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Thread: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

  1. #1
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    Default Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I've been keeping an eye on the 12 LED UV flashlight that Lighthound sells on his website, the thing cost less than the Discovery Channel Store's "invisible ink" UV writing kit (UV reactive invisible ink pen and keychain UV LED squeezylight) that i'd been using to create my UVMag Minimag....

    so, while i was placing my order for the BOG 3W Lux SureFire drop-in module, i decided to take a chance on the UV light, i mean, what the heck, for $7, i can't lose....

    so today, the shipment came in, i opened up the shipping box for the UV light, and pulled out a rather nicely finished small aluminum LED light with a cluster of 12 crystal-clear LED's set in a silvered reflector in the head, 3 in the center, and the other 9 in a ring, behind a plastic (lexan?) window, the positive battery contact is a simple solder blob in the middle of the circuit board

    the overall finish is dark silver (pewter) and does not appear to be painted or electroplated, it resisted my "scratch in an unobtrusive area" test, it appears to be the natural color of the bare aluminum, faint machining marks are visible, and add to the appearance of the light, giving it a plain, utilitarian look that i quite like, simple, functional, attractive, the light is about the size and diameter of 1.5 C-cell batteries, it feels nice and solidly built, and actually has a good amount of heft for it's size

    the body and tailcap are checkered for grip and the checkering is on a raised part of the light body, a small hole is drilled thru the side of the tailcap and a simple lanyard is attached, the rear clickie has a textured rubber cap and sits in a nicely beveled cup, the clickie has a nice solid feel and both audible and tactile feedback, the light *will* stand on end for "candle mode", with only *slight* instability caused by the lanyard, removing the lanyard stabilizes the light, now as to why you would *want* to have a UV candle, that's another question for another time...

    both the head and tail of the light are removable, the LED assembly is held in place with a friction ring, since i have neither the tools or desire to dissasemble the head of the light, i'll leave that job for a more *adventuresome* CPF'er who wants to order one of their own lights, the tailcap has a rubber o-ring, but the head has *no* seals of any kind, so using it in inclement weather would not be advisable, keep this one dry, it's not dunkable, splashable, perhaps, but it's not designed to be submerged
    the light is powered by 3 AAA batteries in a holder, the holder is a simple black plastic thingy, and i was quite dissapointed in it, it feels very cheap and delicate, then again, i hate battery carriers so i'm biased, however the only other alternative light was a single AA 8-led model, which was dimmer, and i want *POWER* at all costs, dammit (arr, arr, arr....)

    right now i have 3 alkaline cells in it, there was no literature supplied with the light as to whether it could use other batteries (NIMH or Lithium AAA) i just tried some NIMH's in it, they seem to work, but were a little dimmer than alkalines, i'd like to try Lithiums in it, but i'm checking with John at Lighthound first...

    according to John, NIMH will work, but he hasn't tried Lithium AAA, i'm not going to risk my light, yes it's only $7, but it's a risk i'm not willing to take....at least not when the light is brand new....
    okay, enough of the cosmetic stuff, lets get to the meat of the matter (mmmm.....meat....), how does it *work*?

    the light emits a very bright, but irregularly sized flood of deep purple light, the edges of the spot are a little blotchy and ringy up close, but there are no *voids* in the flood, then again, this is to be expected with any flat-reflector multi-led light, so it's not a flaw, per se, just a fact of the design, i'd hazard a guess that even the Inova X5-UV would have a similar "artifact-y" beam (my white X5 does....)

    the throw is actually pretty darn good for a UV light, it easily has about a 10 foot working distance, maybe a little more, i do notice some heat on my hand when the light is held about 4" from my hand, so it looks to be producing some infrared as well as medium to long-wave UV, i don't have a spectrometer so i can't say the exact frequency of UV produced, however, flourescent construction paper glows extremely brightly under this light, and....*ahem* dried "liquid waste" also glows a rather disgusting yellow, so it's probably emitting in the high 300 to low 400nM range

    it illuminates the security thread in US currency, security threads in checks, and UV inks on credit/debit cards very well, even under normal overhead flourescent lighting, under flourescent room lights, you have to hold the light about 4" above the bill/check/CC/drivers licence to activate the UV-reactive security features, you can get usable images 6-8" above the bills/checks/CC's drivers licence, but the best results are 4" or closer
    i don't have any runtime plots yet, as i have to get fresh batteries for it, but overall, i'm very happy with this little light

    on a scale of 1-5, i'd give it a 4 (loses points for the battery carrier and the lack of o-ring sealing up front)

