Orion DuelBeam LED Flashlight
By Bill Dellinges
Often, I loose track of my red flashlights while stargazing. Having seen others with flashlights around their necks, it occurred to me that was a handy way to avoid losing them in the dark. The Orion flashlight appealed to me because, 1) It has a lanyard enabling you to wear it around your neck. 2) A combination red and white light built in and, 3) both lights are variable in brightness. Length is 4 Ĺ inches.
The light costs $25.95 plus shipping, a little pricey I thought, but cheaper than what appears to be the same light sold by S&T as the "Skylite", for $34.95. It has two LED diodes for the red light and two for the white light (the white light has a strong bluish tint). The unit takes a 9 volt battery. There are two switch controls on top. One is the brightness control (a wheel-like affair), the other slides fore and aft allowing selection of red or white light use. When on high, either light is strong enough for you to easily see your way in the dark or look for objects you may have dropped.
I have found this light to be handy and durable. I certainly never lose track of it hanging around my neck! Two caveats: 1) it takes a little getting used to messing with the two switches-to get the color and brightness you want-after years of using a conventional light. 2) hanging around your neck, it tends to crash against things when you lean over your scope or charts. To prevent this, I sometimes stuff it inside my shirt or coat. So, Iíll have to give this product two thumbs up!
Orion also offers this light in red only for $17.95. As an aside, I have Orionís RedBeam LED light, $12.95, 2 AA batteries, single on/off switch, but I find that it throws out too strong of a red light-I use it for other purposes where dark adaptation is not an issue, like "good lord, whatís that huge bug crawling up my observatory wall?!"