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Thread: Need a flashlight for my parents

  1. #1

    Default Need a flashlight for my parents

    The power was out for a few hours at my parents house this morning due to Hurricane Dorian. Realized they didn't own a flashlight. Luckily the power was restored after about 3 hours and they used my Ozark Trail Lantern I had left in the garage last time I was there. I need a flashlight that is easy to use by my elderly parents during power outages. Preferably single mode or at most high/low so they be confused with turning it on. Also preferably that uses standard batteries (AA/D/C). I suppose it doesn't have to be a flashlight. The Ozark Trail Lantern seemed to fit the job, I may get one for them. Still I want like to hear any suggestions. Thanks.


    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?


    ____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
    ____This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).
    Open to buying it anywhere


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

    ____I don't know yet
    __X_Up to $25.
    ____Up to $50.
    ____Up to $100.
    ____Up to $200.
    ____Up to $300.
    ____Essentially unlimited.


    3) Format:

    _X__I am not sure, please help me decide.
    ____I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
    ____I want a self-contained headlamp.
    ____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
    ____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
    ____I want a lantern/area light.
    ____I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
    ____Other ____________________________________________


    4) Size:

    ____MICRO - Keychain size.
    ____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
    __X_SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
    ____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
    ____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
    ____I don’t know/I don't care.


    5) Emitter/Light source:

    _X__LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
    ____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
    ____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
    ____I don't know.


    6) Manufacturer:

    _X__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
    ____I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
    ____I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source).


    7) What power source do you want to use?

    _X__I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
    ____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
    ____I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
    ____I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
    ____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
    ____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

    7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
    ____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
    ____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
    ____I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
    ____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
    ____I don't care


    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 not a happy experience).

    ____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
    _X__I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
    ____I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
    ____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
    ____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
    ____I want search and rescue type illumination (800+ lumens).

    _X__SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.


    9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

    ____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
    ____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
    __X_Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
    ____Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
    ____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
    ____Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
    ____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    _X__Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    ____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    ____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    ____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    ____150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

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

    ____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
    ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
    _X__90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    ____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).




    11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    _X__Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
    ____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
    ____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    ____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    ____I don’t know.


    12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

    _X__Any size switch will do.
    ____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
    ____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
    ____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
    ____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
    ____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
    ____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
    ____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
    ____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
    ____I don't care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________________.


    13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

    __X_A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
    __X_I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    ____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    ____I want a programmable light.
    ____I want a selector ring.
    ____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
    ____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
    ____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    ____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s higher end flashlights).
    ____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    _X__I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________.

    15) Water resistance
    _X__None needed
    ____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    ____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

    16) Storage conditions
    _X__In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
    ____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
    ____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
    ____Other_________________________________________ ____


    17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.

    ____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
    ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
    ____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    ____Pocket/belt clip
    ____Holster
    ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Just about any Maglite should meet their needs. Maglites are at most hardware stores.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Maglites are a good bet., I would suggest a couple of 2 AAA Mini Mags, simple twisty/single mode operation, light weight and easy to carry, fairly bright (100 lumens) without being too bright with a great beam pattern (big spill with a good throwy hot spot). These can be dropped in a mug and ceiling bounced for a lantern effect or they can be used in Mag's candle mode by removing the head and using it as a stand. These can be had for $15 at home depot. Energizer L92 ultimate lithium batteries would be best for storage since they don't leak and have a 20 year self life.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Easy- the Browning Crossfire. It’s inexpensive, durable and uses dual fuel. Also has high and low only. Lastly, it’s USB rechargeable, very easy to use.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Question: What do most people need flashlights for?
    Answer: To store dead batteries.

    Pun aside, this is the truth very often sadly. And to make matters worse, alkaline cells tend to leak. So you must either store your batteries outside the flashlight, and find them and insert them in the dark, or, if you put alkalines in the light last year or so, you need to remove the leaking cells, and find and put in new ones (in the dark) only to find out that the acid corroded the contacts and the darn thing does not work.

    I would therefore recommend a USB-rechargeable light with a Lithium battery. Namely this one with the 4200K T6-4C option.
    https://www.banggood.com/de/2_5A-Con...p-1319631.html

    The battery:
    https://www.banggood.com/1PC-Keeppow...-p-995424.html

    This (4200K) will be a warmer tint which does not look so harsh and brings out the colors better. You will never have to worry about the battery supply as you can recharge it with a simple phone charger, the battery will not drain on it's own or leak, it will last many hours in the lower modes and it is easy to operate. Try it, your parents will love it.
    This message was morsed into the open end of a fiber-optic cable with a flashlight.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LeanBurn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Fenix E12 with an Eneloop or other reputable rechargeable....Although it has 3 modes they are all extremely useful and always starts in low, very simple to operate.
    Last edited by LeanBurn; 09-10-2019 at 09:20 AM.
    THRUNITE > Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+ HiCRI
    > Sofirn C01|Dorcy Penlight (Yuji modded)
    XTARVC4, LCTBC500, Amaloops, 1999 MAG-LITE 2D Incandescent(glass lens) Petzl Tikkina 80L ..... E01

