Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Three Penlights...

When I was a little kid, the moment the Pediatrician shined the penlight in my eyes, I was hooked! What's not to like? Well, back then, penlights were mostly disposable affairs, use them until they were used up and chuck them in the trash. Of course, there were units that used 2-AA batteries but they were sort of clunky and didn't last long. I had a couple good ones though, always seemed to lose them or someone would hijack my handy penlight, never to be seen again.

About three years ago, I was in some store and spied this Energizer battery display. Energizer was now making a penlight, say it isn't so! Long-life LED, so far, so good. I gave one a spin for about $9.00 and it turned out to be an awesome penlight. The only drawback was the exposed LED, but that was a small complaint for the tradeoff of having a 2-AAA battery powered LED penlight!

Then I found them at AutoZone for about $6.00. These are probably the best "stash lights" for glove compartments, between the seat console storage and visors you can get. Nichia LEDs have been overshadowed in the constant search for more power (CREE!) in the LED world but it is still a solid performer, to say the least. It has some scatter so it is more of a flood than a spot but it's a great buy. The Energizer penlight provides more than enough light for various types of emergencies or simply finding your way around in a power outage, etc.

A couple years ago, Wal-Mart was selling a single-AAA penlight, obviously shorter, I think the manufacturer was Ray-O-Vac. What a total waste of money. I think I bought two of them on sale for like $2.25 each and they were totally worthless devices.

Dorcy has a 2-AAA penlight which was rather disappointing at first. It appeared to be built better than the great Energizer penlight but the switch seemed a bit unreliable. After clicking it a bunch of times, screwing around with it, it has become more reliable. I guess there is a break-in period for them. I have no idea.

I don't remember where I purchased the Dorcy but it is a solid light and similar to the Energizer. It has a shielded LED unlike the Energizer. Output is roughly the same. A good deal if you can find them. I saw one and purchased it and have not found any more since.

Then, while waiting for my wife to get done wading through sale items at Target, I spied a Coast Lenser Brand penlight, branded with the name EDDIE BAUER. Never was into the whole Eddie Bauer thing...

This penlight also uses two-AAA batteries and has a protected LED and a lens to focus the light into more of a spot as opposed to the flood of the other penlights mentioned.

I think it was about $12.00 which is a bit pricey for what it is...you can usually pick up two of the Energizer penlights for the cost of one of the Lenser Brands.

All penlights mentioned have pocket clips and the Lenser also has a small, triangular metal ring for attaching a lanyard.

Something so simple and stupid as a good flashlight can make the difference between life and death in some situations. But, in most situations, it's not life and death but perhaps an injury or being able to repair something better and faster.

Like all modern LED flashlights, the LED will last between 50,000 and 100,000 hours, depending on the type of LED and all of them sip power. LEDs that might be considered power hogs are nothing compared to regular flashlight lamps/bulbs.

You get so much more bang for your buck out of the batteries with these things, it's amazing. You save money, less chance of having to change a battery in the middle of something, the advantages are many.

Dirt cheap, the batteries last many times longer than more conventional flashlights. The output is excellent and the handiness of penlights is just great.

The Energizer penlights are so cheap, you can afford to dedicate one in the driver's area of the car, one in a survival kit, one in the first aid kit, the list is endless.

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