The Millennium II Coast Guard model is a yellow & black, traditional-looking flashlight that's been outfitted with three bright white LEDs.
Made by Fulton Industries, it is the embodiment of cheap, but durable flashlights. A Coast Guard approval number is incused in its side, and rubber O-rings
are present on the tailcap, head, and switch to help keep the outside where it belongs.
Before you can use this flashlight, insert 3 "D" cells (see below).
Use it as you would any traditional slide-switch flashlight. Moving the switch up a notch enables the signalling button (you may remember these from 1970's era Eveready
and Ray-O-Vac metal flashlights). Moving the switch another notch to its fully-forward position turns the flashlight on and allows it to burn steadily. Sliding it all the way back
turns it off and disables the button - so it has less chance of going off in your camping gear.
Ordinarily, there is no need to mess with the business-end, as the LED bulb won't burn out. But it does unscrew if sometime down the road you get an upgraded
lamp, if it gets water inside, or if for whatever reason you wish to replace the LED cluster with a traditional PR-base incandescent.
Not for this flashlight it isn't. But you will need to load it up when you first get it.
Holding the flashlight horizontally, unscrew the tailcap, and slide in three alkaline "D" cells, button-side in first. Replace the tailcap - done with that.
This is a job you can even do at night, strictly by feel. Unless you handle the tailcap especially roughly while it is off the flashlight, nothing will fall out and become lost.
A spare incandescent lamp is fitted into a holder in the tailcap, if for whatever reason you wish to use it (maybe to get extended range for short-term use).
To get to the bulb, grasp the spring and pull & jiggle it until it comes out. The spare lamp holder with bulb will then fall right out. The spring can be a little tricky to get back in
if you've never done it before; but essentially it pushes right back into the end. Even if it doesn't get all the way down, screwing the tailcap back onto the light
is usually enough to finish the job - you can actually hear & feel it clicking back into place as the cap is tightened. So don't worry about it.
The batteries should last for hundreds of hours even under heavy usage, so you won't need to replace batteries very often at all.
This flashlight is quite tough and durable, and will hold up well to just about anything you can dish out.
Dropping & throwing the light did not damage it in any way; other than leaving some rather minor cuts & abrasions on the plastic. Neither did beating it against a steel pole and against a doorframe.
After a particularly rough night, I started hearing a sound like a maraca (a Mexican musical instrument) inside the casing; this was glass from the spare bulb that had broken inside the flashlight.
Dumping out the glass put an end to that. The LED lamp was not affected in any way.
Water resistance was another story. After being drowned in the sink for a short time, water was found inside the head and around the back of the reflector; it had apparently leaked
in the same manner that the military version of this light had also leaked - through the lens-end. Apparently, the "O" rings present behind the lens and on the threaded
portion of the head weren't 100% effective.
Aesthetically, this probably isn't the nicest-looking flashlight around. The international yellow body does make it easy to find if it is dropped in bushes though.
Like its military counterpart, it has a switchguard, but it is much shorter and leaves the top of the switch exposed. As an anti-roll fin, it is ineffective because it isn't tall enough.
A hanging loop on the tailcap can be used to hang the Millennium from a hook, nail or branch; it will also stand on its tail to illuminate a room hands-free.
Because the head is black, there is no unwanted backspill of light to interfere with your night missions. It is brighter than expected for a 3-LED light; and should work fine
for most purposes. The beam is not narrow, nor is it particularly wide either. This makes it ideal for a walking light; but one that can also illuminate objects 20 or 30 feet away
in total darkenss. The color has a bluish tint to it that some may find objectionable; however most people should have no problems getting used to the color.
The flashlight doesn't feel that good in the hand - the body is heavily ribbed and is probably more suitable for somebody wearing gloves.
The hanging loop is very difficult to use; and would be impossible if your hands were cold, wet and weak. I can't get the damn thing open even indoors
with relatively strong fingers. You will probably need a knife or screwdriver to pry the loop up, at least until it wears through the base enough to loosen it a little.
After awhile, the light began to flicker, and eventually quit working. The problem was localized to the bulb & reflector contact; parts of the solder on the bulb flange
had oxidized (probably from the water test), creating an intermittent - then an open. The manufacturer suggested using WD-40 on the bulb flange; which I will
try as soon as I can remember where I put the can.
UPDATE August 13, 2000:
The suggested fix - WD-40 - was tried, and appears to be working so far.
Do not spray the lamp or the receptacle directly; instead spray a q-tip and use that to apply the WD-40
to the surface of the bulb's flange and to the lip down inside the socket where the two make contact.
I also applied some to the bulb's nipple - that's the shiny blob on the very bottom of the bulb.
Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.
Brighter than expected, durable & tough, easy to find if dropped outdoors, has signalling mode.
Feels a little awkward in the hand, sprang a leak in 6" of water, possible corrosion problem (see above), very heavy.
MANUFACTURER: Fulton Industries
PRODUCT TYPE: Large Handheld Flashlight
LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 5mm
No. OF LAMPS: 3
BEAM TYPE: Central hot area with soft fall off
SWITCH TYPE: Slide action with seperate momentary button
BEZEL: Ribbed bezel with clear lens
BATTERY: 3 D cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown
WATER RESISTANT: Yes
SUBMERSIBLE: No, but will survive accidental dunkings and stay dry
SPECIAL: LED lamp can be replaced with incandescent lamp if desired
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