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Thread: Need AA with auto shut-off (Sad: My blind dad burned by Zebralight left on in pocket)

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default Need AA with auto shut-off (Sad: My blind dad burned by Zebralight left on in pocket)

    Hi everyone, I've been researching but came up understandably short.

    Rather sad situation as my elderly father's eyesight has deteriorated over the years to almost zero from degenerative condition. (It's as if he's looking through a pinhole, and unless he's looking in exactly the right place, he will not see anything even an inch away from that tiny field of view.)

    He really has benefited from the Zebralight SC52W I bought him 7 years ago. He loves the light, and uses it throughout the day. While he's 99% blind, he can still just see enough to get around the house (slowly and carefully,) and absolutely needs a flashlight with him all the time.

    Unfortunately, his limited eyesight has really worsened in the last year. Lately he cannot always tell if his Zebralight is off before he puts it back in his pocket after using. He's been trying to remember to look carefully, but if he's distracted, he can forget. (Note: After 7 years, the tactile 'click' of the Zebralight's switch has disappeared, so that might be a contributing factor.)

    A few days ago he accidentally pocketed his light while it was on, and it stayed on for hours in his pocket. He said he felt some discomfort, but never realized it was related to the light, which was heating up without ventilation or adequate dissipation.

    Turned out he developed a burn on his leg that blistered and later burst, leading to an infection currently being treated. The burn might have been 'minor' for a younger person, but it led to complications in his case. I never realized his 1.2v NiMH AA light could get hot enough to injure him, but it happened. (I purposely never suggested Lithium powered lights out of concern for his safety.)

    SO, I'm desperately looking for a replacement, but 'similar' AA light with an automatic shutoff option, and with hopefully the following:
    • Battery: NiMH AA battery
    • Modes: Low / Medium / High
    • Cool, white, or neutral LED (preferably not warm)


    I recognize there is very limited demand for flashlights with an automatic shutoff feature . The Zebralight is a great size, quality, overall functional light, and the 4-rapid click feature to determine battery level is actually very helpful for my dad as well.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for either an existing light for sale, or maybe a custom modder / circuit builder that could program/reprogram something that could have an automatic 3-5 minute shutoff feature?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need AA with auto shut-off (Sad: My blind dad burned by Zebralight left on in poc

    I don't know of any AA lights with auto off feature except my HDS with Auto-Off Enabled and a 2xAA tube.
    (edited)
    One option that springs to mind and not sure if it'll fit the bill, but what about a 2xAA MagLite?
    Your father may screw the head for 'on' and snuggly tighten it for 'off' and he'll know it's off? They're cheap and reliable.
    There's the 2xAAA version too that's nearly as bright.

    With the Zebralight, couldn't your farther unscrew the tail cap a bit, that'll turn off the light and prevent any unwanted activations?

    I'll be following this thread because now I'm interested to hear what other may say.


    Direct from the HDS advanced manual for Clicky models:


    "Automatic Turn Off – <bright-to-dim ramp>

    The Automatic Turn Off feature allows your flashlight to save the battery if accidentally turned on. This can be handy if you carry your flashlight in your pocket and it gets accidentally turned on or if you fall asleep with your flashlight turned on. The emphasis of this feature is saving the battery without unduly interfering with normal use.

    Automatic Turn Off only affects the steady brightness levels. Signal brightness levels such as strobes and SOS are not affected by the setting of Automatic Turn Off as it is assumed these signaling modes are not likely to be accidentally activated and they may need to operate unattended in an emergency situation.

    The dimming process starts 10 minutes after the last button activity. Your flashlight will dim rapidly from higher power settings because that is where the highest power consumption is. The dimming process progressively slows with lower power levels. The whole dimming process takes roughly 12 hours before your flashlight is finally turned off.

    Each time the Automatic Turn Off feature dims your flashlight, you will see a triple-blink.

    If you are using a lower power setting, you will not see any change until the dimming process has reached your brightness level. This could be seconds, minutes or hours past the 10 minute start, depending on the starting brightness level.


    You can click the button at any time during the dimming sequence to return your flashlight to the original brightness level and reset the Automatic Turn Off timer for another 10 minutes."


    Last edited by PaperKnife; 08-08-2020 at 03:15 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need AA with auto shut-off (Sad: My blind dad burned by Zebralight left on in poc

    HDS Systems lights have an automatic shutoff feature. They are CR123 lights, not AA, and they are available as clickies or as rotaries. The simple user interface of the rotary might be an added benefit for your father. The HDS lights turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
    Last edited by troutpool; 08-08-2020 at 03:08 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need AA with auto shut-off (Sad: My blind dad burned by Zebralight left on in poc

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperKnife View Post
    With the Zebralight, couldn't your farther unscrew the tail cap a bit, that'll turn off the light and prevent any unwanted activations?
    That's definitely an idea that I didn't think of. I'll discuss that option with him in the interim, for sure. Thanks! (And thanks for the other info as well.)

    Very interested in other member's ideas too, of course!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need AA with auto shut-off (Sad: My blind dad burned by Zebralight left on in poc

    @Howiezowie You're welcome

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