LED fashlights??

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Anyone have any good - bad experiences with mini Led flashlights, especially regarding durability? Any preferred brands or types?
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RBM (remove this) wrote:

I don't know about the mini ones, but I have two of these and they are *great*: http://tinyurl.com/bkoye
They're bright, their beams are very strong, and, while I have no idea how many hours they've been in use, it's a lot (my husband used his to read in bed every night for a few months when our booklight batteries died :)). We haven't needed to replace the batteries yet, and I don't notice any dimming.
The only thing I don't like is that colors are very washed out, but that's a very minor concern for our purposes.
-- Jennifer
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The reason for my inquiry. I bought an M-62 (2AA) flashlight with six LED's made by Accu-power. The light was good and the battery life seemed very good, but I dropped the light. Just slipped out of my hand and fell about three feet. The shock killed the LED array. This little bump wouldn't have done anything to my maglites. I'd like to know if these LED's are all egg shell fragile or was this an anomaly

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That is not my experience. I have dropped my lights from much greater heights with no damage. I think you got a lemon, or maybe the Accu-power lights are not as good. Greg
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What is the brand light you have?

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This one,
http://streamlight-flashlights.com/stylus3.html
here is the other,
http://www.coastcutlery.com/?v=&pl &p33
Greg
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Check out this one from Stanley Tools
http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=NEW_PRODUCTS&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER -369&SDesc=MaxLife%E2%84%A2+369%E2%84%A2+LED+Flashlight

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I really doubt you broke the LEDs themselves. More likely jarred a contact in the switch out of place or opened a wire along the way. Try disassembling it and looking for broken and bent parts then try again. LEDs are rated for many Gs of shock but the rest of the flashlight... who knows.
My experience with one I got in china with 5 or 9 LEDs (two levels) was that the blue color caused a sort of color blindness while looking at things. It was difficult to read color codes on resistors for example. Certain other colors (of marker on wood in my case) became almost invisible. The one I have cannot be refocused either but it is very durable.
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I've pulled it apart and have a good circuit right up to the led array. It's actually a pretty simple and durable design. I know what you mean about the non focus ability. The place I got it from www.batteryspecialists.com seemed to have a pretty cavalier attitude about it and I got the impression, this was common

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with the opalec, the entire thing is dipped in epoxy, so it's supposed to be quite durable.
--

Christopher A. Young
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I've had a Streamlight Stylus in my pocket for a couple years now, and use it all the time. It's mostly for close-range stuff, like reading small text under marginal lighting, but it's also handy when motorcycle camping to find my way around at night (fresh batteries), and lighting the inside of the tent. I probably use it at least once a day. Aside from the LED getting scratched up, there have been no problems. -- Email reply: please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are Scammers. Exterminate them.
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Durability isn't the problem with mini LED flashlights. Lack of intensity is. They're piss poor for about anything, other than finding door locks in the dark.
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I disagree! I had a Mini-mag, I tossed it after I bought a three LED flashlight of the same basic size. The LED may not be as bright, but more than adequate for general use. The BIG bonus is batteries last months instead of hours! I would go through at least 2AA batteries in my mini-mag in a week, now 6 months to a year on the three LED light. I also have a Streamlight single LED that is the size of a Bic pen. small enough to carry in a shirt pocket and although not as bright as the three Led light, good enough for my use. How bright do you need the light anyway? It is not like you are out poaching deer with them! Greg
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says...

