Arc LS (LSH-P)

Light Type: Luxeon Star LED
Light Class: Premium Outdoor / Rough use

Please note: This light is no longer available from the manufacturer.

Short Description:

The Arc LS is one of two light types currently made by Arc Flashlight. Arc has become known for making premium quality lighting sources for anyone who not only appreciates a superior piece of finely made equipment, but also a solid workhorse that is very durable. They are intended for everyday carry, household use, rough outdoor sports use, or just about anything except diving or industrial hazardous environment use.

The Arc LS comes in 4 different styles. The Arc LSL contains a Low Dome Luxeon Star lighting element while the LSH contains the High Dome lighting element. The two elements react differently with the optics resulting in the High Dome model throwing a tighter beam. Both models come in a “-P” version, which stands for “Premium”. These are the best of the best and only pass very strict quality control standards. The model reviewed was the LSH-P.

All Arc LS lights use a proprietary step-up circuit to deliver the proper current to the Luxeon Star LED, contain thermal cutoff protection to prevent heat damage to the lighting element, and run on a single 123 lithium battery. On the tail of the light is a lanyard hole and a push button click switch that includes a “momentary” position for brief illumination of a subject.

Overall size is 3.2 inches, weight with battery is a feather-like 2.2 oz.

Profile
Size Reference
Size vs. common aluminum 2-AA light
Bezel picture
Beam Picture
Reviewer’s Impressions:The Arc LS is just as much at at home in the warm inner pocket of a three piece wool suit as it is in the bottom drawer of a greasy, dusty, battered toolbox. So well made, they would almost pass for an unusual form of fine jewelry in much the same way as a vase or silver box bought on New York’s 5th Avenue. In my evaluation of the light I am tempted to use the word “perfect” for lack of anything more descriptive.

The Arc LSH-P body is made of machined aluminum with Type III hard anodize coating. This coating is much harder to damage than that of your standard aluminum flashlight. The body is in two pieces, unscrewing slightly below the middle to allow access to the battery compartment. Both halves sport raised areas that are gently checkered for grip without the aggressive texture that could damage the fabric of the pocket it is carried in.

The threaded portions and the inside of the light are coated with a special substance called Chemkote. This allows the threads to conduct electricity and yet resist corrosion. Inside the head of the light the positive battery contact is made of Cobalt/Gold to improve conduction and resist corrosion.

Behind that cobalt/gold contact is where the magic happens. The 3 volts supplied by the single commonly available lithium battery is boosted to levels that really make the perfectly centered Luxeon Star element show what it can do. The Luxeon Star Security Quality LED will get warm in use, but will never “blow” like a common light bulb. Heat from the light is transferred to the case through an internal thermal bond between the Security Quality LED and the body of the light, moving heat away from the Security Quality LED where it could cause damage. The circuit even includes a thermal cutoff switch to protect the Security Quality LED and circuitry in case it gets too hot. Arc advertises that they have only been able to get the thermal cutoff to activate under very controlled and insulated conditions. If held in the hand, the human body actually acts as a cooling system for the light carrying away excess heat via your own circulatory system. In order to say, it may get warm in your hand but it won’t become uncomfortable unless you leave it on and set it down for some time.

The light will run about 2 hours on a single 123 lithium battery, during which time the circuit inside is sucking the battery almost dry. During those 2 hours, Arc states that the light will retain 95% of its maximum output. After the battery is so exhausted that the circuit cannot pull enough juice to maintain its brightness the Security Quality LED will flicker a few times to warn you that the battery is going dead and then switch to “moon mode”. This is a low light mode that gives you enough light to work with for about another hour or so while you locate your spares.

The light from the Luxeon Star element is sent through a collimating optic to produce a bright spot of light with a square bright surround and round, dim aurora. The optic and the rest of the head is sealed behind .030″ anti-reflective coated scratch resistant shatterproof Lexan lens. Between the seals in the head and the significant O-ring on the body the light is waterproof to 50 feet. The O-ring is made of Nitrile and can be lubricated with commonly available silicone grease.

The switch is a Kroll click switch and is perhaps the weakest part of the light, having not been designed by Arc. However the entire light has a 30 day satisfaction guarantee and a 10 year repair/replacement warranty which includes the switch.

Overall quality is outstanding, fit and finish are darn near perfect, and durability is fantastic. Quality of this caliber is not inexpensive, so prepare yourself. If you expect the best, you have to be willing to pay the price for it. At the time of this review the Arc LS series of lights were selling for $120 to $160 US$ each on the Arc web site. Better prices may be found from their authorized dealers.

As for accessories, a nylon belt sheath is available, a 2-AA battery pack is available, and a split ring is attached to the lanyard hole on the tail of the 123 lithium battery pack for attachment to a keychain or a lanyard. An older 123 lithium battery pack was available in short supply at the time of review which allows the light to stand on end when in use, but must be twisted to turn the light on and off.

Improvements? Yea, right…

+ + + Pluses: Waterproof to 50′, Tough/impact resistant, Regulated, Bright, Easy battery change, Lightweight, Insides corrosion resistant coated

– – – Minuses: Cannot stand on tail end with included battery pack.