Elektro Lumens

A Brief History,

How I became interested in LED flashlights

I have the habit of going out for walks at night. A few years ago I moved to an area that has no street lighting, being somewhat rural. One night as I was going for a walk on my usual route, up ahead of me, not too far, was a dog, barking, growling, and making lots of other not so pleasant sounds. As it was very dark, with no moon light, smog blocked stars, and no flashlight, I could see nothing! I just sort of back stepped, and went back home.

On another occasion, I was on a walk, on my usual route. Upon returning home, I heard a lot of commotion in some leaves up ahead. As I approached a bit farther, I noticed something, some small animal, going around in circles a few times. Then it stopped, with it tail lifted up and it posterior end aimed at ME! Whoah! Um, I just sort of gingerly and slowly back pedaled away from this dear creature, who was nice enough to give me a fair warning.

After these few experiences, I decided to never go out for a walk at night again, without a flashlight. I have never cared for typical flashlights too much. The batteries never seem to last very long. Whenever you grab for one when you really need it, the batteries seem to always be dead. If you drop it, especially when it's on, the bulb is finished. The bulbs never seem to last too long anyway. Some may even have outstanding craftsmanship, and seem to be a piece of artwork. But often times, they just do not work.

So I began to investigate LED lighting. At that point, there were basically only LED flashlights with one, perhaps two LEDS. So I decided to make my own. I purchased many different types of flashlights, and modified them, with up to 20 5mm Nichia LEDS. You can check my web page on modified flashlights, to see some of these garage 'hacked' flashlights.
Modified Flashlights

Eventually I discovered the Luxeon Star LED. I was doing a web search on super bright LEDS, and I hit upon a web page describing the Luxeon Star. Wow! A single LED that can pump out 18 lumens of light! As much as 18 5mm white LEDS. I had to get some. Well, you can also see many of my early creations and modifications on my modified flashlights web page.

I did a very large number of flashlight modifications, many of which ended up on eBay for auction. I have included many of their testimonies of these flashlights on my testimonials web page: Product Testimonials

Eventually, I decided that I didn't want to just modify and improve someone else's flashlights, but I wanted my own flashlight, of my own design. I wanted a flashlight that was of the highest quality, durability. And would be super bright, and would have large D batteries in it, so it would last several Days. Eventually, the Blaster materialized. This cost me a considerable amount of money, to have the first prototypes made. They were made to hold 3 C cells, in a two 'D' cell size flashlight. I had 9 original prototypes made. Eventually, I had another 25 made, all serialized. Only 25 were made, of this design, and serialized, to be collector's items.

I finally decided that for only a little bit larger size, three 'D' cells would fit. The larger batteries generally do not cost any more than 'C' cells, but would give twice the battery life. Hence, Blaster II has emerged, as the final product.

This flashlight uses high grade aircraft aluminum alloy in it's construction. I also have it anodized with very tough grade 3 anodizing, inside and out. The lens is acrylic clear plastic, which is tough and scratch resistant. The switch is top quality. The flashlight uses a 1 watt Luxeon Star LED, which is securely attached to a large heat sink, which dissipates the heat generated from the LED to the body of the flashlight with extreme efficiency. Hence, the Luxeon Star LED remains cool, ensuring longevity of the emitter, and minimal light emission degredation.

Another recent improvement is the addition of a 30mm collimation optics to the Blaster II. This new design optics seems to capture and redirect the emitted light more efficiently than the original optics used for the Luxeon Star. I measured on the average, about 560 lux at 1 meter, using the older style optics. With the newer 30mm optics, I measure from 1,200 lux to 1,700 lux, the only difference being the optics.

One other side benefit of carrying a large aluminum flashlight, is that it can be used as a defensive weapon, without the liability of carrying a dangerous weapon, like a knife. And, nobody can look into the beam coming from this flashlight.

The Blaster II rivals incandescent flashlights in brightness, uses batteries far more efficiently, and will keep shining for many years to come, with no bulbs burning out from use, or from dropping the flashlight.

But why do I use a 'K' in 'Elektro', instead of a 'C' ?

Wayne Johnson
(01-14-2003)