    Pics and beamshots when i get home and charge up the batteries in the digicam....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I love this light. I also "threw one in", on my Fenix order, and was very impressed by it. It surpassed my expectations in brightness and throw.
    Also, it's alot smaller than the site made me think. Even looking at the sites measurements for it, once you get one in your hand you'll be surprised how small it is.
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    yes, as i guessed, it has about a 10-12 foot throw of "usable* UV with non dark-adapted eyes , once you're around 5-6 feet away from the subject (in this case, flourescent index cards) they flouresce *extremely* well....

    other things in the office that flouresce well....

    the edges of circuit boards (bright green)
    G3 iMac cases, Graphite glows eerie blue, Grape (purple) glows bluish-green, Snow glows electric blue, iBook G3 keyboards also glow electric blue

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I also threw it in with my order of Fenixes along with a bunch of other LED lights. It's surprisingly bright, and lights up security features on bills and other documents amazingly well. Absolutely great purchase for 7 bucks, you can't go wrong. I have not yet seen it light up the "human liquid waste" yet, but I will go and try it out. I should bring it into a public bathroom to see what I find.

    Actually, I wish they made this light with white LEDs as I like the construction and tailcap, something the multiple white LED lights are missing. However, running through AAA batteries would be a pain as I don't have too many NiMH in that format.

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    here are some beamshots and other misc. pics...

    first, the important stuff, beamshots;




    here are some distance pics, the first one with flash to set the scale, distance is about 12 feet away;

    to set up the cropping for the next pic;

    and under UV light;

    next post will be scale pics of the light itself, with a Minimag and Fenix L1 for size comparison

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    and now, the pics of the light itself, Minimag and Fenix L1 used for scale comparisons;





    compared against the Discovery Channel "Invisible Ink" squeezylight, i tried blacking out the front of the bezel to cut down on spill light from the sides;


    and the guts of the light;



    and some pics of anti-counterfitting measures in US currency;



    Last edited by MacTech; 12-28-2005 at 09:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Omega Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Great pictures, if those aren't convincing enough, I don't know what is.

    EDIT: Greg, I see this 9led light at blackrifles.com thanks to another post:
    http://www.blackrifles.com/catalog/i...&products_id=7
    It's not 12 LEDs, but it looks like it could be about the same size. Not sure if that's any help to ya.
    Maybe the Dorcy Super 1W cr123? That's probably the same same size again, but only 1led.
    Last edited by Omega Man; 12-29-2005 at 09:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    (Dialup warning, movies are 8 MB)

    i made a couple of movies of my GITD Hoberman Sphere reacting to the UV light

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I received one of these little UV lights from Lighthound today, a great little thing it is too, especially for $7!

    As for being water proof/resistant, the tailcap thread has the o-ring, and I discovered an o-ring made for a SF G2 fits on the bezel end nicely. It's a tight fit getting the head back on once the o-ring is installed in the groove, but with a bit of Nyogel it screwed down really snugly.

    I was interested to see if the switch boot was waterproof so I took the switch and boot out. I found the boot was not sitting properly in it's groove due to a large metal shaving having been left there. When this was removed the boot seemed to sit nice an firmly in it's groove, and with a bit of Nyogel to help I'd reckon it should be splash proof at least.

    Comparing the light to my SL TT 3C UV this little one gives out a lot more visible light, has a similar throw of UV going by how well things fluoresce at various distances, and significantly more spill/beam width.

    It doesn't appear to have the same range of UV as the TT with it's 2 different frequency LEDs (as expected) as the TT clearly shows up some security features on Australian banknotes that the little one misses. These appear to be "extra" security marks though as the standard UV markings are visible under both lights.

    All in all a really nice little light, excellent value for $7!
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I just ordered one from light hound. But I have a question regarding the UV light waves. I know that you are not supposed to look at them directly and such, but what about just playing around with them in a room? Should I try to limit exposure, or is it perfectly fine. I guess what I am trying to get at is how safe are these?

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    On my SL it says "avoid direct eye exposure", my understanding of this is looking directly at the lit LEDs or a clear reflection of them.

    Someone else may have a more detailed answer.

    Andrew

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    if it makes you see spots.. or dead areas in your vision stop. Dont drive a car like that either.

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    Buttrock Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    A great light for the money.
    It was delivered almost the next day!

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Can you tell me if the UV light can cause minerals found in some rocks to luminesce? I'm interested in one for that purpose.
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I'm no expert carrot but from what I understand you need shorter wavelength UV light to get most minerals to fluoresce. Such lights are quite a bit more expensive than the longer wavelength UV LEDs. There was a thread on that very subject a few weeks ago:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...light=minerals
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I just ordered one...for CPF sakes of course.

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I also made this light a throw in order with my Fenix. A really nice light for 7dollars, but havent found any real use for it. Bodily fluids doesnt seem to show up at all, it just luminates them like a regular light? Should they?
    And could you use UV-light to charge solar cells or use them on your plants (long winters with short days here in sweden, my plants could need some extra light)?

