Infinity - Infinity Ultra - Run Time Test

Yukon_Jack

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
299
Location
Alaska
I have become extremely fond of the 1AA Infinity LED flashlights. Carry one everyday. I also believe they are an excellent choice for emergency/survival packs.

Contrary to some, I have found the Original Infinity lights bright enough to walk around and perform general tasks and in some cases, I prefer the dimmer light. Therefore, depending on the run time advantages, I have been considering the original infinity as an "addition" to the Ultra in kits because I am going to have at least one spare battery anyway and an additional light source.

Most interesting to me has been the idea that some of the colored LED will have a longer run time than the white. I chose red and yellow LEDs because I found them both to produce adequate light for normal walking and tasks.

So at 7:30 a.m. Alaska time January 28, 2005, I loaded each light with a brand new coppertop expiration dated 3-2011, and turned on 1- Infinity Ultra White LED, 1 - Original Infinity White LED, 1 - Original Infinity Red LED, and 1 - Original Infinity Yellow LED. *I wish I had an Ultra in red to add to this test, but sadly don't at this time.

I do not have any equipment to test light output, but I do have two of all the lights that are currently running. In order to help me determine how much dimmer the lights become I have a fresh light to compare. I will complete the test until all the lights have completely extinguished. I will also advise when the lights become unusable in my opinion based on being able to read a page in darkness and being able to navigate in a totally dark house.

My first significant review comes at 9:00 p.m. which means the lights have been burning for 13 1/2 hours. Here are the results so far.

13 1/2 hour results: The Infinity Ultra White LED is almost exactly 1/2 original brightness when compared to a fresh Ultra. Comparing the running Ultra in white against the running Original in white, the Original White is just a tad bit brighter, enough that I can tell. In other words, at 13 1/2 hours into the test, the Original Infinity in White LED is slightly brighter than the Ultra in White LED. At 13 1/2 hours the Oringal has taken the lead in brightness.

As far as the Original Infinities in White, Red, and Yellow, it is impossible for me to tell a difference between their light output and my duplicate fresh lights. In other words, I can not tell any diminishing of light at 13 1/2 hours with any of the Original Infinities.

I'm sure my experiment will reveal nothing new to old time CPF members, but hopefully the information will be of some interest to newer members. In my case, I am primarily interested to see if the red and/or yellow Original Infinities will have significantly longer useful run time than the Original White LED.

Will keep folks posted.
 

4sevens

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
2,876
Location
Atlanta, GA
i had an Ultra G lying around (government issue from countycomm)
I stuck a drained AA from my mouse (1.2v) and it's been running
for the past 48 hours... still one
 

SilverFox

Flashaholic
Joined
Jan 19, 2003
Messages
12,449
Location
Bellingham WA
Hello Yukon Jack,

Just so you know, Duracell AA batteries come in a couple of different versions. The Ultra's seem to give about 20% more run time (at low current drains) than the Copper Top's.

Since Duracell batteries are often referred to as "Copper Top's" I am not sure which batteries you are using.

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I'll check back in a week or two to see how this comes out... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Tom
 

paulr

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,832
I think the red Ultra is the same as the red Infinity, they just renamed it.
 

StuU

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
647
Location
Virginia
These older Infinities are very good for survival kit use. I have an original white Infinity that I bought 4 years ago and it is still on it's original battery. That's on intermittent usage.

Also, you can improve the brightness on these lights by installing lithium AA and(optionally) polishing the reflector surface. The light is definitely improved a lot by using the lithium batt and probably a bit more by reflector polishing. No problems with lithium AAs in the standard Infinity as it's led is underdriven to start with. Lithiums in the Ultra will just overdrive a bit more.

I have never had any reliability issues with any Infinity. Also have other led colors- red and cyan.
 

Yukon_Jack

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
299
Location
Alaska
Runtime Test UPDATE
10:30 a.m. Saturday - January 29, 2005

Silverfox - I'm using Duracell, Pile Alcaline, MN1500, LR6. The top 1/3 on the positive end is copper colored, the rest is black. I call these coppertops.

All lights have been running for 27 hours now.

The running Ultra white is about 25 percent as bright as a fresh Ultra white. Very noticable difference. Still plenty of light to read/navigate no problems

The running Original white seems to be about 70 percent as bright as a fresh Original white. Surprisingly little difference.

The running Ultra white is now more noticably dimmer than the running Original white, probably about 75-80 percent as bright.

Both the Original red and yellow appear to be dimming at approximately the same rate as the Orginal white, which is to say about 1/3 less light at this point.

