Expedition Star, retail $79.95 (www.tek-tite.com)
Manufactured by Tektite (www.tek-tite.com)
Last updated 07-06-06

Expedition Star flashlight

The Expedition Star is Tektite's first entry in the new Luxeon Star LED flashlight racket, and if it's as tough as their other models, should live a long life even if you abuse your flashlights.

The light is equipped with a 1.2 watt Luxeon Star LED and a Fraen optic, so you'll get a nice beam right from the get-go, a year from now, five years from now, etc. etc. It comes with a fluorescent yellow-green body, making it hard to lose in the woods and easy to find in toolboxes or camping gear.

The light is designed to burn for hours and hours and hours on a single set of common C cells (the literature in a folio I got with the flashlight says "15 hours at full power"), and is submersible to 1,000 feet, making it ideal for outdoor activities, boating, or just keeping around for those pesky little household emergencies.

Expedition Star flashlight

The packaging for the Expedition Star is still being developed (as far as I know) but it is safe to assume it will come with batteries, which you install yourself. Once that's out of the way, turning the bezel clockwise turns it on, and turning the bezel counterclockwise turns it off.

To change the batteries, unscrew the bezel, and remove the LED module. Dump the three dead batteries in the nearest garbage can and kiss their butts goodbye. Now, drop in three fresh C batteries, button end (+) facing up, into the barrel. Put the LED module back in with the lens facing outwards, and screw the bezel back on. The light will come on when the bezel is tightened all the way, so back it off a bit to turn the flashlight off.

The Expedition Star has a good, hefty feel in the hand, like any decent C cell flashlight ought to. The barrel is ribbed all the way along its length, helping you to keep the flashlight in your hand, even if it (or your hand) is cold, greasy, or wet.

Attached to the tail loop is Tektite's generous and tough wrist lanyard, complete with soft rubber tubing to cushion the wrist. The lanyard is large enough to go completely around the flashlight body, enabling you to hang it from anywhere, even a tree branch or a piece of metal tubing or railing. The lanyard has a slide-lock device on it, which you can slide up or down the lanyard by squeezing it on both sides and slide to the desired position.

The light output is different from other Tektite LED flashlights, because this one uses the fairly new Luxeon Star high-powered LED and a Fraen 30mm optic made specifically to fit over these LEDs. The beam of this flashlight features a central hotspot, surrounded by a weaker (but still bright) corona. The light from the tested unit is a pure snow white, not that "rotten cat urine green" color sometimes found in some other Luxeon Star flashlights. The LEDs are probably being sorted by hand, specifically to avoid one that has that yucky rotten pee color. The good ones most likely end up in these flashlights, and I don't know where the bad (green) ones are going.

The Expedition Star isn't a bad flashlight, but it ain't no SureFire either. But you can buy one and beat the urine out of it and it'll keep on providing light, and you'll never have to worry about breaking or changing a bulb. So if you tend to abuse your equipment, the Expedition Star will fit right in and keep coming back for more.

Expedition Star flashlight
Beam at ~12" from the target
Measures 345,000mcd on a LM631 light meter

Spectrographic plot
Spectrometer plot of the LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.

Sample was received from Tektite on 07-03-03, and is in its initial stages of being tested.

UPDATE: 07-09-03
According to the Marketing and Public Relations guy at Tektite, here are some additions for this page:
  1. The Expedition Star is also available in Royal Blue, Black, Blaze Orange, Camouflage and Neon Pink. These color offerings are the same for all our Expedition series flashlights.
  2. We also offer our new Excursion LS1 - which also uses a 1.2 Watt Luxeon Star but with a higher quality rating.
  3. The Expedition Star clamshell packaging will be ready soon and all Expedition Stars will be delivered with high-quality alkaline batteries (Energizer or Duracell).
  4. We tend to use very conservative claims for battery life. We prefer to exceed expectations than to ever fall below user expectations.

UPDATE: 08-14-03
Here is a beam comparison showing the Expedition Star vs. an Expedition 1400.

On the left is the Expedition Star, on the right is the Expedition 1400.
Both lights were approximately 5 feet from a wall for this picture.

Using the "poor man's integrating sphere" (the ceiling of a windowless bathroom), both lights put out approximately the same amount of total light; the Star looks much brighter here because its output is focused into a tighter beam instead of being more diffuse like the 1400. So you really can't go wrong buying either light, but if you need a greater "throw", get the Expedition Star.

Durable construction
Uses common, easily available batteries
Long burn-time
Submersible to 1000 feet
Uses the new LS LED and Fraen optic
Never have to worry about blowing out a bulb

Could be regulated - but o well.

    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: Luxeon Star LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1, with Fraen optics
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off
    BEZEL: Clear Lexan with rubber shield
    BATTERY: 3ea. "C" cells
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 1000 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Generous wrist lanyard with cushion, lens shield, 3 C batteries
    WARRANTY: Limited lifetime, including LED


    Star RatingStar Rating

Expedition Star * WWW.TEK-TITE.COM

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