LIGHTWAVE INFINITON
C1 FLASHLIGHT



Lightwave Infiniton C1 Flashlight, retail $99
Manufactured by Lightwave
Last updated 07-06-07


*** VERY IMPORTANT!!!*** As of 07-06-07, the Lightwave company is no longer manufacturing flashlights!!





The Lightwave Infiniton C1 flashlight is a fairly heavy duty flashlight that uses a 1.2 watt Luxeon LED fired backward into a reflector. It feeds from three C cells (which are not included), and has a pushbutton switch on the head - but mounted low enough that it behaves like it's on the barrel.

The Infiniton comes in a metal body, covered with a rubbery material to make the flashlight easy to hold and use.

What sets this flashlight apart from most others is that the LED is mounted to a pylon near the top of the bezel, and is fired backward into the reflector. So most of the light emerges as a tight beam, with very little spill or waste light off to the sides.
This is like the objective in a Prime Focus style telescope, except that it works in reverse from that.


 SIZE



To use your new Lightwave Infiniton, feed it first (see below), and then you'll be ready to rock.

Press and release the button on the bezel (head) to turn the flashlight on; press and release it the same way again to turn the flashlight off.

There is no momentary or signalling mode available in this flashlight; please do not look for or expect to find one.

There is a lanyard loop on the bezel (head) of the Lightwave Infiniton; you may affix a lanyard (that you supply) to this if you wish.



To add or change the batteries in your Infiniton, unscrew and remove the bezel (head), and set it aside. If necessary, tip the used C cells out of the barrel, and dispose of, recycle, or recharge them as you see fit.

Insert three new C cells in the barrel, flat-end (-) negative first.

Pick up the bezel, screw it back onto the barrel, and there, you're done.

Screw the bezel in until it stops turning. If you do not screw it all the way on, the O-ring may not fully engage, and water-resistance may be an issue. The flashlight will also look a bit queer, so there's no mistaking when the bezel isn't screwed quite all the way on.

Measures 564mA with new alkaline C cells, on my DMM's 2A setting.

I currently have this flashlight on my battery testing machine; the machine should poop out a chart later today (06-12-04).


And here's the chart.
Runs for just over 4 hours to 50% intensity, and 7 hours total (to about 4% intensity).

This test was conducted with Energizer alkaline C cells; the test will be redone with Duracell alkalines within the next day or two because Duracells may allow for a longer runtime.


Runs for about 7 hours 50 minutes before it falls out of regulation. Duracell brand C cells were used for this test. So yes, I would recommended them for use in the Infiniton. I don't often recommend a specific battery brand, but in this case, I think it really *does* make a difference.

Important: The flashlight operated at a high intensity level again when the batteries were briefly rested, so if you run your Infiniton down like this but still need light, turn it off for a couple of minutes to allow the batteries to rest, then turn it back on.

The person who sent the Infiniton had this to say:
Lightwave has optimized the Infiniton circuit design for alkaline or NiMH battery types. The newer high-power NiMH cells in the 3500mAh to 5000mAh range give very good performance.




Photograph of the Infiniton's business-end, showing the reflector, the domed plastic window, and the supports for the rear-firing LED.
That "bubble" you see near the center of the flashlight's window is just a photographic artifact.
Yes, I checked.
The two small "bubbles" you see at the extreme left are where I test-cut the window with a knife.
This test is to determine whether the window is glass or plastic. As you can see, it's plastic.

The Infiniton is durable, in that it withstood ten test whacks against a steel rod (5 on the bezel, and 5 on the barrel), and was not damaged in any way that I can see. The flashlight is made of rubber-covered aluminum, so it didn't surprise me in the least that no damage was detected. The LED and reflector assembly also stayed properly aligned, so the flashlight works as well now as it did when I took it out of the box.

The window on the front of the flashlight is curved, not flat. As I said earlier, I cut the material with the blade of a Swiss army knife, proving that it is made of plastic, not glass.
Would I really chop up a brand spanken new flashlight?
You bet your sweet patootie I would, if it's in the name of science.

The only potential physical fault I can find is that the bezel (head) unscrews a bit too easily. In my opinion, a slightly thicker O-ring on the top of the barrel (below the threads) will take care of that.
(Edit 06-13-04): Lightwave is aware of this, and intends to have it improved by the time this flashlight is offered for sale. So I won't need to place this in the "CONS:" section of this page farther below.

