Most helpful critical review
27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Brightness drops quickly, apparently no voltage regulator in this model
on December 1, 2013
The focus control is nice, and got them for a good price at Costco.
Both ends of the flashlight are flat, so it will stand on either end. One end has five flat edges so it won't roll away either. There is no wrist strap (or any hole for one to be added).
The large push button on the end normally cycles between low/high/strobe/off, but the button is not "de-bounced" so sometimes it skips a position when pressed. With fingers wrapped around the grip, operating the push button on the end is a two-handed operation.
When focused tightly, the shape of the beam is basically rectangular, which is the shape of the CREE LED chip. When zoomed out, the flashlight projects a large circle of even brightness with no "spot" in the middle, excellent for illuminating a large area.
However, this model flashlight seems to lack a voltage regulator and brightness is therefore VERY dependent on battery voltage.
For example, at the high setting, the brightness decreases quickly (simply turn on the other flashlight to compare). After about 1 minute (using the original Duracell alkaline C cells), the brightness is about half the level it was at when first powered on. The brightness steadily decreases after that.
I also tried 1900maH Sanyo Eneloop NiMH AA batteries (with AA to C spacers), and the brightness decreased much more rapidly (as expected). The AA batteries lasted only 1 hour on "high", but after only about 10 minutes the brightness had dropped below the original "low" output level. I know that C batteries are about 3X more capacity but I don't like having to stock yet another size of rechargeable batteries so I was hoping that I could use NiMH AA's (besides the fact that NiMH cells have lower output voltage which will result in lower brightness from this flashlight, I also read that some rechargeable C batteries are really just AA's with some padding so I need to be careful to find some rechargeable C's with highest mAh capacity).
C batteries fit loosely in the flashlight tube, and rattle around when the flashlight is moved. C batteries are easily swapped out, since they're not in a separate plastic "battery holder" inside the tube. I would suggest putting some plumber's grease on the aluminum threads, since you may be replacing the batteries frequently.
If you don't need longer operating times and want to make your own AA-to-C battery adapter that's the right size for 3 cells, try a 5-7/8" length piece of 1/2" Schedule-40 PVC with a strip of fuzzy velcro taped around each end -- then the AA batteries dump out of the tube easily just like the C cells.