Author Topic: Even bad flashlights aint bad these days  (Read 709 times)

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Offline bykfixer

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Even bad flashlights aint bad these days
« on: June 16, 2017, 07:42:26 PM »
 :o Bad flashlight aint bad? Whatchyou talkin' bout Willis?

Seriously, you look around these days and decent flashlights are everywhere. Auto parts store check out counters, drug stores, big box department stores, tv comercials, 7-11's for petes sake. Thanks to LED tech and mini CNC production a fairly reliable, inexpensive flashlight can be had from just about anywhere you go in America... even Bed, Bath & Beyond has flashlights. (Little novelty Ikea jewel thief lights for decorations).

Now are they close in the awesome durability to the mighty SureFire? Streamlight? Elzetta? Certainly not. But if you lived in the days where your flashlight was a 2 C or D sized light bulb driven thin wall'd tube of cheap alloy where you slid a flimsy switch forward and then whacked said light against your palm to get all 4.8 lumens to glow (assuming your paper wrapped batteries didn't leak).... then yes even those as seen on tv lights... 'act now and the 2nd one is free'... aint bad for 2-300 blumens of light in darkness.
I cannot tell ya the last time I acquired a new light without o-rings. Even those 8 for $10 multi-LED numbers have o-rings.

Now us flashaholics understand a good flashlight from an 8 piece. But to the average ma-n-pa customer the alternatives to the venerable cel phone light are pretty amazing here in the post 100 lumen LED days.

I'll cite a few examples:

Top to bottom:
- The bi-pin bulb'd 2aa Rayovac Industrial was a plastic light with well fitting parts n pieces that were held together via the copper pieces that efficiently sent the 3 volts or so the the bulb that put out a few extra candles of a nice clean beam thanks to a faceted shiney reflector. About $5 at many stores circa 2000.

- The Rayovac Brite Essential is a 19 lumen 1x aa little number that boasts several hours runtime from an LED system that puts out a much brighter appearing amount of light than the numbers suggest. Well machined alluminum body with nice threads and thick o-rings. I set mine on the mantel at 4pm turned on and forgot it. At 2am it was still providing enough light to see my way back to my room from the supplied carbon zinc cell. $5.99 at my local drug store.

The plastic bodied Coast something or other uses a domed lens and a twisty tail cap to pump out the brightest 5 lumens I've ever seen. Again it runs for hours upon hours on a little aa battery. 2/ $10 at Home Depots and other stores that carry Coast products.

- The Menards wooden light. Yes, it's a wood bodied throwy little 2x aa number that puts out a bright light, which your ma-n-law can use in confidence while ensuring no snakes infest the yard while FeeFee the Schnauzer does her business at 11pm. And it tailstands while blending into your home decor providing a small room lighting ceiling bounce in sudden lights out. Menards stores for like $8.

- The performance tools auto parts store checkout light boasts a Nichia 219B all the kids are so wild about. Like the typical 3aaa multi LED lights, this one easily fits in your pocket or purse. Another throwy little number that sips fuel from those little fuel cells. 2/$10 at my local advance auto.

None of these should be counted on in absolutely positively has to work scenarios but when you just need light when you push the button in an ordinary every evening situation these will do nicely. (Note: these are samples of what I have scattered about my home just in case)




Whutchya think? As a flashlight collector these are the golden years in my view.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 10:42:27 PM by bykfixer »
John 3:16

Offline david57strat

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Re: Even bad flashlights aint bad these days
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 03:30:21 AM »
:o Bad flashlight aint bad? Whatchyou talkin' bout Willis?

Seriously, you look around these days and decent flashlights are everywhere. Auto parts store check out counters, drug stores, big box department stores, tv comercials, 7-11's for petes sake. Thanks to LED tech and mini CNC production a fairly reliable, inexpensive flashlight can be had from just about anywhere you go in America... even Bed, Bath & Beyond has flashlights. (Little novelty Ikea jewel thief lights for decorations).

Now are they close in the awesome durability to the mighty SureFire? Streamlight? Elzetta? Certainly not. But if you lived in the days where your flashlight was a 2 C or D sized light bulb driven thin wall'd tube of cheap alloy where you slid a flimsy switch forward and then whacked said light against your palm to get all 4.8 lumens to glow (assuming your paper wrapped batteries didn't leak).... then yes even those as seen on tv lights... 'act now and the 2nd one is free'... aint bad for 2-300 blumens of light in darkness.
I cannot tell ya the last time I acquired a new light without o-rings. Even those 8 for $10 multi-LED numbers have o-rings.

Now us flashaholics understand a good flashlight from an 8 piece. But to the average ma-n-pa customer the alternatives to the venerable cel phone light are pretty amazing here in the post 100 lumen LED days.

I'll cite a few examples:

Top to bottom:
- The bi-pin bulb'd 2aa Rayovac Industrial was a plastic light with well fitting parts n pieces that were held together via the copper pieces that efficiently sent the 3 volts or so the the bulb that put out a few extra candles of a nice clean beam thanks to a faceted shiney reflector. About $5 at many stores circa 2000.

