Why would anyone collect guns, knives, stamps, coins, bottlecaps, pens, watches, shoes, caps, toys, bottles, cups, clocks, cameras, paintings, cars, bikes, glasses, wheels, cloths, tickets, posters, perfume bottles, coke bottles, hello kitty, hats, barbies, CDs, buttons, badges, books, swords, teddy bears, baseball cards, records, jewelry, magazine, musical instruments, model cars, model planes, flags, tools, T-shirts, tin cans, old maps, postcards, dice, fossils, furniture, radios, autographs, keychains, sugar packets, dvds, seashells, marbles, matchboxes, stickers, bugs, sculptures, rugs, beanie babies, antiques, thimbles, music boxes, carousel, bangles, games, pillows, hair, bullets, ornaments, photographs, nutcrackers, bicycles, currencies, mugs, seashells, wind chimes, pebbles, paper weights, snow globes, spoons, butterflies, masks, magazines and probably hundreds of other stuff I can and can't imagine.
Here's what one expert says the reasons are: 1. Knowledge and learning 2. Relaxation and stress reduction 3. Personal pleasure (including appreciation of beauty, and pride of ownership) 4. Social interaction with fellow collectors and others (i.e. the sharing of pleasure and knowledge) 5. Competitive challenge 6. Recognition by fellow collectors and perhaps even non-collectors 7. Altruism (since many great collections are ultimately donated to museums and learning institutions) 8. The desire to control, possess and bring order to a small (or even a massive) part of the world 9. Nostalgia and/or a connection to history 10. Accumulation and diversification of wealth (which can ultimately provide a measure of security and freedom)
I add my own in this particular case: To be a nemesis of darkness.
Because they tell me to. I can't get them to stop! I think they've started working with my knives to convince the watches to start talking to me as well. I just bought a Seiko 007 and I'm pretty sure it won't stop until I get a Sinn U1. Someone please help!!
On a lighter note, I got started thanks to EDC forums and I keep going because 1: I use lights at work so there's alwasy an excuse, and 2: I like tinkering with things and I like things that light up, so it's really a logical conclusion that I would end up here. I don't consider myself a collecter, though, because I haven't yet bought a light "just to have."
People collect lights for many of the same reasons that anyone collects anything -- and more.
It is also true that one man's 'collection' is just another man's 'tools'. Plumbers probably don't get asked much why they collect tools. Much of it is in the eye of the beholder. We live on a planet that gets dark (for the most part) every day and we are a species that is very nearly totally blind in the dark. Maybe it would make more sense to ask why so many in the Western World don't 'collect' flashlights.
I used to know a guy who sold miniature tools from a cart at a flea market. I bought a few from him and used to check back a couple times a month. Once he told me that the question he was most often asked was, "What do people do with these things, anyway?" I doubt that many were collecting them. While it is true that some people do, in fact, collect flashlights it's a pretty minuscule part of total flashlight ownership. I would also expect a great many people who don't own or use flashlights themselves to greatly inflate the number of real collectors since they have no real idea what their owners do with them -- like the guys asking what people do with the miniature tools they buy.
I just think that the act of collecting is a very interesting human action. Like Zeruel said people collect all sorts of things.
I used to own a lot of guns, but then realized that I couldn't shoot them all at once so sold most of them off.
I guess that I am not really a collector of anything. I am more of a minimalistic practical type of guy. I want things to fulfill a certain task.
If I feel a tool could improve that task I will buy it, and if I find that there is a better tool that will accomplish the job better then I will upgrade and find a home for the old tool.
What got me to thinking about this was the forum arboristsite.com. I was needing advise on a replacement non-cat muffler for a Husqvarna Chainsaw. While poking around that forum I noticed that a lot of the people there don't use the chainsaws for anything practical, ie.. in the arborist trade, for wood cutting for heat, carving, or whatever. Most of them just like to collect them and modify them to make them run faster and louder.
It just seems strange to me. Maybe I just need something to collect.
When I first got into this hobby years ago, my first lights were all users, but after I accumulated a bit, it was harder to say they were all users. I think there are some that I just like for certain reasons, even if I rarely use them. Some of them I hate to sell, because you never know what new moddification might be around the corner. And some things I have now would be hard to buy back if I sold them, they just aren't readily available.
For me, I just needed 1 new flashlight for the house... but then you get it in your head that ,hey these are nice so you start adding to them.
