Hands Free Lighting With Joby GorillaTorch

Have you ever held a flashlight in your mouth to shine light on something you needed both hands to work on? If so, keep reading, because Joby sent me something they’ve designed for just such a situation.

Joby GorillaTorch

What Is A GorillaTorch?

The item pictured above is a product called GorillaTorch. The idea is to free up your hands while it still shines light on whatever you need to see. The web site touts it as a

must-have for auto repair, home improvement, camping and more

While it doesn’t seem to be made for standard walking around flashlight use, it seems to have the above mentioned situations in mind with it’s bright light and included tripod.

Joby GorillaTorch Joby GorillaTorch

(Additional Joby GorillaTorch Photos)

How Well Does It Work?

When I saw this in the mail, I decided that this thing needs to do two things and do them well to get a passing grade from me. It’s a flashlight, so obviously it’s ability to illuminate a dark area with lots of light was my first demand. It’s 65 Lumen CREE LED light source was not only super bright, but also adjustable. I usually keep it all the way up, but it’s nice to be able to conserve the batteries with less light when you don’t need as much.

The second make-or-break feature for this torch is the ability to have it point where I need it without holding it. I’m no stranger to Joby products, having recently provided a Joby GorillaMobile review, so I already had some expectations. As I thought, the GorillaTorch’s tripod was almost the same as on most of their products. It’s what they do, after all, so it did not surprise me that it did a wonderful job of gripping to just about anything I tried to wrap it around. What I didn’t anticipate is that it’s magnetic. It’s not something I would have thought necessary, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

The average battery life is 20 hours at full brightness all the way up to 80 hours if you dim it down. This seems acceptable given that it runs on three AA batteries.

Conclusions

Compared to high end flashlights running upwards of $90 and supermarket flashlights you can get for a couple bucks, the GorillaTorch fits nicely in the middle at $30 but has some benefits neither offer. Comparisons aside, it’s a very reasonable price for the only torch I’ve seen that would fit some of my needs. As part of my testing, it found its way into my server room where I actually needed to use it when the power went out. After having to shut down servers with one hand by iPhone light too many times, the GorillaTorch has a permanent place in that room now and has already proven useful. Anyone who needs light and both hands at the same time should give the GorillaTorch a look.

Better iPhone Video With The Joby Gorillapod Mobile

Now that the iPhone 3G S is all over the place and allows you to take nice quality videos, edit and upload them, the only thing missing is the ability to shoot video hands free. The first thing that comes to mind is a tripod. Last week, the delivery guy showed up with a new product for the iPhone from Joby, a company known for their tripods that are more than just tripods. The item wrapped around my iPhone in the photo below is the Joby Gorillapod Mobile for 3G/3GS.

Joby Gorillapod Mobile

How Well Does It Work?

For Christmas one year, someone sent me an original Gorillapod, but I had problems with it. It wouldn’t hold my camera upright and I eventually just threw it in a drawer. As you can guess, I had my reservations about this review. Still, I always want to be fair, so I entered into this with an open mind, hopeful that I just had bad luck before or wasn’t using the first one right. The good news is I must have been doing something wrong before because this one works great. Before I could test it out, I had to attach the adhesive clip to the iPhone case. On my first attempt, I must not have held it on for long enough because it popped right off the first time I tried to adjust the position of my phone. Luckily, they include two of these adhesive clips. I’m sure this is so you can attach the second to some other case you already own, but in my case, it was a welcomed backup.

Joby Gorillapod MobileOnce I had my iPhone in the case and the adhesive clip affixed properly, it was all set. I wrapped it around my arm, adjusted it, unwrapped it, wrapped it around everything else I could find, kept adjusting… You get the point. The design of the product is to hold your iPhone in place on a table top, a pole, etc. As far as the function goes, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do.

It Came With Extras

When you buy a Joby product, you already know it’s more than a tripod. That’s why you would buy one. What I didn’t expect is that Joby included the additional adhesive clip that turned out to be needed and another clip to work with cameras and other tripod-ready devices. It’s nice to think that I don’t have to buy a second one to accomodate my digital camera as well. It’s also nice that they’re willing to give me unexpected flexibility with a single product where other companies might just hope to make the sale of an additional product. The $40 price tag, it turns out, should cover most of your devices.

Conclusions

I mentioned above that I had an original Gorillapod and never really used it. Now that I have one that works well for me, I see a lot more potential for it. Not only did I have no problems with this one, but there’s a lot more need for it with the iPhone. The $40 cost seems well worth the convenience if you’re going to use it and if you shoot videos with your iPhone 3G S, I’m sure you’ll use it. Just learn from my impatience and make sure the adhesive clip is really secured before trying to use it the first time.