Guest Author - Dale Y the Maintenance Guy
There has been a revolution in flashlights, right before our eyes, and I will bet that a lot of people do not even know about it. But, get ready, because I am going to tell you about the newest form of portable illumination that will dazzle not only your optical senses, but your common senses as well!
We all grew up with the standard battery flashlight that used 2 batteries and had a small bulb for light. Great idea, and they have been around for nearly a century in one form or another. The major problem has always been battery life, and goodness knows, whenever it seems that you wanted one to work, the batteries would burn out, or leak, or the bulb would fry.
All of these things led more to frustration than to usefulness, and if you are the kind of person like me, who depends upon a portable light for my work, it could be doubly frustrating. I always had spare batteries laying around, I had rechargeables in the charger, and still, it seemed, that I would always run out of power at the most inopportune times. That is, until now!
There have been 2 revolutions, and they go hand in hand with each other. The first is the Nickel Metal Hydride battery, which rivals the best high performance alkaline batteries for staying power. The main difference is that an NiMH battery can be recharged over and over again and give the same performance time after time after time. Forget about alkaline batteries, you need NiMH rechargeable power. Now, don’t compare these to the weak NiCad batteries of yesteryear, these are high performance through and through, and they come with 1-hour chargers, so the power is always there when you need it.
The second revolution is the bulb itself. It is not the typical filament type that saps battery power by giving off heat as well as light. This bulb is an LED bulb, or a light-emitting diode, which means it makes light by running current through a semi-conductor and not through a wire. All that means is, unlike traditional bulbs, it produces light without generating heat. This means that battery life is increased ten-fold and light bulb life is nearly limitless. Your flashlight LED bulb will last for 50,000 continuous hours, or 35 years with a four hour per day burning time. Couple that with any battery, and the power will be there when you turn on your flashlight.
Now then, these bulbs throw off a lot of light, but not for a long distance. They are good between 2 inches out to 8 feet or so, but the reality is that 85% of all flashlight usage is in that exact range. I have 2 of these lights, One is a headlamp, and one is a hand-held, and truth be told, the original batteries are still inside and working. I have never changed them to this day. That in itself is amazing.
So, throw away your old flashlights, get out to your local hardware store, and join the revolution in portable power. They are the BEST, and are truly, little light, BIG bright!