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DORCY 1-LED FLASHLIGHT



Dorcy 1-LED Flashlight, retail $6 (www.dorcy.com/41-4234.htm)
Manufactured by Dorcy (www.dorcy.com)
Last updated 10-03-04





The Dorcy 1-LED flashlight is the smallest Dorcy flashlight you can get, that I'm aware of. It's just under 3 1/4" long by about 5/8" wide at its widest point, and runs off a single AAA cell. It produces light from a brilliant white LED in a reflector, protected by a plastic window on the end. The Dorcy 1-LED flashlight works like the other three I tested, turning on by either twisting the tail or by pressing the black plastic tailcap button in.


 SIZE



To use the Dorcy 1-LED flashlight, first you have to get it out of the plastic hell it comes in (like the three other LED flashlights they make). To do that, just slit the package along the length of one side with a sharp knife or razor blade - then get the flashlight and alkaline AAA cell it comes with out of the package. Install the battery (see below) and it's ready to go.

To get the flashlight to turn on, turn the tailcap clockwise (tighten) until it lights. Turn it counterclockwise (loosen) around half a turn and it ought to shut off.

To get a shot of light anytime, push the black plastic end of the tailcap, and light should pour out of the other end. Release the button and it should shut off. The light also has a LOTC (Lock Out Tail Cap), which you can activate by unscrewing the tailcap approximately 1 1/4 turns from the "on" position; this helps to keep the light shut off in your backpack, camping gear, or box; helping to prevent unwanted turn-on in such a container so you don't find a dead battery in the light when you go to unpack it.

There's a small loop on the tailcap, so you can hang the light from nails in the wall, or attach it to a lanyard of your choice to hang it around your neck, or hang it from tree branches or tent ceiling apexes.



To change the battery in the Dorcy 1-LED flashlight, just unscrew & remove the tailcap, and dump the dead battery in the nearest garbage can. Insert just one new one in the barrel, positive (+) button-end first. Replace the tailcap, and back it off a bit after the flashlight turns on. The flashlight is designed so you can't accidentally overtighten the tailcap; the light will come on when you tighten it all the way, but no harm will be done.

The tested sample draws 243mA from its 1 alkaline AAA cell. Because there's a DC-DC inverter in there, the LED isn't really seeing 243mA, so this flashlight isn't driving it quite that hard. :)


Here's a battery discharge analysis chart, using a 700mAh NiMH AAA cell.
Runs for 3:50 to the 25% intensity point.



The Dorcy 1-LED flashlight feels nice in the hand both because of its small size and the ribbed rubber cover over the barrel. The tailcap switch can be rotated with just one hand (the same one holding the flashlight), so you don't need to use them both to turn this flashlight on and off. It's actually quite comfortable and fits the hand nicely.

The momentary tailcap button did raise an itty bitty little red flag for me though. Like its big brothers, the instructions say you should have the tailcap unscrewed 1/2 a turn from the constant on position in order to use the momentary tailcap button, I found it better for me to unscrew the tailcap around 1/8 of a turn (or even a bit less) from constant on, then I could use the momentary tailcap button with no loose or wobbly feeling from the tailcap. This seems to be common with all the Dorcy LED lights I've tried, so I don't think it's anything to worry about.
As usual, your mileage may and probably will vary. Just play with it until it feels right for you.

If you unscrew the tailcap 1 to 1 1/4 turn from full-on, the momentary button becomes locked out (does not turn the light on when pressed), so there's your LOTC (Lock Out Tail Cap) function. This means you can pack it in a duffel bag, suitcase, or box and it won't turn itself on and waste the battery.

Water resistance is not stated on the packaging, but a suction test against the tailcap showed the light held a vaccume, and should do alright if you drop it in toilets, sinks, tubs, wall urinators, mud puddles, rivers, lakes, ponds, snowbanks, piles of slush, and other places where water might be found. There are O-rings sealing both the head and tailcap, and they ought to be at least good enough to allow you to use the flashlight in rain or snow and not have to worry too much about it.

One user of this flashlight reports that the rubber covering over the barrel makes it much more comfortable to hold this flashlight in the teeth when necessary.



Beam photo at ~12".
Measured 21,600mcd at 12" using a Meterman LM631 light meter.




TEST NOTES:
Four new Dorcy LED flashlights - including this one - were received from Dorcy around June 25 2003.


UPDATE: 03-05-04
I've read that all the Dorcy LED lights are to become available in Target stores by 03-12-04.


UPDATE: 03-26-04
I've read that this Dorcy LED model is available in Ochard Supply & Hardware.


UPDATE: 04-25-04
I received the following information today, from a fan of the website:

Craig,
Just wanted to let you know that today at a Big KMart in Southern Illinois I found the
(1) LED/ (1) AAA cell
(3) LED / (1) AA cell and the
(4) LED / (2) AA cell
Dorcy flashlights priced at about 8, 17 and 20 dollars.



UPDATE: 10-03-04
A user of this flashlight has reported that air readily enters the barrel when the tailcap is suctioned; but that the tailcap itself holds a vaccume.


PROS:
Small size fits most pockets and purses
Appears to be at very minimum splash-resistant
Product should have a decent warranty


CONS:
Higher current drain than expected



    MANUFACTURER: Dorcy
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with more abrupt fall-off toward edge
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist tailcap on/off, momentary tailcap button
    BEZEL: Plastic lens protects LED which is in a reflector
    BATTERY: 1x AAA cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 243mA
    WATER RESISTANT: Not stated, but weather-resistant at least
    SUBMERSIBLE: Probably not
    ACCESSORIES: 1 alkaline AAA cell
    WARRANTY: Not explicitly stated, but presumed lifetime

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating









Dorcy 1-LED Flashlight * www.dorcy.com/41-4234.htm







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