out of your front pocket and straight into some unknown void. Pocket clips make it exceptionally easy for your penlight to stay in a safe and secure location. With a pocket clip, your LED inspection penlight will be as safe and secure, as the ballpoint pens attached to your front pocket.