eternaLight EliteMax, retail $99.99 (
Manufactured by Technology Associates (
Last updated 01-27-04

The eternaLight EliteMax is a pager-sized, microprocessor controlled, 4-LED pocket flashlight. It comes in a translucent blue polycarbonate plastic case, and has a black and silver color scheme that goes very well with the blue case. Its NightBeacon allows you to see the flashlight in the bottom of a handbag or in a dark room. You can set it to blink at 0.5Hz, burn steadily, or turn it off completely if you wish.


To use this light, just open up the pack, take out your EliteMax, and start pushing buttons. :)
If you just need some light really quick, press the rightmost button on the unit, and you've got light. Press it again, and you've got dark. But that's just the beginning of things for this light. Short of writing an instructional manual here, I'll outline the functions for this flashlight, and how to access them. When you use any of the extras, push the right button once to get the light burning first.

  1. Timer mode (One LED shuts off every 2.5 minutes until they're all off): Don't do anything after turning the light on.
  2. Dimmer mode: Press center button. The leftmost button then dims the LEDs, from full power all the way down to a single LED burning weakly. Steps through all 11 brightness levels, then turns the blue inner LED on by itself, then repeats.
  3. Flasher mode: Press center button again. The leftmost button controls flash rate. Light flashes brightly at around 8 flashes per second (adjustable).
  4. Strobe mode: Press center button again. The leftmost button controls rate. Like flash mode, but faster and with shorter bursts. This mode can provide some interesting stop-action effects in low light.
  5. Dazzle mode: Press center button again. The LEDs sequence in a neat, attention-getting pattern.
  6. S.O.S. mode: Press center button again (you may need to press it twice to get out of "dazzle" mode): Causes the light to flash the international S.O.S. distress signal; 3 short flashes, a pause, 3 long flashes, another pause, and 3 short flashes. Repeats indefinitely until you change modes or turn off the light.
  7. Pulse mode: Press center button again. All four white LEDs come on at full power and in unregulated mode, then ramp down in brightness until they go out. Then the blue inner LED flashes, then the pattern repeats.
  8. Off: Press rightmost button. You can turn it off from any mode with the rightmost button.
  9. To run all four LEDs at their maximum brightness, press and hold down the leftmost button, and shoot the flashlight at whatever you're lighting up. Let go of it to turn the light off. (This is an unregulated mode, and as such, works best with newer batteries). It is not recommended that you leave the EliteMax in this mode for more than 1 minute, or the LEDs might get too warm.

Lifted directly from the website, is this snippet:

{begin theft mode}
Some users prefer a very simple operation without so many modes. Some prefer a light with a memory. Some want regulation and some don't. The EliteMax's clever configuration mode allows you to enable or disable some of the features you want or don't, whenever you want. Yet another first for the EternaLight family, the EliteMax is the first flashlight ever made with a configuration mode!
{end theft mode}

A new feature of the EliteMax is "simple modes". In this mode, most of the features are disabled except for a smattering of dimming functions. To turn this mode on, press and hold down the "Mode" button for three seconds, until all the LEDs except for one flicker. Press the "Mode" button until the dark LED is where it reads "Simple Modes" on the back, and press the "Adjust" button once. The dark LED will them turn on at full power and stay that way, while the other three continue to flicker - that's how you know the mode was set.
Now, press the "Mode" button several more times until all the white LEDs go off. You're now in "simple modes" mode.

There are also several other programmable options for the EliteMax that you access the same way - by holding down the "Mode" button for three seconds, pressing and releasing that button until you're at the mode you want, pressing "Adjust" to activate or deactivate that mode, and pressing & releasing the "Mode" button several more times until the LEDs stop flickering.
These modes will stay in effect until you change them again or until you replace the batteries.

Finally, there's a battery test feature so you can check the batteries without having to own a meter or battery tester, and without unscrewing your eternaLight. To start this test, press and hold down the "Adjust" button, then click & release the "Mode" button. All the lights (including the blue NightBeacon one inside) will come on and stay on for 5 seconds, then blink 1 to 4 times.
4 blinks means the batteries are good; 1 blink means they're pooping out and you ought to think about changing them pretty soon.
The manual has a more thorough description of these, including voltage readings (for all three cells in series).

