The Hyper Lux V is a new LED flashlight, made by TNC Custom Products. The Hyper Lux V feeds from three CR123A lithium camera batteries, commonly used in small, high-intensity flashlights, and this light certainly won't disappoint you.
It comes in an all-aluminum body, which is color anodized on the outside (my sample is blue; you can get a number of other different colors).
(Edit) The colors you can get the Hyper Lux V body in are:
The solid colors are $100, and the "splash anodized" colors are $115.
The Hyper Lux V uses a 5 watt Luxeon Star LED and a slightly stippled (textured) reflector to produce its beam. You don't want to take one of these things and shine it in your eyes, because you won't like that very much.
To use your Hyper Lux V, there are two different ways.
If you have the regular (solid) tailcap on, turn the bezel (head) clockwise (as if tightening it) to get light, and turn it counterclockwise (as if loosening it) to not get light.
If you have the tailcap switch installed, press the black rubber button on the tailcap in partway to get momentary light, and release it to plunge yourself back into darkness. Press the tailcap switch firmly until it clicks to get continuous, hands-free light. Press it again until it clicks to turn the Hyper Lux V back off. Because there is a "guard" around the switch rubber, you may need to use your forefinger to activate & deactivate it instead of using your thumb.
With the tailcap switch in place, you can still use the flashlight like it has a solid tailcap; just turn the light on with the tailcap button first, and then twist or untwist the bezel as necessary.
There is a small lanyard opening on the solid tailcap, which you may use to affix a lanyard to if you wish. The clicky switch tailcap does not have this opening.
The Hyper Lux V uses three CR123A cells (already included) for power.
To change them, unscrew and remove the tailcap, and throw it away...OH WAIT!!! You'll need that shortly, so just set it aside instead. ;-)
Tip the three dead CR123A cells out of the barrel, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit. Insert three new CR123A cells in the barrel, button (+) end first (pointing toward the business end of the flashlight). Once you have all three cells in, screw the tailcap back on...aren't you glad you didn't throw it out now? :-)
Current was measured at 1.15 amps on the three SureFire CR123A cells that came with the flashlight.
Look how small this thing is, compared to a TNC Splash Ano flashlight!!!
It's brighter and whiter than the Splash Ano too, in addition to being smaller.
I thought the Hyper Lux V would be about the size of the Splash Ano that I reviewed earlier this year (early May 2003). But I was rather surprised to find it's considerably smaller, and thus, easier to carry and use.
A suction test performed on the light's tail end revealed that it holds a vaccume at its head end, so if water gets in the barrel it ain't gonna be through there. Both the tail and head are fitted with generous O-rings, so the flashlight ought to be waterproof (instead of just water resistant), so I wouldn't worry at all about using it in the rain or snow; or dropping it into water like puddles, toilet bowls, sinks, fishtanks, snowbanks, etc. Just shake it off and keep going.
A suction test that was later performed at the head end of the flashlight shows the solid (twisty) tailcap holds a vaccume, and the clicky tailcap almost holds a vaccume. So the Hyper Lux V should be weatherproof regardless of which tailcap is on, and waterproof (submersible to 100 feet) when the twisty tailcap is on. With the pushbutton tailcap on, the light should be submersible to 6 feet or so; although it is recommended you put the twisty tailcap on if you intend to take the Hyper Lux V swimming with you.
The beam is similar to that a SureFire L4 produces, in that it produces a circular central hotspot with a wider corona or spill light, and the central area has a very slight "doughnut" configuration, in that the very center of the hotspot is just ever so slightly dimmer than the rest of the hotspot. This is only noticeable when the light is shone at a white wall about 5 feet or more away though, and is not noticeable at all when the light is actually USED. This central hotspot is also about 25% smaller and significantly brighter than the L4's hotspot.
There are several areas of knurling and ribbing on the barrel, and the "smooth" portions have fine ridges, so I don't think retention (the ability to hold onto the flashlight with cold, wet, or oily hands) will be too much of an issue here.
On the tailcap switch, the pushbutton is protected by being inset and being surrounded by metal, so I don't think there's a real big chance it will "go off" in your camping gear or in a box full of other stuff. I know I said this already, but the switch must be used with a forefinger; as the thumb won't fit in there when the flashlight is held in the fist with an overhand grip. You ought to be able to flash the light intermittently with your thumb, but you'd have to alter your grip significantly to use your thumb to click the switch on and off.
Here's a shot of the solid (twisty) tailcap, showing the name of the manufacurer and a number - a serial number as I've since found out.
The Hyper Lux V comes with a lifetime warranty on the body, and a 1 year warranty on the lamp. If you try to remove the bezel, the warranty is no good, so you'd better not do that. :-O
Beam photograph at ~12".
Measures 1,160,000mcd with 3 CR123A disposables.
Measures 1,140,000mcd with 2 Pila 150S rechargeables.
Both measurements were taken on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
Beam cross-sectional analysis. Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.
Picture showing the corona (spill light).
On a popcorn ceiling from ~4 feet away.
Test sample of the Hyper Lux V was received on 12-22-03, and is in its initial stages of testing.
Light came with a solid tailcap and a clicky switch tailcap. I don't know if production units will come with both tailcaps, or if you'll need to choose one.
My Hyper Lux V is currently broken. I just went to use it one day (a few days ago) and the LED was rattling loose inside the bezel. I've mailed my bezel back to TNC Custom Products, so we'll soon know if this is a warranty issue or if I'll have to pay for a new bezel.
In the meantime, I put one of those dreadful red "x" icons in a yellow box by its listings, indicating I do not have this flashlight currently available for additional analyses or comparisons.
Just received word that my Hyper Lux V bezel has been repaired, outfitted with a new reflector (new beam photographs will appear on this page), and was shipped to me today. When I receive it, I'll post those photographs on this page.
My repaired Hyper Lux V head arrived a moment ago (approximately 11:25am PDT).
Here are the photographs I promised:
Beam from ~12" on test target.
The original measured 1,160,000mcd; the replacement measures 1,460,000mcd.
So there's a definite improvement here.
Both measurements were on disposable CR123A lithium cells.
Beam from ~5' against an off-white wall.
Bezel of the Hyper Lux V, showing the stippled reflector and the LED.
Great looking flashlight
Durable and water resistant
Bright for its size
A pair of Pila 150S rechargeable Li:ION cells fit in it
Uses batteries (CR123A cells) that could be expensive or difficult to find in an emergency. See the "PROS" section above for one possible fix
MANUFACTURER: TNC Custom Products
PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld Flashlight
LAMP TYPE: 5W White Luxeon Star LED
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with dimmer corona
SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on tailcap or twist bezel on/off
BEZEL: Metal bezel with plastic lens protects LED & reflector
BATTERY: 3 CR123A cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 1.15 amps
WATER RESISTANT: Yes
SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 100' if twisty tailcap is used
WARRANTY: Lifetime on body, 1 year on lamp
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