UltraFire C3 Expandable Flashlight, retail $15.99
Manufactured by WahFat Technological Co.,Ltd (www.ultrafire.net)
Last updated 03-19-08

The UltraFire C3 Expandable Flashlight is just that: an expandable flashlight that can be powered with one AA cell or two AA cells - depending on whether you use the barrel extension or not.

This flashlight has a 3 watt white Cree XR-E LED, and obviously, an inverter circuit in it to boost the +1.5 volts or +3.0 volts from the one or two AA cells to the ~+3.6 volts that the LED needs.

It comes in an aluminum body, and has a glass window (or "lens") protecting its LED and reflector.


Load it with one or two AA cells first (see directly below), and then you can go see what went "bump" in the night.

Press the tailcap button until it clicks and then release it to turn it on.
Repeat the same action to turn it off.

There is no momentary or signalling mode available when the flashlight is off, however, you can blink the UltraFire C3 while it is on by partially depressing the tailcap button. If you don't mind the backward or reverse feeling of this, you can blink the flashlight this way.

To change the battery(ies), unscrew and remove the tailcap, gently place it on the ground, and kick it in the garden so the hungry, hungry praying mantids will think it's something yummy to eat and subsequently strike at it...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Tip the old used-up AA cell(s) out of the barrel and into your hand, and dispose of or recycle it/them as you see fit.

Slide one or two new AA cells in the flashlight barrel, orienting them so their button-ends (+) positives go in first. Finally, screw the tailcap firmly back on.
Aren't you glad you didn't kick that tailcap into the garden with all those hungry, hungry praying mantids now?

Here is what a praying mantis looks like.
I found this guy on the morning of 09-08-06 clinging to the basket of my scooter.

Current usage measures 1.015A (1xAA), and 393mA (2xAA) on my DMM's 4A scale.

The UltraFire C3 is "expandable", meaning you can operate it with either 1 AA cell or 2 AA cells.
To change the configuration (assuming you started with the two-cell configuration), just follow these simple steps:
  1. Unscrew & remove the tailcap.
  2. Approximately halfway down the barrel, you'll see a segment that appears larger in diameter than the rest of the barrel. This is where the two halves of the barrel meet. While holding the bezel (head) with one hand, unscrew the two sections of the barrel, remove the rearmost piece, and set it aside.
  3. Be certain that there is an AA cell in there, and screw the tailcap firmly in place.
There, that's all there is to it.

Because the one cell configuration draws a ***LOT*** more current than the two cell configuration, you should never run the two cell configuration with one of the cells being from the one cell setup if you used it like that for more than a few seconds; this could cause the weaker cell to become "charged" by the other, and you run the risk of cell leakage, fire, or even minor explosion hazards.
Completely avoiding this risk is as simple as using two NEW AA cells with the two cell configuration.

The UltraFire C3 appears at least reasonably durable, and it is.
I smacked the UltraFire C3 against the concrete floor of a patio ten times (five against the side of the bezel, and five on the side of the tailcap) and was not able to damage the flashlight in any manner, other than causing some rather minor gouging to the bare Metaltogemon - er - the bare Metalstingmon - um that's not it either...the bare Metalguilmon...er...uh...wait a sec here...THE BARE METAL (guess I've been watching too much Digimon again! - now I'm just making {vulgar term for feces} up!!!) on the side of the bezel where it was struck. No optical, mechanical, or electrical malfunctions were detected.

I tried to cut through the UltraFire C3 with the blade of a Gerber folding knife, and with some difficulty, I was able to.
This tells me that the flashlight has a Type II anodised finish on it.
Would I really try to chop up a brand spanken new flashlight?
You bet your sweet patootie (sugar-coated toliet muscle) I would, if it's in the name of science.

I also tried to cut through the end window with the blade of the same knife, and was not successful.
This tells me that it's made of glass, not plastic.
Would I really try to gouge out the window of a brand spanken new flashlight?
You bet your sugar-coated toliet muscle (sweet patootie) I would, if it's in the name of science.

The UltraFire C3 is splash-resistant, but not waterproof - and I know why.
On my sample, part of the O-ring between the window & bezel is protruding (this was protruding *BEFORE* I administered "The Smack Test"). I believe the flashlight would be more water-resistant if this O-ring were installed properly at the factory.

See the O-ring covering part of the end window ("lens") in this photograph?

For that matter, this should have been caught by QC before the flashlight ever left the factory.
Whomever was manning the QC line that day was an egg roll short of a poo-poo platter when this flashlight went by their station.
Even if this flashlight were perfect in every other way, I cannot in good conscience award it a full five stars.

(Update 03-19-08): Asking another owner of this flashlight led me to the solution of repairing that O-ring by telling me how the light module and reflector come out, but the flashlight still fails "The Suction Test" - not from the bezel though; it leaks at the junction between the two barrels. The bezel holds a partial vacuum quite well.

Beam photograph on the test target at 12".
That "rotten guinea pig urine green" tint does not exist in the actual light; it is only a camera artifact.
Measures 1,220,000mcd (1xAA) and 1,160,000mcd (2xAA) on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Beam photograph on a wall at ~10 feet.
That "rotten guinea pig urine green" tint at beam perimeter does not exist in the actual light; it is only a camera artifact.

Those rectangular graphic things in the upper left quadrant of this photograph are marquees from:

Atari ''Tempest''
Nintendo ''R-Type''
Super Tiger...er...uh...Konami ''Super Cobra''
Midway ''Omega Race''
Sega ''Star Trek''
Williams ''Joust''
Venture Line ''Looping''
Universal ''Mr. Do!'s Castle''
Jaleco ''Exerion''
Gremlin/Sega ''Astro Blaster''
Gottlieb ''Q*bert''

upright coin-op arcade video games from the 1980s.

That graphic toward the right is:
A "BIG SCARY LASER" poster sent by www.megagreen.co.uk

Below the "Big Scary Laser" poster is a calendar my sister gave me.

That clock to the right of the "Big Scary Laser" poster is an Infinity Optics Clock.

And those faint green spots are from a Laser Stars unit.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

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

Test unit was purchased on Ebay on 02-27-08 and was received on the afternoon of 03-17-08.
An email from a website fan was what prompted me to purchase this flashlight.

I believe this product was made in Hong Kong.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

The flashlight was defective upon receipt (part of the O-ring between the window & bezel is protruding), so I'm not certain how I'm going to rate it - especially with regards to water-resistance.

UPDATE: 03-19-08
Asking another owner of this flashlight led me to the solution of repairing that O-ring by telling me how the light module and reflector come out, but the flashlight still fails "The Suction Test" - not from the bezel though; it leaks at the junction between the two barrels. The bezel holds a partial vacuum quite well.

UPDATE: 03-19-08
No, you aren't seeing things.
Yes, a same-day update.
Additional testing has revealed the leak to occur at the junction of the bezel and the barrel, not at the junction of the two barrels as had been stated previously. This junction (of the two barrels) holds a good partial vacuum - as does the bezel itself, the tailcap switch itself and the tailcap/switch interface.



    MANUFACTURER: WahFat Technological Co.,Ltd
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small LED flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 3W white Cree XR-E LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot w/dimmer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on tailcap
    CASE MATERIAL: Aluminum
    BEZEL: Metal; LED & reflector protected by glass window
    BATTERY: 1x or 2x AA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 1.015A (1xAA), 393mA (2xAA)
    WATER RESISTANT: Splash-resistant at maximum
    SUBMERSIBLE: No way, Hozay!
    ACCESSORIES: Belt holster
    WARRANTY: Unknown/TBA


    Star Rating

UltraFire C3 Expandable Flashlight *

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