Lifestyle 800 Lumens Cree LED flashlight review

{ 3 comments }

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Even though I review mostly audio gear, I jumped at the chance to test the Cree LED High Power Searchlight. My interest was piqued when I bought a 250 lumen flashlight to replace my aging Maglight and its pathetically weak bulb. But once I saw that the Cree light was 800 lumens, I couldn’t resist. I was shocked how the Cree really lit up my yard at night. My backyard is one-acre, so searching for stuff or letting the dogs out before bedtime in pure darkness has become almost fun.

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Lumens is simply a measurement for brightness. The higher the number, the brighter the beam. There’s more to it than just numbers, but this isn’t a science forum, so we’ll leave it at that. The 800 lumens comes from one tiny bulb. I can only imagine what two or more bulbs could do.

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There isn’t much to the Cree Searchlight. It’s lightweight and comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, charging cord and a handle. That’s it. The metal shell is light and tough with a water-resistant on/off button and charging port on the handle. You can safely use it in the rain, but I wouldn’t dunk it. The handle is a nice touch that allows for easy carrying. The shell does not get hot, so it can also be held as you would any flashlight.

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Pressing the on/off button twice dims the beam by half for those times you don’t need a light quite so bright. Trust me, sometimes the light is too bright. Pressing three times causes the light to flash repeatedly which can come in handy if you need someone to locate you or simply just want to annoy friends. Pressing and holding down the button sets off a repeating morse-code SOS signal. Pretty cool.

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The rechargeable batteries are removable should they ever need replacing. Although the rechargeable batteries are nice and eco-friendly, I would have preferred its ability to accept batteries I can buy anywhere. I’m old-school like that. And since the batteries are not a standard size, finding replacements might be a hassle.

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Once I tried the Cree Searchlight, I was immediately impressed how it totally out-shined my 250 lumen flashlight. The beam is not only brighter (duh), but it’s wider with a super-bright center spot.

We recently had a serious outdoor water leak late at night. A plumber came and had to dig in the back yard looking for the problem. Even though he had a headband with a light attached, the Cree light came in handy as a backup light I could hold while he worked and stay out of his way.

My one-acre back yard has many pine trees over 100 ft. tall. The Cree Searchlight easily illuminates the tops of those trees as well as across our small lake into the woods on the other side. Its ability to do that never gets old.

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The Cree Searchlight is a handy everyday flashlight with a few extra features. Face it; every home needs a flashlight or two. Why not use one that can out-shine most others for those times when extra light is needed? It’s handy, light and not too large or too small. The Cree Searchlight sells for $32, which is a good price considering how bright and useful it is.

Source: The samples for this review were provided by Lifestyle.brando.com. Please visit www.lifestyle.brando.com for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$32 U.S.
Manufacturer:Brando
Retailer:Brando
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Doesn't get hot
  • Bright
Cons:
  • May make you want an even brighter light
  • Battery not standard
Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Reviews
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • James September 25, 2015, 9:15 pm

    It’s a lithium ion battery, just do a search for 18650/168A rechargeable batteries, and is the same type of battery that goes into laptop battery packs, the Tesla Roadster, electronic cigarettes, etc… Capacities run around 1500–3400 mAh… They usually ship lower end, sometimes previous used, batteries with the China made products but it’s easy enough to not only get better batteries but also external chargers, so you can always keep a spare charged and swap them instead of waiting for the flashlight to recharge or just need an extended run during a blackout, etc type emergency…

    I have a flashlight with a similar pair of batteries, it’s a LEDion 1000 Lumen CREE XML Tactical Flashlight w/ Adjustable Zoom I got off a Woot deal… The original batteries weren’t marked but I eventually replaced them with two Samsung batteries and they were obviously better batteries because the Flashlight got brighter… Don’t think the originals ever gave me true 1000 Lumens and needed to be recharged too often… The new ones have been charged once and a month later it’s still bright, course I don’t use it every day but still I wouldn’t rely on the original batteries it came with…

  • Marko Koskenoja September 28, 2015, 1:09 pm

    Good review! I bought several Cree type flashlights (they use a singe 1850 battery) and even a two 1850 battery headlamp off eBay – all for less than $10 each. They shipped from China. The flashlights came with adapter tubes that allow you to use three AA type batteries but the 1850 batteries are better based on my experience.

    Each device has been well used and all have performed perfectly. I used the headlamp last winter while blowing snow with my tractor here in Northern Ontario Canada.

  • Trang Nguyen January 20, 2016, 3:03 am

    Thanks for the useful review. My dad has a big garden in the countryside. When my family go there in our holiday, I have to admit it can be a bit scary going to the garden in the evening. I’m using an old traditional flashlight now (my dad’s) but it wouldn’t hurt to buy a dependable, efficient LED flashlight. This seems a bit too big for me though, but it seems to produce very good amount of bright light. Maybe I could buy it as a gift for my dad.

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