The 7 Best Nursing Penlights for Everyday Use

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More compact than a flashlight and lighter than an average pen, a nursing penlight is one of the most important pieces of gear for medical professionals.

Being a doctor, EMT or a nurse is an extremely hard job but luckily there are some tools that make the day to day a bit easier.  A penlight is one of these tools and most medical professionals will find themselves using their penlight multiple times a day to do everything from examining patients to assisting their coworkers.  

Note: most professionals advise buying more than one nursing penlight as they will undoubtedly get lost, dirty, and occasionally broken over time.  Luckily, most are quite affordable making it easy to have a backup or two!

Top Nurse Penlights

In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks:

Preview
Best Budget
Primacare DL-9224 Disposable Diagnostic Penlight,...
Best Overall
Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight...
Best Splurge
EdisonBright Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen pen-type...
Model
Primacare DL-9224 Disposable Diagnostic Penlight,...
Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight...
EdisonBright Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen pen-type...
Prime?
Best Budget
Preview
Primacare DL-9224 Disposable Diagnostic Penlight,...
Model
Primacare DL-9224 Disposable Diagnostic Penlight,...
Prime?
Purchase
Best Overall
Preview
Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight...
Model
Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight...
Prime?
Purchase
Best Splurge
Preview
EdisonBright Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen pen-type...
Model
EdisonBright Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen pen-type...
Prime?
Purchase

RISEMART Medical Diagnostic Penlight

Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight...

This nursing penlight comes in two colors and it is made from aluminum alloy with a size of 12.7cm length x 1.2 diameters. It is a super lightweight option making it easy to carry around in your pocket and it is a perfect match for any hand. It comes with four batteries, and it is simple to use.

What we like:

  • LED bulb lifetime is approximately 100,000 hours
  • Elastic Rubber Switch – it is hard to push it which prevents it from turning on by mistake in your pocket
  • Concave heads which will prevent breakage due to dropping
  • Lower wattage with an extended battery life of 220 hours
  • Two lights – white light is for checking the throat, nose, and ears while the warm glow is for testing the eyes
  • Pupil gauge measurement

What we don’t like:

  • The light can be too bright for some patients

Best for: Nurses who like something simple and elegant.

Sale
Pen Light, RISEMART Nurse Led Medical Penlight...
  • GREAT PENLIGHTS -- Very handy penlights always...
  • EXQUISITE PENLIGHT SET -- The 2 pieces LED pen...
  • PERFECT MEDICAL TOOLS -- The cute clip design make...

Related: Best Shoes for Nurses

CAVN Medical Penlight

CAVN (2 PCS) Reusable LED Medical Penlight with...

 

The CAVN is available in two colors (rose and purple) and is made of anodized aluminum alloy which gives the pen a longer life. While one of the cheaper penlights on this list, it’s reliable, sturdy, and easy to replace if lost

What we like:

  • The pocket clip makes it easier to carry around
  • Pupil gauge measurement
  • LED bulb

What we don’t like:

  • Not the best for checking pupils

Best for: Nurses who want a reliable penlight that won’t break the bank

CAVN (2 PCS) Reusable LED Medical Penlight with...
  • 2 PCS Medical Penlights (Rose + Purple) you will...
  • These medical penlight including Pocket Clip, you...
  • These medical penlights have Push-button on/off...

Opoway Nurse Penlight

Opoway Nurse Penlight with Pupil Gauge LED Medical...

With professional design and a super bright light, the Opoway Nurse Penlight might be the best choice on this list. It’s made from an aluminum alloy, comes in black and white colors and 4 AAA batteries are included in the package.

What we like:

  • Easy to use button
  • Metal pocket clip makes the penlight easy to carry around
  • Pupil gauge measurement is easy to read
  • LED bulb
  • Aluminum alloy body
  • Small and compact

What we don’t like:

  • Not very durable

Best for: Nurses who like simple and elegant designs.

Opoway Nurse Penlight with Pupil Gauge LED Medical...
  • Useful: These LED nursing penlight is examine sore...
  • Professional: The LED Penlight with Pupil Gauge...
  • Convenient: The pen light is small and compact...

Primacare DL-9325 Penlight

Primacare DL-9325 Reusable LED Penlight with Pupil...

