DOES looking at cheap, low quality flashlights at supermarkets make you cringe?

cheeman150

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Ever since i got into quality flashlight brands, every time i go to walmart, or target , i get chills that go up my spine, and i begin to cringe with disgust, at the low quality and outdated led technology that the flashlights they sell there have. Do you guys feel the same?
 

CMAG

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No chills for me, I have some very high quality and low.
but for some unknown `deep rooted reason I must check out any torch even at the supermarket
 

Quiksilver

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The lack of dignity and pride of the manufacturers becomes quite evident when looking at grossly inferior products.

Personally I could not run a company that produced garbage. And yes, those flashlights in the supermarkets are garbage even if you don't know it yet. Takes about a month or two of good use before it dies, and then its true purpose--to occupy a landfill--becomes actualized.

I suppose it is useful as a night-stand to toilet light for a few months, but invariably the cheap lights I have had over the years are all gone now. All occupying landfills, doing what they were built for.

Its a shame many humans put such heavy importance on price of a product, rather than its other qualities.

-----

I am still learning too... My good sunglasses got lost/were stolen a few months ago. A few weeks I bought a pair of cheap $2 sunglasses just to fill in the gap. Lo and behold, they lasted for about a week before breaking from ordinary use. Where did they go? Where they belonged; the landfill.
 
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Ishango

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I always check out the torches section in store just for fun, and sometimes even I see something interesting. I don't cringe about the budget lights or anything. The thing is that for the general population these products are perfectly fine and most of the popular brands (i.e. Dorcy, Energizer, etc) have products that are of decent enough quality to be usable when the power goes out, even though they don't have much brightness or perfect beams.

These are generally products not meant for people like us flashaholics or people that have a high demand for their specific purpose (extreme sports, law enforcement, etc) who demand high quality. Most people don't care to buy expensive gear, because they think they never need it anyway or use it maybe for three weeks or so during their camping holiday once a year. I myself care about quality products (it saves money over time), but for some products I also buy the cheap stuff, where other people would buy expensive gear.

I wouldn't buy them myself, but I used to before I learned about the high quality brands :) When someone looks at a light and thinks it must be the best light out there, I do chuckle. It's just personal preference.
 

ragweed

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I agree that most are probably no good. The RayOvac is an exception IMO. I have their key chain Led & their 3 Led & 5 Led lights. Really great lights for the money. RayOvac also has a life time warranty & they do stand behind it as I had one 8 year old light replaced for free by them.
 

FPSRelic

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I always check out the torches section in store just for fun, and sometimes even I see something interesting. I don't cringe about the budget lights or anything. The thing is that for the general population these products are perfectly fine and most of the popular brands (i.e. Dorcy, Energizer, etc) have products that are of decent enough quality to be usable when the power goes out, even though they don't have much brightness or perfect beams.

These are generally products not meant for people like us flashaholics or people that have a high demand for their specific purpose (extreme sports, law enforcement, etc) who demand high quality. Most people don't care to buy expensive gear, because they think they never need it anyway or use it maybe for three weeks or so during their camping holiday once a year. I myself care about quality products (it saves money over time), but for some products I also buy the cheap stuff, where other people would buy expensive gear.

I wouldn't buy them myself, but I used to before I learned about the high quality brands :) When someone looks at a light and thinks it must be the best light out there, I do chuckle. It's just personal preference.

+1

I also like to look at what is available in the cheaper end of town in case there is something innovative and useful there. Like the Panther Vision Cap I got just recently. What does make me cringe is seeing the cheap chinese lights being sold at expensive prices to unsuspecting mums and dads.
 

varmint

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I go to sport/gun shows often here when in the area. What gets me is the no name cheap lights sometimes costing the same as the good ones and people buy them. An odd story about 2 yeasr ago we went camping and my friend had 1 of these cheap lights and the 1st night it broke, the switch went out, after ratteling it and looking at it they threw it away in the trash sack, later that night I went to turn the tv on in my camper and the remote batteries were dead, I went out to the trash can and got the cheap light from it removed the AAA batteries and used them, so the light was useful for my that time, after I got home I threw the China batteries away and replaced them.
 

american

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I agree most cheap lights are garbage the rayovac keychain is decent. I picked up a task force yellow light at lowes 100 lumens 2aa lifetime warantty and feels very very strong like PVC drain tubeing for 7 bucks
 

Echo63

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The lights at most shops here in Australia are junk.
Even worse, they are overpriced junk - $40 for a shower head style 5mm led light - I would rather spend a little extra and get something decent from lighthound.


