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NITESTAR 3W LUXEON FLASHLIGHT



Nitestar 3W Luxeon Flashlight, retail $TBA (URL not yet known))
Manufactured by (Unknown) for Golden Gadgets (www.goldengadgets.com)
Last updated 09-21-04





Wel, thuh compeny thatt maiks thiss phlashlit kant spel "night", but the Nitestar is a very nice product. The Nitestar 3W Luxeon LED Flashlight (hereinafter just called the Nitestar) is a small handheld flashlight that uses a 3 watt Luxeon Star HD (high-dome or lambertian) LED at the bottom of a smooth reflector to produce its light, and two CR123A lithium camera batteries to power that LED.

The Nitestar comes in an almost all-aluminum body (the pushbutton switch on the tailcap and the plastic window on the bezel are the two non-metal components you can see). The bezel, barrel, and tailcap have large squares and rectangles milled into them, along with fine transverse grooves. These projections and grooves help aid in retention, in addition to giving the flashlight a "meaner" look.

There is no indication as to who actually manufactures this flashlight; with "MADE IN CHINA" in small letters and "NITESTAR" in large letters on the front of the packaging. There is no other text on the packaging, front or rear.


 SIZE



The Nitestar came to me fully loaded and ready to use; feed yours (see below) if necessary.

To use your new Nitestar, press the button on the tailcap until it clicks, and then release it. This turns the flashlight on.
Press and release the button the same way again to turn the flashlight off.

There is no momentary or "signalling" mode available on this flashlight when it is off; however you can blink it when it's already on by partially depressing the button. If you don't mind the backward feel of this, you can blink the Nitestar this way.



To feed your Nitestar, unscrew and remove the tailcap, and flush it down the john...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead. ;-)

Tip the two used CR123A cells out of the barrel and into your hand, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Place two new CR123A cells in the barrel, button-end (+) positive first. Screw the tailcap back on, finger tight. And there, you're done with it.
Aren't you glad you didn't flush away that tailcap now? ;-)

Measures 479mA on new cells - the "WF" brand cells that came with it.

As of the morning of 09-21-04, I'm running a battery discharge analysis of the Nitestar. Assuming I don't queer the test by bumping I shouldn't bump, the machine should poop out a chart later today.


And here's the chart. The first two tests did get ruined, but the third worked correctly.
Runs for 1 hour 55 minutes to 50% intensity, and 4 hours 50 minutes overall.
The test was stopped when the Nitestar was at approximately 4.5% of its original intensity.
Battery Station brand CR123A cells were used for this test.




Photograph showing the business-end of the Nitestar. The LED, reflector, and end-window ("lens") are seen in this picture.

The Nitestar appears to be reasonably durable. After whacking it ten times against a steel rod (five against the barrel, and five against the bezel), the electrical and optical functioning of this flashlight was not altered in any manner. There are some rather small dents on the bezel where it was hit, but you have to purposefully look for the dents and know where to look before you see them.

This flashlight is weather- and splash-resistant, but I don't believe it is submersible. When the tailcap was removed, the barrel relieved of its batteries, and then the flashlight was suctioned, a small amount of air did come from the seal around the bezel. There is an O-ring there, but it is not 100% effective in stopping leakage. While you should not have to be very concerned about using the Nitestar in rain or snow, I don't think you should drop it into water or water-like liquids, or it may slowly flood. Note I said "slowly" here - if it falls in a puddle or in a shallow creek, you ought to be OK if you fish the flashlight out of the water quickly.

The Nitestar has a series of raised squares and rectangles milled into its body, and very fine grooves encircling the light (transverse, as opposed to longitudinal) along the entire flashlight body. These help to aid in retention (the ability to hold the flashlight when your hands are cold, oily, or wet) so I don't think you'll have any problems there.

The beam emitted by the Nitestar is a wide spot with a fairly abrupt edge and a much dimmer but still usable corona outside that. Overall, the light produced by the Nitestar has a slightly greenish white tint to it. If you showed somebody the beam and asked them what color it was, almost everybody who saw it would holler out "WHITE!". The tint is not objectionable by any means, but there IS a slight greenish tint to this flashlight's beam.

The beam is somewhat adjustable, by turning the bezel (head) counterclockwise (as if loosening it) to widen the beam, and turning the bezel clockwise (as if tightening it) to narrow the beam. I was going to recommend against doing this because what water-resistance there is would be compromised, but as it turns out, unscrewing the bezel about 1 turn causes the O-ring to engage more fully, and the Nitestar holds a vaccume when the tail end of the flashlight was suctioned. I don't know how well the tailcap itself seals to the body (there's another O-ring on the barrel where the tailcap screws on), but the Nitestar won't flood through the bezel end anyway.

A small strap is affixed to the flashlight via a small opening in the tailcap. Although the lanyard is too small to fit around your wrist, it will fit all the way around the flashlight, so you can hang it from small tree branches, small water pipes, and other small, rod-shaped items without an easily accessible end. Part of this strap can be detached from the flashlight, by holding the plastic piece in one hand and squeezing its sides in with the other. To reattach the strap, just push the two plastic pieces in together until you hear a light but clearly audible snap.



Beam photo on the test target at ~12"
Measures 1,042,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
This is a very nice value for a single LED.



TEST NOTES:
Test unit was sent by Golden Gadgets, and was received on 05-29-04.



UPDATE: 08-26-04
I have decided to rate this flashlight. No additional updates are on this page, in case you're wondering.


PROS:
Small size makes it easy to carry
Durable aluminum construction
Texturised for easy grippability and retention
Very nice light output level
Lanyard can be looped all the way around the flashlight


CONS:
Has that characteristic "rotten cat urine green" tint, but it's not that bad
Weather-resistant, but NOT waterproof
Lanyard is too small to fit around your wrist
Uses batteries that can be expensive or difficult to find in an emergency


    MANUFACTURER: Unknown
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 3 watt Luxeon LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Wide spot with dimmer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on tailcap
    BEZEL: Metal; LED and reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 2x CR123A cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 479mA
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes, splash- and weather-resistant at minimum
    SUBMERSIBLE: No
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, small lanyard
    SIZE: 4.85"L, 1.2"D
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating





Nitestar 3W Luxeon Flashlight * www.goldengadgets.com







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