12-Hour Blackout - Lessons learned - What light(s) is most useful?

davidt1

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I love my H501w, but I have to say that the runtime has been kind of a disappointment for me. Since it's a flood light, I often run it on medium or high where with any of my other lights low or even moon-mode would have been sufficient. Because of this, I find that I need to change the cells at least twice as often as my other lights.

It's an awesome little light, but in a situation where runtime is paramount, it can't compete with something like the Ra or Quark.

--flatline

Do your RA and Quark use single AA battery? If they use high capacity batteries, shouldn't they be compared to lights that use the same batteries, for run time?
 
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red02

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Thats why I prefer the Saint/Minimus to the H501s. The 40deg flood is much more concentrated than the 80deg you get with the 501 so you don't need to run it as hot to get the same lux on something. The 10lm mode is about as bright (lux wise) as the 20lm on the 501. Its much more useful this way. This translates into more runtime no matter what battery step up is used.

Having the battery pack makes a huge difference. It can eat any type of battery thats available; cr123 or AAs, probably even AAAs. If the stores are sold out of AAs they will have cr123 guaranteed.
 

DHart

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Last night we lost all power from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am the following morning. Here's a couple things, specifically flashlight related, that I noted during the 12-hour black-out:

  • Having a relatively small-stockpile of rechargeable and primary batteries was both useful and reassuring
Specifically, I rotated through a bunch of different lights, but I found that I used the following lights most often throughout the night:
[uring blackouts. Tailstanding lights are fine, but they get knocked over very easily. A headlamp probably would've proved useful as well.

An evening without the TV, computer, internet was a little odd. You never know how addicted/dependent you are to technology until you have to do without.

What light(s) have you found to be the most useful during an extended blackout? And why?

Man can I relate to the computer, Internet dependency!

I tail stand my L-Mini w/18650 on low almost nightly... Seems to run forever on a charge and illuminates a room nicely in ceiling bounce.

Having lights that tail stand and also a good stock of rechargeable and primaries is a must for me.

You most definitely need a good head lamp like the H501, which is an overwhelmingly popular light among this board's members... See the poll on most valued lights. Incredibly useful in a blackout.
 

Jamjar

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Seeing I have a cyclone season that can last for up to 4 mths a year , I make sure I keep the camping light box in the bedroom cupboard , a couple of hand cranked battery less little LED torches to get things going as well as 2 x 5m strips of LEDS and 2 x 12v 36AMH LifePO4 Batteries. Those 2 strips give out that much light the spill from the main rooms gives enough light in the bedrooms and toilet to see what you are doing. I get over four nights of use and have the ability to recharge them from running the car cigarette lighter.
 

pseudoblue

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I love my H501w, but I have to say that the runtime has been kind of a disappointment for me. Since it's a flood light, I often run it on medium or high where with any of my other lights low or even moon-mode would have been sufficient. Because of this, I find that I need to change the cells at least twice as often as my other lights.

It's an awesome little light, but in a situation where runtime is paramount, it can't compete with something like the Ra or Quark.

--flatline
The H501w runtime alone is great, as well as the Quark AA which I have too. I think you've compared their function instead of the actual runtime, because the Quark has a nice hotspot which is visible enough even on medium mode from a distance, and for a pure flood light to compete with that distance, you need to run it on high, hence the runtime you experienced becomes insufficient for you. I can identify with that. My H501w last for 50 minutes to an hour on high with an Imedion AA 2100mAH. In dark areas, the medium is often sufficient and it can last me through my short 4 hours night hikes and more. The H501 is great for close to medium range and the flood widens my vision instead of just focusing from a tight hotspot beam. I do have a handheld for that throw occasionally.

Some additional experience, using the H501w indoors is brighter though, as the floor and walls reflect the beam, unlike outdoors, there's not much to reflect on, making it dimmer for longer range. Headlamps like the Saint, which has a floody hotspot is great. There are other headlamp options from Fenix and iTP too. Haven't experienced the ZL H51 yet..
 

ASheep

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Well, you guys have pushed me over the edge, I've been trying to decide whether I needed a H501W for months, I just pulled the trigger on one :broke: This thread really cemented the need for a good headlamp, My old 5LED angry blue cheapo headlamp just isn't cutting it anymore.

I've got a bunch of old SLA flouro camping lanterns around the house for blackouts, and of course my growing collection of lights (and batteries).

Last time there was a blackout, I went walking around the streets with my Nitecore SR3 and my LED Lenser P7, enjoying slicing up the darkness! Now I have many more lights, I'm sure I'd have a wonderful time!
Cheers,
Alex
 

flatline

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Do your RA and Quark use single AA battery? If they use high capacity batteries, shouldn't they be compared to lights that use the same batteries, for run time?

The Quark uses the same battery as the H501w. The Ra uses a RCR123 which, if I understand correctly, actually has less capacity than the 14500.

But cell capacity isn't the issue. The issue is that due to the floody nature of the H501w's beam, you need to step up to a higher level of output (thus, depleting your cells faster) anytime you need illumination beyond, say, 3 feet.

