When you think of new technology, the word Ďflashlightsí probably doesnít come to mind. A flashlight is basically a container that holds batteries with a small light bulb and an on/off switch. So what could possibly be new or technological when it comes to flashlights, right? Actually, quite a bit. Believe it or not, the flashlight has evolved since the plain regular bulb variety, and now we have flashlights with LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs. One such product is the CC Expedition 1200 from C. Crane Company.
Just looking at it, you wouldnít think the Expedition is much more than a regular flashlight. It operates on three ĎCí batteries, which can be alkaline or rechargeable (NiCad or NiMH). Two alkaline batteries come included when you purchase the light. The Expedition comes in the usual hand-held flashlight size and shape, although instead of a switch, it turns on/off with a simple twist of the lens cap (thereís a reason for this, which Iíll explain later). The bulb in the Expedition, however, is quite different from a regular flashlight. It is actually a configuration of 12 white LEDs that are controlled by an Advanced Control Circuit. The ACC smartly manages the power output of the batteries to the LEDs insuring stable brightness of the light over the life of the batteries. Why is this a good thing? Because you get over 20 hours of bright light from one set of batteries. Yes, thatís right, 20 hours! And after that, the light dims a bit but you get an additional 30 hours of low task light. Is that incredible, or what? There is a slight catch though. The light from an LED-based flashlight is not the same as a regular flashlight. You donít get a focused beam of light. Instead, the light is more of a diffused variety and can take a little getting used to, but still works quite nicely for most tasks.
A couple of other things that make the Expedition special are that it is shockproof and waterproof. The outer casing is made of one single piece of molded ABS plastic. ABS is a copolymer of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. ABS plastics generally possess medium strength and performance and medium cost. ABS is often used as the cost and performance dividing line between standard plastics (PVC, polyethylene, polystyrene, etc.) and engineering plastics (acrylic, nylon, acetal, etc.). The ABS plastic makes the Expedition strong enough to resist most rough handling. In addition, the solid casing keeps any water out, which is also why there isnít a standard on/off switch (as I mentioned earlier). The top of the Expedition is covered with a rubber lens cover with double o-rings, which also keeps the water out and makes it a dive rated flashlight. This means it can be used under water. I havenít done any actual diving with the light, but I have put it under water and it worked nicely. The C. Crane Company tested the light by turning it on, placing it into a crab pot and sending it down 160 feet below the water off of the Humboldt coast. When it was pulled back up, the light was still on and had not flooded.
Iíve used the Expedition for about a month or so and I really like it. I still keep a traditional flashlight around for when I need that really focused beam type of light, but for most things, the Expedition works nicely. I used it on Halloween when my neighbor and I took his kids out around the neighborhood. Iíve also taken it out when doing some evening fishing. And I like to keep it in the car for long driving trips in case I ever get stuck somewhere at night. Plus, whenever the power goes out at home, I know I can put a fresh pair of batteries in and get up to 50 hours of light. The list price for the Expedition may seem expensive at $99.95, but you have to remember all the great features that this flashlight provides over any other standard flashlight. You just canít beat the amount of lighting time you get, and with the shockproof and waterproof features, youíll probably have this flashlight long after any ordinary flashlight would have died or broken. The CC Expedition 1200 flashlight is a top-quality product and worth every penny.