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LEDTronics Mini-FlashLED

LEDTronics Mini-FlashLED Light, retail $26.50 (http://www.ledtronics.com)
Manufactured by LEDTronics (http://www.ledtronics.com) or call 1-800-579-4875
BUY IT AT THELEDLIGHT.COM
Last updated 01-15-02 (added pricing info just above)


LEDTronics KeyLED Light


The Mini-FlashLED is the little brother to LEDTronics 3- and 6-LED FlashLED products. The sturdy all-aluminum body houses 3 "N" cells, a white LED, and a special lens and uses them to project a smooth, round white beam.

Like its bigger brother, the Mini-FlashLED is also "convertible", meaning you can plop two "AA" cells in it for longer battery life at the expense of overall brightness.


SIZE:




The Mini-FlashLED comes packed with three alkaline "N" cells, a pocket clip, and a Cordura nylon belt holster.

To use the light, give the momentary action button on the tailcap a push for instant light; or twist the tailcap to have it come on and stay on.

The Mini-FlashLED comes with a pocket clip. To install it, just remove the tailcap like you're going to change the batteries, and slide the pocket clip on, pushing it as far up the barrel as you desire. Then replace the tailpiece.



This light has two battery options: three "N" cells for brightness, or two "AA" cells for long-lasting batteries. It comes with the "N" cells already in the package.

To install them, just unscrew the tailcap and place the batteries in the barrel with the button end (+) going in first. Screw the tailcap on until it lights, then back it off a bit. Done with that.

Battery life with "N" cells is stated at "over 124 hours". This will of course need to be tested.
Lifetime for "AA" cells is not stated. That too will also have to be checked.



Ok what should I do first... the things I like, or the things that make me want to leave it on top of the urinator in the men's room and walk away? Might as well get the bad out in the open first...

First and foremost: What was the very first thing I did when I first tried the light and then went to write this web page?
That's right. I tried to set it upright on the desk bezel-down. But Mr. Big Mean Old Lens gets in the way of that. It bulges out from the end of the flashlight like a bug eye, making it impossible to stand it upright for storage. And it would be *so easy* to scratch & gouge it up like this... and I'd hate to find out what happens when I drop it and it bites it face first. I believe this will be the Mini-FlashLED's biggest weakness.



Before I begin my drop tests, I'll have to finish *all* of my optical tests just in case I end up marring or breaking the lens.

However, if there's any consolation, the Mini-FlashLED comes with a protective holster, and it is best advised to actually use it.


Now there remain just some comparatively minor issues to take care of.
Water resistance. Although the light is built with O-rings throughout, they do not offer a tight seal against either the bezel or the tailcap. So I'd keep this one out of ponds, pools, and streams. It should survive a brief, accidental dunking however; and I believe it will be perfectly OK to use in less-than-sunny weather.

The tailcap has a slightly wobbly or loose feel to it when using the momentary button. Once you get past this though, the tailcap switch is a really great thing!


Now let's see if I can repair some of the damage I just did here with some positive points.
1: The tailcap switching arrangement is a definite plus here. I like it more than twist-bezel switches, and I've discussed with others the same benefits of this type of switch.

2: The beam quality is decent. There are no obnoxious rings (the "bullseye target" effect) and the illumination within the beam is consistent from one place to the next. The optical system gives the single white LED a considerably longer "throw" than the naked LEDs found in most other lights.

3: The "convertible" battery option. Having the ability to use more than one type of battery is another plus. Although you'll lose considerable brightness when switching to "AA" cells, this can be mitigated somewhat by using lithium "AA" cells, such as Energizer L91 or equivalent.

4: Accessories, accessories, accessories. True in the fashion world as it is in the flashlight world. The Mini-FlashLED comes with handy accessories like a springy pocket clip and a sturdy nylon belt holster as "standard equipment".


5: Now this one isn't even documented on the package... but if you get tired of looking at the same white LED, or if they come out with some super new white LED in the same case style (5mm round), and you want to upgrade to the latest & greatest, you can CHANGE THE LED in the Mini-FlashLED with relatively little effort!
In this picture, I threw in a blue-violet Kingbright. I also ran around with a violet LED in it for several days, blasting various objects around the house to watch them glow. As of 12-12, I reinstalled its original white LED so I can finish this evaluation. Bet you dollars to doughnuts that a violet LED will end up going back in this thing by the time I finish.

I've also found this is without a doubt the best "quick LED tester" I have ever come across. I can quickly and easily plug any LED in and have it light brightly; although the conventional chemistry types (red, orange, yellow, and yellow-green) tend to run quite hot. Fine for a *quick* on-off, but I wouldn't leave one of these LED types cooking in it. Nitride type LEDs (true green, blue-green, blue, violet, and white) will work better in it because they have a higher forward voltage rating.


LEDTronics KeyLED Light
Round, consistent beam from the Mini-FlashLED



TEST NOTES:
The retail package indicates this product uses a cluster of four LEDs, and the picture on the back shows a light with four LEDs and no convex lens. The light that's actually in the package is the one described in this page however.
It is probable that LEDTronics also offers a four-LED version of this product in the same metal body, and chose to utilise the same retail package for both products.

All optical tests are going to be done *before* any of the physical durability tests, because I suspect I'll end up damaging or destroying the lens before this page is finished. If you always holster the light when done with it, you shouldn't have any problems.

Light comes in all normal colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white). Anodized aluminum bodies also come in colors, but I do not know which ones yet (silver and red are known to exist).


PROS:
Small, stylish case
Round, even beam from the tested model
Can run on multiple battery types
Decent tailcap switching mechanism

CONS:
Not that water-resistant
Lens could become marred or broken if dropped face-first


          MANUFACTURER: LEDTronics
          PRODUCT TYPE: Mini Handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, all colors
          No. OF LAMPS: 1
          BEAM TYPE: Circular with well-defined edge
          SWITCH TYPE: Tailcap. Twist on/off + momentary button
          BEZEL: Clear lens
          BATTERY: 3 N cells / 2 AA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: To be determined
          WATER RESISTANT: Not stated / light weather resistance only
          SUBMERSIBLE: No
          ACCESSORIES: Alkaline "N" cells, cordura belt holster, spring pocket clip
          WARRANTY: Lifetime


          RATING



LEDTronics Mini-FlashLED Light * WWW.LEDTRONICS.COM



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