- The Rayovac Brite Essential is a 19 lumen 1x aa little number that boasts several hours runtime from an LED system that puts out a much brighter appearing amount of light than the numbers suggest. Well machined alluminum body with nice threads and thick o-rings. I set mine on the mantel at 4pm turned on and forgot it. At 2am it was still providing enough light to see my way back to my room from the supplied carbon zinc cell. $5.99 at my local drug store.

The plastic bodied Coast something or other uses a domed lens and a twisty tail cap to pump out the brightest 5 lumens I've ever seen. Again it runs for hours upon hours on a little aa battery. 2/ $10 at Home Depots and other stores that carry Coast products.

- The Menards wooden light. Yes, it's a wood bodied throwy little 2x aa number that puts out a bright light, which your ma-n-law can use in confidence while ensuring no snakes infest the yard while FeeFee the Schnauzer does her business at 11pm. And it tailstands while blending into your home decor providing a small room lighting ceiling bounce in sudden lights out. Menards stores for like $8.

- The performance tools auto parts store checkout light boasts a Nichia 219B all the kids are so wild about. Like the typical 3aaa multi LED lights, this one easily fits in your pocket or purse. Another throwy little number that sips fuel from those little fuel cells. 2/$10 at my local advance auto.

None of these should be counted on in absolutely positively has to work scenarios but when you just need light when you push the button in an ordinary every evening situation these will do nicely. (Note: these are samples of what I have scattered about my home just in case)




Whutchya think? As a flashlight collector these are the golden years in my view.

Thanks for posting the pictures and the notes!  I remember carbon zinc batteries.  I can't believe they still manufacture those gutless wonder batteries lol.

Even alkaline batteries - never again (To date, I only own one light that's running on the dreaded alkaline battery - my old 6D Mag (modified for LED), but only because I'm too lazy to buy 6 good D NiMh batteries (since it sees very rare use).

I stopped buying alkalines, years ago (carbon zinc batteries - all the longer), and replaced them with NiMhs, where possible.  Where not possible, I did away with any items that wouldn't run on them.

You're right.  This is, most definitely, the Golden Age in Flashlight Land.  Things get better and better, and options, more abundant  - although, maybe not in your typical mass production lights, as the norm - and depending on how much you're willing to stretch your pocketbook). 

They still don't seem to have reached most of the brick and mortar stores, but that's okay.  If you know where to look, you can find pretty much whatever you need, on-line.

Certainly, tint selections are at an all-time high, which is absolutely wonderful, for the seasoned flashaholic.

I'm afraid I don't understand the appeal of having a wooden-bodied flashlight (no offense intended).  It looks pretty enough, but it's hard to imagine it being waterproof, or able to withstand any kind of serious use, without damaging the wood, and ultimately, becoming too damaged to keep water out. It's ginormous, housing only 1 AA battery, and putting out only 80 lumens.  I don't get it. 

Its' a one-trick pony, albeit pretty (I'll give it that much). I feel the eight bucks is lost on the pretty wood, and would probably rather invest a few more, on an aluminum light (I suppose, running on AA batteries, if it were a light I were going to hand over to a family member, for permanent use).
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 04:18:19 PM by david57strat »

Offline irongate

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Re: Even bad flashlights aint bad these days
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 09:41:31 PM »
I do have a Menards wooden light, due to at one time living in Minn. and having that as one of our main stores-it is huge. The light is not that bad, but more of a  light just to have on a bookcase among my other old flashlights and very old books. And yes I do have some others that are new and cost a bit more than $8.00. It is all about collecting for me those old rare ones.

Offline bykfixer

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Re: Even bad flashlights aint bad these days
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 12:53:26 AM »
My mother in law was using an Eveready Captain from the 70's until I gave her the Menards. I gave her a minimag, a Streamlight stylus and a 2D Brinkmann Legend. She still kept using that Captain after dark to check for snakes when she let the dogs out.

One day I left a Menards on an end table since it matched her decor very well. She has used the Menards since and the Captain is in a cupboard now.

PK and I were discussing one made of rosewood root with some titanium stuff involved. It may never happen but it was fun kicking around the idea.

Oh, and quite a few of my old lights have carbon zinc cells as their narrower casing fits into barrels that were built long before the slightly larger alkalines were invented. Back then a 2D cell light was outfitted with a 2 double a sized deal stacked on top of each other and wrapped with a cardboard sleeve.


A battery from back then.


So I outfit ones like these with carbon zinc's.

The voltage of carbon zincs were less as well so using those prevents a "poof" of a 100 year old light bulb designed before alkalines.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 01:31:16 AM by bykfixer »
John 3:16

Offline david57strat

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Re: Even bad flashlights aint bad these days
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2017, 04:46:57 AM »
I'm pretty sure we may have owned one or two of those Eveready Captain 2D lights, many years ago.  Seems like a lifetime ago, though (I'm only 53, but it seems like it was a lifetime ago, just the same).

Batteries wrapped up in cardboard sound like a nightmare. Anything that's supposed to be electronics-related....

No metal? No plastic?  I'm finding it impossible to wrap my head around the notion.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 04:47:51 AM by david57strat »