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Infinity Task Light
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Infinity Task Light, retail $19.00 (http://www.cmgequipment.com)
Last updated 12-14-08

BUY IT AT THELEDLIGHT.COM

image infimg.jpg (6768 bytes)


The Infinity Task Light is a heavy-duty, single-cell LED flashlight designed for long battery life and appears built to survive those really tough hikes and other outdoor adventures.
The manufacturer has supplied two models for testing; the original red Infinity, and a newer yellow version which has a knurled end that makes it easier to turn on and off.
When I received the lights, I was surprised at how robust and well-built they appear. These little lights are built like battleships, and I don't anticipate being able to damage or destroy either one through my testing.

The light is powered by a single "AA" cell, which is unusual for an LED flashlight since LEDs require several volts in order to light up well at all.
This is accomplished by a miniaturized inverter and coil, to boost the 1.5 volts from the battery to the 3-4 volts the LED needs. The manufacturer claims to achieve a full-brightness lifetime of 41 hours per battery, which is pretty impressive all things considered. Having a single cell also keeps the size of the flashlight down, making it easy to store and use.

When I opened up the yellow one, I noticed some oily material inside that is used to lubricate and seal the light's weatherproofing "O" ring; some of this lubricant was also present on the battery and ended up on my fingers. The second sample has a little less of it; but it still covers the screw threads & "O" ring like it is supposed to. This shows me the light is largely hand-made or hand-assembled, and is thoroughly inspected and fitted prior to being packaged. True old-fashioned workmanship if I ever saw it. You should not try to wipe this lubricant off, unless it gets on the outside of your light.

The LED bulb in both Infinity lights is well-recessed into the end of the flashlight, giving the bulb some much needed protection that other lights may not offer.
When the light is turned off, it does rattle slightly when shaken; however this disappears entirely when the light is in actual use.

SIZE:


I found this light to be simple to use; you merely twist the front end cap (called the bulb housing here) clockwise to turn it on; and counterclockwise to turn it off.
The red Infinity has a smooth finish on the bulb housing, which could make the light difficult to operate if your hands are oily or wet or if you're wearing gloves. However, this problem has been addressed with their newer models; they used a knurled (textured) finish on the bulb housing that is much easier to grip and turn.

knurled bulb housing
Note the textured grip on the casing and bulb housing. Now standard on all new Infinities, this should eliminate complaints that the light is too hard to turn on.


The rubber "O" ring appears to offer substantial weather protection and allows for smooth, reliable squeak-free operation of the switch.
The Infinity comes with a highly technical and detailed instruction card with everything you need to know. Basically, it goes like this:

1: Insert one AA alkaline battery, positive (+) side down.
2: Twist bulb housing to power on/off.
3: Twist off bulb housing to change battery.

That's it. However I did notice one thing that *may* be missing from the instructions - most aluminum lights which use "O" rings require occasional lubrication. If yours starts to squeak or grind after a year or so of heavy use, you may want to put a tiny amount (less than 1 drop) of light oil or silicone lubricant around the threads and "O" ring on the bulb housing. Doing so will generally restore like-new smoothness in its operation. However, since CMG Equipment does not mention anything about periodic lubrication, you may wish to contact CMG yourself and ask them about it just to be on the safe side.

Both the yellow and red models have brilliant beams which can be seen on the walls & ceiling in normal household lighting. The red model is the brighter of the two; at short distances the brightness difference is considerable. It also has a wider beam and will find usefullness for night hiking and other activities where you must see well in front of you.
The yellow model has a narrower beam but may make reading maps and other text easier on the eyes.
Both models are bright enough to leave you seeing "spots" if you aim them into your eyes; however this is to be expected of any decent LED flashlight. I woudn't buy an LED flashlight that *didn't* leave me seeing spots.


Left: Red Infinity light. Bright, saves night vision.
Right: Yellow Infinity light. Fine for reading and other tasks, better color distinction than red.

image cmgwhite.jpg (11455 bytes) image cmggreen.jpg
Left: White Infinity light. My favorite one of them all.
Right: New Green Infinity. Definitely the BRIGHTEST Infinity of them all.

All photos are UNRETOUCHED, not even color-corrected. Some LED colors will appear "off".

The Infinity Task Light comes with a generously sized nylon lanyard that is easily threaded through the sturdy lanyard loop provided on the butt end of the light. The lanyard easily fits around any size neck, and allows you to carry the light in a convenient place where it cannot become lost. You can also use the lanyard to hang the Infinity from any convenient hook - a nail, tree branch, doorknob, tent pole, or just about anything else.
Now here's a nice touch: the lanyard cord glows in the dark, making the Infinity a little easier to find at night than most other flashlights. This fact wasn't noticed immediately, but became obvious when I entered a dark room with the yellow Infinity hanging from my neck during my initial round of testing.


