What a long way we have come, fire, torches, oil lanterns, and then the common everyday flashlights we all use. The flashlight to me is a neat human invention, a battery source running a bulb all mounted inside a portable casing so that you would never have to be stuck in the dark. The 21st century sure has brought us lots of cool new flashlights which no longer use ordinary filament bulbs, but now use low powered light-emitting diodes (LED’s) and one of the coolest newest flashlights is the Multi-color LED Flashlight sold by ThinkGeek.
Sure there are other LED flashlights, maybe some with the ability to change to one other color but I have seen no other flashlight like this one. What really sets this flashlight apart is the multi-color part, which makes it capable of producing 10 different colors. Yep, that’s right 10 different colors!?More about the colors in a bit, here are?the specifications of the flashlight…
LED life?time: 30,000 hours
Modes: 10 colors, flash, fade
Size: 4.9″ x 1.25″
Weight: 0.36 lb.
Battery: 3x AAA (included)
Lets take a look at the outside of the flashlight first.?Measuring 4.9″ in length and 1.25″ in diameter,?makes the flashlight for a good size pocket light. The unit has a heavy duty appearance and feel to it, almost like the tactical type flashlights. It is made of aluminum with a silver finish. The aluminum makes it weigh very little even with the batteries installed. There are also grips molded into the body for holding the flashlight and unscrewing the tail cap. Like other tactical flashlights, there is a on/off push button switch in the tail cap.
This on/off button also can function as a momentary switch by pressing part way down when the switch is in the on position, this is great in case you need to blink out Morse code. This end cap also has a rubber O-ring above the screw in threads, but I would not trust that the flashlight is water proof in anyway as there is nothing on the box or instructions that says it is. Also on the end cap is a hole for attaching a strap, which is included in the box. On the side near the light producing end is a round momentary switch for selecting the color and mode of the light.
Moving on to the inside, the battery compartment is very different and interesting. The manufacturer designed the batteries to be held in a pullout cartridge of sorts. The three AAA batteries sit in a tube like plastic holder with the normal metal springs and terminals, and resembles a uncovered unusual sized battery cell. In my opinion, this is a pretty innovative design!
The batteries are supposed to be included, but the flashlight I received?had them missing. Possible a factory packing error. I contacted?ThinkGeek customer service and they said that would send?out batteries?or offer a comparable solution for missing items. That’s some great customer service on their part! 🙂
Now for what makes this flashlight really really cool, the light. As already mentioned, this flashlight produces 10 different colors for its light source. When pressing the mode button, the colors in the selection cycle sequence are as follows, white, red, green, blue, orange, light green, purple, yellow, light blue, and pink.
The primary useful colors are listed on the box as white, red, green, yellow, and blue. The uses are as follows… White is for standard lighting. Red is for maintaining your night vision and emergency signaling. Green is for map reading. Yellow for foggy conditions. And blue for CSI (crime scene investigation) work, that’s right, as in like the TV show. The blue light used in conjunction with a orange filter will allow you to look for fibers, fluid stains and make fingerprints glow with fluorescent powders. Turning off the flashlight when set for any of the colors will reset it back to white for the next power on.
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The big surprise is that it appears to be one really big LED and not 10 different colored LED’s or even 5 dual color LED’s. This is an amazing thing, as in all my years working with electronics, I have never seen such a big LED nor one that can produce so many colors.
Along with the ability to produce different colors there is also two modes activated by the 11th and 12th button press of the mode button. Mode one is “flash” and mode two is “fade”. These two modes just automatically cycle between the color settings, “flash” jumps from color to color and “fade” eases softly into the next color. I am not sure what use these two modes are good for, other than a demonstration of the color switching. By pressing and holding the mode button for 2 seconds will enable the “fast flash” mode-rapid on/off, another 2 second hold will enable the “middle-fast flash” mode-slow on/off. Simply put, the flash mode is like a car signal blinker and you have two speeds to choose from and is useful for signaling and an emergency blinker with the red light. The final mode activated by hold the mode button for 4 seconds, is the sleep mode, it switches off the light and puts the flashlight into a standby waiting for another press of the mode button to bring the light back on. The power output of the flashlight is pretty good and bright at 3 watts. The flood of light is also nice and wide to get a good coverage of light.
I?like this flashlight. My only wish is that it has more modes, such as more variation in the flashing of the LED and a automatic S.O.S. mode. For the budget price, this flashlight packs cool features and will make flashlight fans happy.
The Multi-color LED Flashlight?is available from Think Geek.
What I Like: Different colors for different uses; light weight and pocket size.
What Needs Improvement: More modes