Product Test: Unilite HV-FL9R Flashlight

Product Test: Unilite HV-FL9R Flashlight

PE shines a light in the dark with the Unilite HV-FL9R USB rechargeable LED flashlight.

How often does the average electrician end up in a dark, cramped crevice fitting something whilst juggling tools, a torch and the gear being installed? Pretty often by all accounts, so it’s surprising that a practical torch is often overlooked by many sparkies when building out a decent kit.

Unilite-002Unilite has long been making a variety of torches for the trades, and their latest model, the HV-FL9R, is another finely crafted piece of torch tech, that is especially useful for the electrical trade. The word ‘tactical’ comes to mind, as it seems to be built with military precision; boasting a rugged anodized black matte aluminium body, the HV-FL9R is rough and ready; it’s going to withstand taking a few knocks, and coming in at 139mm x 39mm and weighing just 200g it fits neatly and discreetly in the palm of your hand.

Of course, its small size and weight make the torch well suited for operating in those small dark workspaces that you’re likely to find yourself in on a job, domestic or commercial. Additionally the rubberised on/off microswitch is conveniently located on the end of the torch, and given the HV-FL9R’s small size it is easy to use with a single hand, leaving the other free to perform the task at hand.

Feature heavy

For such a small device, Unilite hasn’t skimped on the features. There are three light mode settings; high, medium, and low, as well as an 8Hz flash that is like a strobe light. The torch is intensely bright with an output of 900lm and a beam range up to 250m; don’t look into the LED whilst it’s on! The icing on the cake is the torch is IPX7 rated; waterproof up to 1m in case you drop it in a bucket. Also included in the box is a nylon wrist strap to prevent drops, and a nylon Velcro holster for your toolbelt.

The elephant in the room is in the torch’s name; what does the USB refer to? The HV-FL9R USB rechargeable LED flashlight is, believe it or not, powered by plugging into a powered USB port, whether that’s a charging device or a computer, meaning no more costly Duracell batteries. If the LiOn battery ever gives up then it is also easily replaced. Some might find this inconvenient as it’s another thing to keep charged and takes longer than replacing the battery, but the cost saving and prevalence of USB chargers makes it an overall plus.

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