The Primacare penlight has one of the brighter bulbs which makes it useful for almost any medical situation.  It also has excellent battery consumption because of its LED bulb and feels solid in your hand.

What we like:

  • Replaceable batteries
  • Sealed beam
  • Pre-focused pinpoint lens
  • Pupil gauge measurement
  • LED bulb
  • White light

What we don’t like:

  • Made from plastic

Best for: Nurses who want a brighter light.

Primacare DL-9325 Reusable LED Penlight with Pupil...
  • 2 AAA Batteries Included
  • Activated by depressing pocket clip
  • High quality

Primacare DL-9224 Penlight

Primacare DL-9224 Disposable Diagnostic Penlight,...

If you want an energy saving and long lasting penlight then this Primacare model is your best choice. Its best feature is the warm light which doesn’t burn patients’ eyes and the fact that they are disposable makes them affordable and easy to replace without having to hunt for batteries.

What we like:

  • Sealed beam
  • Pocket clip
  • Pupil gauge measurement
  • Pack of six lights

What we don’t like:

  • Less-bright light

Best for: Nurses who need their pen light to work and be easily replaceable.

Primacare DL-9224 Disposable Diagnostic Penlight,...
  • Disposable penlight with sealed concentric beam...
  • Dual-function pocket clip for portability and for...
  • Pupil gauge printed on the body of the penlight...

MDF LUMINIX Medical Penlight

MDF LUMINIX ILLUMINATOR Medical Professional...

Some of the previously mentioned nurse penlights only have a white light which can be harmful to some patients’ eyes, but the Luminix has a warm light making your job a bit easier.

Made from copper, the MDF also has one of the most solid shells on this list.

What we like:

  • Warm LED light
  • Copper built

What we don’t like:

  • Dim light
  • Batteries not included

Best for: Nurses who want a professional looking penlight.

MDF LUMINIX ILLUMINATOR Medical Professional...
  • Features a warm LED light for safe eye examination
  • durable copper construction
  • pupil gauge reference and ruler

EdisonBright Nitecore Penlight

EdisonBright Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen pen-type...

One of the most expensive lights on our list, the Nitecore has an anodized aluminum body which can be easily sterilized. It’s waterproof and submersible up to two meters, and you can set the brightness to three stages: 180 lumens for 45 minutes, 45 lumens for 5 hours and 15 minutes, 4 lumens for 35 hours.

What we like:

  • Anodized aluminum body
  • Waterproof and submersible
  • Three brightness outputs
  • Stainless Steel Clip

What we don’t like:

  • Quite expensive for a nursing penlight
  • Some buyers have complained that the batteries run out pretty fast
  • It can be turned on by mistake while in your pocket

Best for: Nurses who who expect the best out of their equipment.

EdisonBright Nitecore MT06MD 180 Lumen pen-type...
  • 180 lumen pen-shaped LED flashlight - MT06MD
  • Powered by 2xAAA batteries for max runtime of 5...
  • Reverse rear switch design for one-handed...

Buying Tips for Nursing Penlights

There are a few things to consider before purchasing your first penlight:

  • Shell material – if you work in the ER or labor and delivery you’re likely going to want a penlight that is easy to clean and sterilize – it’s not worth going cheap here as you’ll end up replacing the ones you can’t clean over time.
  • Battery life – no surprise here but it can be incredibly frustrating (and borderline unprofessional) to have your penlight go out in the middle of an exam.  Make sure you get a model that will keep up with your schedule and check to make sure you have replacement batteries (or a replacement penlight) when needed.
  • Brightness – a light is no good to anyone if it can’t be seen – take the time to understand your working conditions and patients to know whether you need something bright, soft, or adjustable.

Final Thoughts

No matter if you work for an OBGYN, pediatrician or in the ER, a medical penlight is an invaluable investment.  If your office doesn’t already provide you with one (or a pharmaceutical rep doesn’t hand them out like candy) then take a bit of time and find one that meets your needs.

Related: Our Favorite Compression Socks for Nurses

The good thing is that none of these nursing penlights is going to break the bank so try a few and stick with the one that performs the best.

Still considering becoming a nurse?  Check out our list of free NCLEX prep resources!

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