Good torch for the money but could be better
October 9, 2014
My brother bought the Jetbeam PA40 in Cool White from BJ's recently. I thought it was a very nice torch, so when BJ's had a sale on Jetbeams, I couldn't resist. I didn't have any Neutral White beams in my collection so I thought I'd try the PA40 in NW. I was surprised at the difference in color rendition. Sure, the CW is a little brighter, but I think the ease in differentiating colors out-weighs the very minor lumen loss.
I wrapped the black body in yellow grip tape to make it easier to find in the dark, as well as make it a little easier to hold onto. The carbon fiber is a bit on the slippery side. The torch does not tail stand very well. Instructions say it has Strobe feature, plus High, Medium and Low. It does not have Strobe. It has Turbo instead. I don't miss Strobe though. Cycling through the four levels can be a little tricky. You have to make sure you take off all pressure from the switch, otherwise, it doesn't cycle to the next mode.
2 lumens is on the low side to be really useful. I could go for 5-10 lumens for the lowest level instead. I saw a review in CPF from Aug 2011 on the PA40. It was sold in a nice, hard plastic case, had a paracord lanyard and nylon holster then. Now, it comes in a cardboard box, thin lanyard and no holster. It did come with a spare O-ring and switch cover though. Run-times are acceptable. With fresh Duracells, the red LED began flashing 3X after about 50 mins on Turbo, indicating 50% battery life left in that mode. Constant LED flashing occurred after another 25 mins, but Turbo kept going for 15 more mins. Turbo finally went out at about 90 mins, but then you can still use the three lower levels. Fully charged Eneloops lasted only half as long on Turbo.
The PA40 does get a little warm while on Turbo, but even after twenty-five minutes on Turbo, what little heat coming from the lens is nothing. Prior to buying my the PA40, I used to use my Streamlight Propolymer 4AA for quick trips into the backyard to take out the trash at night and for nightly walks, but the PA40 puts the SL PP to shame. Much brighter and much more useful spill light. Like night and day, and at virtually the same size and same 4AA power source, the PA40 wins easily. (The SL PP doesn't tail stand very well either and has a tighter hot-spot.) The PA40 could be a little better in my opinion, but you can't go wrong in adding one to your collection.
I have no regrets in buying it.
Pros:Bright Turbo mode, uses AA batts, decent runtimes, compact size, well made.
Cons:Slippery, won't tail stand, mode changing is finicky, Low mode is too low at only 2 lumens.