BARBOLIGHT U-09 FLASHLIGHT



Barbolight U-09 Flashlight, retail 263.70 (US$345.00)* (www.barbolight.com...)
Manufactured by Barbolight (www.barbolight.com)
Last updated 02-26-05






* IMPORTANT: Pricing is accurate as of 02-18-05. Please visit the Currency Calculator for the latest currency conversion rates from Euros to US dollars.

***IMPORTANT*** The Barbolight website is in Spanish; if you cannot read that language, run it through the translation matrix of your choosing to convert it to a language you can read.
Or follow this link for a page in English.

The Barbolight U-09 is a very heavy-duty flashlight that has three Luxeon III LEDs, and three mirror smooth reflectors (one above each LED).

What makes the U-09 different from most other flashlights aren't those three Luxeon LEDs, and it isn't that beefy aluminum body. It's the rechargeable battery stick that powers it. It appears to consist of three size C rechargeable cells in series; producing a lightly-loaded voltage of approximately +3.6 volts DC.
I metered it, and got an open-circuit reading of +4.31 volts.

This is the U-09 Mark I. Mark II units are said to have a better anodizing and fewer (or no) machine marks.


 SIZE



Like any product that is rechargeable or uses a rechargeable cell or battery, charge the battery in the U-09 first (see below), and then you can go paint the town red - or in this case, white.

For momentary or signalling mode, press the black metal thing on the tailcap in and hold it that way for as long as you need the light. Release pressure on it to not get light.

For continuous or hands-free operation, turn the tailcap clockwise until the U-09 springs to life.
Turn the tailcap counterclockwise to turn it back off.

To engage the LOTC (Lock Out Tail Cap), unscrew the tailcap 1 1/2 turns from when the U-09 first turns off; this will eliminate the chance that the U-09 might turn itself on during storage or transportation.

There are three spots of a glow-in-the-dark compound in the bezel (head). This glow can be useful to locate the flashlight in total darkness even ten hours after being charged by the LEDs or ambient light.

The U-09 comes with a zippered nylon storage pouch, to help keep the flashlight newer looking for longer. It fits in this pouch bezel (head)-up.



You do not have to fuss with disposable batteries for the U-09, as it comes with a rechargeable battery stick and a charger.

To charge the battery when needed, unscrew and remove the tailcap of the U-09, and tip the used battery out of the barrel into your hand.

Insert it into the charging cradle, flat-end (-) negative facing the spring for it in the cradle.

Plug the "wall wart" transformer into any 110-130 volts AC household receptacle. If you live outside the US, plug the transformer into the included plug adapter, and then plug the combination into a 220-240 volts AC receptacle.

An LED on the top of the "wall wart" should light up and glow red when the unit is charging, and I believe turn green when charging is complete. According to the website, charging a completely discharged battery should take 5 hours to full capacity. If the battery is NOT fully discharged, charging could take up to 7 hours, because the charger tailors current to the discharge state of the battery.

When charging is complete, unplug the transformer, and remove the battery stick from the charging cradle. Insert the battery into the U-09, button-end (+) positive first, and screw the tailcap back on. Unscrew the tailcap slightly when the U-09 springs to life; you don't want to discharge a newly-charged battery ya know.

Hot off the charger, battery voltage is +4.31 volts open-circuit, and the current usage of the U-09 flashlight itself is 2.710 amps.

Advertised runtime is 2 hours at full intensity, and 6 additional hours at diminishing intensity.

You can use zinc carbon or alkaline C cells in the U-09 if need be, but performance will be adversely affected.




Photograph of the bezel, showing the three reflectors for the three LS LEDs.

Because this is a passaround, I will not smack it against the corner of a concrete stair, try to drown it in the toilet, stomp on it with spiked baseball shoes, let my housemate's cat tinkle on it, or bestow other misfortunes upon it that other flashlights may have bestowed upon them. At least not until I receive it back, anyway.

I did put a very small scratch in the end-window (in a region that no light reaches) to try and determine whether it is glass or plastic, and the test determined that it was indeed plastic. This window (lens) is polycarbonate, Makrolon GP, from Bayer, 5 mm thick, and has two O-rings.

Water-resistance: AAA+++
When I performed that dreadful suction test on it, it passed. No leakage whatsoever was detected; not from the bezel and not from the tailcap. There are not one, but two O-rings on the barrel where the tailcap screws on. That helps make what is already a water-resistant flashlight even MORE water-resistant, and submersible too.

There is knurling (cross-hatch texturising) along most of the length of the barrel, and a generous area of knurling on the tailcap. The bezel is deeply ribbed too. So retention (the ability to hold the flashlight when your hands are cold, wet, or oily) should not be an issue.

The Barbolight is finished in a Type III hard anodizing ("HA-III" as us flashlight nuts know it), so it should be able to take almost any punishment you can mete out and still look like new afterward.

I found the tailcap especially difficult to turn; though I attribute it mainly to the two waterproofing O-rings between the barrel and the tailcap.



Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 3,140,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
The hotspot is 5 wide, and the spill light is 120 wide.



Beam photo at ~15'.
That red semicircular thing is from an American DJ Laser Widow



TEST NOTES:
Test unit was received as a passaround on the afternoon of 02-17-05, and as such, will not be subject to most of the punishments I might otherwise bestow on other flashlights.

The website and the instructional material itself are in Spanish, which I cannot read or understand. I'll translate what I can on the internet, but I cannot guarantee I'll get *everything*.
The English page is right here if you're interested.

The "wall wart" transformer is rated for an input of 90 volts to 240 volts AC. Output is stated as 4.5 volts DC at 1 amp.

Product was made in Spain. A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.


UPDATE: 02-26-05
I have mailed this flashlight to the next person on the passaround list, so I have added that dreadful icon next to its listing in the main menu. When I receive it back, I'll do the more abusive tests and remove the icon.


PROS:



CONS:



    MANUFACTURER: Barbolight
    PRODUCT TYPE: Medium sized rechargeable flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: Luxeon III LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 3
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot with wide corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Push tailcap momentary, twist tailcap on/off
    BEZEL: Metal; LEDs and reflectors protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: Three rechargeable C cells, 1.2V 4,500mAh NiMH each
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 2.710 amps
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 200m (600')
    ACCESSORIES: Battery, recharging equipment, nylon holder
    WARRANTY: 2 years

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating





Barbolight U-09 Flashlight * www.barbolight.com







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