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Flashlight, lantern, battery suggestions
Old 12-16-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
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Flashlight, lantern, battery suggestions

Electricity went out this morning and I reached for a battery powered lantern and a flashlight, both of which get very little use. Both had leaked batteries that sent them to the trash can.

Besides changing/checking batteries on a routine basis (like smoke detector batteries), is there a best brand or type of flashlight that is recommended? Or is there a particular brand of battery that is best?

Just wondering...
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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When my Mom died recently and I started going through her stuff (miserable job, btw), I found that she had a rechargeable spotlight, similar to Amazon.com: Streamlight Waypoint Rechargeable Flashlight - 120V AC, Black 44911: Sports & Outdoors. She lived out a bit past the boonies, where it gets really dark at night. I used it when taking my dog out at night, and it was fabulous! I bought one for our house down here in FL, but I just got a cheapo version. Still works great! It would be charged when the electricity went out, and it holds a charge for weeks at least. I would highly recommend something like this for your situation.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #3
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For around the house flashlights, I tend to go cheaper and buy in quantity, often the packs you often find cheap near the checkout at Home Depot or Lowes. That way I can put them in a few places around the house (kitchen drawer, night stand, tool box, car, utility room) so they are handy, and not feel bad if one craps out. LED is certainly the way to go.

I also have some headlamps I use for running that also work well for hands free task lighting, and in a power outage you can wrap it around a water jug facing in for a nice glowing lantern.

For batteries, avoid the cheap knock off brands, and try not to store them or things with them in hot or humid places. I think older weaker batteries are more prone to leakage, so periodically check and replace older batteries.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:05 AM   #4
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For batteries, avoid the cheap knock off brands, and try not to store them or things with them in hot or humid places. I think older weaker batteries are more prone to leakage, so periodically check and replace older batteries.
I have a couple of Maglite and some cheap 6V laterns. I also just bought a LED flashlight that is very bright. It was ~$30.

Use good batteries. That is the main help.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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I looked at a package of Duracell alkaline batteries a couple of weeks ago. It said the shelf life was 7 years! That's long enough for me. I put them near the flashlight, not in it. I figure I can put the batteries in if the lights go out, and I don't have to worry about the batteries damaging the flash light.

For my LED flash lights I use rechargeable Eneloops.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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...
For batteries, avoid the cheap knock off brands, and try not to store them or things with them in hot or humid places. ...
What is your basis for this? Most actual tests I've seen show little difference between 'brands' (often just labeling) of alkaline batteries. Though you can certainly pay more for 'brand' names.

Here's one, all in British terms though:

Battery Showdown — The Best AA Battery You Can Buy? — High Drain Test

-ERD50
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:22 AM   #7
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My engineer BIL spent his career working for Eveready. He says there is very little difference in the quality of almost any brand of alkaline battery.

He stores his in his refrigerator...
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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Our cache includes two flashlights that charge via a solar panel built in... you put it in the sun and it charges. We bought them at Costco and I have been surprised that they work pretty well. We also have some inexpensive LED flashlights and an LED lantern. The LED flashlights were about $3 each and seem to work well and are very compact. We recently added an LED that has a strap to wear it on your head and that has come in handy. I also get a Craftsman battery powered fluorescent light that I usually have I the garage when the power goes out.

We also have candles and a supply of 9v batteries so we can run the radio. I've considered buying a wind up radio and wind up flashlights but what we have works well enough.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:33 AM   #9
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fwiw, I did spend a little time on the Consumer Reports site..they prefer lithium over alkaline.. and Energizer as a brand. In the alkaline category, they recommend Duracell Quantum per their testing.
I will check into the LED lights. I do have one LED spotlight and it's gives off an amazing amount of light. It's a Waypoint brand.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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I think that these flashlights from Harbor Freight rock and I LOVE the price. They have a magnet on the back as well as a hanging hook, plus they have a small second light on the side. They use replaceable AAAs. The other little free 6 LED flashlights from HF are not dependable, as they lose their ground at the bulb head rather quickly.

Digital Savings and Coupons from Harbor Freight
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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I like the cheap $5-7 Cree flashlights on amazon or ebay. You can put a full 16-20oz bottle on top of it for a diffuser. They don't last forever but they are cheap enough to lose and not care about.

I keep two better quality flashlights at my bed side on top of my gun safe. I recharge/topoff the lithium batteries every few months.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
What is your basis for this? Most actual tests I've seen show little difference between 'brands' (often just labeling) of alkaline batteries. Though you can certainly pay more for 'brand' names.

