Emergency (windup & solar) Flashlights and Radios

5/06/2017 - David Woodsmall

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COPYRIGHT 1992 thru 2017 - David R. Woodsmall

I neither endorse, nor not endorse, any of these products.

Remember, these are opinions, and yours might differ.

Items and even the manufacturing of the same item may change.


USE THIS INFORMATION AT YOUR OWN RISK - I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE I finally got a chance to investigate the world of wind-up and solar charged emergency flashlights and radios.

LED Lights

NEVER buy any type of light, LED or otherwise, that does NOT state how many Lumens of light it produces. Most often, if the Lumens are not stated the light is too dim to be of any use to you, and they do not want you to realize it (my opinion). When Lumens are stated, you can compare different lights. You can always look up LUMENS here, to determine how many lumans a typical incandescent (a "normal" household )bulb produces. It is harder to guage how many lumens you need for your flashlight - the more the better, although more lumens usually mean a reduced battery life. In December, 2010, I have seen flashlights putting out 110 and 120 lumens - these use special electronics to consume less power, and mirrors to focus the light - from $40 to $60 at Lowes and Home Depot. LEDs almost never wear-out (typicaly last 100,000 hours). They usually consume the less power and run cooler than other "bulbs" (except, possibly, for ESLs. Much more on LEDs retrofit LED bulbs out later this year (2009) that can pay their replacement costs in one year We are using two different types of under cabinet LED light fixtures (obtained from Lowes, but not listed on their website 1/2008). My favorite is: Portfolio Item #240230 (50505/05) LED Puck Accent Lighting - a 4" round LED fixture with a push on, push off switch and 20 Bright white LEDs. We are using these to light our Lowboy cabinet with stained glass doors, and in my closets and other small areas. I will also put some under kitchen cabinets and many closets. Portfolio Another useful LED fixture is the Portfilio #50509/05 and #50510/05 LED Strip Light Accent Light. This comes in both a 16.5 inch long (14 LEDs) and a 24 inch long (20 LEDs) LED bar. These LED light bars cane be joined together. I did not find the LEDs in these units to be as bright as the Puck LED light (see above). Of course, there are fewer LEDs in these units than in the LED Puck, but I still think that the LEDs in these are not as bright as in the Puck light. I can find a lot of useful places to put these. We bought ours from Lowes, but these are not on the Lowes web site. For non-wired (battery operated) LED solution for closets and other small spaces, I like the LUMEN Wireless LED Puck Lights. They have high, low and off settings. These are NOT the tap-on lights, but you do tap them switch the light output level. The have FIVE BRIGHT white LEDs and run off of Three AAA batteries. I like the battery life. They can also be swiveled and pivoted. They are Model LPL623CPB, item # 103517. I got these at Costco. There are lots of other brands, which may be just a s good, but I really like these. LEDs can produce brilliant light, or not bright light (I have been disappointed in in the few $30 ones (flashlights) that bought from Sears [my personal opinion] several years ago - the ones that I got are too dim for every day use, but might do in a pinch. I just (2/2007) bought a new one for $10 - it's much better than my older LED flashlights. These are also available as a six pack. I just (1/2010) bought a 24 LUMEN LED Flashlight for $6 from Home Depot - it seems bright enough for most any use (Brinkman # 792 851 12-(white) LED flashlight, takes 2-AAA batteries. I am now (1/2020) seeing LED flashlights producing 110 Lumens. My friend J, has an LED flashight (I don't know which model it is) from C CRANE Company Inc, which he says gives a bright light. --- in pitch black, even a candle is pretty bright - I've found that the LED lights are excellent for short range (ie. inside of a room) lighting. ...not so good for illuminating something out doors far away... I have a headlamp version for over a year now that I use all of the time that's still runnning on the original pair of AAA batteries (from REI). good stuff... -Brian ---

SUREFIRE LED Flashlights

SureFire LED Flashlights & Tactical Lights SureFire U2 Ultra LED Flashlight

New, PremierLight LED FlashLights

My friend J got his a few days ago. Pretty good for camping or even as an emergency light in your car. PremierLight PL-7 Series Flashlight Forget 500 lumens - try 12/24 volt HID Metal Halide Rechargeable Flashlight - 1300+ lumens As far as I know, Xenon bulbs are the brightest bulbs used in flashlights, but xenon bulbs conusme more power and generate more heat than do LEDs. Solar powered devices seem like a ludicrious idea to me [personal opinion]. One reputable company even states a recharge time of 56 hours using solar energy. I think that a good windup (hand crank) emergency flashlight and radio are far superior to solar powered devices. Note that some windup devices only run for short times on a single windup "charge". Some of these device can be recharged by four (4) differrent methods: 1] A hand-crank (seems best) or "shake the device". A lot of the Crane radios will play for 25 hours on a few minutes 2] 120 volt charge (sometimes optional). 3] 12 volt car charger (most do not offer this option). 4] Solar power with solar cells on the device. Built-in batteries (the windup crank or solar cells charge a built-in battery) seem to be either NiMH (currently the best rechargable type) or NiCad (NiCD),

