Golden Gadgets 12-LED NUV Flashlight, retail $24.99 (Found on Ebay, no URL known)
Manufactured by (Unknown) for Golden Gadgets (
Last updated 10-26-04

This isn't a "flashlight" in the truest sense of the word, as you would generally not use it like one. But it looks like one, is operated like one, and is powered by three AAA cells in its barrel, so I'll just go ahead and call it a "flashlight" on this web page.

The flashlight comes in an almost all-aluminum body (the two nonmetal components readily accessible from the outside of the flashlight are the pushbutton switch and the window at the business-end), has 12 near-UV LEDs in its business-end, and has three AAA cells held in a carriage inside the barrel to power those LEDs.


The flashlight came to me ready to use, with batteries included and already installed.

To use the flashlight , press the button on the barrel until it clicks and then release it to turn the LEDs on. Press and release it the same way again to turn the flashlight off.

There is no momentary or signalling operation available when the flashlight is off, however, you can blink it while it's on by pressing the switch more gently (before it clicks) and holding it that way as long as you need the flashlight off. Release the button to turn the flashlight back on. If you don't mind the backwards or reverse feeling of this, you can blink it this way if necessary.

The ad copy in the Ebay listing reads that you can hang this flashlight from something, but a careful examination of the barrel and tailcap showed no holes or other attachment points for a lanyard or other means of hanging it.

To change the batteries in this flashlight, unscrew the tailcap until it comes off, dash it to the ground, and stomp on it with spiked golf shoes...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Tip the battery carriage out of the flashlight and into your hand. IMPORTANT!!! Note how it came out, so you can reinsert it in the same direction. It is not obvious which end goes in the flashlight first, so you'll want to pay attention here. If desired, mark the carriage with a marking pen as to which end goes in the barrel first. If necessary, remove and dispose of, recycle, or recharge (for rechargeable cells only!) the used AAA cells from the battery carriage.

Insert three new AAA cells into the carriage, orienting each AAA cell so its flat-end (-) faces the spring for it in each chamber.

Once all three new cells are in, insert carriage back into the flashlight body, being sure to orient it the same way it came out, so your flashlight can't become accidentally murdered by having the polarity all wrong.

Screw the tailcap back on, and CAREFULLY check with the pushbutton to see that the LEDs come on. If they do not, quickly turn the flashlight back off, remove the tailcap and battery carriage, turn the battery carriage 180, reinsert it, and screw the tailcap back on.
Aren't you glad you didn't stomp on that tailcap now?

Measures 559mA on my DMM's 2A scale, using the Golston brand super heavy duty cells that came with it.
This equates to 46.56mA per LED. So yes, they're overdriven. And because they're NUV LEDs, I wouldn't expect to see a half-life (time to 50% intensity) of much over 100 hours here.

Measures 824mA on a set of known-new Energizer Max alkaline AAA cells. That's 68.67mA per LED. They'll really whirl down the {vulgar term for feces}bowl now.

Photograph of the flashlight's business-end, showing the 12 near-ultraviolet LEDs.

This flashlight is reasonably durable, but I don't believe it is indestructible or "bomb-proof". I struck this flashlight 12 times against a 30" steel rod (five against the bezel and seven against the barrel near the tailcap), and it was not damaged that I can detect, and no electrical or optical malfunctions occurred either.

It is splash-resistant, but it is not waterproof or submersible. So please try not to drop it in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceansides, docksides, puddles of great dane dog pee, slush piles, mud puddles, tubs, toilet bowls, cisterns, sinks, fishtanks, cat or dog water dishes, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. A little rain or snow probably wouldn't hurt it though, so you need not be too concerned about using it in lightly to moderately bad weather.

If it fell in water and you suspect it got flooded, disassemble it as you would for a battery change, dump out the water if necessary, and set the parts in a warm dry place for a day or so just to be sure it's completely dry inside before you reassemble and use it again.

If it fell into seawater or if somebody or something peed on it, douche all the parts out with fresh water before setting them out to dry. You don't want your flashlight to smell like seashells or piss when you go to use it next. Besides, salt (from seawater or wee-wee) can't be very good for the insides or the metal contacts in the battery carriage.

This is a fairly strong source of NUV (~405nm) radiation, so you should make at least a reasonable effort to not shine it directly into your eyes, the eyes of other people, or pet dog or cat eyes from less than 6 feet or so away.

If the light fails to turn on when switched on, check to be sure that both the bezel and the tailcap are screwed firmly (but not real tightly) in place.

From the Ebay listing, comes this text:

Perfect for:
Checking ultraviolet inks in currency and ID's
Check credit cards- Discover Cards have "NOVUS", MasterCard have "M C", and Visa has an eagle in UV ink.
Activation of fluorescent inks/dyes used as anti-counterfeiting measures
Checking hand stamps at clubs
Examining artwork and glasswork for hidden repairs
Small UV source will fit inside and behind objects
Find urine stains (i.e. at the hotel before you hop in bed!)
Scan a crime scene for foreign materials
Locating damaged/cracked glassware
Fluorescing diamonds- some will glow in the dark.

I checked my Washington Mutual bank card with this flashlight, and indeed, an eagle shows up near the center when irradiated with the near-UV light from this product. I cannot take a photograph of it (yes, I tried...really, I did!), but it's there alright. Trust me, it's there.

Beam photo at ~12".
Light does not have that magenta tint as shown in this photograph;
it will have a dim deep royal purple color when perceived by the eye.

Fluorescence of an orange UPS tag at approximately 12".

Test unit was purchased on Ebay on 09-24-04, and was received on 09-30-04. The link I purchased this flashlight from is right here.
When this listing expires on 12-24-04, use the View seller's other items link instead.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Uses batteries that are relatively inexpensive and readily available
Reasonably sturdy aluminum housing

Overdriven LEDs - not very good for NUV LEDs
Splash-resistant, but NOT waterproof or submersible

    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld NUV light
    No. OF LAMPS: 12
    BEAM TYPE: Wide spot with moderately soft fall-off at perimeter
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on barrel
    BEZEL: Metal; LEDs and reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 3xAAA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 559mA (Heavy-duty) 824mA (Alkaline)
    WATER RESISTANT: Splash-resistance only
    ACCESSORIES: 3xAAA cells
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


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