Risk Racing "Flexit" LED Light Review
wBW Quick Look
by "Mad Dog" Earle for webBikeWorld.com
The Flexit light is a unique flexible LED array that can be bent and shaped to focus the light.
It's unlike any other LED flashlight or work light and it sure is different, but it could use a few tweaks to make it more useful as a work light.
The folks at Risk Racing must be flashlight freaks, because they have certainly come up with the most unusual-looking lights I've seen.
The "Magnetic Light Mine" LED light (review) is one example; it looks like one of those old World War II mines, with magnets on the horns. It can be attached to a metal surface and the single LED acts as a flashlight.
It's more of a conversation piece than a useful light, at least in my experience with it, because it's harder to hold in a pocket than a flashlight, more difficult to use and not as easy to direct the light either.
You have to give these Risk Racing dudes and dudettes some credit though, because they doubled-down on their bet and they recently developed a new version, the LED Magnetic Light Mine Pro, with 4 red and 8 white LEDs.
And then there's the new "Flexit" light that is the subject of this review. It must be one of the most unusual-looking LED work lights ever. Of course, when I first saw it, I had to have it, because I'm a flashlight freak too.
The Flexit light is an array of 16 "Lumen Tech" LED lights, placed in a 4x4 square on a flexible silicone body. The frame of the Flexit light is made from some type of flexible wire, so it can be bent and shaped into just about any form.
The base of the light holds three AA batteries, included in the kit (although they're some type of generic Brand X). The base is made from ABS plastic and it also has two magnets molded into the bottom, so the base can be attached to a flat ferrous object, like a steel fuel tank (remember them?). The base includes a molded-in loop so the Flexit light can be placed on a hanger or hook.
The entire light with the batteries weighs 320 grams (11.25 oz.) and the big square "sail" that holds the LEDs measures 177 mm by 177 mm (7"x7") and it's about 4 mm thick at the edges. Risk Racing claims a battery life of approximately 70 hours and the lights are claimed to put out 128 lumens.
Finding the center of gravity of the Flexit light assembly can be tricky when the light array is placed in the upright position. The combination of the large light array on the small base makes it somewhat difficult to set the lights up at a 90-degree angle unless the Flexit part holding the LEDs is bent back over the top of the base.
The base could probably use another half-kilo of ballast, because neither the magnets nor the mass of the base (or its surface area) are enough to hold the light securely. More weight and size would allow the user to take better advantage of the ability to bend the Flexit light as it should or could be, without having it flop over.
As it is now, the flag-shaped Flexit light array has to be bent back over the base in a particular way to ensure that the center of gravity is correct or the base won't hold up the weight of the light.
And, as I discovered, it doesn't take much of a breeze to catch the big sail of lights and knock over the works. Again, I think the Flexit light could use a base that is larger, wider and heavier, because the current base design just seems too out of proportion to the weight of the top "sail" with the LED lights.
Despite Risk Racing's bragging about the "two large neodymium (rare earth) magnets", they don't feel very strong, having just barely enough power to hold the Flexit light on a flat surface. But that's only when the light isn't bent. We can't get the magnets to hold the light at a 90-degree angle, there just isn't enough magnetic pull to hold the weight. Maybe our magnets are wimps, but they just don't cut it.
The best part about the Flexit light is, of course, its flexibility. The array can be bent or molded to just about any form and the LED light output can be "shaped" to focus a bright spot on the desired work area.
Press the on/off switch once to turn on the first two LEDs; then again to turn on the four LEDs in the center; then one more time to power up all 16.
The light from the Flexit isn't overwhelming and certainly not as powerful as the supernova-like beam from the Clearwater LED flashlight (review), but if shaped correctly, the Flexit light does throw out a nice wide area that probably can't be duplicated with a single-LED flashlight.
The Flexit light is an interesting conversation piece, but I feel that it could use a bit more work to make it a serious tool.
It needs a wider and heavier base to counteract the size and weight of the large upright light array. The ability to bend the Flexit isn't really all that useful; or rather, I don't see where that capability provides more utility than other types of portable work lights, some of which can then also be used as a flashlight.
I have to give credit to Risk Racing for continuing to develop these very unique lights however and hope they continue.
wBW Review: Risk Racing Flexit LED Light
|Manufacturer: Risk Racing||List Price: $29.99|
|Colors: Red||Made In: N/A|
|Review Date: February 2011|
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