Longest runtime for budget single AA or AAA led light on low setting to be used in tornado shelter

Dave_H

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Ottawa Ontario is not Ottawa Kansas, nevertheless in recent years my area has suffered increasing number of "weather events" including tornadoes and ice storms, some of which have caused devastating localized damage.
On thursday, tornado touched down in south-west Ottawa (Barrhaven) damaging about 125 homes. No fatalities, only minor injury, but lots of damage. One report heard was a house with roof missing, which they could not "find". This is not too far from where I live.

Dave
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Thread would not be complete without mentioning this ultra-low cost 1xAA mini-flashlight/ worklight from Dollar Tree ($1.25, Canada $1.50); if they still carry them, and they are in stock, not so much recently here.

Not super bright, lumens not spec'ed, but good around the house such as getting up in the night. Three position slide switch, weighs about 2 oz. Long runtime, can't be specific, but runs cell down to 1v or lower at reduced brightness, which can be useful. Works fine with NiMH. Not waterproof, but light and fairly durable. For the cost, can keep several on hand.

Not much to see inside, uses one of those little boost ICs which are used in solar garden lighting,.

Dave

View attachment 46124
If it is made in the USA, I'm sold!
 

Kestrel

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If you're going to get solar lights for an emergency, go to Home Depot and get the 55 lumen Hampton Bay solar spotlights that cost under $8. They take a removable 1000 mAh 18500 cell. 55 lumens will be way more useful than 5-10 and you can probably take the battery out and use it in a lot of lights that have a 3aaa battery carrier.
Late to the thread; but wow if those utilized a removable 18650 instead of that 18500 that would be a total game-changer ...
 

Kestrel

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How many AA do you manage to put into the HM23 headband ? It's a multi-purpose headlamp, not a multi AA headlamp.
I have been off CPF for quite a while; a quick search didn't indicate a thread on the HM23 unless I am mistaken ?
That headlamp looks to be perfect for my uses, thx for mentioning it ...
 

Dave_H

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Late to the thread; but wow if those utilized a removable 18650 instead of that 18500 that would be a total game-changer ...
18500 and 14430 seem to be common sizes in these kind of lights these days. I see 18650 in some solar lights but mainly motion detector types.

As for an 18500 charger for another light, would need to check if the cell charges with the switch in off position, to prevent light from coming on and running the cell down at night.

Mine has been working great out in the back yard for a couple of months. I guess in a pinch it could be grabbed out of the ground stake. It can be layed down upside-down on its panel. Still it's kind of klutzy, and 55 lumens is not a lot, but it could be useful.

Dave
 

TPA

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Something else to consider: Battery-operated Christmas lights. Costco currently has a 6-pack of 2xAA powered Christmas light sets for $12. The sets can be used as warm white or multicolor. They also have some weather resistance, with a gasketed battery box.
I have no idea what runtime is, but it's quite long. I know the older 3xAA sets easily run for over a month at 6 hours/night.

The Home Depot solar lights are pretty good for emergencies. One of my neighbors down the street picked up a bunch of them before the hurricane and they've done them well. They'd put them out on the balcony during the day and bring them inside at night. She keeps them in a flowerpot on the balcony these days. Kind of amusing to see them all lit up at night.
 

mqqn

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Tornadoes don't stick around long, so runtime shouldn't be an issue.

Unless you are unlucky enough to be trapped by debris post-storm AND live in a place that is remote enough that emergency personnel or neighbors/family won't be checking in on you, then 30 mins is about all you need. That means almost any aaa, aa or any other light will be just fine.

A flat tail is helpful to allow standing on end for lighting the room/shelter.

I have a maratac aaa that I use as my "wife's in bed don't want to wake her as I retire" light.

It literally can be used for years with just one Duracell for 10 mins at a time periodically.

More important than any other consideration, you should have a light on your person so you don't have to worry about obtaining one during an emergency; it is just always there at the ready.
 

Monocrom

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Something else to consider: Battery-operated Christmas lights. Costco currently has a 6-pack of 2xAA powered Christmas light sets for $12. The sets can be used as warm white or multicolor. They also have some weather resistance, with a gasketed battery box.
I have no idea what runtime is, but it's quite long. I know the older 3xAA sets easily run for over a month at 6 hours/night.

The Home Depot solar lights are pretty good for emergencies. One of my neighbors down the street picked up a bunch of them before the hurricane and they've done them well. They'd put them out on the balcony during the day and bring them inside at night. She keeps them in a flowerpot on the balcony these days. Kind of amusing to see them all lit up at night.
These are great ideas. I'd go for both of these if I lived in a state prone to tornadoes.
 

Poppy

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Looking for a reliable budget AA- or AAA led light with longest runtime on low setting...doesnt need to have super bright capabilities. Probably 30 lumens or less. 1 or 2 lumens may be a bit to weak to see in the tornado shelter. Ty
First of all a budget light may not be reliable, so I'd get two.
There is a saying around here "one is none, two is one" so get a back up.

Secondly, next to the AAA battery format, the AA format is the worst selection for a light that may need long run-times.

For alkaline cells the best is to go with the D cell. Ideally in the three D cell format. Three D cells at less than one amp draw, less than 100 lumens LED output, will perform as well as a three 18650 light with a output of 100 lumens. It's when you go for higher output that the 18650's outperform the D cells, but at the cost of a shorter runtime.

It has been found that most people are comfortable with a ceiling bounced 100 lumen light. So I'd suggest that you don't go with less then that just to justify the use of a single AA battery light.

A three D light or lantern may be had for $20 or less.
Here is a rechargeable Li option that will also run on 3Ds if necessary, that you might consider.

 

TPA

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For anything emergency, I try to remind people that you're building a life raft. You don't need the entire cruise ship.

Evaluate what you're actually trying to accomplish AND what you really need (then double it). How many hours/days do you plan on being without power/get to shelter? If the worst happens, how long will it be before you can get batteries again? Realistically, you're not going to be running your lights 24/7, or even all night long. 4-6 hours/night is about it.

For emergency use, I really do like alkaline batteries. Cheap when bought in bulk, easy to acquire, no guessing how much capacity is left, and no infrastructure needed to charge them.

The OP asked about AA/AAA lights, and I don't have a problem with that. I have lights which use these as well. I have a couple of Nebo Galileo Puck 120 3xAAA lanterns. Nice neutral white with a good diffuser. 6 hrs-48 hrs. I always factor half the manufacturer's numbers, so still, 24 hours is many evenings' worth of light. The Fenix CL23 is a 1-3x AA lantern, 7.5hrs-350 hrs on white.

+1 for the D-cell lanterns. The OP was asking for AA/AAA recommendations so I omitted them, but the Costco Duracell D-cell lanterns were the workhorses for us during the hurricane and for many months thereafter. I don't like the new "hybrid" version on sale at Costco now -- light quality is too harsh on them. BUT, the older ones (8D & 4D) are great. See below where I have 4 of them lighting up an interior hallway with no windows or outside source of light. The photo with the dark carpet and shadows is deceiving -- that's a 100 foot long hallway.

20221011_130942.jpg
 

Poppy

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A couple of days into Sandy our CERT team was sent to go door to door in a condo village that is made up primarily of senior citizens, to do well checks. Like the photo above there were long hallways with no exterior light, and the batteries to the emergency lighting had long ago been dead. It was stunning that during broad daylight, inside those halls was Cave-Like-Darkness!
 

TPA

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Ironically, I was in the NYC Metro area for Sandy as well. I knew flying up there I was going to get stuck, so my entire carry-on was my hurricane kit. At check-in at the hotel, the front desk offered us a flashlight "just in case". I opened my carry-on and said, "no thanks, I have that covered."
 

Dave_H

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These are great ideas. I'd go for both of these if I lived in a state prone to tornadoes.
I've found small strings (10-30 LEDs) useful as locallized low-level sources which can hold up for days on 2 or 3 AA's. These are mostly in the stores for Hallowe'en (orange an purple) and Christmas (all colours).

Dollar Tree sells 10-LED strings cheap though their prices in Canada are going up substantially (from $1.25 to $1.50 to $2; US not sure of selection/prices. There are other sources.

I use several around the house as night-lights, in non-emergency, but they are ready.

Until recently, most colour strings (other than white and blue) used the actual LED colour, but increasingly going to white LEDs with plastic bobbles of various colours, or phosphor-converted judging by the light quality and high vf versus brightness. These have more limited operating range especially with 2xAA, brightness falling off below 2.5v; 3xAA is better. OTOH I have true green, red and yellow LEDs which run for days on cells down to 1v each, easily.



Dave
 

IMA SOL MAN

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if looking at battery powered tree lights, check to see if they are steady or flashing.
:crackup::party:At first, for a little while, the blinkies would be quite festive! 🎄 But as the hours go by, and you need to sleep, or do some reading or work on something, that *blink* *blink* *blink* *blink* could be very annoying. Great point, @watt4! (y)
 

Dave_H

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if looking at battery powered tree lights, check to see if they are steady or flashing.
For this usage, simple is best, on/off. Strings with timers can also be a bit of annoyance when they shut off (maybe unexpected). Strings I have with flash mode usually have a steady mode (3 pos. switch)..

Dave
 

Dave_H

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For this usage, simple is best, on/off. Strings with timers can also be a bit of annoyance when they shut off (maybe unexpected). Strings I have with flash mode usually have a steady mode (3 pos. switch)..

Dave
I need to partially correct this. 3AA string with timer I just picked up has only two switch positions, no way to disable timer. Some are like this.

Dave
 

TPA

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I've found small strings (10-30 LEDs) useful as locallized low-level sources which can hold up for days on 2 or 3 AA's. These are mostly in the stores for Hallowe'en (orange an purple) and Christmas (all colours).
I'm surprised you only got a few days on them. The 50-LED strings I buy from Costco run for about 30 days at 6 hrs/day. They are the white / phosphor color selectable combo sets, and they have a timer and continuous modes. Not regulated so brightness does diminish over time, but it takes quite a long time. The 3xAA versions of these last a very long time.
 

Dave_H

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I'm surprised you only got a few days on them. The 50-LED strings I buy from Costco run for about 30 days at 6 hrs/day. They are the white / phosphor color selectable combo sets, and they have a timer and continuous modes. Not regulated so brightness does diminish over time, but it takes quite a long time. The 3xAA versions of these last a very long time.
They usually hold up for more than a "few" days but varies as I tend to use up partly- used alkaline cells which are free. Some have no timer and stay on for more than 6-8 hours per day.

A string on 50 microdot LEDs stayed lit for 6 months (Christmas through July) continuously using two LSD AA NiMH. To be sure, they grew quite dim as time went on, dropped to less than 1mA for the whole string, but still visible; not much light but useful as a location "marker' at that point.

Dave
 

scout24

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Old Man post warning... 🤣 Search around for a handful of Fenix E01's and get a multi pack of lithium Energizer AAA's. The E01's can still be found, and if you search here on CPF for runtime and torture testing, you'll know why I still own a few. Bombproof, simple battery sippers that anyone can operate. They're bright enough, cheap enough, and will outlive roaches in the next apocalypse.
 
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