Provided for review
by the kind folks at:

5 Stars

Light Type: Luxeon III LED
Light Class: Outdoor / Rough Use / Etc.

IMPORTANT: This light is no longer available in this form. When you are done reading this review, you will need to read the
JETBeam JET-I Mk-II review to see what updates have been made to this light.

The JETBeam JET-I is a new light from Emilion's Workbench. This little pocket-rocket is the closest thing you'll probably come to a completely custom flashlight, because, well, it is a completely custom flashlight. Designed to include many great features, it is an amazing little personal illumination device.

The JETBeam JET-I uses a single 3 Watt Luxeon sitting behind a sapphire crystal lens with an internal AR coating. The aluminum reflector has been custom designed to help with the tint of the light produced by the LED, resulting in a very white light output. It uses a special boost circuit that helps regulate light levels and has three notches around the body filled with glow powder impregnated epoxy to help you find the light in the dark. Normally running on a single AA (alkaline, lithium, or NiMH) you can purchase a 123A tube or an extension to run the light on 2 AA cells. Even AAA cells can be used if that is all that is available. A number of accessories are included with the light as well.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a "small run" light, which means that it is about as close to a personally-designed custom-crafted light as you can get without having one hand made just for you. It was not designed by a huge manufacturer, but by an individual who wanted to make an exceptional light, and the parts were machined and built by a factory that was commissioned to do much of the work. Some of the work done on the light is "by hand" by the individual who is making and selling the light, before being shipped to the consumer. You may want to consider these to be "pre-production" lights. Like any piece of machinery that is a new release from a custom shop, it may need a little TLC and slight adjustments to make it the best that it can be. Don't get this light unless you are ready to do a few simple little tweaks to make it "perfect". More on this later.


The body of the JETBeam JET-I is aircraft grade aluminum with a high quality HA-III natural (gray) finish in order to give the aluminum a high degree of abrasion resistance. The two ends of the body tube are different. The head will only thread on one end, and the tail will only thread on the other end. They are not reversible. Also, the O-rings on each end of the tube are a different color - red on one end and orange on the other. An easy way to remember which side is which is by using the color of the O-rings: Red is for the Head.

The head of the light is unadorned except for the unit's serial number etched around the base of the head. The body has three flat panels to assist with grip. The tailcap is surrounded by a box pattern in three rings which improves grip. The tailcap also has two holes and an notch. This is for placement of a split ring through one hole which could then fold into the notch for standing the light on it's tail. The tailcap switch is covered with a black textured rubber cap and two spare rubber caps are included - one red and one orange. The switch does protrude slightly beyond the tailcap, making it a little difficult to stand on end. You can adjust the pressure that the inner switch puts on the rubber tailcap cover, retracting it slightly if you are adventurous and want to disassemble the tailcap. However, this may render your light no longer waterproof as there will be no pressure on the rubber cover to keep water out.

2AA extension tube (Attaches to included AA tube to allow one more AA); JET-I in center; 123A tube.

1 AA tube and 123A tube in normal light, with lights out to show glow epoxy on sides

The optional AA extension tube attaches to the end of the light where the tailcap goes. The tailcap is then transferred to the end of the extension tube to create a 2 AA flashlight. The 123A tube replaces the normal AA tube and tailcap and changes the light from a click on-off light to a twist on-off. Since there is no switch on the 123A tube, this results in a very small light.

Only the standard AA tube and the 123A tube have the glow-in-the-dark epoxy on the sides. The glowing compound is harmless and only glows when "activated" by exposure to light. The glow compound rests in three grooves around the body of the light. I found that the AA tube's glow compound had a granular appearance and was not as bright as the compound on the 123A tube.

About those little "tweaks" I mentioned:

You may note that the AA tubes (both included and extension tube) have dual O-rings on them. I found that the tailcap was a real pain to put on and take off of the tubes unless I removed the outermost O-ring on the end where the talicap attaches. This makes it much easier to assemble and disassemble while still maintaining a good degree of water resistance. This is really a personal preference issue.

