YALFQ (Yet Another LED Flashlight Question)

I use a couple of old fashioned EverReady 2 AA/AAA cell penlights quite a
bit around the house & shop. They eat batteries at a pretty steady rate,
and frequently start going dim in the middle of some task where it's a
royal pain in the neck to extricate myself and go get new batteries or a
bulb. One of them died yesterday (bulb), and it occured to me that an
LED version would be a big improvement. Armed with the following list of
requirements, I went on-line:
1) Rear cap push button to turn on. I want to be able to easily grab the
thing with one hand and turn it on & off while pointing it. I have one
that uses a twist-the-cap switch, and I really don't like it nearly as
much as the old fashioned push-button flavor.
2) Small diamter to get into tight spots. The AA one I have is about
3/4" in diameter, and it's a bit clunky. The AAA one is a bit thinner,
and works very well in this regard.
3) Use vaguely normal batteries. I have a really skinny LED penlight
that uses weird batteries. They are nearly impossble to find, and
expensive. I'd prefer to avoid AAAA cells, even if they are becoming a
bit more common.
4) I'd prefer not to have to spend an arm & a leg for one. I can buy new
EverReady's for under $5. $15 is near the top of my comfort zone on
price. Buying a $40 Luxeon replacement bulb would not be an option.
Unfortunately, I pretty much struck out. Streamlight has one that uses
four(!) AAAA's, and it looks nice, but the push button is only
momentary-on, you have to screw the cap down to get it to stay on. They
can be had for ~$13:
formatting link

Underwater Kinetics has one that is as close as I could find, but even
though it uses AAA's, it has a bulbous lens assembly that makes it as
bulky as my AA penlight. They sell for around $12.
formatting link

The other option is to find an LED replacement bulb for the $5
Everyready AAA ones, but the only one I've seen is pretty pricey at $18:
formatting link

So, before I shell out for one or more of these, I thought I would pass
along my research results and see if anyone had a better answer. The one
other interesting option I ran across is a build-your-own replacement
bulb web site:
formatting link

