If you’re outdoors in the dark, you’ll probably need a flashlight. Unfortunately, almost every flashlight is built the same way as a long tube. This makes it convenient to carry, but makes it less convenient to prop up anywhere. Even worse is that most flashlights are cumbersome to carry due to their long length. If you want a small, more compact flashlight that comes with a built-in stand, you might want to look at the Altus Lumen PAD-L.

Departing from the traditional tube design of most flashlights, the PAD-L more closely resembles the rectangular form factor of an iPod. This makes it easy to slip into a pocket and hold in your hand comfortably. Tapping a button in the side gives you four different levels of illumination ranging from low to high.
Unlike other flashlights, the PAD-L includes a hinged cover and metal stand that swings out, allowing you to prop this light on the ground to free your hands from holding it. By adjusting this metal stand, you can aim the light at different angles, which can be perfect when you’re working in the dark by yourself and can’t spare a hand to hold an ordinary flashlight to illuminate a specific area. To power this device, you just need four AAA batteries that fit under a metal cover that you can screw shut.

Besides being an interesting flashlight in its own right, the PAD-L may also appeal to your environmental concerns. The aluminum case is made from recycled materials, the LED light is up to 40 percent more efficient than ordinary lights, and the LED lights contain no mercury or other heavy metals that could leak into the environment.

Whether you care about its “green” environmental impact or not, the PAD-L is a handy flashlight to keep around the house or when traveling. Its small size makes it easy to slip into a purse or pocket when you’re going to be out at night. Although you can attach a string to its adjustable metal stand, it would be more convenient if the case itself offered a built-in clip so you could tie it to a belt loop or keychain.

The device does come with a carrying case, which does have a built-in metal loop, but when the light is tucked into its carrying case, you can’t use it.
The case could also use some ergonomic consideration. It looks and feels like a clunky metal box designed by the military. It would be nice if it were curved or shaped to contour more closely within the grip of a typical hand.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the PAD-L is a unique type of flashlight that’s perfect for taking everywhere you need light. If you need a small light that can stand up on its own, or if you want to use an environmentally friendly light, then the PAD-L should replace or supplement your current flashlight.


  • Small form factor that makes it easy to carry and hold
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Built-in adjustable metal stand
  • Four levels of illumination
  • Environmentally friendly materials


  • Could use an ergonomic design to make it more comfortable to hold
  • Would be nice to have a way to attach this device to something with a built-in clip without tucking it in its carrying case
  • Small size can make it easy to misplace

The Altus Lumen PAD-L is available here for $39.90.

Wallace Wang