(Luxeon Star)

Arc LS (Luxeon Star) Premium, retail $150 (
Manufactured by Arc Flashlight, LLC
Last updated: 08-21-13

LED Light

IMPORTANT! Effective 09-22-04, this product is no longer being made, but here is information on it anyway.

The Arc LS (Luxeon Star) is a true revolution and will represent the first major leap in flashlight technology since the white LED was introduced in the mid 1990s. Instead of using ordinary 5mm LEDs, the Arc LS uses a single Luxeon Star Power Light Source, a very bright white LED made by LumiLeds.

This model is the new Premium edition, and it features a very nice, bright LS LED and a Kroll "clicky" switch on the tailcap.

The "H" in LSHP stands for "High Dome", the type of lens the Luxeon Star LED uses. This is also known as the Lambertian; if you buy a lot of bare LS LEDs you'll know this designation. You can also get the "Low Dome" or Batwing lens on the LS; this lens projects a wider beam and is designed to be used with the NX-01 acrylic collimator, like the very first Arc LS flashlights did.
But I digress...this flashlight uses the High Dome LS LED, just so ya know. :-)

Size reference

The Arc LS will come in a couple of different configurations; both of them related to the type of battery you want to use in it.
The model I'm testing today arrived with a body for 1 CR123 Lithium photograph battery, and it came with a battery already installed. There is a thin plastic lens protector over the lens; use a fingernail to lift it up on one edge and remove it if you wish. It also came with a Duracell Ultra lithium CR123A battery already installed, so it was ready to go right out of the box.

To turn this photonic cannon on, press the button on the tailcap until it clicks; press it again to turn it off. You can also press the button more lightly, and the Arc LS will come on. Let the button go, and plunge yourself back into darkness. This momentary operation is handy for signalling - you can point it at something or someone and blink it in any pattern you see fit.

To change either the batteries or the battery holder on the LS, unscrew the head until it comes off. Then choose the battery style you wish to use.
For both battery types, drop the battery / batteries into the battery holder so the button-end faces up toward you. Then screw the battery holder onto the head until it's on there good.

I measured 470 milliamps of current consumption (on the meter's 20 amp scale) from an almost-new Duracell Ultra CR123 cell.

Battery life will have to be tested, so I don't have any charts up here right now.

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The Arc LSH-P is a very small and durable instrument that should provide you with years of service, even if you don't take care of it all that well. But you'll want to take care of it, once you see how well it's built.

The only weak link I can see is that rubber switch cover, but you'd probably have to take a knife or a razor blade to it in order to hack it up. The switch rubber can be spun if you take the effort to do that; otherwise the Arc LSH-P is put together very well with no burrs or mismatched parts whatsoever. If your switch rubber spins, take the battery pack off and spin the switch clockwise (as the switch rubber is facing up) until it stops. Then screw the battery pack back on.

The LS LED is a Luxeon Star High Dome white, with the "new style" NX05 acrylic optic in front of it. The beam is a pure white color, with no blue, yellow, or "rotten cat urine green" visible anywhere in it.
If all Luxeon Star LEDs were this way, the flashlight market would be all over them like flies to a pile of {vulgar term for feces}. But they aren't, so there are relatively few to go around. Arc selects the whitest and brighest LEDs of the whole lot, and that's what winds up in the LSH-P flashlights. The "P" stands for "Premium", and you'll see that when you use one of these lights.

The LSH-P is a regulated flashlight, meaning there's some circuitry buried inside that will allow the flashlight to start bright and stay bright until the battery poops out, rather than starting bright and constantly dimming as the battery gets used up. The LSH-P should go into a "moon mode" to provide a reduced level of light even on an almost dead battery, so you just aren't plunged into instant darkness when the battery craps out.

The Arc LSH-P uses a cobalt-gold positive (+) battery contact, so intermittents are a thing of the past.

The beam that shoots out of the LSH-P comprises of a circular hotspot, surrounded by a cross-shaped outer beam and a dim circular corona. This is quite normal for the Luxeon Star high-dome LED and NX05 collimator, so no worries there.

The Kroll tailcap switch is easy and comfortable to use. You can just pick the flashlight up off whatever you put it on, wrap your fist around it, and push the switch with your thumb. You can use your forefinger too, but I think just holding the LSH-P in your fist and using your thumb to manipulate the switch is more comfortable.

The Arc LSHP has a Chemkote application on the threads and inside the flashlight body. This appears as a gold colored coating, and is there to help prevent corrosion from a bad battery or if you take the light apart and somehow manage to spash water inside it. The outer portions of the flashlight are covered in a HA-III (Hard Anodized type 3) finish, so it will be tough and long-wearing. The HA-III coating is very durable, so pieces of it shouldn't flake off very easily at all.

