Icon Link Flashlight - Review
Anyone who has ever worked in construction, particularly remodeling, knows that a flashlight is nearly as essential as a hammer. Not a day goes by where we're not peeking in a crawl space, looking down a duct or peering down a joist bay. Over the years, we've also gone through flashlight after flashlight. Much like blue tape, sharpies, pencils, and sash bars, they tend to have the ability to 'get lost,' and, of course, when we say, 'get lost,' we mean, 'stolen.'
But that's not the only problem we've had with our flashlights. A lot of the ones that we've used have the annoying habit of turning on while they're in the pocket and thus draining the battery to nothing, rendering them useless when needed. So we were actually between flashlights when Icon dropped us a line telling us about their new Link flashlight. Would we like to try one out for a review? Of course we would...
So the basics of this slick little item are that it's a flashlight with the body-type of a carabiner, it has two levels of LED brightness that you click through by using the rubber-sheathed button to the rear of the body. The unit is made of high-strength aluminum and is waterproof to one meter for 30 minutes. It takes on AA battery (included).
There are two things that we noticed right off the bat. The first is that this thing is little (about four inches long and just over three ounces), and the second is that this thing is bright. We found little use for the dimmer of the two settings, but the brighter one is certainly enough light for what we put it through.
But what's really exceptional about this light is the carabiner clip. Because of that little feature, we were able to carry it around on a belt loop and it was always there for us. And when you've got a flashlight at your disposal, you realize how often you need it. Walking a plumber through the job, use the flashlight. Trying to find out where a roof leak is coming from, use the flashlight. Seeing into the ceiling access panel, use the flashlight. And because it was on our hip and not in our pocket, it was never accidentally turned on. But even if you carried the Link in your pocket (and we have no idea why you'd do that), we doubt that it would ever turn on, seeing as the button is nice and stiff.
Obviously, we were impressed with the Icon Link and in the course of a couple weeks, it became as essential to us as our utility knife. It costs about $30 and we think it's well worth it.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at May 9, 2011 5:05 AM
Not to hijack the comments, but you guys should check out fenix-store.com for some really nice higher end flashlights. They are comparable to 'Surefire' in performance (actually more so in lumen output) but without the hefty prices that Surefire flashlights carry.
There are models there that are expensive and over the top, but Fenix also makes some AA and AAA powered lights that are priced similarly to the link with similar or superior performance.
I carry a Fenix everyday where I work, it is half the length of a ball point pen and I haven't ran into a single person anywhere else while I'm on the job that has had anything brighter, period.
To this Icon though, it looks like a pretty handy light. It would seemingly be perfect for the light back packer or great for walking the dog late at night. The clip that is built in is probably a life saver when working. No more hassle in keeping up with the dern thing just clip it to your pants or tool belt/bag and roll with it. It also eats AA batteries which is great because they are so readily available and cheap. I may have to get one of these to keep in my vehicles' tool kits.