Disaster Kit Flashlight

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Wlai
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Disaster Kit Flashlight

I need to set up a handful of 72hrs emergency kits for situations such as earthquakes and disasters, and wanted to solicit your advice on what types and models of flashlights to put in them.

Because the users range from kids to non-hobbyists, I want to keep things very simple, reliable, and foolproof for the user. We won’t be spelunking or anything (at least I hope not), and so pure performance in terms of lumens isn’t important. I think the key factors to consider are: 1) Reliability: it must work after long term storage, can take repeated drops and survives, etc. 2) Simplicity: anyone can operate it without instruction. 3) Runtime: Good runtime at low to medium lumens. 4) Battery availability: No rechargeable batteries or hard to find battery such as CR123, etc. Probably limits the choices to AA/AAA. 5) Reasonable price, as I have to equip a good number of kit.s

I’m leaning towards 1xAA or 1xAAA units, as batteries are easily available and they are small enough to put in a kid’s backpack without too much weight, even with a spare battery in tow. 3xAAA would be nice too but they are bulkier and require more batteries as backup, though correspondingly runtimes are better as a tradeoff.

What are the most robust units at a reasonable price that you’d recommend? I’ve always been partial to playing with the brightest and cheapest, modding, etc., but this is a very different scenario so I’m not sure where to start.

Edited by: Wlai on 02/08/2019 - 02:01
Jack Kellar
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Sofirn C01 is as simple as it gets and with what it’s based off of (the legendary Fenix E01), it should be bloody bombproof. One lithium primary inside each should get you set.

MascaratumB
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Jack Kellar wrote:
Sofirn C01 is as simple as it gets and with what it’s based off of (the legendary Fenix E01), it should be bloody bombproof. One lithium primary inside each should get you set.

+ 1 to Sofirn C01

However, I also would like to know which TESTED AA light would have that kind of characteristics (long runtime), on the budget level, with slightly higher output than the C01.

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Jack Kellar
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MascaratumB wrote:
Jack Kellar wrote:
Sofirn C01 is as simple as it gets and with what it’s based off of (the legendary Fenix E01), it should be bloody bombproof. One lithium primary inside each should get you set.

+ 1 to Sofirn C01

However, I also would like to know which TESTED AA light would have that kind of characteristics (long runtime), on the budget level, with slightly higher output than the C01.

Glasses
Tough one. I don’t know of even one single-mode 1xAA torch that came out after the launch of the Fenix E11.

chadvone
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Almost 7 years before your first post?

Jack Kellar
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Hardcore lurking Silly

bikenber73
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I did something similar, built “shelter in place” bags after 9-11. Placed them under each employees desk. Half of the stuff disappeared within the first 6 months. Now we have a cabinet with all of the supplies in it and a red zip-tie like lock on it and a alarm warning sign.

I purchased something very similar to these. https://www.amazon.com/Dorcy-140-Lumen-Resistant-Unbreakable-Flashlight/...

They came in blister packs with batteries in the packs so I didn’t open them up.

kikkoman
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I personally stay away from all things 3xAAA.

- it usually means bad regulation and efficiency, those tend to be DD with resistor or linear driver since it’s pretty easy to design, a good 2-cell boost driver is pretty complex in comparison

-(although this means such a light can truly drain batteries to ZERO whereas a CC regulated boost converter refuses to start up at some point before that, so maybe that’s a plus in some scenarios)

-3 cells means there’s always a lonely cell left over from a pack… Sick … and if you’re truly in an emergency, you’re much more likely to find 2 cells (remote controls etc.) and if you find one extra, it’s probably mismatched

——————————-

1xAA is nice and compact, but most drivers are not very efficient (<70%) above 200lm, especially with alkalines. It’s inevitable.
2xAA is much better in this regard and can be quite compact, the MT22A looks like a good choice for an emergency kit (but 30$…)

Propeak
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For an AA with a good reputation I’d go consider the Jetbeam JET – I MK
Versatile runtimes, decent construction, waterproof and reliable.
You can also keep an aaa to aa battery converter tube for versatility and perhaps a diffuser (if there are any for it).
I use mine with a cheap ebay headband and it makes for a decent headlamp too.

