5mm LED and 3.6v Li-ion

chillinn

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
2,527
Location
Mobjack Bay
Hello and greetings, welcome to my first post.

I have searched through the forums and I can't find the information I seek.

I have just begun a small flashlight collection (single AA/14500/AAA/10440). I wanted a number of lights to meet my needs, for brightness and capacity, and the purchase of 2 Maratac's has covered my needs for both, for white light, spectacularly.

I have 2 other flashlights, and these 2 are the reason for my post today.
One is a Gerber Infinity Ultra Task Light with a red LED emitter ( http://tinyurl.com/jwfkg6u ) (I can't find much information about this light, have written to Gerber and received no response), and the other is an Arc AAA UV 375nm Ultraviolet ( http://www.arcflashlight.com/arc-aaa-uv.shtml ) with a Nichia NSPU510CS LED emitter.

I am surprised to find the Gerber one of my most used lights. My understanding is it is the consumer version of the model developed for military night operations (and Gerber sold a replacement IR backcap for the 'M' version). Whatever it was developed for, it is ideal for theater work, stage management, audio design, backstage, catwalk, whatnot, where you need to get around a treacherous environment unnoticed in pitch black without disturbing audience or artist. The battery lifetime claims are not exaggerated, depending on what you put in there. With AA it will burn for 60-100 hours. By all claims, the light is indestructible. The brightness of the light I think is an exaggeration at 9 lumens, but I have only seen one advertisement make this claim. One recurring criticism is that the light is too dim for outdoor nighttime trailblazing-- TRUE: it is not the light for riding your mountain bike at full speed through wooded trails on a moonless night... however, it is fine for walking, not running, in pitch black, or use as an all night lantern when stationary or tented. It is considerably brighter and lasts longer with Energizer 1.7 Lithium disposable batteries as opposed to Duracell Alkaline or NiMH, but the latter still give 60 hours of burn, incredibly (estimated... no actual tests here, but I've accidentally left it on for days at a time).

I wish there was version in AAA, but admittedly I'm happy with it the way it is. Regardless, I want to see how bright it is with Lithium ion 3.6. Would this fry the LED? Is there any recommendation of a happy medium of overdriving the LED with Li-ion cells that are not fully charged? Any information about this light is appreciated.


The Arc AAA UV does not get as good a review. I am familiar with the history of Arc, and I am a minor fan of the company and founder. I've read stellar review after stellar review of the Arc AAA. Everyone loves the knurling. I don't know how to work a lathe, so I don't know how difficult it is to knurl, but I am satisfied with the Arc knurling as well. The original Arc apparently sold Arc AAA in many LED colors, and it makes me sad to learn that the new Arc does not (I would love an Arc AAA with a red light like the Gerber). For its intended purpose (checking money, bar stamps, etc.), the Arc AAA UV outperforms single UV LED competitors. It is a brighter light and it lasts longer. My biggest complaint with the Arc AAA (UV or otherwise), and by proxy candlepower forums' members who love the light, rave about it, and never noticed this problem, is that it destroys batteries by puncturing the cell's negative pole. It does this because it does not have a spring, but a tiny sharp cone at the end of the case to make its contact. So there is a love/hate relationship happening... I love that it is tiny and indestructible, I hate that it has damaged 4 expensive batteries before I realized that it tended to do this. I have little doubt that many exploded batteries have been blamed and cursed for destroying many an Arc AAA, when, in fact, it was the Arc AAA that committed suicide by compromising the negative post of a usually safe battery.

If any would like to confirm my criticism of the Arc AAA, re: damaging batteries, that is appreciated. Any suggestions on "repairing" or "upgrading" the Arc AAA to no longer damage batteries is appreciated. But I'd love to hear from anyone that was brave enough to drive their Arc AAA with a Li-ion 3.6v and lived to tell about it. Mine is the UV model, and if I could double its light output in brief instances without damaging the Arc driver or Nichia LED, that would be great. If not, then assuming a voided warranty, is there an Arc AAA site somewhere that details how to replace the LED (as Arc in their infinite wisdom apparently designed the light not to be serviceable, legends of modifications notwithstanding). And what if using 3.6v batteries charged to some lower level? Any safer?

As an audio engineer, I am embarrassed about how little I know about electricity. I can solder, but I can't read a schematic. And even though I am proud to have received an 'A' in 1st semester physics in college, a rare occurrence, unfortunately, electricity and Maxwell's equations are covered in 2nd semester... which by oversight I failed to register. Suggestions on how to acquire knowledge about electricity basics without costing technical school tuitions appreciated! (I know Stanford Univ. has their entire electrical engineering curriculum online on video, I'd really like to find something a bit less comprehensive, rather than 4 years, how about something I could complete in 4 weeks ?).
 

jabe1

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
3,068
Location
Cleveland,Oh
Welcome to CPF!

As far As I know, the boost circuit used to convert the battery voltage to useable levels in the Arc will burn up with higher voltage, as would the Gerber. I have never heard of an Arc actually puncturing the neg side of a battery, and your battery case may be machined incorrectly. A bit of sandpaper glued to the end of a pencil could take care of it.

LEDs are reliant on current for brightness, not just voltage. The beginners guide to simple LED... Is a good primer. It is a sticky at the top of this forum.

As an aside; there is a for sale thread in CPF marketplace with multiple colored LED Arcs for sale, including a red LED model. You will have to register separately for that forum. Happy hunting!
 
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chillinn

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
2,527
Location
Mobjack Bay
Welcome to CPF!

As far Asa ia know, the boost circuit used to convert the battery voltage to useable levels in the Arc will burn up with higher voltage, as would the Gerber.

Thanks, and thanks for the quick reply.

I figured something like that or the LED frying would be the result, but I am still hoping to hear from someone that actually experienced the destruction of their Arc or Gerber from higher voltages.

I have never heard of an Arc actually puncturing the neg side of a battery,

The punctures on the 4 rechargeable cells are not entirely through the outer casing, but I imagine after enough use, eventually, the casing would puncture.

and your battery case may be machined incorrectly.
I thought about that too, but I believe it is possible that the design is flawed and no one really noticed what Arc was doing to the negative terminals of their batteries before. I hope to bring it to the attention of Arc users who can confirm my observation by examining the batteries they use and comparing them to identical batteries that have never been used in their Arc.

A bit of sandpaper glued to the end of a pencil could take care of it.

THIS IS THE KIND OF INSIGHT AND WISDOM I WAS AFTER-- great idea, and thank you!

LEDs are reliant on current for brightness, not just voltage. The beginners guide to simple LED... Is a good primer. It is a sticky at the top of this forum.

checking that out...

As an aside; there is a for sale thread in CPF marketplace with multiple colored LED Arcs for sale, including a red LED model. You will have to register separately for that forum. Happy hunting!

NICE!! THANK YOU!!! :)
 

nbp

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
10,969
Location
Wisconsin
Welcome. :welcome:

Arcs do indeed dent batteries. There is a reason they, along with other similar lights, have long been referred to as "battery crushers". I seem to recall my Gerber Infinity Ultra doing this as well as my Arc AAAs and even my McGizmo Sapphire. It is not at all uncommon. As to actually puncturing a cell, I've never heard of it happening and I suspect that the length of the threads on the head along with the foam donut are designed to prevent so much pressure that a cell would be fatally damaged. Many members have put these lights through extensive use and I don't recall ever hearing of a puncture. I think you're safe.
 
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