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Arc-AAA UV, retail $44.95 (www.arcflashlight.com...)
Manufactured by Mega Tech Devices (www.arcflashlight.com)
Last updated 04-17-12

The Arc AAA UV is a very tiny, single "AAA" cell LED source of UVA (ultraviolet type A) radiation, very similar to the original Arc AAA flashlight but with a few visible differences. A miniature step-up power converter inside the tiny head makes it possible to run a 3.2 to 3.8 volt ultraviolet LED with only a single 1.5 volt AAA cell.

The easy-grip body is composed entirely of hard anodized aircraft aluminum, and is, for all intents and purposes, indestructible. The bezel (head) isn't perfectly cylindrical, but has a slight rounded shape to it, and it uses a 5mm (T1¾) Nichia NSPU510CS (375nm UV LED) in an epoxy body as its UVA source. This LED is avertised to output no less than 10mW of radiation centered at 375nm in the long end of the UVA (ultraviolet type A) band.

The barrel has "ARC U" laser-engraved near its top, so you can distinguish it from the white Arc AAA.


To use this miniature marvel, you will first want to feed it with a single "AAA" cell that comes with it.

Getting UVA radiation is as easy as turning the head clockwise (as if tightening it) until it lights up (it should emit a dim, whitsh-violet visible output; the majority of its output is invisible ultraviolet radiation); turn it the other way to plunge yourself back in darkness.

The Arc AAA UV comes with a small split ring attached to the tail. This is meant to be attached to larger keyrings, like what your house & car keys are probably already on; and for attachment to a lanyard to hang the Arc around your neck or around a nail or tree branch.

The knurled surface makes the product easy to grip and use.

To get your Arc AAA UV powered up and ready to face the world, unscrew the head until it comes off (don't worry about losing parts or bulbs), and drop the included Duracell AAA battery in so the button end faces up. Screw the head back on, and you're finished.

A foam gasket affixed to the bottom of the inside of the head prevents that annoying rattling sound from the battery moving around inside when the unit is turned off.

Due to the way the product was constructed, I am not able to furnish a current usage measurement for you.

Advertised runtime (to 50% intensity) is no less than five hours on a Duracell brand alkaline cell.
The company that makes this flashlight tends not to lie or exaggerate, so this runtime value should be reasonably accurate at absolute minimum.

The Arc AAA UV is as tough as they come. It has a Mil-Spec Type III hard anodized ("HA-III") finish on it, so it should stay new-looking even if it goes up against keys, coins, or other flashlights in your pocket or on your keychain. This flashlight appears at least fairly durable, and it is!!! When I performed that terrible smack test on it (ten whacks against the concrete floor of a patio: 5 smacks against the side of the bezel and 5 smacks against the side of the tail end), only very, very, very minor damage was found. There is some extremely minor gouging to the bare Metaldemidevimon - er - the bare Metalarukenimon - um that's not it either... the bare Metalmalomyotismon...er...uh...wait a sec here...THE BARE METAL (guess I've been watching too much Digimon again! Now I'm just making {vulgar term for poop} up!!! ) on the side of the bezel where it was struck.

A gold material called Chemcoat inside the barrel helps protect the aluminum in there from water or bad battery juice. So please try not to scrub it away or otherwise try to remove it.

There is knurling (diamond-shaped cross-hatched texturising) on the barrel and on the bezel, so retention (the ability to hold onto the flashlight when your hands are cold, wet, or oily) shouldn't be much of an issue.

The bezel (head) of the Arc-P is slightly rounded (barrel-shaped as opposed to being perfectly cylindrical); as a result, some users may find it a little easier to place in a pocket, especially the watch pocket of jeans, which is typically has a tight top to it.

A foam gasket is affixed to the underside of the bezel (head); this helps to prevent battery rattle when the unit is shaken, is struck against something else, or is dropped.

The Arc AAA UV is waterproof and even submersible to 100'. So if it falls into a puddle, just shake it off and keep going. And if it fell next to the mailbox and the dog pissed on it, just douche it off under the faucet or take the garden hose to it...good as new.

The beam is advertised to be 40° in width; I do not have the necessary equipment at my disposal for measuring this however.

According to the web page on this product at Arc Flashlights, the Arc AAA UV can be used for the following:
  • Entry control at events (pass mark on people's hands)
  • Forensics (using "Luminol", etc to show blood, semen, etc)
  • Leak detection using fluorescent dyes (automotive, industrial, pressure vessels, coolers, air conditioners, etc)
  • Curing UV adhesives
  • Detecting repairs in pottery, china, etc (glues typically fluoresce)
  • Stamp collecting
  • Scorpion/insect hunting (some types of scorpions fluoresce whitish-green)
  • Law enforcement (detecting UV strip or insignia on ID)
  • Product QA (detect authentic strips on product)
  • Counterfeit bill detection
  • Credit card counterfeit detection (various UV marks are used on cards)
  • Geology/mineralogy (identify minerals)
  • Parties
  • Hotel cleanliness (detect substances on the sheets - requires reagent)
  • Carpet stain detection (pet stains {puke, poop, pee}, water damage, etc)
  • Pest control (detect rodent/animal pee)
  • Electronics (erase EPROM’s, test sensors, etc)
  • Lab/science experiments
  • Military (test UV signature of uniform as a result of detergent residue, test night vision equipment, light up scenes for starlight goggles)
The Arc AAA UV causes fluorescence in warts better than a 12xLED UVA flashlight with 382nm LEDs in it. Here is the comparison photograph (the Arc is on the left; the 12xLED unit is on the right):
(Both lights were held approximately 2.5" from the warts for this comparison)

Sure, this is farking yucky, but it does provide an effective demonstration.

