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Topic # 205666 22-Nov-2016 12:45
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Like many others, post-Kaikoura quake I've been getting our emergency supplies a bit more organised; this includes looking for a replacement for our now dead rechargeable LED spotlight/torch. I'm having second thoughts about replacing it with something similar, given it'll need power to be working to recharge the battery, so may only really be useful until it runs out of juice that first time.

 

We have a number of small AAA-powered LED torches and spare batteries; a mains rechargeable/wind-up radio/LED lantern; and an LED spotlight and two batteries as part of my AEG drill set (in the garage), but I'd like something decent stored in the house. I'm thinking of one that ideally is rechargeable via standard wall socket and USB, and can have spare batteries; I'd really rather avoid going the whole separate batteries and charger way, as I find that finicky and annoying.

 

The torch I'm thinking of is this one

 

I was thinking I could buy additional 18650 batteries and have these charged up (charging them in the torch using the standard wall charger) as back-up. I'm assuming I could also re-charge the torch via the inverter generator we've got?

 

Anyway, appreciate your feedback on the above model, and any other suggestions for suitable torches.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1675493 22-Nov-2016 12:57
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For longevity, lights that use the 123A battery such as those made by Surefire. Those batteries have a shelf life of 10 years, so are ideal for long storage times such as an emergency kit.

 

If you pick a light that has a low setting as well as a high one, you can make the batteries last a long while providing enough light to see by rather than permanent searchlight brightness which is unhelpful for tasks like cooking etc in the dark.

 

Headtorches that run on those are also good for leaving your hands free.

 

Best quality lights I have found (without insane budgets like Xenon arc portables) are Malkhoff Devices if they have one that suits such as this one. With the optional Hi/Lo switch it offers 350 lumens on full and 18 on low. Not cheap but build quality is Rolls Royce and there is no point in an emergency light that won't work the day you need it...!






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  Reply # 1675503 22-Nov-2016 13:15
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I have a variety of torches and such. I've found cheap generally means low quality, however expensive doesn't always mean high quality. The Budget Light Forum is useful if you want to find reviews by people who are OCD over torches. LED is a given, for efficiency.

 

I have some Rayovac lanterns 240 lumen, which were $27 each when I got them but are now $12. On high they can adequately light a room for general use, but you might want one per person if you want to read. They take three D cells, I just got aklaline not rechargable as rechargable is expensive in that size. I did however get some covers that make AA batteries fit in D, obviously much lower capacity but I have 60 AA rechargables.

 

I have a Fenix flashlight, the TK41, which is excellent. The batteries rattle a bit, if I was spending that much again I might look at other options, but I'm happy with it. Nitecore is one option.

 

I have a few 30AH 12V batteries. My main battery chargers, Maha models, can take 12V and I have the correct cord to connect the chargers to the big batteries. I charge them from the mains but I plan to get a solar charger at some point.

 

I have a Klarus P1A and Romisen RC-G2 that's small and reasonably effective, average quality. Romisen is a bit better quality.

 

I also have a solar torch from AfterShake, which is out of stock. You can get them on ebay. AfterShake is a good store.





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  Reply # 1675517 22-Nov-2016 13:51
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I got a few little things at bunnings, charge off USB, have a USB out as a powerbank, and were $9.98 because clearance. Magnetic base to hold onto whatever.

 

USB charging is the way to go IMO, that way you can charge off anything with a USB socket. Low power wall warts are all over the place, or use a lighter powered thing in the car etc.

 

 

 

same brand as these ones but round. Might be all gone now.





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  Reply # 1675525 22-Nov-2016 14:39
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Because this is for your getaway kit I'd recommend anything which takes AA's or AAA's - its going to be easier to get replacements if you don't have access to power, etc. The more grunty LED batteries (18650 etc) are nice to have but tricky to recharge in an emergency situation (plan for the worst).

 

Also - use a battery type which matches other torches in your kit. 




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  Reply # 1675532 22-Nov-2016 14:55
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Thanks for all the feedback; all useful stuff.

 

My revised option takes on board a number of the sensible suggestions made including USB charging (which, re-reading my first suggestion does not have), ensuring it works with the same batteries as most of our existing torches (and most of the kids' toys!), and that battery being one that's readily available.

 

This torch does use an 18650 battery, but it also comes with an adapter to allow it to use 3xAAA batteries, which we'll have plenty of; it also comes with the ability to charge the battery via USB or mains. Another variant of this seems to charge directly from the torch, but I think it's more flexible to be able to use the torch separately while charging. 

 

Yep, it's a cheapy eBay purchase, but the reality is we're not in a position to spend large amounts so I'm needing to ensure value for money. It's also far from the only torch we have available (I forgot we also have a couple of head-mounted ones), should it not perform as hoped!

 

Thanks again for the advice.

 

 


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  Reply # 1675540 22-Nov-2016 15:17
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I'm not sure USB charging is essential, but a common format like AA is sensible. Just make sure you have plenty of batteries or some big battery to charge them from. Check out those Amazon lanterns, they're cheap and robust - try not to drive a car over them.





