Understanding Blue-Label Lights
The term "Blue-Label" is derrived from the blue fluorosilicone o-rings that I use for this series. They are 10x the price of standard Nitrile o-rings and meet Mil-Spec requirements for use on jet aircraft fuel lines. They have no expiration date and withstand just about anything humans are likely to come in contact with. This small touch is representative of the "above and beyond" approach I take with crafting and assembling my Blue-Label lights.
You might be wondering what you get for your money:
I Made This...
First, these offerings are very limited production and 100% manufactured (by me) in my own shop. I do design, machining, assembly, prototyping, quality control, marketing, advertising, photography, web development, shipping, receiving, floor sweeping, light bulb changing, toilet cleaning, window washing, getting cut, getting burned, sweating, crying, bleeding, and the occasional flower arranging.
LIfetime Upgrade Program
Every Alpha is covered by a limited lifetime warranty; however, Blue-Label lights are additionally supported by my lifetime upgrade program. When I come out with a new feature or component that can be installed into an existing light, you can upgrade.
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure how this will work, but you'll get some smokin' deal like "pay the shipping only" or "pay cost of parts + shipping" or "50% off retail." You get the idea. I'll make this policy more clear as I come out with upgrades and get feedback from customers. The whole purpose of this is to give you an awesome experience that goes far beyond your initial purchase. I also want to prevent "Apple Syndrome" where you just bought the newest thing and found out that next month it will be newer.
>>> This does not apply to voluntary LED swaps (flat fee of $75.00). It also does not apply to accessories that accompany the light (chargers, batteries, etc.) or optional upgrade parts. <<<
The photo above is a prototype, not an actual product, for McClicky V2...and tentatively possible in the distant future. Tentatively! Distant! However, Blue-Label owners will get to upgrade for a cost far less than retail "if" it goes into production.
If you are saying to yourself, "really? I don't believe you'll follow through." I've already given all of my pre-production owners the option to upgrade their tailcap switches to the current version which involved a complete replacement of the tailcap and all of the internals...for free...because it was a permanent design change. They only had to pay for the shipping, and there was no agreement (expressed or implied) that I should do so. I just thought it seemed like the right thing to do.
Compact AC Adapter
All Blue-Label lights are now shipping with a new compact AC adapter. This is basically the same as the Apple adapter and is compatible with Apple products as well, so it's a great travel companion.
Every Alpha is coated with a medium-phosphorus Electroless Nickel (EN) plate:
I use EN plate on every Alpha because it's the ideal engineering solution, not because it's pretty. It's not unique to the Blue-Label lights but it's worth mentioning because no one else in the flashlight industry takes this approach to design/engineering.
EN is specified when electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, deposition uniformity, corrosion resistance, lubricity, and wear resistance are primary engineering requirements. EN is used in aerospace, marine, automotive, medical, and electronics applications. Unlike anodizing, EN coats every inch of the light, inside and out, with an even layer of super-hard nickel. EN is just as durable as anodizing.
You will not find any bare aluminum on the Alpha, like you see with anodized lights. Why does this matter? The only place it's important to have a protective coating (from an engineering standpoint) is on the threads. The body of the light is just a shell, but the threads play the critical role of conducting electricity. Ever wonder why anodized lights have bare metal threads? Anodize is an electrical insulator so it must be removed for the light to function. Bare aluminum threads will wear out over time and corrode when exposed to air, reducing your lights useful life span and decreasing its performance.
Hand-Stamped Maker's Mark
Blue Label and Bespoke lights are 100% made by me in my own shop and are stamped with my Maker's Mark to indicate this. Ready-Made lights are stamped with the Prometheus Lights logo, but they do not bear my personal mark.
Fluorosilicone o-rings (standard)
All custom lights ship with blue Mil-Spec fluorosilicone o-rings that are 10x the cost of standard black Nitrile o-rings. Fluorosilicone is petroleum resistant and specified for use on aircraft fuel lines. Unlike Nitrile, fluorosilicone has an "unlimited" shelf life which means they should not dry out and crack over time. The body and head use AS size #019 and the tailcap uses #017.
UTS Class III Thread Fit
I won't bore you with all the details but this is the highest precision Unified Thread Standard (UTS) class and normally reserved for certain military and instrumentation applications. The increased thread contact area enhances electrical and thermal conductivity. This means the thread slop is exceedingly low. I'm not aware of anyone in the flashlight industry that uses a Class III thread fit...because it's insane...and very difficult to make sure subsequent batches of parts actually fit together. Haven't had to throw any out yet though...close, but not quite.
Choose the color that best suits your personality or select the Journeyman package and get all 4 button colors included. I'll install the color you select during checkout. The blue buttons are a brand new option as of June 2012. I have a limited supply and may (or may not) be able to get any more after this batch. Choose wisely (Indiana Jones reference).
Solid Copper Driver Mount
The copper isn't absolutely necessary from an engineering standpoint but it adds a nice touch and a little bit of weight to enhance that tasty feeling of quality in your hand. It also draws heat out of the driver to help it run at maximum power for longer.
Choose From 5 Different LED Options
As far as I know this is the best selection of LED options of any custom light. Get the MCE or XML in cool or neutral white, or select the Cree High CRI XPG for 93+ color rendering. Have some other LED you want to use? Send me one and I'll install it in your light.
In the past I've charged for this service, but I've decided to include three character stamping for free, if you want to personalize your light. I use "low stress" letter and number stamps to mark the head of the Alpha with...letters and numbers. $5 per character beyond the first three, up to 5 characters total. This only works on heads that have enough smooth area to mark of course.
Like most things Alpha, these are marked by hand so you should not expect "machine" perfection in depth and alignment.
Alpha Report Card
Every Alpha Blue-Label comes with an individual report card so you know exactly what you are paying for. Each light is tested for output in my home-made integrating sphere.
Titanium (6Al/4V) Pocket Clip
Pocket clips now come standard with Blue-Label lights. I used to sell them as a $25 accessory. Clips can be mounted and de-mounted without tools. The clip is also designed without screws, so if you want to run clip-less you don't have a couple of ugly threaded holes in your light. When the clip is removed, there is no gap because the cap and the body still close flush.
NIC Industries "Cerakote" Option
This is not listed as a standard option because I send these lights to a NIC Certified Applicator and their turn-around is 2-4 weeks. Many colors (including custom blends) are available. Please contact me directly if you are interested in Cerakote.
Cerakote is a bake-on ceramic coating designed for firearms. The application method is similar to powder coat but this coating is much harder. Cerakote is applied to the Alpha after it has been nickel plated, so all internal surface and threads retain the protective EN coating.