Advice on flashlights to send to friends with intermittent power

To the OP, does the country get enough winter sunshine that a AA yard light would charge enough to usually give 2 or 3 hours of dim light in the evening?

I know winter overcast is typical, but is there enough sun to keep a AA partly charged enough to give a little dim light when brought into the apartment or house, reducing the use of their flashlights and lanterns?

In a situation, people trying to save their batteries can adapt to reducing their usage as long as there is a little moonlight through the windows or a little ambient light.

Well said Photon Master!! I am completely gobsmacked by the “complainers” comments. He must have been having a bad day. :person_facepalming: :smiley:

As was mentioned, a headlamp(s) in addition to flashlights would be great.

Also a rechargeable power bank such as This one on Amazon might come in very handy if the power blackouts were longer than expected.

Where do these people live??

I would buy a name brand one since they won’t be able to warranty or replace one as easily as we can.
I have a Renogy Phoenix 100 which i would recommend except its no longer made and it takes 5 hours to fully charge.

That said what about a 50W solar panel and a small power station so they can generate their own power more reliably?

Something like that would be useful and cost-effective with a sort of ‘block captain’ idea.
Neighborhoods/groups that aren’t large enough to be serviced by government resources could have a volunteer that would agree to host the solar power charger station, they could even do the charging of devices and serve as a rotation center for nimh batteries for the group.

Assuming there is enough sunlight to feed the solar charger power bank, but slow and intermittent is better than nothing.

It’s a world away, but I worked in South Africa in 2015. I know it’s different to some hypothetical country on European contient that’s been invaded (lol at the “politics ”of this thread).

I did about 8h underground each day. I had 3 18650 cells, one in a ZL H600 and a thrower, I’d use up about 1 and a half of the cells, the 3rd was a non-negotiable backup (one is none 2 is one etc).

Power was on maybe 80% of the time, which I assume is better than Ukraine some mysterious hypothetical country that’s been invaded by Russia.

I occasionally struggled to get the two cells charged overnight.

Some, non-specific reccomendations:

1) Get lights that use the same cell and get extra cells so they’re not relient on cells charging in the preceding 24h. Maybe, when calculating requirements, assume one recharge per 48h?

2) Get a multi-bay charger, that can be left plugged in, and will charge whatever the power comes on, without any intervention.

3) Get a bunch of single cell headlamps, maybe a lantern, maybe one or two more throwy flashlights.

Shipping from Mars would be prohibitively expensive. So I would say weight would be the primary consideration, not power or run time.

Photon Master You probably have 3 options:

1) Order lights from Ali / China without LiIons shipped to Ukraine. This way they will arrive faster. I think we still have some 18650/21700 etc available for sale locally. You can order with LiIons included but it will take longer to arrive.

2) Buy everything from the US dealers/stores and use Meest US forwarder to deliver to Ukraine (they should accept LiIons if declared properly). You can combine everything in one box but the total cost of the items should be below $145. I think this will be faster than China.

3) I think there are still some Covboy, Olight and other brands still available in Ukraine but the price can be 2x. So sending some money and helping to choose flashlights and batteries can be fastest option available :slight_smile:

P.S. no massive attack today because we hit russia first!!! but it can happen anytime soon :frowning:

I disagree with zoulas. The author of the thread asks what flashlights to buy and gives the context in which they would be used.

I would recommend getting flashlights with 18650 batteries plus a charger that can charge 18650. The reason to go with 18650 is they can be obtained for free from used laptop battery packs which should be available in any country. You can buy Convoy flashlights from their AliExpress store and ship them directly to the country of your choice:
I have several Convoy C8 around the house and they have been extremely reliable for the last 5 years. You can buy 18650 battery chargers from AliExpress inexpensively as well:

When you pull an 18650 battery from a laptop battery pack, even if its voltage is extremely low and it appears that it is ruined, do not give up on it. Put it in a charger at the lowest amperage (I charged mine at 0.2A) and chances are good it will recover.

Do not use PayPal on AliExpress if it is linked to your credit card. AliExpress charges it as a cash transaction. If you have a CapitalOne credit card, they give 5% back on purchases made at AliExpress if you initiate such purchases from within your online credit card account and pay with that credit card.

I recommend 21700s, they have 50-100% more capacity and you can use 18650s in it if you wish.

I've been recommending a $12 Boruit D10 (king of the budget headlamps) to lots and lots of people because they are just a really good bang for your buck light and a headlamp that can easily be popped in or out of its cradle makes it a true multi-tool. If you glue a decent magnet on one end it's a good stuck to the refrigerator or over the stove cooking light .

I have no shortage of flashlights because I am passionate. One can rejoice that this hour has come when all this wealth came in handy, if not for the grief with which it all came. From personal experience, I can say that the main demand is for a headband and a straight fluder and (oddly enough) a cheap Chinese with a side KOB. Charging in the flashlight is not required, external is better. Everything is on 18650, because it is more affordable. Smaller elements cannot stand the time of work, large ones are either cumbersome or less accessible.

Unfortunately the man in the street is always the victim of the board games of the world’s power elites.

I assume solar charging is not a great alternative in this season.

Part of my blackout preps is a couple of these using a single nimh AA.
Solar Spot Lights Outdoor, LED Waterproof Pond Light Solar Spotlight Underwater Light Security Lighting Dark Sensing Auto On/Off

With a 10 foot cord an apartment dweller can place the solar charger in the sun and run the cord through the patio door or a window, or in the-country-that-isn’t-Ukraine, even drill a hole to run the cord.

In my small house, just one of these angled down the hall from the kitchen gives me enough light to move around the entire house, go to the bathroom, etc. In my thinking that is a big asset in a sustained blackout, and reduces the use of lanterns, headlamps and flashlights.

I’d personally recommend the M21B XHP70.3 with a diffuser.

Efficient driver, very efficient LED at low power, decent battery capacity.

The Nitecore LA10 is a very nice light and AA batteries are universal. You could also put a cone on a cheap 17650 light like a Wurkkos FC11. The problem is a 18650 take a few hours to fully charge and it sounds like power is only available for one hour at a time. A small folding solar panel could be a solution, with batteries in rotation, or multiple batteries in a 4x charger, in rotation, each having got 4 x 1 hour of charge over 4 days.

I suspect heat is a more pressing concern for your friends, and communications to stay safe.

Thanks again for all the help everyone… I change the title of this thread to indicate that I just happen to have some family in an area with no power during a lot of the day. I certainly didn’t mean to bring any politics into discussion. All advice is greatly appreciated!

Whats your budget, i could give much better advice with a dollar amount attached.

Now it's a little better already. It looks like our power engineers are correcting the situation, also thanks to the help of almost the whole world. If the shutdown schedule returns 4 hours in 4, it will not be bad.

“Thanks to the whole world” pumping billions of tax payers money into this war, prolonging it until God knows when…

We could just surrender to evil :person_facepalming: