NIGHTSTAR II



Nightstar II, retail TBA (http://www.tacticalwarehouse.com)
Manufactured by Applied Innovative Technologies (www.appliedinnotech.com)
Last updated 04-17-06





The Nightstar II is a flashlight that never needs batteries or bulbs, and never needs to be plugged in either. So it will always work when you need it. The claim says "30 seconds of shaking provides 20 minutes of light". My sample did not come with a manual, so I'm at the Nightstar website right now checking it out...

There is a magnet free inside the barrel, and two more magnets - one at each end - to repel the large magnet when charging up the flashlight. So unless you shake the {vulgar term for feces} out of it, the central magnet should not hit the ends of the flashlight barrel.

As a test, I shook mine for 1 minute, and got 30 seconds of "usable" light out of it. Maybe mine's broken; I dunno.


 SIZE



Stolen straight from the instructions website, is this snippit:

Begin theft mode
To charge NightStar, hold the light level or parallel to the ground and moderately shake so that the magnet completely passes through the wire coil. Initially, the capacitor may be completely discharged. If this occurs, NightStar will require approximately 3 minutes of shaking to fully recharge the capacitor. NightStar is most effectively recharged when it is turned off and shaken between 2 and 3 times per second over a distance of approximately 2 (5 cm). If shaken too vigorously or shaken in a vertical position, the charging magnet will hit the repulsion magnets. Although this will not damage the light, it is not recommended and is not the optimum method for charging NightStar. When NightStar is low on energy, it will take approximately 90 shakes (3 shakes per second for 30 seconds) to recharge the capacitor. On a full charge NightStar will provide highly effective illumination for over 20 minutes.
End theft mode

A sliding reed switch on the Nightstar's barrel turns the LED on and off. As long as you can slide this switch, you can turn your flashlight on and off.

Remember, this flashlight uses powerful magnets, so you want to keep it at least 16" from such articles as TV sets, computers, computer monitors, computer diskettes, audio & video tapes, bank cards, and other items that should be kept away from magnets.

Because it uses magnets, you can use the Nightstar as a compass, by hanging it horizontally from a string or wire. The front of the flashlight will then point to magnetic north.



Because this product does not use batteries, this section can be skipped.



This is not a flashlight that you carry around all the time, it's a flashlight that's most useful in emergencies or when you just can't get batteries. It would be good to use for changing that pesky fuse in the basement, finding other articles (like flashlights) in a power outage, and stuff like that. And if you can't get batteries for whatever reason, it will provide light without them and when other flashlights have long since quit working.

The sliding reed switch on the barrel has a glow-in-the-dark material embedded into it (or it's moulded out of this material). It's supposed to glow for several hours with only 10 minutes of exposure to sunlight or room light. I tested this material with a near-UV LED flashlight, and it indeed lights up quite brightly with only a few seconds worth of exposure.

Because this is a reed switch, there is no opening in the barrel of the Nightstar II, so it's water-resistant (submersible, actually) to an amazing 430 feet. So it will easily survive if it falls in the toilet, if you knock it into the tub, if you drop it in a river, pond, lake, shoreline; or if you throw it in the pool for the kids to go after if you're into that kind of thing.

Most of the LED light comes out the front; a little comes out the sides through the bottom of the LED and out through the platform it's mounted on. This lights up most of the plastic pieces inside the head, but in my opinion, not bright enough to be bothersome. One benefit here is that you can tell if you left the flashlight on when you set it face down on a shelf or other flat surface, even if that surface is flat black. Not that it matters much because this light does not need batteries, but it can be bothersome to some users.

There are some SMD components on a circuit board inside the flashlight's head - a few transistors, a resistor or two, and a capacitor or two. Speaking of capacitors, there's a "supercap" on the other side of the PCB - this is what becomes charged with the coil & magnet assembly, and what feeds power to the LED when you turn the flashlight on. It has a voltage rating of 5.55 volts DC, but I can't read the microfarad (or farad) value. I think it's half a farad (500,000uF), but I don't know that for certain.

I assume the circuitry on the PCB ensures the big capacitor doesn't receive more than 5.5 volts no matter how fast you shake the flashlight, and limits the current to the LED so it doesn't blow up when you turn it on and the supercap has a full charge in it.



Beam photo at ~12".
Measures about 10,200mcd - but I cannot get a stable reading here
because the light begins to slowly dim as soon as you turn it on.
Your results may vary.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrometer plot of the LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.



TEST NOTES:
Sample was purchased from Tactical Warehouse in March of 2003. I apologise for taking so long to get it on my website.

This flashlight is most often found with a white LED, not green like this example. So you may have some difficulties in finding a green LED version, if you'd rather have that than a white LED model.

Product was made in China. A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.


UPDATE: 00-00-00



PROS:
Never, ever have to buy batteries or bulbs.
Never, ever have to plug it in to recharge.
Waterproof and submersible to 430 feet
Can be used as a crude compass if need be.


CONS:
Shaking (charging) can resemble a "spanking the monkey" motion to some observers.
Strong magnetic field can erase bank cards and screw up computers if you aren't careful.
Not as bright or as long-lasting as I'd hoped.


    MANUFACTURER: Applied Innovative Technologies
    PRODUCT TYPE: Battery-free LED flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm green
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Small central hotspot, narrow flood overall
    SWITCH TYPE: Magnetic reed switch on/off on barrel
    BEZEL: Lens integral to bezel; LED and reflector sealed behind it
    BATTERY: None
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 430 feet
    ACCESSORIES: None
    WARRANTY: 5 Years

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating





Nightstar II Flashlight * http://www.tacticalwarehouse.com







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