Safety Discussion; It’s NOT “just  a flashlight” anymore!

So what are you going to do?
Ban concrete and bricks so that nobody does that?
They will just find something else to throw and inconvenience everyone that uses concrete and bricks for their intended purpose.

You’re never going to solve people’s stupidity so the best that can be done is educate.

Heck, nobody seems to care that the D4 is a potential pipe bomb if the battery is accidentally put in backwards…

People should have that tattooed on ’em at birth.

You’re very wrong. There are many non-enthusiasts buying Maglite, Petzl, Led Lenser and similar brands because they seek quality tools.

Lithium-ion battery safety 101

Still, these can contain multiple 18650s and do over 1000 lumens.

My labtop contains multiple 18650’s, it depends how they are employed if they are dangerous or not.

And 1000 lumens unless very well collimated at very short range by a good quality thrower flashlight, like a well-modded 300 kcd Brinyte B158 focused at 1 meter instead of infinity (how many of your neighbours have one of those?) will not make you go blind, we humans are designed to look into the sun inadvertently every now and then (up to 130 kcd!) without getting eye damage.

Interesting thread. I'll be preaching to the choir here, for the most part, but OP asked...

Like any powerful tool, high-performance flashlights can be misused.

Nighttime in the country. Bubba has a beer in him. Bubba sez, "Hey y'all, watch this"

Or, mean kid/delinquent/bad seed has mommy's kewl new light, prowling the dimly-lit suburbs. Kid sez to companion, "Wanna see somethin' cool?".

Or, someone with truly nefarious intent knows exactly what he's doing.

Meanwhile, tired soccer mom/corporate CFo/CountyJudge is finally on their way home with the kids in the vehicle. Dim dashboard lighting and headlights reflecting from the road have their pupils well dilated for max night vision. They're instantly flash-blinded; hit squarely in the face by said bubba's flashlight brilliance or, worse, by stupid punks strobe. Bubba's idiocy results in simple flash blind. Punk kid's stupidity results in same, plus the disorienting effect of strobe. Nefarious criminal keeps the beam aimed precisely at the windshield, preventing any clear view of the road. Either way, worst case is driver/passenger(s) have a very bad night. They probably live. Or not.

Like any powerful object, some measure of responsible intelligence is implied in it's use

In grade school we were evaluated and graded on how well we followed directions. Safety documentation is widely available for LiIon cells. Every loose cell sold to consumers should come with safety instructions, IMHO.

When all else fails, read the directions. Think.

Seem to me, devices that don't have reverse polarity protection have a fatal design flaw. Pun intended.

Mistakes happen. The uninformed do get their hands on items of which they only know the basics. "Uhhh... this looks kinda like a battery. Weird lookin' one. Odd place fer a switch, here on the end of this fancy flashlight. Look, it unscrews! I think this weird battery will fit. Let's see if it works!".

We can use our imagination from here.

If we keep buying items that don't have the simple feature of reverse polarity protection, manufacturers have no incentive to remove that flaw.

I'm new to the HiPo light scene. It looks to me from a newbie's perspective that we're in a golden age of handheld lighting. Wish I had answers. It'll only take a few sensationalized news stories re: those "assault lights" before things are legislated to our detriment.

"Those weird batteries are dangerous. They don't even sell them a drug stores. The government should get involved".

"No one needs more than 100 lumens!"

"Those scary black flashlights will blow up! Think of the chirren!!".

"Ban them, before they start making bump-switches and shoulder things that go up!!!".

"Common sense flashlight laws!!!!".

The more I think about this, the more I think that from this point forward, any light that doesn’t have reverse polarity protection is going to be a FAIL in the “Real World Reviews”.

the tenor of this discussion escalated quickly from flashlight and battery safety into namecalling and psuedopunditry.
shame, really.

Lots of useful info and considerations here for a li-ion n00b like me, especially the link to the “Safety 101” thread. I guess one benefit of the long shipping from Banggood is I have plenty of time to read up on 18650’s, etc… before my Q8 arrives.

If I can have an old man “Get off my Lawn!” moment, I’ve noticed headlights are getting a bit out of control. I’m much more worried about being blinded by other drivers than by a random punk with a turbo-charged flashlight. People with those HID LED headlights are basically just driving around with their brights on all the time.

/rant off

There are several stories of people specifically being injured by lithium battery flashlights. Permanent damage and disability. There are also stories of flashlights exploding where the operators were fortunate enough that no one was injured. Unfortunately, a lot of these stories have been buried over time. Basically, the worst case scenario is that someone dies, you kill someone else (like a family member) or the rest of their life is ruined. Just Google “flashlight explosion”.

