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Celestron Night Vision LED Torch v Rigel Systems Starlite Red Torch

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As promised from a 'What the Postman delivered' thread.
Curiosity got the better of me about torches and I have a Celestron and  a Rigel one to compare.
Price points differ.

CelestronNight Vision Flashlight

Price £15 
2 x LED
9v PP type battery
Variable output
Flat plain glass / plastic lens
LED's set to one side of unit.

In use the variable brightness works, but feels rough and ready to snap at any minute.
However as I have had the torch a number of years, this concern is unfounded to date.

IMG_3669.thumb.JPG.c80740775e95e5125d31f94d7f709460.JPGThe whole unit does feel very cheap and plastic and ready to fall apart, the light output is good,
but the LED offset and the red colour both make for too bright and uneven light in use at a dark site.
This torch is used at home with my local LP issues only.

The LED's clearly seen offset to the side of the torch.

The battery fitting is very tight, so much so that some batteries will not fit in the case.
Too tight a tolerance in the case molding.

IMG_3678.thumb.JPG.2a63319e5a5fd1956da8a4f2dc8e8827.JPGThe light has a definite shape to the output and is very uneven.

See comparison pictures at end for light against light.






Price £25 
2 x LED
9v PP type battery
Variable output
Shaped plastic lens
LED's set to centre of unit.

In use the variable brightness works, feels solid and reliable.
However as I have had the torch 1 day, this point is unfounded to date.

IMG_3668.thumb.JPG.2748f35614d3ac4828f916ecf014c723.JPGThe whole unit does feel very solid, yet it too is plastic, the light output is good,
but the LED and the darker red colour both make for even light in use.
Looks good in a very dark room and adapted eyes, so good for a dark site.

The centred LED's and the lens design show in this image.

The battery fitting is very good, the plastic case very solid and well engineered against the Celestron,
But, it's does not feel like a decent LED torch does.

IMG_3673.thumb.JPG.7e184582585fce4ef10bf35b9420cb53.JPGLight output is much more evenly spread, no odd shapes or major bright spots,
however the centre does show a brighter spot in images, but not to my eyes.

See comparison pictures at end for light against light.




Comparison of Lights

IMG_3670.thumb.JPG.191e09a4dbcc20b99833ae9d29787a08.JPGThe units next to each other.

Celestron on left.
Rigel on Right.
The offset of LED's clearly seen in the Celestron.
The lens differences equally obvious.



IMG_3680.thumb.JPG.f8ec178e0d1b46307c0795596b568704.JPGThe lights shining onto a star chart while sitting on it - the lights not me!

Rigel on left
Celestron on Right.




IMG_3682.thumb.JPG.07bd5cba8175e6fbdcd51b03e494bd01.JPGCelestron shon onto star chart.
The uneven light becomes obvious.




IMG_3683.thumb.JPG.a90ca26751855a6b474aa160ea1cd708.JPGRigel shon onto star chart.
The more even light is obvious.


Time will tell, but I forsee the Rigel being a favoured item.

I think the better build, better light evenness and control will win out.
The comparison is skewed by the price difference,
but I think in this case you do get what you pay for.

The Rigel would have been in my ownership a long time ago, however no one had them.
365Astronomy had them in stock this week, so I pounced.
@FLO is this something you could stock?

As with many things in this hobby, it is very personal and what one person loves another loathes.
So as said elsewhere, you mileage may vary.

I will update the post in a few months to report back on how it is going,
well if the permacloud clears that is!

PS. The brightness should not be assessed from the images in anyway.
The camera needed lights up a bit to focus and also makes them brighter than to the eye in use.


Edited by Alan White
typos of course
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My red and white torches had uneven light...


...but simply rubbing the lens or the red filter with a kitchen sponge made them so:


About 25cm away from my APM binoc's white box, would look the same on a star map. The gradients are because the camera does not have enough nuances, visually the spot is totally blended. 



It took an awful lot of time with the white torch because its lens is a high quality plastic, had to unscrew it, too. It used to project a very detailed and very annoying image of its yellow LED emitter but now its glow is as smooth as can be. It took rubbing both sides of the lens to make it that blended; I just remembered that now. The white pic is from 3/4 of a meter away against a wall.

Edit: Didn't work at first but after a few trials messing with the phone's settings this pic of the lit red torch could be made, showing the effect of the red filter and rough sponge on a 9-LED "bicycle" torch. The white one is far too bright to be photographed when it's on.


Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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