Thanks for any suggestions.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
Loading thread data ...
"Doug White" wrote: (clip)the following list of
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I have an LED flashlight that I think you should get. Here is how it meets (or fails to meet) your requirements:>
Mine uses a slide switch--easily turned on and off with one hand.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Mine is 1 1/2" in diameter, and I have no trouble directing the beam into tight spots. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Mine is self-generating--never needs batteries. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I think I paid $10 at a flea market. I see them on Craig's List at that price level all the time.
This light has a magnet inside that slides back and forth through a coil. If it starts to go dim you just shake it.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
I just bought an LED keychain light from LOWES (the big home center chain - near one of their checkouts) for $2.99. Pretty darn bright. Cylinder shaped, about 3/8" in diameter, about 1&1/2" long, uses watch batteries. Has a momentary button switch but an easy conversion to a maintained switch could be done by making a sleeve with a shoulder to slide over the button.
Reply to
S Young
that same LED light is available from most of the dollar stores for a buck.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
Reply to
Gunner
You need to look in the surplus market for the prices you're after. I've bought flashlights and other stuff from these guys with no problems:
formatting link
Steve
Doug White wrote:
Reply to
Steve Smith
Keywords:
You must have bigger tight spots than I do. A lot of time I want to get the source of light INSIDE something. That way the light reflecting off the edges & sides doesn't mess up my vision. I needed to inspect the inside of a rifle receiver this weekend, and being able to apply the light right on the spot I was examining was a big help. This is in a well lit shop. The problem wasn't the shortage of light, but light in the right place.
I've seen the ones you are talking about, and I might get one for general flashlight use, but not as a replacement for a good penlight.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
One of the things I like about regualr penlights is they are long enough to reach into places. I have a couple Maglite 1 AAA flashlights (about the same size as the one you described), and they are just too short to hang onto and get inside things easily. Some of the new ones (light the Streamlight with 3 AAAA cells) are even longer thna the old fashioned penlights with 2 AA cells.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
Keywords:
I checked the URL. They don't list any penlights at the moment.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
mpja is one of many places...
Steve
Doug White wrote:
Reply to
Steve Smith
Canadian buck at that Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
formatting link
Forgot to mention that it has a push-on, push-off switch.
It is certainly possible to make a 1-watt Luxeon light 3/4" dia to use 2, 3 or 4 AAA cells that would compare quite favorably with a 2AA Maglight, but the LED alone would blow your cost bogey.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Thats $0.37USD isnt it?
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
Reply to
Gunner
What about using fiber optics to deliver the light to where you want? Karl
Reply to
Karl Vorwerk
A little more than that from what I heard on the radio today - looks like about $0.88USD at the moment. Maybe we'll get back into that premium position yet, but I have my doubts. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
Sorry to hijack the thread, but what is /up/ with the 'mag-lite style LED flashlight' that has 'turn the end cap 1/4 turn and press the button for momentary on, 1/2 turn for constant on'? Dorcy flashlights all seem to work this way, as do Sears brand mag-lite esque LEDs. I've seen ones in the dollar store that are also like this, and I'm not sure about the one that Advance Auto Parts has that has 3 LEDs. It's got to be the most anti-ergonomic configuration /ever/, and even newer models from /other/ brands seem to be following it.
As for your question, I am very happy with my Harbor Freight 4LED flashlight. It takes 3 AA batteries, I put lithium ones in it so I can keep it in my car without worrying about them bursting in the heat or wearing out. It's not much thicker than the batteries themselves, but it /is/ a bit long, if you use it for up close work you have to remember it's longer than a mag-lite, or you'll poke your eye out. It has a /normal/ push button endcap. The button feels a little flimsy but I've been using it for a year and it's still fine. Normally 14.99, but it often goes on sale for 6.99 ; Just found it online for 9.99
formatting link
It's pretty bright, too.
My other flashlight is a Dorcy Metal Luxeon 1-Watt that I got in Wal-mart for $19. Incredibly bright. This one takes 3 AAAs, but it's thicker since they're arranged around the center of the flashlight.
Reply to
Fenrir Enterprises
Got one of those, but did not achieve the same results. Two of the four LEDs have already burnt out, and when they were working they were very blue, showing that they were being overdriven. Battery life has also been less than desirable. --Glenn Lyford
Reply to
glyford
I saw another one on HF's website that has a lanyard hook on it but otherwise looked exactly the same. Are you sure it's the same one? This one came in a grey box that said US General. I don't think I've used it heavily, but I've definitely used it a lot and haven't had any problems. It seems pretty evenly white, not noticeably bluer than the 1-watt luxeon one. Even if an LED did burn out, it was only $7 and most flashlights in that price range only have 1 LED. I was more worried about the very flimsy feeling button, but that's held up okay too.
I just saw a 3-watt Luxeon in Lowes today, $40. Runs on 2 C batteries. I'll get that before hurricane season, but I'll wait to hear more about battery life on it. Even with Cs instead of AAs, 2 cells for a 3-watt just doesn't sound like it'll last very long long.
Reply to
Fenrir Enterprises
Try to find an online "road test" of the light you settle on. Many (perhaps most) of the 3-cell LED lights have no regulation, and grow progressively dimmer as the batteries deplete. If you buy a flashlight that uses only one or two 1.5-volt cells, you are guaranteed to have a regulation circuit. LEDs rquire well over 3 volts on the diode, so the only way to get that is with 3 cells or with a voltage step-up circuit. Those that use the voltage step-up circuit are usually regulated, meaning that the output stays fairly constant until the batteries run flat.
I personally prefer AA batteries, as the cost is usually the same as AAAs but the energy content is about 3X. You can get some pretty nice 1- and 2-cell AA LED flashlights.
Martin
Reply to
Martin
I got a 3 Watt Luxeon on eBay before Christmas for a little over $10. It runs on 3 AA cells. It shines as far as my 2 D cell Maglight. I couldn't tell you how long the batteries last since I don't use it often. Forty dollars for a flashlight is a lot of money.
RWL
Reply to
RWL
i've had a LED question for a while but it is off the current topic. wondering if someone could help me design a LED lighting circuit.
i have this idea that i'd like to put a series of alternately colored LEDs strung out at 6 or maybe 12 inch spacing alnog the inside of the roof of a truck cargo bed cap (topper). want to drill holes into the horizontal square aluminum tube that makes up the roof support, have the wiring hidden. when i turn on the "dome light" in the cap i want it to look like there's a "party goin' awn" in the back. i'm clueless about electrical wiring. i've seen LEDs offered for sale on the internet with a resistor already attached but i'm assuming if i used 20 of those it would raise the electricity used to as much or maybe even more than if i used an incandescant lamp. i was hoping that maybe i could do this so that even if i used 10 or 20 LEDs it would use less electricity than a (single?) incandescent(?).
i wondered if, in order to not burn out a micro-voltage LED, i would have to wire up like maybe 5 of them in series, and then wire up sets (of 5) in parallel?
how to DO!?
thanks.
b.w.
Reply to
William Wixon

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.