Many users of this light found that there was an advantage to removing the O-rings and scrubbing the threads with an old toothbrush dipped in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. There may be a little grit on the threads and this extra step will make it easier to use as well as help the light last much longer. If you choose to clean the threads inside the head and talicap, do so very carefully and don't allow the alcohol to get inside the electronics. Keep them tipped open side down and use a bit of cloth or Q-Tip to clean the threads. Don't forget to lube the O-rings and threads with silicone grease before re-assembly. Cleaning the threads is completely optional, and is a good idea for any new light you get.

Some folks had a problem where the light would not work upon assembly unless they really screwed the tailcap on very tight. This is a minor bug that the designer needs to work out with the factory before their next manufacturing run. If you do experience this problem, the fix only takes about 2 minutes to do. What appears to be happening is that a thin layer of the Type-III anodize may be coating the exposed aluminum at the end of the tube. This can be fixed by placing the tube upright on a piece of 400 grit sandpaper and sanding the very ends. If you choose to try to do this, it is AT YOUR OWN RISK (I have to say that so you don't blame me if you muck up your battery tube). Rub the tube in circles gently so that the end of the tube is abraded and any anodize is stripped off. It's best to put the sandpaper on a flat hard surface to do this work and carefully rub the flat bottom of the tube in circles on the paper. When the grit turns into an even field of gray, you should be done. This work can be done to both ends of the tube. Be sure to sand just the END of the tube, not the SIDES or the THREADS.


The JETBeam JET-I uses a single 3 Watt Luxeon sitting behind a sapphire crystal lens with an internal AR coating. The aluminum reflector has been custom designed to help with the tint of the light produced by the LED (details are not being given - trade secret), resulting in a very white light output. The reflector is textured to smooth out any imperfections in the beam. The JET-I head also contains a special boost circuit that helps regulate light levels and allows the JET-I to operate on several types of batteries. The circuit is an auto detect Current Regulated Circuit that will attempt to regulate the light output when the source voltage is anything from 4.2 Volts to 0.7 Volts.

4.2v - 3.7v - Direct drive from cells (Drives LED at something around 4 Watts).
3.7v - 2.2v - Drives LED at 3 Watts
2.2v - 1.0v - Drives LED at 1 Watt.
< 0.7 v - The circuit will continue to draw any current it can to light the LED

Output: The white light produced by the LED is exactly that, white. No tint is detectable. Whatever they did to the reflector to make is help with the light tint, it must be working. The beam has a bright central spot with a tapering corona and wide spillbeam. I put the runtimes to 50% in the chart below for convenience. Note that the runtimes on two cells is often shorter than the runtime on one cell.

Battery Type
Time to 50% output
1 AA Alkaline
688 (26.23)
2200 (22.00)
1 hr 18 min
2 AA Alkaline
1200 (34.64)
4200 (42.00)
1 hr 00 min
1 AA Lithium L91
748 (27.35)
2500 (25.00)
3 hr 08 min
2 AA Lithium L91
1350 (36.74)
4800 (48.00)
2 hr 45 min
616 (24.82)
2070 (20.70)
2 hr 02 min
1135 (33.69)
4000 (40.00)
1 hr 32 min
1 123A Lithium
1145 (33.48)
3430 (34.30)
1 hr 08 min

All throw readings are in Lux at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison in the Comparison Charts.

Beam at one meter at target center.

Runtime Plot:

This time I decided to do the runtimes a little differently. Here they all are on the same graph, with the graphs adjusted for initial starting output. Runtimes completed with alkalineAA, lithium AA, NiMH, and 123A cells:

Alkaline Runtime completed with Rayovac brand batteries.
Lithium AA Runtime completed with Energizer brand L91 AA batteries.
NiMH Runtime completed with Energizer brand 2300 mAh batteries.
123A Runtime completed with "Titanium" brand batteries.
More information on runtime plots is available HERE.


The switch is covered by a textured rubber pad and is considered to be a "reverse clickie". Press until it clicks for on, press gently after "on" to blink. Press again until it clicks for off. Nothing else really to report here...

Seals / Water Resistance:

Single or double O-ring seals protect most of the light and the head is sealed. It should be considered "dunkable" but is not intended for diving (although some third parties have reported taking it for a swim in the pool without any problems.)