Flashlight companies are making some really great products these days and that make people eager to purchase a new light.The choice sizes are wonderful and the brightness and beam quality are fantasic.
They are practical,helpful and can add a level of safety. Interesting though that most of the people I know probably only have 1 or 2. Not everyone gets that spark to form a collection.I think it is a great little hobbie and I enjoy my small collection of about 20 lights so far.
At least flashlights are good for something, like guns and watches, so you can at least justify them that way. So many things people collect, such as Barbies and teddy bears, are not useful for anything other than the fact that someone likes them......which is alright. What can you really say in the end..............people like what they like.
I like using and finding good quality tools. To me, that's what they are. I only have two lights right now, a Fenix LD20, and Ti Quark, but collecting flashlights is actually a useful hobby. It combines many interesting aspects, including high-tolerance machining in different materials, electronics, etc. Modding is a fun easy to do thing, that fits into many budgets. And if you don't know how to do it, you can definitely find someone who can.
Plus, when the power goes out, you become the most popular person in the room (
). Seeing your friends blind themselves is also a plus ("this is the size of my finger, how bright can it be?" <looks at emitter>)
I used to just have an Arc AAA. At the time, it was the perfect LED light; no improvement was possible on that design, and since I already had one there was no reason to pay attention to anything else. Then a few years later I bought a newer one, but I lost it a couple of years after that. So I looked around to see what was available, and I got a Fenix E01 and a P1D. When I turned on the P1D, I was amazed; I had no idea LEDs had improved that much, or that they even could. So I looked around some more to see who else was using these new LEDs, and I started buying lights that were better than the P1D. Fast forward a few months and now I have several McGizmos, some new and some vintage, and I've sold most of my other lights. Along the way I found a few that were really pretty or unique in addition to being bright, and those I've also kept. At this point I really wouldn't bother buying anything unless it was really high-end and exclusive, because that's pretty much the only reason I have left -- I have all the actual lights I'll ever need, that much is for sure.
As for why I'd care about flashlights at all, well...
1. I've always liked having tools on-hand, and I always find uses for them; 2. Being an engineer, I like seeing what happens when something mundane and everyday has the power of brilliant minds focused on optimizing every little detail of it.
Not that Don needs any plugs, but the Haiku is a good example of both: it's useful as a tool, and not only is it useful, but it's very close to being as useful as a tube-shaped flashlight can possibly be; there isn't a shred of metal in it that isn't there to satisfy a specific, identifiable requirement. It's a pretty basic instinct for any animal to take notice of distinct features on anything it encounters, because the universe being the entropic place it is, no distinct feature exists on anything unless it serves some useful purpose -- unless you count art of course, but art's purpose is to show off how we no longer let entropy govern our lives entirely. So when I look at something like the Haiku, I admire pretty much everything there is to notice about it, because pretty much everything noticeable about it was the product of someone's focused attention with the intent to solve a particular problem they had.
I keep asking myself the same thing. Why am I collecting these? Why do I want a Fenix Anglelight and a Preon when I already have 5 flashlights in the bedroom, 4 in the kitchen, 1 in each car, and 1 on my cell phone holster? Sorry, none in my pocket right now, guess I'm an EDC failure.
Maybe it's a little obsessive-compulsiveness. Maybe it's because I like gadgets (I've also gotten carried away in the past with electric shavers, guns, and a few other things). Oh, and I always did like flashlights... even as a kid, when I was given one for my birthday. What's not to like about a device as useful as a flashlight! I find myself using them daily to see in dark places.
I think some people are more predisposed to this type of behavior than others. There are a few hardy souls out there, I believe, who don't collect anything! And that's ok. They probably will have more money tucked away at retirement, after all. Whereas I will have to keep working to pay for all this stuff.
I think I just like beautiful things, and lights are beautiful... I am into gadgets in general, I buy watches, knifes, multitools, pens. I can't resist when I see a nicely machined gadget, I have to buy it. I am pretty sure my wife is going to kill me in my sleep one of these days...:thinking:
Armadew brings up a good point. Once you start carrying flashlight, pocketknife, multitool etc, you rapidly wonder how you EVER did without. My paradox is that before I started to EDC, I NEVER MISSED not having a knife/multitool or flashlight. How much lighter everything was back then. Keys in right front pocket, cash in left front pocket, wallet in back pocket and that was IT! It's just that these items are truly, truly useful in everyday (not just for emergencies) life. It is when tools, in your mind and heart, become toys that your bank account suffers.