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Thread: Cheap long run time flashlights

  1. #1
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Cheap long run time flashlights

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    Since I have a few prepper friends and family I decided to shop around for some inexpensive long run time flashlights. As you may know from the thread on capacitor flashlights, I don’t need any batteries for flashlights but these are so cheap I decided to buy some for here and there like at work or in my car trunk. Plus they make great gifts. I found several products but the two that really caught my eye were surprisingly made/marketed by battery companies. First there is a two pack I found at a Target store. It is an Energizer product. It does not appear on the Energizer.com web site. Here is a description on it:
    2 flashlights per pack with 2 carbon type d cells included. Each flashlight runs on one d cell. The package says 40 hour run time. I made some quick current measurements and it looks like 40 hours with a carbon battery is very likely. 20 hours is a sure thing. I am planning on doing a test on the actual run time. It will run about twice as long with an alkaline battery. They did a good job on the parabolic reflector. It makes a small spot of light. The cost was $4.44 for the set. The switches on these are cheap but this is a real fine replacement for the equivalent incandescent kitchen junk drawer flashlight. I like them. The numbers on the packaging are as follows: 3980010703, 3151LEN2S, UPN 129744.


    I am waiting for my order to come in for the other one. It is made/marketed by Rayovac. Here is the link to the page on Rayovac’s web site:
    http://www.rayovac.com/Products/Ligh...lashlight.aspx
    Here is what you get for $3.99 In my own words since the page says all rights reserved:

    Six totally adequate for a survival situation lumens.
    The led is white and will most likely light something up at oh let’s say 70 something feet away and also the flashlight housings are available in more than 2 and less than 4 colors.
    It will probably run for 200 hours on two name brand alkaline batteries if the name of the company starts with the letter R. Cut that run time in half for carbon batteries which are the kind that are included with the flashlight.
    If you drop it from 3 feet it will most likely still be operational.
    The twist on/off switch sounds easy to operate.
    These flashlight have a rather lengthy warranty period.
    The alleged part number is BRSELED2D-BA but it is a little known fact that you can buy these on other web sites by searching for this slight variation on the part number: BRSELED2D. By the way, If you order enough of these off of the rayovac site the shipping is free. I ordered 7.

    I will post again when my order arrives. I am quite hopeful that this is a good product since I have hacked up several of these Rayovac led penlights (BRSLEDPEN) to use the circuit board for projects like the latest version of my 400 farad capacitor flashlights, D cell powdered desk lamp, c cell long run time flashlight. The circuit board works great to bump up the voltage of a 1-1/2 volt battery up to over 3 volts to power 1 or more leds. That’s another thread for another time.
    Lux
    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Feb 15th, 2012 at 8:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Survivalist! Kiehlroy's Avatar
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    Good post.

    I myself have an array of varying quality torches but, unfortunately where I worked for some time gave me a generous discount on certain items so I ended up becoming addicted to higher end lights.

    The Chinese are pumping out these little LED's so fast it will make your head spin.

    This Christmas I prided myself in that I bought no Christmas presents that were sourced from China. Rather, they were all made here...

    I gave out MagLites and Surefires.

    I have never had a Maglite fail.

    My Surefire has been through hell and back and still blinds the shit out of muggers and monsters alike.

    Both come with lifetime warranties. And both are upgradeable...



    Yes, some of my upgrades are Chinese made but there were no Domestic equivalents and all are held to a certain quality standard.

    And most Chinese products are copied from us anyway so they drop right in with no problems. Lol.

    So yeah, I have Hybrids, but at least they are largely American.

    Chinese batteries are getting better but I still prefer the reliability of American made cells.
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  3. #3
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Hello Kiehlroy,
    I also have a wide array of flashlights. The wife and kid each have a mag light with the led upgrades and I have a couple of black and decker pistol style battery operated led spot lights. Then there are all of the ones I made from scratch or modified non led flashlights (turned them into LED flashlights). The mag lights were definitely a great leap forward in quality and performance when they first hit the market. These cheap ones in my post are really to try to make sure that my friends and family have some lighting for a worst case scenario. They also might be a good item to have to barter with in the future.

    Lux
    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Bull$hit Artist Contributor Blu-ray's Avatar
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    I have an LED flashlight with a radio and hand crank. Runs on either batteries or the hand crank. Never need batteries. In fact I have yet to use batteries in the thing. If the SHTF and you can't get your hands on batteries down the road. What good is the flashlight then?


  5. #5
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Hello Blu,

    You are quite fortunate to have found a good crank radio. I burned through a few of those and moved on the capacitor flashlight / solar panel set up. If your crank light /radio is charging an internal battery it will need to be replaced at some point in time. It would be good to have a replacement battery now. I do have one crank radio that works but it is different. The crank winds up this giant ribbon kind of a spring. It is like winding up a watch. As it unwinds it turns a tiny generator. No battery to replace. It has no light, only a radio. I like the idea of having multiple technologies. My main source of emergency lighting is a car battery being charged by a 20 watt panel. My long term testing shows that I can run a small camping fan 24/7 forever (till the fan breaks and I have more than one) and I still have a little power left over for some 12 volt low current lighting. I also have a second battery and 5 watt panel for charging capacitor flashlights and running more 12 volt led lighting and some music.

    As a back up, I have a few large dc motors that make pretty good mini generators and I have a couple of bicycles. I should have no problem at all cranking out 100 200 watt hours before breakfast.

