I conceived the concept for the carbon light years ago. I had the carbon tubing custom fabricated. I've had the finished aluminum parts on the shelf for about a year...but no Carbon Alpha beyond the original prototype has ever been seen. Why you ask? Becase I wanted it to be perfect, and I couldn't do that without Icarus.
This light is basically the reason Icarus exists. As of October 1, 2015 my new Icarus driver is a reality and I'm ready to put it into the Alpha Carbon, and all other Alpha lights.
I've been working on this driver for over two years. It's simple, powerful, and full of features even the most demanding flashlight enthusiasts will appreciate. A maximum current of 3.4 Amps delivers class-leading power and an advanced software platform lets you make Icarus a reflection of your unique preferences by programming it any way you like...
This driver is 100% designed, programmed, and manufactured (in the USA) just for me. Until now, I've been limited by "what is available," but Icarus is the realization of a long standing goal. No expense is spared, no shortcuts taken, no compromise accepted. I'm proud to put the Prometheus stamp on this driver as the crowning jewel of the Alpha platform. Enough talk, let's get to the details.
Click the image above for more details about Icarus on the product page.
The Alpha Carbon head is loosely based on my previous design for the Alpha ICE, but I've taken it a step further. Using a triple LED and TIR optic moved those components much closer to the front of the light. This left me enough room for extra deep grooving for improved thermal performance and extra awesome. The bezel is lightly crenelated so you can see if the light is on or off when you place it bezel down on a flat surface.
This is my only light based around a triple LED. I generally find performance of single LEDs to be superior in a light this size, but seriously, how cool does that look! :) Right now this light is ONLY available with the Nichia 219 High CRI which produces over 500 lumens at 3.4A of drive current. However, if you want to send me 3 "bare" LEDs that fit the standard Cree XPG footprint then I will install them for you, but you'll have to soruce them yourself. Basically I haven't had enough time to test enough XPGs to know what bin will meet my standards for a 6500K cool white option.
Of course this light has to have some extra cool hidden features as well. The Alpha Carbon will come assembled with GITD in the head, but it can be left out by special request. Charging the GITD on high for a few seconds actually produces several minutes of usable glow in total darkness...meaning the glow produces enough light to see with (up close) for a couple mintues. The glow fades quickly but will continue to produce visible light for 4-6 hours...pretty much normal glow stuff :)
The inner core is machined to reduce weight and maintain the structural integrity of a solid metal Alpha light. The tube is slip fit over the metal core and held in place by the pocket clip/tail cap assembly. As with all Alpha lights, it's necessary to change the battery via the head, not the tail.
The core/sleeve configuration is basically an engineering necessity. I've had people ask why where isn't "more carbon and less metal" on this light. It's not possible (for a variety of reasons) without a complete overhaul to the basic dimensions and design of the light. Anything else would be functional compromise, and I'll always compromise form before function. I make tools, not decorations.
Each core is individually machined to fit each piece of carbon tube. During fabrication, carbon tube is wound on a 6 foot long steel mandrel. However, the mandrel has about 1 degree of taper along it's length so the carbon can be removed when it's finsihed curing. If the mandrel was exactly the same diameter on both ends, you'd never get the tube off the metal rod. Unfortunately this means every single piece of tube has a different diameter at each end.
Please note, there is some variation in how tight the sleeve fits the core. Nickel plating adds thickness to the core, so it's a bit of a guessing game when trying to get the fit just right. This also means the sleeve will only fit on the core in one direction. If you pull the sleeve off and flip it around, it won't fit.
Every Alpha Carbon comes in a Birch ply slide-top box that is laser cut in house. These boxes are also engraved with the edition number (out of 30) for the light. I'll post an example photo when I get a chance. The image above is my standard slide top box, which is the same except for the edition number engraved on the end panel.