Carry a Tiny Supernova In Your Pocket With the Ultra-Bright LED Lenser F1

Illustration for article titled Carry a Tiny Supernova In Your Pocket With the Ultra-Bright LED Lenser F1

You might think all flashlights are created equal, but don't tell that to a flashaholic. There are large online communities of flashlight aficionados who take their illumination very seriously, and there's a good chance even they'll be impressed by LED Lenser's new F1 which manages to squeeze a whopping 400 lumens from a single CR123 battery.

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It's true that CR123 batteries aren't as easy to find in stores as regular old AAs, but it's a fair trade-off. What you sacrifice in convenience, you gain in longer runtimes and greater illumination. CR123 batteries use a lithium-cell inside instead of alkaline, and output three volts instead of the 1.5 volts from a AA battery. So it allows flashlights like the F1 to blast an impressive 400 lumens while still boasting excellent battery life.

Of course you don't have to run the F1 at full power. You can extend its battery life even further by dimming its LED bulb to its lowest setting. But if you're going to drop $80 on it, you might as well go big or go home. [LED Lenser]

DISCUSSION

Ginseng108
Ginseng108

Another flashaholic here. With DealExtreme lights, like anything else on that site or in general, you get what you pay for. For the average person on the street, you can get totally acceptable performance from a pocket torch that costs no more than $40-75. But as in any functional hobby, the edge of the technology extends well beyond that to custom and semi-custom devices and even art as fetish objects.

For example, Jason Hui of Prometheus Lights (http://darksucks.com/home.html) and the engineers and craftsmen at Oveready Flashlights (http://www.oveready.com/). And for the more utilitarian user, Streamlight (http://www.streamlight.com/en-us/).

As a side note, the CR123 primary (non-rechargeable) lithium cells commonly used in higher-powered lights can be expensive if buying in packs of 1 and 2. Better to find bulk sourcing online. For heavy usage, such as what I put my lights to, rechargeable cells are almost a requisite. I'm talking lithium ion cells. Both of the chemistry that caught fire in the 787 Dreamliner as well as safer chemistry like lithium manganese.