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STARLITE 128R



Starlite 128R, retail $8.00 (Sino Union Tech. Co.)
Manufactured by Sino Union Technology Co
Last updated: 11-18-06


LED Light


This is the new and improved successor to the original Starlite 128L, served up in cheery, transluscent colors by Sino Union Technology Co. It is labelled simply "Starlite 128R". I choose to call it the Starlite Plus, for reasons you'll soon read about.

Instead of the expected "LED-like" beam, this model has an inverter-based LED bulb that actually uses the flashlight's reflector, and it does so quite effectively at that. A pair of common "AA" cells powers the new Starlite for many hours, probably even days before it goes totally black.


SIZE:



Feed your new Starlite a pair of "AA" cells before you use it.

To use the flashlight: slide the traditional feeling slide switch on the side of the barrel towards the front to get light; slide it back towards the rear to get dark. This is a more traditional flashlight switch, which everyone is familiar with. In my opinion, this is how a flashlight is supposed to work.



Remove the Starlite's head by unscrewing it, put two "AA" batteries in button (+) side facing outwards, and screw the head back on. Just like your old fashioned Eveready two piece.

Everyone knows how to do one of these. :)

Battery life is as of yet unknown - this will have to be tested... you will very likely read it here first.
First estimates point to a lifetime of 50 to 80 hours though, with the first 10-12 hours being at or near full power.



I still don't know exactly what kind of plastic the new Starlite is made from, but like its predecessor, it should still be sturdy enough to shake off everyday bumps and bruises, provided you don't throw it to the ground or put it in a cannon and fire it at a wall urinator. Since I did manage to break one of two previous samples, I guess I should set up the improvised "chapel" and throw this unit around as well.


Well, I better scrub the toilet and build the chapel.
A 4-foot drop broke the head, causing some wonderful spidering and causing the switch to loosen.

The Starlite is not water resistant to any major degree; if dropped in a pond or creek, water will almost certainly pour into the light through the switch opening. So this might not be the ideal candidate for foul weather outdoor adventures - though it will work perfectly well for fairweather camping & hiking, and it is splash resistant enough that a little rain probably won't hurt it.

Now, the good part of this light is its bulb. It has been totally redesigned from the original Starlite.

The LED appears to be a new or custom-made part from Nichia Japan. Notice how the dome just goes over the "guts" of the LED. This gives the LED a very wide and even beam, and allows the flashlights reflector to catch much of the light and direct it into a traditional style flashlight beam.
In this picture, I deliberately contrast-enhanced the upper portion of the bulb so you can see it better.

Inside the bulb base is a tiny, but powerful DC-DC inverter circuit. This converts the 3 volts from the battery into the (approximately) 3.6 to 4 volts needed by the LED. This allows the light to run on just two batteries, not three like most other white LED lights.



The lens-end was also redesigned from the original Starlite. In that flashlight, the whole lens functioned as a magnifier, helping to narrow the beam from the 20 viewing angle LED used. Although this helped, it was not entirely successful and left some rings and other nasties in the beam.



This new reflector assembly has a couple of interesting features. First, you'll notice a diffused or textured area in the center.
Smack in the middle of this is a tiny lens, which grabs a small portion of light from directly ahead of the LED and projects it as a narrow beam that seems to help brighten up the main beam provided by the reflector.
I'm guessing the diffusing or textured zone helps soften the beam overall, so it doesn't have as many rings or abrupt edges in it. As a single white LED light, the brightness of this one is right up there with the best of them. The beam is much better and more focused than that of the original Starlite, and will shoot or project much farther.
LED Light
Light measures 60,700mcd on batteries with approximately 15 minutes of use on them already.
The old model averaged about 30,000mcd in an irregular beam.

As you can see by the picture, the beam is much narrower and better focused than the original Starlite. There is a decent amount of "spill" light in a wide cone that aids one in walking around at night.
This spill light is not shown in the picture above because the main beam is so much brighter.



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




TEST NOTES:

Sample was damaged - but not destroyed - by a 4 foot fall onto a hard surface. It had survived one earlier "test throw" in which it hit a fairly thick rug after sailing about 5.5 feet. Was not damaged by this throw, but by the next one.

Light comes in the following colors: clear blue, clear purple, clear green, clear blue, clear green, and clear white. Manufacturer requires a minimum order of 12.


UPDATE 10-01-01:
I have been sent extra bodies (three each) of both the 1-cell and 2-cell Starlites, sans bulbs. So I need not be afraid to keep breaking them. Guess I better scrub the toilet and set up my improvised chapel for the flashlight funerals that are likely to be forthcoming. Sino Union is still grappling with the breakage issue, and may eventually need to find a new vendor for the plastic bodies - they will still continue making & improving the lamps themselves however.

UPDATE 12-15-01:
Having been asked to do so, I've bumped the Starlite ahead a few pegs to take a whirl through the ProMetric system. Here are the results.





Charts courtesy of the ProMetric System, on loan from Radiant Imaging.



UPDATE 02-07-02:
The Starlite 128R is now available in single quantities from the following:

Sinotone International Limited
90 South Spruce Ave. Suite E
South San Francisco, Ca 94080
Tel: (650) 583-8306 Fax: (650) 583-8326
Contact: Mr. Zeng John
Email Address: mailto:sinotone@yahoo.com



PROS:
Cheery and colorful, fairly unique
better than expected beam
cheap batteries
easy battery change
easy on/off switch
less expensive than most other LED flashlights.

CONS:
Not water resistant (splash resistant only)
not as durable or impact-resistant as most.
If broken, rescue the bulb to use in another 2-cell light.


          MANUFACTURER: Sino-Union Technology Co
          PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, white
          No. OF LAMPS: 1
          BEAM TYPE: Narrow spot with soft edge, wide corona
          SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/off
          BEZEL: Clear bezel with microlens and central diffuser. Integral reflector
          BATTERY: 2 AA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Average ~100mA
          WATER RESISTANT: Splash resistant only
          SUBMERSIBLE: No
          ACCESSORIES: None
          WARRANTY: Unknown




                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 3
                BRIGHTNESS: 9
                USEABILITY: 8
                BATTERY LIFE: 10
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10

                OVERALL SCORE: 40




STARLITE 128R * Sino Union Tech. Co.



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