What happened to good 9 volt flashlights?

lingpau

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About 10 years ago there were several excellent led flashlights that you just dropped a 9 volt battery into and had a nice compact night or emergency light. I cannot find them anymore! Now they just have the light block that you just push onto the top of the 9 volt battery! Anyone know of a website that sells a good 9 volt LED flashlight that is not the push on top of the battery type?
 

Jay R

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9v's have rubbish capacity compared to the size of the battery. Only thing I know that uses them nowadays are smoke alarms and even those are moving over to AA or built in lithium.
Doubt any manufacturers would want to produce a light now that will preform far below their rivals.
 

bl4kkat

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I believe the drop in's you're thinking of were Pal Lights. The snap-on-top PakLites are of high quality in my opinion and run forever, for what that's worth.
I agree those Pal Lights run almost forever! Looking back at it I should have bought more.

I found my Pal Light a year ago from when I bought it around 2007-08ish. Now it sits on my bedside window as a nightlight
 

Lynx_Arc

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I think the niche that these lights filled for the most part has vanished or been replaced by a lot of other lights using more popular batteries. Back in the day of the Pal or Pak lights there wasn't even 80 lumens/watt LEDs and the dim long runtime of the 9V lights was useful. Fast forward today where we have 150 lumens/watt power LEDs in flashlights that also have dim modes like firefly etc that run for long amount of time there is a lot less need for a 9V light.
 

Unicorn

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9v's have rubbish capacity compared to the size of the battery. Only thing I know that uses them nowadays are smoke alarms and even those are moving over to AA or built in lithium.
Doubt any manufacturers would want to produce a light now that will preform far below their rivals.
Electronic locks on safes use them, and the CO2 detectors, but many of those are also switching to built in lithiums like smoke detectors and instead of changing the battery twice a year you just replace the entire unit every decade. Or after it's been set off. Those are the only things I can think of that regularly use them anymore. Everything else I know that used them seems to have switched to AAs.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Electronic locks on safes use them, and the CO2 detectors, but many of those are also switching to built in lithiums like smoke detectors and instead of changing the battery twice a year you just replace the entire unit every decade. Or after it's been set off. Those are the only things I can think of that regularly use them anymore. Everything else I know that used them seems to have switched to AAs.
2AAs have more power than a single 9V and is a lot cheaper to source and you can get lithium primaries for about $2-$3 per battery vs about $10+ for a lithium 9V.
I bought a temperature checker that normally they use 9V batteries and there are ones now that use 2AAAs but this one uses 2AAs and I have it with lithium AAs in it right now worry free when I need it.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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In my opinion, there never were any good 9 volt battery lights. You had some lights that took an expensive alkaline or lithium battery using old 5mm l.e.d.s to produce dim bluish light at a barely usable level that would sometimes last up to a year at the brightness of an indicator light. Whatever market there was for these lights is now gone. Get yourself a Nitecore TIP SE or TIP 2 and forget those lights ever existed.
 

defloyd77

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If I'm not mistaken, the gentleman who made/sold PALight passed away a few years ago and they stopped being made after that.

I think part of their appeal was that if you were desperate for a battery during an outage, you could take one out of your smoke detector. Not exactly the greatest of ideas in my opinion.
 

sambob223

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If I'm not mistaken, the gentleman who made/sold PALight passed away a few years ago and they stopped being made after that.

I think part of their appeal was that if you were desperate for a battery during an outage, you could take one out of your smoke detector. Not exactly the greatest of ideas in my opinion.
I replace my 9v smoke alarm batt"s every year they always check out as good on the tester so I figured why not use them.
 

E=mAh²

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I think the niche that these lights filled for the most part has vanished or been replaced by a lot of other lights using more popular batteries. Back in the day of the Pal or Pak lights there wasn't even 80 lumens/watt LEDs and the dim long runtime of the 9V lights was useful. Fast forward today where we have 150 lumens/watt power LEDs in flashlights that also have dim modes like firefly etc that run for long amount of time there is a lot less need for a 9V light.
I know this is old and the topic is even more "outdated" today (2022) than it was when this was originally posted. However, I completely disagree, I think that the same niche is there people still hunt and camp and hoard survival gear and even with today's led/circuit technology you would be hard pressed to find a flashlight that can run on a very dim glow (sub lumen - 1 or 2 lumens) for 200+ hours continuously. Let alone that can be fed batteries purchased at whatever hodunk one horse town gas station you may find yourself in. Good luck finding a zebralight that can do that.

Really harkens back to flashlights as a whole and how they are a very unique piece of technology as with many (most) electronic devices, litterally overnight a component may become outdated or obsolete. And yet, unlike most electronic devices even the technically "obsolete" flashlight offers the same utility as the day it was released. I think that as far as a hobbyist goes or even your average person interested in edcing a light for EDC tasks then yes there most likely better options but for the sheer utilitarian performance one may seek ultra long runtimes low maintenance easy to find power source stupid simple design and rugged rubber casing (PALights) the 9 volt platform is still unrivaled imho. Hunters, hikers, survivalists and even military would all make good end users for such a light.

