Thursday, November 27, 2008

LED Flashlight Roundup

A good flashlight is essential to any handyman. It is one tool that isn't used all the time, but when you need it, you really need it. I've accumulated five flashlights over the years. Four of the five are the LED type. LEDs are 'light-emitting diodes.' They are great for two reasons. First, the 'bulbs' practically last forever. Chances are, your LEDs will never need replacing. Secondly, they use much less battery power compared to conventional flashlights, so they last a lot longer.

Here are my five flashlights. From left to right, they are:
Streamlight 7 LED. 4 AA batteries.
Rayz 30 LED. 3 D batteries.
Rayz 1 non-LED. 2 AA batteries.
Rayz 9 LED. 3 AAA batteries.
Rayz 1 LED. 1 watch battery.

To compare these flashlights, I set my camera up on a tripod in my basement. With the room lights out, I used each flashlight as the sole light source for each of the following pictures. The camera exposure was the same each time, and no flash was used. The pictures speak for themselves.

Streamlight 7 LED. 4 AA batteries. $20 a few years ago - This is my oldest flashlight, and one of the best. I've crawled around many pitch black ceiling spaces as a cable tech with this flashlight and it's never failed me. Well worth the investment.

Rayz 30 LED. 3 D batteries. On sale for $10 along with the next - This gives the Streamlight a run for its money, but then again, compare the sizes. This is a big flashlight. It's like the Mag Lights that security guards and cops beat people with. Except this one is light weight and made of aluminum. Probably not very good for beating up crooks with. Honestly, I expected better.

Rayz 1 non-LED. 2 AA batteries. $10 and came with the previous - Quite a big difference compared to the other LED flashlights. It's nice that the beam is focused, but there sure isn't much light ouput.

Rayz 9 LED. 3 AAA batteries. On sale for $6 along with the next - This is a solid flashlight. It's small, but puts out a lot of light. It came packaged with the keychain flashlight below for only $6 on sale! I bought one and tried it out at home not expecting too much. I was so impressed that I went back the next day and got another one for my car.

Rayz 1 LED. 1 watch battery. On sale for $6 with the previous - As you can see (or rather, can't see), this keychain flashlight is best used as a keychain flashlight.

I'd say that the Streamlight barely edges out the big 30 LED and the smaller 9 LED Rayz flashlights. Not quite as good of a deal, but it's held up over the years.

At any rate, LED flashlights are now very common. If you have one of those old cheap plastic flashlights lying around, you know, the kind where you can actually see it get dimmer as you use it, I'd suggest that you invest in a new LED type. The next time the power goes out or you need to look for something in a dark place, you'll appreciate a good flashlight.


Brandon Hansen said...

I like the win on the ping pong table. Did you ever have one of those flashlights that take like a milk carton sized 8 volt battery. They were like the flashlights from Jurassic Park. Those ones rocked!

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Anonymous said...

Those RAYZ flashlights are just the BEST -- especially for the money (the LED ones). The batteries don't drain away , either.

(My son was a collegiate handyman as mechanical super of his frat)