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INRETECH AA LIGHTS



Inretech AA lights & kits, retail $5 to $35 (see below)
Manufactured by InReTECH
Last updated 09-23-13

*
None of these products have turned up as of 11-25-04 after moving on 10-11-04. That doesn't mean they're GONE, just that they have not been found yet.





These guys are Mini-Mags which have been converted to use LEDs instead of regular bulbs. The white one uses a Luxeon Star emitter (a large-junction device which is still relatively new); the red-orange uses a SnapLED (sometimes called a Spider LED), and the near-UV model uses a 395nm 5mm LED.

All are housed in standard Mini-Mag bodies; and all but the UV are available as drop-in kits for your existing Mini-Mag if you already have one handy.



The tested units were provided as complete flashlights; turning the head counterclockwise (loosening) turns them on, turning the head the other way (tightening) turns them off. Functionally, they're pretty much like a regular Mag-Lite, except that there is no beam width adjustment. Batteries are loaded from the rear.



The white and red versions use the same 2 AA cells as the original Mini-Mag, and they're loaded and unloaded the same way. Unscrew the tailcap, dump, and slide the new batteries in with the button (+) end going in first.

The UV model uses a different battery (a quick check on Inretech's site says it's rechargeable); however I've been disallowed from talking about specifics for the present time. It would probably be removed & reinserted the same way as the others.



As a flashlight, the units are reasonably sturdy (as all Mag-Lites are), and are of a proven physical design. Mag Instruments (of which Inretech has *no* affiliation!) has been making flashlights for years, and they have a long track record for durability.

The orange-red version ($5/kit, $15/complete flashlight) uses a SnapLED (Lumileds, Hewlett-Packard and Telefunken make this type of package); the LED is soldered to a round PCB using all four of its leads. It does get pretty toasty, so DO NOT under any circumstances try to operate this flashlight with lithium AA cells! The reflector of the Mag is not used; though it is left in for aesthetics. The top of the LED dome just barely pokes through the opening at the bottom of the reflector when the flashlight head is turned to where it just comes on. Turning it any more will cause the LED to become recessed deeper in the hole, and light output will begin to diminish.

The white version ($20/kit, $30/complete flashlight) uses a Lumileds emitter; mounted in much the same way as the LED in the red version. However, the Mag's reflector is removed, and replaced with the acrylic collimator that the Luxeon emitter comes with. This collimator just sits inside the flashlight head, but things just happen to fit well enough that there is no rattling, and the flashlight produces the type of beam it was designed to produce. It's round and even (characteristic of "new optics" white Luxeons), with a prominent hotspot in the center that fades off gently towards the edges. Only if the head is unscrewed far beyond what is necessary will the collimator begin to rattle around inside. The tested unit draws anywhere from 115 to 140mA from new alkaline AA cells. Since the Luxeon has very little in the way of heatsinking, this is an appropriate current level for the device; it should live a long and comfortable life unless you try to stuff lithiums in there - if you do that, the Luxeon *might* let its supply of magic smoke out (especially if you happened to get one with an especially low Vf and end up with an especially potent set of batteries), and if that happens, it will go dark and you'll be out a $20 conversion kit. Yes, I have tested it with lithiums, but only for 1-2 seconds at a time. And yes, it was brighter than sh*t with them. Easily competed with the DC-DC driven Lambda Illuminator. The manufacturer has also tested it with lithiums, and did not have any of the test units burn out. The only thing I'm worried about is the minimal heatsinking and the LED emitter running hotter than its published limits. This unit is "direct drive", meaning there are no resistors or other electronic components between the batteries and the LED.

The 395nm near UV version ($35 complete) uses a 395nm high-powered Cree chip LED. The model I have here is a prototype, and is not the version that will eventually be sold. That version will use a rechargeable battery or batteries, and it (they) are supposed to fit in any AA sized charger you already have. If you don't have a charger, you'll have to go to Radio Shack and spring the $9 or so for one. The LED used in this light has a narrow beam and curious beam artifacts; its violet ray of death causes objects to fluoresce from a surprising distance. Might be a good candidate for a scorpion hunting light.



White LS LED flashlight, at 12" and at 5'
The color is not nearly as greenish as these shots depict.
Measured at 198,003mcd on brand new alkalines.


Orange-red spider LED flashlight, at 12" and at 5'
Measured at 13,045mcd; quite bright for a red LED.


Ultraviolet (395nm) LED flashlight, at 12" and 5'.
Measured at 190mcd, but detector loses sensitivity quite fast below ~420nm so this number is a false low reading. With the right detector, it should be pushing 400mcd or even higher.



Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.


Spectrographic plot
Same as above; newer spectrometer software & settings used.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight; newest (01-13-13) spectrometer software settings used.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight; newest (01-13-13) spectrometer software settings used. Spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 390nm and 400nm to pinpoint peak wavelength, which is 396.410nm.

The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/43/inrevio.txt

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.






TEST NOTES:
Samples of these flashlights were received on 08-07-02, and must be returned eventually. Not with the urgency called for with the Super6, but sooner or later I'm gonna lose these. I will attempt to finish this page in a timely fashion, but with so many reviews being done at once, I can make no guarantees as to when it will be done.

Provided batteries have unknown prior usage; the lights will be metered with new ones.


UPDATE: 09-22-03
The near-ultraviolet version is not available due to some problems with a custom battery. Two AA cells can't power the near-UV LED correctly, and most potential buyers wouldn't want to {vulgar term for intercourse} with the special rechargeable batteries it would use.


UPDATE: 03-06-06
InReTECH is now closing its doors because the owner can no longer keep it operational. This and all other InReTECH web pages will be kept available for the benefit of current InReTECH product owners.


PROS:
They handle and function like familiar Mini-Mags
Durable construction - same as the Mini-Mag
No bulbs to burn out
White and red versions are surprisingly bright
UV model comes with rechargeable batteries.



CONS:
User of the UV version must already own or purchase (an inexpensive) AA cell charger.
Red version cannot be used with lithiums.



    MANUFACTURER: Inretech
    PRODUCT TYPE: Various retrofits for 2-AA Mini Mag
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm UV LED, SnapLED, and Luxeon Star emitter
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Varies with color and LED type; see photos above.
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off.
    BEZEL: Standard Mag bezel with clear plastic lens.
    BATTERY: 2x AA cells for white & red.
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION:
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: No
    ACCESSORIES: None
    WARRANTY: 1 year

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating









InReTECH 2-AA Mini-Mag Modules *







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