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ElektroLumens / Tri-Star 3W x 3 (3cell-D) (This page is translated by nekomane)
Type Self built light by ElektroLumens
Weight 909g (actual measurement including batteries)
Light Source LuxeonIII(3W type)-Lambertian x 3
Direct Drive
Power Source 3 x D batteries
Water Resistance
Switch Push switch. Because the light is activated after click, cannot be used for intermittent use when light is turned OFF. On the other hand, when turned ON, you can half press to turn OFF.
Other Fraen Tri-Lens

The surface has a hair-line like finish

Balance is bad due to length, but can be placed upright.

LED unit is easily removable

Fraen Tri-lens

The unit piece with 3 x LuxeonIII. I wish the soldering was a bit more careful..

The contacts look a bit weak but if the brightness is not steady, you could try cleaning them
Distance from light to target 40cm Dimage Z1 ISO100 reduced to 640x480 1/50 f4.0 contrast low focus 1m White balance AUTO

Difficult to see from photo, but though there is unevenness from the light seeping from the Tri-lens joints, no real problem for practical use.
Dimage Z1 ISO200 reduced to 640x480 1/6 f2.8 contrast low focus ∞ white balance AUTO

January 22 2004

This is a light mounted with 3 Luxeon IIIs, which has a strong visual impact, too.
What is special about this light is that though it uses 3 emitters, it has a well focused beam. In the past I have made a MOD light using 3 x 1W type Luxeons, but I remember that putting in 'naked' Luxeons difused the beam too much, and fitting a collimator(NX-01 or NX05) for each LED was difficult and tricky to focus. The Tri-Star has 3 collimators (6 degree Fraen) fitted into a single purpose-built casing which achieves a clean focused beam. Although there is a distinctive unevenness in the surrounding area, the center is bright without much unevenness and most people should be content with it.

As expected, the brightness is awesome. Of course there is an obvious difference from lights using a single LuxeonV-Portable like the L4 or SuperFlashlight, but it even out performs filament type lights using 2 x CR123As and can be used for illuminating objects at a far distance. 3 x D batteries are used to direct drive the power source. A simple calculation will indicate that 3 alkalines will be 4.5V and will nearly reach the top limit for the Luxeon III, but because the voltage drop in alkalines is drastic when a large current is used, it seems not to reach that maximum limit. There were some tests conducted on CPF using ni-mh batteries which are less prone to voltage drop, and x 4 batteries running it at an even higher current, but as there is quite an amount of heat produced with a large current, it is not really recommended for the sake of the LED bulb life.

Understandably, because of the high output and direct drive, when used with alkaline batteries the initial brightness will decrease a notch rather quickly and then gradually start to fade. The runtime with this type of light will vary significantly by the way it is used. This is because there may be applications where the light is sufficient until half of the initial brightness continues, and others where a fifth would be acceptable. For this reason this may not be useful for specific applications, but you won't have to worry about a sudden brightness drop like you would see in regulated converters such as the Badboy.

The size is about the same as a MAG-LITE 3Cell-D. It is quite heavy and is not easy to carry around, but thanks to the distinctive rippled form, it feels rather comfortable in your hand and is nice. I do feel skeptical about the thin grooves or, what shall I call it, the lines in the finish probably meant to prevent it from slipping. Maybe because the lines are too narrow and shallow, the resistance between your hand and the light decreases and makes it feel more likely to slip. I felt that way especially when I held them in my bare hands. (This part really depends on your preference, so please don't take it literally).

Personal preference varies, but because you must release the switch after you click it to activate (ordinary lights turn on when you just press the switch, but this light is opposite in that it turns on when you release it), though it could prevent mistaken activation, many people may find it uncomfortable. I'm one of them and several times thought 'Wha?? I switched it on but it doesn't work. Out of batteries ??' Also, the switch is rather stiff and your finger might get tired when you need to repeatedly turn it on and off.

I have some reservations regarding the shape and operation, but that is trivial compared to the superb brightness you get from this light. At the moment, it boasts the highest initial brightness among all the LED lights I have.

Note: The light shown here is a self made light by an individual. There are basically no guarantees against any trouble or malfunction.

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