TREK 6000 EX60

Trek 6000 EX60, retail $299.95 (
Manufactured by Tektite (
Last updated 09-01-02


Q: What do most people do when they first buy a flashlight and then put batteries in it?

A: Exactly what you shouldn't do with the new Expedition 6000 EX60 - that is, point it in their face and then throw the switch.

The EX60 is an uncommonly intense LED flashlight that uses 60 white Nichia LEDs and is powered by 6 ordinary "C" sized flashlight batteries. It is dive-rated to 300 feet, and comes with a pistol grip handle and both primary and backup power switches.

Shown with a ruler to show its size.

The EX60 comes in a plastic tube with black end caps, with the pistol grip attached to the outside. Pull off one of the caps and dump out the flashlight, then remove the pistol handle (it may be taped or rubber banded on). When you hold the pistol grip, look for a tab on top - this should face towards the rear. Slide the grip into the dovetail grooves on the bottom of the flashlight, and press it forward until it clicks. It can be removed, though once it's on it's stays that way.

Install the batteries (see below) and it's ready to use.

The EX60 has two switches: a lever type switch that moves side to side, and a backup switch that can be used to turn the light on by tightening the bezel. When holding the EX60 by its grip, the "OFF" position places the lever switch to the left; moving it to the right turns the light on, and moving it back to the left turns it off. More on the switches later in this article.

To load the EX60, unscrew & remove the clear bezel and black LED assembly. Load the batteries in following the (+) and (-) indicators embossed next to each compartment. Now, hold the light so the lever switch faces your chest, and flip it all the way to your left. Place the LED module in the barrel, aligning the large cutout on its base with the switch assembly inside the barrel, and start screwing the bezel on. When the light comes on, tighten it only a little more (a 20th of a turn, or around 1/2 an inch is plenty!), and test the lever switch. It should turn the light off and on; if it stays on, unscrew the bezel slightly and try again until it is functioning properly. This puts the light into the "normal" operating mode.

Battery life is stated at 4 hours of bright light, and many additional hours of dimming, but still useful light. I'll run some burn time tests on it and come back here with actual values.

Business end

The EX60 is made from sturdy polycarbonate and G.E. Lexan plastic, and is quite tough as plastic flashlights go. In the xenon/incandescent version of the Trek 6000, the weak spot tended to be the batteries themselves, as their nipples became flattened flush with the top of the battery when the unit was dropped. The EX60 was originally designed to be a video light for underwater photography & videography, and people in that profession tend to baby their equipment (would you purposely drop a $300 video light?); nevertheless, accidents do happen. Things can fall when being removed from a car trunk, boats can hit heavy seas and throw equipment to the deck, a caver might have it get knocked out of a backpack, or your 8 year old might decide to get brave one night and "borrow" it for a backyard campout and then knock it off a picnic table or tree stump; or stumble & fall down with it. Since the vast majority of accidents involving this particular light will tend to occur at waist-height or less (tables, lip of car trunk, stowage cubby on small boat, etc.), that's the height I'll drop test this sample from after I've run all the photometric studies and battery life tests on it.

The EX60 is equipped with both a primary and a backup switching mechanism. The primary switch is the small black lever located just in front of the pistol grip; flip this to one side to turn it on, and flip it the other way to turn it off. Both the on and off positions are equipped with detents, so it isn't very likely that you'll make the light go out just by bumping it or knocking it into something. The off position even has a second detent as extra assurance that it doesn't come on by itself or through casual handling.

Should something untoward happen to this switch, the light has a backup mechanism that allows you to turn it on and off simply by rotating the bezel. The bezel is *very* stiff, so you cannot change its position by accident - you have to do this with both hands. This also gives the light a built-in "lock out" fuction; simply turn the light on using the regular switch, unscrew the bezel until it turns off, and then turn the regular switch off. This prevents unwanted activation during storage or transport.

Although it is inadvisable to use the bezel as a switch while underwater during normal operation, if your main switch breaks and your light goes out, then by all means turn it back on using this backup system - that's what it's there for.

