HexBright LED Review

HexBright’s Flex flashlight produces a solid 500 lumens through its USA CREE XM-L LED light, but which can be adjusted to produce a lower output of 50 lumens (Low), or 150 lumens (Medium). It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion 2400 mAh battery and constructed from rugged aircraft grade aluminum with an ergonomic grip. Oh, and did we mention it is a programmable open-source flashlight?

Specifications

Weight: 0.47 pounds

Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches

Model Number: HBFX001

Power Source: Lithium-ion 2400 mAh battery

Type of Bulb: LED

Luminous Flux: 500 lm

Average Battery Life: 1 hour on High (500 lm), 8hours on Medium (150 lm) and 30 hours on Low (50 lm)

Warranty Description: The manufacturer states that a faulty unit will be replaced.

What We Think About It

  • It is interesting – This is apparently the world’s first open-source flashlight that started as a project on Kickstarter in 2011. What does open-source mean? Basically you can program the flashlight with the open-source software, so you can develop apps etc. for the flashlight. Even if you don’t plan on developing your own apps for the flashlight, it will still be a great conversation piece.
  • It is made in the USA by a small company – This is not your typical flashlight that is mass produced somewhere in Asia using the cheapest materials. HexBright is a small California based company started by Christian Carlberg.
  • It is rechargeable – We love the fact that it comes with a USB cable that you can use to recharge the Lithium-ion battery with. This means that you can use it on a regular basis and not worry about keeping a pack of batteries around to keep powering the flashlight. With the USB cable, you can simply plug into your laptop and have it charge up while you are busy with other things. However, this also means that if a wall socket or laptop is not nearby (e.g. if you are out camping or hunting) the flashlight is not going to work for you…so this is more a flashlight to keep around the house or on your person rather than a camping or hunting flashlight.
  • Solid construction – The aircraft grade aluminum makes this a solid flashlight that should withstand regular use and abuse.

What Users Are Saying About It

Being made by a small company that started out as a Kickstarter project, you may think that the quality of the flashlight might not be on the same level as devices produced by big companies such as Surefire or Streamlight…but you will be wrong! This flashlight gets stellar reviews, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 from 415 users. Out of the 414 reviews, only 3 users gave it a score of less than 4 (that is less than 1%!)

Users who have commented on this flashlight mentioned the following:

Pros

  • Durability and construction quality – Some users have noted some interesting stories where the flashlight was exposed to some tough circumstances (e.g. being forgotten beneath a moving car, being put in the wash machine, dunked into rivers..) and held up really well.
  • Quality light beam – The adjustable light beam produces a good light beam at 500 lm, where some users also commented that they typically even adjust it to the lower 150 lm so not to blind other people when they use it outside.
  • Programmable – Users love the fact that they can program the flashlight to use it in some innovative ways.

Cons

There are not many negative comments about this device. Some users did mention they wished it was a bit smaller.

The flashlight has also been covered in many popular publications:The GadgeteerGeek.com and Venturebeat.

Conclusion

This is an exciting flashlight, which is the result of some ingenuity and entrepreneurial daring. It is well made, produces a great light and is very convenient with its ergonomic grip and rechargeable battery. For people who want to innovate, this is the ideal toy. For the price, you get a quality flashlight that will not let you down.

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