Gerber Infinity Ultra L.E.D. Flashlight

I was once again peering into the darkened pile of spaghetti behind a computer table when I realized that my trusty flashlight was a perfectly valid subject for this column. I mean, try living with computers for a while without a good flashlight, (preferably one small enough to hold in your mouth).

So I searched for CMG Infinity Ultra, only to learn that it’s been bought by Gerber Legendary Blades. That tells you what kind of equipment it is. Gerber doesn’t sell junk.

I’ve had my Infinity for about two-and-a-half years, and it has resided in my pants pocket along with my Fisher Space Pen and pocket knife every single day. The green anodizing is a bit scuffed, (it’s a good-sized knife,) but it works as well as it did when I turned it on for the first time. These lights are about as simple as you can get, mechanically: an aluminum tube with room for an AA battery, and a screw-off end piece that holds the L.E.D. light source and the step-up circuitry. You turn it on and off by tightening and loosening the cap. Gerber has changed it and put the cap on the back end, but it’s just as sturdy and simple.

The circuitry is the secret of the light, controlling the voltage and allowing the diode to produce an incredible amount of light from the 1.5 volt cell. (My guess is that it steps the voltage up to 3 volts or better, since that’s what it takes to get decent light out of an L.E.D.) Mine will operate at full brightness – sufficient to navigate very well around a dark area, or use up close for illuminating a work area – for about 20 hours on one AA alkaline, and will produce quite useable light for another forty hours or so. (You wouldn’t want to try to read a phone book with it, but it’s sufficient to avoid damaging coffee tables with your toes.) By the time it goes dark, even the best meter won’t detect anything left in the battery.

After literally hundreds of hours of use, the “bulb” is as bright as ever. It carries a 10,000-hour guarantee, and most L.E.D.’s are good for several times that long. I’ve dropped it into swimming pools, from the tops of ladders and my cat Frbl has knocked it off the bedside table dozens of times. My granddaughter went through a phase of chewing on it, and all-in-all it seems pretty indestructible. I’ve given several as gifts, and everyone loves them. It’s as good a gift for yourself or a loved one as you’ll find anywhere for twenty bucks. There are beaucoup L.E.D. flashlights on the market nowadays, and I’m sure some are as good as the Infinity. I’ll bet good money, however, that there are none much better.