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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Flashlight Review: ElZetta Alpha

I am guessing that many (perhaps all) models of today's "smart phones" have a rudimentary flashlight feature sooooo I dunno that many folks nowadays are left totally in the dark when the power grid bellyfloats.  Call me old fashioned ... because I am old and from a more primitive era; I insist on my cell phone being dumber than I am ... therefore I always carry a flashlight.

Sometime during 2014 I purchased an ElZetta Alpha (above, far left, made in USA) for use as an everyday-carry (EDC) pocket flashlight.  I consider a small flashlight an essential item and have carried one for over 50-years.   Over that span of time I have carried one sort or another of the many readily available, inexpensive (CHEAP) lights (the 3 lights above, far right, are but a small sampling) and put them through considerable use.  The inexpensive lights are not the brightest, but they are affordable and expendable.  I am reluctant to use the word "tactical" when talking about today's high-end flashlights because I consider "tactical" to be an overused marketing buzzword.  In my world, stuff has to be "practical" or I have no use for it; your world may be different.   A $150 flashlight is not what I consider a disposable commodity.   Still, I wanted to try carrying something in my pocket that was a bit brighter than what I had limited myself to carrying in the past so I chanced the considerable investment.

(Above) It can vary, but this is pretty much what I call my ultra-lite EDC kit; it all can fit in a single front pocket of my jeans.  The yellow coin purse carries loose change for feeding parking meters and snack-food machines.  The other stuff in the photo has more obvious purposes.

No later than a month or so after I started carrying my new light, I dropped it straight down, bezel first, onto a concrete sidewalk from a distance of about six feet.  The lens shattered but stayed functionally together.  I carried it that way for a couple of years (until sometime in 2016) before deciding to order a replacement lens which only cost me $10 plus shipping.  

Opened the package and took out the new lens.

Took the light and unscrewed the bezel ring to get to the damaged lens.

Popped the cracked lens out of the light's housing and inspected the solder and potting for damage.

 Took the replacement lens and plopped it into place.

 Screwed the bezel ring back where it belonged and it was mission accomplished.

 I keep a goodly supply of CR123A batteries on hand.

 The single battery cell does not last but maybe an hour or so at high output (415 lumens).  It throws some real light and there were occasions when I was very thankful to have this little powerhouse.  

The single battery cell lasts for MANY hours at the adequate low output (15 lumens).  
I have had them last for a year when used mostly on low power (along with my quick daily function tests).

No regrets.  For me, the ElZetta Alpha was a good choice. 

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