C Crane Company, Inc

ETON FR300 EMERGENCY RADIO. Includes NOAA weather band & TV channels 2-13. Hand-Crank Power Generator even provides power without any batteries. Just 90 seconds of cranking powers the radio for about 30 minutes This model can also recharge many cell phones. Just 90 seconds of cranking powers the radio for about 30 minutes. * AM, FM, TV1 & TV2 (VHF channels 2-13) * NOAA Weather – All 7 Channels Plus "Alert" * 3 LED Light System With Emergency Flash * Siren * Cellphone Charger * Crank-charge System Charges Built-in Rechargeable Battery * Charges Rechargeable Battery Via AC Adapter/Charger (not included) * Power Sources: o Hand-Crank Power Generator With Rechargeable Battery Pack o 3 "AA" batteries (not included) o AC Adapter (not included) I don't know if you will want a beter flashlight (than it comes with) if you get the Eton FR300 Emergency Radio - if, so, you might wish to consider the ILLUMINATOR WIND-UP LED FLASHLIGHT. C. Crane's LED flashlights (windup and normal) are at Click here One of best light and radio combos seems to be (opinion) the FREEPLAY PLUS RADIO, but it weighs 5 pounds and is temporarily (due in 11/25/2005) out of stock. Note that this radio does not have the NOAA weatehr bands nor TV channels 2-13. "The most sought after alternative power, AM/FM, Shortwave radio in America". Another seemingly good purchase is the FREEPLAY SHERPA XRAY WIND-UP TORCH [flashlight]. This flashlight uses xenon bulbs, NOT LEDSs FREEPLAY WIND-UP RADIO & FLASHLIGHT KIT FREEPLAY RANGER RADIO The Illuminator Wind-up Radio and Flashlight Freeplay Eyemax AM/FM LED radio LEDs to replace standard flashlight bulbs LEDs to replace standard household bulbs

Sharper Image

I Don't know anyone who owns such a product from Sharper Image. I neither endorse nor not endorse any products Sharper Image Sharper Image - Emergency Radio & Spotlight.

LEDs to Replace Normal Bulbs

I have no experience with these. LEDs to replace standard flashlight bulbs LEDs to replace standard household bulbs LED bulbs: a bright idea? - MSNBC Review of Crane's LEDs LEDs can produce brilliant light (as on Lexus cars), or not bright light (I have been disappointed in in the few $30 ones (flashlights) that I bought from Sears [my personal opinion] several years ago - the ones that I got are too dim for every day use, but might do in a pinch. I just (2/2007) bought a new one for $10 - it's much better than my older LED flashlights. Nichia Corp has just (3/2007) developed a very efficient WHITE LED that produces 70% MORE light than a fluorescent bulb of the same wattage. So, far, I haven't seen any announcement about using these new white LEDs to replace standard incandescent bulbs (no products are available). We are using two different types of under cabinet LED light fixtures (obtained from Lowes, but not listed on their website 1/2008). My favorite is: Portfolio Item #240230 (50505/05) LED Puck Accent Lighting - a 4" round LED fixture with a push on, push off switch and 20 Bright white LEDs. We are using these to light our Lowboy cabinet with stained glass doors, and in my closets and other small areas. I will also put some under kitchen cabinets and many closets. Portfolio Another useful LED fixture is the Portfilio #50509/05 and #50510/05 LED Strip Light Accent Light. This comes in both a 16.5 inch long (14 LEDs) and a 24 inch long (20 LEDs) LED bar. These LED light bars cane be joined together. I did not find the LEDs in these units to be as bright as the Puck LED light (see above). Of course, there are fewer LEDs in these units than in the LED Puck, but I still think that the LEDs in these are not as bright as in the Puck light. I can find a lot of useful places to put these. We bought ours from Lowes, but these are not on the Lowes web site. DIFFERENT BRANDS OF BULBS PRODUCE DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF LIGHT: A Typical 200 watt incandescant bulb produces about 3890 Lumens A Typical 150 watt incandescant bulb produces about 2780 Lumens A Typical 100 watt incandescant bulb produces about 1275 Lumens A Typical 75 watt incandescant bulb produces about 900 - 1110 Lumens A Typical 60 watt incandescant bulb produces about 660 Lumens A Typical 40 watt incandescant bulb produces about 490 Lumens A Typical 25 watt incandescant bulb produces about 210 Lumens A Typical 15 watt incandescant bulb produces about 110 Lumens A Typical 7 watt incandescant night light bulb - C7 ~ 30 Lumens CLEAR A Typical 7 watt incandescant night light bulb - C7 ~ 20 Lumens WHITE (not clear) A Typical 4 watt incandescant night light bulb - C7 ~ 17 Lumens CLEAR A Typical LED night light bulb - C7 ~ 4 Lumens White LED I, PERSONALLY, CONSIDER THIS (4 Lumens) TOO DIM TO BE USEFUL Night light and energy saver light test results - Updated 11/16/2009 "Beware that many low power white LEDs, even good ones, fade significantly within 10,000 operating hours at "normal power" LEDs, Lumens and Brightness - “How many lumens are they?” "LED ratings of 25,000 mcd become conceptually difficult to understand when we’re accustomed to light being expressed in terms of lumens. Published lumens represent the sum of all the light emitted by the bulb in all directions." Click here for more information about Light Bulbs CFLs ESLs Halogen Incandescent Consider getting an emergency escape ladder. Consider buying Natural Gas Detectors (to warn of gas leaks). Consider both Fire and Smoke Detectors with BATTERY BACKUP in case of a power failure. Consider a Gas Generator
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