The Streamlight ProPolymer Luxeon is one fantastic
light. My impressions so far are very, very good.
The body is made of polymer, has two flat panels on
either side and is oval in shape. There is a slight
texture to the body which enhances grip a little bit.
On the tail is the switch and a lanyard attachment point.
The combination of a polymer body and a Luxeon LED makes
for a very impact resistant light. At the base of the
bezel threads on the body is an umbrella valve to release
any pressure that may build up inside the light.
The bezel/head area consists of a black plastic shroud,
a polycarbonate lens with scratch resistant coating,
and a lamp assembly with a deep, smooth reflector. The
lamp assembly contains the reflector, the Luxeon I LED
and a regulator circuit that does a very good job of
driving the LED at constant brightness for several hours.
The lamp assembly is made mostly of metal to absorb
waste heat from the LED. The assembly also contains
two catalyst pellets to remove waste hydrogen which
may form inside the battery compartment.
The one concern I did have with this light surrounds
driving LEDs at fairly high rates inside a plastic body.
Despite the use of a lot of metal in the lamp assembly
to draw heat away from the LED, there is nowhere for
that heat to go inside a plastic light. As a result
heat could have build up caused damage to the LED. Based
upon thermal observations, it does not appear that the
LED or the surrounding structure get any where near
the manufacturer recommended maximum temperature despite
Bezel picture - reflector is quite deep
Lamp assembly - mostly metal. Note hydrogen catalyst
pellets near bottom (gray).
Output is in the form of a tight spot with a medium
sized corona and wide spillbeam. The central spot is
very intense and provides excellent throw. Beam color
is very white with no noticeable tints. All in all,
this is one of the best Luxeon beams I've seen, which
is quite an admirable feat considering the fact that
a smooth reflector is used. Smooth reflectors usually
produce large artifacts in the beam, but not in this
case. The tiniest artifacts can be seen in the corona
around the central spot, but you'd never see them if
you weren't purposely looking for slight imperfections
in the beam itself.
Beam at one meter at target center, at target edge.
Advertised runtime is 4 hours regulated plus 2 additional
hours diminishing. The runtime plot shows 3 1/2 hours
regulated runtime, which is just a little short of the
advertised 4 hours regulated. As for the diminishing
output, the runtime test actually found that the light
was still going at about 5% starting output for a full
4 hours after regulation stopped. At that point the
test was terminated, so it may have gone several more
hours at that level. So regulated output was a little
shorter than advertised, but diminishing output was
significantly longer. As for the curve itself, this
is an excellent example of a fully regulated light -
note the nearly perfectly flat horizontal output curve
for the first 3 1/2 hours. Kudos to Streamlight on that!
completed with included Energizer batteries. More information
on runtime plots is available HERE.
By special request, here is a runtime
with Energizer 2300mAh NiMH rechargeable cells:
completed with Energizer NiMH batteries. More information
on runtime plots is available HERE.
The switch has a rubber cover and operates smoothly.
It provides both tactile and audible feedback when activated.
The switch is partially protected from accidental activation
by raised tabs molded into the tail of the light.
Water Resistance is very good, and although it is not
dive rated, I have no doubts that it can withstand a
fairly significant dunking. The switch is rubber sealed
and there is an O-ring sealing the head of the light.
The safety vent valve is an umbrella valve that only
allows pressure out, keeping the environment from getting
Ergonomics: The body of the ProPolymer 4-AA is an ergonomic
oval shape and fits comfortably in the hand. The tail
pushbutton switch can be just slightly awkward to press
due to the "accidental activation" protections
- raised areas molded into the body (see tail pic above).
You have to reach over the raised tabs to turn the light
on or turn the light sideways for easy access to the
switch. This is only a minor inconvenience, and I would
much rather have those tabs there rather than risk dropping
the light on its switch and having it shut off and skitter
away from me in the dark.
Size compared to a common 2AA aluminum light
4 AA alkaline cells are used to power the light. No
other battery formulation is indicated as acceptable
in the packaging. UPDATE Dec. 2005: I have it on
very good authority that both name brand lithium AA
and NiMH cells will work in this light. To access
the batteries, unscrew the bezel cover, remove the lamp
assembly, and place 4 cells in as indicated by the sticker
in the light. The lamp assembly has polarity protection
built in to prevent the light from working if the cells
are put in backwards. The lamp assembly can only be
inserted into the body one way.
What I Liked: Watertight, Tough/impact
resistant, Regulated/good battery life, Bright, Easy
What I Didn't Like: Nothing
Other Things I Noticed: n/a
Conclusions: For $32, the ProPolymer
Luxeon is a great value in my opinion. I seriously doubt
that anyone who feels this light would fulfill their
requirements would be disappointed with it. Output is
great, regulation keeps output essentially static for
3 1/2 hours, it provides backup light after regulation
ends, and the LED/Polymer body make for a very durable
combination. Streamlight appears to have put together
a real winner.