What the Hell is Wrong With Bright Star's [modern] products?

ericjohn

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1 Alpha Louisiana
As some of you know, I sometimes collect industrial flashlights. In February of 2013; I came across a Bright Star 2217 LED that I received in exchange for a defective 2618 LED (and that is a whole other story.)

For the past few months; I have been lighting my apartment with low cost (and quite efficient) LED flashlights. The ones I currently use are Eveready Value LED, Eveready LED Utility Lantern, Eveready Industrial LED (EVINL25S?; not widely available yet,) Coleman Micro Packer Lantern and other low-cost Rayovac LED lights. Doing so saves about $20 on the electric bill and since the lights are low priced (and easy to open) I power them with cheap Carbon Zinc Chloride batteries. They are about $1 for a pack of 2 D sized cells and $2.xx for a 908 lantern battery, both of which are readily available at the Family Dollar. These batteries last for several dozen hours in these LED flashlights.

I am using an Eveready EVVL25S hanging from the wall to light my keyboard as I type this.

Well...Aside from those lights; I was also hanging my 2217 LED light from the wall next to my front door. As I was reaching for it in the dark; I knocked it down. It was about a 5.8' fall. You would think a high impact industrial flashlight like this one would.

WRONG!

I picked up the light to turn it on and it had died. I changed the batteries and it still wouldn't light up.

What the hell?

I thought high impact and an LED light engine (which is significantly more rugged than your PR bulb) could easily take this slight incident.

WRONG!

Bright Star has really put a bitter taste in my mouth, at least with their modern day flashlights.

On a more pleasant note:

Last November, I scored a Bright Star 1618 (from the 1960s) off of Ebay. This thing, however, is built like a tank.

I had wanted that particular model for a long time and finally I got it. What completely sealed the deal was that it had UPRR on its side.

UPRR stands for Union Pacific Railroad for those of you who do not know.

This is what is special about that:

Bright Star is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway, who also owns BNSF (Union Pacific's main competitor.)

Methinks this 1618 will have quite a value in a few years.


So:

I think Bright Star seriously needs to recall all of their Workmate and WorkSafe flashlights. They are NOT up to par.

Anyone have similar experiences?
 

StarHalo

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- $10 plastic flashlights don't survive high falls; look for potted electronics for drop survival, like Malkoff.

- Only a small fraction of your energy bill goes towards lighting, you'd be better off finding creative ways to avoid using the air conditioner (or reduce your gasoline/transportation costs.)
 

ericjohn

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Messages
574
Location
1 Alpha Louisiana
- $10 plastic flashlights don't survive high falls; look for potted electronics for drop survival, like Malkoff.

- Only a small fraction of your energy bill goes towards lighting, you'd be better off finding creative ways to avoid using the air conditioner (or reduce your gasoline/transportation costs.)

Actually; my light bill was ~$20 cheaper. This is plenty considering my bill has never been above $90. Crossing my fingers and praising God!

Maybe the household, indoor plastic flashlights would survive a 10' fall, that I agree with.

BUT

Also, I have read a plethora of stories about industrial type flashlights (those constructed of Polypropelene, ABS, High Density Polyethylene, Resin, etc) surviving falls greater than 10'. One of them, in fact, was a Bright Star 1618.

Speaking of that; I go to church with a man who is a retired shipyard electrician. Naturally, I asked him what was the flaslight he carried on the job. He replied it was yellow, ran on 2 C's and fit in his pocket. I asked him if it was a Pelican and he said it wasn't. This was maybe 20 years ago. So, since we are on the subject, maybe someone could identify what flashlight this was...
 

Cerealand

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Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
1,667
All products fail, even the best, most reliable brands. Unless there are multiple cases of widespread failure, I don't think a recall is in order.

I use a M61LL 219 drop-in in a Malkoff MD3 as a table lamp for my computer. The M61LL 219 in the MD3 host has been dropped multiple occasions. No problems there. Even if it fails, the lifetime warranty has me covered. Rechargable AW 18500 batteries. The initial cost is higher than a standard light, but it's worth it to me. High mode/low ring helps a lot.
 
