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LED Torch



LED Torch, retail $19.95 (only found on ebay)
Manufactured by (Unknown)
Last updated 01-01-01


LED Light



The 'LED Torch' is a sturdy 2-LED, 3 cell flashlight with both steady-on and blink modes.
Housed in a stout rubberized case, the flashlight is similar in size to most other 3-AA flashlights, but has an elongated lens end.
It comes with batteries and a long lanyard.

These started showing up on ebay in November 2000, and I just had to try one.

Size reference



The light comes in a plastic bag, and my unit also came with batteries. Once the batteries are in (see below) this light operates a little differently from other twist-on flashlights.
You actually keep the head screwed all the way down most of the time. To turn it on, unscrew the head about half a turn, then immediately tighten it back on. The light also has a blink feature, which flashes it at about 2.2Hz (a hair faster than 2 blinks a second). To make it blink, turn it on, then quickly turn it off and back on again. Finally, to lock it into the off position, turn it off and back on again. The light will blink once, then go out and stay out. This is definitely one of the strangest operating mechanisms I've come across in an LED flashlight, and one that can be flaky at times (see the Punishment Zone below for more details.)

The lanyard clips to a ring in the heel of the flashlight if you wish to use it.


The 'LED Torch' uses three "AA" cells, which are cheap and easily available. Like many other lights, you unscrew the head until it comes off, dump out the dead batteries, and drop in three new ones button-side (+) up.
The only loose parts besides the end cap are the LED module and a black retaining ring; both of which are loose and fall out readily with the lens bezel taken off. So this is another light you don't open directly over the garbage can when it's time to change its batteries. After your batteries are in, simply drop in the LED module with the LEDs facing up, lay the retaining ring over the LED board, and screw on the cap. Done with that.

The batteries are rated to last approximately 100 hours at high brilliance, and hundreds of additional hours at a reduced level..
Battery life testing is still in progress, but during the short time I've had it (a couple of weeks as of this writing!), I have not been able to deplete them.


This flashlight appears to be reasonably well-made and is just about bomb-proof. The only vulnerable part is the clear plastic lens bezel, which the seller claims will indeed crack and eventually become broken after severe abuse; but the flashlight itself would continue to work even after the lens bezel has dime-sized pieces smashed out of it.

A couple of test throws left the light totally unaffected, and resulted in no breakage to any component. However, it did not land directly on the brittle end piece, so breakage here wasn't an issue. The seller claims to have drop-tested from 5, 10, and 15 feet onto concrete with only the above-mentioned cosmetic damage occurring in the worst case.

The flashlight has a ribbed rubberized sleeve covering the entire body (except the clear lens bezel), making the flashlight comfortable to hold and gives it a secure feeling, slip-free grip.
There are two slots near the top to slip a strap or webbing through; however these are made entirely of rubber (they aren't part of the plastic body) and will easily pull apart and break if too much strain is placed upon them. Breakage of this component will not affect the electrical or optical function of the flashlight in any way.

The activation mechanism seems to be less than 100% reliable; I usually have to twist the light two or three times before it finally comes on. However, once it's on, it stays on without flickering or going out unexpectedly. I don't think this is the fault of the contacts, but a quirk in the IC chip that controls the flashlight. So it will probably not get much worse with age, unlike regular flashlights with slide switches.

The built-in flasher mode may be more useful than that in the PAL Gold, because this light blinks at approximately 2.2Hz (just over 2 flashes a second) instead of the PAL's 0.3 or 0.4Hz (a little slower than 1 flash every two seconds)

The LED Torch is sealed with an O-ring and is completely watertight, and will survive any bad weather conditions, or falls into creeks, ponds, and toilet bowls.

A long, elastic lanyard is included with the light. It attaches with a spring clip to the hole on the flashlight's heel, and is large enough to loop over the head or hang the light from just about anything.

LED Light
A 2-LED light with a slightly wider than normal and fairly even beam.


This light is not all that bright for having 2 LEDs, but it is still very servicable. A Photon II with new batteries easily outshines it (using the "alternating lights on a ceiling" test), and the Turtlelite II just blows it clean out of the water.
But the seller's listing claims the LEDs are driven far below "hot" levels like many other flashlights run them; this accounts for the reduced output and has the advantage of increased battery life and full rated LED life. A rather crude test confirms this - after operating for several minutes, the board was quickly removed and felt for heating; and there wasn't any. I can just leave the thing blazing away without a care in the world. Not something I'd do with a "hot" light like a CC Expedition which runs the LEDs way over limits.

At the present time, the only place this light seems to be available is Ebay. Do a search for "LED Torch" or "LED flashlight 100 hours" (check the box "search both title and description" if you come up dry) and that will lead you to it. The seller places tons of these things on dutch auction, and there are apparently a good number of them available.

Click here to search ebay for these lights using these parameters.
If you buy one, please mention to the seller where you learned about it. :)


TEST NOTES:
Slightly wider beam than a Photon II. Noticeable reduction in the typical "blue center" found in many white LED products.
Board erosion seems to be unusually severe; with only a handful of activations, there is already some deep gouging of the solder contact ring on the bottom of the LED board.
A faint "crunching" noise is present during activation - this is probably the two contact strips ripping into the bottom of the LED board. Although repair of this board is a quick and easy job for anyone with a little experience with a soldering iron, those who know nothing about such things may find their light to poop out on them at some future point, especially if it is used multiple times daily. For a light to keep in the glovebox though, this one should have a very long, useful life indeed.

LED Light
Notice how badly the bottom of the board is degrading. This is after less than 100 activations!
Only time will tell if this will worsen to the point of failure, but it doesn't look very pretty so far.



PROS:
Beam bright enough to be truly useful
Feels comfortable and secure in the hand
Has lanyard long enough to loop over the head
Cheap common batteries
Potential for very long battery life
Durable casing
Illuminated safety ring
Useful blink mode.

CONS:
Doesn't stand on-end unassisted
Brittle lens-end can become broken easily
Unreliable switching mechanism.
This may be another light that murders itself after prolonged or heavy usage.



          MANUFACTURER: Unknown
          PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, white
          No. OF LAMPS: 2
          BEAM TYPE: Narrow flood, with corona
          SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on bezel
          BEZEL: Clear bezel with odd ribbed projections.
          BATTERY: 3 AA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown
          WATER RESISTANT: Unknown
          SUBMERSIBLE: Unknown
          ACCESSORIES: Wrist lanyard, batteries
          WARRANTY: Unknown


          PRODUCT RATING:

          Star Rating

Unit can murder itself; this accounts in great part for the "0 Stars" rating.




LED Torch * Currently available on Ebay



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