Need a room light for power outages.

Zithras

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
7
Every year, I tend to lose power for 2-3 days. While I have an OLight T20 as a personal flashlight, I want to buy a flashlight that will light a room at night in the event of a power loss (the Olight can’t be stood on end, and isn’t really ideal for this purpose.

Last time I lost power, I used a Tiablo A9 I had lying around, and it worked pretty well, but it’s also not ideal for this purpose. On the plus side, it can stand up on its end, and its low-power mode lights up a room fairly well, and lasts for 8 hours (most of a night). However, its designed as a throw flashlight, with a narrow, bright beam (i.e. most of the light’s wasted on a small spot on the ceiling), and it uses CR123A batteries (which get a bit pricey when going through 4 a night, and aren’t always the easiest batteries to find lying around the house…luckily I had just ordered a Surefire 12 pack for the other lights :D )

So, what are your recommendations for an LED flashlight to keep lying around the house to use in the event of a power outage? I have enough flashlights to give everyone a light to carry around with them for personal use, so am really looking for a single light to keep a central room lit at night. I want something that stand up by itself in the middle of a room, and have a fairly wide, diffuse beam (or an efficient add-on filter to do this). It must be bright enough to light up a room, at least enough to comfortably read/see/play board games/etc. in, and preferably use no more than 1-2 sets of batteries a night doing this (obviously, other considerations aside, longer battery life is always preferred) Finally, I don’t want anything that only runs on rechargeable batteries. I’ll keep a few sets of alkaline (or, more likely, lithium) batteries on hand for when I need them (probably only once every year or two, for this particular use, so self-discharge is a consideration), but I’m really not interested in keeping 3 days of rechargables charged year-round for the light on the off-chance I’ll need them. Something that runs off special-order batteries like CR123As and the like is fine, since I already carry these, but all things being equal, something that runs off AAs, or something easily-available would be even better, so I can run to Walmart and buy some if I can’t find my supply or run out.

I’ve seen those battery-powered LED sticky-lights in Walmart and the like, but they seem horribly battery-inefficient for their power output (8 AAAs for a mid-bright light that lasts a few hours), and thought that someone here could point me toward something to fit my needs better.

Thanks for the help!

(and, in case I missed something, here’s the sticky form answers:)

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

Online is fine. Shipping time is not a consideration. As long as I can get it somehow, in 6 months or less, I’m good.

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

Really, I’m pretty flexible. You’d really have to sell me on features to spend more than $100, and I’m expecting I’ll have to spend about $50 at least to get everything I want, but, technically, if it’s good, and gets the job done, I have no upper (or lower!) limit.

3) Format:
I was really looking for an LED flashlight. I suppose I could get a lantern if it’s more energy efficient and fits the bill better, but at least a flashlight I could still use as, well, a flashlight for whatever reason. Still, if someone has a really good solution that happens to be a lantern, I’ll at least look at it. Headlights/dive lights/portable spotlights are right out.

4) Flashlight-specific format/size:
Meh. Whatever. Bit enough to get the job done, small enough to be portable. I’d say Every day carry medium, holster carry, and possibly even a bit larger are all fine. Something comfortable enough to easily carry in one hand and set on a table. If I can fit it in a pocket, even better, although this is not entirely necessary (The A9, for instance, *barely* fits in a pocket…kind of…) I’d be a bit leery of anything too much bigger than the A9 – I’d be worried about it breaking something if it fell over ^.^

5) Emitter/Light source:
LED Preferred. Waterproof flashlight preferred. HID would be okay – I don’t mind the warmup time, but definitely something that can survive being knocked down/bumped around a bit, and LED always seemed to be more durable, and less worrying to touch/less likely to burn surrounding paper when active)

6) Manufacturer:
Don’t care. Custom is fine, as long as price and performance are comparable to off-the-shelf.

7) What battery type do you want to use?
Lithium non-rechargable preferred. Alkaline would be okay, but not ideal. No rechargables/integrated rechargables please. Bonus points for something I can run to Walmart and pick up if needed (such as lithium AAs)

8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
The A9 worked, at about 50-60 lumen low output, but was a bit low. The high output (250 lumens) was better, and didn’t seem at all like overkill (although battery life made this mode unusable). Presumably, with a good diffusion filter, and a light that wasn’t designed for throw, 250 lumens would have been too much. I don’t need a floodlight, but want to light up a decently sized room fairly well. I imagine 100-200 lumens would be fine if pointed ceilingward with some sort of diffusion filter/wide enough beam. I want to be able to read comfortably, even in a far corner of a fiarly large, central room, with the light in the center (or slightly offset), on a table, pointed upward.

9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

Flood, not throw. 5-10 yards is likely fine. I’d prefer even, diffuse light to a narrow throw beam, whether intrinsic ro through the use of a filter. My main objection to an add-on diffusion filter is that they seem to dim light output, often considerably, requiring more batteries for equivalent lighting and runtime.


10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).

3 hours+. Ideally 12 hours on the (lower?) brightness mode I'd be using it in, so I could run it through a night (but not overnight - it'd be switched off at sleeptime) on a set of batteries. Anything less than 6 hours on low (i.e. over 2 sets a night) would be annoying.

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
Fairly durable. Doesn’t have to survive the apocalypse, but would love something that would survive being taken camping or thrown in a backpack and forgotten until needed for 6 months. Trying to avoid glass/xenon/incandescent(eww!) for this reason. Should (at the VERY least!) be able to survive being knocked down onto a hard surface from a few feet up. Waterproof lights greatly preferred. The A9 is rock-solid – if I could get something with similar durability, I’ll be ecstatic.


12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):
Doesn’t really matter. I have a personal preference for tail mounted switches over clickys, and don’t really like twisties, but that’s just me. Not really a deciding factor.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
On-off is acceptable. Multiple light levels (even as simple as low/high) is preferred so I can use the light for other applications. Strobes/programmable lights/selector rings/SOS modes/beacon modes seem excessive, but if it happens to have em, whatever.

14)Material/Finish/Coating
Preferably something more durable than plastic, unless it’s exceptionally durable plastic :p. Otherwise, don’t really care. Aluminum/titanium would be preferred to steel, due to weight.


15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.
Nothing here that interests me much. A secondary carry method (holster) would be nice, but not necessary. Something that won’t roll indefinitely if it falls over would be VERY nice (the A9 has a noncircular bezel to stop rolling, unlike my T20, and it’s quite useful for a light that is going to be put somewhere for long periods)

TLDR: Need a light to illuminate the central room of the house for 2-4 days a year, all night (but not overnight), in the event of power outage. Non-rechargable, good battery life, wide, diffuse beam needed.
 
Last edited:

AngryDaddyBird

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Messages
94
Location
Spokane
Check out the Lumintop SD10. I am using mine right now as a room light and its excellent so far. runtimes are awesome too. tailstads well.
 

cland72

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
3,271
You could do:
Surefire G2 $40
Malkoff M61LL $55
Rubber ring from a Surefire F05 red filter $10

Remove the red filter from the rubber ring of the F04 and slide it over the tailcap of the G2. This will let you tailstand. It will provide 100 lumens for 10 hours on 2x123's, and will also run on 1x17670 rechargeable if you wish. You could also forego the G2 and rubber ring and simply get a Solarforce L2P host, but the Malkoff unit will need an additional large outer spring that comes with most P60 drop ins.

Another good alternative, but higher cost, would be a 3 cell body (9P, C3, MD3) and use a Malkoff M31L with 2xAA.
 
Last edited:

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
7,042
Location
Northern New Jersey
Every year, I tend to lose power for 2-3 days. While I have an OLight T20 as a personal flashlight, I want to buy a flashlight that will light a room at night in the event of a power loss (the Olight can’t be stood on end, and isn’t really ideal for this purpose.
<BIG SNIP>


7) What battery type do you want to use?
Lithium non-rechargable preferred. Alkaline would be okay, but not ideal. No rechargables/integrated rechargables please. Bonus points for something I can run to Walmart and pick up if needed (such as lithium AAs)

8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
The A9 worked, at about 50-60 lumen low output, but was a bit low. The high output (250 lumens) was better, and didn’t seem at all like overkill (although battery life made this mode unusable). Presumably, with a good diffusion filter, and a light that wasn’t designed for throw, 250 lumens would have been too much. I don’t need a floodlight, but want to light up a decently sized room fairly well. I imagine 100-200 lumens would be fine if pointed ceilingward with some sort of diffusion filter/wide enough beam. I want to be able to read comfortably, even in a far corner of a fiarly large, central room, with the light in the center (or slightly offset), on a table, pointed upward.



3 hours+. Ideally 12 hours on the (lower?) brightness mode I'd be using it in, so I could run it through a night (but not overnight - it'd be switched off at sleeptime) on a set of batteries. Anything less than 6 hours on low (i.e. over 2 sets a night) would be annoying.
.

The problem as I see it is the desire to light a large room adequately so that you can read a book anywhere. IMO that'll take about 300 lumens from a centrally located light. I believe that each AA battery will supply about 100 lumens an hour to an hour and 20 minutes. So for 300 lumens you'll need 3 AAs an hour to 1.25 hours. So if you want 8 hours a night, that's about 6-7 battery changes or 18- 21 AA batteries a night.

IMO that's a lot of batteries. Three 18650's should supply 300 lm for 8 hours, and they can be recharged in your car each day. Unfortunately they can't be used for much of anything else.

You may want to take a look at this thread.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...wer-Outage-How-many-Lumens-How-many-batteries

Most feel that 100 lumens adequately lights a room. Personally, I prefer 250-300 lumens in the main room, and 25-50 in adjacent rooms to give a more open, spacious feeling.

You may want to consider that if there is a wide-spread outage, that batteries may not be available at your local walmart. When Superstorm Sandy hit, with wide spread outages, the wall of flashlights at walmart was absolutely bare, and there were virtually no batteries to be found. CR123s were available at $4 each. Rechargeables were the way to go.

If you read the above thread, some will make a good point of using AAA and AA duraloops in everything around the house so that they can be used in lights when needed.

If you are dead set against rechargeables, you might consider this.
A 3D led maglight is supposed to run for 85 hours. I typically divide manufacturer's claims by 3. That would then be ~ 28 hours of decent light to a set of 3 Ds, that seems like a lot, so I wouldn't count on more than 15- 20 hours. While it can't tail stand, you can put it in a waste bucket, or pot and ceiling bounce it. The head can also be removed and give a room filling flood. I gave mine to my Dad, so I can't test it to see if it would give enough light to meet your requirements, nor how long the batteries will last. I also gave him an additional 6 D batteries. If the power failure outlasts all those batteries, I'll get him out of his house to where there is power.

You may also consider a 3C maglight. It'll give I guess 1/3rd the run time as the 3D, but you can roll up some duraloop AA's in cardboard and use them when the C's are dead, and unobtainable.
 
Last edited:

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,167
I just ordered a Lumentop SD10 for this same purpose and for use while camping. The D size battery option appeals to me as easy to stock,find and hopefully very long running too.

I also already have a stash of PakLights that run on a single 9v battery and are designed for crazy long runtimes and I like that they will run for a long time on otherwise dead or near dead smoke detector and remote control batteries.
Maybe not enough light for your wants but plenty to get by I have found and flexible in use too.
The first ones I tried were terrible and they are the model that stays dimly lit all the time. I returned them and bought 2 different models instead,both of which can easily be turned off but offer useful modes as well. They have clips and magnets on them and seem fairly rugged too.
They are really cheap on their website and I have been giving them as gifts too here in Tornado Alley!.

I like the Nitecore EA4 for this too. Decent runtime on low and easy to use as a candle of sorts and with AA batteries but also gets bright as Hell as needed.

I would also consider thinking about Headlamps if I were you.
Headlamps let each person supply and regulate their own light and environment and you won't need to waste light on the room while it is directed exactly where needed instead.
I love the ZL headlamps and they run for a long time on each battery choice and are very small to boot.

I have used a Maglight for this too and there is nothing wrong with them and last time I checked they will stand just fine on the tail?
The little ones are even designed to remove the head and be used as a solid state candle! Nice touch.

I am also considering trying the Maratac Strobe from Countycomm and it looks like a winner for you to me but I vowed that I would not ask for the grief of dealing with that company again,but I might have to?

Just my take on this idea but I have fun getting ready all the time.

Ed
 
Last edited:

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
7,042
Location
Northern New Jersey
I have used a Maglight for this too and there is nothing wrong with them and last time I checked they will stand just fine on the tail?
The little ones are even designed to remove the head and be used as a solid state candle! Nice touch.

Ed
The head can be removed on the big ones too.
 

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
7,042
Location
Northern New Jersey
I gave away my 3D LED to my dad, but I still have the old incan 3D. It can tail stand, but I wouldn't try it on a glass table-top. IIRC the tail cap is the same, so I would say that it can tail stand, on a LEVEL surface.

That SD10 looks interesting. I'd be interested in knowing how well it runs on a single D alkaline. They claim 200 lumens for 7.5 hours, but really, how long will it run before it is putting out only 50-60 lumens?
 

Zithras

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
7
Thank you for the suggestions! The lantern seemed the most practical for my desired purpose, but looked...awkward...

The SD10's many different battery options were nice, but runtime and brightness suffered a bit as a result.

In the end, I picked up 2 Paklite Ultras (low light, but they pretty much never run out of battery - EXTREMELY long run times, and great as substitutes for candles in side rooms/bedrooms). These are getting surprisingly hard to find, and are sold out on the main site! :(

For the main room, I bought the Nitecore EA4, with a diffusion filter. AA batteries are extremely easy to find, and I always have them lying around. Runtime isn't wonderful, but still quite adequate (especially for using AAs), and AAs are cheaper than CR123s :) and the multiple brightness modes mean I can use it as a normal flashlight as well. I'm not too worried about running out of batteries either - AAs are always available around here if I need to buy more, even during outages. I'm a bit worried about it being too throwy, but hopefully the diffusion filter will help with that without blocking too much light. It's also nice and small, waterproof, and seems to be well built.
 

Trevtrain

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 28, 2011
Messages
407
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Finally, I don’t want anything that only runs on rechargeable batteries. I’ll keep a few sets of alkaline (or, more likely, lithium) batteries on hand for when I need them (probably only once every year or two, for this particular use, so self-discharge is a consideration), but I’m really not interested in keeping 3 days of rechargables charged year-round for the light on the off-chance I’ll need them.

Ummm....... you do know that AA cells like Eneloops or Imedions are LSD (low self discharge) don't you?
As in, retain 70% of initial charge over several years - so there is nothing involved in "keeping them charged year round". You may be thinking of the regular NiCad or NiMH cells which self-discharge rapidly.

Alkalines are a very bad idea in a nice light like your EA4. Way too much risk of leakage. Here is a recent example with your EA4
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?367398-Help!-I-have-a-problem

Use Lithium primaries if you must, but look into Eneloops - you won't be disappointed.
 

Zithras

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
7
The plan is to keep lithium primaries in the flashlight - really don't want alkalines corroding on me.

The only time alkalines would be used in them would be after I run out of lithiums during an actual outage - they'd be replaced with lithiums again after I get to the store in that case.

I know there are LSD rechargables available, but I don't really want them in a light that will only see very occasional use. I actually use Eneloops in a portable USB charger I have, and am very happy with them.
 
Last edited:

Trevtrain

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 28, 2011
Messages
407
Location
Melbourne, Australia
OK Zithras - no problem.

Lithiums here are about $5 EACH ($20 for 4 pk) in regular retail stores.
Every few months we have a store selling 8-packs of Eneloops for $20-$22.

I know Eneloops make much more economical sense for me. :)

Is your USB charger the Sanyo NC-MDU01 by any chance? I have a couple of these and consider them very useful.
 

Zithras

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
7
I'm using the Tekkeon Tekcharge MP1580 (4xAA) - very simple, but it works, doubling as both a battery and a device charger. On the down side, it flies everywhere whenever you drop it. On the plus side, it still works after the drop, and rubber bands around it help. Yes, yes, dropping electronics is bad...it also doesnt work too well recharging high-drain USB devices (like some of the newer power-hungry smartphones - S4 I'm looking at you), although so far everything else I've thrown at it has been fine, and even the S4 worked when I replaced my normal rechargables with lithiums to test it out.

Sadly, I haven't found anywhere around here selling eneloops :( They tend to run about $4 each plus shipping off Amazon for the 'good' ones (XX), $3 for standard eneloops plus shipping - worth it for something I'm going to use often, but not really for devices that just need to sit with batteries for awhile. Energizer lithiums in bulk run about $1.25 for me - not the best brand, but a 12pack lasts awhile, with occasional use. Check sam's club for cheap lithiums - every once in awhile theyll get a price discount and go for $1 each - normally theyre closer to $1.50 (assuming you don't mind shopping in a walmart-owned store)


Where do you get your eneloops? Oddly enough, I saw more people selling them in Africa during my visit last month than I've seen selling them in the US :(
 
Last edited:

Trevtrain

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 28, 2011
Messages
407
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I get my Eneloops from "**** Smith Electronics" but they are Australia only. I only get them when the special offers are on. Regular price is around $40 for 8.

Fasttech do a four pack for a little over $14 with free shipping. That's the 1900mAh version.

If you are in the USA, I hear Costco is one of the best places to get them. You could also try Thomas Distributing who offer free delivery for orders over $75 (but not internationally :() The Powerex Imedions at TD are great cells also - I have a dozen or so.

Haven't seen the Tekkeon box you mentioned but I have a few similar boxes for Li-Ions. They are incredibly useful. Only thing about the Tekkeon is that it seems to charge in pairs. (The website is a little light on detail.) As long as your cells are in there permanently that should be OK but otherwise you should try to make sure they are at about the same level of charge or you may end up with an overcharge/undercharge situation when two cells are charged in series.
It's a pity the Sanyo USB model is no longer made as it has independent channels and a proper deltaV termination.
 
Top