Please understand that I'm not criticizing the floody beam at all (the beam is why I bought it and why it's the most used light in my collection). I was just pointing out the consequence of having a pure flood beam when using the light to illuminate beyond arm's reach. It's more of a "right tool for the job" kind of issue that isn't of much concern during daily use, but can quickly become a real problem if you're trying to get the most out of your battery stash during an emergency.

--flatline
 

Monocrom

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What light(s) have you found to be the most useful during an extended blackout? And why?

Most useful would be my lanterns. Two Energizer full-sized models. Non-LED. But if I needed to replace them, I'd get the LED version. And my smaller e-Gear LED lantern with fully adjustable output.

Headlamp is a MUST! Tough to beat the Princeton Tec EOS model. Only downside is that 3AAA configuration isn't ideal.

Fat flashlights that can tailstand without easily being knocked over. Definitely my Fenix PD20.

(Also, a fist full of cheap coin-cell lights to hand to neighbors. And, to put around the necks of the kiddies to help keep track of them.)
 

davidt1

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The Quark uses the same battery as the H501w. The Ra uses a RCR123 which, if I understand correctly, actually has less capacity than the 14500.

But cell capacity isn't the issue. The issue is that due to the floody nature of the H501w's beam, you need to step up to a higher level of output (thus, depleting your cells faster) anytime you need illumination beyond, say, 3 feet.

Please understand that I'm not criticizing the floody beam at all (the beam is why I bought it and why it's the most used light in my collection). I was just pointing out the consequence of having a pure flood beam when using the light to illuminate beyond arm's reach. It's more of a "right tool for the job" kind of issue that isn't of much concern during daily use, but can quickly become a real problem if you're trying to get the most out of your battery stash during an emergency.

--flatline

The reflectored 200lm H51 should address your issue.
 

DHart

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The H501 is a great headlamp to aid while you are doing tasks with your hands, but it's not so great as a candle... for that I think regular flashlights are much more effective because of the focused beams.
 
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I tried putting a small AAA key chain light on my shepherd's collar, but she wouldn't have any of it. :fail:

Instead of using AAA lights on a pet, I recommend attaching one of the cheap coin-cell lights available from many vendors for around $1 each. They weigh next to nothing, so they don't bother the pet. I put one on my cat at night, and I can always find him (pisses him off no end that he can't hide from me any more). I use the orange case-white light combo available at CountyComm. The orange glow is especially useful as a locator beacon in the dark, and the presence of a mysterious light moving in the shrubs causes passing cars to go slower, an added bonus. :devil:
 
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With regard to an area lantern-style light, you might want to check out the 20-LED camping lights available at many sporting goods retailers (regularly available at ****s, Academy, and occasionally even at WalMart). The cost about $10-12, depending on the manufacturer. They use four 1.5v AA alkaline or rechargeable cells (even lithium primaries if you're so inclined). They produce a slightly cool light, but the light is smooth and uniform. You can either hang them from an overhead attachment point, or place them on a clear wine bottle. The light is donut-shaped, and the center hole easily slips over the neck of a clear wine bottle. It slides down the neck and rests against the fat part of the bottle, with the resulting contraption looking like a jury-rigged table lamp. More to the point, it is an EFFECTIVE jury-rigged table lamp. As an added bonus, you must first drink the wine in order to obtain the now-empty clear glass bottles (white wines work better for this purpose, but any translucent bottle will support the light...it's just that clear bottles yield better light distribution).
 
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HIDblue

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Instead of using AAA lights on a pet, I recommend attaching one of the cheap coin-cell lights available from many vendors for around $1 each. They weigh next to nothing, so they don't bother the pet. I put one on my cat at night, and I can always find him (pisses him off no end that he can't hide from me any more). I use the orange case-white light combo available at CountyComm. The orange glow is especially useful as a locator beacon in the dark, and the presence of a mysterious light moving in the shrubs causes passing cars to go slower, an added bonus. :devil:

Ya know, that's a great idea Dave! I completely forgot I've got a bunch of those little coin-cell lights that come free with my Lighthound purchases and already have a split ring on them. Good call! :grin2:
 

flatline

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The reflectored 200lm H51 should address your issue.

It would, but at the expense of giving up the floody beam that is the reason I bought my H501w.

I am both resigned and content to simply carry two lights (H501w and high CRI Ra clicky).

--flatline
 

HIDblue

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I just picked up a couple Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme 300-Lumen LED lanterns that run off 3-D cell batteries. Great find at Lowes for only $23 each. Thanks to those who recommended it. :thumbsup:

Seems sturdy, runs off 3 regular D-cell batteries, and is surprisingly bright for a Rayovac.
 

kdaq

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I just picked up a couple Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme 300-Lumen LED lanterns that run off 3-D cell batteries. Great find at Lowes for only $23 each. Thanks to those who recommended it. :thumbsup:

Seems sturdy, runs off 3 regular D-cell batteries, and is surprisingly bright for a Rayovac.
Oh Lowes has those? Excellent, will have to pick one up.

Interesting thread. My own experience is much the same - I reach for my tailstanders. Little lights like Mini123, P1D, and IncenDio are easy to spread around different rooms and just leave on lower settings.
 
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