800 lumens has become somewhat of a standard for super-high-output, hand-held LED flashlights.
Take a look through some of the LED flashlight retail sites and 800 lumens seems to be a popular choice.
This is a lot of light, and noticeably brighter than the original Andie, which had a claimed 700 lumen output.
I can point both flashlights at a wall in daylight and the 800 lumen version is very noticeably brighter and more powerful, as you can see also in the photos and videos below.
In fact, the 800 lumen version in its reduced power mode (it has a three-way switch: on full, on reduced and off) is as bright as the Andie at full power.
Full power may actually be overkill for working in close quarters on a motorcycle, so the half power definitely is more useful on the revised Andie; I rarely use the original Andie on anything but full power.
800 lumens is so bright, it can sometimes overwhelm a small workspace (although after using the 800 lumen version, my wife says “You can never have too much light”).
You absolutely, positively do not want to be looking at the business end of the Andie when it’s switched on. Handle it with care!
The newer version also features a deeper, polished reflector that produces a more focused beam when the flashlight is on full power. The original has a “frosted” type reflector, which tempers the output into a smoother pattern.
The reflector heads are not interchangeable between the old and new versions because the LED electronics are different. The 800 lumen version is more of a powerful spotlight.
One of the nice things about the Clearwater design is that it uses the same small form factor of the original Andie. Some of the 800 lumen LED flashlights that are available today have a larger reflector or body size, which can be a bit cumbersome.
The Andie shape is perfect for hand-holding and for storing in the toolbox.
The Andie comes with a pair of rechargeable Li-Ion batteries (the flashlight uses only one battery and there’s one for a spare), so you don’t have to worry about buying four or more AA batteries to power your light.
The Andie kit comes with a wall charger that can charge both batteries simultaneously and it also comes with a car charger.
The batteries are the 18650 type, which I believe is rated at 3.7V and 2600 mAh and claimed to have about 500 recharging cycles. The single battery powers the Andie for about 1.5 hours at full and 3.0 hours at reduced power.
With the 800 lumen version, the output is so great that the flashlight body does start to get warm after a few minutes, so you probably do not want to run it continuously until the battery drains.
The Clearwater 800 lumen LED flashlight uses the same solid construction as the original, with only the slight difference noted above in the screw-on flashlight head.
You’d have to look pretty close to notice the difference; I didn’t realize there was a difference until I removed both heads to see if I could swap them out.
The flashlight body is CNC-machined from an aluminum tube and coated with PVD or some type of anodized coating. It’s slightly heavier than the original Andie at 207 grams (vs. 194 grams) and (6-7/8 oz.) and it’s slightly shorter at 156 mm (vs. 159 mm for the original).
The head diameter is the same for both at 42 mm.
The body feels well balanced in the hand and it has a machine-knurled grip surface in the center.
The “rings” at the front of the flashlight act as a heat sink; in fact, the entire aluminum flashlight body is a heat sink for the powerful LED.
The 800 lumen version has the same rubberized on/off switch at the rear.
Press once to turn the flashlight on and press lightly again to put it into reduced power mode. It will stay in whatever mode you have left it for the next time it’s switched on.
The reduced power mode of the 800 lumen version is about equal to the full power mode of the original Andie. Click on the full power and it’s like kicking in the afterburner, leaving the original Andie in the dust.
Using the 800 Lumen Clearwater LED Flashlight
It’s always difficult to illustrate the power of a flashlight in photographs and doubly so for video.
We compared the 800 lumen flashlight to the original Andie (both at full power) and also to another shop workhorse, the Milwaukee 12V worklight, which uses the Milwaukee M12 rechargeable power pack and only has a single on/off mode.
The Milwaukee flashlight was briefly described in our review of the Milwaukee heated jacket (review). It has a better than average output and it’s probably better than the average household flashlight (does anyone still use an incandescent flashlight?).
Its specialty is delivering a wide beam of light with its rotating head.
The M12 power pack is a bit disappointing however, because it doesn’t seem to hold power very long. Also, the Milwaukee 12V worklight is kind of porky, so it doesn’t fit easily in the toolbox.
The three small photos above illustrate the Milwaukee flashlight on the left, the original Andie in the center and the 800 lumen Andie flashlight on the right, both at full power.
The camera was 10 feet away and the Nikon D70 was set on manual exposure at ISO640, f9.0 at 1/25 second for each photo, so the light output comparison is valid.
Here are a pair of photos comparing the original Andie with the 800 lumen version, again both at full power. Both were taken outdoors at night, again using the D70 on manual, this time at ISO1000 at f5.6 and a 1.3 second exposure:
From “T.G.” (May 2012): “The photos of the flashlight outside convinced me to get one for one reason. This flashlight and some duct-tape will get you home at night if your headlight goes out. That is a major safety upgrade! Thanks!”