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AccuLux LED 2000

AccuLux LED 2000 Rechargable (NiMH) Flashlight, retail US$18.00 (http://www.conrad.com)
Manufactured by AccuLux (tel. +49/(0)7192-92920)
Last updated 02-04-08


AccuLux


The AccuLux LED 2000 is unique among the world of modern-day LED flashlights.
Why? Because you never have to buy batteries for it. The sleek, if somewhat large black flashlight is rechargeable.
It is also surprisingly bright for a single LED flashlight.
Battery life is stated at 120 minutes at near full intensity, and an additional 600 minutes at reduced brightness.

It is made in Germany, and comes with instructions in German, French, Italian, and English. It also comes with the plug adapter to fit United States two and three prong receptacles.

SIZE:


When you first open the box, your first instinct might be to start using it right away. Don't.

The AccuLux is a rechargeable product, and needs to be fully charged before first use. (see the section about batteries for more info on this).

Once charged, the light is easy to use. On the side of the flashlight body there is a small lever-action switch. Flip it toward the front of the flashlight to turn it on, and flip it toward the back to turn it off. The switch is spring-loaded, so it shouldn't activate by itself too often.
When the light starts to dim or goes out altogether, you merely recharge it, and it's as good as new.



This is one flashlight that you don't need to run to the store to buy batteries for, because it has rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries and a universal 110/230 volt charger already built in.

When feeding time comes, you take off the black tail piece. Do this by grasping it with your thumb and forefinger and gently wiggle it while pulling. This will expose the AC prongs - but wait - something's terribly wrong here! The prongs only fit those European 230VAC outlets!
Fear not, because the AccuLux is universal, and comes with a U.S. adapter as part of the package. Slip the white adapter over the prongs, make sure the light is turned off, and then plug it in to any convenient outlet as shown in the photos.



The manufacturer recommends you use the light until the batteries are pretty much shot, and then recharge it for a full 16 hours. Don't "top it off" after only a few minutes of use, because if you do this all the time, the batteries can develop a kind of chemical "memory" and may no longer be able to maintain a full charge.

Rechargeable batteries also lose 1% to 2% of their power every day, even when you do not use the flashlight. So, even if it sits in a drawer most of the time, recharge it once a month or so to keep the batteries in good shape.

When you are done recharging the AccuLux, unplug it, remove the white adapter (if you used it) and push the black tail piece back on until it clicks snugly in place. That's it.



The instructions that came with the AccuLux are confusing. On one hand, they claim the flashlight is "not sensitive to impact", but later in the document, it warns the user to "protect against extreme shocks and impact". So this might not be the right flashlight to run over with my wheelchair or dash against a steel pole.

That said, it did survive an "accidental" fall from table-height onto low-pile carpeting over linoleum (no padding or backing on the carpet). Another recently tested flashlight exploded from a fall not much higher than this. So at least we know this one is at least somewhat sturdy.
The AccuLux also feels robust and stout in the hand, and there is no rattle when it is shaken violently.

Now... let's get the flashlight's major weak points out in the open first.
The lens... The flashlight's domed magnifying lens is completely exposed, and is extremely vulnerable to scratching & gouging. I would feel more comfortable having this flashlight bang around in my pocket with coins & keys if the lens end were protected in some way - perhaps even a rim or lip moulded into it would do the job.
So would a belt holster, like the ones you can get for LEDTronics and PAL flashlights.

The switch.... It is very tiny and it protrudes from the side of the flashlight like a porcupine quill in your dog's muzzle. If the flashlight fell and landed on that side, you can kiss it goodbye - the switch would break instantly. The tiny lever would snap off and leave you with no way to turn the light on and off other than using a knife or a screwdriver.

Loose parts... Although very convenient, especially for the world traveller, it might be easy to lose or misplace the white U.S. plug adapter. Thankfully, you can buy a replacement if you know where to look (it's a standard off-the-shelf component), so you wouldn't be screwed for very long.

If you have the luxury of having enough outlets in your home, one way to prevent this type of mishap is to just leave the white adapter plugged in all the time. If you recharge your AccuLux in the same outlet every time, this should prevent the loss of this part and you wouldn't even have to think about it.
The adapter only changes the style of the AC prongs from European to American, and does not consume any power of its own.

The AccuLux comes with a 12 month warranty, but I don't believe it covers accidents.

