The FL-04 Pocket Flashlight is a compact, plastic-cased LED flashlight that uses four screaming white LEDs to produce its light.
The flashlight is very nice looking, feeds from four N cells, and is of a flat profile to fit in pants pockets, purses, and the like. I think it also has good brightness for a 4-banger. The beam has a bluish tint in the center, but nothing to poop yourself over.
Load the FL-04 with batteries first (see below), and then it'll be ready to go.
To turn it on, slide the large switch on the flashlight body forward (toward the LEDs) until it clicks. Slide the switch back toward you (away from the LEDs) to shut it off. The switch has a good tactile sensation and an audible clicking sound, so you'll know positively when it turns on and off.
There is no momentary mode, but this light really wasn't designed with one in mind.
The FL-04 comes with a wrist lanyard attached to a small opening in the light's tail; it should fit over most hands and provides some protection if you drop the flashlight and have the lanyard on your wrist.
To change the batteries in the FL-04, grasp the silver flashlight body with one hand, and the two knurled brown areas with the other, and pull. The silver plastic casing should come off in one hand, and the internal, black or dark brown plastic thing (the flashlight's "guts") should come off in the other.
If there are dead batteries in there, remove and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit. If your community has a battery reclamation program, use it. Otherwise just throw them away.
Insert four new N cells, so the flat (-) negative side faces a spring and the button (+) side faces a flat terminal. Two cells go in each side of the flashlight body. When you put the last cell in, the FL-04 should turn itself on. This is normal, and serves to show you that you have all the cells in correctly.
Slide the flashlight "guts" back into the silver plastic casing, LEDs pointed outwards. Be sure the switch on the outer casing is on the same side as the two long metal contacts you see near the center of the flashlight guts.
If you insert the guts into the casing upside-down and then try to force the guts in, it is possible to break the plastic lever that the switch uses to make and break the circuit. So you'll want to pay attention to this when reassembling the flashlight after a battery change.
Battery life is not stated, so I'll have to test that for myself.
Unit draws 220 milliamps from almost-new N cells, measured on the 20 amp scale of my DMM to help minimise shunt resistance error.
This is 55mA per LED, so it does overdrive them, but not terribly so.
The above picture shows the FL-04's business end. The reflector is just there for cosmetic purposes; it does not otherwise perform any function in this flashlight.
The FL-04 is a VERY nice looking instrument, and for $6.95, you just can't go wrong. Be aware though, that N cells might be a bit harder to find in an emergency than AAA or AA cells; but you should be able to find them in grocery stores, drugstores, Radio Shack, department stores, office supply stores, and similar locations.
The FL-04 is not water-resistant, so you'll want to be careful if you use it around tubs, toilets, sinks, fishtanks, or other places where water might be found. While this might be a nice light for fair weather camping trips, if it's raining or snowing very hard, you might be better off with another flashlight.
The light comes with a wrist lanyard already attached to an opening on the tail of the flashlight. Due to how it's designed, you can stand the flashlight up on its tail even with the lanyard attached. The lanyard attachment area does seem a bit on the thin side though, so you probably don't want to reef on the thing too hard, or it could become broken.
From 12" on the test target.
Measures 50,400mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this flashlight.
Same as above; newer spectrometer software & settings used.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.
Beam cross-sectional analysis. Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.
Unit was purchased several days ago (10-13-03), and was just received today (10-16-03) and is in its initial stages of testing.
Unit was found to be quite bright for a 4-banger
Brighter than most other 4-LED flashlights available
Very nice looking design
The price is right
Smaller than other 4-LED flashlights
Batteries could be expensive or hard to find in an emergency
Not water resistant
Switch assembly could become broken if you're careless during battery changes
MANUFACTURER: Red Line Inc.
PRODUCT TYPE: Small LED Flashlight
LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm
No. OF LAMPS: 4
SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/off on flashlight's top
BEZEL: LEDs inset into light's front
BATTERY: 4x size N cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 220 milliamps
WATER RESISTANT: I don't think so
SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!!
ACCESSORIES: Wrist lanyard
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