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Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Princeton Tec Genesis Light > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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Princeton Tec
Genesis™ Flashlight

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

Last Update - March 3, 2009

Princeton Tec Genesis
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November 11, 2008

January 6, 2009

March 3, 2009

November 11, 2008

Reviewer Information

Backpacking Background

Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  44
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below comes from the Princeton Tec Genesis™
Operating and Maintenance Instructions and Princeton Tec website

Princeton Tec Genesis™ hand-held flashlight
Manufacturer: Princeton Tec
Manufacturer website:
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2008

anodized aluminum
Power: 47 Lumens
Lamp: 1 Maxbright 3 Watt LED (Regulated)
Batteries: 2 CR123 Lithium (Included)
Burn Time:
1.7 hours
20 hours
Available Colors: black
USA Lifetime Warranty - International 10-Year Warranty

"Princeton Tec warrants this product to be free from defects in workmanship and materials under normal use for as long as you own this product. This warranty covers all of the component parts of the product except batteries. This warranty does not cover deterioration due to normal wear or damage due to misuse, alteration, negligence, accidents, or unauthorized repair. Princeton Tec will repair or replace parts which are defective in workmanship or materials."
MSRP: $84.99 US

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Weight: 156g (5.5 oz) with batteries
Burn Time:
1.7 hours
20 hours
Tester's Actual Measurements  
flashlight with batteries
CR123 lithium batteries
roll control ring
lanyard ring
colored lens filters

5.3 oz (150 g)
1.1 oz (31 g)
0.7 oz (20 g)
0.3 oz (9 g)
0.2 oz (6 g)
0.2 oz (6 g)
immeasurable on Post Office scale
Length: 5.25 in (13.34 cm)
Diameter: 1.125 in (2.86 cm)
Color Tested: black

Product Description:

PKG Back PKG Front The Genesis is a high-tech hand-held flashlight. It is one of twenty six hand-held lights currently in Princeton Tec's Outdoor line. This is a single LED, single mode flashlight with a non-adjustable focused narrow beam. The light has a Maxbright 3 watt LED. Princeton Tec states this LED produces 47 Lumens of light output. According to the manufacturer, this light has "a sophisticated regulating circuit that maintains initial brightness as long as the batteries have sufficient voltage." Another high-tech component of this light is the collimator. The collimator (high-tech reflector) gathers all available light from the LED and reflects it as parallel rays. The collimator is specifically calibrated to the LED. The Genesis also has a proprietary ultralight heatsink to protect the LED from overheating. Princeton Tec says it designed the entire optic system of this light "to create an intense focused beam to penetrate long distances."

LengthDimensionally, the flashlight length is 5.25 in (13.34 cm) length and the diameter is 1.125 in (2.86 cm). The flashlight body is made of anodized aluminum. The flashlight has a rubber-like grip. This length of the grip is approximately 2.25 in (5.72 cm) and begins about 1.625 in (4.13 cm) from the lens end of the flashlight. Opposite the lens, is the battery access cap, which includes the on/off switch. The switch cover is made from the same rubbery substance as the grip. The switch has two modes: depress 1/2 to turn on for momentary use, fully depress to turn on for continuous use. Both the lens cap and the battery access cap unscrew to allow access to the lens, LED, and batteries. Both the lens and battery covers have waterproof seals. The Princeton Tech website states this light has a Level 2 waterproof rating, which is equivalent to IPX7 in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. Lights rated at Level 2 provide waterproof integrity down to 1 meter (3.3 ft) for up to 30 minutes. This light uses two CR123 Lithium batteries. In addition to being lighter than regular or alkaline batteries, lithium batteries provide approximately four times more power than alkalines and a wider operating temperature range (-40 F to 140 F or -40 to 60 C). They provide excellent low temperature performance. A quick scan of the internet showed these batteries ranging in price from about $12 US to $14 US for a two-pack. There are rechargeable CR123 batteries and chargers available at reasonable prices too. Diameter

Included Accessories:

  • roll control ring
  • lanyard ring
  • clip
  • holster
  • red and green lens filters for night vision
  • blue lens filter for spotting blood (search and rescue, hunting)

The included holster appears to be made of nylon webbing and a stretchable fabric. The holster attaches to a belt via a belt loop, which is approximately 2 in (5 cm) in length. The holster itself is approximately 6 in (15 cm) long and 1.5 in (4 cm) wide. The holster weighs 0.7 oz (20 g).

The light came with an instruction sheet printed in three languages: English, French and German. The instructions contain operating and maintenance information, including several warnings related to batteries. The instructions also include several diagrams illustrating how to load the batteries, change out the interchangeable accessories and turn the light on and off. There is also a diagram and explanation pertaining to the regulated LED. This particular diagram illustrates how the regulated LED works, light output, beam distance, and regulated and overall burn time.

Initial Impression:

This is a rugged-looking flashlight. It is larger, especially in diameter than I anticipated it being. Likewise, it is a bit heavier than I expected. However, I like the feel of it in my hand. This is my first experience with Princeton Tec lights. I am very impressed with the initial quality of this particular light. The thing that impressed me the most about this light is just how bright the beam was and how far it projected outward.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of a good overall inspection for defects in materials or workmanship--I found none. Next, I quickly loaded the batteries to test the light. Impressed with how white and bright the beam is, I then proceeded to change out all the interchangeable accessories, including the lens filters. This was intuitive and no review of the instructions was required to accomplish this. However, I did read through the instructions for a thorough understanding of the product. I am intrigued with the regulated LED and can not wait to test how well it actually works. I am also anxious to test out the colored lens filters. However, as I am not a hunter, I hope the need never arises for me to test the blue lens filter to spot blood.

