Christmas is nigh upon us. What is a person to get someone? Flashlights (in the U.K., Torches) are always useful and popular.
Here are some considerations.
1. Batteries. Most of what we call Batteries are Cells. Batteries are groups of Cells. AA, D, etc., these are cells. 9V Batteries are a group of six 1.5 volt cells, but they are put into the battery body and you think it’s just one.
Above, this is a 9V Battery, a Combination (Battery) of Cells,
Purportedly AAAA Cells, but I’d have to see for myself.
For simplicity sake, I’m referring to everything here as Batteries.
2. With LED lights, came the ability to use watch and calculator sized batteries to produce useful light. But with increasing desires to maximize the output of the light, batteries may not last as long as we’d expect.
Common Batteries are AAA, AA, C, and D. Less common are AAAA (yes 4 x A, they are smaller than AAA), N Cells, (and others) and a range of Button Batteries (Watch and Calculator Batteries). The reason I decided to write this Blog is before me, on the table, two nice shirt pocket penlights, each use AAAA Batteries.
3. With Flashlights, in general, the Central Disk of a Flashlight, as shown on the wall, is the Beam. The Useful Area around the Beam in called the Spill. You may read reviews that mention the Beam and the Spill.
Some Headlamps I have previously reviewed (My Blog Page):
4. Do Not Treat all LED Flashlights as Toys to give to young Children. If you visit my Blog (see link above) on these lights, I describe one product that I actually sustained a Retinal Burn from, and I explain on the Blog why it happens.
Years ago, I gave 2 of my Grandsons Lego Headlamps, kittle guys with the LEDs mounted in the feet. I instructed them not to directly shine them into the eyes, whereupon the youngest immediately turned it on and willfully pointed it into his eyes. Ugh. I’m not suggesting these lights would cause damage, I am suggesting you can’t rely on kids to do rational things.
One light I identified here as Do Not Buy is the one I had the Retinal Burn from, I don’t believe the others are a problem. With any High Intensity Light, including the Maglite, Diver’s Light by Princeton Tec, and the Rayovac Flood Light, be careful not to shine them into anyone’s or anything’s eyes from close up. None of these lights will do the following (not that I know of) but I’ve seen (on YouTube) some insane intensity rechargeable flashlights actually ignite paper that was held against the end of the flashlight while it was was on.
For the fire hazard reason, mentioned immediately above, and since I have seen videos of Flashlights using a High Current Rechargeable Battery that exploded while in use, one was being held in the users mouth when it exploded.
For this reason, in the following reviews, I avoided any Rechargeable Battery Models, and for the reason of Fires and Retinal Damage, I avoided the Extreme Flashlights that are so common these days. I think the following list of lights are good work and specialty lights, and they use common batteries not prone to exploding.
Pelican L4 3 ‘AAAA’ Pen LED Flashlight (Yellow, Plastic Body) (Appears it is not currently offered by the Manufacturer, but some retailers have them).
The Streamlight 65018 is a really nice gift. I can’t believe they are as inexpensive as they are listed above (The Black Penlight with White LED is just $13.45). If anyone orders, the color of the Body of the Light (which is Machined from Metal) is specified, and the color of the LED used by the Light is also specified. The price varies based on the Flashlight Color and the LED Color) I’m looking into buying a few Black Flashlights with White LEDs for presents.
They’re just right, brightness wise, when used intermittently, the batteries last a long time, and the batteries are reasonably easy to get, and you carry them in a shirt pocket.
5. I have a drawer, respectfully full of lights.
• Headlamps, using an:
˃ Elastic strap, they are held on the head
˃ Rubber strap, they are held on a hardhat
˃ Clips (some designs) held to a baseball cap
Wherever you look (by turning your head) they point. Hands free operation in use. Yes, Virginia, Santa does use Headlamps. And, drum roll please, you can hold a headlamp in your hand, so you can use them like compact flashlights if you’re too embarrassed to wear it on your head.
• Penlights, they fit in and clip to shirt pockets.
• Worklights, Black and Decker is the one I own, it’s older, but has been updated to LED, and it has a Flexible Neck to be wrapped around an object, or made into a stand for the light. I also have a Black and Decker Flood Light, with a Clamp to hold it to the work, and a Head that Rotates 180˚ and whose head Flips 90˚ or at positions in between.
• Road-Flare Flashlight, with a Small Right Angled White Light on the top (good for Maps), or the Body of the Light, along its length, lights up Red to serve as a Road Flare.
• Decorative, I have a Candle Steelers Light, LED, and it Flickers, and various LED Lanterns (this is on the Dresser).
• Flashlights. In this group, I have a Diver’s Light, yes, that’s right, used for Diving Under Water. I don’t need it for that, but hey, it’s gotta be waterproof, right, and it is.
Following: Marked where they are Sold at, or Through (Some are Mail-Order Only)
Princeton Tech Torrent. Nice Light. Uses 8 AA Batteries, but I think it operates with 4, but the batteries will drain faster with only 4. See the link, it’s a Diving Supply Store. Amazon has the Light, just in Black at this time, the Linked Vendor seems to have it in Yellow, Black, and Blue. In any color, it’s an excellent light. $60 or higher, depending on where you look.
• Maglite – I have an older (not old), and I have a brand new Maglite, both are the 3 D-Cell versions, can be used as a club on the spur of the moment. I converted the older one to LED, but the Light was rather centralized, not much different than the Incandescent Bulb, but brighter and using far less current. I bought the newer Maglite because it’s designed for the LED, so the Beam and Spill are excellent, and it is very bright. See Link Below, I’m sure they are available elsewhere, but I just bought the new 3D Version at the Link. From $50 to $60 for the 2D and 3D Cell Versions, respectively.
Older Maglite 3 D Cell Version
Current LED Maglite 2 D Cell Version. Below, the 3 D and 2 D versions. The New 3 D is actually slightly shorter than the earlier model, shown 2 Images Above.
And below, Rayovac Sportsman INDESTRUCTIBLE Spotlight, I have one, and bought one for a friend.
Walmart (Link above), for $55 and on Amazon for $39.
This light is small, can be worn on a Shirt Pocket, or clipped to a Coat or Hat Brim. The intent is to pull the Light Head away from the body of the light, causing it to turn on, and the light projects in the direction the Light Head is facing. These can be used by Police, or anyone, wanting to read something in the dark at close distances, and they can be carried and used the same as a Penlight. Amazon for under $25.
Pelican 2410 LED Flashlight. Just a small, convenient, Durable Flashlight with great Battery Life and useful Bright Light for work around the home, during power failures, etc. There is a Nemo Version of this light for Diving, which is more expensive, but I have the regular one.
bhphotovideo, Amazon ($50 to $55)
Police Security Blackout LED Headlamp Black – Under $30
Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Elsewhere. This is a great light, very bright, adjustable optics, projects beam well or opens into a very wide area. Not for Kids.
Pelican 2620 Discontinued.
This is an LED and a Xenon Bulb, operated one or the other. Some places may carry it, watch for inflated prices, there’s better choices in this list.
Pelican 2690 AVOID – DO NOT BUY – I had a retinal burn from this light.
Streamlight Septor LED Headlamp (Yellow)
There’s an Old and Newer Model of this, and they both seem to be on the Market at this time, or the images on the Website have not been updated. Both are under $30.
bhphotovideo, Amazon, Home Depot, etc.
Streamlight Haz Lo (Specifically 3AA HAZ-LO® HEADLAMP, name from HAZardous LOcation).
This is a specialized light in that it can be used in an Explosive Atmosphere, without Igniting the Atmosphere itself. It’s durable, well made, nice light Beam and Spill, and you can use it anywhere, not just in Dangerous Atmospheres. It’s a little bigger than some of the others, because it uses 3-AA Batteries, which should provide longer usage time. Be careful ordering, there are 3-AAA Versions, which I’m sure are fine, but I haven’t personally used them. Under or around $40.
LUX-PRO LP345 210 Lumen Dual Switch LED Headlamp
This isn’t built as durable as my other headlamps, but I’ve had it for years. I saw a contractor at work with one. It has a Central Beam LED, then 6 LEDs on the outside of the Central Beam. The Light has Red and Green LEDs in those outer LED clusters, as well as white. If it’s not too bright, kids would certainly enjoy the colored lights, which otherwise have some applications. I bought it because of the kid in me, but it’s a decent light, I’m happy with it. Lux-Pro has an astonishing selection of lights, I wish I had more experience with them, nod nod, wink wink, Lux Pro. LOL.
One site says it’s Discontinued, Lowes and Walmart have it for $15, and Amazon has it for $32. I don’t think I paid $32 for it, I thought it was under $20.
Princeton Tec Tactical EOS LED Headlamp
This is my main light. I love the EOS Series. Low Profile, uses 3-AAA Batteries. Be aware, there is a Quad Tactical, it’s similar but I have no experience with it. This one is a great working light, in Industry or at home. Large Beam/Spill Area, well lit. The Tactical has a Red, Blue, and Green lens that can be fitted to it. Princeton Tec are U.S. Made. Under $45.
Amazon (Others were showing inflated prices or out of stock).
Princeton Tec EOS II Headlamp
These are the lights I use next most often (EOS and EOS II). Like the Streamlight Haz Lo (above, they are designed to be safe in Hazardous Locations). On the Headlamps I have, notice the CL1 DIV 1 (Class 1 Divison I), this is an atmosphere where Ignitable Gases and Vapors may exist, these Headlamps would be safe to use in those conditions. This Headlamp, and the Streamlight, are Intrinsically Safe, that means they do not possess the ability to cause ignition when the light is operating normally or when the light is malfunctioning. These Headlamps can be used anywhere, not just in Dangerous Atmospheres. And since they are made for Dangerous Locations, they are made well, and they are American Made. These lights are compact, have High and Low Brightness Settings, and they are regulated, meaning that the light output remains constant even as the Battery Voltage Drops, until they are so depleted that the light enters the Low Output Setting until the Batteries are Replaced. Around $40 to $55.
Battery Junction, Optics Planet, Amazon
Princeton Tec EOS Headlamp
These are the lights I use next most often (EOS and EOS II). Mine are Maked CL 1 DIV II, which means they can be used where Ignitable Gases and Vapors may be present, but not ordinarily. This classification is written in the small writing on the back of the Headlamp. As with the others, these Headlamps can be used anywhere, not just in Dangerous Atmospheres. And since they are made for Dangerous Locations, they are made well, and they are American Made. These lights are compact, have High, Medium, and Low Brightness Settings and a Flashing Setting, and they are regulated, meaning that the light output remains constant even as the Battery Voltage Drops, until they are so depleted that the light enters a Lower Output Setting until the Batteries are Replaced. They are made well, and they are American Made. Around $35 to $45.
Battery Junction, bhphotovideo.