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Brinkmann Rebel



Brinkmann Rebel, retail $17.95 (www.brinkmann.net...)
Manufactured by Brinkmann (www.brinkmann.net)
Last updated 01-12-08


LED Light


The Rebel is the latest offering from Brinkmann, maker of high quality police flashlights and other equipment. The Rebel features a single white LED focussed by a special lens; and is powered by a pair of "AA" cells. A set of color filters are included to change the color of the LED from white to red, amber, and blue. A thick rubber grip makes the light easy to grasp and hold onto, and a pushbutton switch is located on the tailpiece.


LED LightSize Reference



The Rebel comes packaged in a sonic welded blister pack; you will probably need a razor knife or sharp scissors to slit it open. Once you install the batteries, it's ready to use.

To turn the Rebel on, give the rubber button on the tailcap a firm press; press it firmly again to turn it off. The switch has a slightly audible "click" to it. It also doubles as an intermittent, silent signal switch just by pressing it in about halfway.

Your Rebel also comes with three rubber-edged color filters that fit over the head of the light. The red filter is generally used to help protect night vision; the amber filter is supposed to cut through smoke or fog a bit better, and the blue filter shines through water & glass better. To attach a filter, just snap it over the flashlight head. A shallow groove around the head fits the rubber "fingers" around the edge of the filter so it will stay on until you want it off.

Also included with the Rebel is a belt hook. This accessory is fitted with two heavy duty snaps to accomodate most belt sizes. The flashlight is simply hung on the belt hook's hook by the triangular "D" ring fitted to its head; the light's own weight holds it in place, so it will dangle like a cellphone on one of those new swivel belt hangers.



The Rebel uses a pair of "AA" cells, which are included in the package. To install them, unscrew & remove the tailcap, load the batteries into the flashlight with the button end facing the front of the light, then replace the tailcap.

Battery life and current drain is due to be measured.

Current usage was measured at 93.3 milliamps. Although this measurement is on a set of batteries with unknown prior usage, I'm pretty certain they're nearly new.



The Rebel appears to be reasonably sturdy. It is made from ABS plastic with a thick perforated rubber grip covering almost the entire barrel. A band of this material is also around the flashlight head; this is where the triangular attachment ring is affixed as well. The ring pulls double duty as an anti-roll fin, and it appears to be effective in that regard.

The unusually textured rubber grip gives the Rebel a secure feel in the hand; whether you hold it with your thumb up on the flashlight head like a regular flashlight or if you hold it with your thumb over the tailcap like you would a tactical light.

The switch is covered by a rubber button. It has a very stiff action to it, and many people may not be able to fully depress it using their thumb - if this is the case, you can slightly alter your grip to place your forefinger over this button and activate / deactivate it that way.
Because of this stiff action, and because it is recessed into a conical depression in the tailcap, the chance of accidental activation is minimized.

(Next: The filters, the belt hook, and light output measurements)

The Rebel comes with three apparently acrylic color filters: red, amber, and blue. Each one has a rubber ring surrounding it with wide rubber "fingers" that fit into a shallow groove in the Rebel's head.
  • The red filter provides a pinkish, medium red light.
  • The amber filter provides a bright yellow light, similar to a G.E. "Bug Lite" light bulb but with slightly less orange.
  • The blue filter provides a bright azure or sky blue color.

Although not recommended, it is possible to double up the filters and obtain a couple of extra colors:
  • Red & blue: provides a weak purple light.
  • Blue & amber: provides an odd, lime or puke green color.
  • Red & amber: Provides a slightly orangish red light, without a major decrease in intensity when compared to the red filter by itself. The other two "options" will dim the beam significantly (blue & amber together) to very badly as in the case of red & blue together.




LED Light
Rebel's beam as compared with the Brinkmann Long-Life.
Shots were also taken using the filters, as you can see in the picture.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.



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



TEST NOTES:
Test units received in early-2002.
One of the test units failed in the exact same manner as some users have reported - by having the entire tailpiece come off in their hands. Clearly, this is a weakness that needs to be addressed by Brinkmann unless they love getting those returns. (See above)


UPDATE 02-20-02:
O NOOOOO!!! Look what happened!
Oh sh*t
When I went to unscrew the end to remove the batteries, it simply came off in my hand. The batteries are now stuck inside, and the piece with the pushbutton is broken off. Funny thing is, pressing that white thing turns the light on and off with a very soft-touch, spring loaded click action. So the light itself still turns on and off, at least until the batteries inside are totally dead.


UPDATE 02-20-02: (late in day)
No, you aren't seeing things.
Yes, a same-day update.
I've already heard back from a representative from Brinkmann regarding the breakage issue, and apparently they have resolved it and newer units should not break in this manner anymore. Apparently, the type of glue that was used weakened the plastic, causing it to break when torque was applied - such as when unscrewing the end to change the batteries. There was also an issue with the molding. The molding has been improved and the suspect adhesive eliminated, so I will give the Rebel one more chance once I receive the replacement switch unit.





PROS:
Well-defined, reasonably bright beam.
Ability to change colors via the included filter set.
Uses cheap, easy to find batteries.
Feels comfortable & secure in the hand.


CONS:
No storage for the filters - where do you carry them?
Tailpiece tends to break off without warning or provocation.
(See above)


      MANUFACTURER: Brinkmann
      PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
      LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm white
      No. OF LAMPS: 1
      BEAM TYPE: Circular with sharply defined perimeter
      SWITCH TYPE: Snap action pushbutton on tailcap
      BEZEL: Integral reflector and magnifying optic
      BATTERY: 2 AA cells
      CURRENT CONSUMPTION: To be determined
      WATER RESISTANT: Yes
      SUBMERSIBLE: Unknown
      ACCESSORIES: Energizer batteries, 3 snap-on filters, quick draw belt hook
      WARRANTY: Lifetime, excluding the rubber grip and intentional abuse.



            PRODUCT RATING:

            DURABILITY: --
            BRIGHTNESS: 7
            USEABILITY: 8
            BATTERY LIFE: 10
            BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10

            OVERALL SCORE: (See 02-20-02 update above)



Brinkmann Rebel LED Light * www.brinkmann.net...







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