Last edited:

TEEJ

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Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
7,490
Location
NJ
As some of you know, I sometimes collect industrial flashlights. In February of 2013; I came across a Bright Star 2217 LED that I received in exchange for a defective 2618 LED (and that is a whole other story.)

For the past few months; I have been lighting my apartment with low cost (and quite efficient) LED flashlights. The ones I currently use are Eveready Value LED, Eveready LED Utility Lantern, Eveready Industrial LED (EVINL25S?; not widely available yet,) Coleman Micro Packer Lantern and other low-cost Rayovac LED lights. Doing so saves about $20 on the electric bill and since the lights are low priced (and easy to open) I power them with cheap Carbon Zinc Chloride batteries. They are about $1 for a pack of 2 D sized cells and $2.xx for a 908 lantern battery, both of which are readily available at the Family Dollar. These batteries last for several dozen hours in these LED flashlights.

I am using an Eveready EVVL25S hanging from the wall to light my keyboard as I type this.

Well...Aside from those lights; I was also hanging my 2217 LED light from the wall next to my front door. As I was reaching for it in the dark; I knocked it down. It was about a 5.8' fall. You would think a high impact industrial flashlight like this one would.

WRONG!

I picked up the light to turn it on and it had died. I changed the batteries and it still wouldn't light up.

What the hell?

I thought high impact and an LED light engine (which is significantly more rugged than your PR bulb) could easily take this slight incident.

WRONG!

Bright Star has really put a bitter taste in my mouth, at least with their modern day flashlights.

On a more pleasant note:

Last November, I scored a Bright Star 1618 (from the 1960s) off of Ebay. This thing, however, is built like a tank.

I had wanted that particular model for a long time and finally I got it. What completely sealed the deal was that it had UPRR on its side.

UPRR stands for Union Pacific Railroad for those of you who do not know.

This is what is special about that:

Bright Star is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway, who also owns BNSF (Union Pacific's main competitor.)

Methinks this 1618 will have quite a value in a few years.


So:

I think Bright Star seriously needs to recall all of their Workmate and WorkSafe flashlights. They are NOT up to par.

Anyone have similar experiences?



OK< you save ~ $20/month on electricity, by using a bunch of 2D and lantern celled lights...except its too dark, and you broke one because you could not see it well enough to grab it, knocking it down and breaking it.

You pay ~ $1 for 2 D cells, or ~ $2/lantern cell, which you say last about 24 - 36 hours per set, which seems like a long time, but we'll take it at that...and you seem to be using ~ half dozen of these lights....

If we say you need an average of two D cells per light, that's ~ $6 for ~ half dozen lights.

If you only run them for say 4 hours/night, that's about 120 hours of run time. For one light, that's ~ 5 battery changes @ a total of ~ $5 per month.

If you have 6, that's ~ $30/month. (I'm skipping the additional $2 lantern battery, as its all just an average anyway...)


Anyway you slice it, order of magnitude-wise, while you electricity bill might have dropped $20, your battery bill is making up at least some of that difference.

You probably pay ~ 4¢ per kWh, so to SAVE ~ $20, you had to SAVE ~ 500 kWh. (Doable - but, reflective of more than 4 hours a day of lighting, etc....more than double that perhaps?)


So, nothing wrong with using flashlights instead of electricity...sounds like fun, etc...but, the savings aspect I think is overstated, as the D cells etc, do add up....and, it sounds too dark at your place.

:D
 

groutboy_1

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Messages
539
Location
WESTERN ,MA .
Sounds like you have the "Electric BILL Rapists" known as National Grid! There a Bunch of pirates! They have been in trouble in a number of states for various issues...
 

ericjohn

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Messages
574
Location
1 Alpha Louisiana
OK< you save ~ $20/month on electricity, by using a bunch of 2D and lantern celled lights...except its too dark, and you broke one because you could not see it well enough to grab it, knocking it down and breaking it.

You pay ~ $1 for 2 D cells, or ~ $2/lantern cell, which you say last about 24 - 36 hours per set, which seems like a long time, but we'll take it at that...and you seem to be using ~ half dozen of these lights....

