What is it that makes flashlights so addicting to you?

<warning: this may be boring so skip to the end sentence :P>

Here is my story. A few years ago I was making some camping gear purchases for an upcoming fishing trip. When we go out into the wilderness we get out there, middle of nowhere with no electricity. So I wanted a good headlamp. I purchased a Petzl Tikka plus and the package stated 35 lumens. I had no idea or care what it meant at the time, but to me, it was bright and did the trick!

Fast forward to last year around this time. I am walking through Cabelas just browsing with my girlfriend. I see a package on the wall with a flashlight in it, and the description stating '150 lumens'.....wow. I had no idea that something this bright existed! that was over 4 times brighter than my tikka plus! But it cost over $100 which blew my mind. I was too cheap for that.

lol....ya. i was so sheltered from what was out there now that I look back on it. I turned it on, pointed it at the white wall and was hooked. It blew me away. For some reason I was instantly addicted. (My girlfriend was with me from the very beginning, and she still shakes her head at me when a new light shows up in the mail lol)

I got home and went online. The first link that popped up with my search brought me to dealextreme. That is where my addiction to budget lights started. My first purchase was a MTE M3-2. (unfortunately back then i didn't know how annoying modes where, ESPECIALLY 8 of them!!)

Anyways, today I was wondering what causes this 'addiction'. Nobody really understands me and I couldn't explain why I love them so much. It must be different reasons for everyone and I figured my reasons where as follows:

1. I am a machinist. I have a knack for nicely machined Items. I know these lights are 'budget' but its impressive to me that something with that amount of machining and time put into it can be sold for so cheap. When we complain about dirty threads or bad knurling, nobody really thinks about what goes into the actual machining process to make these items let alone tack on the costs for the rest of the lights components. Anyways, I just like the machined and manufactured side of them.

2. I love the outdoors. I love camping gear. I guess flashlights are the thing I latched onto most when it comes to outdoor gear. Some ppl like knives, some like guns, I like flashlights.

And overall, I just love gadgets, so I guess this just all comes together to form my 'addiction'.

Sorry if this is a silly topic, but I always hear of everyones families/friends/significant other always having something to say about our little hobby lol :)

So my question to you all is, why are you hooked on flashlights?

Ha, interestingly I probably would have listed these same two reasons! I used to do mechanical design work, and I find it fascinating that these marginally high to very high quality tools can be sold for so cheap. And I spend a lot of time outdoors at night, or in a power outage.

A strong beam of light makes me look more powerfull. Light seems energy and is like holding the sword of He-Man or a lightsaber.

LOL? That there is truth to this?

Personally I find no other explanation for my case. I love flashlights but do not give them a specific use (no outdoors at night).

...and power outages sound like an excuse for flashaholics (We all know) :P

I am just as mystified as you about this. Partly I think it's about owning a fine piece of machined metal in your hands. Also, being able light up a totally dark area has a strange attraction for me - and I'm sure a lot of you guys (out there in the darkness) too.

Strangely enough, I don't think the girls really enjoy this. I think it's primarily a "man" thing, although there might be exceptions of course. Soon as I bought my first flashlight about 10 months ago, my son wanted one for himself too. And just like you my wife doesn't seem to "get" it (... why do you need so many lights???).

I was never into flashlights at all until I stumbled upon the other place and BLF while researching rechargeable batteries for my camera. All I had around the house were the cheap, plastic duracell flashlights that I got at walmart. I really had no idea that there were so many different kinds, brands, makes and models of flashlights that came with its own sub-culture of collectors.8)

All of my life I have been a collector of whatever I'm into at that time. From vhs movies, to cd's, to dvd’s, guns and rifles (I had almost 30 guns and rifles that I sold when I moved from Alaska to Hawaii), flashlights and now I’m starting to get interested in knives. God help me!:(