Dec 172012
 

So here’s my review of the Hexbright – Open Source Flashlight

• It’s insanely bright. You really have no idea. Seriously impressive.
• Good and solid, yeah. Perfect fistful of flashlight but still goes in the pocket. It’s not a mace like a big maglight but you would not want to be cranked upside the head with this. You could drop it on a bare foot without fracturing anything, but you’d remember not to do it again.
• Battery life seems good. Haven’t stress tested but no complaints yet.
• Simple, rugged construction. Twist off end pulls all the guts out of the aluminum and you’ve got access to the board, battery and LED, no problem.
• Nice beam! The single LED and lens give a really unexpectedly beautiful spread. A little hot in the center but it is a flashlight…
• Color temperature – 5380K – just shy of daylight. Meter also showed a tiny green spike in high mode but not noticeable with the eye. Easily color corrected with a little gel.
• Programming – easy to get started (but to be fair I’m pretty experienced with Arduino). Just had to load the board file and I was off and running. Loaded a couple of examples and pretty soon I was adding code the factory firmware. This is where having a ‘programmable’ flashlight is really cool. So for instance I didn’t like the fact that I had do cycle from LOW-MED-HIGH to turn the light off. So I added some code to where a long press after LOW or MED will turn the light off. Lots more possibilities here.
• Overalll: It’s an amazing flashlight and it’s open-source! Get one!
Images
Canon EOS 400D
1/4 s | f/4.0 | 28mm | ISO 400 | Daylight (5200K)
OFF | ULTRA-LOW | LOW | MEDIUM | HIGH

Here’s my hack at the firmware. Adds an ‘ULTRA-LOW’ mode, and a ‘DAZZLE’ mode. Also long-press will turn the light off from any mode.

modified hexbright firmware

  5 Responses to “Hexbright – One flashlight to rule them all”

  1. Lol how can a torch be open source? I can imagine (just) one having open source software on it but you still can’t call it open source surely… perhaps I should read about it :)

    I wanna get me an open source Bull Dozer…

  2. Lol… well there you go! :)

  3. Is there any way to add a “safety” to the programming?

    i.e. a click then click and hold to turn the light on, or maybe a double or triple click?

    I carry in my back pocket and sometimes I find the light has been on in full power mode.

    Thanks

    • Shouldn’t be a problem to add a safety feature. My code features a ‘long-press’ to turn off. All you’d have to do is change the case statement to turn the light on after a long press… something like.
      case MODE_OFF:
      if (btnDown && !newBtnDown && (time-btnTime)>20)
      newMode = MODE_ULTRA_LOW;
      if (btnDown && newBtnDown && (time-btnTime)>500)
      newMode = MODE_HIGH;
      break;

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