Windup LED Flashlight that lasts?

6:56 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Everyone,

I am looking for a Windup LED Flashlight that will last for a while. Most of these are made in China and only last a few days past the sale. I am looking around for one that is made to last. If you know of one I would be interested to hear about it.

11:19 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Energizer weather ready wind up flash light that I have been using for months.  Got it last year in Dec. It is made in China.  I'm not trying to be rude here but can you really imagine an American company employing american citizens sitting in an american factory making a wind up flashlights???????????.  I can't unless they hire illegals.  It would cost $30-$40 and maybe more to have Americnas make a windup flashlight.  The problem is not things that are made in China.  China has all the avaliable rescorces that we have.  The problem is that companies  require the factories in China to use the worst posssible recsources.  I have many fine products that were made in China over the last ten years.  I will give  you a detailed list if you want.  I  think you will see that its the "Company" you are buying it from not the country it comes from.  Again what has worked for me is the " Energizer Weather Ready"  Hope this helps

11:23 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Dr Reaper, I have this one:

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/57227?feat=2-SR0

It's kept on hand for emergencies so it hasn't gotten any actual "usage" (knock on wood).  I wind it every now and then, and it seems to hold its charge for quite some time.  The label on the back suggests winding it for one minute at least every three months.

It's not the brightest light in the world (I would prefer not to hike at night with it) but it's adequate for emergency or close-proximity lighting.

I examined the whole unit with an illuminated magnifying glass and couldn't find any indication of its country of origin.



7:57 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Maybe I am a bit old fashioned but I want products to last when I purchase them. I will check into the Energizer Weather Ready.

Yes I do expect an american company, as well as any other, can do fine making products that last and are quality. All it takes for american companies to succeed is discerning customers. 

9:50 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

Dr Reaper, I have this one:

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/57227?feat=2-SR0

It's kept on hand for emergencies so it hasn't gotten any actual "usage" (knock on wood).  I wind it every now and then, and it seems to hold its charge for quite some time.  The label on the back suggests winding it for one minute at least every three months.

It's not the brightest light in the world (I would prefer not to hike at night with it) but it's adequate for emergency or close-proximity lighting.

I examined the whole unit with an illuminated magnifying glass and couldn't find any indication of its country of origin.



 I have that one.   Or, I should say, I have the 3rd or 4th one.   I keep going back and exchanging.   L.L Bean has an outlet store near me ... and, they are good with the return-policy.

Reason I keep returning them?

They're JUNK !  (Made-in-China).   Stop working.

Next return will be for a refund.

                                                      ~r2~

10:10 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

I have a Energizer weather ready wind up flash light that I have been using for months.  Got it last year in Dec. It is made in China.  I'm not trying to be rude here but can you really imagine an American company employing american citizens sitting in an american factory making a wind up flashlights???????????.  I can't unless they hire illegals.  It would cost $30-$40 and maybe more to have Americnas make a windup flashlight.  The problem is not things that are made in China.  China has all the avaliable rescorces that we have.  The problem is that companies  require the factories in China to use the worst posssible recsources.  I have many fine products that were made in China over the last ten years.  I will give  you a detailed list if you want.  I  think you will see that its the "Company" you are buying it from not the country it comes from.  Again what has worked for me is the " Energizer Weather Ready"  Hope this helps

 There was an article that cameout about 2yrs ago about china's minerals are being depleted. Same items used in manufactureing plastics etc. We as a nation have safe gaurded our own. Thought it was interesting from world science.And yes to expensive to pay american labor for a $10 item. With what is considered a small market.

3:04 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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I used to have (kids lost it) a light similar to this shake powered light. It was very durable and reliable.  Not the brightest but it put out a useful amount, the newer ones (I had mine about 10 years ago) would do better with the newer leds and capacitors. It also had the benefit of being waterproof enough to float for awhile. If you click the related items link you will find several "shake" lights. One of which is hybrid shake/battery.

3:13 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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@ DrReaper:  Just to let you know The  " Energizer Weather Ready" that I have is made in China as well.  I find it to be a great product and has not broken or given me a bit of trouble.  I have used it quite a bit but keep it in my truck for emergencies as I have multiple generators at home.  In this day and age there is really no reason to be without electricty with the glut of quality generators on the market, thanks to Y2K2.  It also has a spiffy little clip incoprerated into the handle to clip it to you belt loop, backpack, fannypack, etc.   Even though this is made in China, It is an Energizer product and I have never had a problem with any Energizer product that I can think of.  I only use Energizer and Durecell batteries.  I have found them to be pretty much equall in quality and usually the deciding factor is cost, which one is on sale or the price in bulk.