Here's one, all in British terms though:

Battery Showdown — The Best AA Battery You Can Buy? — High Drain Test

-ERD50
Not much, just guessing that quality control might not be as good for some no-name brands mostly.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:23 AM   #13
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I think that these flashlights from Harbor Freight rock and I LOVE the price. They have a magnet on the back as well as a hanging hook, plus they have a small second light on the side. They use replaceable AAAs.Digital Savings and Coupons from Harbor Freight
And, they aren't cylindrical, which is great for any work that requires the light to stay in place on a flat surface.

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The other little free 6 LED flashlights from HF are not dependable, as they lose their ground at the bulb head rather quickly.
I guess I've been lucky with them so far--I have a lot and only a few have crumped out.

Other observations:
1) I got rid of all flashlights that take incandescent bulbs. The LEDs are more dependable and go through batteries slower. I did keep one small Maglight that has a lot of history behind it.
2) Quantity is important. Like scissors: I have a few good flashlights (and scissors) in places where I'll use them a lot and remember to put them back, but sprinkling cheap flashlights and scissors around the house has saved me a lot of steps (and searching, and finger-pointing at DW).
3) I've "bit" on the expensive alkalines for some uses, the ones that claim a 7+ year shelf life. I still use the no-name alkalines for the devices that get the most use, but for things that sit idle most of the time but are inconvenient when they fail (garage door remote, garage door keypad, home safe with electronic lock, etc), I'm buying in to the advertising about new chemistry that reduces internal standby leakage. I'd like to learn more about that.
4) Smoke detectors: I use the cheap alkalines and replace them annually. If they did run down in less than a year, the detector would beep, and that never happens. I only buy smoke detectors that take AA batteries, and the ones I remove work great in seldom-used flashlights and other uses for a long time.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:18 PM   #14
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I have a couple of Maglite and some cheap 6V laterns. I also just bought a LED flashlight that is very bright. It was ~$30.

Use good batteries. That is the main help.
+1 on the Maglite. I have a three-D-cell LED version. It works great and is extremely bright (and would make a nice weapon if the need arises.) I keep it in my Jeep just under the edge of the driver's seat.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:24 PM   #15
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My engineer BIL spent his career working for Eveready. He says there is very little difference in the quality of almost any brand of alkaline battery.

He stores his in his refrigerator...

I have had almost all brands of battery go bad... lost expensive Maglight and cheapo flashlight... most that have gone bad have been in the garage.... so I do think that the heat is a contributing factor... but I would not use my refrig space to store batteries.... some of the flashlights were still usable... I was miffed that the Maglight would not give up the bad batteries... they were 'frozen' in place....


One thing I can say is that I have never seen a battery go bad that is not in something.... not that it cannot happen, I just have not seen it...
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #16
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This thread got me started looking at flashlights on Amazon, and I found one that I think looks great for power outages. It is an LED light shaped like a lantern and it got great reviews on Amazon. I bookmarked it and might get one later on if it still appeals to me.

http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-44...=1418755521768
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #17
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I have a couple of the big Maglites that use multiple D cells, including an LED model, but as a practical matter, I find a smaller flat light like the HF mentioned above to be most useful around the house and a headlamp when I'm out walking the pooch at night. It is great to have both hands free, especially when you are..ahem.... picking up.

Those Maglites make great weapons though.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:00 PM   #18
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Not much, just guessing that quality control might not be as good for some no-name brands mostly.
I know someone who toured a battery factory. The exact same units came off the line and got shuttled to separate labeling stations. No difference other than the off-brand labels.

-ERD50
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:04 PM   #19
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This thread got me started looking at flashlights on Amazon, and I found one that I think looks great for power outages. It is an LED light shaped like a lantern and it got great reviews on Amazon. I bookmarked it and might get one later on if it still appeals to me.

http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-44...=1418755521768
I like that light. It's handy when searching unlit areas such as attics or crawl spaces, or for extended time on a tabletop during a power outage.

We have at least 6 flashlights around the house, mostly maglights. We had two like the one W2R linked but lost them to bad batteries.

Power outages were regular in Venezuela, having a couple of flashlights handy, along with a stock of batteries, can be a lifesaver.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:04 PM   #20
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I'm a big Streamlight fan. I found one by accident laying in a street curb that some contractor dropped out of his car, it was ice cold and mostly snow covered. This thing is what fireman use to look thru smoke filled rooms. You can send a focused beam for a long distance. I used this in a pitch black forest at midnight and it easily lit up the walking path. This one uses 4 AA batteries:

http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-90...ds=Streamlight

I don't like the Northern batteries sold at Menards, those leak a lot. Had too many new ones that were DOA too. I stick with Duracell and Energizers. By the way, if you contact the battery company, they will usually reimburse you for the damaged item from battery leakage. I had a Rayovac ruin my Maglite and they reimbursed me for it.
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