penlight medical top 10 picks

Penlight Medical Top 10 Picks (Buyer’s Guide 2023)

Learn how to study twice as fast with Our fREE studying course

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Are you looking for a good penlight? Medical professionals are skeptical about purchasing a penlight with the perfect features good for assessing their patients. It has been an essential assessment tool for doctors or nurses to conduct a basic physical examination.

In this post, I will be providing you information about penlight medical and a review of my top ten picks to help you purchase the right one according to your preference and budget.

What Is a Medical Penlight?

what is a penlight medical

A penlight, as the name implies, is a mini flashlight shaped like a pen. It’s battery operated and usually measures 5-6 inches long. Its bulbs could be made of halogen or LED (light-emitting diode). What distinguishes penlight from a regular flashlight is the area of illumination. Penlights, given their small sizes, have narrower illumination areas as they are designed to check only a small specific area.

What Is A Penlight Used For In Medical Settings?

penlight medical in the clinical setting

Assessment Tool

Medical practitioners use penlight as an assessment tool especially small body parts such as eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Commonly, they use it for the pupil test – a physical examination procedure used to check the reaction of pupils to light whether they constrict or remain dilated. This is used to examine the severity of a neurologic condition.

Searching in Drawers or Cabinets

Health practitioners keep a lot of papers, medical supplies, and personal items in their drawers. Most are even too busy to keep them organized so they tend to scramble or misplace their stuff. But thanks to their handy penlight, medical practitioners could find their important stuff quickly especially during urgent situations. It’s a pretty convenient tool for instances like these.

Checking Patient Rooms Without Turning on The Lights

Doctors and nurses on graveyard shifts do constant rounds in the hospitals even in the middle of the night. Due to this, they may tend to disturb patients from their sleep. Patients are undergoing physical and psychosocial stress every day. A good and undisturbed sleeping time would be helpful at the very least to regain energy and a positive mood. So to prevent this from happening and give them courtesy, a penlight is the most ideal tool for the job.

How Does A Penlight Work?

how does a penlight medical work

Source: EMS World

Penlight has bulbs that could either be made of halogen or LED. Halogen bulbs flash like sunlight that produces a bright and yellow light. Because the light it emits requires more power, it doesn’t last long and could even get hot to touch while in use.

Meanwhile, LED bulbs are more low maintenance. They run cool and the power needed is not that immense as compared to halogen. However, LEDs emit white or blue light that could distort the color of the object being illuminated.

You may switch it on or off in three ways such as tail click, twist top, or side click. Tail clicks could be switched on by pressing the button on the top. Twist tops have fake caps instead of buttons. By twisting it back and forth, the light will be activated. Side clicks have sliding switches on the side that are disguised as a metal pen clip.

How Many Lumens Is A Medical Penlight?

how many lumens is a penlight medical

The penlight medical professionals use low lumen settings for physical assessment. Lumen measures light brightness.

Higher lumen means brighter light. Brightness should be within normal limits that are not harmful and could be tolerated by patients. That’s why it matters that lumen settings should be low enough for safety and to induce pupil response.

Penlight Battery

Penlights are AA or AAA batteries operated. 

Penlight With Pupil Gauge

Not all penlights have pupil gauges printed on the side. Pupil gauge is a series of circles in varying sizes that serve as a quick visual reference guide on measuring pupil size. Veteran health professionals might not need a pupil gauge anymore for assessing the pupil size. However, for medical students and those who are still learning prompt pupil assessment, getting a penlight with pupil gauge is advisable for practice.

10 Best Medical Penlights

1. CAVN Penlight with Pupil Gauge

CAVN (2 PCS) Reusable LED Medical Penlight with Pupil Gauge for Nurses Doctors with Pocket Clip

This is the bundle of penlight medical professionals could grab. CAVN penlight offers not only 1 but pieces of LED penlights in different colors.

The penlights are guaranteed durable and long-lasting since they are made up of premium aluminum alloy and LED bulbs. It includes a pupil gauge and a 5-cm ruler on the side to help in measuring pupil size. Convenient to use as its tail click switches with pocket clip. This is operated by 2 AAA batteries.

