Engineering Student is Also an Inventor

Popular Pak-Lite is sold around the world

By: Becky St. Clair

Henry with his popular invention, the Pak-Lite flashlight.

The Pak-Lite is small and light-weight, making it ideal for military as well as individual use.

Benjamin Henry, a sophomore electrical engineering major at Walla Walla University, is an inventor.  His creation is the Pak-Lite, a small hand-held flashlight.  The light utilizes light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which are ten times more efficient than incandescent bulbs.  He invented the light when he was 15, and patented it at age 16.  

Henry’s brother was planning a backpacking trip up the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.  As part of his strategy, he was going light-weight with everything he could.

“He made his own backpack, tent, and sleeping bag,” explains Henry, “and modified much of his other gear for a total weight of eleven pounds.  All he needed after that was a flashlight.”

His interest in soldering iron and electronics inspired Henry to create a light-weight, compact flashlight for his brother to use on his trip.  When finished, it was only slightly longer than the 9-volt battery used for its power supply.

Today, nearly 50 retail stores around the country stock Henry’s Pak-Lite.  The flashlights are routinely sold to air force bases and other military branches.  They are also sold in Australia and to several companies in Europe.

Among the 40 or so models and versions of the Pak-Lite that are produced, the most popular is the Pak-Lite Super Glow.  When removed from light, the Super Glow continues to glow in the dark for up to twelve hours.

“Honestly, it’s been a blast,” says Henry about his invention experience.  “The most exciting thing is that I never know what will happen next.”

Henry has heard stories of his Pak-Lite being used and loved from the Ukraine to the jungles of the Philippines.  His constant supply of top-of-the-line LEDs and other electronic parts have given him the opportunity to create displays for Nordstrom’s in San Francisco, and a gaming device for a Pathfinder group.

“The best part is the stories of how the Pak-Lite has helped people in such distant places,” Henry says.  “I love hearing how this light God has given me has reached so far.”

To learn more about Henry’s Pak-Lite, or to place an order, visit or call 877-715-4448.

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