Initial Likes:

  • rugged feel
  • elastomer grip
  • bright beam
  • output distance

Initial Dislikes:

  • None

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January 6, 2009


During the Field Test Phase, I used the flashlight approximately seven different times. These included, locating rural street signs and addresses in the dark, working on stalled vehicles in the dark, and an overnight backpacking trip with two of my three teenage sons. Thus far, I am very pleased with the overall performance of this handheld flashlight.

Likes Thus Far:

  • bright beam
  • output distance
  • roll control ring

Dislikes Thus Far:

  • none

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

After receiving the flashlight, I used it on four separate occasions to locate rural addresses near my home. I also used it to rescue both my wife and 17-yr old son on separate occasions as my 1983 BMW 533i left each of them stranded some distance from home in the dark late at night.

In late November, a friend, two of my three teenage sons, and I hiked in to the Catamount yurt, which is located in the Portneuf range southeast of Pocatello, Idaho. The hike into this yurt is 2.25 mi (3.62 km) across mostly open, rolling terrain. Total vertical rise is 816 ft (249 M). We began hiking about 8:30 p.m. The skies were clear, winds calm, and the temperature was approximately 27 F (-3 C) when we began.


I am very pleased with the light output from this handheld light. The narrow, focused beam is exceptional. This was particularly noticeable while trying to find address in rural areas near my home in the dark. There are no street lights in these rural areas, and many of the homes are set back quite a ways from the road. This makes it difficult to read street signs and address on homes/mailboxes. The bright, focused beam of the Genesis easily illuminated these in the black of night.

When using the Genesis to work on my car in the dark, I was pleased with two additional features: the elastomer grip and the roll control ring. In addition to the light produced, these two features were especially helpful. The large diameter of the light and the elastomer grip made holding on to the light a breeze--this was really appreciated as the temps were in the mid to low teens Fahrenheit (-9 to -11 C). Additionally, the roll control ring kept the light in place. I did not have to worry about the light rolling off the wheel well (or wherever I set it) and falling to the ground.

I also used the Genesis on my overnight backpacking trip into the Catamount yurt. This was my first night hike using a handheld light since switching to headlamps several years ago. When not carrying it in my hand, I chose to place the light in one of the pockets on my backpack's hipbelt rather than using either the lanyard ring or belt holster. This was extremely convenient. Even though the Genesis is easy to hold, produces an exceptionally bright focused beam, and fits nicely in the hipbelt pocket, I still prefer a headlamp to a handheld light. During the night, I used the handheld to put wood in the stove and answer Mother Nature's call. Again, in these situations, I prefer a headlamp. But, as far as a handheld light is concerned, the Genesis worked well in all situations. I like the ability to either flash the light on momentarily or click the light on for extended periods of time. The roll control ring kept the light in its place, just above my head on the plywood bunk bed I slept on. This was really nice as I did not have hunt for the light during the night when I needed to put wood on the fire, etc.

Thus far, I am please with the performance of this handheld light. There has been no noticeable degradation of the brightness of the light output. I will continue to monitor this as well as the overall burn time through the next reporting period. In addition, I did not use any of the colored lenses during the Field Test. However, I will do so during the Long Term test phase and will comment on them in my next report.

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March 3, 2009


During the Long-Term Test Phase, I used the flashlight approximately five different times. These included two overnight cross-country skiing/snowshoeing trips and several cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing outings near my home. I am very pleased with the overall performance of this handheld flashlight.


  • bright "white" beam
  • output distance
  • roll control ring


  • weight
  • normal limitations associated with a hand-held light
  • carrying the small colored lenses--without losing or scratching them--is a challenge

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, which is located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m). We began skiing around 8:30 pm. The temperature at the time I got out of my vehicle was 8 F (-13 C) and there was a mild wind.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing near my home in Idaho Falls, Idaho, elevation 4,705 ft (1,434 m).


Because we skied in to the hut in the dark on our overnight ski/snowshoe trips in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, on the first trip I decided to wear the light around my neck using the lanyard ring provided and one of my lanyards. When it was beneath my jacket, the light was secure. However, once I unzipped my jacket, the light banged against me. I really did not like this and therefore quickly put the light in the hipbelt pocket of my pack. I am certain there may be times when using the light with a lanyard may be advantageous. However, doing so during periods of high activity is not that time for me.

I also used the colored lenses in the light on my trips to the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area. I preferred the red lens and used it throughout the night when I got up to put wood in the stove or to answer Mother Nature's call. The red light provided the illumination I needed to perform my task without being too harsh on my sleepy eyes. In addition, the red light did not disturb the rest of my party. However, carrying the small colored lenses--without losing or scratching them--is a challenge.

Unfortunately, I have not done a very good job keeping track of the total burn time to date. I am still using the initial set of batteries. However, I am about to replace them as the light has diminished considerably from its original brightness. Now, it is similar in brightness to the old hand-held flashlight I used before switching to headlamps.

I accidently dropped the light in the snow. This was no cause for alarm as the light is waterproof down to 1 meter (3.3 ft) for up to 30 minutes. I picked the light up, dusted the snow off, and proceeded to the outhouse without further incident.

Overall, I am very pleased with this hand-held light. It has performed quite well during the test period. As hand-helds go, this is probably the best flashlight I have used in terms of brightness and quality of light output. However, based on its weight and the normal limitations associated with a hand-held, I prefer my LED headlamps with lithium batteries. That said, whenever I have need for a hand-held light, I will reach for the Princeton Tec Genesis.

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Thanks to Princeton Tec and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Genesis hand-held flashlight.

Read more reviews of Princeton Tec gear
Read more gear reviews by Ryan Lane Christensen

Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Princeton Tec Genesis Light > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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