Elektrolumens FT-3C Flashlight, retail $59.99 (http://elektrolumens.com/FT-3C/FT-3C.html)
Manufactured by Elektrolumens (www.elektrolumens.com/)
Last updated 05-27-04

The Elektrolumens FT-3C is a Luxeon LED flashlight made by Wayne Johnson (aka Elektrolumens) that features a 3 watt Luxeon Star LED, powered by three C cells. The flashlight is made of aluminum, and is knurled (texturised) along the head, barrel, and tailcap for grip.


To use your FT-3C, feed it first (see below), and then you'll be ready to go to town.

Press and hold in the tailcap button to get momentary light, and release it to turn your FT-3C back off.

Twist the tailcap clockwise (as if tightening it) to get continuous, hands-free light. Twist the tailcap counterclockwise (as if loosening it) to turn the light off. This is continuous mode.

There is no LOTC (Lock Out TailCap) function in this flashlight; please do not expect to find one.

To change the batteries in your FT-3C, unscrew and remove the tailcap, and stomp on it...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead. ;-)

Tip the barrel into your hand, and dispose of or recycle the three C cells that come out. A flattened drinking straw was present in the barrel of the test unit (presumably to act as an anti-rattle device); I don't know if your FT-3C will come with one or not.

If your flashlight came with a flattened straw, insert it about 3/4 of the way into the barrel, then insert two of the three C cells, button-end (+) positive first. When these cells are installed, push the straw the rest of the way in the barrel, and slide in that last cell.

Screw the tailcap back on, and unscrew it slightly when your FT-3C springs to life.
Aren't you glad you didn't stomp on that tailcap now? ;-)

Note: The flattened straw was added by the flashlight's owner, and did not come from Elektrolumens that way.

Uses 1,140mA (1.14 amps), as measured on my DMM's 20A scale to help minimise shunt resistance error.

I'm currently running the FT-3C through my battery discharge analysis machine; assuming I don't queer the test, the machine should poop out a chart in a day or so. I'm running it with alkaline cells first, then I'll do a second chart with 2,200mAh NiMH C cells.

Here's the first of two charts.
Using Energizer alkaline C cells, it runs for just under 2 hours to 50% intensity, and 24 hours to 10% intensity.
At 10% intensity, the flashlight was still producing usable light, but most people I know would be rummaging through the battery drawer or going to the store to find or buy a new set of C cells to put in there.

And here's the second of two charts.
Using 2,200mAh NiMH C cells, it runs for about 1 hour 50 minutes to 50% intensity, and about 2 hours 30 minutes to 25% intensity.
The NiMH test was run to 25% intensity to prevent damage to the NiMH cells due to overdischarge.

Photograph of the FT-3C's business-end.

This is a loaner flashlight, and I think its owner would appreciate receiving it back with no dents or dings on the barrel, or toilet water or rat pellets in the barrel. So I won't beat it against a steel rod, try to drown it in the commode, let the dog go to the bathroom on it, throw it in the rat cage with no tailcap, stomp on it, run over it, or perform any other potentially damaging tests on it that most other flashlights have to endure.

That said, its original owner says it's weather-resistant, and withstood being rained on while in use during a nighttime charity race.

When the tailcap was removed and the flashlight was suctioned, air did not enter through the bezel (head). The tailcap switch easily came apart though, so if the FT-3C is going to leak at all, this is where it will be from. There is no O-ring or any other sealant in the tailcap where the switch is. I also removed the bezel and suctioned the barrel, and there is a small amount of leakage somewhere around or through the tailcap, but this is a SLOW leak and I don't think rain or splashes will enter the FT-3C through there.

The FT-3C has knurling (texturising) on its tailcap, along its barrel, and on its bezel (head).
This knurling helps to aid in retention (the ability to hold onto the flashlight when your hands are cold, wet, or oily). The knurling is not too aggressive (sharp), so it should not cut up a pocket if you carry the FT-3C in that manner.

There is no lens or window in front of the optic, so you should try to be careful not to scratch or mar it.

The beam is a pure, slightly cool white, with no yellow, blue, purple, or "rotten wolf urine green" anywhere in it. Not in the hotspot, and not in the corona either.

The corona does have a slight eccentricity (the "comet tail effect") to it, but it does not detract from the overall functionality of this flashlight. That eccentricity is visible in the beam photograph below, as a slight elongation of the corona at the upper right.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 1,470,000mcd using a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Flashlight was graciously loaned by Kris Cox, and was made by Wayne J. of Elektrolumens. It was received on 05-24-04. Since this is a loaner sample, I will not be able to compare it with other flashlights - not for very long anyway. And I won't beat it against a steel rod, stomp on it, try to flush it, run over it, etc. I'm sure Kris will want it back more or less intact, with no dents, dings, unflushed toilet water, or rat poop in the barrel.

As of 05-27-04, I have sent the FT-3C back to Kris. I did not have it long enough to form an opinion about it, so the "Pros" and "Cons" sections below will be rather empty, and a final star rating will not be applied.

UPDATE: 00-00-00



    MANUFACTURER: Elektrolumens
    PRODUCT TYPE: Medium sized handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 3-Watt Luxeon Star LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with dimmer corona at perimeter
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off momentary on tailcap; twist tailcap on/off continuous
    BEZEL: Metal; the acrylic optic protects the LED
    BATTERY: 3x C cells
    SUBMERSIBLE: Probably not, no
    ACCESSORIES: None that I'm aware of
    WARRANTY: Unknown/TBA


    Flashlight was a loaner sample, which I did not have long enough to rate.

Elektrolumens FT-3C Flashlight * http://elektrolumens.com/FT-3C/FT-3C.html

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