The barrel of the Infiniton has both ribbing and raised portions; these help aid in retention (the ability to hold the flashlight when your hands are cold, oily, or wet), so I don't think you'll have any problems in that regard.

The flashlight is water-resistant, but I don't believe it is submersible. When the bezel was removed and then suctioned, a small amount of air leakage was detected. It isn't a HUGE leak, but there is a leak. I wouldn't worry too much about using the Infiniton outside in the rain or snow, but please try not to drop it into water or water-like liquids. Nothing deeper than an inch or two, anyway. So a fall into a puddle probably won't cause it to flood, but a drop into a creek, river, pond, lake, etc. will probably cause it to SLOWLY flood. If you fish it out right away, you'll probably be alright, but just don't leave it in the water.

The Infiniton does not stand on its bezel (head) or tailcap, so you'll need to store it on its side. The flashlight has a very futuristic shape though, which in great part mitigates this slight deficiency.

I have confirmed the following phenomeon is intentional, due to how the power supply was constructed: the Lightwave Infiniton C1 emits a VERY faint greenish glow when off. I measured, and the LED is receiving somewhere between 1.00A and 1.49A (A=microamps) when off, generating this glow. This is a very tiny current, and should not whatsoever affect the overall battery life.
Let's see if I can get a photograph of it...BRB...


There we go.
This photograph makes the glow appear significantly brighter and greener than it actually is.
In reality, this glow is dimmer than the PALight's "find me" mode. Consider this to be a "find me" mode for the Infiniton C1.

The beam produced by the Infiniton is distinctly square in shape; which might take a bit of getting used to if you're accustomed to circular beams coming out of flashlights.
Overall, the beam from the Infiniton is white, with a very slight greenish tint. The edges of the beam have a slightly more pronounced green tint; however this is not at all bothersome, and will not affect how I feel about the flashlight, or how it is eventually rated. The lack of side spill light will figure more prominently into my rating than the greenish tint on the edges of the beam will.

The Infiniton is NOT a "direct drive" flashlight, where the LED and batteries are connected directly together when the switch is thrown. Instead, there is a booster/regulator circuit in the head that ensures the Luxeon output stays virtually rock steady down to a battery voltage of 2.4 volts; then it will begin to decline. I'll have to run the Infiniton through my battery discharge analysis machine to find out exactly how long a set of alkaline C cells will last. The printed material that came with this flashlight indicates it will run for 7 hours at full brightness, with an unknown number of additional hours of steadily dimming, but still useful light.

After approximately 35 minutes of continuous-on, I measured a temperature of 86F (30C) on the front of the window. This does not tell us how warm the LED and pylon assembly is, just the window itself. The ambient temperature is 67F (19.4C).
A couple of hours in, I measured a temperature of 87F (30.5C).
The barrel measures a temperature of 79F (26.1C) at this point. I cannot remove the batteries from the flashlight and measure them, or else I would ruin the test that's currently running. So my best guess is that their temperature is 85F to 90F (29.4C to 32.2C).



Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 869,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
This is a very good value for a 1.2 watt LS; the narrow beam accounts for this in great part.
That slight greenish tinge at the edge of the hotspot really does exist, but I don't find it bothersome.



Beam photo at ~6'



Beam photo at ~6'
Underexposed by two stops to show the square beam shape.
Brown color is caused by the underexposure, and does not exist in the flashlight's beam.


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


ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.



TEST NOTES:
Test sample of this flashlight was provided by C.M. of Lightwave, and was received on 06-11-04.


UPDATE: 07-19-04
I rated this product 4 1/2 stars and placed it in my Trophy Case. I believe it deserves its placement here, which is why it was awarded this honour alongside the Lightwave 3000.


PROS:
Regulated, for steady light output
Case is tough and durable
Very pleasant, futuristic shape
High light output
Batteries are common and relatively inexpensive


CONS:
Virtually no spill beam
A little on the large side - not a pocket flashlight


    MANUFACTURER: Lightwave
    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 1.2 watt Luxeon LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Square; spot with no corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on barrel
    BEZEL: Plastic covered metal; LED and reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 3x C cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 564mA
    WATER RESISTANT: Splash-resistant at very minimum
    SUBMERSIBLE: Unknown/TBA
    ACCESSORIES: None
    WARRANTY: 3 years

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star RatingStar Rating





Lightwave Infiniton C1 Flashlight *







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