Not for this light it isn't. You won't have to change batteries very often at all.
But when it finally is time, changing the battery in this light is almost as easy as turning it on. You simply unscrew the bulb housing (as if turning the light off) until it comes off and replace the single "AA" cell with a fresh one, inserting it top (+) side first. Screw the bulb housing back on, and you're ready to roll with 41 new hours of continuous light.
The battery can easily be changed in the dark too; you can unscrew the top, dump out the old one, and slip the new one in - feel for the button on the top of the battery and stick it in the light button-end first. Presto, you've got light.


A disembowelled Infinity, awaiting a new battery.

One thing I like about this light is how cheap it is to operate. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend $1.79 for a pack of alkaline AA cells (enough for 82+ hours of light) than spend $10.00 for lithium coin cells for the same number of battery changes (2) that last barely 25% as long. The frugal among you will find this light to be very thrifty to operate, requiring few battery changes; the more adventurous sort will find you have to pack fewer batteries along with your camping supplies - and forget about bringing or finding spare light bulbs ever again, as you won't need them.
This is one light you don't need to be afraid to use often - even daily - since it is so inexpensive to operate.

* Battery Test Period: 04-12-00, 2:00pm to 04-15-00, 2:00am

After 60 hours - two and a half days - this light has finally pretty much pooped out. Even at that, it still produces enough light to read by, or to avoid missing the toilet at night. The flashlight continued to produce usable light for well over 40 hours, dimming slowly after that until I terminated the test at 60 hours.
Although definitely petered out, this flashlight still hasn't left me in the dark.

new batteriespooped out batteries
Left: The Infinity with a new battery. Right: The same light after 48 hours continuous burning.


Battery life has exceeded my expectations, and it just keeps going, and going, and going. A regular flashlight would have had to be emptied in the garbage and refilled a number of times already.
A regular flashlight would probably be in the garbage by now.


I started this review off with a quick trip down the street for a 2-pack of alkaline "AA" cells, to ensure both flashlights were loaded with the same thing. The yellow one was turned on at 2:00pm Wednesday April 12 and it will stay on until it becomes too dim to be very usable.
Meanwhile, the red one will stay off for a good portion of this particular test so it can be used as a control. After this test is done, both the red and yellow lights will undergo a few more test, mostly related to visiblity and range. So don't change that channel. :)

"Accidentally" dropping the lights and tossing them to the floor doesn't do a bit of damage. They take this otherwise fatal abuse with impunity. A regular flashlight would more often than not be in need of a new bulb even at this early stage. Even if it didn't, the poor injured thing would cast this useless, ring-shaped beam after the bulb filament or reflector got knocked out of whack. The Infinity just keeps right on going. Running over one with my motorized wheelchair several times didn't even scuff the finish. I would never run any other kind of flashlight over on purpose, due to the possibility of breakage.
Try this with a cheap plastic flashlight, and see how fast you have to run to the store for another one - or better yet, see how quickly you run to www.cmgequipment.com and order some Infinity Task Lights!
These little flashlights are incredibly tough and built to take out whatever you can dish up.

best place for them The weather resistance of the Infinity is initially being tested a little differently here, since we're currently having a dry spell. After ten or fifteen minutes in the indirect (reflected) spray from a shower to simulate the light and its user being caught in a thunderstorm, the outside was dried off with a paper towel. Upon opening the Infinity, it was completely dry inside. Other lights would be so full at this point you would have to pour the water and ruined batteries out, dry the insides out (where do you get paper towels on a mountaintop?) and start over.
Not this light - it passed this test with flying colors!
Because it is made from aluminum, it won't rust or corrode even if a little water does somehow manage to find its way inside. Even the nylon lanyard is drying out quickly on its own, so it won't feel cold and icky around your neck for very long if you end up getting really soaked.

The Infinity Task Light has a lifetime warranty for any failure except intentional severe abuse and water damage; leading me to believe that although very weather resistant, it isn't designed to be used as an underwater dive light - however it should easily survive an occasional accidental dunking into a stream.
If you keep it off the lake bottom though, the Infinity should easily give you many, many years of reliable, trouble-free light. It is extremely rugged and well-built, is less expensive to use than any other flashlight out there, and never requires you to hunt for odd light bulbs or difficult-to-find camera batteries. The included lanyard adds some versatility to the light; allowing it to be hung from a tent interior, tree branch, outhouse interior and other locations; and the light is small and light enough to take anywhere.