The beam of the EX60 is exceptionally clear and smooth, with no rings, spots, or other little evil things in it. I would consider this to be a "medium flood", with a wider than usual beam for a light using mostly 20 Nichias. Part of this is due to the large emitting area; approximately 45mm instead of 5mm a single LED would have; and part of it is due to the way the LEDs are aimed; in concert this gives an apparent effective viewing angle of 22-24 and maybe more at closer distances. And although it is being sold as an underwater video light, it is equally at home on dry land. The LEDs are being conservatively driven, and should never overheat. If you really must have more light, there is a hack available for the EX60 that can be done by you at no cost, but it will void your warranty and cause irreversible damage if the batteries are subsequently installed incorrectly - not a matter to be taken lightly on a $300 instrument!

The EX60 comes equipped with a heavy duty, adjustable lanyard affixed to a sturdy eyelet on the back of the light. The lanyard has a length of rubber tubing to cussion your wrist, and has a spring loaded slide lock to adjust the size of the lanyard's loop. When fully open, the lanyard fits all the way around the flashlight & handle, allowing you to securely hang it from a tree branch, pole, or other fixture. The unit also comes with a detachable pistol grip handle. It is comfortable to hold, and can be removed to use the light as a "hand lantern" or to reduce its bulk when storing the light or packing it for a trip.

Comparison: EX60 vs. Lightwave 3000

Comparison: EX60 vs. Arc-LS w/ 2-AA tube

Comparison: EX60 vs. Expedition 1400 w/ new optics

Beam profile analysis.

Beam contour analysis.

Charts made by the ProMetric system, on loan from Radiant Imaging.

My camera has effectively died (as of 04-23-02), so I apologise for some of the furry pictures. They will be re-shot as soon as I obtain a replacement or get this one back from warranty repair. I will probably buy a second camera to use as a spare sometime within the next week, so you won't have to wait long.

UPDATE: 04-27-02
Easily the brightest LED light tested to date (note "to date"). Yes, it even smoked the insanely bright Lambda Iluminator LS mod.

Testing is in its earliest stages; stay tuned for regular updates to this page.

UPDATE: 09-01-02
I've had the EX60 hanging from the side of my scooter and power wheelchair for the last five or six months as part of a durability testing program. During this time, it has banged against sides of brick and stucco buildings, gotten crunched in doorways, and the handle has hit various hard objects literally hundreds of times. Yet, the unit continues to function as good as new - maybe even a bit better since it has a "broken-in" feel and the switch action is as smooth as a baby's toilet muscle, with no grinding, stiffness, or hitches in its range of motion. The LEDs have also stayed properly aligned throughout the duration of the test. Physically, there is no damage whatsoever to the body or handle; although it is fairly dirty now and could really use a nice bath. I believe this light has earned its nearly perfect top rating.

As of this date (six months after the last update) there are now some lights that can give the EX60 a run for its money, but many are homemade and availability may be extremely limited.

Brighter than $*@#!
Durable construction
Uses common, easily available batteries
Reasonable burn-time considering the brightness
Reverse polarity protection
Comfortable, detachable pistol grip handle
Failsafe switching with both primary and backup switches
Submersible to 300 feet
Does not appear to overdrive its LEDs, will retain "like new" brightness longer.

When fully loaded, it is a heavy light above ground; but will "weigh" less when used underwater.
Possibility of damage to the batteries (crushing of battery's (+) nipples) if dropped face-first.

    PRODUCT TYPE: Dive / video light
    No. OF LAMPS: 54 5mm and 6 3mm white LED
    BEAM TYPE: Medium flood, soft falloff
    SWITCH TYPE: Lever on/off with twist bezel as backup
    BEZEL: Clear Lexan
    BATTERY: 6ea. "C" cells
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 300 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Generous padded lanyard
    WARRANTY: Lifetime, including LEDs


    Star RatingStar Rating

Trek 6000 EX60 * WWW.TEK-TITE.COM

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