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Old 22-02-2007, 15:22   #1
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Disposable flashlights

I've been buying Garrity disposable flashlights for 30 years for use offshore. They are excellent and seem to last much longer than most batteries , and survive a lot of abuse. Garittys are the best I've found, Eveready's are the worst, totally useless, and poorly designed . Dorcys are well designed , but don't seem to last as long as Garrity.
I was given a rechargeable , windup Trailblazer LED light for Xmas. Love it . So far so good.had to rough up the windup handle with a hot nail so I could hold it in my teeth without it slipping out.
Brent
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Old 22-02-2007, 15:34   #2
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I'm against disposable flashlights in principle. It's a waste of a good bulb, assuming the battery is consumed first as normal. And it's a waste of space in the landfill, as most won't be recycled. I'd rather have the real thing, and just change the bulb or battery when and as needed.
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Old 22-02-2007, 16:12   #3
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Hey Louis
I have a small Garrity key chain light that my wife gave me for Christmas. I thought the thing would be useless, but I was wrong, its great for finding the keyhole after I have one to many beers.
Paul
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Old 23-02-2007, 06:52   #4
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I'm not sure who makes them, but there are these rechargeable flashlights that can be powered by shaking them back and forth. I have heard they work quite well, and that a few seconds of charging gives you several minutes of use.

Also,

I've been playing around with the idea of adapting those solar garden light setups for use on board. They actually provide a decent amount of light. I found one at Wal-mart once that had everything (battery, panel, and light all in the 'cap' of the light. i just discarded all the pretty stuff and ended up with something that could sit on the table when not in use, and that made for a palm-sized light when I needed it.

I'm actually surprised there haven't been more micro-solar products marketed for boaters. A small solar panel of only a few inches square anywhere on the outside of the boat would make for a pretty good battery charger, or a source for device-specific juice.

I plan on trying to install a simple LED-bulb lighting system throughout my boat (when I buy one) using a design similar to those garden lights. It would hopefully be the modern version of the old crystal cieling lights they used on the old boats. But instead of a big piece of glass, all you'd need was a tiny solar panel, and a pin sized hole for the wires going to the light on the inside. Each one could give you up to 12 hours of light, and can charge even on a cloudy day. Same couldd work for external marking lights...leave the boat moored and look like someone's always home with no risk of using up the battery.

I know...off topic, but I think its a neat idea.
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Old 23-02-2007, 07:31   #5
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Hi Drew,
A lot of cruisers in the Med use those garden type solar lamps as anchor lights. Appreciate they do not generate enough light to be actualy legal - but three of them positioned a deck height at each corner works surprisingly well in a crowded anchorage - and of course preserve main battery bank reserves.
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Old 23-02-2007, 09:01   #6
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Drew-
I have one of the "original Forever Light" shake lights. Five minutes of frantic shaking will give you maybe five minutes of rapidly dimming light. And that's even after dusting the "shaker" with dry lube so it moves faster and easier.
I keep it stowed someplace where I can get at it in case I need a fast two minutes of light so I can find a better light (i.e. a "blackout light") because the only way you're going to use that thing for twenty minutes, is by shaking it for all twenty minutes, and that gets old fast. I could keep six AA-Maglites in the same space, each of them would be incredibly brighter for hours longer. As is my single-AA single-LED keychain light.

The solar "patio" lights can be good if you are in a sunny place. Depending on the season and wx, they may go black by 10PM or stay visible til it is almost daylight again, your mileage may vary. As convenience marker lights, they do a nice job. If they don't get hours of direct sunlight though--you'll get nothing fast.
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Old 23-02-2007, 12:48   #7
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So those flashlights are crap afterall huh? I thought they would be, but had deard otherwise. I never bought one myself because I had that image in my head of constantly shaking the thing while using it.
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Old 23-02-2007, 12:58   #8
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It's not that it is crap. It seems well made and durable. It just has a limited capacity and limited brightness, so it has limited usefullness. On the other hand, you can store it someplace for ten or fifteen years and forget about it, and never come back to leaky batteries and no light at all. (In theory.<G>)

I have a number of waterproof flashlights, dive lights, that were uniformly damaged over the years by "black crud" forming on all the copper/brass parts inside, apparently from hydrogen emitted by Duracell alkaline batteries that were in them. Not to mention, the Duracells leaked like mad when they hit the expiration date. (And who really checks?!). So, after they were cleaned I got in the habit of greasing contacts, not using Duracell (which seem to leak the most, and these are the real thing not the counterfeits), and finally storing the flashlights with no batteries in them. The Forever Light at least is "there" and ready to go, it will get me to the real things and the batteries.<G>
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Old 23-02-2007, 13:23   #9
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While looking on this site for the 2 cheap LED light's I have I came across this.

