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SUPER 6



Super 6, retail $125 - $140 (see below)
Manufactured by InReTECH
Last updated 03-06-06





The Super 6 is a high output flashlight built using a Mag Light body and a thick copper slug outfitted with six (6) Luxeon Star emitters. The unit is designed to operate at maximum brightness with no regards for battery life. The Luxeon emitters are not outfitted with the usual collimators; instead the light is designed to generate a very wide-angle floodlight; which illuminates a very broad swath of real-estate in front of the user.

The Super 6 is available as a drop-in retrofit that you install inside your own 3-D Mag Lite, and as a complete, ready-to-use flashlight.



The tested unit was provided as a complete flashlight; pressing the rubber button on the barrel turns it on and off. Functionally, it is pretty much like a regular Mag-Lite, except that there is no beam width adjustment. Batteries are loaded from the rear.

If you are retrofitting your own Mag with this product, the following steps should take care of it:
  1. Unscrew the head, and set it aside.
  2. Unscrew the collar that holds the light bulb in (as you would for replacing the bulb), and remove the bulb. Do not replace the collar you took off when you removed the old bulb. Throw the collar in a drawer or somewhere else you can find it in case you ever want to go back to a regular bulb.
  3. Now, unscrew the TOP of the head (this is the lens retaining ring), from the main part of the head assembly as you would do to change the lens. Place the LED assembly face-down on the lens, lower the head assembly over it, and screw the head & lens assembly back together.
  4. Screw the head assembly back onto the flashlight body. The protrusion on the bottom of the LED module should slip straight into the lamp holder. Screw the head assembly back onto the flashlight slowly, in case anything tries to get hung up inside. Should you have an unresolvable problem with this, there is an alternate assembly method that can be used which minimizes anything turning inside the lampholder, but which does increase the chance of scratching the flashlight lens.
  5. Do not aim at face. Place on a hard surface. Light fuse and get away.

This is the entire module; note the thick aluminum slug for heat
transfer and the base that screws into the Mag's lampholder.




To refill the Super 6, unscrew & remove the tailcap, dump the dead D cells into a large, heavy-duty garbage can (or the dead battery box, if your community has a battery reclamation program); and slide three new batteries in with the button (+) end going in first. Screw the tailcap firmly back on, and go about your business. Be sure to empty that garbage every now and again; you don't want rats or flies. :-)

Battery life is estimated at approximately 2 hours.
This flashlight was designed exclusively for brightness, not long battery life.

Using brand new Radio Shack alkaline D cells, the flashlight consumes 1.020 amps.




As a retrofit, it appears to have been professionally assembled. The LEDs & resistors are mounted on a commercial-looking round PCB, and a very thick and heavy aluminum slug on the bottom provides heat sinking for the LEDs. The PCB has six (!) white Luxeon Star emitters, each one of them suckling off its own resistor. The resistors are high-power SMDs, so they shouldn't let out their supply of magic smoke even when the light is used for an extended time.

As a flashlight, the unit is sturdy, and is of a proven physical design. Mag Instruments (of which Inretech has *no* affiliation!) has been making flashlights for years, and they have a long track record for durability. This LED module appears that it should live up to those standards, and allow you to get many more useful years out of your Mag Lite.



Beam angle is so wide, the paper target is useless.

This photo of my computer installation was taken without camera flash and using ONLY the light of the Super 6; the room was totally dark before turning the unit on and snapping this photo. The beam angle is extremely wide; probably over 120. I do not yet have a device to measure beam angles this wide, so I have to guess. I activated the screensaver on my computer manually, so as to not have a bright screen queer the photo.

The unusually wide-angle beam angle means that any light readings I take will be extremely low when compared to the usual 15 and 20 LED flashlights; including those using the Luxeon emitter with collimator. With new batteries, I read 47.1 foot-candles (47,100mcd) at beam center from 12" on my Meterman; and while this may seem low, remember that wider beam angles always mean lower meter readings. This is a true FLOODLIGHT if ever there was one. The power distribution is very even, with only a slight peaking at the perimeter - this is a normal characteristic of the low-dome Luxeon emitters used to make this product.

As for measuring total emitted flux, I am not equipped for that. Between the multiple sources and the high divergence, you would really need an integrating sphere to do this job. I suspect that's how the published readings (108 lumens & 1,356 candela) were obtained. The beam angle is also far too wide to run this through the ProMetric with the lens it is equipped with. It was built for me with regular LEDs with beams of 5 to 30 in mind.