I’d also agree with the C01 on paper, as I haven’t received mine yet Sad

Barry Lyndon
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jerm03
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nottawhackjob
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“Because the users range from kids to non-hobbyists I want to keep things very simple, reliable,…….”

I have a BUNCH of these throughout the house (basically in every room) and elsewhere. As simple and practical (i.e., I don’t care $$$-wise if you sumhow destroy it) for wide-user range applications as it prolly can reasonably get. Uber-lightweight, essentially water proof, tuff/well-made, uber easy to operate, and one of the most important features, it’s also a 360 degree LANTERN.

Each comes with 3x AA batts and runs for a LONGTIME. On sale @ Costco I’ve seen them fer as low as $9.97 for the THREE PAK. Mind you including NINE Duracell AA batts. Even at $18 STILL a GOOD DEAL.

Since each light carries three AA batts, in a pinch you also have an emergency supply of AA’s on hand should you for wattever reason need just a single AA to operate another type light. IMNSHO stick with AA platforms. AA’s are the most common batt size in Muggleland.

About as foolproof and muggle-proof as you can get.

And they do exactly watt they advertise they’ll do. IMNSHO if there ever was an ideal “emergency light” that every BLFer should have on hand for doling out to non-hobbyists during SHTF events THIS IS IT. CoolThumbs UpGrad

https://www.costco.com/Life-Gear-100-Lumen-AR-Tech-Flashlight-with-Area-...

And yes they’ll also run on 1.2v NiMH rechargeables too.

I also bought these becuz 9volt batts are prevalent. These run seemingly forever. Dorcy had a BOGO recently that worked out to $1.50 INCLUDING the batt. IMNSHO every emergency SHTF kit should have at least one of these.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=9v+flashlight+snap+on&crid=KM3TI4X41PD8&spref...

And yes they’ll also run on 9v NiMH rechargeables too.

PS. I almost feel like this is sum kind of FEMA public service announcement or sumthing. LOLShocked

PSS. Ignore anyone’s comment about them being ‘flimsy’. They’re not. They’re WELL MADE.

PSSS. On the Costco Life-Gear light, there’s about 1 1/4” diameter folding steel ring at the tail end. Uber handy for hanging it in tents, off tree branches, fence tops, general protrusions, well you get the picture. And btw, you would normally presume that at this price point this
1 1/4” ring snaps down into closed position flush ring would be carbon steel, right? Nope. It’s STAINLESS STEEL. As are the two contact anodes that allow it to turn on automatically if thrown into the water. So no exposed metal that easily rusts. !!!

PSSSS. That clear plastic surrounding the lantern LEDs? Well that clear housing just bayonets off in a quick twist. No threads to get crossed-up. It’s also O-Ringed. AND there’s enough room INSIDE of that lantern clear housing to DRYLY STORE STUFF. Ya know, matches, paper munny, coins, para cord, string saw, even for a single AAA batt PLUS sum maybe even all the foregoing. Use yer ingenuity.

And I actually like it that it’s NOT dinky. Not so easy to lose for even a 7 year old and so light that grandma can throw it at a zombie with velocity. ShockedBeer

PSSSSS. Oh…..and, it has a bezel ring that unscrews from the main black switch housing. This bezel ring self-contains and retains the reflector itself. The reflector won’t fall out on the ground IOW. It also is O-ringed protected on the main black side switch housing.
So when ya unscrew (there is about 1/2” width’s worth of coarse threads to securely werk with) this bezel/reflector portion, inside of that back switch housing there’s ALSO room to hiddenly store stuff, especially paper munny, and the bendable like. This main switch housing also has two lanyard holes where the bezel part meets it btw.