The biggest risks are multi-cell devices where the cells are unbalanced (or become unbalanced over time). Also, using a poor cell or low-drain cell in a high-drain application. Lithium primaries also seem to be particularly vulnerable.

Here is one to get you started. This resulted in permanent disability. This is a sticky on CPF.

Flashlight exploded in mouth. Permanent damage.

Battery exploding on charger:!!

Explosion in flashlight, doesn’t appear to have any permanent injury:

House fire. 2 stories:![](-AND-MY-HOUSE-WAS-ON-FIRE)

Surefire explosion:


There are also lots of stories where vapers blew up their device in their face. Fortunately, those often involve devices which a higher current draw than most flashlights. Just Google “vape explosion”. One more reason not to smoke or vape.

Lots of people here in my place, especially scooters, with 6-12 led light bars. Enforcement is basically non-existent. Really nasty to encounter on our dark nighttime streets. Flashlight enthusiasts are fighting back. I foresee something bad happening and stupid legislation coming.

We have especially stupid politicians and leo’s like that time a gang used hammers in a mall to smash jewelry display cases to rob a shop. The powers that be decided to ban hammers being sold in malls.


That is pretty stooopit, even by politician standards. (I thought the US had a monopoly on that.)

Not like they can, ohhhhh, bring their own? Use wrenches? Use bricks?

Like I said… wow.


Haha yah.

I do worry about the ubiquity of products using bare 18650 cells and (other li-ions). These cells - even when protected - are not suitable for ordinary consumers.

I don’t like to see enthusiasts recommend lights using these cells to ‘ordinary’ folk. If your buddy or family member asks what light to buy…direct them towards an AA-based light. Keep enthusiast stuff for enthusiasts. Enthusiasts tend to have a little more knowledge and care about the products they use.

There was a guy killed late last year in a flashlight related incident. We don’t know exactly what happened. Apparently he was holding a flashlight in his mouth while looking under the hood. It exploded; severely injuring his brain and breaking his neck.

lots of problems, not so many solutions. in industry in this country, someone does something stupid with a product, they include a warning with the packaging or on the product. that’s why when you buy a microwave oven, you get a booklet with thirty pages of warnings and maybe 2-3 pages of actual instruction.

This is precisely why I started this thread.
Since I’m known in my circles as “the light guy” I’ve recently had a serious increase in the number of people who want to buy “strong” flashlights for power outages and so forth. They go search on Amazon and are exposed to 2000+ lumen super-lights, 18650 or 26650 cells and the chargers and have absolutely NO idea what it all means because they just wanted an emergency light but have the usual assumption that “more is better”.

I’ve had to do a lot of educating, and in several cases have had to make the decision to steer them towards something a bit less, um, aggressive in terms of lumens and power source(s).

Found the link to the story about the man being killed by a flashlight explosion:

That’s why to this day I refuse to let mum have a light with a Li cell of any kind. She was buying those crappy multi-LED 3×AAA lights, and they all fizzle, blink, don’t turn on, etc. “Because you keep on buying crap, that’s why!”

She wanted me to get her a light, but she leaves them on, face-down, then wonders why all her lights are dead, why the alkaleaks went poopy inside and ruined the carriers, etc., etc.

Those big yellow lights with the 3 1W LEDs, that take the “brick” 6V batteries… same thing. Leaves ’em on, they end up dead.

So, ya really think I’m going to get her a light that even with a protected cell, would be left to run down overnight? Yuh-huh, that’ll happen…

So I donated my crappy AT01s to her. Bypassed the drivers so they’re DD with the included 3×AAA carriers. Still, the POS switch goes mental and flickers nonstop, and it’s got one of those weirdo tailcaps with the dinky little ballpoint-pen spring sticking out.

And then she goes and on her own buys a Tac-Light… :facepalm:

I do have to admit, the superficial quality seems nice. Well-lubed threads, nice action on the head zooming in/out, just the right amount of resistance, and an emitter that looks at least like an XM-L2, even if a LB clone.

Beware, though, it’s an always-on light with a momentary-break e-switch in the tail. No half-pressing anything, just click-click-click to cycle through all the modes, including blinkies. Ugh.

But hey, to someone who never had a decent light, it’s Something Else.

I should show her a ceiling-bounce test with the TL vs, was going to say a Q8 but even a C8A/C8F would light up the room like daylight.