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Micra Lithium



Micra Lithium, retail $29.95 (http://www.tek-tite.com)
Manufactured by Tektite
Last updated: 11-16-07


LED Light


The Tektite Micra Lithium is a small white LED survival flashlight that uses a single AA-sized 3.6 volt lithium thionyl chloride cell. The flashlight comes with a stretchy wrist lanyard, bezel hood, & battery.

SIZE:


This flashlight isn't designed for brightness, but for long-term reliability. It is powered by an unusual 3.6 volt, "AA" sized lithium thionyl chloride battery like the kind normally found in computer memory backup systems. The total current draw of the flashlight's LED is just 9.6 milliamps, so even if you are forced to use it a lot following a disaster, it should run for a very long time on the same battery.

To turn the Micra on, just give the head a clockwise twist. Turn it the other way to shut it off.

It comes with a black hood or cap that goes over the bezel, this is used to cut off spill light to the sides if it should become obnoxious. A handy wrist lanyard is also included, attached to the Micra through a hole in the tail. The lanyard is very elastic and should fit any size wrist; it also allows the light to be hung from a tent ceiling, branch, or the coathook inside an outhouse.


[image = 1x size 'AA' 3.6v lithium chloride]
The Micra Lithium uses a rather unusual battery. It is the same size and shape as a regular "AA" cell, but it is actually a lithium thionyl chloride cell used for memory backup and other low current applications. In the event you must replace it, open the Micra up by unscrewing the bezel until it comes off, then tip out the LED board & reflector, and finally tip out the expired battery. Drop in a new one button-end up, and reassemble the flashlight.

The battery is manufactured by Hawker Eternacell Inc. I couldn't find a part number, but it is a lithium 3.6 volt "AA" size. There certainly aren't very many of those being made, so you should be able to ask for a replacement without knowing a cat. number. :)

Another place to get these is at Radio Shack and some computer stores; it is a battery made by Taidran and intended for computer memory preservation. Expect to pay $8-$9 apiece.


This is the light opened up for a battery change. Notice the funny battery. :)




The Micra Lithium is housed in a sturdy ABS body with a GE Lexan lens. It is about as tough as any plastic flashlight can be made. The small size allows you to store the Micra virtually anywhere: coat pocket, purse, first-aid kit, disaster kit, camping gear, glovebox, night table drawer, even in your already bountifully overflowing medicine cabinet.

Water resistant to 1,000 feet, a set of two O-rings seal out weather & liquids. The transparent bezel lets you see if the O-rings have made a good seal or not before it's too late.

The light is equipped with a stretchy wrist lanyard and a pair of slots on the body for larger straps or webbing, so it can be carried on the outside of a backpack or other baggage. It also comes with a black cap that fits over the bezel; this is to reduce the spill light off to the sides that is annoying to some users. The light can be operated with or without this piece.

The Micra Lithium appears to have been designed as an outright survival light - working when no other flashlight will, and capable of functioning even after a decade or more in storage. Put one of these things in your disaster kit and you won't be disappointed. Once I've finished testing, mine's going to hang directly from the first aid kid by my front door!

LED Light
The dimmer than average, but very usable light.
This was taken after having run the Micra for ~22 hours; it is identical to its "new" brightness.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
Plot is lower than usual because the Micra is not a super bright flashlight.



Visually, brightness is fairly comparable to that of a white CMG Infinity, but the Micra has a whiter color with less blue tint.

TEST NOTES:

Unit is being run-time tested. Test began on May 13 at 7:00pm. It is going everywhere with me while this 24 hour a day, 7 days a week test is in progress, so if it suddenly goes tits up, I can note the time.

UPDATE 05-19-01: It's been almost a week (9:30pm Saturday 05-19), and the Micra Lithium is still plugging along. Brightness is still virtually identical to an Infinity with a brand new battery in it.

UPDATE 05-22-01: Would you believe it - the damn thing's still going on that tiny battery! Almost ten days straight now, and it's just a bit dimmer than a new Infinity with a new Duracell in it. It's still too bright to sleep in the same room with it unless the black cap is put on and it's set on the floor face-down. :-O

UPDATE 05-24-01: The light is finally pooping out, after running for nearly 12 days straight. Although it has dimmed drastically, it can still be used if one is already adapted to the dark; but for the purposes of this review, the test is over.

UPDATE 06-03-01:
Tektite has redesigned the light hood that fits over the head. Four ribs now line the inside to grip the serrated flashlight head and prevent the hood from "freewheeling" as you turn it.




UPDATE 06-24-03:
A new sample of the Micra Lithium was received in May 2003, and just sort of "hung around" until now. The new Micra is a bit different, but works the same. The new version features a "magnifying" lens built into the bezel (head), and has the LED and reflector board glued together as a single piece. It also has a smooth reflector, rather than stippled or faceted like the original Micra has.


Newer version is on the right; original version is on the left.



Here's a beamshot of the newer version. As usual, it's from 12" from the target.
Measured 20,800mcd at 12" using an LM631 light meter.


UPDATE 09-01-03:
The light is now called the Trek Lithium, instead of the Micra Lithium.
I'm not sure exactly *when* this change occurred, but it has, so you ought to know.

Don't let that 3 1/2 star rating fool you. This is a very nice light; it just uses a strange battery and isn't as bright as most other white LED flashlights. It would be excellent for a disaster kit or first-aid kit, because the battery has a long storage time (at least ten years) and a long runtime (ten to twelve days, continuous).


Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.




PROS:
Smaller than most white LED lights
Durable and waterproof (submersible to 300') construction
Uses a single battery
Designed specifically for extremely long storage & usable light life
A really good light for survival & disaster situations

CONS:
Strange battery may be difficult to locate
Not as bright as most other white LED flashlights.


    MANUFACTURER: Tektite
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small Flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with wider corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off
    BEZEL: Clear Lexan w/ black hood to eliminate sidespill
    BATTERY: 3.6 volt lithium thionyl chloride AA cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Around 9 milliamps
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 300 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Battery, wrist lanyard
    WARRANTY: Limited lifetime, including LED

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star RatingStar Rating









MICRA LITHIUM * WWW.TEK-TITE.COM



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