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DIY tools and tech reviewed

Posts Tagged ‘LED

Deal Extreme Flashlight – Ultrafire C3

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I’ve had this little guy for about 2 months now, and every day I find myself in a situation in which I need a pocket-sized flashlight. I originally purchased this guy for around $11 (shipped!), and I can’t say I had very high expectations at that price!

My expectations were wrong in almost every way. I’m very impressed with the build quality. It’s very compact; it takes a single AA or 14500 lithium and is not a whole lot bigger than the battery itself.  That does not mean that it’s fragile, mind you. The machined aluminium housing is almost 3 mm thick in places, and I’m fairly certain that I could run this thing over with a small truck without damaging anything. The machining is more than adequate; it threads together nicely with no tight spots. Everything fits and works the way it should. It is sealed with O-rings at both ends, and I can confirm that it is waterproof to at least a few feet, if not much further.

I haven’t found the holster to be very useful, mainly because I threw it out when I first got it. The quality was fine; I’m just not a fan of carrying things on a belt. It also comes with one of those wrist straps that narrow down to a micro-thread to attach to the flashlight itself. Typically I remove them because they tend to get tangled in tool bags / pockets, but I left this one on, and it is pretty tough.

Electrically, it has a single-mode (on/off) electronic regulator that draws about 850 milliamps when used with a single 3.6v, 900mah lithium ion cell (type 14500), which works out to a little over 1 hour of runtime between charges. I actually prefer single-mode regulators on a flashlight of this size. I’ve never found myself in a situation where it was just too bright. The wide shoulder of the light pattern gives you a good amount of control over just how much illumination your subject receives.

Light output is great for it’s size; I believe it’s rated at ~190 lumens, which means it certainly isn’t the brightest flashlight on the market. Light pattern is a very subjective matter, however I will say that it has proven to be very functional in my real world usage. It has an average flood beam that covers a large area at distances of 2-3 feet, combined with a central spot that usable up to around 55 feet at night. As far as intensity, I recently used this flashlight to gain the attention of a co-worker situated inside a building, 2 stories above me by shining the light through their window. The central spot is very visible, even in broad daylight.

This is how it arrived..

As you can see, I’ve lost some of the anodized finish. I usually carry around a full-on high-school-janitor sized ring of keys alongside this flashlight, so a little damage is to be expected. It’s actually quite tough considering the circumstances.

 
Overall, I’m very pleased with this flashlight. Considering it’s size, my original intention was to use it for small tasks, such as fishing wires behind desks, peering into computer cases, reading part numbers in dark corners, etc. It is more than adequate for those purposes. I find myself using it to inspect access points and cellular antennas mounted 45-55 feet off of the ground in the middle of the night, which is certainly more than I would have ever expected from a single-AA sized light. It does not have a very long run-time, and there are certainly brighter lights available (although they are much larger), so it isn’t going to fill every task, but it does work very well for small to medium sized lighting needs.
 
You can get it from www.DealExtreme.com, search for SKU 1993.

Written by diygadgetreview

September 3, 2011 at 4:54 am

Posted in Reviews

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