If we say you need an average of two D cells per light, that's ~ $6 for ~ half dozen lights.

If you only run them for say 4 hours/night, that's about 120 hours of run time. For one light, that's ~ 5 battery changes @ a total of ~ $5 per month.

If you have 6, that's ~ $30/month. (I'm skipping the additional $2 lantern battery, as its all just an average anyway...)


Anyway you slice it, order of magnitude-wise, while you electricity bill might have dropped $20, your battery bill is making up at least some of that difference.

You probably pay ~ 4¢ per kWh, so to SAVE ~ $20, you had to SAVE ~ 500 kWh. (Doable - but, reflective of more than 4 hours a day of lighting, etc....more than double that perhaps?)


So, nothing wrong with using flashlights instead of electricity...sounds like fun, etc...but, the savings aspect I think is overstated, as the D cells etc, do add up....and, it sounds too dark at your place.

:D

The thing is, they are lasting more than 24-36 hours on a set of batteries, and I do not use each one of them every night. Some of the batteries are still in use since I began doing this in April of this year. Yes they are on for maybe 4-5 hours a night. The main thing is that I don't have to be billed for batteries, I can find the money for that more easily. On the other hand; I have to be billed for electricity.
 

ven

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Oct 17, 2013
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Manchester UK
How about some nimh D cells and a solar panel charger,cost more at first but then free use,charge in day from solar charger(cottonpickers),use cells at night...........just a thought.:thumbsup: After a couple or so months your even stevens then its all profit:D
 

Poppy

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Northern New Jersey
For the past few months; I have been lighting my apartment with low cost (and quite efficient) LED flashlights. The ones I currently use are Eveready Value LED, Eveready LED Utility Lantern, Eveready Industrial LED (EVINL25S?; not widely available yet,) Coleman Micro Packer Lantern and other low-cost Rayovac LED lights. Doing so saves about $20 on the electric bill and since the lights are low priced (and easy to open) I power them with cheap Carbon Zinc Chloride batteries. <snip>

I'm glad to see that you are not without electric power. Moving into your own apartment can be more expensive than initially thought.

Despite the fact that the Carbon-Zinc batteries are inexpensive, rechargeable NiMH batteries cost even less in the long run. You might charge them in your car, or maybe at work. Actually I don't know if there is an additional load on the engine when the alternator is charging vs when it is not, nor do I know if it would be efficient enough to make it worth it. It may still be cheaper to buy your electricity from the electric company.

Maybe overall, you would do well to replace your incandescent bulbs with a LED. 3-4 watts is equivalent to 40 watt incan bulb.
At about $0.10 per kilo-watt hour, you could run a 4 watt LED bulb for 250 hours for 10 cents.
 

funkychateau

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Dallas, Texas, USA
If using LED lighting to save money, I'd figure out how to power them from grid electricity and stop buying batteries for non-emergency use. Grid power is going to be cheaper than batteries.
 

StarHalo

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- Bagged/dry white rice, bagged/dry pinto beans, canned oats, cheap bread, peanut butter, sherbet ice cream: you can live off these foods comfortably and indefinitely for under $50 a month (bulk buy the best deals and you can get it under $30/mo.)

- Hulu Plus is $8 a month and features most of the weekly sitcoms and nightly talk shows everyone watches, you don't even need a TV. Radio programming is free, most NPR weekend content is better than what's on TV, and you can hear stations from hundreds of miles away at night on the AM band.

- Virgin and Boost prepaid mobile phone plans are $35 a month, which is cheaper than what landlines go for these days; the plans include data for smartphones, so this can also be your internet connection.
 

LEDrock

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Apr 20, 2008
Messages
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To Ericjohn:
I have a suggestion for you if you're trying to save on electricity costs of household lighting. Go and get some electric powered LED nightlights and plug them into your outlets. I have some of them and they are rated at using only 3 tenths of a watt of electricity. A few of them would still be less than 1 watt, and may be even more long lasting than using flashlights, which require batteries, which are generally more expensive than AC electricity.
 