The local "military surplus" store has a few decent lights, older Surefires, Fenix, Olight, streamlight, and even some terralux dropins
But for some reason they push the Led Lenser lights as being better than anything else.
(one of them was trying to tell me a little 6p sized focusable Led Lenser was brighter and a better "tactical" than my Oveready 9P/Moddoo 1000lumen neutral triple - just because it was throwing a tiny little bright spot on the ceiling, I replied that mine would flood a massive area with light, and enable me to see pretty much everything in one glance, and that I was prepared to demonstrate its durability by throwing it in the air if he was prepared to do the same with the stores demo light - he declined for some reason)
 

Johnbeck180

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No chills for me, I have some very high quality and low.
but for some unknown `deep rooted reason I must check out any torch even at the supermarket

I am the same way. No matter what little store we go in or gas station I have to look for/check out some lights. You never know what you'll find.
 

cheeman150

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I agree with you echo 63, i live in asutralia, and they push the led lenser brand too much, in sydney they sell them at an excess of 100 bucks each, even more then surefires! there are no real quality flashlight brands in australia, all they have is crappy chinese made lights that are overpriced which are sold in stores like big w, kmart ,and target
 

Kitchen Panda

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Ever since i got into quality flashlight brands, every time i go to walmart, or target , i get chills that go up my spine, and i begin to cringe with disgust, at the low quality and outdated led technology that the flashlights they sell there have. Do you guys feel the same?

On the contrary. I continue to be amazed that the supermarket check stand has LED flashlights, and that you can get a 100 lumen LED at WalMart or Staples. LEDs are going head-to-head with incandescent bulbs in the most competitive market imaginable and prevailing! What does a PR3 bulb cost a Chinese manufacturer - about 4 cents? And yet on the same rack of hang-cards where you might still find 1 or 2 incandescent bulb lights, you'll usually find 10 or 15 LED varieties. Yes, we sneer at the shower-head 9 LED lights but it's displacing the former 2-D-cells-and-a-PR2-with-a-slide-switch that was the stereotypical consumer flashlight until just a short time ago.

I'm also happy to see ANSI FL1 logos on consumer lights. Even the "million candlepower" spotlights usually have a lumen rating on the box somewhere, which gives you some chance of comparing the light on an equal basis. Though if it doesn't have the ANSI FL1 graphics, it's pretty much "Sears compressor horsepower" as far as credibility goes.

So, portable lighting is getting better and we should be glad - you can walk into Canadian Tire and come out with a flashlight that would have made a flashaholic drool a couple of years ago.

Bill
 

mikedeason

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Oct 13, 2011
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Flashlights are generally an impulse buy.

Most chain stores will have them scattered about the store in various sections, hoping to catch your eye.

I think they also do this because they are stuck with a huge surplus of the multiple LED lights and incans that are now obsolete so they wont put all the lights on the same wall for easy compairison.

240 lumens is the brightest I've seen at a big box and it was near a 5 LED that probably put out about 20 lumens and cost only $5 less.

I also believe that many of the cheap lights could last much longer before becoming landfill if the owners cared for them properly and if they understood how to manage batteries.
 
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edpmis02

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Northern Va
Going into a fancy store like Brookstone or Sharper Image and seeing their lights makes me laugh. Won't even come close to my four year old Fenix lights.
 

JohnnyBravo

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Planet Earth, USA, Idaho, Boise
No. But what does make me somewhat "cringe" is when I see someone on the TV and using the el cheapo $1 3AAA 9 led for inspections and demos. For example, I think it's that Pat G**s guy during the Motorw**k show, that uses one to show stuff on cars' motors, undercarriage, etc. And when our photocopier tech works on our copier, he uses the same kind!
 

StarHalo

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Dec 4, 2007
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Every flashlight you see on a store shelf is potentially a light that's there when somebody needs it, and the best flashlight is precisely the one that's there when you need it. So no, all the cheap lights on the shelf are perfectly fine by me, every single one has just as much potential to save the day as our flashaholic lights.

What makes me cringe is seeing someone's flashlight in a drawer with no batteries in or around it, or batteries that are so old that you can't quite date them, or so entombed in leaked battery acid and corrosion that you can't get them out, etc. It's not the cheap flashlight that's offensive, it's the cheap owner of the flashlight..
 

teestow

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Dec 12, 2011
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What makes me cringe is seeing someone's flashlight in a drawer with no batteries in or around it, or batteries that are so old that you can't quite date them, or so entombed in leaked battery acid and corrosion that you can't get them out, etc. It's not the cheap flashlight that's offensive, it's the cheap owner of the flashlight..
yeah, I have one or two AAA maglites that I threw into the camper drawer that have become one with the batteries. the department store cheapos usually get taped the the handlebars of the kids' bicycles so they can cruise around the campsite in the dark....they have their place. since perusing these forums I now have way more questions than answers about quality flashlights....will take a few years of using the search function before I can get my head around some of this stuff.....
 

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