The unit comes with both a battery (or batteries, if you order with the AA pack) and a split ring already mounted to the tailpiece so you can hang it from your keys or attach a lanyard of your choise. A lanyard isn't included, so if you want to use one, you'll have to buy it elsewhere.

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Beam at ~12" from the target.
Measured 450,000mcd on a Meterman LM631.

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Beam approx. 5 feet from a very light grey wall.
The light is a pure snow white, with no blue, green, or yellow tint to it.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.

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 450nm and 460nm to pinpoint native emission peak wavelength, which is 455.760nm.

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 605nm and 615nm to pinpoint that queer little phosphor emission peak found in early 1W Luxeon Star LEDs, which is 611.690nm.

The raw spectrometer data (comma-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Light was provided by Peter Gransee of Arc Flashlight LLC in late May 2003. Provided sample came with CR123A battery holder, so that's how the measurements are being taken.

UPDATE 11-18-03: I found this posted on a Candlepower Forums thread about the Arc LSH-P flashlight, by a member who goes by "HesNot":

Thus far my LSH-P has been used for normal around the house tasks, walking the dog, etc... Nothing too stressful.

This weekend I had to go under the house to check on a few things (some concerns about a pipe and ductwork), change the furnace filter, and generally check on the condition prior to real winter weather setting in. I have a crawl space, and I use the term crawl loosely, it would be better described as a slither space.

Anyway, I went armed with a cmg infinity ultra clipped to the bill of my baseball cap (I don't have a decent headlamp yet, that is definitely on the list) and as a backup, and my LSH-P with my 2AA pack. In the past I would likely have taken a 3D M@G which is relatively cumbersome and of course has the familiar beam issues. Several observations -

1. I didn't treat it any differently than I would have the Mag, which is to say I didn't grind it into the red clay and rocks under my house but I didn't consciously "baby" it either. It emerged covered in red clay and not looking particulary well, but a quick rinse with warm soapy water and it looked brand new. The finish really does stand up to hard use.

2. The size/light ratio - when you're snaking along in a tight space 30 feet from the difficult entry point it is really nice to have a light that is so small and easy to maneuver with , but yet gives so much usable light.

3. Sidespill/Throw - I never appreciated how useful a smooth beam with a hotspot but usable sidespill is in a practical task, since I've never had a light with a decent flood beam. Particularly in such a tight space the ARC lit my entire path without demanding extra movement to see what was ahead. In medium use tasks the ARC beam is nearly perfect. Not to mention the pure white light really helped me see what was going on under the house and check for mold, leaks, decay (my house was built in 1946) and other damage.

About the only thing I would have liked to have had would be a light to use for a limited time to spot an area of pipe at the other end of the house. An LSHF would do the trick but I'm not sure I'm up for another LSH price tag

Anyway, I appreciate my ARC even more having used it like the tool it is designed to be!

Now THIS is what I call a TESTIMONIAL!!!

UPDATE 09-06-04:
The Arc Company of Tempe, Arizona was started in May of 2001 by Peter Gransee.

The original 'First Run's or 'Rev1's
First announced in June 2001.
This was the first flashlight on the market using a Luxeon Star Low Dome LED.

Also called 'LS1 rev1'.

These have the laser engraving "First Run" and have a 2 piece body (bezel and body secured with Loctite).
Fatter than the current "one piece body". 123 tailcap is fat too.
Came with 123, 1AA, 2AA 'twisty' battery packs. The 1AA was slimmed down later.

ver 0.9
First shipped in December of 2001. Voltage regulated.
Low Dome Luxeon
Retainer optimized for the AA pack.
ARC offered an upgrade to Ver1.0 or a 30$ coupon.
Available in 6 colors White, Cyan, Green, Blue, Red, Amber (and ??? Orangish Red and Royal Blue ???)

ver 1.0
March 2002
Redesigned battery retainer
Raised knurling plain
New threads
Improved manufacturing standards
Retainer optimized for AA and 123
New NX05 optics

"Factory Seconds" are announced March 2002

ver 1.1 ?? 2002
123 guide chamfer added to solve 123 crushing problem

ver 1.2 Jul 2002
Retainer optimized for 123 cell
Cleaner HA

Rev 1s have a flat gold positive contact. Later versions have a raised 'button' contact.