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian Holtz View Post
    Question: What do most people need flashlights for?
    Answer: To store dead batteries.
    Very good point. I have another antidote for going back in a couple years to find the Maglite or whatever with dead, leaking batteries--get them a light that also has another function that they'll use. Some powerbanks have lights built in; I have a car jump-starter with a flashlight built in that stays plugged in the car; there are "night lights" that stay plugged in, but have a battery backup and can be used as a flashlight; there are outdoor lights with mini built-in solar panels that they could grab and bring indoors if the power went out; the obvious one is a cellphone if they have one--put a big button/widget on your parents' phones for "flashlight" (and get them a USB powerbank). Or, get them some battery powered task lighting--a supplemental 'fridge light, sewing machine light, motion-activated closet light or pantry light--when the batteries get low, they will notice it and replace them with fresh ones.

    Oh yeah, don't underestimate "candlepower" as well (if they are having trouble with dexterity due to age, get them a nice, safe candelabra and an easy-to-use lighter).

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* RWT1405's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    I don't know about the parents of those that have suggested rechargeable batteries, but my parents would NEVER recharge them, and they would be a complete waste of money and effort.

    If it was me, and actually what I did do, for my parents, is use Lithium AA's (non-rechargeable) in an appropriate flashlight.

    Then I leave them the appropriate amount for back-up, in case it dies before I get there to visit.

    Remember KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid!

    But then, I guess that's just me.
    In a SHTF scenario, the best of plans will go to sh*t, so Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) is the best plan

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    I agree. I'm probably going to go with a 2xAA Maglite with lithium batteries in them. If the lithiums run out during an extended outage, they'll be able to find AA's easily. They have a box of spare AA's anyways for the various electronics around the house.

    Quote Originally Posted by RWT1405 View Post
    I don't know about the parents of those that have suggested rechargeable batteries, but my parents would NEVER recharge them, and they would be a complete waste of money and effort.

    If it was me, and actually what I did do, for my parents, is use Lithium AA's (non-rechargeable) in an appropriate flashlight.

    Then I leave them the appropriate amount for back-up, in case it dies before I get there to visit.

    Remember KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid!

    But then, I guess that's just me.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Eveready makes several lights of varying brightness and function that would work well. I have the Fusion Lantern (4/8 AA) which works great as an area light. They have several smaller ones that are flashlight only, or flashlight/small lantern. Nitecore has several lanterns as well, but most of them are USB rechargeable. They do have one that is USB, but can also take a couple AA cells as well. The LA10/LA12 are single AA or AAA lanterns in a lipstick form factor. Collapsed they can be used as a flashlight, opened up they are a small lantern ideal for immediate area lighting.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* RWT1405's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    Quote Originally Posted by bluelunar View Post
    I agree. I'm probably going to go with a 2xAA Maglite with lithium batteries in them. If the lithiums run out during an extended outage, they'll be able to find AA's easily. They have a box of spare AA's anyways for the various electronics around the house.
    I think that’s an excellent choice!

    Good luck with your plan!
    In a SHTF scenario, the best of plans will go to sh*t, so Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) is the best plan

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a flashlight for my parents

    I gave my Dad a 3D maglight, and each year I give him some D cells.
    I gave him a Ryobi lantern that will run on the 18V One+ batteries (It will also act as a power bank)
    I gave him a 3D cell lantern similar to the Ozark Trail IIRC a Home Depot Defiant. I hope they come back out with them.

    Perhaps most importantly, I gave him a few Instant ON Power failure lights. They stay plugged into an outlet, charging, and when the power goes out, they come on. They can be had for less than $10. Some act as a night-light and are always on, some have a light sensor and go off during daylight (depending upon where they are placed). When the power goes out your folks can be instant cave like darkness, tripping over stuff trying to get to and find whatever light/lanterns you gave them.

    I strongly suggest that you get a few power failure lights. They can be positioned so that they throw some light into more than one room. I have one plugged into an extension cord lying on top of my refrigerator. The kitchen, dining room, and living room all get some light from it. Another one connected to another extension cord lies on top of the entertainment unit in the living room and throws light into the living room, dining room, and hallway to the bathroom and bedrooms.

    There should be one in the garage, and at least one in the basement. Instant darkness and steps do not make a good combination.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

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