A thin magnet that's included in the EliteMax packaging that you can put on the back of the EliteMax (it fits in the receptacle you see above) allows you to just stick the light on any flat ferrous (nickel, iron, cobalt, or mild steel) surface, and it will hang there until you're ready to grab it again. It will hang happily from a metal doorframe, a refrigerator, or even to the side of your car door when you're changing a flat out in the middle of nowhere.

The EliteMax also comes with a unique, non-destructive break-away safety lanyard. With some other safety lanyards, once you get them snagged and they break away, they're broken for good. This one has a special fitting that allows it to break away with a certain, fixed amount of force; but also allows you to snap it back together just like a seatbelt.
So you aren't out a $5 lanyard everytime you get your ass in a sling. :o

The first thing you'll notice when you crack open your EliteMax for the first time is that it comes with the good lithium AA cells, not the alkaline kind. But it will be perfectly content with alkalines if that's what you want to feed it. It just won't float if it falls in the can or a pond or something if you have alkalines in it.

Use a good quality small or a medium phillips screwdriver (like the one that comes with the EliteMax) to remove the four screws on the back, and throw them away...OH WAIT, you'll need them later, so just set them aside. With the flashlight still upside down so the magnet is facing you, carefully pull the two case halves apart. Remove the dead batteries and flush away! Well, OK, better not. Use the "round file" instead. Or throw them in the dead battery box, if your community has a battery reclamation program. :)

Install three new batteries so the negative (-) or flat side of the battery goes toward the spring in each space. Check to be sure the silver gasket is properly seated all the way around, then lay the loose half of the light straight down over the guts, and replace the screws (you didn't throw them away, did you?) Screw them in only about 80% or 90% of the way down right now. Once all the screws are in, pick up the flashlight and squeeze the halves together to be sure the gasket is fully seated, and then finish off the screws.

The screw holes in the EliteMax are equipped with threaded brass fittings, reducing the chance of breaking off the screw post when reinstalling the screws.

Battery life ranges from around 20 hours on high, to 1,000-1,200 hours on low.

When you're using the EliteMax in "timer" mode (by pressing and releasing the Power button once), all four white LEDs come on, and the blue NightBeacon LED flashes about once a second. It stays on for about half a second, then goes out for about half a second. Lather, rinse, repeat. After all the white LEDs extinguish in this mode (approximately 8 minutes 15 seconds, or 2 minutes 3.75 seconds per LED), the blue LED inside the case comes on at full power for about another minute. Then it extinguishes, placing the EliteMax in "off" mode like it was before you grabbed it and turned it on.

Since I just received this eye-popping gadget, I don't have too much information for this section yet.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 78,800mcd (on "high"), 97,600mcd (on "overdrive) on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Test unit was received on 12-02-03, and is in its initial stages of testing.

UPDATE: 01-27-04
I took the flashlight apart, as a user might do when changing batteries. The batteries came out and went back in smoothly, but I had some problems with that silvery colored gasket. It stuck a bit when I pulled the unit apart, and I had some problems getting the screws and gasket back together the right way when reassembling the flashlight. I took the flashlight into a better lighted location, used more care in reassembling it there, and got the flashlight back together like it's supposed to be. So, changing the batteries in total darkness might be a pain in the you-know-what.

Stands on tail unattended
Brighter than other "4 bangers"
Water resistant and submersible to 200 feet
Floats if lithium batteries are used
Comes with a non-destructive break-away lanyard
Comes with a magnet that can be used or left in the packaging
NightBeacon makes it easy to find in a handbag or dark room

LEDs could become damaged if it's dropped on rocks or concrete and lands face-first
Some people may find the flashlight a bit bulky or awkward to hold, at least initially; and it can feel a bit strange in pants pockets until you get used to the unique shape. Using lithium batteries can make the light more comfortable to hold for long-term usage; carry it in a coat pocket if it's too big for pants.
Requires a screwdriver for battery change - this is included though.

    MANUFACTURER: Technology Associates
    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 4
    BEAM TYPE: Circular; central hotspot with soft fall-off
    SWITCH TYPE: Momentary snap-dome pushbuttons
    BEZEL: None
    BATTERY: 3 ea. AA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 200 feet
    ACCESSORIES: 3 lithium AA cells, neck lanyard, phillips screwdriver, magnet
    WARRANTY: Limited lifetime


    Star RatingStar Rating

eternaLight EliteMax *

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