Seattle Sparky

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In our home, I changed all lights to LED, strategically adding dimmer switches. Except the garage where I still use T5 fluorescents lamp fixtures. I can have all of the inside and outside lights on BRIGHT at the same time and still consume less than 200w of energy. I find it rather silly trying to save money by using battery operated flashlights in place of modern Household LED lighting the savings are minuscule if exist with lots of added inconvenience.
 

GoVegan

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Land of the rising sun
In our home, I changed all lights to LED, strategically adding dimmer switches.

I was going to suggest the same thing, anyone still using incandescent light bulbs must be crazy, make the jump to LED and I'm sure you're bills will come down a heck of a lot. Also disconnect all appliances such as TV, cable box etc when not using and shutdown your computer rather than just entering power save mode.

Lastly, as funkychateau get some rechargable batteries, at least 4 eneloops and a Panasonic charger. If you work at an office you could even take them to work to charge thereby using your employer's electricity. Although they aren't really suitable for most of the lights you listed.
 

dss_777

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Messages
900
In our home, I changed all lights to LED, strategically adding dimmer switches. Except the garage where I still use T5 fluorescents lamp fixtures. I can have all of the inside and outside lights on BRIGHT at the same time and still consume less than 200w of energy. I find it rather silly trying to save money by using battery operated flashlights in place of modern Household LED lighting the savings are minuscule if exist with lots of added inconvenience.

I'm curious if you have any power use numbers from before and after the switch. For example, how did the daily average kWh figures change before/after?

LED replacement bulbs are expensive, and carry a pretty stiff up-front cost. While they are getting cheaper, it's not hard to to pay anywhere from $10-20 per bulb.

Any estimate about how long before your changes pay for themselves?
 

Seattle Sparky

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I'm curious if you have any power use numbers from before and after the switch. For example, how did the daily average kWh figures change before/after?

LED replacement bulbs are expensive, and carry a pretty stiff up-front cost. While they are getting cheaper, it's not hard to to pay anywhere from $10-20 per bulb.

Any estimate about how long before your changes pay for themselves?

I got most of them for a good price at Costco, except some like recessed can light led conversion that I got from Lowes for $20/ea. Let's say total invested was $300.
I did the change right after the move so I don't have the before and after data, but my bill should have gone down six times or so for the use of lights. Since I figured, LED consumes roughly six times less than it's incandescent counterpart of the same brightness. Don't forget the dimming and instant on unlike CFLs.
 

ericjohn

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No, I never thought of doing that.

I am only doing this on a casual level. I have been doing this since mid March and it is only now that my batteries are ONLY starting to get weak.
 

ericjohn

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Messages
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I am NOT allowed to change the switches. I try to disconnect appliances when they are not being used. My wife keeps the entertainment center plugged in and I keep the modem and router plugged in and that's about it. Sometimes I have to fuss my wife about leaving her phone charger plugged in.
 

ericjohn

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
574
Location
1 Alpha Louisiana
- Bagged/dry white rice, bagged/dry pinto beans, canned oats, cheap bread, peanut butter, sherbet ice cream: you can live off these foods comfortably and indefinitely for under $50 a month (bulk buy the best deals and you can get it under $30/mo.)

- Hulu Plus is $8 a month and features most of the weekly sitcoms and nightly talk shows everyone watches, you don't even need a TV. Radio programming is free, most NPR weekend content is better than what's on TV, and you can hear stations from hundreds of miles away at night on the AM band.

- Virgin and Boost prepaid mobile phone plans are $35 a month, which is cheaper than what landlines go for these days; the plans include data for smartphones, so this can also be your internet connection.

The TV and Internet come on a package deal through U-verse, which keeps my wife entertained through all of her free time. She mostly watches her shows on demand. We use my mom's Netflix account on our Roku Box. I indeed do a little AM DX, thought AM radio is no where near what it used to be. It was better about 10 years ago. I only catch the stations between the Rockies and Appalachians. The furthest I have received an AM signal was from KFGO and that was 9 years ago. We each have an AT&T Go Phone with unlimited 3G data and texting along with 500 minutes each.
 

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