Smith & Wesson Galaxy, retail approx. $24 (no website)
Manufactured by PowerTech, Inc. (Information near bottom of page; no website)
Last updated 09-21-02
The Galaxy is a small, penlight sized LED flashlight marketed by gunmaker Smith & Wesson. It features 3 white LEDs, digital switching, plus an automatic "blink" mode. The whole thing is powered by 3 size "N" batteries.
The Galaxy comes in a weld-sealed blister pack, so you'll need to get a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut it out of the package. Slitting the plastic along the entire length of one side should do.
Once the light & batteries are out, install the batteries (below) and you're ready to go. Press the small rubberized button on the barrel once to turn the light on, press it again to activate blink mode, and press it a third time to turn it off. Lather, rinse, repeat.
To change the batteries, unscrew & remove the tailpiece and dump the dead batteries in the cat box. Slide three new "N" cells, button (+) end first, into the barrel and screw the tailpiece back on. Fish the dead batteries out of the litterbox and dispose of correctly. :)
The light only uses 48 milliamps at full bore, so the battery life in the Galaxy should be significantly longer than any other 3 "N" cell light currently available.
The Galaxy is of all aluminimum construction. The finish is a very thin black paint, which can be removed with moderate effort using a key. Probably a baked enamel of some form, rather than just ordinary paint. If regular paint were that thin, you could probably get it off with a fingernail. There is no knurling or texture of any sort; and the finish is very smooth and slippery. A fold-out ring is present on the tailpiece.
The Galaxy can be set to "on", "blink", and "off". The switch is digitally manipulated, and produces a light audible click along with a a tactile response. Press once for full on, press again for a 3.5Hz to 4.0Hz blink, and press again for off. The switch rubber is tiny, and is countersunk into a recess in the barrrel. I tried to remove the rubber with a fingernail with a sense of purpose but was unsuccessful. A more concerted effort would probably succeed. So it might actually stay on better than the switch rubbers in some of the LED-LENSER products. No spare rubber was found in the tailpiece.
The LEDs are inset in individual cells in a small reflector and protected by a plastic window. The Galaxy's head does not come off, so if the window becomes fogged or ruined, you'll probably have to gouge it out with a knife and go without.
There's a thin O ring on the tail, but the light failed a mild suction test. You can use it as a straw in an emergency.
On the target from 12". Measures only 13,200mcd.
Brightness is on the low side for a "3 banger", but it's quite adequate for use when you're already adapted to darkness. A good home for the Galaxy is your nightstand or bedside drawer; it's more than bright enough to use to walk around the house at night, or to make a late-night refrigerator raid without stepping on smelly used socks or puppy dog tails.
Test unit along with several other Smith & Wesson products was received in early August 2002, courtesy of William at Texas Tactical Supply. Texas Tactical will probably not be carrying this product line once they read my reviews of them.
Smith & Wesson does not offer this product on their website. Searching Google or other search engine for "Smith Wesson Galaxy" will lead you right to the mouths of many hungry web merchants who offer this product. I will not endorse any single one; so just take your pick of what comes up.
Underdriven LEDs will probably outlast the flashlight, you, and your house.
Potential for longer than expected battery life due to low current use.
All-digital switching provides for extra mode and should minimize contact related problems.
Small enough to slip in pocket or purse.
Dimmer than expected output.
Low level of water resistance.
Finish is painted on, not anodized.
Lens cannot be replaced if fogged or broken.
MANUFACTURER: PowerTech, under license from Smith & Wesson
PRODUCT TYPE: Penlight sized LED flashlight
LAMP TYPE: LED, white
No. OF LAMPS: 3
BEAM TYPE: Medium spot (or narrow flood) with soft fall-off.
SWITCH TYPE: Barrel-mounted pushbutton on/off
BEZEL: Clear window, LEDs inset into smooth reflector.
BATTERY: 3x N alkaline
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 48 milliamps
WATER RESISTANT: Yes, mild weather resist only
ACCESSORIES: Comes with batteries.
Do you manufacture or sell an LED flashlight, task light, utility light, or module of some kind?
Want to see it tested by a real person, under real working conditions? Do you then want to see how your light did? If you have a sample available for this type of
real-world, real-time testing, please contact me at email@example.com.
Unsolicited flashlights appearing in the mail are welcome, and it will automatically be assumed that you sent it in order to have it tested and evaluated for this site.
Be sure to include contact info or your company website's URL so visitors here will know where to purchase your product.