I agree with you. I have a small keychain LED light that is bright enough to use while walking from the car to the door. It uses lithium button batteries and I've had it a year with the batteries the came with it.
-
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I also have a keychain LED light, and love it! Probably use it twice a day... it's going on 2 years old and is still going strong on it's original batteries. It's a 'Pulsar P-1-BK
I even bought a spare... so I won't be without for long if I ever bust it.
Erik
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Not the ones with the Luxeon LED. Incredible brightness. It has a single 1 watt Luxeon LED and a deep parabolic refector. It looks like a short, small Mag light but this one is made by Dorcy. I also have light with 8 standard (T style) LEDs. and the Dorcy blows it away in brightness. John
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:> Anyone have any good - bad experiences with mini Led flashlights, especially :> regarding durability? Any preferred brands or types? : :Durability isn't the problem with mini LED flashlights. Lack of :intensity is. They're piss poor for about anything, other than :finding door locks in the dark.
Right, for the little ones. If you want an LED flashlight that works as an everyday all-purpose flashlight try the Luxeon flashlights. There's quite a few of those around. I scored a dozen for under $100 at Costco less than a year ago and I am extremely pleased. They use 2 AA's, are bright enough for 98% of the stuff I need a flashlight for. They seem to get maybe 2 hours of usage from a set of batteries, is my impression although I've yet to have any batteries die in mine. I have them all over the house and in both my cars and I never use any of my other flashlights (almost never). I can even use NiMH in them if I have a special long task and not use up my alkalines. It was a closeout at a nearby Costco. You probably won't be so lucky and will have to pay $20 for them, but who knows? The prices are bound to keep dropping.
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(and I edit for space)

I bought a Luxeon flashlight at Targetfor $30 or $29.whatever, and it is a Dorcy brand "1 watt" one, and it takes 3 D-cells.
I did not find any regulation means in this one, so I expect output to continuously "droop" as the batteries get used - although more slowly than incandescent flashlights usually do. And when incandescent flashlights get badly dim from the batteries being depleted, they tend to do so at an accelerating rate. Unregulated LED flashlights, on the other hand, do most of their major weakening (from batteries getting depleted) at a rate that decellerates, as well as is slower from the start than is the case with incandescents. Most of this effect is from LEDs not losing efficiency the way incandescent bulbs do when underpowered.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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First, go to:
http://ledmuseum.home.att.net/ledleft.html - what I consider the "main index" page for Craig Johnson's reviews of mostly LED flashlights.
Next, go to Target, which has quite a few.
Third: If you want a lot of light, get one with at least one "1 watt" or at least one "Luxeon" LED or at least 7 more ordinary LEDs, and either at least 3 AA cells or at least 2 C or D cells or a lantern battery.
Of ones that I have found at brick-and-mortar stores, I have had a good liking for Dorcy brand ones.
One older Dorcy model that I like, for extremely good durability and battery life although it is somewhat weak on light output (one ordinary size LED), is a short, stubby yellow one that looks like it should accept one D cell. It actually takes four AA cells. I have seen these in a few hardware stores and at Sears. It is an older model, and if you can find one give the possibility that the included batteries may be past their shelf life.
The main advantages of LEDs over incandescent are:
1. LEDs have extremely long life, usually in the thousands of hours.
(100,000 hours I consider to be on the optimistic side - in a good case, white LEDs may have faded to half their "brand new" output after 50,000 hours if well-cooled and not overpowered.)
Incandescent flashlight bulbs usually have rated life around 10-30 hours. This includes variants such as krypton, xenon, and halogen. Life will vary with battery type and condition, and is usually rated with 1.2 to 1.25 volts per cell (for the number of 1.5V cells that the bulb s intended to be used with).
2. LEDs generally don't burn out, but gradually fade.
3. An LED does not have a filament that breaks or bends hopelessly out of shape if you drop the light while it is running.
4. Unlike incandescents and their variants (halogen, krypton, xenon, etc.) LEDs largely do not lose efficiency when the batteries weaken. At half power, LEDs produce about half their full output - and that looks more like about 60%. Incandescents at half power produce much less.
5. Incandescents have less resistance when underpowered, so at half voltage they draw about 70% (sometimes more) of full current (while making about 8-10% of full light) - keeping the pressure on the batteries when the batteries are weakening. Most LED flashlights have greatly reduced current consumption when the batteries weakene enough to reduce light output. The LED flashlights essentially go into "conservation mode" when they go dim.
As a result mostly of 4 and 5 (and to a lesser extent somewhat higher efficiency of good modern white LEDs), LED flashlights have many times longer useful battery life than incandescent ones. If you take a good modern LED flashlight and an incandescent one that take the same batteries and produce the same amount of light and turn them on at the same time and let them run: Usually, by the time the LED one has dimmed to looking like half its full output, the incandescent one will be at best about as dim as an idling cigarette - and more likely will be not visibly glowing. After 2-3 times the time it takes the incandescent flashlight to not be visibly glowing at all, the LED one is usually still bright enough to find your way through the dark with.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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