Brinkmann Legend 2-AA + DC-DC + Luxeon Star "The Lambda Illuminator"
User Modification: Legend 2-AA Luxeon with DC-DC boost converter
("The Lambda Illuminator"), $45 (see below)
Manufactured by (see below)
Last updated 05-25-09
This shiny chrome and black rubber flashlight was born as a Brinkmann Legend 2-AA cell incandescent. A user of Candlepower Forums removed the original lamp assembly,
outfitted it with a DC-DC boost converter, and lamped it with a super bright, blue-white Luxeon Star /O (with optics) LED.
The studly little flashlight now outpowers all other LED lights currently being made, including those 14 and 19 LED Tektite models!!!
Functionally, the modified light is almost exactly like the original. The tailcap switch has several modes - pressing it partway in allows for intermittent operation; pushing it all the way in
allows for steady burn, and (while off), rotating the tailcap locks it in the "off" position, greatly lessening the chance it might go off in your bag and drain the batteries.
Only when you turn it on do you realise this is no ordinary Brinkmann. It emits an insanely bright, blue-white beam which some people might even confuse for the world's smallest
metal halide HID lamp!!
This one's easy. Just pop off the tailpiece (well, OK unscrew it!) and slip in two "AA" cells button-end (+) first. Screw the tailcap back on, and that's all there is to it.
Flashlights just don't get much easier than this.
This shot shows how the batteries load into the unit.
This modification appears very professional, and it looks like the flashlight was supposed to come this way.
The only way you can tell it didn't come this way is there's a slight gap between the lip of the bezel
and the lens of the LS. A closer examination revealed this is no gap at all - a very transparent window is mounted here to protect the optics of the Luxeon Star LED! This window is so clear,
it's invisible - I had to sit there and poke at the thing with a wire before I realised there really isn't a gap. A mild suction test also confirmed its presence; it offers an effective seal against dust and water,
and should protect the flashlight against just about everything except perhaps someone's alcohol-fueled attempt to drown it in the toilet. And it will probably survive that too.
The tailcap & switch assembly is outfitted with an O-ring. While I do not know its submersibility rating, I can with confidence say this light will be perfectly fine in rain, sleet, or snow.
If any water gets in the flashlight at all, this is where it's coming in at. And you can easily deal with a few drops in a battery tube. Under normal use (bad weather, the occasional dredging, etc.),
nothing will get in through the head or bezel assembly where the electronics are.
A peek down the "business end".
Speaking of electronics, this light gets its dazzling brilliance with the aid of a DC-DC boost converter, which boosts the 2-3 volts from the two AA cells into the well over 3.5 volts needed by the LS LED at the current it is being
driven at. That's why this light does so well on only 2 batteries. I did stick a meter in there and found it draws 717mA off new Energizers; but remember because there is a voltage step up
and some electronic components between the battery and LED, the LED would never see that much current. I'm guessing its getting somewhere between 400 and 500mA with fresh batteries, dropping off a bit
after the batteries become slightly worn.
Beam photo. Initial intensity clocked in at over 256,000mcd!
This modification is on the left; an Arc-LS is the yellower one to the right.
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
Same as above; newer software & settings used.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.
Beam profile analysis. Measures 241,800mcd on almost new Energizer Max.
Beam contour analysis. Note center is quite "hot" but beam is round and even.
Easily the brightest LED light tested to date (04-10-02), comparing favorably against both commercial products and user modifications.
As this is a user modification, it will not be rated or graded like a commercial product.
A bit of additional information about this light can be found on its creator's website, at http://home.mchsi.com/~lambda/lambda1.htm.
Small numbers of these are supposed to be made available soon, and will sell for $45 at that time. Consider this article a beta test.
Battery life will be tested as time permits.
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