    Lux
    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Bull$hit Artist Contributor Blu-ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxeon Star View Post
    Hello Blu,

    You are quite fortunate to have found a good crank radio. I burned through a few of those and moved on the capacitor flashlight / solar panel set up. If your crank light /radio is charging an internal battery it will be to be replaced at some point in time. It would be good to have a replacement battery now. I do have one crank radio that works but it is different. The crank winds up this giant ribbon kind of a spring. It is like winding up a watch. As it unwinds it turns a tiny generator. No battery to replace. I like the idea of having multiple technologies. My main source of emergency lighting is a car battery being charged by a 20 watt panel. My long term testing shows that I can run a small camping fan 24/7 forever (till the fan breaks and I have more than one) and I still have a little power left over for some 12 volt low current lighting. I also have a second battery and 5 watt panel for charging capacitor flashlights and running more 12 volt led lighting and some music.

    As a back up, I have a few large dc motors that make pretty good mini generators and I have a couple of bicycles. I should have no problem at all cranking out 100 200 watt hours before breakfast.

    Lux
    No rechargeable batter in it. So it should be good for awhile I hope. I take it out every year before hurricane season and test it. It's also water proof so that's a major plus.


  7. #7
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Blu,

    If it does not have a battery and it does not have a capacitor and it lights up when you are not cranking then, well it is truly some form of magic. My guess is that there is a small battery, maybe a lithium button cell inside the thing where it is hard to get at. I like the “magic” theory better. Anyway we are on the same page here. Batteries are not suitable for long term “camping at home”. Even my car batteries will be useless some day. But that day is years away. Maybe over a decade. My capacitor flashlights only need 2.5 volts for full charge. I can take a car battery that will not even light a car’s headlights and still get some use out of it. I can also charge the capacitor flashlights directly off the solar panels so for minimal lighting I do not need batteries.

    Lux
    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Feb 18th, 2012 at 2:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Survivalist! Kiehlroy's Avatar
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    Well, you guys are ahead of me in the "independence" category regarding batteries. I think I have a "shaker charger" capacitor flashlight somewhere that charges when you shake it back and forth but I always get a little embarrassed when I charge it and I doubt I could charge it in public without "insinuation".

    Otherwise, I have a whole lot of batteries in stock but I am still interested in finding a solid hand-crank radio.

    They way I see it you could always salvage resistors, capacitors, hell, even batteries(or build them), etc. and rig it up in an emergency should you need to.

    Everyone should have a basic/intermediate electronics and electrical engineering reference/instructional book/s on hand anyway. Especially in the 21st century!

    Cool thread btw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luxeon Star View Post
    Hello Kiehlroy,
    I also have a wide array of flashlights. The wife and kid each have a mag light with the led upgrades and I have a couple of black and decker pistol style battery operated led spot lights. Then there are all of the ones I made from scratch or modified non led flashlights. The mag lights were definitely a great leap forward in quality and performance when they first hit the market. These cheap ones in my post are really to try to make sure that my friends and family have some lighting for a worst case scenario. They also might be a good item to have to barter with in the future.

    Lux

    I get ya and thanks for the thread, I'm always eager to learn and share and I agree that people should be aware of all the market options available.

    I'm damned addicted now. First it was RC, then Lasers, now these damned lights(especially the super bright LEDs)...

    I just can't find a cheap hobby! Even when it's cheap the shipping kills ya!

    Now I'm back into RC again. Maybe it's remote cameras next?

    Or, laser-light shows? Or both!!!
    Last edited by Kiehlroy; Feb 19th, 2012 at 10:22 PM.
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  9. #9
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Test Results: I ran the rayovac flashlight ( http://www.rayovac.com/Products/Ligh...lashlight.aspx ) for over 120 hours using the junky carbon batteries that are packaged with the flashlight. After 120 hours the flashlight still produced usable light (far better and safer than using candles). I bought 7 and i have already sold 3 of them to people at work. I have to buy more now since I do not have enough left for everyone on my gift list.
    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:49 PM.

  10. #10
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Yet another one. I picked this up at the local Lowe's hardware store for under $5.00 (plus sales tax):

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_355538-346-5...roduct_price|0

    it has 3 leds and says it will run for 65 hours. It works well. I like it.

    Update 10-25 -12:

    Here is how to hack this flashlight to increase the run time 3.6 X. it's easy. You just add one resistor:


    http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Flashlight-Mod-Increases-Run-Time-36X/?allstep



    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Nov 19th, 2012 at 1:36 AM.

  11. #11
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    I have a couple of led solar flashlights that I keep on my window seal that are worth the investment of not ever needing batteries.

  12. #12
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    Hack your own 400 hour flashlight (because some disasters last longer than 4-1/2 hours):

    Link:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/20-C...Run-/?ALLSTEPS











    Step 4 shows how to MacGyver one if you don't know how or can't solder becuase the power is out.




  13. #13
    Dead Meat
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    Thanks for the info! Rayovac sounds like a good brand. I'm going to get one of the indestructible flashlights during their cyberweek sale. I think it is like 30% off or something like that

  14. #14
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    I prefer the Eveready even though the run time is not as long. It is an easier modification for the Eveready. It is probably the easiest thing I have ever done with a soldering iron. My official run time for the eveready with a junky carbon zinc battery is 360 hours. Actually it is still going. I think I am coming up on 500 hours.

    I hacked another one and added a 500 ohm variable resistor to the circuit and knob. It looks like my little yellow lantern has a volume control. Now I can switch between 360 hour mode (hurricane mode) and 1500 hour mode(EMP event mode) and everything in between.

    I will post pics at a later date.

  15. #15
    Lucky survivor Seasoned Member Luxeon Star's Avatar
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    "I will post pics at a later date."


    actually I will not.
    Last edited by Luxeon Star; Mar 5th, 2014 at 11:56 AM.

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