Even today's battery technology hasnt really changed much over the last ten to twenty years (NOT COUNTING LITHIUM ION, THINK SURVIVAL) and as cr123 are the best option in terms of power the 9 volt doesn't seem so bad
 

idleprocess

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Analysis
The 9V battery came about in an age where boosting voltage was difficult - if not impractical - in inexpensive devices. Flash forward several decades and DC-DC circuits are common, thus it's trivial to implement a cheap, compact, high-efficiency power supply that can boost voltage from 1-2x ~1.5V cells. To the extent that the 9V endures it's a combination of servicing decades-old designs or legacy devices.

Concurrent with this, the market for N•1.5V powered devices has largely coalesced around the AA cell. The other common sizes - C, D, 6V lantern battery - have seen significant reduction in demand relative to decades past; AAA endures for more niche use cases demanding a more compact cell. I've seen a number of tools that used to call for 9V cells turn to 2xAA, a pair of which fit roughly within the same footprint as a 9V battery while broadly outperforming it in terms of energy density and power output.

I expect the 9V battery to recede into specialty status - like most other proper alkaline batteries packaging multiple cells in series - as the market moves on and legacy designs are retired from production.

Opinion
For more than a decade I've treated the 9V like I do coin cells - an unwanted oddball formfactor, expensive, low-performing, unreliable in practice - thus to be eliminated when possible. I have reduced the tools using them to the minimum legacy tools/appliances: gun safe, stud sensors, cheap multimeters. The PALight was retired many years ago after I realized all about I'd done with it was replace batteries as they expired.
 

alpg88

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About 10 years ago there were several excellent led flashlights that you just dropped a 9 volt battery into and had a nice compact night or emergency light. I cannot find them anymore! Now they just have the light block that you just push onto the top of the 9 volt battery! Anyone know of a website that sells a good 9 volt LED flashlight that is not the push on top of the battery type?
That company went out of business, such lights have very limited market, they used to make great 9v lights, i had one, they were very well build, which was definitely not cheap, that is probably why they stopped doing it, expensive item for limited market=not enough sales to justify the cost. that is probably why you only see snap on heads for 9v battery with few 5mm leds,
 
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Old thread, but just replaced a bunch of smoke and CO detectors. 1/2 permanent battery (10 years), 1/2 - AA. Not a 9V in site. We can do electronics quite well at << 3V now.
 

Bambuino

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Old thread, but just replaced a bunch of smoke and CO detectors. 1/2 permanent battery (10 years), 1/2 - AA. Not a 9V in site. We can do electronics quite well at << 3V now.
Lot of the common microchips are running at 3.3V and lower these days.

In re 9V lights, wonder if as easy to joule thief 9Vs as the AA alkaline batts.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I know this is old and the topic is even more "outdated" today (2022) than it was when this was originally posted. However, I completely disagree, I think that the same niche is there people still hunt and camp and hoard survival gear and even with today's led/circuit technology you would be hard pressed to find a flashlight that can run on a very dim glow (sub lumen - 1 or 2 lumens) for 200+ hours continuously. Let alone that can be fed batteries purchased at whatever hodunk one horse town gas station you may find yourself in. Good luck finding a zebralight that can do that.
There are plenty of lights that can put out sub lumen or one or two lumen light for over 200 hours. My 4Sevens Quark Pro 2A will run a month at 0.2 lumens on two alkaline AAs. My Nitecore HC60 headlights (v.1 and 2) will run a month on a 3600 mAh 18650 at one lumen. My Nitecore E4K will run 700 hours at 2 lumens on a 5 amp 21700. My Nitecore MH10 v.2 will run 1500 hours at 1 lumen on a 5 amp 21700. Plenty of newer lights can both glow and shine bright. All of the Nitecore lights mentioned can also run on 2 123A cells.
 

Bambuino

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I too been "hooked on Fenix" since my first P1 Luxeon. Recently Black Fridayed a UC35v2 for its purported 800hr runtime at 1 lum. Very nice light.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I too been "hooked on Fenix" since my first P1 Luxeon. Recently Black Fridayed a UC35v2 for its purported 800hr runtime at 1 lum. Very nice light.
It was the Fenix P3D Q5 that got me hooked (Still works, but now I use the updated PD30 R4 run on a 16650). Being able to have 200 lumens in a pocketable 3 ounce light that had usable settings for almost every situation and lasted me a week on a set of batteries for backpacking was great to have. I once even scared off a mountain lion from my camp with the strobe.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Pak-Lite is live and kicking with a 3500K warm LED option as well as other interesting possibilities. Sound backup lights though I read years ago that someone got their Pak-Lite wet and saw some corrosion, so probably good to dry off before putting away.
Good People they are.
 
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