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When I heard about AIT's last release, the NightStar CS model, I was very impressed to say the least. After I got my hands on one, I was more than impressed. They took a great product and shrunk it down in size to make it fit in places that the larger NightStar did not go.
Well, just when I think a good thing can't get better, the folks at AIT proved me wrong. The latest change to the NightStar flashlight is their StarCore LED Technology. They aren't saying just how they did it, but it is obvious they beefed up that ol' LED. I'm thinking they hooked it up with a hemi or maybe even a supercharger. I'm not sure, but it is noticeably brighter than the previous model. I was also comparing the stats between this model and the first one I got.....seems that you can submerge this one down to 2200 feet. I'm thinking that is probably far enough for most folks. My diving pool is fairly deep, but not quite that deep!
I'll admit that I am not a test lab with sophisticated equipment that can measure lumens (light intensity) but I can say that I can see the difference between the two NightStars. In the above picture, the StarCore equipped unit is on the right. I charged both units for about 45 seconds and then shined them on the computer room wall. I turned off the flash on my digital camera and snapped a picture of the reflection of the lights. The folks at AIT say the new model is 2.5 times brighter than the old LED. I can't tell you it is or isn't 2.5 times brighter, but I can sure tell the difference in a dark room with both of them in hand. This model is pushing into the arena previously reserved for the regular incandescent bulb flashlights.
Next, I tried a much more scientific approach to determining which was brighter. Again, with both unit fully charged, I stared directly into each light for several seconds. Yep, I had to squint more or risk the chance of going blind when I looked into the StarCore model. (OK....so I probably wouldn't have gone blind but it was still brighter.) Kids, do not try this at home....take my word for it! (so you don't get yelled at by your parents)
My last test involved turning the lights off in the house and comparing the light beams in a real world situation....shining them down the hall way, lighting up the living room, looking for the dog's tennis ball under the master bed, you know, the kind of stuff you really do use a flashlight for. There is no doubt that the new model performed better. It was brighter by a pretty fair amount.
I wanted to comment on one more thing which has nothing to do with how bright the LED is but rather speaks to the quality of the flashlight itself. The first NightStar I had was relegated to Jeep duty, on the floor by the driver's seat, for about a year. After that, it was elevated (literally) to the roll bar where it has stayed in its cool holster. As I was checking out the new light, I compared its lens to the first model that has been bouncing around in my Jeep. I could not tell the difference between the two lenses. The lens on my older model looked as scratch free as the new StarCore model. I'm not claiming that the lens is scratchproof, but I am very impressed that it held up to the rigors of under the seat Jeep life and came out looking good as new. It says a lot for the material used in the flashlight.
Well, that is about it for now. I'm moving the StarCore
model into the Jeep holster....and.....my wife's car will get the older one.
She's not nearly in the dark as much as I usually am. <grin>