Is the (flashlight) "save" dead?

Stress_Test

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By the "save" I mean, "saved the day with a flashlight". If you browse Carrot's story collection here.........

(https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/flashlight-story-collection.102580/)

...you'll see quite a few "saved the day" type stories where a flashaholic was able to help someone out in a dark situation.

Has the near-universal cell phone light killed these occurrences? I can't remember the last time I saw a "saved the day" story. I have to think that era is probably over, now that virtually everyone is carrying a cell phone with a built-in flashlight.

Even my Tracfone-refurbished old $35 Samsung Luna phone has built in light, and it's even multi-mode! Now, I'd never want to be forced to rely on that in an emergency but for probably 99.999% of the population, they'll get by just fine in a pinch with a smartphone light.

I always enjoyed reading about those Flashaholic-to-the-rescue situations, but somewhat sadly, it looks like that era is history now.
 

bykfixer

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I helped a fellow recently when a worker in a bucket truck was being blinded by the work light on the ground in front of him while he was 30 feet in the air. I heard him say "**** I can't see **** with that light in my face". I shined my Maglite ML150 from the ground behind him to light up the bolt holes he could not see. I heard "thank you".....

123EFDF0-5AF2-412A-BBDA-8D3DB52DD618.jpeg

The bucket on the right was the guy who was blinded. I took this photo then walked closer and shone my light in his direction.
 
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My wife's friend was over for drinks a few weeks ago. It was snowing, not heavily, just a light, quiet drifting snowfall. Rather serene, really. When she went to leave, she noticed that her key ring clasp had opened, and that her house key was missing. She said she used it to lock her front door en route to our place, so the key likely fell off either in her car or along our walkway. No problem she said, I'll use my phone's flashlight feature to check the path back to her car. Except...her phone's battery was at something like 6%, which meant she had exactly three minutes to find her key before her phone shut down.

Resident flashaholic to the rescue.😁

I casually handed her a run-of-the-mill 6P, 18650 bored SF with a SHO Malkoff drop-in engine...nothing too fancy, just a good, solid light. We found the key, but the important part of the story is her friend's astonishment at how much light 700 lumens is, especially when compared with her cell phone's itty-bitty LED.

I think I may have created a new flashlight lover. It's kinda like how vampires are made...

😈
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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It'll definitely be more rare from now on, but it's by no means a dead phenomenon. Like in Dave's story, using the phone as a light depends heavily on the battery in said phone, and I'll bet the majority of muggles won't have it above 50% charge.

I'd also bet flashlight saves will be more common the longer any given power outage lasts.
 

Stress_Test

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............................................... she noticed that her key ring clasp had opened, and that her house key was missing. She said she used it to lock her front door en route to our place, so the key likely fell off either in her car or along our walkway. No problem she said, I'll use my phone's flashlight feature to check the path back to her car. Except...her phone's battery was at something like 6%.......................................................

Good save there; I've worried about losing keys out of my pocket too, especially the last time years ago when we had 12+ inches of snow on the ground (rare). After that time, I put a long loop of neon yellow paracord on my keyring so that if they do fall somewhere, hopefully they'll be easier to spot.

I figured there might still be opportunities for a flashaholic save in the situations like you had, where the person's phone battery is nearly dead. I try to keep mine above 50% all the time; like my car, less than 100 miles range means time to fill up soon. At any rate I wouldn't want to run down my communication device by using it for lighting. Not to mention the risk of damaging the thing in some conditions (pouring rain, mud, etc).

Also, in some emergencies a person might need to both use the phone while using a light at the same time. I guess you could use the speaker phone so you could talk and still aim the phone's light, but what a pain that would be.
 

TMedina

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And nobody's heart stops (usually) if you drop the flashlight.
 

TMedina

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Good save there; I've worried about losing keys out of my pocket too, especially the last time years ago when we had 12+ inches of snow on the ground (rare). After that time, I put a long loop of neon yellow paracord on my keyring so that if they do fall somewhere, hopefully they'll be easier to spot.

Huh. I'll have to try that with some reflective neon material.
 

The Hawk

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My Lumintop Tool AAA came in handy a couple nights ago when I loaned it to a friend who had dropped his phone on the floor of a restaurant. Why are some of these restaurants so dang dim anyway?
 

TMedina

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My Lumintop Tool AAA came in handy a couple nights ago when I loaned it to a friend who had dropped his phone on the floor of a restaurant. Why are some of these restaurants so dang dim anyway?
"Ambiance."
 

TMedina

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You are probably right. I have noticed several people using their cell phone flashlights to read the menu when we are at restaurants. I thought it was just me, but I guess it's not.
Heh. The restaurant probably took it to an extreme then.

One memorable afternoon, I finished my lunch at a Chinese buffet by the light of a Fenix E01 after the power went out. 🤣
 

PhotonWrangler

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I don't think that cellphone flashlights will kill off the necessity for "real" flashlights. Cell phone lights are great for close-up work but they just don't have any throw. If you're in a windowless building when the power goes out, you're going to need a real light to guide yourself and others to the exits safely.
 
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Man I wish I took note of how many times my flashlight, multi-tool, knife, etc "saved the day." It's so frequent at this point I can't even separate the incidents. I honestly have no idea how people get by without that stuff. Just a Victorinox Cadet can be so amazingly useful on a daily basis.

I've been gainfully employed since I was 15. At a very young age I had the fortune to have good-paying work. I think maybe the most rewarding "save the day" kind of thing was a friend of my roommates was staying with us, about my age. This is like 12 years ago. He was from Idaho, had a rough time in life but was a good, trustworthy guy. I gave him one of my Fenix TK series lights and a Benchmade fixed blade. He really appreciated it in the kind of way that can't be faked from one blue-collar wrench-bender to another. That was probably the most selfish thing I ever did because it felt awesome.
 

Fuzzywuzzies

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Aug 18, 2019
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I was started many moons ago by a friend who gifted me a Mini Maglite - a treasure indeed back then - and a folding knife. I was hooked, and have pretty much never been without a good light and knife ever since. Nowadays I carry an Elzetta Bravo AVS flood which I bored for 18650s. I own it for my work as an inspection engineer, but I carry it every waking minute. I have absolutely no idea how many uncountable 'saves' that light has given in the four years I've owned it, let alone my other lights in years gone by…!

I travel a lot, and long ago lost count of the flat tyre changes on the side of the road, lit up by my lights, and the comments of "Wow, that's bright!" which always seem forthcoming at such events. Many a grateful lady has thanked me for preserving her dignity by showing the path, or as I illuminated the bottom of a purse or bag or car boot. I've held pests enthralled long enough for the shot, found keys in places keys should never go, diagnosed faults in dark engine bays, and helped children learn about the critters of the night and overcome their fears. My father's dim eyes have been aided at the lathe doing 'the tricky bit', and many splinters have been extracted from fingers and feet under the bright glow of what has become affectionately known as "the perfect splinter torch".

One story I remember well: I once had to drive an accident-damaged vehicle (not mine) over eight hours with no headlights. I can tell you that 850 lumens and some duct tape is just enough for a headlight after an accident, but the hours between battery changes (yes I had spares) are an excruciatingly long time to drive an unfamiliar vehicle through difficult terrain in the graveyard watch. We were both completely exhausted, but the owner was very grateful, and what could have had a very different ending instead ended well.

A good light is an absolutely invaluable tool, and I certainly believe that while it might look a little different these days, "The save" is still alive and well!
 

FastTurtle

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I don't think that cellphone flashlights will kill off the necessity for "real" flashlights. Cell phone lights are great for close-up work but they just don't have any throw. If you're in a windowless building when the power goes out, you're going to need a real light to guide yourself and others to the exits safely.
Aint that the truth. It surprised a number of people during a power outage, just how effective a MagLite Solotaire can be. No windows and an industrial building. Wasn't bright but it sure did a nice job of giving enough light to evacuate.
 
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