Generally speaking, I am a huge proponent of the “Form follows Function” mentality when it comes to my tools, especially flashlights. Every so often however, a torch comes along that places design at the forefront in such a way that it genuinely captures my attention.
Meat and Potatoes
The Eon Classic is a device that deviates so radically from conventional flashlight design that without prior knowledge it is possible you would not suspect it for an illumination device. Originally designed in 1997 as the World’s First everlasting torch, the Eon Classic is still in production today in the same format. It is not intended to be a “knock-your-socks-off” full featured torch, but rather a true exercise in minimalism.
The Eon Classic uses lithium button cells to power two 3mm white LEDs producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 lumens or so. The output of this credit card sized device is very reminiscent of most small keychain lights. This isn’t going to be winning any output contests, but the floody, low-power light is excellent for simple close up tasks like finding the keyhole on your front door on a moonless night, or briefly illuminating under your desk as you search for that screw that you dropped installing your new video card.
Design wise, the Eon Classic definitely makes a bold statement. Dimensionally identical to a credit card and only a few millimeters thick, this tiny torch is incredibly easy to slip into a pocket and all but forget about until it’s needed. The sleek minimalist stainless steel exterior with nothing but an Iain Sinclair logo laser etched on one side and minute power symbol onto the other, is a beauty to behold.
Beauty aside, the Eon Classic is really not much to write home about. Like I said, the output is really on par with most keychain lights and doesn’t even have constant-on capability. I’ve had small keychain squeeze lights that have both constant-on and even multi-mode capabilities, still using only a single 5mm LED. The basic structure of the Eon Classic should allow for these options in my opinion. It’s momentary only switch is actually rather stiff, meaning if you need to hold it on for any period of time, you may find your thumb becoming fatigued and twitching ever so slightly, causing the light to blink off intermittently.
One downside to this impeccably thin, steel sheathed design is that the Eon Classic has some rather rough, catchy edges. I know this might come as a bit of a shock, but it rather feels like a thick, stainless steel credit card in your pocket. As easy as it is to disappear in your pocket, you don’t want it to catch you in the back of the hand reaching in for your keys.
The Eon Classic is a thing of beauty. It is not, however, the most useful light I have yet tested. I would not turn from dropping it in my pocket for a more formal function that won’t likely require intense portable lighting needs, but I would probably avoid it in more rigorous scenarios.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Iain Sinclair.
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