My only "real" complaint? It's that they don't come in a larger variety of colors. Adding green and blue (both super-bright gallium nitride LED types) might "turn on" more people to these super tough and economical little lights.
And the latest news? It's that they're producing these in white and green;
and a blue-green model is on the way over the summer.
So my gripe ended as quickly as the batteries in that cheap 2 D-cell light the kids broke.

The green LED Infinity I have appears to have a dominant wavelength (where you would point to on a color chart) of 520nm, the amber has a dominant wavelength of approximately 585nm, and the red Infinity has a dominant wavelength of approximately 630nm.

* TEST NOTES:
1: Nobody leaves any flashlight burning away continuously for many hours or days at a time. Even in severe conditions, a flashlight is allowed rest periods - when the user is sleeping, during daylight, etc.
So you may get a little more battery life out of yours.
2: The light did dim slightly after its battery was cooled to 45-50 deg. F. by leaving it sitting outdoors in the rain. Upon returning it to warmer temperatures, the slight decrease in output disappeared and the light resumed its normal brilliance. This is not the fault of the light - any battery operated device will experience the same phenomenon.
In extremely frigid weather, you may not achieve a full 41 hours continuous burn time unless you keep the light relatively warm.
3: Although the white one appears dimmer than the others, it actually works better for a lot of nocturnal activities than the colored versions do.
4: The green one radiates a soft, room-filling glow when shined at the ceiling. Useful for those nighttime bathroom trips and refrigerator raids without waking up anyone else sleeping in the same room.

Battery life may be a tad shorter, but it isn't going to be by much. However, an already nearly-dead battery that still works in a red Infinity quickly dies completely in the green. This was no surprise to me, since I know the physics behind the failure. The light will continue to burn at a dimmer and dimmer level for a long time though, giving you more than ample time to root around your battery drawer (or wait till morning) to make a battery run.

Personally, I will treat the Infinity Task Light like American Express - I won't leave home without one.
They feel good in the hand, and produce enough light to keep your Mag Lite Solitare very solitary indeed.



UPDATE: Saturday April 15.
A second yellow Infinity Task Light showed up in the mail from a person in San Diego. This sample appears to have a slightly more orange color to its light, it has a slightly narrower beam, and it may be a few tens of mcd brighter than my original sample. Both yellow versions will now be tested side-by-side after dark; and the results posted here.

(results): There is little functional difference between the yellow Infinities, other than what I just described. They both work equally well in identical situations.
This sample arrived without a lanyard; so I attached a standard keyring on it and it now hangs from a structural member of my wheelchair, so there's light anytime I need some.
The yellow is good for looking through bags or other containers indoors (such as looking for a wallet or keys in the grocery store). It is also useful for late-night book reading, looking through the glovebox, or checking a roadmap at night.

UPDATE: 05-05-00
I have been testing the white Infinity for the last week or so. Even with heavy, daily use, I'm still on the same battery.
At first, I thought it was disappointingly dim; however the more I used it, the more I liked this light.
I must now very reluctantly let it go, as it must get on a plane and fly back to its home in Green Bay. Back to the person who was kind enough to loan it to me for this test.

I found the light was very useful in all kinds of awkward situations and everyday situations alike. Finding objects buried in boxes in dark closets was a breeze with the white Infinity; as I could see everything in natural colors in its light. It also served very well for navigating through a dark house at night, while not seriously screwing me out of my night vision. It illuminated the entire room with a soft, even glow; while offering a brighter zone in the center for walking and not stepping on pet's tails or thumbtacks.

UPDATE: 05-20-00
A green Infinity has shown up on my doorstep. Testing on it will commence immediately.
What I noticed right away though was the color: it has a radiant, whitish-green color not usually seen in a manmade light source. It is less yellow than any of my other green LEDs, including those Nichia gallium nitride ones I've been monkeying with. An initial, brief test showed this light can be used, candle-style, to illuminate a dark room while preserving your night vision. More tests on this over the weekend and after dark, when beam pictures can be taken (the sun hasn't yet gone down since I received this light).

UPDATE: 05-29-00
I have been testing the GREEN Infinity for the last week or so. I am finding that it is by far the brightest of the bunch. Since I no longer have the white to compare it to, it will finish its testing and be ranked on its own merits.

