Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Path of Light: Custom Lights/High-End Flashlights

Prometheus Lights Alpha MC18-B Flashlight & Prometheus Alpha 'Shorty'

Handcrafted Custom Flashlight by "Dark Sucks" Jason Hui

This is not an in-depth review, but more of a presentation of this functional piece of art. Lovingly hand-made to a very high standard in Mountain View, CA. USA


Overbuilt, over-engineered by a perfectionist "Machinist with an MBA" in every aspect you can think of.

Get one here.

Finnish Ledil Boom MC-S faceted reflector; Angle = FWHM 20°. Perfect match for the MC-E quad-die LED, makes for a very creamy beam profile - perfect for a floody, 'wall of light'.
Cree MC-E flux bin "M"; Tint Bin "WD" 5700K Cool Daylight White. 3-levels of output (100%, 30%, 5%), regulated & with memory. Mine was officially rated at 519 lumens on High, 155 lumens on Med, 25 lumens on Low. YMMV.

Ultra Clear Lens (UCL) with two-sided Anti-Reflective coatings (that's why you can't see the glass. Military-grade blue fluorosilicone O-rings throughout, sets this flashlight apart.

The light's body is made of 6061-T6 aerospace-grade aluminum alloy; Full-brushed finishing with Electroless Nickel plating (Rockwell Hardness: 48-50 Rc); Custom letter stamped with Infinity Stamps

Flame-blued Titanium pocket clip

Three tritium slots affixed with 1.5mm X 5mm ice-blue tritium vials in each. Trits glow by themselves, good for 25 years. Other than making the light easier to be located in the dark, trits are a cool factor.

Dimensions: 1.2" x 5.75", body diameter: 1"; Size comparison: AW 18650 cell, AW IMR 18350, Prometheus Alpha 'Shorty' tube, CR123A primary lithium battery, Maglite Mini Pro+

Fooling around..

The famous McClicky "forward" click switch. Removable Ti clip.

Size comparison. The Prometheus Alpha is more on the heavy side, but it's the good kind of heavy, as it feels remarkably solid in the hand. The Prometheus Alpha Shorty on the other hand, makes for a good EDC flashlight, and with its heft in its compact body, it feels really nice in the hand.

Size comparison of the Alpha Shorty with a SureFire 6PX Tactical.

Okay, this is a Ti 'zipper pull' also made by Jason Hui, attached via 2mm cordage and I did a simple cobra stitch weave with it. I always attach a lanyard, or any other retention method to my flashlights.

Alpha Shorty runs on AW IMR 18350. Same lumens, shorter runtimes.

Hey whadya know? It fits!

It's very hard to catch the glow in the dark without 'proper' camera & equipment. This is taken with the iPhone4 camera so the trits appear dimmer that it really is.

Picture doesn't do this justice..not by a long mile. Since I can't take long-exposure shots some ambient light was still needed, so the glow didn't appear as bright as in real-life.

I have owned many high-end lights, and I am proud to report that the Alpha Series by Prometheus Lights is really on par with the offerings of other well-known custom flashlight makers and modders. To collectors, the light will fit right at home, and for those who uses (and abuses) flashlights need not to fear as the Alpha is over-built, and over-engineered in every aspect you can think of, and in aspects that you never had thought of. The level of attention paid to the immaculate details really show from the inside to the outside, and I do not doubt of its capability to amaze and I would not be surprised if the Alpha lasts for generations. This flashlight will not let you down.

The hefty price tag is hard to be justified by those who do not share the appreciation towards precision, quality, and art. Those who do invest in procuring such high-end product however, will enjoy knowing full well that it is a far more responsible investment to own an illumination tool that symbolizes a unique representation of a philosophy of use. To me, the fact that my Alpha was lovingly crafted from the start to the finish from one set of hands also makes it special. Think of it this way - if you put this much thought and consideration for a 'mere' illumination device, what about the other things in life? Who knows that one can after all, be measured by the littlest of all things.

"Overbuilt, over-engineered by a perfectionist in every aspect you can think of." - Rez