“WAIT! THERE’S MORE!”………

After unscrewing off the bezel/reflector ya now have yerself A MULE! Tat’s right. A nice even big soft circle of light either standing from the flat tail end or hanging from the tail ring off yer 18K gold Mr. T chains. Steve

It’s a durable-enuff, uber inexpensive, muggly-purposed , elegantly-simple, well-made, easily disassembled/assembled, overall brilliant design. Grad Great job Life-Gear! CashThumbs Up

PSSSSSS. Here I am PSSSSSSSing my life away again.

“In many things in order to truly understand the small picture you have to understand the big picture first.”

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jerm03 wrote:
Barry Lyndon wrote:
Easy. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FTNY3ZK/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=... Good choice.

 

Love the Storbe mode they list.

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Any of the LuxPro lights with Vipon coupon take alkaleaks, and are included with the light. Also have a rubber sleeve around the battery-tube for grip. A bit pricey without a discount, but a steal with one.

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sbslider
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Barry Lyndon wrote:
Easy.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FTNY3ZK/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=...


likely a decent light that fits the bill for the OP, but could not help but Facepalm when I read the description of 7W and see it runs on an AA battery. looks like a 14500 will work also, but most folks won’t know this.

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hank
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As mentioned above, use Energizer brand lithium primary.
Long shelf life, and they won’t leak like alkalines.

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sbslider wrote:
likely a decent light that fits the bill for the OP, but could not help but Facepalm when I read the description of 7W and see it runs on an AA battery. looks like a 14500 will work also, but most folks won’t know this.

They’re good enough; but when you consider the price, they’re amazing. They’re certainly not the brightest, but I haven’t tried running a 14500 yet. Since you mentioned it, I’m eyeballing some LiFePo4 14500s; but the typical 500-700mAh capacities are a bit disappointing. Surely it would be much brighter, but at only 25% of the runtime. On the other hand, I can get [4] of these batteries for like $10 and they’d last over 5 years and 1,000 cycles. Plus they could be easily charged in series with a little solar panel I have — if necessary.

I’ve bought one of these 5-packs and one of the Kootek brand 5-packs at various times. I have a flashlight at the ready in pretty much every conceivable spot around the house and car. They also make great gifts to pass out at kids’ birthday parties or whatever. Cheap as hell and very useful – my favorite attributes.

All of mine have worked so far. No duds yet.

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Your best choices for AAA and AA flashlights are places like Home Depot, Lowes, Harbor Freight or more common stores for common cell releases.

Wlai
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Yup on the long time lurking Smile I got really into the hobby and then it quickly overwhelmed me. Bought a bunch of cheap DX/Banggood/Aliexpress lights to play with, but so many of them failed with no apparent reason that I just kinda gave up for a while. Sure I can spend $50-100 on a Fourseven or something but that’s really not my thing. Did occasionally come and check out what’s up, and see BLF specials but always too late! So the Sofirn C01 is a perfect recommendation for me, thanks!

I really like the SK-68 5-pack too; think I actually have one of those around. Are they any good reliability wise? Sure is cheap! And the Costco recommendation may just be the ticket: My wife loves anything Costco so I can get her to go along with that, no problem Smile I always joke that if Costco sells a mistress I can probably pick one up with her approval. And it’ll probably come in a 3-pack to boot!

The Dorcy looks interesting too. Are they anymore bombproof than the Sofirn aluminum, do you think? The Jet Beam is nice but probably over budget for this application.

Thanks for all the recommendation. Keep them coming, and good to finally get out of the deep lurk!

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Wlai wrote:
I really like the SK-68 5-pack too; think I actually have one of those around. Are they any good reliability wise?

I have Ultrafire-branded single-mode versions of those lights that I bought a 6-pack of on eBay a few years ago for around 13 dollars shipped. They work pretty well, although they won’t give you the best runtimes possible.
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Wlai wrote:
Yup on the long time lurking Smile I got really into the hobby and then it quickly overwhelmed me. Bought a bunch of cheap DX/Banggood/Aliexpress lights to play with, but so many of them failed with no apparent reason that I just kinda gave up for a while. Sure I can spend $50-100 on a Fourseven or something but that’s really not my thing. Did occasionally come and check out what’s up, and see BLF specials but always too late! So the Sofirn C01 is a perfect recommendation for me, thanks!

