Underwater Kinetics has done it again! This time taking
their very popular 4AA form factor and adding in a Luxeon
Star LED for light which will never "blow"
like a regular bulb and a regulator circuit that produces
dead constant output from the light. My meter readings
indicate that the eLED puts out 50% more light than
a common 2AA aluminum flashlight and it should continue
to produce about that much light for around 10 hours
as a result of its regulator before starting to dim.
All of the features found in the 4AA eLED make for one
The body is made of impact resistant ABS. Very solid
construction, advertised as drop tested to 6 ft. You
should be able to beat this light up pretty good without
any problems. The spring holding the batteries in place
inside seems pretty durable as well. On the side are
loops formed in the plastic for straps or a lanyard
and on the tailcap is a vent to equalize pressure in
behind head for lanyard/straps
vent in tailcap
The separately available eLED lamp module
with integrated regulator circuit fits the UK 4AA AS2,
Mini Q40 and the UK 2L. Because the bulb is a Luxeon
LED it should never blow and it will take a very long
time (thousands of hours) to wear it out. The module
also contains a hydrogen catalyst to try to neutralize
any hydrogen gas that builds up inside the light during
use (from the natural action of the batteries as they
are used up).
Output is very good, about 50% greater than an aluminum
2AA flashlight (you know which one I mean :-). Beam
quality is very good with a smooth spot and bright surround.
It is permanently focused, so no adjustments are ever
I decided to do a runtime test to see how good the
regulator really was. After 10 hours I gave up on the
runtime testing. The result? Here it is!
Now keep in mind that my testing may not be perfect,
but the light was clamped in place, the meter was not
moved, and I checked on it about every half hour long
enough to turn on the meter and get a reading. Over
10 hours there was about a 6% drop in output. It was
still shining about 94% as bright as when it started!
During the inital 30 minutes where there was a slight
drop of less than 3% and during the next 9½ hours
there was again less than a 3% drop in output. This
is really good regulation!
If placed on its head while on, the light from the
lamp filters between the rubber shroud of the bezel
and the body of the light through the clear polycarbonate
bezel material. This creates a glowing ring which indicates
that the light is on.
The switch, protected by a ribbed rubber
cover, makes a barely audible spring-type click when
depressed and locked on. The switch allows one-handed
operation of the light. The bezel can be rotated about
1 full turn to "lock out" the switch, preventing
the light from coming on accidentally in a toolbox or
backpack. Although exposed, the O-ring does not disengage
the bezel when "locked out", so the water
resistance of the light is not compromised.
Water resistance is very good, equating to my rating
of "dunkable". It is waterproof, but not rated
for diving applications. The O-ring should be kept lubricated
with silicone grease when necessary. If the light floods,
it should be disassembled and allowed to dry.
As should be obvious from its name, the 4AA takes
4 AA batteries. Simply unscrew the bezel all the way
and remove the lamp module to insert the batteries.
Battery polarity is indicated on the body of the light.
The light comes with 4 Duracell AA batteries in the
package. Separately you can purchase 3 types of helmet
clips, a safety (traffic) wand, and nylon belt pouch.
What I Liked: Waterproof, Dustproof, Smokeproof,
Tough/impact resistant, Great battery life, Good output,
Easy battery change, Lightweight, Hazardous location
approvals, Dead solid regulation for many hours
What I Didn't Like: Would have
preferred brighter output, but still more than adequate
for most uses.
Other Things I Noticed: Cannot
stand on end, Not dive capable.
Conclusions: Output was quite a
bit dimmer than I expected, due in part to the fact
that the body is plastic and there is no way to get
rid of the damaging waste heat that would have been
created by driving the Luxeon at higher current levels.
Overall the eLED puts out about 50% more light than
a common 2AA aluminum light (per my readings) which
isn't too shabby. Couple this with its advertised 10
hour flat regulated runtime and you have a great long
running, practically indestructible, extremely reliable
flashlight. Add in to all of that the hazardous location
ratings and the really great initial price from Brightguy.com
(and a not-so-bad regular price at any rate) and we
have our FIRST 5 POINT POLYMER FLASHLIGHT !!!!. Congratulations
to Underwater Kinetics!