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Here is a company called eton tht sells expensive wind up and solar powered flashlights and weather radios/radios.  I have one of thre more expensive flashlight/blinker/weather radio's.  I did seem to be a good product but the batteries they used are garbage as mine now works only when winding as others have  experianced after further investigation.  I do not know where they have their products manufactured.  They claim that the Red Cross uses their products, specifcly this solar gig I have.  It is still usful as it will work while winding it up and one does not need but a 30 seconds on the weather channel to find out what is going on.  But as for the flashlight/blinker the batteries gave out quickly.  I'm thinking of contacting them to see if they will replace them but I will probebly just look for a differt product.  As you have probubly deduced I have a very, very low tollerence for things that I spend my money on that don't work, though you may have a different experiance with their products than I have had.  I will most likely never buy form them again

 

http://www.etoncorp.com/products

 denis daly said : " There was an article that cameout about 2yrs ago about china's minerals are being depleted. Same items used in manufactureing plastics etc. We as a nation have safe gaurded our own. Thought it was interesting from world science.And yes to expensive to pay american labor for a $10 item. With what is considered a small market."

 

This might be true.  However, while America and Europe Look inward and try to mismange there economies and cause themselves great distress, China is busy mining the world of what they need to build their country.  They have made huge, and I mean huge, inroads very quitetly in Africa in both mining and oil.  It is quite astounding.  You might do a Google search on the subject.  I think you be amazed and even find it shocking.

 

1:59 a.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Hmmm, r2, that's good to know. I guess I've been lucky with mine (actually several of them in the house), knock on wood. I'm also surprised it isn't labelled with country of origin, I thought that was required. Maybe they use multiple suppliers for this item...

Have all of yours failed the same way or have the failures been random?

6:48 a.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

Hmmm, r2, that's good to know. I guess I've been lucky with mine (actually several of them in the house), knock on wood. I'm also surprised it isn't labelled with country of origin, I thought that was required. Maybe they use multiple suppliers for this item...

Have all of yours failed the same way or have the failures been random?

 

BTW -- Great avatar photo-image !

Mine lasted various periods of time.   I admit that I did not use them regularly.   Kept them in my Vanagon, most of the time, to use for roadside emergencies and when looking for stuff inside the vehicle.   (Vanagons are pretty roomy).

The one I still have now, seems to be holding-up.   I do hope it lasts.   The thing is a pretty handy device.   I seem to have a lot of other devices with batteries, and forget to replace the batteries in a timely fashion.   Ideally, this crank light will continue to function for a long time.

                                                   ~r2~

8:41 a.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I guess i am too hard on wind up flashlights because I have yet to have one last a full year, most fail within 2-3 months if not sooner. I have had almost every brand you can think of, energizer, llbean, brookstone, duracell, coleman and a few others.

I love the concept, but in actuallity they fall short for me. The light output is generally decent enough to use for almost anything, including night hiking on a night with at least some moonlight. I have put many of these wind up lights through the ringer over the past several years via car camping mainly, but also backpacking and some extended hunting trips. The failure is usually in the windup portion of the light, after awhile the bearing or something just gives out and breaks rendering he light useless after you depleat the charge.

The light that lasted the longest(time wise out of the box) for me was the brookstone light, which broke almost to the day, about a year after i got it. The coleman one broke the earliest at about a month. I was using these lights pretty much 3 days/week if not more often. I carried the llbean one on a military deployment and it lasted for about 4 months of almost daily use.

I have since switched to battery powered headlamps, because the windup ones just arn't reliable enough yet.

3:33 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:"I guess i am too hard on wind up flashlights because I have yet to have one last a full year, most fail within 2-3 months if not sooner. I have had almost every brand you can think of, energizer, llbean, brookstone, duracell, coleman and a few others."

My guess is your using your windup flashligh for continuous duty?  If so, I think your problem my stem from the same problem by brother is having.  He is running a little fountian using a 12 volt solar system.  The resonably priced pumps he can find are the 12 volt sump pumps used in the marine industry for getting water out of the hulls of boats.  Even the best 12 volt sump pumps are made to be operated for short bursts of time to rid the boat of water and then turned off.   He replaces them on a regular basis.  I don't think they make a wind up flash light for long term continuas duty.  Even the "quality" ones are made for emergencys and intermitent use.  Can you imagine them making a flashlight that was quality and worked for years, might put regulate the Enegizer bunny to the stew pot.

On another note.  I gave the Eton Weather radio flashlight/blinker the thumbs down the last time I posted.  I did some investigating and it seems it will not work for any length of time (like more than a 1 min.) unless u stick it out in the sun for 8 hrs or more.  Kinda odd as I would have figured that the solar cell was one way to charge up the batteires and that the wind up function was another way with adding your own batteries the third (it uses its own batteries but you can add three AAA's).  Here is how it works.  The wind up is for emergencys and does not apperar to charge the batteries and is only there for when you do not have sun to charge the batteries.  The solar cell charges the batteries so one must have some regular sun to charge it on a regular basis.  It makes sence to me now that the Red Cross uses this  item as a great deal of the areas they respond to are in areas of the world that have sun year round.  My problem is that I live in the Great State of Washington where we don't get sun for long periods of time usually in the winter which is when I would need this item as that's when we lose elecrticity.  I know retract my Thumbs down on this item and will mess around with it abit befor rating it again.

@ TheRambler and DrReaper You might check out http://www.etoncorp.com/products which is the company that makes my raido.  They seem to be a quality made product, at least fit and and finish.  Now that I have figured out how mine works I feel more comfortable recomending them.  The make some windups and solar models though I have not really investigated the product line.  I'm not sure, but I belive the Eton corp. is a French company.  I also belive the company that owns Energzier is French as well.

