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Donegan Optical VisorLIGHT First-Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of First Look November 2003 Manufacturer Donegan Optical
Subject VisorLIGHT Pros Great hands-off vision and light enhancement
Cons Light is twist-activated and mechanism wears out Skill Level Basic
MSRP (USD) $20.00



OptiVISOR with the VisorLIGHT.

Many modelers own or have used the OptiVISOR from Donegan Optical. It is just one of those tools that is as indispensable as your X-ACTO knife. The OptiVISOR is a lightweight, high quality optical magnifier that allows you to get a closer and clearer view of your work than with other devices. If you’ve used (or are using) a desktop magnifier, you will sometimes forget that you can’t move your head around to look over your project – you must move the project under the glass.

Don’t forget that the desktop magnifier is taking up valuable workbench surface. With the OptiVISOR, the optics are mounted on an eye shield that also serves to keep overhead illumination out of your eyes. When you don’t need them, the visor simply flips up out of the way. The adjustable headband makes the OptiVISOR extremely comfortable and (at least in my case) easy to forget that it is still on your head. Now that I am a forty-something modeler, my eyesight is fine for everything except reading (and modeling). With the OptiVISOR, I don’t need my reading glasses to work. For those (like my wife) that normally wear glasses, the OptiVISOR will work perfectly with most styles of glasses.

I was attending the Chicago and Las Vegas Hobby Shows recently, I was fascinated with a new gadget from Donegan Optical – the VisorLIGHT. This device consists of a clip-on light that attached to your visor and a battery pack that clips to the headband. The light uses the same Xenon bulb that is in most contemporary high-power flashlights, even the on/off mechanism is the same – twist the bezel. Unlike the flashlights, the light housing is made of plastic so there is no appreciable weight added to the visor (causing it to be gravity-challenged).

As with these flashlights, the VisorLIGHT is powered by a pair of AA batteries. The battery pack is clipped to the side of the headband and is easily removed to change batteries. The power cord is then clipped into place with three included plastic clips, making the installation clean and functional.

While most folks won’t notice the weight of two AA batteries attached to the side of the headband, Donegan Optical has a second version of the VisorLIGHT with a longer power cord to allow the user to clip the battery pack on their belt or slip them in a pocket. Either way, the choice is yours.

I had the opportunity to put the OptiVISOR and VisorLIGHT combination to work on my build-up of the Bandai USS Enterprise kit. It took all of two minutes to put the light and battery pack in place on the visor, and adjust it for my use. The adjustment is nothing more that turning on the light, putting the visor down over your eyes, bringing one hand into focus in the visor and then moving the light until it illuminated the center of my hand. Piece of cake.

The additional light was very useful while trying to align all of the complex snap-together parts of the Bandai kit. Ditto while running the wires in the confined spaces. The VisorLIGHT became an indispensable tool however, when I inevitably dropped a screw off the workbench into the carpet below. As soon as the screw went over the side, I instinctively looked down to see where it might have landed and there it was reflecting in the VisorLIGHT’s beam.

If you have an OptiVISOR, you already know that you can’t work without it. If you don’t, go to your local hobby shop and try one. But if you want to ease the strain on your eyes and nerves, you’ve got to get the VisorLIGHT. Working with small parts in confined places just got easier. In fact, my wife tried on the OptiVISOR with the VisorLIGHT and I had to buy another one to keep the peace.

You can find the OptiVISOR and VisorLIGHT at your favorite hobby shop and if not, they can special order them for you. In the meantime, you can read more about these and the other cool products from Donegan Optical by visiting their website at

My sincere thanks to Donegan Optical for this review sample!