The flashlight is NOT water resistant in any manner, and should probably be kept away from thunderstorms, sinks, tubs, toilets, lawn sprinklers, and the kid's wading pool.

It may be used for camping trips, provided you expect fair weather. In fact, it is the perfect kind of light to use for those nighttime trips from the tent to the outhouse.
Although the beam is a little narrow, it is just wide enough to be useful for walking around at night. For added versatility, the lens may be removed to further widen and diffuse the beam for reading or for more side illumination when walking at night.


Left: Lens on. Right: Lens off.

Measures 41,400 mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.


ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.


As you can see by the beam photos, the AccuLux has a very sharp-edged beam with a viewing angle of around 20 degrees.
The beam is surprisingly even and consistent over its field. The lens is removable. When the lens is removed, the flashlight's beam behaves like that of most ordinary white LED lights - it becomes more diffuse and develops a bluish hue toward the center.


This picture shows just how sharp edged the beam really is. You will also notice that the entire perimeter of the beam is a very thin, very blue ring; while the entire area inside is bluish white and has an even, consistent appearance.

To show this blue border and the consistency of the beam itself, this photograph was taken with the camera's iris closed by two stops.





TEST NOTES:
Flashlight has been used for a minimum of ten minutes each and every day. Dropped on poor quality carpeting (very low pile, no backing) several times now with no ill effects.
Lens has been removed & replaced numerous times with no breakage or fatiguing.

Product was made in Germany.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.


Update: 10-18-00 (near midnight):
I have been using this flashlight for one week now, and have nothing significant to report.
It has been dropped (accidentally, really!) a second time from almost 4 feet (shirt pocket height), and it just bounced around a little. As testing has progressed, it has been receiving frequent, daily usage since October 11th. Total daily "on" time averages 10 to 15 minutes each and every day, and it is still on its initial charge.

Update: 10-20-00 (also near midnight):
Tonight, while using the flashlight to make adjustments to my Color Kinetics fixture's switches, the AccuLux 2000 finally started to peter out.
So, it lasted approximately ten days of frequent (many times daily) heavy usage on a single charge. Not bad... not bad at all.
The easy-to-lose adapter plug was plucked off my lab bench, and the light went straight into the nearest AC receptacle where it will finally get a well deserved night's sleep.
Time to start using some of Brock's flashlights. ;)

Update: 10-27-00:
The flashlight continues to work OK.
Additional observations show the following:
  • The flashlight is not waterproof or rain resistant.
  • Because there are a lot of components inside, it may be more "breakable" than a light containing just an LED and a battery. You'll probably want to try to avoid dropping it on concrete or other hard surfaces; although falls onto deep carpet, grass, or soft dirt probably won't break it.
  • The rounded shape feels nice in the hand and in the pocket. It is easy to forget it is there and accidentally run it through your washing machine.
  • Although large for a 1-LED, its rechargability is an asset that many people will find useful. The perfect light to take travelling, no matter where on the planet you go. As long as your hotel room has an outlet in it, you'll always have a bright, dependable light.



PROS:
Rechargeable!!! No batteries to buy, ever.
Universal voltage charger works worldwide, comes with U.S. adapter
Removable lens allows for a more diffuse illumination if desired.
The rounded shape feels nice in the hand
Flashlight seems fairly sturdy.

CONS:
Exposed lens is vulnerable to damage.
Unexpectedly large size for a single LED light.
Adapter plug can become lost by forgetful or careless user.
Not water resistant.
The tiny switch can be the first (or only) thing to break if the light falls the wrong way on a hard surface.
Switch is small and may take some getting used to.




            MANUFACTURER: AccuLux
            PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld Flashlight
            LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 5mm
            No. OF LAMPS: 1
            BEAM TYPE: Circular with sharply defined perimeter
            SWITCH TYPE: Snap-action lever
            BEZEL: Removable magnifying lens
            BATTERY: Internal NiMH w/ onboard charger
            CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
            WATER RESISTANT: No
            SUBMERSIBLE: No
            ACCESSORIES: Conversion plug for US outlets
            WARRANTY: 12 months, limited. Does not cover abuse/neglect/accident



            PRODUCT RATING:

            DURABILITY: 4
            BRIGHTNESS: 9
            USEABILITY: 9
            BATTERY LIFE: 5
            BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10 (rechargeable)

            OVERALL SCORE: 37


AccuLux LED 2000 Rechargable NiMH LEDLight * WWW.CONRAD.COM



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