LS1 Rev 2 and LS2 Announced August 2002
The models engraved "LS1" are low dome, "LS2" is high dome. The LS2 was the first flashlight on the market to use the Luxeon Star High Dome LED.

Low Dome Luxeon (LS1 rev2)
High Dome Luxeon(LS2)
New one piece housing
Smaller diameter than Rev1
NX05 optics protected behind AR coated lens
New efficient heat sink
Gold raised button contact
1AA bat pack discontinued
1.4v cutoff
New PCB circuit by Dat2Zip
Current regulated
Higher output
Thermally protected
Pricing LS1 Rev2 $120
ver2.1 Flex washer

LS3 (5W 2x123) announced
First flashlight on the market to use the 5 Watt Luxeon Star driven at 2 Watts. Rev2 technology. 2x123 battery. Waterproof.

Kroll clickie announced

Rev 1/2 Hybrids
Announced Sep 2002 Shipped Sep 2002
These look exactly like "First Runs" or Rev1s, but have a Rev 2 heatsink and circuit(Dat2Zip). Lowdome Luxeon.
The only way to tell them apart is to look at the positive battery contact. Hybrids will have a raised button contact, Rev1s will have a flat contact.

There were 2 types of Hybrids made, a 400mA version (actually set for 330mA, mistakenly reported as 400mA), and a 500mA version (actually 400mA, mistakenly reported as 500mA). The 500 version resulted from a wrong resistor being accidentaly installed and was not intended.
The 400s have a green PCB with raised gold positive contact. The 500s have a brown PCB with raised gold positive contact.

LS2 Seconds (SLS2) start shipping Dec 2002

LS1 rev1 Announced to be discontinued Dec 2002

Twisty 123 (P-123) changed to Kroll type (TSP-123)on all models late 2002

LS3 Discontinuation announced before product ships
Small number to be offered in Jan 2003

Lineup Renamed and upgraded to ver 2.1

LS1 rev2 renamed LSL (low dome)
2 grades

LSL aka LSL-S : standard
Low Dome LED with M-N Flux and 3-4 Tint. $120 Retail

LSL-P : premium
Premium version of LSL with P-Q Flux and 3-4 Tint for a brighter beam. $150 Retail

LS2 renamed LSH (high dome)
2 grades

LSH aka LSH-S : standard
High Dome LED with M-N Flux and 3-4 Tint for a more focused and whiter beam. $130 Retail

LSH-P : premium
Premium version of LSH with P-Q Flux and 3-4 Tint for a brighter beam. $160 Retail

Dimensions on all LSL & LSH variations are 3.2" long x .95" diameter and 2.2 ounces with TSP123.

Note: “Second” quality versions (w/o warranty, sold at a discount) are sometimes described by an “S” before the model (ie: Arc SLS)

LSHF-P Announced June 2003. Becomes available in Fall 2003.

Special Edition Arc LSH-P w/Tight Focus Beam High Dome Luxeon LED. Premium built with P or Q flux Luxeon only. Includes TSP-123. Independently tested to produce 22-26 Lumens regulated. This Special Edition design appears the same as the top of the line LSH-P on the outside, but inside uses the "Fraen Low Profile" optic to produce a more tightly focused beam but with less spill. The difference is clearly visible, producing 745 lux vs 614 lux at 3 feet. $160 Retail

The earlier batch had the same engraving as a normal LSH-P, later units had LSHF-P laser engraved.

LS3 Approx 3 dozen units offered Sep 2003

Arc4 (LS4) start shipping Feb 2004

Arc4 Forensic Kit offered

IMPORTANT: Photographs and chronology text were used with permission.

UPDATE 11-19-12: I have given this flashlight (with matching 2x AA cell pack) to my aunt; therefore, that dreadful "" icon will be appended to its listings on this website at once -- denoting the fact that I no longer have it at my disposal for future analyses or comparisons.

Good looking & feeling in the hand
Very bright for its size
Regulated - so it will stay bright & suck the battery dry
Durable HA-III finish
Acrylic AR lens protects LS optics
Pushbutton on/off on tailcap
Tough little flashlight - very hard to break!
Your choice of battery carriage(s)

Doesn't stand on tail (for ceiling light) unassisted.

    MANUFACTURER: Arc Flashlight LLC
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: White Luxeon Star LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with softer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Tailcap pushbutton on/off (CR123A pack), twist bezel; on/off (2x AA pack)
    BEZEL: Acrylic A/R window protects LS optics
    BATTERY: 1x CR123A or 2x AA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 470mA on CR123A cell
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 50 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Split-ring attachment, battery(ies)
    WARRANTY: N/A (company has gone out of business)



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