Some preliminary conclusions:

Starting off this test, the Ultra white was just about twice the brightness as the Original White. After 13 hours the running, the Ultra white had lost a little more than 1/2 its brightness and was just about equal to the running Orginal white. However, after another 14 hours (27 in total), the difference between the running Ultra and Oringal seems to be tapering off. Still, I assure you that if I needed to grab one of these lights at anytime after 13 hours, it would be the Original. Nothing new here, its simply a trade off for light/runtime. What will be interesting is whether or not the difference between the two will diminish as times goes on.

Although the Original red and yellow have approximately diminished at about the same rate as the Original white, the difference is more noticable, primarily because the red and yellow put out less usable light to start with. If I had to grab one of the running Originals at this time, it would be the white. I am very very interested to see if the Original red and yellow will ultimately produce usable light longer than the Oringal white. I'm beginning to have my doubts /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Sorry if the math doesn't work on on the percentages I'm trying to place on the light outputs. I can assure you I am coming to appreciate more and more the problems with this arbitrary testing and appreciate even more the hard work many CPF folks have put into their tests. Pictures would make a world of difference and I will have to learn to us a digital for internet stuff.

More to come.
 

Yukon_Jack

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
299
Location
Alaska
UPDATE: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005.

Lights have been running 36 hours now.

Two significant things to report.

1) The running Ultra in white LED is now the same brightness as the running Original in white LED.

2) The running Original in Yellow LED is no longer functional for manuvering/walking. Close up reading its great, close tasks possible, manuvering in the dark it is no longer practical. Running Original red is still suitable for manuvering; however, both the Ultra and Original in white are now far superior for manuvering.

More to come.
 

greenlight

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
4,298
Location
chill valley
I know that it must be hard to quantify such a small and diminishing amount of light. One way is to shine at a reflector. This doubles the throw distance. You can set up a series to determine how far the light throws, maybe 1 small reflector every 5 feet. This wouldn't give you measureable readings, but might help you better determine which light is giving off more photons.
 

paulr

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,832
I go in my completely dark walk-in closet and wait a few minutes to get dark adapted. I then point the light at the ceiling and see how much detail I can make out, looking at the junk in the closet under the indirect light.
 

Yukon_Jack

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
299
Location
Alaska
UPDATE: 5:00 p.m. - Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005

Light have been running 57.5 hours now.

Corrected Finding: - The running Original Yellow LED was not making proper contact last report. A quick contact cleaning and the light was much much brighter again.

The running Ultra in white LED is now about 90 percent as bright as the running Oringinal in white LED. Both are still adequate for manuvering/walking.

The running Oringal in Yellow LED is adequate for walking and general tasks. Still excellent for reading. The running Original in Red is still marginally adequate for manuvering/walking/reading. The Yellow now surpasses the red for total light output. My test is now flawed in that I can only assume that the Yellow was drawing less juice during the period it was not making good contact. Sorry.

All lights are considerably dimmer than fresh comparables. It has become difficult to assign percentages. Needless to say, since the running Ultra in white and the running Original in white are very close to the same brightness, the Ultra has dimminished a lot more from beginning brightness.

Preliminary Conclusion: Depending on final run times, the Ultra is beginning to look pretty good. It provides twice the light as the Original for many hours (probably the most likely real life use senario). Even though its brightness drops considerably after 12 or so hours, it has stayed up pretty close with the Oringal thereafter. At this point, if I knew I didn't need light longer than 57 1/2 hours, I would prefer to have the Ultra simply because it gave considerably more light for the first dozen hours. However, only time will tell just how much longer the Original will produce usable light - which would be a serious consideration if one were lost in a cave or such.

The Oringal in yellow has again peaked my interest in seeing just how long this little feller will produce a usable light.

As an aside, I'd like to explain that I have been wearing these four running lights around my neck, under a flannel shirt, for the entire test except when sleeping. I've been busy shopping at all the local stores for flashlight goodies all weekend. The lights produce a noticable assortment of light through my shirt, particulary at night. On many occasions I have been stopped by total strangers and advised that something was lite up under my shirt (not counting the stares:). When I had breakfast this morning with friends, they were concerned with my mental health. Oh my, what we do /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Will keep you informed.
 

Yukon_Jack

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
299
Location
Alaska
Just read some of your folks comments and will add the following.

I have been performing three tests, consistantly each testing period. The first is to take all four lights into a 100% dark large walk in closet. Just as Paulr mentioned, I shine each light (over and over and over again) alternately in the farthest ceiling corner. This gives me a very good idea of general ilumination, particulary hot spot. I then do this same aim point and look to see what cloths hanging on the racks that I can make out.

I then take a walk from the third story to the first story of the house going down three flights of stairs. When I get to the bottom level, I go into my shop and open a drawer full of nuts and bolts. This give me a great idea of manuvering/task ability.

I then take each light into the totally dark bathroom and read a magizine while sitting.

something I haven't mentioned before is that the Yellow LED light has a much tighter beam pattern than any of the other three. It focuses it usable light more into a spot. Therefore, from the beginning, it has given more of a spot and less spill. However, as the lights have diminished, this more focused spot has become its advantage. Now mind you, the white LEDs have always, and continue thus far to light up things better than the yellow. Only time will tell what the story will be as the test goes on.

I'll also add that the Ultra I'm using is an Ultra-G. The Original White is of the style that also loads its battery with the positive end pointing towards the LED head. The Red and Yellow lights are of the very very old style that has the battery loaded positive down and the negative pointing towards the LED head. This configuration means that the red/yellow leds have a different type of contact point on the "head". It looks like a little square piece of silver colored metal that has a little flex to it to help make contact.

The Ultra-G and I believe all Ultra have a gold colored positive contact point at the head. The two Oringal white LEDs that I have, have a silver positive contact point. Same design as the Ultra, but not the gold contact.

Just in case anyone is interested, I "do not" like the upside down battery position, and particulary the little metal springy metal contact point on the red and yellow Oringals. As pointed out above, this type of configuration was obviously the culprit causing a dimnest early with the Yellow. I do not like the look, feel, or function of this upside down battery configuration. Still, it may work forever that way and my yellow may have just been old and needed cleaning.

I think the Ultra with its gold colored contact point is a superior design.

Also - last comment I promise, all my Infinities are of the old design that turn on and off with the head. I don't own an infinity that has a tail cap that screws off.
 

Moat

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
389
Location
Mid Mitten
Yukon Jack - have you turned these on and off periodically during the runtime test? As I understand it, some boost circuits require a certain minimum cell voltage to start - below which they will run fine, but not re-start.

Great test of a great little family of cell squeezers! Thanks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif
 

Yukon_Jack

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
299
Location
Alaska
UPDATE: 9 P.M., Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005

Lights have been running for 61.5 hours now. Only one important result to report. After a lot of testing over and over again, making sure my eyes were adjusted to the dark, I deem the Original Red LED as not adequate for walking/manuvering. It is a tough call because under certain circumstances it functions OK, such as looking for the toilet. With a reflective background, it certainly gives you something to aim at. If you were in the woods, it would not be adequate to walk, particulary if it wasn't totally dark. I can still pretty easily perform close up tasks and read with the red led. To be fair, I'm sure others would have deemed the red as inadequate for walking sooner - but I'm talking survival walking, not enjoyable or easy walking.

The Ultra white and Original white and Original Yellow haven't changed appreciably since the last test.

I will continue to monitor and report on the Original red's performance; however, for my purposes this light is now out of the running for a survival light in and of itself. It may make a good backup light (spare battery carrier) if one has a need for retaining night vision, but a small key chain coin light in red would suffice for the occasional night vision issue for me. Both white led lights are producing significantly more usable light than the red or yellow, although the Yellow still passes the manuvering test.

Then again - who knows, maybe the red led will end up retaining its ability to at least read by longer than the rest. I'll keep you posted.

In answer to Moat's question about turning them on and off - I have purposely not turned them on/off except for the one time I cleaned the contact on the Original Yellow. I do not intent to test on/off during this particular test. I totally understand and appreciate the concept, but if I were to turn one off and it wouldn't restart, my original goal to see how long they would burn would be out the door.

The lights are going to work with me in the morning, but not around my neck:)


No, I have purposely left them running coninuously. The only exception was when I took the head off the running Original yellow LED to clean the contact on the head as previously mentioned.

Considering what you have mentioned, I am tempted to give them all a turn off/on test; however, "if" one or more of them fails to turn back on it may mess up my intention to see just how long they will burn. Therefore, for this particular test I will not turn them on/off.

Shoot - as I'm typing this they are all still blazing around my neck. WHAT WILL I DO TOMORROW MORNING WHEN I HAVE TO PUT ON A COAT AND TIE FOR WORK? Well, actually my intention is to set them all facing me on my desk. Since I'm a full time desk jokey, I'll be able to monitor them pretty much constantly.

BTW, I'm very
 

paulr

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,832
Yukon Jack, you might like my review of the Peak 1AAA over on the reviews thread. Damn thing ran for over 100 hours and never totally went dead. It was still able to turn on and off all the way to the end.

If you want a long-running yellow or red light, try a coin cell light with a CR2032.

Finally if you want the ultimate in runtime, TrevorNasko was selling a Betalight on BST a few days ago for $70. It might still be there.
 

Latest posts

Top