Published on April 27th, 2014 | by Greg0
GoBe+ Multi-Function Portable Spotlight: Hail Hydra!
For many folks, a flashlight is a rarely-used tool, something only brought out in emergencies or hauled around when camping or hiking at night. I know people who rely on their smartphones for emergency lighting, which is fine, but hardly the sort of illumination you can rely on in a variety of conditions. We’ve seen awesome bike lights and solar applications, and quite a few variations on small LEDs to improve safety.
But we haven’t seen anything like the Light and Motion GoBe+ system and their 700 Spot and 500 Search heads. Interchangeable lenses are old hat for camera users, but optics come into play here as well, with different heads offering altering options. The base itself is a serious piece of gear, with a 3000mAh USB-rechargeable battery capable of keeping this superpowered light going for up to 36 hours. It’s definitely not your basic piece of hardware, but a professional tool, for those who need or can appreciate gear that stands up to military specs. It’s waterproof, for starters, so you can take it diving or caving without worry, for instance. And it weighs in at only 165 grams or so.
The heads aren’t as adjustable as some lights, as they operate at fixed focal lengths and beam widths. The 700, as installed by default in our package, offers a multi-purpose 20 degree beam. We took it out at night and it’s 700 lumens were enough to shine like a star, so we adjusted the output to reduce the brightness and increase the battery life. But even at a lower setting, the GoBe+ offers plenty of lux. There are five power modes in total, and six different heads to choose from, including a wide underwater versions and even a UV one. We liked the easy readout of your battery life. And they’ve custom designed and engineered the light to eliminate “hot spots”, making for a very balanced, even distribution that makes for a tight, nearly perfect beam (we checked out the output with a protactor, and it’s far more exact than any other light source we had handy).
The body is very grippable, nicely textured, and held up to a couple of drops without showing any wear or tear. We switched out the heads in a second and were impressed at the difference- the 500 Search head is even more precise, a narrow 8-degrre spot beam meant for uses like signaling and search-and-rescue and it’s not quite as bright, rated at 500 lumens. The brightness stays steady throughout the lifetime of the battery though, rather than falling quickly over an hour or so of use like most others. Check out the fun tool on the Light And Motion website, showing off the beam pattern and comparisons. Next time you’re climbing, or wish you had a light, GoBe+ might be just the tool to pickup- a very different sort of flashlight, the ultimate ‘everything light’. Available now, online and in stores, for about $300 for the base kit and about $120 for the 500 Search head.