Pila Flashlights

When cruising, it seems there are never enough flashlights on hand or they are not necessarily the right ones for the job.  But Pila lights by Permalight of China is introducing a modular design that comes in handy when you have different things to accomplish.  Pila offers several different models that range from a pocket sized switch to a wide-angle flashlight to a mini-searchlight.  The Swiss design is modular so you can put together the illumination tool you need depending on the body design you choose.  The three major categories – the GL2, GL3 and GL4 – range from 80 to ...

5th February 2010.
By Zuzana Prochazka

When cruising, it seems there are never enough flashlights on hand or they are not necessarily the right ones for the job.  But Pila lights by Permalight of China is introducing a modular design that comes in handy when you have different things to accomplish. 

Pila offers several different models that range from a pocket sized switch to a wide-angle flashlight to a mini-searchlight.  The Swiss design is modular so you can put together the illumination tool you need depending on the body design you choose.  The three major categories – the GL2, GL3 and GL4 – range from 80 to 195 lumens of maximum output and offer different utility.  These no nonsense lights were developed for military, police and professional users and are waterproof to 60 feet. 

I tested the GL3X which is a wide angle 130 lumen flashlight on one end and comes with an optional LED tail-cap on the other.  Tail light LEDs come in white, green, amber and red, the last one being quite handy to check charts without ruining your night vision.  What I found is that the Xenon white headlight was unbelievably powerful and cut through the night quite nicely.  You can also choose to get red, UV or IR filters for the main light.  On the other end, the LEDs could serve as an 80-hour emergency light or a focused small light that won’t blind anyone in close proximity. 

The lights are turned on an off by twisting and can be quite sensitive. It could use a detent for positive feel. There is no flat spot so the lights tend to roll on a moving surface too.    They are quite weighty and also do not have any place to attach a lanyard so you’ll need the optional holster.  Pila lights offer an optional 12 or 24 volt adapter for the Pila Li-ion rechargeable batteries or they run on standard lithium batteries. 

Pila lights come with a limited 1 year warranty that excludes lamp assemblies and batteries.   They range in price from $70 to $150 depending on options and accessories included.


About the author:

Zuzana Prochazka

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Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site, TalkoftheDock.com.
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