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LIGHTWAVE 4000



Lightwave 4000, retail $60.00
Manufactured by Lightwave
BUY IT AT THELEDLIGHT.COM
Updated 03-09-02

*** VERY IMPORTANT!!!*** As of 07-06-07, the Lightwave company is no longer manufacturing flashlights!!



LED Light


The Lightwave 4000 is a large, black plastic & rubber flashlight which uses three "D" batteries and has ten - count them - TEN super bright white LEDs in the head.



SIZE



This light uses 3 common "D" alkaline batteries. Since this was a loaner, I don't know if it comes packaged with them or not (I don't believe it does, so as to reduce shipping costs)
Put some batteries in (see below) and you're ready to roll. Press the rubberized button on the head to turn the light on; press it again to turn it off. Folks, it doesn't get much easier than this.



There aren't many LED lights that use "D" cells, but this is one of them.
To install batteries, just unscrew the head until it comes off, and slip 3 new alkaline D cells in, button-end facing up. Screw the head back on until it's snug (don't overtighten), and that's that.

Battery life isn't explicitly stated, but should be 50-100 hours with good brightness, then decreasing over the next several weeks. I won't have this light long enough to test this, so another Lightwave 4000 owner may have to bear this burden.

Best I can do with the time I have left is turn it on and just let it burn until it's time to mail it back around the 25th of this month. So, here goes... light switched on at 11:00am, 07-13-01. Initial brightness is around 70,000mcd with slightly used (very nearly new) batteries.



The Lightwave 4000 appears to have been very ruggedly built. Try to break one of these, and you might give out before the flashlight does. The body is made of a thick black plastic; probably ABS, which is then coated with real rubber. Even when empty, the flashlight has a beefy, solid feel to it.
Whacking it against a steel rod a number of times didn't leave a mark, not even on areas of the body not covered by rubber. This may very well be the best built plastic flashlight that has ever been made & sold to the general public.

Although the diameter of the flashlight body is a bit larger than other D cell lights, the rubber grip makes it more comfortable to use than some others. The head is also rubberized, so changing batteries is a snap, even with cold or wet hands or when wearing gloves.

The business endThe switch has a very slight click to it, which cannot be felt when wearing gloves. But the light is so bright, you'll KNOW when it's on regardless of your situation. :-O

The Lightwave 4000 comes with a wrist lanyard affixed to a receptacle on the tailpiece. Although it is long enough to fit any wrist, I might have wanted a thicker strap, or better yet, the type used by the Tektite C cell lights with a rubber hose (as a cushion) around a portion of it to make the very heavy light more comfortable around the wrist for long periods.

The Lightwave's array of 10 powerful white LEDs is recessed in the rubberized bezel, so you can't scratch them by setting the flashlight down face-first. They can be scratched if you start poking at stuff with it though, so you don't want to do that.



Soft, even beam clocks in at ~70,000mcd.


TEST NOTES:
A basic battery life test is underway. It started out around 68,000-70,000mcd
After approximately 45 continuous hours on, it's comparable in output to a brand new Eternalight with fresh lithium batteries, or about 80% as bright as an Expedition-7 (7 white LEDs) with nearly new batteries.
At the 45 hour mark, it measured at 47,000mcd.

(imagine the Jeopardy theme playing... tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock...)

Just short of four days straight now, and it's finally beginning to tank. It's down to 15,100mcd.
Looks like about 93.5 hours so far. It's still plenty bright enough to use, it just doesn't have that "like new" power anymore.

UPDATE 07-20-01:
It's been an hour short of six days now, and it's still going.
Brightness is around 8950mcd.

UPDATE 07-25-01:
After exactly 11 days it's still puttering along.
Brightness is around 3380mcd. Not very bright anymore, but still good for use in total darkness or for reading in the tent.


UPDATE 09-22-01:
Numerous people have asked me to compare this light to some of the other multi-LED lights in my test stock. The Lightwave 4000 was a loaner and I no longer have it, so I'm sorry to say I can't do these comparisons.

UPDATE 11-26-01:
Forget about what I said up there about not having a unit for testing & future comparison because its owner needed it back. Lightwave Engineering has thoughtfully provided me with such a sample, and I can now finish what I started.
When time permits, this unit will also be run through the ProMetric system, and additional testing done.

I have also been receiving reports that the flashlight head is becoming fused to the body. The problem lies in the purple silicone rubber gasket; for some reason this part is becoming partially fused to the rest of the flashlight, acting like glue. The solution is to gouge it out or peel it off, and Lightwave will send you a newer, plasticized gasket that does not stick in this manner. Alternately, the light itself can be returned if you're not handy with a butterknife or don't want to fuss with it; and they will replace the gasket at no cost.

UPDATE 12-30-01:
Interestingly enough, it appears the Lightwave 4000s equipped with the plastic gasket are sticking too. Mine has such a gasket, and I had some trouble getting the head undone. As a test, I have gouged out this gasket (it's still in one piece) and have reassembled the flashlight without it. I will now leave it alone for 4 weeks and see if the head still sticks. If it does, then it's not the gasket that's the problem, it's the lubricant. All I can do now is sit back and wait, and come back here around the last week of January and tell you what happened.


UPDATE 01-28-02:
As promised, I left the LW4000 essentially untouched for the last month; using it only on one occasion to make a repair to my wheelchair. The head was still stuck on, but it wasn't nearly as hard to break free as it was with the plastic gasket in place. The issue may be two-fold: the lubricant itself in combination with the gasket leading to stuck heads that one must really hammer on to get unstuck. With the gasket in place, there is more surface area where the lubricant interfaces with both the head and body of the flashlight; this would account for the additional difficulties encountered in removing the flashlight head.

The next step is to contact Lightwave and report my findings, in hopes that a different lubricant can be formulated that eliminates this problem. This is the only thing preventing the Lightwave 4000 from being a top-rated flashlight.

UPDATE 03-09-02:
I'm still waiting for word from the laboratory, but I've found that if you do not overtighten the head, it will not become stuck. Tighten the head just until it stops, and then back it off slightly, approximately 1/20th of a turn. This still allows the rubber O-ring (not the purple gasket - that's mostly ornamental) to maintain the seal and keep out water. Do not remove the purple gasket because it does serve a minor role - as a stopper to let you know when the head has been tightened all the way. If you remove it and reassemble the flashlight without it, you will have no indication that you've overtightened the light and you'll end up with a stuck head anyway.


PROS:
Brighter than you-know-what.
Easily outpowers the Trek 7 even after burning for a day.
Sturdy construction, comfortable rubber grippy stuff all along the body and head.
Positive, tactile switch.
Potential for LONG battery life.


CONS:
It's a huge flashlight, and quite heavy too.
Lanyard seems a bit whimpy, but it can easily be replaced if desired.
Lubricant is acting more like an adhesive, causing the head to become stuck to the flashlight body under some conditions. (See above!)



          MANUFACTURER: Lightwave Industries
          PRODUCT TYPE: Large handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 5mm
          No. OF LAMPS: 10
          BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with soft fall off
          SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off
          BEZEL: Textured bezel, no lens
          BATTERY: 3 D cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown (est. 350-400mA peak)
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to at least 2 feet
          ACCESSORIES: Thin wrist lanyard
          WARRANTY: 3 years, including LEDs

          RATING









Lightwave 4000 LED Light *



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