Led Torches Australia Pty Ltd - Turboflare 360


Sound's like it would be something handy to have in the safety kit.

Dave
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Old 23-02-2007, 14:30   #10
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If you don't like the disposible route have you looked at Surefire?
My G2 in nitrolon has held up fulltime onboard for 3 New England seasons (about 8 months on the boat per season) with no problems. No black crud (or any crud) inside or out.
Super light. Size of a Mini-mag with much more light than a full size Maglite.
Easy to carry in a pocket for finding our way back to the dink and out to the boat after an evening ashore.
The lithium batteries are expensive ($21 for a dozen) but have a 10 year shelf life and work at about any temperature extreme the flashlight itself could survive.
Weatherproof. Good "o" ring seals that have worked well so far for accidental immersion, though we haven't tried snorkeling with the light yet.
It costs $36 US from the manufacturer.
I would choose it again.
John
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Old 23-02-2007, 15:40   #11
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I have a couple of those shake-up flashlights. They work a lot better if you turn off the light while you are shaking it. If you shake it while it is turned on, you just get a pulse of bright light for each shake, but the capacitor never charges.

I wouldn't say they are crap -- more like they are tolerable for their intended purpose.

I get a minute or two of usable light for each half minute of shaking. The brighter you want it, the more you will have to turn it off and shake it again, but if you want bright light you really should be using something else. I agree that you wouldn't want to use one for 20 minutes, though you could in a pinch.

I don't know what brand these are because they have absolutely no identifying marks on them anywhere.
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Old 24-02-2007, 12:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coot
I have a couple of those shake-up flashlights.
I don't know what brand these are because they have absolutely no identifying marks on them anywhere.
China is the brand. I bought one just for an experiment. I turned it on and just left it. It lasted 1-1/2 days before it died. I had to shake it for 5 minutes to get it to light again, then it only lasted for about 10 seconds. And it's been dead ever since.


They say they don't have batteries. If you look carefully you can see two flat calculator batteries together. When you shake it your just slightly restoring the power, but once they're dead, they'll never come back.

So the morale of the story is:
Don't leave it on for long and keep shaking it as often as possible. They're just another piece of junk for comsumers to waste their money on.
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Old 24-02-2007, 21:17   #13
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delmarrey-
China may be your brand, mine was "the original Forever Light". What you think are calculator batteries are supposed to be "super capacitors" which happen to look exactly like coin batteries, except they are often much thicker.
So...maybe you got the counterfeit version.
"Counterfeit" is spelled "MADE IN CHINA" in Mandarin.<G>
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Old 24-02-2007, 21:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey
They say they don't have batteries. If you look carefully you can see two flat calculator batteries together. When you shake it your just slightly restoring the power, but once they're dead, they'll never come back.
The flashlight I have does not have any batteries. It stores the energy in an electrolytic capacitor. I can see the capacitor, though I can't make out the value, and it behaves as I would expect a capacitor circuit to behave.

Using batteries would make it suck in exactly the manner you described. The worst part is that whoever made your flashlight is creating a bad reputation for whoever made my flashlight, because people will think they are the same thing.
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Old 06-03-2007, 13:39   #15
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I used to be a fire fighter in a former life, and the defacto light was the Garrity one. We'd strap two of them onto our helmets upside down, aimed forward. Use the right one (if you're right handed) until it burns out, then turn on the left one, and remember to replace the right one and swap it out with the left when you're done.

They work great, and I can promise you that fire fighting conditions are worse than sailing conditions. There's more water, it's hoter, and smoke eaters are terrible on their equipment.

In regards to the disposable nature of them, and that generating waste, my theory:

- With the amount of total crap consumer eletronics out there, that run on batteries or not, there are plenty of things sold as non-disposable that might as well be thrown away after a month of use. No one is knocking the $10 flashlight that you can buy, knowing full and well that it wont last a year in the marine environment.

At least with the Garrity throw aways, you know what you're getting into, and it really will last a long time. And it's not like it's being thrown into the water or something. Maybe don't use them constantly, as it's not very economical, but having a few of them around, especially for a life raft as an example, is a great idea.

For normal use, I rock the Tactikka Plus, because headsets are way better than handhelds for most jobs I find myself in. Plus, using the red lens filter at night is awesome for keeping your nightvision.
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