CAVN Penlight Price: $7.99


  • 2-piece variants
  • Tail click switch
  • Designed with a pocket clip so you may conveniently carry it around
  • Includes a pupil gauge
  • LED bulb
  • Powered by AAA batteries


  • The light is too bright

For more information, you may want to check the CAVN Penlight on Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

2. Nitecore MTo6MD

Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen Nichia LED Medical Penlight Flashlight For Doctors, Nurses and EMTs with 2x AAA Batteries & Lumen Tactical Battery Organizer (Black w/Pupil Gauge)

The best penlight medical professionals could have is the Nitecore MT06MD – an upgraded version of MT06. One of its newest features is its LED bulb transition to a warmer beam with lower peak intensity. Powered by 2 packs of AAA batteries, this penlight can emit a minimum of 4 lumens for 35 hours and a maximum of 180 lumens of light for 45 minutes.

There are three brightness levels to choose from and it starts from low. This is one of the lightest penlights with a stainless steel pocket clip that you could carry anywhere conveniently.

The Nitecore MT06MD is photobiological safe and eliminates the blue-light hazard. This is the ideal penlight medical professional chooses in examining the pupils and neurologic function.

Nitecore MT06MD Penlight Price: $31.95


  • Has low light mode
  • Includes three brightness levels
  • Easy one-handed operation


  • Pocket clip might not be durable

For more information, you may want to check the Nitecore MT06MD Penlight in Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

3. Welch Allyn 76600 Halogen Professional PenLite

Welch Allyn 76600 Halogen Professional PenLite

As I mentioned earlier, there are 2 types of bulbs. If you’re not a fan of LED, then here is a medical penlight built with a halogen bulb. They emit white light for better examination. The bulb is a Tungsten-Halogen ~3200K. This means that when you move the light farther away, the light beam’s radius would appear bigger. It has only one brightness level. It’s matte finish and durable as it’s made of solid brass construction.

Welch Allyn 76600 Halogen Professional Penlight Price: $69.74


  • Durable
  • Includes a pocket clip
  • One-handed operation


  • Relatively heavy compared with other penlights

For more information, you may want to check the Welch Allyn 76600 Halogen Professional Penlight on Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

4. Klarus P20 Penlight

klarus P20 High CRI LED Penlight, NICHIA 219C, 230 Lumens, Black,

Made of aerospace aluminum alloy with a Mil-Spec hard-anodized finish, Klarus P20 is a durable penlight medical professionals use in performing physical examinations. It has an impact resistance of up to 1.5 meters and offers an IPX-8 rating.

It is powered by AAA batteries and can emit light with a minimum of 4 lumens for 193 hours and a maximum of 230 lumens for 34 minutes. It has 3 brightness levels and offers 92% light transmission with its PMMA optical lens.

What sets this penlight apart from others is its mode memory in which the light switches on the last mode you used. Perfect for urgent situations when you could just grab them instantly without adjusting brightness levels anymore.

It has a single switch design where you can turn it on and adjust brightness levels in 1 button.

Klarus P20 Penlight Price: $29.95


  • Built with Mode memory
  • Has multiple brightness levels
  • Stainless steel pocket clip
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Max of 230-lumen settings


  • No lockout feature

For more information, you may want to check the Klarus P20 Penlight on Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

5. Primacare Disposable Penlight With Pupil Gauge

Primacare DL-9325 Reusable LED Penlight with Pupil Gauge - Batteries Included

If you are looking for a set, Primacare Disposable Penlight offers 6 high-quality and long-lasting penlights in one purchase. Also, these 6 penlights have a variety of colors that you could choose from. Though disposable, each penlight has good client testimonials claiming that it could be used for months and even years. It’s a handy and lightweight penlight that you could easily turn on by pressing the pocket clip. It is designed with a pupil gauge ranging from 3 mm to 9mm.

Primacare Disposable Penlight Price: $12.42


  • Disposable
  • Pupil Gauge
  • Pinpoint beam


  • No lockout mode

If you want further information, you may check the Primacare Disposable Penlight in Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

6. Opoway Penlight with Pupil Gauge

Opoway Nurse Penlight with Pupil Gauge LED Medical Pen Light for Nurses Doctors with Batteries Included 2ct, Silver and Blue

Absolutely affordable, the Opoway penlight is a package of two penlights at low cost and comes in a variety of colors. It’s lightweight and durable as it is made of an aluminum alloy body and LED bulb that emits a minimum of 9 lumens – bright enough not to induce eye strain.

Powered by two AAA batteries, it involves a one-handed operation by pressing a button on the top. You could also carry it with you securely through its built-in metal pocket clip. This is good for medical students and novice health professionals as it is designed with a pupil gauge and a ruler on the side.