I would have loved to own this flashlight back when I was an avid "bug collector". It's perfect for going through bushes, looking under rocks, and examining edges of ponds and other shoreline. Watch dragonfly larvae emerge and turn into adults; look for giant beetles, moths, crickets & cicadas; and avoid stepping on that toad or coral snake. This is also a light I would love to take camping, provided I brought along a few sets of extra batteries if I expected to spend a lot of time in the dark with it during the trip. When used as a candle by standing the light up on its tail, it lights up the whole room. A quick test was done to confirm this: when stood up in the bathtub, I could sit on the can at the other end of the bathroom and read the newspaper just by the light coming off the ceiling.



TEST NOTES:
Sample of this flashlight was received on 08-07-02, and must be returned eventually. I expect to have it long enough to do a battery run-time test using a chart recorder.

Provided batteries have unknown prior usage; it was retested on 08-09 with new batteries.


UPDATE: 08-09-02
After retesting with new batteries, brightness increased from just under 40,000mcd on its original batteries to 47,100mcd on new ones. Current consumption was measured at just over 1A. Due to the flashlight's design, measuring closed-ciruit (loaded) Vf will not be possible; but it is likely to be just over 4 volts on new batteries.

The LEDs are significantly underdriven in this flashlight, so their usable lifetimes should extend well beyond that of most other LED flashlights.


UPDATE: 08-20-02
Work is being done by InReTech staff to increase the brightness of the Super6 by modifying some component values. A new version of this light using a new type of emitter is also in the works. It would be evaluated seperately and given its own page because it would be different enough from the current Super6.


UPDATE: 08-23-02
Currently produced kits will have a white plastic superstructure (not black) and use an aluminum heatsinking slug instead of the metal used in the prototype shown on this page. Aluminum was chosen for the product because it transfers & radiates heat better than the metal used in this sample.


UPDATE: 09-09-02
The price for the Super6 conversion and the complete flashlight have been reduced. The drop-in module is now $125 and the whole Super6 flashlight is now $140.


UPDATE: 05-25-03
I have traded in my Super-6 for an upgraded model. See the two pictures farther up this page - I changed them too. :)

The Luxeon Star LEDs are now countersunk into holes in the PCB and are in better contact with the aluminum heatsink slug than they were before. The resistors for the LEDs are also on the underside of the board, giving the unit a cleaner and more up-to-date look.

Another improvement is that the whole unit now screws into the Mag's lamp socket. Not only does this help prevent accidental drops or loss of the Super-6 if you unscrew the head retainer ring, but this also adds slightly to the heatsinking by adding the bulb socket to the metal mass which helps dissipate heat from the LEDs.


UPDATE: 03-06-06
InReTECH is now closing its doors because the owner can no longer keep it operational. This and all other InReTECH web pages will be kept available for the benefit of current InReTECH product owners.


PROS:
High total luminous flux
Unusual, wide-angle beam profile makes it suitable for some tasks that ordinarly wouldn't be suitable for a regular flashlight.
Sturdy, proven design using existing Mag Light body.
Batteries are easy to find pretty much anywhere.
Once you're dark-adapted, light easily illuminates a large, broad area with no blinding hotspots.
Deliberately underpowered LEDs are more efficient and will live much longer.


CONS:
Flashlight is among the largest & heaviest tested to date. Not a pocket flashlight.
Initial cost is quite high.
Battery life is shorter than a regular LED flashlight; always pack extras. (Note: Light was not designed for economy, it was designed for intensity!)
Wide beam angle not suitable for some tasks like spotting objects at a distance.
Wide beam angle will also make a daylight demonstration ineffective. You have to show this one off at night to really impress people.


    MANUFACTURER: Inretech
    PRODUCT TYPE: Luxeon Star retrofit for 3-D Mag Light
    LAMP TYPE: Luxeon Star emitters
    No. OF LAMPS: 6
    BEAM TYPE: Very wide angle with smooth distribution.
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off.
    BEZEL: Standard Mag bezel with clear plastic lens.
    BATTERY: 3x size D cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 1.020A with new batteries
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: No
    ACCESSORIES: None
    WARRANTY: 1 year

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating









Super 6 *







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