Disaster Kit Flashlight

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Last seen: 1 hour 11 min ago
Joined: 06/22/2018 - 09:18
Posts: 754
Location: USA

I’m not a fan of relying on the no-name budget lights (typically 3 x AAA) for a true emergency due to how flaky they can be. I can think of 5 of these lights of three different designs still floating around my house from the days of being a recent graduate when I wanted something with better runtime than my old Maglite Mini, but was too cheap to even buy another Maglite.

All of them have low quality switches that seem to gradually get worse over time (corrosion?) and often require a hard shake to get a good connection. When they do work, the output is wildly inconsistent due to lack of regulation. The tints are terrible (which can be relevant to first aid). Often they are bulky for what they offer.

The Fenix E01, Sofirn C01, and Gerber Infinity Ultra are all well made, highly efficient, long runtime lights I’d recommend. The C01 has the bonus of high CRI, even if the low output makes that mainly relevant within a couple feet.

For something with more output, the Sofirn SF10 is one I’d probably consider. The SF14, Lumintop Tool AA, and Convoy T2 are all similar, with a bit more output.

If you ever felt like having a backup to your emergency lights, you can buy multi-packs of the little coin cell squeeze lights for around $1 each. Similarly, these are really low cost/weight/size light you could keep on hand and just dispose of when it dies:

Lightbringer's picture
Last seen: 21 min 59 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 11131
Location: nyc

For a real “disaster kit” light that might sit around for years without even being looked at, don’t even think of using alkaleaks. They’ll be a pile of salt if left outside the light, or will have taken the light right along with it if left inside.

Get a light that can take 1 or 2 CR123As. Think a Jet-II can run off a single ’123, and the MH20, SP32Av2 can take a pair of ’123s. And keep a box of ’123s so you won’t have to scrounge around.

Lotta people want to stick with alkaleaks like AAs because you’d likely to still find ‘em when the SHTF, or after the Zombie Apocalypse. Hell, get a trio of AAs to dump their charge to a 16340 instead.

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Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 20:00
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Lightbringer wrote:
… don’t even think of using alkaleaks… Lotta people want to stick with alkaleaks like AAs because you’d likely to still find ‘em when the SHTF

Alkaline batteries are bad news for any long-term application. I can’t tell you how many devices I’ve seen damaged or destroyed by them over the years, from childhood toys to household flashlights. You might get lucky but don’t count on it.

I invested in some nice, safe, leak-proof Eneloop and Eneloop Pro NiMH last year and I’ve been very happy. They offer the same form factor and fit most devices that use AA or AAA. It isn’t just flashlights. Lots of devices continue to use AA or AAA batteries, from TV remotes to wall clocks. Having safe batteries of a standard size that last a long time and can be recharged hundreds (or thousands) of times is awesome. My personal experience is only about a year long but they are supposed to have a very long shelf life too.

The NiMH have me covered for most things. I like that I could use alkaleaks in a pinch because the market is saturated with them and almost every household in the country has a few of them in a drawer somewhere. Otherwise, CR123 is good if you need to use or store them in a very cold environment.