If it gets wet inside, just disassemble as much a possible without tools and let it dry before using again.


The triangular profile of the body tube makes it feel a little weird, but it's hardly worth mentioning. Some folks using this light have found that the switch is hard to press, but I did not have any issues with it. You may need to press in on the switch cap with the tip of your thumb instead of the pad of the thumb in order to activate it.

Keep in mind that in use this light will get hot during use. If you keep your hand wrapped around it, the heat should not get to the point where it is uncomfortable since your body's own circulatory system will act as a heat-pump and move the heat away from the light. If left in open air for a while and you grab it, it may scald your hand. Use caution!

1 AA configuration (standard) compared to a common 2AA aluminum light

2AA configuration (optional) compared to a common 2AA aluminum light

123A configuration (optional) compared to a common 2AA aluminum light


Utilizing the various battery tubes it can use the following battery options:

  • 1 AA alkaline (AA tube)
  • 1 AA NiMH (AA tube)
  • 1 AA L91 Lithium (AA tube)
  • 1 AAA alkaline (fits in AA tube)
  • 1 AAA NiMH (fits in AA tube)
  • 1 AAA L92 Lithium (fits in AA tube)
  • 2 AA alkaline (AA tube + AA extension)
  • 2 AA NiMH (AA tube + AA extension)
  • 2 AA L91 Lithium (AA tube + AA extension)
  • 1 14500 Li-Ion rechargeable (AA tube)
  • 123A Lithium (123A tube)
  • 123A Protected Rechargeable Li-Ion (123A tube)
  • 123A Unprotected Rechargeable Li-Ion (123A tube)

If using the optional 123A battery tube, I would recommend Titanium brand cells for $1.00 each (here's a review) or BatteryStation or Surefire brand cells for less than $2 each. I would not recommend purchasing these cells at retail stores since they cost $10 a pair or more in most retail stores!

To change out the batteries: unscrew the tube, drop out the old cells, place in new cells observing proper polarity. Reattach the tube and you're ready to go.


Included with the light is a belt pouch for the 1 AA configuration, a lanyard and two switch covers - one red and one orange (the red doesn't look that good in the picture below, but it is very "red").

What I Liked: Water resistant, Tough HA-III finish, Impact resistant, Regulated, Good battery life, Bright, Easy battery change, Lightweight, Lots of battery options.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing.

Picky Little Things: I had to remove one O-ring from the tailcap end to make installation of the tailcap easier. Threads needed a good cleaning.

Conclusions: Overall the JETBeam JET-I an excellent light. Well designed, very bright, and very versatile. I consider the JET-I to be a premium, essentially custom, light, and in my opinion it is a bargain at the offered price. You may need to do make some very slight adjustments on this first run of the JET-I.

Quick Facts Table:

Item Reviewed.......................... JETBeam JET-I
Review Date ............................. June 2006
Case Material ........................... Type III anodized aluminum
Case Features .......................... Glow in the dark panels, lanyard attachment point, colored switch covers
Case Access Type .................... Unscrew head or talicap
Switch Type ............................. "Reverse" clickie
Reflector Type ......................... Textured aluminum
Lens Type ................................ AR coated sapphire window
Bulb Type ................................. Luxeon III LED
Beam Type ............................... Spot
Beam Characteristics ............... Smooth; visible spot, corona, and spillbeam
Throw (Lux) at 1m (click for description) See chart above
Overall Output (click for description) See chart above
Battery / Power Type................ See options above under "Batteries"
Battery Life (advertised) ........... 1 AA: 80 minutes; 1 AA or 123A: 60 minutes
Battery Life (test results) ........... See charts above
Environmental Protection ......... Single and double O-ring seals, rubber switch cap, dunkable
Weight (oz.) with batteries ....... 1AA: 2.3; 2AA: 3.7; 123A: 1.6
Special Items of Note ............... Lanyard, sheath, switch caps included. Optional 2AA and 123A tubes.
Warranty ..................................  
Retail Cost ................................ 52.95 US$ at time of review at Emilion's Workbench


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