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Expedition 1400



Expedition 1400 (14 White LEDs), retail $TBA (http://www.tek-tite.com)
Manufactured by TEKTITE
BUY IT AT THELEDLIGHT.COM
Last updated: April 18 2001


LED Light


The Tektite Expedition 1400 is a white LED flashlight boasting 14 high intensity white LEDs.
The sturdy ABS plastic & Lexan flashlight is powered by three "C" cells, and it comes with a comfortable, adjustable wrist strap and lanyard.

SIZE:



The Expedition 1400 comes packaged with three Energizer alkaline "C" cells. Install them (see below) and you're good to go with no additional assembly.
To turn the light on, twist the Lexan lens bezel clockwise; to switch the flashlight off, unscrew the bezel 1/4 turn or so until it shuts off. This is one flashlight you probably will not want to stare directly into while it's on, as it produces a very intense white light.



When you receive your Expedition 1400, it might feel a little funny, because it will arrive empty and need its first feeding. To do this, unscrew the lens bezel completely until it comes off. Then remove the silver reflector & LED board. Holding the light at an angle with the open end facing upwards, slide in the three "C" cells with the button-end facing up. Lay the LED board on top of the uppermost battery, fit the silver reflector on (being sure the notch on the inner face fits into the empty space on the edge of the LED board) and screw the bezel back on.

Because of the loose parts, you do not want to empty this flashlight directly over the garbage when changing batteries, or else you will end up dumpster diving for them. (See Test Notes below for an update on this!)

Battery life is stated at 15 to 20 hours, which although not as long as some LED flashlights, is still much longer than any incandescent. Remember, this flashlight was designed for extremely high brightness rather than extreme battery life, and 14 LEDs do require significantly more power than just a couple.



The Expedition 1400, like all of the Expedition products, is a tough, though slightly brittle feeling flashlight. However, the body is composed of ABS plastic, and the lens is made of G.E. Lexan, the strongest transparent plastic made by Man. So it should never break as a result of common flashlight accidents like falling off a table, car hood, or out of a backpack.

It is also visibly sealed with "O" rings and is guaranteed waterproof to 1,000 feet.
These "O" rings also help seal out dust & dirt, making cleanup of a dirty flashlight a simple "hose down" operation.
The ABS case is resistant to oils and various other materials (presumably also including gasoline) so this light should fare well in a garage as well as it does on the campground.

When dropped or tossed to a missed target, the Expedition 1400 hits the ground with a smacking, 'plastic' sound, but always comes back ready for more. Drop tests have been limited (the neighbors are bitching) so later on I'll take a bunch of these things for a little road trip and see what they can take. I've also been using a heavy steel rod as a target on which to smack these; this dents the cases a bit but I have yet to break one on it.

The Expedition 1400 comes with an adjustable wrist lanyard with a length of rubber tubing covering part of it for a comfortable, secure, non-slip fit around the arm or wrist in any weather. An optional hands-free strap can be fitted into the two wide loops located just behind the flashlight head.




LED Light
Expedition 1400 compared to an Expedition 300 (7 LEDs).
The Expedition 300 is on the right.



TEST NOTES:

Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.

UPDATE 04-11-01:
I've observed that after a short period of usage, all of the LEDs adjacent to the catalyst carrier become deflected to the left or right. This is because the reflector and the LED board are seperate, and the protruding tab in the reflector pushes the LEDs over.

I'm experimenting with a fix involving cementing the LED board to the reflector assembly with G.E. silicone RTV. If this works, it will be suggested as a standard fix for all flashlights of this type with any LEDs on the outer edge of the board.

UPDATE 04-12-01:
The "fix" seems to be holding up fine. Would I really beat the piss out of an expensive flashlight just to test the board modification? You bet your sweet patootie I will! Like the Expedition 1900, this flashlight has been tossed to the floor several times, and beaten against a steel rod half a dozen times. So far, the only "damage" is some slight dents in the outer casing. The LEDs haven't shifted and the board hasn't broken free of the reflector base. It still works as good as new - perhaps even a bit better than new since the LEDs no longer get whacked out of alignment by the catalyst holder.
Latest word is the manufacturer is using a modification of this "fix" in all future products; potting the LED board in the larger lights and gluing it to the reflector ring in smaller models.

UPDATE 04-18-01:
Battery life test results are starting to come in.
At 5pm on April 17, the light was started. Four hours later, the Expedition 1400 has dimmed to approximately the same brightness as the 7-LED Expedition 300. The light feels only slightly warm at this time.
It is still a bright little bugger though, and the batteries are still pumping.

At 30 hours, it is about as bright as a brand new Trek-2 (2 LEDs) but has a substantially wider beam than the smaller light. This is where that ProMetric system would come in handy - when the source is too large for my solar cell & meter setup and the eye can be fooled by the greatly differing beam widths.


PROS:
Durable construction, waterproof, uses cheap & common batteries, excellent battery life, brightest $&!*#% LED flashlight money can buy.

CONS:
One-handed operation is not possible. Won't stand up on-end by itself.


          MANUFACTURER: Tek-Tite
          PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, white
          No. OF LAMPS: 14
          BEAM TYPE: Wide spot with soft fall-off
          SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on bezel
          BEZEL: Clear lexan bezel with ribbed outer wall
          BATTERY: 3 C cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Approximately 350 milliamps
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: To 1000 feet
          ACCESSORIES: Alkaline batteries, generous padded wrist lanyard
          WARRANTY: Lifetime




                PRODUCT RATING:

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

                OVERALL SCORE: 47




Expedition 1900 * WWW.TEK-TITE.COM



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