I must emphasize, protect your eyeballs when using this light. You only get one set of eyes - and if you wreck them, you can't just go down to the local seven-eleven and buy a can of them.
Here is one simple way you can do this:

Most sunglasses and some prescription eyeglasses have some degree of UV protection already; to determine if yours do or not, aim the flashlight at something that clearly fluoresces (such as those neon green & orange stickers that occasionally show up on your mail, day-glow orange price tags, or painted portions of a blacklight poster), positioning the light so the object in front of it glows (fluoresces) brightly from the ultraviolet light. Then put the glasses between the face of the light and the target. If the glow stops or dims dramatically, the glasses are stopping the UV and you can use them as eye protection at least for short-term use.
However, if the glow remains or dims only slightly, look for another pair.

In any case, never look directly at the LEDs without eye protection - not even for a minute.

Symptoms of UV exposure may not appear immediately; they can be delayed by 30 minutes to several hours. They can include a burning or "sand in the eyes" sensation, and a hazy look around light bulbs and other bright objects. Mild cases are self-correcting within 24 to 36 hours; however if despite my warnings you still stared at this light from close range for more than a few minutes, it might not be a bad idea to see an eye doctor and tell him you've been exposed to UVA radiation.

DISCLAIMER: I shall not be held responsible for any damage or loss of eyesight arising from your use or misuse of the information on this page. Thank you for listening.

Beam photograph at ~8".
Target has a mild fluorescence of its own; in reality, the beam is a very dim whitish-violet.

Fluorescence of the security stripe in a US $20 bill.

Fluorescence of a security feature in a Visa bank card.

Fluorescence in the green part of a Team Edge RC remote control.

Fluorescence of two pieces of acrylic; not at all dissimilar to the dye used in air conditioning systems.
One of the uses for this product is to find leaks in AC systems after fluorescent dye is injected into the system.

Greenish fluorescence in a purple glass insulator.

The green body of an EFlare HZ530 fluoresces (glows) in the UVA radiation generated by this flashlight.

Photograph of fluorescent rocks & Vaseline glass marbles...what else...fluorescing!
Fluorescent minerals can be found at CoolWorldMinerals.

Greenish fluorescence in an ice blue glass insulator.

Photograph of a room taken using the Arc-AAA UV as the sole source of illumuination.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVA LED in this product.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVA LED in this product; newer spectrometer software & settings (and different spectrometer hardware) used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVA LED in this product; yet newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVA LED in this product; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 360nm and 405nm to pinpoint peak wavelength, which is 377.450nm.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVA LED in this product; yet newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVA LED in this product; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 360nm and 390nm to pinpoint peak wavelength, which is 374.961nm.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the fluorescence of a uranated* glass marble when irradiated with this product.

*"Uranated" - infused with a uranium compound (one of the oxides I believe), *NOT* piddled on.
Commonly referred to as "Vaseline glass" because it has
a distinct pale yellow-green color when not being irradiated.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the fluorescence of the NIA 2009 commemorative insulator in uranated glass when irradiated with this product.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the fluorescence of the transparent green plastic body of a disposable cigarrette lighter when irradiated with this product.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the fluorescence of the transparent blue plastic body of a disposable cigarrette lighter when irradiated with this product.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the product spinning the vanes of a Crooke's radiometer.
This clip is approximately 4.8 megabytes (4,963,102 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than twenty minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the product does indeed generate close to 10mW of UVA radiation.

Test sample was purchased at www.arcflashlight.com on 09-26-07, and was received at 2:58pm PDT on 10-01-07.

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

UPDATE: 10-03-07
From the manufacturer of this light, regarding the use of Energizer L92 lithium AAA cells, comes the following:

"The driver is the same {as the driver in the white Arc AAA} so there is no problem with using 1.7v lithium cells."

And from somebody who knows their {vulgar term for feces} about light & electronics, comes this:

"I saw a mention that these can erase EPROMs. I would say essentially untrue.

Based on results reported in www.misty.com/~don/uvbulb.html, I would expect using a 10 mW 375 nm light to erase an EPROM would take at least a few days, probably a lot more, maybe a blue moon or two.

UPDATE: 12-21-07
I have decided to rate this product a full five (5) stars and place it in The Trophy Case on this website!!!

UPDATE: 11-10-09
Product appeared to have failed, but sprang to life a short time later.
I'm as of yet uncertain why the product failed to function - even if only for a brief time.

Excellent UVA output from a single 5mm LED
Durable aluminum body finished with HA-III
Weatherproof and waterproof (submersible to 100') too
Batteries are inexpensive and readily available
Foam gasket under bezel prevents battery rattle
Impressive warranty

None that I have found so far

    MANUFACTURER: Mega Tech Devices
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small LED UVA source
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm Nichia NSPU510CS UVA LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot with soft fall-off to perimeter
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off
    BEZEL: Metal; LED inset in conical depression
    BATTERY: 1xAAA cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 100'
    ACCESSORIES: Duracell brand AAA cell, small split ring, pocket clip
    SIZE: 2.7"L, 0.5"D
    WEIGHT: 0.75oz
    WARRANTY: 1 year


    Star Rating

Arc-AAA UV * www.arcflashlight.com...

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