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7:24 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I can't understand why this 'wind-up' technology hasn't advanced to the point of being more reliable and with the extended charge.

Don't forget:   this is the same technology that was used in WWII to power short-transmission radio / telephone messaging in the battlefields.  Called "field telephones" if I am not mistaken.

Granted, the devices were the size of breadboxes, but ... C'mon !

                                              ~r2~

8:05 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I know this is slightly off topic,

I have been experimenting with those cheap ($4 - $6) solar powered rechargeable lights Walmart sells that you stick in your lawn to light your sidewalk, etc. with.

I have been getting 300 to 400 charges on them before the rechargeable battery pack dies. They are not super bright or function as a flashlight beam, but they will easily light up the interior of a tent or vestibule and will burn most of the night. The next day I just place them in the sunlight to charge (or in the top of my pack). On cloudy days they even get a half charge (? as best as I can tell).

They make good perimeter lights for around your camp, or to mark your bear hang area, or latrine area at night (good for newbies or kids).

They weigh just a few ounces and the included plastic ground stake is removable so the light fits in the palm of your hand or your tents gear loft, or the stake can be used as a handle for the light, or as an extra guy out stake in a pinch.


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So far this has worked very well for me.

Just a thought.

8:33 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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@apeman Not sure what you mean by continuous duty exactly, but no the light didn't remain on for months at a time. I did use it almost daily though.

@R2 it is the same technology as a ww2 field radio. The difference being that field radios were made out of robust metal parts and not cheap plastic crap made in china.

9:17 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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@ TheRambler  I mean that I belive that the windup up flashlight are made for limited use duty for emergencies where as my Mag flashlights and my head lamps are made  for continuous duty, long use and hard abuse.  Here on the "farm" I use the mag and the headlamps every night as there are no oudoor lighting  here, at least where I need it.  I use the windup for when I run out of batteries and or when the grid goes down and I can't charge anything.  I also use the windup's for road side emergencies as I don't like to try and keep fresh batteries in the truck.   Regarding the same technology, you hit it on the nose  "same technology, but planned obsolescence regarding materials"

@Robert Rowe : can you imagine if this technology was used in anything and everything that batteries are used in.  There would be so much less use and need for store bought batteries which are very expensive and make companies tons of money.  Companies have a vested interested in keeping use hooked on the materials and the technology that keeps making them and their stockholders so much money.  Since we all keep buying the stuff they make there is no need to change or up grade except for the small amount of compition in regards to to first and secoond place regarding market shares of the big battery companies.

 @trouthunter Thats a great idea those "cheap ($4 - $6) solar powered rechargeable lights".  While on my Brewery tour I saw a guy using them at one of the campgrounds I stayed in, though like you said no directional beam and limited amount of light.  It would I imagine, give out just enough light to light up the tent and just enough light to be able to navigate the camping spot when and if one has to get up in the middle of the night.  Might also give the midnight camp robbers a bit of help as well ;-}>

11:15 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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~r2, thanks, I took that photo just outside the Ansel Adams wilderness last year.

1:09 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman - get a fountain pump next time. I have a fountain pump running my aquaponics without trouble. I am going to go solar on it as soon as I finish building solar panels.

The Energizer Weatheready got 4.5 stars on amazon. I think I am going to order one and see how it goes. I will just be careful to not let my kids get a hold of it :)



3:11 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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@ DrReaper :  Thats what I suggested to him.  The funny thing is he has an inverter that would work to change the voltage to 120v  for the hottub or fountain pump.  The reason he was using the bilge/sump pump is it runs of off 12v.  I can't belive he didn't think of this on his own.  I guess two heads are "sometimes" better than one, sometimes tow heads on serves to make us just twice as stupid. ;-}>

I would say good move on keeping it away from the kids.  I belive it is a child's misson for a time in his/her life (mostly his) to destroy everything he/she touches.  I'm not nor will ever be a parent, but I do try and pay attention.

6:02 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Life+Gear Mini Dynamo. Have been using it for over a year. But my needs for the light is rare. Maybe 10 times a year. I use a candle lite for most my needs.

12:49 p.m. on August 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman: I paid something like $60.00 for a fountian pump with 10 foot lift 920 gallons a minute and a warranty. The store even said I could bring it in after 2 year and 11 months and exchange it for a new one based on wear and tear. It was at harbor freight.

Crank LED

My requirement should be that I can give it to my kids and if it lasts two months then I know its a good light. The thing would have to be indestructible. Once the four year old figured out you crank it to get light it would be doomed. Well a cheep plastic one would be.

2:59 p.m. on August 14, 2011 (EDT)
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DrReaper : Thanks for the pump info.  As my bro had just purchased yet another 12 volte bildge/sump pump the the day befor I had talked to him, he'll be set for a few monts till it yet again breaks.  Truley amazes me that people are willing to buy thingss that keep breaking.  The result of a throw away society I suppose.  I will pass this on to him and see if he uses the info.  Again thanks.

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