Opoway Penlight with Pupil Gauge Price: $8.99


  • Versatile and slim design
  • Pupil gauge chart and ruler
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Has a built-in metal clip


  • No lockout mode

For more information, you may want to check the Opoway Penlight with Pupil Gauge on Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

7. RISEMART Medical Diagnostic Penlight

Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight with Pupil Gauge for Nursing Students Doctors Black and Silver with Batteries

RISEMART is the penlight medical professionals use for diagnosis. It comes in 2 colors and is made of durable and long-lasting aluminum alloy and LED bulb with approximately 100,00 hours of lifetime. It has a minimum of 3 lumens. It’s lightweight, simple-to-use, and convenient to carry anywhere.

RISEMART Medical Diagnostic Penlight Price: $13.98


  • LED bulb
  • Built with hard-to-push elastic rubber switch so you wouldn’t switch it on by accident
  • Designed with concave heads to prevent breakage due to fall
  • Appears in warm and white lights – white for checking the throat, nose, and ears while the warm glow for the eyes
  • Has a Pupil Gauge


  • The light is too bright

For more information, you may want to check the RISEMART Medical Diagnostic Penlight in Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

8. MDF LUMINIX Medical Penlight

MDF LUMiNiX ILLUMINATOR Medical Professional Diagnostic Penlight (MDF611-29)

Comes in both white and warm lights, this penlight is good for medical assessments. You can use white light for assessing the ears, nose, and throat and warm for checking the eyes. It’s made of copper for durability and operated on AAA batteries.

MDF LUMINIX Medical Penlight Price: $15.99


  • White and warm LED light bulbs
  • Copper built
  • AAA batteries
  • Designed with Pupil gauge measurement


  • The light is pretty dim

For more information, you may want to check the MDF LUMINIX Medical Penlight Price on Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

9. American Diagnostic Corporation 351P Disposable Diagnostic Penlight

American Diagnostic Corporation 351 ADlite Disposable Diagnostic Penlight 6/Pack

If you are looking for the cheapest penlight for medical users, perhaps this is the one you’ve been looking for. Though they are disposable, some users claim that it has good battery life. The hard-to-push switch prevents you from switching it on accidentally.

ADC 351P Disposable Diagnostic Penlight Price: $13.98


  • Cheaper compared to other penlights
  • Disposable but with good battery life
  • Has a pupil gauge


  • Light’s quite dim

For more information, you may want to check the ADC 351P Disposable Diagnostic Penlight in Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

10. FOURSEVENS Preon Penlight

Foursevens Preon P1 MKIII LED Flashlight, Mini Pocket EDC Flashlight with Clip, High CRI, Multiple Configurable Modes including Strobe & Beacon (Black Anodize)

FOURSEVENS Preon Penlight is one of the best penlights for health practitioners. It has a durable and sturdy material of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel. Its lens is made of impact-resistant glass with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective sapphire-coating. It comes in 3 different brightness levels with lumen setting ranging from 5 to 180.

Operated by AAA batteries, it has a mode memory function that remembers the settings you had on your last use. It is lightweight and portable to carry anywhere while on rounds.

FOURSEVENS Preon Penlight Price: $60


  • Built with durable material
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes in 3 different brightness levels


  • No pupil gauge

For more information, you may want to check FOURSEVENS Preon Penlight on Amazon.

See Reviews On Amazon

Verdict: What Is The Best Penlight?

CAVN (2 PCS) Reusable LED Medical Penlight with Pupil Gauge for Nurses Doctors with Pocket Clip

The best penlight overall goes to CAVN Penlight with Pupil Gauge! It’s a guaranteed affordable penlight that comes with high-quality features. It’s lightweight and durable material makes it convenient-to-use and portable. The pupil gauge and ruler chart is great for medical professionals who are always on a call of duty.

Grab your penlight here on Amazon!

See Reviews On Amazon


Medical penlights are one of your essential physical assessment tools to accurately examine patients especially their visual sensory and neurologic functions. It is a small yet powerful tool that could help you to arrive at the right diagnosis. Therefore, it is right that you choose the best penlight that suits your preference and budget.

If you have found this post on medical penlights useful and insightful, go check out some of our other blog posts!

If you want access to our full library of guides and free courses for med students, check out the Med Vault!

This is a completely free library of step-by-step eBooks & video courses that can help you on your medical journey!Med Vault Logo

Get access to the Med Vault here.

I also want to share with you my best strategies and tricks on how you can succeed on your medical journey with my best selling Triple Bundle Books!Triple bundle books

Check out how I went from barely passing my exams to graduating med school with a 3.9 GPA in these resources. It worked for me and it could also work for you!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

If you have any questions make sure to drop them in the comments below!

Until next time my friend…


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *