Shake Flashlight Recommendation?

Photog

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I like the idea of having an emergency flashlight that doesn't need batteries, but it looks like there some cheapo junk shake flashlights out there I'd like to avoid. Any suggestions for a solid, as-bright-as-possible-for-the-technology, shake flashlight?
Thanks.
 

DonShock

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Personally, I like the Nightstar at $40 due to it's decent runtime for a relatively short shake period. If price is an issue, the $25 Diamond lights are a little bit lower quality but acceptable. The Diamond actuallly has a longer runtime on a single "charge" but it must be shaken for 90 seconds to reach full charge as opposed to the Nightstar's 30 sec. I find the Nightstar to be less tiring to actually use. These are the only 2 that I have found that are actually usable. Every other one I've seen I wouldn't even take for free.
 

yellow

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Photog said:
having an emergency flashlight that doesn´t need
a decent quality led light with low output and lithium primary cells.

Such a light will WORK when You need it within the next 10 years. Any other light, and especially shake or wind-up lights, will not.
 

Long John

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Hello Photog:)

Welcome at cpf:grin2:

What do you think about a hand crank light? I bought one for about 10$ and it works well. 1 minute crank = 1 1/2 hour light with one 5mm Led and about 1/2 hour with 3 Leds. For emergencys in a car or survival package not wrong imo.

Best regards

_____
Tom
 

Brighteyez

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Not bad unless you let the batteries become discharged too much. Those lights have rechargeable LIon batteries in them, and they do need to be periodically charged (e.g. once every three months or so,) so that the battery level does not fall too low.

Long John said:
For emergencys in a car or survival package not wrong imo.

Best regards

_____
Tom
 

Sub_Umbra

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Brighteyez said:
Not bad unless you let the batteries become discharged too much. Those lights have rechargeable LIon batteries in them, and they do need to be periodically charged (e.g. once every three months or so,) so that the battery level does not fall too low.
If it's a LIon cell wouldn't that also mean that no matter how well you took care of it it would still begin degrading after a couple years and just continue to go down hill -- like LIon camera batteries?

That would seem to be an important point for whole a genre of lights that are hyped to be bought and stored for emergencies.
 

RGB_LED

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DonShock said:
Personally, I like the Nightstar at $40 due to it's decent runtime for a relatively short shake period. Every other one I've seen I wouldn't even take for free.
Photog, I would have to agree with DonShock. I've looked into emergency (re: shake) flashlights and did some research into it a couple of years back: check out the following sites for some up-to-date info:

http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews_index/reviews_index_selfpower.htm
http://www.nightstarflashlight.com/customer/home.php

I purchased a Nightstar for a friend of mine and she loved it, especially since she has the occasional brown-out in her area. They have improved since then with more runtime and I believe they are a bit brighter as well. I also have one as well but I would recommend that you have other lights with batteries lying around as the novelty of shaking kind of wears off and also the brightness diminishes quite quickly after the first 2-5 minutes. Oh, and remember that it uses a strong magnet so keep it away from things like your pc, credit cards, tv's, etc., basically, anything that is affected by magnetic fields.
 

Photog

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Thanks all! This is a great forum.
I definitely like the Nightstar suggestion. The quality looks to be a cut above the rest, and that's what I'm looking for. It'll be a good backup to my battery flashlights I have around the house.
In looking more into NIghtstar after your posts I found a good business article on AIT and how they dealt with the cheaper copycats that came along. The bottom line is that they stuck with quality. Here's the article:
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DTI/is_6_33/ai_n13822154
 

yaesumofo

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My recomendation is to stay away from lights such as these.

The output is too low to be of any real use.

The truty be tols wvwry one of these lights have had have been fro lack of a better word poop.
Spend your dough on somthing made form aluminum. preferably somthing of a reasionable quality.
that has some sort of Luxeon emitter.
Good luck
Yaesumofo
 

mridude

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I believe the point here is EMERGENCY and STORAGE my friend. I have several Arc AAA Flashights and a few of the older, but great, AA's. Long battery life, small, tough...yadda, yadda.....they still take batteries, which eventually degrade, corrode or are unavailable when needed.

If you want to have a flashlight that you could tuck away...indefinately and, unfortunately find yourself in a Post-Katrina-Mad Max situation/future.....a decent magnetic/capacitor shake flashlight would worth its weight in gold.

So, that said, I too did some web surfing on the subject. I have had a Forever light from Excalibur for about 3 years....very blue, not especially bright, alot of shaking, not a very long time of lighting...it was the only one I knew of at the time.

I now see, as mentioned earlier in this thread, that NightStar and Diamond appear to be the front runners.

NightStar @ : http://www.nightstarflashlight.com/customer/home.php

Diamond Gen IV @: http://www.quality-items-flashlights.com/product_info.php?products_id=157

Now, The problem I am having is how do the NEWEST of these two flashlights stack up? I wonder if the graph of brightness and run time of the Diamond vs the NightStar is against the older NightStar which has apparently upgraded its LED to the StarCore LED.
Anyone know the apparent differences? I understand that the Diamond has a larger capacitor which gives it the much longer advertized runtime (the extra shaking would make sense) and is waterproof to an amazing 400' as opposed to a mere 160' for the NightStar....as with watches with such claims if I am under 160 + feet of water the time of day and does my flashlight work are not my number one prorities.

Another feature of the NightStar is the use of opposing pole magnets at either end to facilitate quicker movement of the rare earth magnet throught the copper coils. The Forever light uses rubber bushings...don't get the Forever light.

The CS version of the NightStar also is offered in White (Greenish White), Green and Red LED versions. The CS is a compact version, I don't believe the Diamond is offered in anything but white and is the size of the larger NightStar II.

Okay now....what do the experts here have to day?

By the way.....did anyone else notice the caviat that the NightStar can be used as a compass if suspended by the middle? Okay, which end is North?
 

rodmeister

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I'm not a fan of shakelights but they have their place as a last ditch flashlight that doesn't depend on batteries. Does anyone know of the longevity of the capacitor? My limited experience in electronics years ago taught me that capacitors had short lifespans of only a few years. Things might be different now but does anybody know if the capacitor will crap out in five years?
 

mridude

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...................then again..............you could always consider a jar of Fire Flies..........the insects not the flashlight.....................
 

stamat

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Please excuse me for being so direct.
I'd say don't fall for that novelty trap.
It is easy to sell something now and promise it will work in 5 years.

This reminds me the crase of expensive self charging watches (solar swinging weight etc.) by Seiko / Pulsar / Casio.
They all needed replacement of the rechargeable battery / capacitor after about three years. My lithium battery Casio was advertised as 10 year and lasted 6 (not so great either).

I'd say just stock up on Litium batteries - actually cheaper, proven and more convenient. The best part is that you would eventually be able to use them (emergency or not).

If there is no major emergency in three years your shake light would be a a quickly dimming paperweight and a loss of investment.

On the topic of emergencies - it is much more important to stock up on drinking water and keep some cash.

During emergency I myself would use the batteries from my various remote controls. Who needs a remote when the lights are out ;)
 

Norm

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rodmeister said:
I'm not a fan of shakelights but they have their place as a last ditch flashlight that doesn't depend on batteries. Does anyone know of the longevity of the capacitor? My limited experience in electronics years ago taught me that capacitors had short lifespans of only a few years. Things might be different now but does anybody know if the capacitor will crap out in five years?

You might be thinking of the paper capacitors used in old valve equipment, I don't think modern capacitors will be a problem, just think of the longevity of modern electronics all full of capacitors TV's Radio's etc. My Sony TV is about 15yrs old and has never given a moments trouble and I'm sure I have radio equipment far older than that.
 

Sub_Umbra

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I don't think that the watch analogy quite fits. This is a genre of lights that people buy just so they may be able to use it as a last resort. The majority of people who have watches only have one and they are using (wearing) it all the time. If someone was convinced that they only needed just one light for his sailboat I would agree wholeheartedly -- don't bet your life on just a shakelight. But that is not the case. These lights are intended to be backups. It's not like it's the only watch on your wrist.

I'm looking at the Nightstar from a preparedness point of view as just part of a package of lights. I already have a handful of cr123 driven lights and ~65 spare cells. The Nightstar may have value to me simply because it is so different from all of my other lights. It is attractive because no matter how well I stow my cr123s if my house breaks in half and they somehow get wet their ten year shelf life won't do anything for me. Ten more cells may not do anything for me under those circumstances, either.

They appeal to me not just because they make my portable emergency lighting more redundant -- they add potential redundancy to my kit without having all of the same weaknesses as my other lights. Water, salt water -- whatever kills the cr123s hopefully won't affect these in the same way. That's the whole idea and that's why many who have other lights will think about spending $40 to have a Nightstar in their kit.

That's the way I'm looking at them.
 
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