I really like the SK-68 5-pack too; think I actually have one of those around. Are they any good reliability wise? Sure is cheap! And the Costco recommendation may just be the ticket: My wife loves anything Costco so I can get her to go along with that, no problem Smile I always joke that if Costco sells a mistress I can probably pick one up with her approval. And it’ll probably come in a 3-pack to boot!

The Dorcy looks interesting too. Are they anymore bombproof than the Sofirn aluminum, do you think? The Jet Beam is nice but probably over budget for this application.

Thanks for all the recommendation. Keep them coming, and good to finally get out of the deep lurk!

Well as you and wife undoubtedly know if you’re dissatisfied with the Costco lights just take them to any Costco Warehouse and you will get your money back instantly. I believe for as long 1 year after purchase and more in sum cases. Try that with sumthing shipped from China. Shocked

The Dorcy/Amazon-generic 9 volt block lites have little to break on them. The polycarbonate plastic material is robust enuff to take pretty good abuse.

And as ya likely know 9 volt batteries are tuff as heck already by themselves plus they rarely leak as often as other alkaline sizes tend to do if left unremoved for longer periods.

The smallness of the 9volt block lites can be one big plus if you’re really trying to keep your emergency storage kits as small and light as possible. Weight here is negligible for either the Costco or the 9 volt lite.

Ya know watt? I’d get BOTH to try out. Then figure out watt quantity ratios of each is most suitable for the various ages and physical/mental abilities of your prospective end users.

You may very well end up with a mix of lights for different potential scenarios.

PS. Oops. Just realized yer referring to bikenber73’s Dorcy lights – his Post #7. Those should work great for your particular emergency applications. Tuff as nails I suspect plus they likely are great in rainy, muddy, conditions. No to little rust corrosion issues to ever worry about.

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I'm guessing the answer is the three mode ...opps I mean  2 mode and a strobe .

I like how the trend now is for dimmer lights that have longer runtime ..

How about the sofirn Sf10 that runs 6 -7$  a AA 4 mode that starts in high , has 4 nicely spaced modes,takes the old style bolt on convoy s2 clip but..some bad low frequency pwm . If you're buying a C1 from them you might want tyo toss in a sf10 or even a sp10 for fun ...I still like the original $2 zoomie over the sk68 clones

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Wlai
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Yeah, the 9v battery+ light is a good kit for the school backpack. And definitely getting the Costco light, I like the versatility. Too many good options Smile

Quote:
Well as you and wife undoubtedly know if you’re dissatisfied with the Costco lights just take them to any Costco Warehouse and you will get your money back instantly. I believe for as long 1 year after purchase and more in sum cases. Try that with sumthing shipped from China. Shocked

The Dorcy/Amazon-generic 9 volt block lights have little to break on them. The polycarbonate plastic material is a robust enuff to take pretty good abuse.

And as ya likely know 9-volt batteries are tuff as heck already by themselves plus they rarely leak as often as other alkaline sizes tend to do if left unremoved for longer periods.

The smallness of the 9volt block lights can be one big plus if you’re really trying to keep your emergency storage kits as small and light as possible. Weight here is negligible for either the Costco or the 9 volt light.

Ya know watt? I’d get BOTH to try out. Then figure out watt quantity ratios of each is most suitable for the various ages and physical/mental abilities of your prospective end users.

You may very well end up with a mix of lights for different potential scenarios.

PS. Oops. Just realized yer referring to bikenber73’s Dorcy lights – his Post #7. Those should work great for your particular emergency applications. Tuff as nails I suspect plus they likely are great in rainy, muddy, conditions. No to little rust corrosion issues to ever worry about.