The Altus Lumen Tri-L Light Review: Lighting Your Path and Saving the Environment

Check out this tiny, portable gadget I got not too long ago.  It is a very nice flip-style gadget.

 altus lumen tri-l

It is about the same size as the Sprint Mogul, though maybe a bit boxier.  It is not a phone, though.  Or a PDA.  When we unfold it, we find…a flashlight??

  Altus Lumen Tri-L

Oh, trust me.  You are going to want to click through the jump for the rest of this one.


Usually, most of us are used to seeing flashlights that look more like this.  A long tube with a light on the end.  But this, this looks like a PDA or a phone.  What’s going on here?  Well, just hang onto your hats.  Because the form factor is not the only thing about this light that is unique.  This is also the only sustainable portable light I have ever seen.  Sustainable?  Well, that is Altus Lumen’s word.  What it means is that it incorporates all of the Altus Lumen sustainable design qualities:

  • — cyclical
  • — efficient
  • — safe
  • — social
  • — renewable energy
  • altus lumen

We’ll take a look at each of those as well.  Before we get to the sustainable design, however, let’s go ahead and take a closer look at the light.  Before we even open it, you can see the controls on the side.  Unlike most flashlights (did I mention this is a unique light?) this one has a rechargeable battery.  Sadly, it is not a replaceable battery (though you can buy an external battery to add additional power.)  And, in a move that a lot of portable gadgets could learn from, there is a standard mini-USB charger included (a USB charger and AC adaptor are included in the box.)  Any gadget that uses a standard mini-USB connection to charge gets some automatic bonus points from me.

In front of the charging jack, you will find the power switch.  Slide it forward to activate the spotlight; slide it back to activate the wide area light.

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Let’s take a look at the spotlight first.  You can see the four small bulbs on the front.  No need to open the light or take any other action.  Just slide the switch and the spotlight will activate.  It is pretty hard for me to show you how bright this light actually is.  But these pictures give you an idea.

altus lumen

Just to give you an even better idea.  Here is a picture of my laundry room (hey, it was dark) lit only by the AltusLumen spotlight.  Not bad.

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Now, here it is lit by my Mag-Light.


And, just for kicks, with the both lights off completely.  Boy is it dark in there.

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OK.  Let’s go ahead an open the light, and here you can see the wide area light.  Just slide the power switch backwards to activate this blazing light.

altus lumen

Here is that same laundry room with the wide area light.  This light is on a hinge which folds open to allow the light to stand freely.  It can also rotate 360 degrees, meaning you can pivot, fold, and rotate this light to any angle you need.

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Once opened, you’ll notice that the bottom unfolds to become a tripod (hence the Tri-L name).  This allows the light to stand freely, leaving your hands for whatever important work you are conducting.  When you are finished, just snap the light shut.  once closed, it will automatically turn off, preserving your battery, which is great because you will get less than two hours with the wide area light activated (and up to eight hours with the spotlight.)

OK.  Let’s shift gears for a minute.  I told earlier that this is not just a light, it is also the only light I have ever seen to feature a sustainable design.  A what’s that now?  A sustainable design.  Well, let’s ask Altus Lumen to explain exactly what they are talking about here:

Sustainable design strives to minimize environmental and social impact and become “total beauty” from the cradle of raw materials production to the total life history. These products keep cyclic, efficiency, safe, renewable energy and social in mind, not just only focusing on improved form and function.

Cyclic: Using decomposable organic or recyclable materials which are altus lumen continuously recycled in a closed loop.

Efficiency: Environment can be improved by getting a job done with less energy and material.

Safe: All release to air, water, land or space for the entire product life, not just the production but also the ultimate disposal of the product, should be the input of other systems.

Renewable Energy: The products are operated, produced and distributed by renewable energy. This energy is cyclic and safe.

Social: Product manufacturing and use supports human rights, peace, human equity and culture diversity.

Really, this sustainable design is extremely impressive.  It is rare to find these qualities in any gadget, let alone a flashlight.  Add this to the magnesium housing, which is significantly lighter than the aluminum which is used in most flashlights, and the result is one fantastic light, which illuminates your path as well as the environment.  And what can be better than that?  As my friend Heather over at JAMM would say, this one could save a Panda.

What I Liked: light magnesium casing, bright, bright, bright, sustainable and environmentally friendly design

What Needs Improvement: Nothing I could see

Where to Buy: Altus Lumen

Price: $99.00

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