As a rule, I very seldom test prototype products, for a couple of good reasons. One is that the finished product is quite often quite a bit different than the prototype. Secondly, at times, the product never even comes on the market. Over the years, I’ve seen more than one firearm prototype covered in a magazine article, and the gun never came out. I covered one such handgun from Taurus some years ago, when I was the editor/publisher of a rag called Police Hot Sheet. My readers weren’t very happy to read my article on the gun that never came out. So, I usually take a pass on prototype products.
Now, with the above said, I’ve been receiving various products. Some were prototypes received for several years from the nice folks at UV Paqlite, and I have every confidence that when they tell me a product will come out that it will. Over the years, SurvivalBlog.com readers have gotten a heads-up in many of my articles on new products. We reported on them long before other websites or publications did!
Steve Nagel, at UV Paqlite, called me some months ago and was so excited about their new “Mule Light” that I couldn’t hardly understand every other word he was saying. “Hey Steve, slow down. Let’s start over,” I told him. In case you aren’t aware, UV Paqlite has some really interesting products, which provide free, or next to free, lighting solutions. They are also one of SurvivalBlog’s advertisers, but, to be sure, I’m not paid by UV Paqlite or anyone else to promote their products. When I see something that I think will be of interest to our readers, I’ll cover it, advertiser or not!
I don’t have a lot of information on hand about the Mule Light. However, Nagel sent me his one and only prototype to play with for a few days, with the understanding that the final product would be different in a number of ways. The Mule Light is a flashlight as well as providing an LED work light, a black LED light, a regular flashlight beam, a red filter for night vision, and a reusable glow stick that attaches to the side of the Mule Light with a “pulse” feature for re-igniting the glow stick crystals to save battery power. All this is in a very slim and compact package, only slightly bigger than some penlights I’ve seen. There is also a magnetic clip and a nylon carrying case for the Mule Light.
Three AAA batteries power the Mule Light as well as a rechargeable USB lithium battery cartridge. Again, all this is a very compact “flashlight” of sorts. If you’ll look at the pictures attached with this article, you’ll get a better idea of what I’m talking about. The prototype I received was produced on a 3-D printer. The final product will be manufactured out of super-tough nylon 66. Additionally, the glow stick that is on the side of the prototype was attached with small magnets; that didn’t allow the glow stick to stay on the Mule Light. (I was advised of this ahead of time.) The final product will have a method of keeping the glow stick attached to the side of the light with a mechanical device.
Nagle is hoping that he will have the finished product on the market very soon, and you can check it out on www.kickstarter.com too.
I didn’t have the opportunity to give the Mule Light an extended test, but I was impressed with what I saw and how it all worked. I don’t know how long the battery power will last in the flashlight part of the Mule Light. It has two power settings– one is very bright, and the other is a softer beam, as well as a strobe feature, for extended use.
We will give our readers a complete review on the Mule Light once I have a final product in hand for long-term testing. However, I wanted to give our readers a first look at what will be a great source of light, even various types of light, from a company that is up and coming and growing fast.
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio