Prometheus Lights Alpha Custom (6500K MCE) Review

the0dore3524

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Don't know if the reviews section of CPF is still active or what, but hopefully this sub-forum is appropriate. For the best viewing experience, please consider reading from my site.

I've been aware of Jason's (the owner of Prometheus/Dark Sucks) products for some time, but the high buy-in price has put me off to them for the most part. Despite this, I do have an appreciation for his Alpha flashlights. They are of the few single-emitter flashlights available in the custom flashlight world, a market completely oversaturated by the triple-emitter rage. Ironically enough, Jason has just released his own triple-emitter flashlight called the Delta.

When I saw a like-new Alpha Custom show up on the secondary market at a price that I just couldn't pass up, I went for it. I paid $120 shipped. There are several iterations of the Alpha flashlight available on Jason's site but the one I have in particulargoes for $335. My sample has the 6500K MCE. Not my preferred emitter of choice but I can't complain.

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Here is a picture of my Alpha Custom. It arrived in excellent, like-new condition, and the previous owner told me it was only used once. One of the first things that stuck out to me was the sheer size of the flashlight. The Alpha takes an 18650 battery and is quite large relative to many other 18650 flashlights on the market.

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As you can see, the Alpha Custom positively dwarfs the Oveready BOSS 70. I scarcely ever use the Oveready BOSS with the 70 tube and much prefer the smaller 35 tube for everyday carry. It stands to reason that the Alpha Custom will probably not be seeing much pocket time. I do think, however, that it will make an excellent camping or evening walk flashlight.

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Despite being a clunker of a flashlight, the build quality on the Alpha is very good. You can tell that a lot of work went into the machining. Just take a look at all those subtle lines! The Prometheus logo is a nice touch that doesn't detract at all from the flashlight. Jason definitely has his aesthetics down, and knows how to make something that appeals to the eye.

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Unlike on the Prometheus Writes Alpha pen, I do think that the ribs are quite useful. Bare aluminum can be sort of slippery, and they aid in gripping the flashlight.


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Jason makes some of the best clips out there. Sure, they're not as cool as say the Steel Flame clips, but on a functional basis I love them. I can't help but feel that the clip is sort of wasted on this flashlight though. I don't see myself using the clip when the flashlight will barely fit into my jean's pocket, there's a good chance the clip will be removed.
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Here's a look at the tail cap mechanism. The tail cap screws into the body of the flashlight. It's a standard McClicky, you can also see how the clip is retained.
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Lots and lots of threading at the head of the flashlight. According to the Dark Suck's site, they are Class II threads. The head screws on very solidly. Something else that I want to point out are the blue o-rings. This is directly from the product page:
"Alpha Custom lights ship with blue Mil-Spec fluorosilicone o-rings that are 10x the cost of standard black Nitrile o-rings. Fluorosilicone is petroleum resistant and specified for use on aircraft fuel lines. Unlike Nitrile, fluorosilicone has an "unlimited" shelf life which means they should not dry out and crack over time. The body and head use AS size #019 and the tailcap uses #017."​
Okay, I'm not sure exactly what that all means, but it sounds cool and I can tell that they're higher-grade. I like that the blue o-rings accentuate the blue tail cap – these things matter, and it's nice to see a maker who cares!

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The Alpha Custom (and all iterations of the Alpha since a few years ago) use the Icarus driver. The Icarus is essentially an H17f in terms of programming, and they both use the same firmware. It seems to be of higher quality than the H17f although I'm not sure if the significant mark-up is worth purchasing it. I know that Devin of Sigma Customs has used this driver in a few of his builds. One difference I noted between the two is that the Icarus' double-tap, quick-access mode doesn't seem to have memory.
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My particular sample is running a 6500K MCE emitter. I really wish it had a warmer emitter, and would probably swap it if I had the confidence in my skills. The beam is surprisingly floody for a single emitter, and there's a few rings near the edge of the beam similar to my McGizmo Haiku. I'd definitely be more fond of the beam if it was a warmer color temperature.

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I think I've pretty much covered every part of this flashlight. In essence, it's great in pretty much every aspect save for the price and size. Something else that does have to be accounted for, however, is the warranty and customer service that accompanies the product. Prometheus/Dark Sucks has very good customer support from what I've seen. Jason seems to be on-top of things and is quite straightforward. Prime example in case: Although it did seem like he tried to downplay it somewhat, he took accountability when the Foursevens Preon MK. III had an issue with the driver.

And because impressions matter, I think that his site's layout is also exemplary. The site is simple, clean, and makes it easy to find things. It's all too common for a maker to make a great product, but a not-so-great shopping experience. While the Dark Sucks site's product descriptions do tend to somewhat play up what goes into the products, that's called marketing. And at least the product information isn't full of BS like with Muyshondt's site. Yeah, the Muyshondt site is cleaner but it also feels pretentious and cold.

Overall, don't mistake this flashlight for what it is. First off, it's a mammoth of an 18650-based flashlight and is not ideal for most people to everyday carry. You can opt to buy a smaller, 18350-tube (which I might just do) but it's not going to work unless you already have the normal, 18650-version. Secondly, the Alpha Custom flashlight is a premium product and comes with a premium price accordingly. So unless you must have it come directly from the man himself, I do recommend surfing the secondary market. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with this flashlight even though I do think it's lacking in some aspects. If you made it all the way to the end of this review, thanks for sticking with me and reading!
 
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INFRNL

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Thanks for the right up. I think you did a great job :thumbsup:

It appears to be of similar size to a Malkoff MD2 going off the pic in your hand, but i could be mistaken

Apparently if you really hate the led, you can send it in and get it swapped for $75 and your model is eligible for lifetime updates which may or may not cost anything but shipping (depends on the upgrade)
 
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nfetterly

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I was a relatively early adopter from Jason and yes the lights are big, but the machining & attention to detail are superb (pretty much as you noted). The Leidl (spelling?) reflector does a really nice job with the multi die MCE which is floody by nature. I've got the 4500K version myself. You got a killer deal on yours! Thanks for the review.
 

sygyzy

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Thanks for the great review and photos. Just one question: in the shot of the driver, am I looking at it behind some sort of glass/plastic display window?
 

nbp

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Very nice. Your thoughts pretty much echoed my feelings on the Alpha when I had it some years ago. If you would like this moved to the Reviews section I can do that, or it can be left here, whatever you like. :)
 

the0dore3524

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Very nice. Your thoughts pretty much echoed my feelings on the Alpha when I had it some years ago. If you would like this moved to the Reviews section I can do that, or it can be left here, whatever you like. :)

Moving it to the Reviews section would be great!

Thanks for the kind words all, it makes it worth doing these reviews.
 

the0dore3524

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not to come off as rude... but do you have small-ish hands?

You know what, I don't know! I'd say my hands are on the smaller side, but people on Reddit have also said my hands look pretty big when I posted a pic w/ my EDC Watch (G-Shock Rangeman). I do tend to prefer smaller flashlights (ie. BOSS 35 over BOSS 70). Generally, I wear size medium gloves if that's more helpful.

And no offense taken, btw. It's a very important consideration that should be taken into account especially with a flashlight this size.
 
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hatman

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Thanks for the photos and observations. I've been interested in this light for some time but there has been relatively little independent information available.
 

tech25

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Thanks for the photos and observations. I've been interested in this light for some time but there has been relatively little independent information available.

There was a pass around done a while back, check the sub forum for some thoughts and pics from the participants.
 

Toons

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Thanks for the review! I just became "aware" of the Icarus driver. Does anyone know if it uses pwm? Thanks! 😊
 

Toons

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Thanks Arc! You're good!! 👍 👍
That link is well worth reading! 👀
 
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