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NIGHT BUSTER 8X



Night Buster 8X, retail $44 (http://www.glow-bug.com)
Manufactured by The Glow Bug
Last updated: 09-22-01


LED Light


The Nightbuster 8x isn't really a flashlight - it's a heavy chunk of weapons grade aluminum with some LED lights on the end. :) Seriously though, if you want a bright, very robust and substantial light that feels sturdy in the hand and can double as a hammer in an emergency, then the Nightbuster is definitely worth looking at.

The Nightbuster is powered by 3 "AA" cells and sports 8 super bright white LEDs recessed deep in the end and protected by a crystal clear acrylic lens.


SIZE:



As this sample is on loan and arrived already used, I don't know if it comes with batteries or not. I checked the website... they say it doesn't, so you probably want to put in three "AA" cells (see below) before using it.

To turn the Nightbuster on, give the tailcap a clockwise twist. To turn it off, twist the tailcap the other way. The tailcap switch has a firm feel to it, not at all wobbly like some other lights. There is just enough stiffness in the turning action to give it a reliable, sturdy feel, yet not so much that you break off your wrist trying to turn it. The Nightbuster can be turned on and off with one hand if need be.

The light comes with a short wrist lanyard attached to a split ring that fits in a very small receptacle near the tailpiece. The lanyard is just large enough that it doesn't "choke" your wrist, but it can be a bit difficult to operate the switch one-handed when carrying the light on the lanyard.



The Nightbuster feeds on "AA" batteries - three of them to be exact.
To change them, unscrew the tailcap until it comes completely off. Pour out the dead batteries, and insert three new ones, button (+) end first. Screw the tailcap back on, and that's that.

This is a light who's batteries can easily be changed in the dark or with gloves on, because both parts of the light are large and robust enough.

Because this light consumes a bit more battery power than other LED lights, battery life might be a bit shorter - perhaps 2-4 hours of really great light, and maybe a dozen more at diminishing levels. This light was designed specifically for high brightness, not extra long battery life.
You can't always have your cake and stomp on it too. ;)

Current drain was measured at 464mA on fresh Duracell alkaline cells.



As a flashlight, this is one of the heaviest and most robust I've ever come across. The aluminum walls are nearly 1/4" thick!!!
This light could easily take someone out or be used as a hammer in an emergency... it makes the Mag Lite's body look like a cheap plastic toy!

The only real vulnerability I can see is in the tailpiece: the portion that threads into the flashlight body appears to be made of plastic, probably nylon. Although nylon is a tough material, it might still be possible to strip the threads if the light were abused badly enough. Gently poking at a non-critical spot on this piece with the tip of a box knife confirms my suspicions: it's nylon alright. Since stripping this piece would take a supreme, almost superhuman effort, I have no reason to believe it will cause you any grief even if you're one of those people that breaks everything they touch.
As this nylon component is a critical part of the switching mechanism (it functions as an insulator) do not try to remove it, reinforce it, or replace it with a conductive material.

The Nightbuster is supposedly submergible to 6 feet.

Although the light is supposed to be activated by turning the tailpiece, this sample seems to be rather fickle in that regard. You have to turn it just so and find the "sweet spot" before it will stay on. Turn just a little past this spot and it goes out again.
I have heard reports that this is a manufacturing quirk of some kind, and that a correction (?) is already in the works.


LED Light LED Light
Two different shots comparing the 8X to a popular 7-LED light, the Expedition 300.
The 8X light is a bit bluer, but it still gives the Expedition 300 a run for its money.
It measures 55,700mcd on that little doodad you see on the bottom of the target.


For its size, the Nightbuster is quite bright. It gives the "C" cell Expedition 300 a real run for its money. For comparative purposes, a new Expedition with the new module tested to 67,700mcd, but it has had brief usage on the batteries. The Nightbuster's light appears a bit bluer, and its beam is a bit narrower than the Expedition, so to most people it will appear brighter when the two are shot side-by-side. Because of switch variations, I've obtained readings varying from 52,000mcd to over 60,000mcd.


TEST NOTES:

Test sample flickers (see above).
This sample is a loaner, and because of that, abusive tests will be limited and no water testing can take place.


Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.




PROS:
Extremely rugged, housing is essentially indestructible, bright for its size, uses common batteries, easy battery change, LEDs both recessed & lensed for protection, feels very robust & substantial in the hand.

CONS:
Tested sample has a fickle switch... I am investigating.
Some may find the unit to be heavier than they prefer. No "momentary" or signalling function, and unit cannot be stood on-end to use as a solid-state "candle". Some may find the wrist lanyard a bit small, and it won't fit around coat or jacket sleeves, but it works fine if used on the bare wrist.


          MANUFACTURER: The Glow Bug
          PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld Flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 5mm
          No. OF LAMPS: 8
          BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with soft corona
          SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on tailcap
          BEZEL: None
          BATTERY: 3 AA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 464 milliamps typical
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: To 6 feet (unconfirmed)
          ACCESSORIES: Unknown (Lanyard/split ring?)
          WARRANTY: Unknown



                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 10
                BRIGHTNESS: 10
                USEABILITY: 8
                BATTERY LIFE: 8
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10

                OVERALL SCORE: 46




NIGHTBUSTER 8X * WWW.GLOW-BUG.COM



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