Joby GorillatorchJul 7th, 2010 | By Simon
Building on the success of the Gorillapod, Joby didn’t want to be known as just a one product success. They realized that cameras are not the only devices that could use their patented flexible, wrappable and super-strong magnetic feet. I have certainly had more than one instance where I could have used a flash light while working in some crevice but a typical handheld one wouldn’t do. Someone would have to hold it for me while I worked on a job or it would have to be uncomfortably strapped to my head.
Tonight we have our first look at the Joby Gorillatorch; a hands-free flashlight with flexible, bendable legs and magnetic feet. We’ll see many of the features from the Gorillapod and Gorillamobile transferred over to the Gorillatorch. What will make the difference for me is how much lighting it can provide and for how long.
Package and Contents
The Gorillatorch is packaged inside a clear clamshell case. You can clearly see the lighting element and the flexible, wrappable legs. The front also indicates the model. My particular sample is the original Gorillatorch which provides up to 65 lumens. The Gorillatorch Flare model is capable of 100 lumens. A little sticker with a magnet points to the bottom of the legs to indicate magnetic properties. On the backside of the package some of the features are listed and Joby breaks down the life expectancy of the batteries based on your operating mode. They claim up to 80 hrs on the lowest setting. We’ll see what I get out of it in a few paragraphs.
Once the package has been cut opened, the paper insert can be pulled out and Joby gives you some basic instructions to follow: how to insert the batteries, do not stare directly at the light or shine it in anyone’s eyes, do not submerge the Gorillatorch in any liquid or place on surfaces greater than 100F and keep the magnetic feet away from digital storage media.
Features and Specifications
Heading over to the Joby website, the information about the Gorillatorch is very easy to find. They demonstrate a number of ways you can use the Gorillatorch: wrapping the legs around a pole, using the magnetic feet to stable the torch in a workshop, and adjusting the brightness to your task.
Using the Gorillatorch
The Gorillatorch doesn’t come ready to use out of the box. What you get is an assembled unit with the batteries shipped loose. Depending on your country, you may not even get the batteries as part of the package. The head of the Gorillatorch has two rotatable pieces: one for brightness and one to install the batteries. A quick little twist on the battery side and the cap comes off so you can drop in three AA batteries.
Now that the batteries have been installed and the battery cap replaced you can turn the Gorillatorch on by rotating the other dial. The Gorillatorch will go from off to full power and then dim as you continue to rotate the head. I thought it would have made more sense to go from Off to dimmest state and then to fully on.
As you rotated the dial from the off position to the fully-on position I found it was closer to the second notch before any light actually appeared. It’s the smallest detail to pick on but I thought I would share it with you. It is hard to always have the light at the brightest setting when you can’t rely on the markings.
That being said, the Gorillatorch does what it is expected to do very well. The magnetic feet were certainly strong enough to support itself in either the horizontal or upside-down position.
Like all the other previous Joby products that I’ve worked with, the flexible and wrappable legs were dependable. If you looked hard enough, I’m almost certain you’ll be able to find a place to put the Joby Gorillatorch to light up any work anywhere.
When it comes to the quality of light, the Gorillatorch uses a single CREE LED. You may not have heard of CREE but you probably used their products. CREE provides solid-state lighting for digital camera flash, cellphone backlighting, automotive dash lighting and traffic signals to name a few. They also provide complete lamp and lighting units. One thing in common with CREE lighting is you get a high efficiency light that provides a pure-white appearance. The high efficiency ensures the body of the Joby stays cool to the touch.
From 23 feet away, here’s what the Gorillatorch can do at the dimmest level, mid level and full brightness. Talk about being a spot light!
It’s quite impressive and somewhat amazing that the three AA batteries can provide 20 hours at the brightest level. The 80 hours is quite believable as the lighting is fairly dim. During my tests I was able to achieve 30+ hours before I got bored of timing the life. The brightness begins to fade at 20 hrs but it is still more than useable until the batteries are completely drained.
The future of Joby certainly looks bright. While their lineup of products maybe simple, they are effective and do their job extremely well. The Gorillatorch casts a very bright light anywhere you want and it is capable of standing in where ever you need it to be. Backed by a water resistant body, you’ll be good to go rain or shine.
- Very bright
- Long lasting
- Brightness dial seems counter intuitive
I’d like to thank Joby for making this review possible.