Vector 2-Way Flashlight, retail $TBA (
Manufactured by Vector Manufacturing (
Last updated 03-23-08

The first thing I noticed when I picked up this flashlight is that it looks like one of those handheld phasers from Star Trek: The Next Generation. But when you "fire" this "phaser", an intense bluish-white beam of light shoots out the front instead of those orangish nadion particles that Star Trek: TNG phasers generate.

What this is is a two-way LED flashlight with five white LEDs in the end of the unit like where you would expect to find them, and three red LEDs on the end of the handle, aimed approximately 85 toward the bottom. You can set the flashlight so that three white LEDs on the front come on, all five white LEDs come on, the three red LEDs in the handle come on, and the three LEDs in the handle blink at an approximately 2.5Hz rate (2.5 blinks per second).

All of the LEDs in this flashlight have positive (magnifying) lenses in front of them. These lenses are moulded directly into the transparent plastic windows in front of the LEDs. The lenses help to narrow and therefore, brighten the beams from the LEDs.


To use your new phaser - er - I mean - flashlight, cut it and it's included batteries out of the package with a pair of heavy-duty household scissors , a razor blade, or a knife. Feed the flashlight its included batteries (see directly below), and then you can go to town.

The operation of this flashlight is done via a single rubberised pushbutton switch. In all instances, press the button firmly until it clicks and then release it. The sequence goes like this:
  1. Press and release the pushbutton to turn three white LEDs on.
  2. Press and release the pushbutton again to turn all five white LEDs on.
  3. Press and release the pushbutton again to turn the three red LEDs on.
  4. Press and release the pushbutton again to run the red LEDs in blink mode.
  5. Press and release the pushbutton a fifth time to turn the flashlight all the way off.
Just like it reads on the back of many shampoo bottles, "lather, rinse, repeat". In other words, pressing and releasing the button again turns three white LEDs on.

There is no momentary or signalling mode available when the flashlight is off; however when the flashlight is on (in any mode), you can blink it by pressing the button more gently (before it clicks).

To change the batteries in this flashlight, turn it upside down so the black ribbed portion of the handle faces upward. At the front of this black plastic piece, you'll find a tab. Gently pull it toward the tail end of the flashlight, then pull straight up on it. The entire black plastic piece should now swing up and completely off the flashlight. Set it aside; you'll need that in a minute or so.

If necessary, remove the used cells from the flashlight, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert four new cells into the flashlight body. Orient the flat end (-) negative of two of the cells with the springs for them in the battery compartment. Place the other two cells in so their flat ends (-) of one connects with the button end (+) of the ones already in the flashlight.

Once the flashlight is all fat and sassy, pick up that black battery door, place it over the opening on the flashlight body, be sure the plastic tit on the back of the battery door fits into the slot on the tail end of the flashlight body for it, swing the other end down, and latch it onto the flashlight body. It will click when it properly engages. Press down on the tab if necessary to seat it more deeply in the flashlight body.

Left (or top): Photograph of the Vector's business-end, showing the white LEDs and their optics.
Right (or bottom): Photograph of the Vector's tail-end, showing the red LEDs and their optics.

The Vector seems reasonably stout and durable for a plastic flashlight. I didn't punish it to the degree that I might a metal flashlight, but I did give it a modified version of the smack test. Four smacks against a concrete stair (two against the bezel, and two against the tail), and I found pretty much the degree of damage that I would have expected. Namely, some visible scratching and gouging in the plastic where it was struck. There were NO electrical or optical malfunctions detected, however.

Water-resistance is another story. There is no environmental protection that I can find. So please try not to drop it in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceansides, docksides, puddles of mouse pee, slush piles, mud puddles, tubs, toilet bowls, cisterns, sinks, fishtanks, dog water dishes, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found.

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 seaweed or pee when you go to use it next. Besides, salt (from seawater or urination) can't be very good for the insides.

One thing I noticed fairly quickly was that the tab used for opening/latching the battery door protrudes, so it has the chance of getting caught on something or even cutting you.

Another thing that I noticed as quickly is that the light has a distinct bluish tinge. It isn't just a slight bluish tinge either; it's rather noticeable even when other white LED flashlights are not used with it.

You can set the flashlight down on its bezel (head), and the red LEDs in the handle will aim sideways, so you can just set it up like that and have a handy-dandy signalling device that you don't have to hold or babysit. Depending on how you have the switch set, the red LEDs will run steadily or blink happily away while the flashlight is unattended.

Beam photograph (three white LEDs) at ~12".
Measures 100,900mcd.

Beam photograph (five white LEDs) at ~12".
Measures 149,500mcd.

Beam photograph (three red LEDs) at ~12".
Measures 5,930mcd.

That yellow center is not present in the actual beam.

All measurements were taken on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the white LEDs in this flashlight.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the red LEDs in this flashlight.
USB 2000 spectrometer donated by P.L.

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

Beam photograph (five white LEDs) at ~10'.

I don't normally provide beam photographs on a wall with non-Luxeon flashlights, but the Vector is bright enough for this type of picture. That red triangle thing is from an American DJ Laser Widow, and those red splotches on the wall are from a Laserpod.

Evaluation unit was provided by Vector Manufacturing and was received on 11-22-04.

A small label on the flashlight indicates it's made in China.
A flashlight's country of manufacture does matter to some people; that's why I mentioned it on this web page.

The label on the side of the flashlight reads "The freedom of POWER".
This printing has already worn most of the way off on my sample, that's why I preserved it on this web page.

UPDATE: 01-04-05
I received another one of these flashlights today. It looks and works identically to the first, with the sole exception of those red LEDs in the handle. On the first unit I received, they are water-clear with red tinting; while on the unit I received today they are diffused, and produce a very limited beam. I'll have to wait until after sunset tonight to try this beam in darkness.



    MANUFACTURER: Vector Manufacturing
    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white and red LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 8 (5 white, 3 red)
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot with somewhat sharp corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/mode change/off on top of flashlight body
    BEZEL: Plastic with rubbery covering; plastic window to protect LEDs and optics
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Splatter-resistant at best
    ACCESSORIES: 4xAA cells
    WARRANTY: 1 year


    Star Rating

Vector 2-Way Flashlight *

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