Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nextorch MyTorch AA PC Programmable LED Flashlight 70 Lumens

Nextorch, a company known for their high quality led flashlights has just rolled out a new series of  lights called my torch. These lights are available in many different output and battery configurations including an 18650 with  200 lumens, 3AAA with 150 lumens 2AA with 140, and a 1AA with 70 lumens. The lights all share the same high quality building materials such as a hard anodized aluminum body, high powered cree led and on board electronics to regulate light output. Quite possible the most popular feature is the ability to program them with different flashing and light level modes via a usb connection. The lights are supplied with a mini usb cable which plugs in beneath the bezel of the head when twisted upward. A link to a free software download is supplied in the manual, which a user must download in order to customize the light. The lights  can however be used directly out of the box, but come preset with only 3 levels of brightness (high, medium and low...No flashing). Over the past two months I've had the opportunity to review the 1AA my torch, testing it for everyday and emergency use. From my experience I hope to give my readers an accurate idea of the usefulness and dependability of the light, without getting too technical.


Inital thoughts

I first got the light about two months ago, with no idea of how it operated besides the information provided on the product page. It was packaged in a high quality white box with a plastic window to display the light. Inside was the light, user manual and included usb cable to program different modes into the light. After opening and slipping a rechargeable AA inside I found the operation to be quite easy. At the tail section there is a reverse click switch, which allows for quick cycling through modes. The tail switch also has a glow in the dark cover that will allow the light to be seen in the dark. The light came with three different lighting modes preset, high, medium and low, but can accept up to 50 stored modes. Upon close inspection of the light , I found high quality battery contacts, a nicely anodized body with brick like knurling and a high quality polymer lens. All of the features and quality of materials used made a great first impression, especially considering the light sales for around $30.


Specs
  • Bulb: Cree XP-E R3 LED (cool white)
  • Output: 70 lumens - 5 lumens
  • Runtime: 120 mins - 50 hrs
  • Battery: One AA
  • Distance: 262 feet
  • Material: Aerospace grade aluminum 6061-T6
  • Finish: Type II Hard-anodized
  • Dimensions: 4.72" x 0.762" / 120mm x 19.2mm (Head diameter 1.04" / 26.4mm)
  • Weight: 1.96oz / 56g 
  • Electronics: Fully regulated, usb connectivity 
  • Uses: Camping, everyday carry, emergency
  • Cost: $30 (depending on seller)

My experience

I used the light mostly as an everyday carry item along side my cellphone, wallet and knife. The hard anodized body was strong enough to resist damage from metal on metal contact with the knife and accidental drops onto concrete. Even though the my torch uses a polymer lens, damage was not sustained thanks to it being recessed deeply into the bezel and protected by a metallic ring. Sometimes I like twist operation lights more than switch operated because of accidental activation mishaps. With the my torch, the switch requires a little more force in order to activate so I never experienced an accidental activation. When using the light for illumination I found the 70 lumen output adequate for most uses. It was more than bright enough to light up my back yard as well as a dark parking lot. The lower outputs were also useful when indoors at night or working closely on a task. I also had the chance to program in additional modes such as a 10 hertz strobe and flashing beacon. These modes were not used on a normal basis, but will come in handy for self defense or any other type of emergency. Lastly the light is waterproof, featuring two O-rings at the head and tail section. Although not made for diving the my torch will resist weather and the occasional splash.


Thermal control and regulation

The my torch only produces 70 lumens of light, so excessive heat was not an issue. The light comes with a pretty good heat sync, so noticeable heat from the emitter was near nonexistent. In some more powerful AA lights that produce over 100 lumens I found excessive heat throughout the entire body, including the battery. This can be potentially dangerous with the use of some lithium 1.5 volt cells as the heat can cause them to violently vent. With the my torch, the entire lower body was cool to the touch, even after a full battery cycle.
As far as regulation, I found the light to produce constant output through most of the batteries cycle life. With a 2100 mah rechargeable cell I got 2 hours of bright light and 4 hours of useable light at a reduced output. I found that with the lower powered led, I tend to get more run time than with more powerful aa lights making the same run time claim.
Programing the light

Programing the light is one of the easiest things to do. All that is needed is the downloadable software link in the manual, an internet connected computer and the supplied mini usb cord. Once the software is downloaded all one needs to do is twist up the bezel, put a battery in and turn it on. The last step is to simply plug in the mini usb cord. Once the light is detected by the software it will turn off and go into programing mode. There a variety of pull down menus and sliders allow you to choose infinite lighting and flashing mode to upload to the light. The modes can also be previewed and displayed on the light while connected.When up to 50 setting are chosen a user needs to hit the download button to save them to the light. The settings can also be saved to the computers hard drive for later retrieval. One nice extra is the ability to load your saved settings on the my torch site for other user to use your settings.


The good

The light offers a lot for a low price, you get full regulation, a hard annodized body and decent output. The ability to program in up to 50 of any setting you want is another plus, along with its ability to use standard and rechargeable AA cells.

The bad 


The my torch comes with no spare O-rings and doesn't include a carry lanyard. The downloadable software is only available to windows users and the only way to program is through a computer. The beam is designed mostly for throw, so as far as doing up close tasks it has a really tight hot spot rather than spill.


Final thoughts


Overall for its features, specs and low price I would definitely recommend this light. The reliability even as I am still using the light is flawless. Unlike some other lights I've used it doesn't mind using alkaline or rechargeable cells and it makes a great gift for a flashlight lover. The my torch AA may not offer an extremely high light output, but is more than enough for basic tasks and possible emergencies. One doesn't need to spend a lot of money to get a really good pocketable light.


To get a my torch AA of your own, please visit amazon.com

1 comment:

  1. Emergency lighting provides the illumination that enables people to see clearly, to avoid obstacles and to be able to move faster and more confidently to the nearest exit and to safety in a crisis.

    Emergency Lights

    ReplyDelete