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  Reply # 1675543 22-Nov-2016 15:34
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I purchased one of these last week

 

 

 

Solar Torch

 

 

 

Seems to work fine




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  Reply # 1675546 22-Nov-2016 15:39
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Should I care too much as to the specific LED chip in the light? I see some variants of the one I'm looking at have a L2 compared to a T6 chip, but in the end for my purposes I'm thinking it's not going to make a big difference.

 

timmmay:

 

I'm not sure USB charging is essential, but a common format like AA is sensible. Just make sure you have plenty of batteries or some big battery to charge them from.

 

 

Sure, maybe not essential but certainly useful! I can make the choice to charge from the laptop, or our 20,000 mah battery pack, or the car's USB socket - just gives that flexibility. I need to pick up some more AAAs, but the Clearance Shed has 24 alkalines for $10.

 

timmmay:

 

Check out those Amazon lanterns, they're cheap and robust - try not to drive a car over them.

 

 

Will certainly have a proper look tonight; unusually they ship these to NZ; looks like a total cost in NZ$ of about $30. Does mean the need to also keep D batteries on hand as well, though! But our current one lantern-type light isn't probably adequate for a family of four...




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  Reply # 1675553 22-Nov-2016 15:47
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Pumpedd:

 

I purchased one of these last week

 

 Solar Torch

 

 Seems to work fine

 

 

Ah, seems to be the same model as Tim linked to from another shop (which is out of stock). (Edit: on closer inspection they different, with the Aftershake model having a USB socket rather than a round one.)

 

How bright is the light?

 

This too seems to offer good charging redundancy, given it can be charged by solar, winding or USB (according to the Aftershake site, that is).

 

My only problem is I've never had that good a luck with the lifespan of dynamo-charged torches - the battery always seems to pack it in within a year or so, meaning one sore hand from having to wind constantly! Tim or anyone else - what's your longer-term experience with this or similar units?


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  Reply # 1675561 22-Nov-2016 16:08
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We have micro (2 x AA) Eveready Dolphin LED torches and packs of batteries in each of our kits.  I've used Dolphins on boats and in the bush for most of my life.  They have always been bullet proof and with LED giving long life, it's an easy choice.





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  Reply # 1675568 22-Nov-2016 16:29
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Those yellow battery crank/dynamo emergency torches are crap. If they have batteries in them, the batteries tend to be dead or unable to be charged when you actually need them so the crank does nothing, as the batteries sit around doing nothing for years. The cranks are also terrible to wind and break often. Of the three I've seen tried to be used when needed, all have failed in some way.

 

Having actually had to use a torch for extended periods after the Christchurch earthquake, the only truly emergency torch I recommend is this style of shake/faraday torch. Shake it a couple of times and it lasts 5 mins. Simple, easy, no batteries to worry about, pretty much water and shock proof, nothing fancy to rely on. They aren't the brightest but you don't need the brightest torch in the world, just enough to see. Keep a separate decent USB battery bank for other USB devices etc.

 

Only issue I have had with them is that I've been called aside twice while going through airport security with it in my backpack due to it looking like a "rifle lens"  under x-ray according to the security agents.


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  Reply # 1675582 22-Nov-2016 17:21
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The yellow torch light is blue and quite dim - better than nothing, just. Radio works. Haven't tried it to charge anything else. I think it came in a kit. Wouldn't recommend only because I expect there's something better out there.

 

Regarding USB charging, just get some kind of a dongle or device that lets you charge AA from USB. As well as my big 30AH batteries I also have a smaller USB 20AH charger. Either can charge phones and USB stuff.





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  Reply # 1676935 24-Nov-2016 19:13
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jonathan18:

 

Thanks for all the feedback; all useful stuff.

 

My revised option takes on board a number of the sensible suggestions made including USB charging (which, re-reading my first suggestion does not have), ensuring it works with the same batteries as most of our existing torches (and most of the kids' toys!), and that battery being one that's readily available.

 

This torch does use an 18650 battery, but it also comes with an adapter to allow it to use 3xAAA batteries, which we'll have plenty of; it also comes with the ability to charge the battery via USB or mains. Another variant of this seems to charge directly from the torch, but I think it's more flexible to be able to use the torch separately while charging. 

 

Yep, it's a cheapy eBay purchase, but the reality is we're not in a position to spend large amounts so I'm needing to ensure value for money. It's also far from the only torch we have available (I forgot we also have a couple of head-mounted ones), should it not perform as hoped!

 

Thanks again for the advice.

 

 

 

that's exactly the same as the torch I have that I paid $29 off of trademe for 

 

These torches are great for their cost but be informed they're nothing but an Ultrafire rip off 

 

 

 

does strobe flash + SOS + 3 light levels low,med,high on high the beam will just about reach 220mtrs on spot or light up an fairly big area on flood

 

although they state 5000lms/6000lms they are nothing of the sort the most they are is 300lms but that is plenty in the dark 


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  Reply # 1677078 24-Nov-2016 22:25
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Never forget that your emergency flashlight will be as much use as a chocolate fireguard in an emergency if it does not work.

 

My advice, FWIW, is do not buy cheap junk for this role!

 

This Surefire for US$63 on Amazon will work every time and get fixed for free if it doesn't.






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  Reply # 1677096 24-Nov-2016 22:57
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Most of us have lights in our phones....it would seem a good battery radio would be more important.


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