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Ewwww.. You were fluorescing your fluids.. lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo
    Bodily fluids doesnt seem to show up at all,...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg
    Actually, I wish they made this light with white LEDs as I like the construction and tailcap, something the multiple white LED lights are missing. However, running through AAA batteries would be a pain as I don't have too many NiMH in that format.
    It seems your wish has come true.

  20. #20

    Smile Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I already had the AA iNOVA and a multi led 3AAA chinese uv light but I had to get one of these from Lighthound I 've bought a total of 3 from John. it's definitely a great light for it's type and for the money.

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    This light is my first and only uv, so far. Would removing the plastic lense boost its performance? Where can I find a tool to remove the friction ring from the head? Is it called a spanner wrench?

    Dave A
    Don't force it...use a bigger hammer.

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo
    Bodily fluids doesnt seem to show up at all, it just luminates them like a regular light? Should they?
    I bought a 7 LED, single AA light. It's probably similar to the one that MacTech didn't buy. I wanted to use it to find the places where kitty was bad. It seems to work well enough for that purpose, but you really need to go searching at night, when all the lights are out.

    Now that I've found it, how do I get out the kitty whiz?

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    ROTFLMFAO @ "where kitty was bad"!!!

    As to how to remove the cat pee, look in any large grocery store for "pet stain & odour remover" first in the pet food aisle, next in the aisle with things like laundry soap and bleach in it, and finally in the general household cleaning products aisle.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I got my Lighthound UV light today! I have never had a UV light before but this thing is FUN! I played with it most of the day. Lighthound also put in a free keychain LED light (http://www.lighthound.com/sales/keyc...lashlights.htm) and I thought that it was a very kind thing to do. Its really bright (ID objects at 100') so I went back and bought seven more. Thanks Lighthound!

    Does anyone know the exact wavelength output on this thing? I'm guessing 390-400nm.
    Last edited by ericg533; 07-20-2006 at 10:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ty_Bower
    I bought a 7 LED, single AA light. It's probably similar to the one that MacTech didn't buy. I wanted to use it to find the places where kitty was bad. It seems to work well enough for that purpose, but you really need to go searching at night, when all the lights are out.

    Now that I've found it, how do I get out the kitty whiz?
    urinegone is available at your local grocer.. and a $1 version at my dollar store... i love that place.

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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Bought one of these based on MacTech's review. Short version: this is a really great light (for UV) and a great value. Found another use: test the UV protection claims of your sunglasses. Some shades do, and some don't - it's very easy to see which with this light. (Caution: test by shining through the lens at a surface that will flouresce, don't test by looking at the light wearing the glasses.) Another great Lighthound product.
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Just to add a few more flourescing item images to this thread, here's some antique Depression Glass and Vaseline Glass items

    the glow is caused by the addition of 1-2% of Uranium Dioxide to the molten glass, so yes, these items are radioactive, very faintly, you get more radiation from a computer monitor/TV, granite rocks, or just walking around in the sun outside, i wouldn't use them for food preparation/presentation/storage, just in case the glass leached Uranium Dioxide into the food items, but using them as a display piece is absolutely fine

    first up, the cookie jar (pardon the dusty lid)

    under normal lighting;

    Under UV;



    And Now, the cakedish....

    normal room lighting;



    and under UV illumination;




    the two Vaseline Glass items together;

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    Quote Originally Posted by dca2
    This light is my first and only uv, so far. Would removing the plastic lense boost its performance? Where can I find a tool to remove the friction ring from the head? Is it called a spanner wrench?

    Dave A

    just use a small pair of needle nose pliers,
    put the tips in the little holes then turn left.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    I decided to pull the head apart to remove the plastic window which has been getting increasingly battle-scarred

    I can confirm a couple of things now....

    First; the LEDs are, as expected simply direct-drive, there are no electronics or circuitry of any kind on the board, it's LED's, a circuit board, and solder

    Second; the plastic window *DOES* reduce output by a small, but noticeable amount, the flourescent index cards seen in the original group of pictures are about 5% brighter when the window is removed, my Vaseline Glass collection flouresces *much* brighter when hit with UV from the light now (5-10% brighter)

    IMHO the window adds minimal protection for the LED's, 5MM LED's are notoriously rugged, there's no real downside to pulling the window off, it adds no water resistance, there's no o-ring sealing the window, and this light isn't even "splashable"

    besides, if something *does* happen to it, no biggie, it's only $7, easily replaced

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Lighthound 3AAA 12 LED UV flashlight review

    took you advice and removed the lens, also added one of Greenled's glowing o-rings. looks funky!

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