The green is definitely bright, and also has a very unusual color to it. Instead of a yellow-green like ordinary LEDs or a pure green like the new style, this one has a definite whitish-aqua tint to it - a color I have not previously encountered either in a flashlight or in a loose LED. The color is almost a cross between the regular nitride green and the nitride turquoise. Kind of in between those two. It is exceptionally brilliant, and I had no trouble at all illuminating an entire good sized room with it, either by shining it across the room like you would a regular light, or shining it on the ceiling and illuminating the room from the reflected spot.
You will notice that many scenes (outdoors, rooms, etc.) will appear "contrasty" in the green Infinity's light, this is because red and blue objects appear much darker than usual. It's not a fault of the light - just common physics at work here. This normally won't reduce the usefullness of the light; but if you must see the full color spectrum, use a white Infinity for those times.

UPDATE: 09-02-00
After a long, somewhat cool Seattle summer, the paint on the bulb housings & tail ends of all of the Infinity flashlights is wearing off.
This in no way affects the functionality of the Infinity, and some users may actually like it because it gives the flashlight a "lived-in" look, so to speak. Because the casing is aluminum and not iron, steel, or pot metal; even the exposed portions will not rust or corrode. No worries here.

Our 8 month long rainy season is about to begin, so if there are any weather-related troubles with the Infinity, they will surface during this period.

UPDATE: 10-17-00
upgrade? I have been hearing reports that the Infinity has undergone a design change. After seeing pictures of the "enhancement", I am not convinced that this new design is as trustworthy as the original.

This picture shows the potential problem: In the original Infinity, there was a sturdy steel spring in the center of the board, and in this new version, the spring is no longer present and the tit on the battery presses directly onto this large contact area. One problem here is that this contact is wearing away at an alarming rate, and setting the new Infinity series up to possible failure. Another is that if the light is screwed down too tightly or if it is dropped and falls head-first, the circuit board could crack & break. Ouch!

UPDATE: 10-20-00
I have heard back from the manufacturer regarding the new design, and their explanation of why it is better actually does make sense to me.
Apparently, the spring in the original Infinity was causing some problems, such as causing the inverter coil to pop off the board under some circumstances; the new Infinity's design prevents this from happening.
The component side of the board in the new model is potted, giving additional protection to the circuitry and strengthening the board.
The silvery colored contact area you see in the picture is also being reinforced to help reduce the wear on it.

UPDATE: 11-22-00
Notice to consumers: The currently produced White and Green models have been redesigned, so you should insert the battery button-end facing up.
The Red and Yellow models - those still in stock wherever you shop - still have their battery installed button-end facing down.
I have received several e-mails telling me the red Infinity they bought didn't work, and upon investigating, they have been placing the battery in backwards thinking that all of the Infinity series lights had their battery installation procedure changed.

Also, when you open your new Infinity, check for, remove and discard any burrs or metal filaments you may find around the threads on the flashlight head. These are leftover from the mandrel used to mill and thread these components, and may not be apparent until the light is screwed together and unscrewed a couple of times.
Once these burrs or filaments are removed, they should never reappear again.
Here's a tip I received from a customer regarding the rattling noise caused by the battery: take a post-it note and wrap it around the battery before placing the battery in your flashlight. This is said to reduce or totally eliminate the rattle.


UPDATE: 06-24-02
As most of you know by now, testing never really ends here at The LED Museum. The Infinity was the very first LED flashlight or other product I reviewed when I started this website back in 1999, and the original test units are still working fine, and are used often.



Battered and worn, but it just keeps on shining.


UPDATE: 10-28-06
Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in the green Infinity.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in the older-style red Infinity.
USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.


UPDATE: 12-09-08
Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in the newer red Infinity.
USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.



Beam photograph of the newer red Infinity at ~12".
Measures 4,570mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.





PROS:
Sturdy as an ox
Convenient hanging lanyard
Long battery life
Easy & cheap battery replacement
Weather/water resistant,
Reasonable choice of LED colors.


CONS:
Will sink like a rock if dropped in deeper water
Not as bright as most other LED lights - long battery life makes up for this however.


    MANUFACTURER: CMG Equipment
    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld/keychain mini flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm. Red, yellow, green, blue-green, blue, white
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Circular, quality varies with LED type
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on bezel
    BEZEL: One piece contains electronics + LED
    BATTERY: 1 AA cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: No, but should survive accidental dunking
    ACCESSORIES: Split ring with lanyard, pocket clip
    WARRANTY: Lifetime, excluding abuse



    PRODUCT RATING:


INFINITY TASK LIGHT * WWW.CMGEQUIPMENT.COM








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