Has anyone tried one of those flashlights that do not use batteries? They are powered by a crank handle for energy.
I've read reviews that go from wonderful to a thumbs down due to only 2 minutes of power with a lot of cranking.
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I have three of the flashlights that you shake and I hate them. If you don't use them consistently and need one, you must shake it until you turn blue for a little light. When I need light, I need light, and do not have an extra 10 minutes to wait for it. In my opinion, they are pretty worthless.
I also have two of the crank ones that you asked about, and I love them. They are just cheap ones and I'm not even sure of the brand, but they work quite well. The last time our electricity went out, I went right to one, cranked it a few times, and had enough light to find my oil lamp and light it. I've never tried to use it for a long time, so I'm not sure how log it would last, but it did what I wanted it to and fulfilled my need.
I bought a cheap crank type to try. Little or lots a cranking didn't make much difference in the amount of light it put out, and it dimmed within 10 seconds. Might be a case of get what you pay for, this one was $6, but still I'd have been happy with just a few minutes of bright light but the brightest it got was at the beginning and then it was barely as bright as a dim battery type light. I returned it.
Editor's Note: Check the switch on the flashlight. Quite often there are two settings, one that runs off the charged battery and one that only runs while you are cranking. It may be charging but you don't have it set properly so can't use the light from all the cranking. Also, they have an internal rechargeable battery. These batteries can fail after a time.
I was ready to throw my crank flashlight away but then found out that I was winding it the wrong way. So I suggest that you try to wind both ways because if I was winding it clockwise, it had to be the opposite way.
I have a crank flash light and I love it, Roadmaster Hand Cranking Flashlight with emergency flashers. I got it at WalMart around Christmas time for $5.00. The first time I used it, it lasted about 45 mins then it started getting dim. I cranked it for 1 min and I used it for about 30 mins more and turned it off. This is the first time I ever had one and I love it!
We have two of the crank style flashlights. One we bought ourselves to see how well it would work, since the kids were often taking the batteries out of everything in the house. Well, we didn't care for it. For Christmas my husband received one, different brand, and it didn't work any better than the cheaper brand one we purchased. He refuses to use either of them now. I keep one in my van in case I have to use it for something and one in the house for a HAVE to use. But in my opinion, they aren't worth the money.
I have a crank flash light and I love it. Roadmaster Hand Cranking Flashlight with emergency flashers. I got it at WalMart around Christmas time for $5.00. The first time I used it, it lasted about 45 mins then it started getting dim. I cranked it for 1 min and I used it for about 30 mins more and turned it off. This is the first time I ever had one and I love it!
I have a kind of "Portable light fetish" & love emergency lights so my Mom bought a nice hand crank flashlight for me for Christmas. They're not all they're cracked up to be. The number one thing you MUST know is that you MUST crank it to a full charge BEFORE putting it away (kind of like a portable phone needs to be fully charged) or the internal battery will eventually not charge & you'll be stuck, like I am, with a flashlight that ONLY works when you are cranking it & not on the battery at all.
Also, Even when it's new, the battery doesn't last very long anyway & you'll either need an extra third hand to crank it (say you're trying to jump your car by yourself... for example) or you'll need someone else to crank it for you while you do your task... & I've found that isn't always practical!
If you ALWAYS make sure the battery is fully charged when you stow it away you'll be happy with it for an emergency flashlight, but you have to crank it for quite a while to charge it, & I must say, this does get old... Unless you have a child that just loves to just sit there & turn the handle, GREAT!, otherwise.... Well, you get the idea!
We had the power off for 6 days last winter & depending on the task at hand, the one flashlight that I found most useful was the tiny LED flashlights you can clip on or hook behind your ear, these are great to use for going to the bathroom, reading, etc. Handy little guys they are, indeed! They use hardly any battery power, so your batteries last forever. I bought 6 of these disposable lights for a probable future emergency at the Dollar Tree store. For cooking or other emergencies I like the squat little flashlights that change when you push on them from a flashlight to a hanging light. These are great for standing on end or hanging from the inside of your tent. For extra-extra brightness you can never beat the Coleman/white gas type of flashlights with the glass mantels... BUT, with these, you'll need to be SUPER CAREFUL as they get REALLY hot, so don't leave your kids in the room with one of these alone, but as for brightness, they get nearly as bright as an electric 75 watt bulb (or more). I once bought one of those 10,000 or so candlelight 12 volt lights at Costco & BOY! do they ever drain your battery!... But if you have a good battery & you need it to help someone else fix their car or use camping they sure light up the world! One of my very favorite lights is any light that plugs into a car cigarette lighter or a 12 volt battery that can be recharged on your car. I always like to buy a longer extension cord for the cigarette lighter lights. If you want the Top Dog of emergency lights, go to a local RV show & buy a magnetic (or not) solar trickle charger for a car or motorcycle battery & you can run any 12 volt light off of this day after day. The best light to run from these solar/batter (or any car battery) is a florescent light because they use much less power than an incandescent. I lived in the woods off & on when my kids were young for several years with no power, but we found that with a simple car battery, we could light the place well with 18 inch florescent lights plus run a tape deck for music. The car battery only needed to be charged every 3 or 4 months or so & I got more than enough light to cook with etc. Those 12 volt florescent lights are the best!
One of the best all around pieces of survival equipment to have is one of those radios with a built in light that work with batteries, hand crank & solar... you can buy one at the C. Crain Company: (The C.Crain company has customer reviews on most (or all) of their products)
FREEPLAY PLUS RADIO---> Here's a GREAT one for $99:
AM/FM, Shortwave radio in America. There's just no better choice for dealing with the frustration of a power failure. You can charge the built-in, NiMH battery pack through the wind-up generator, the solar cells,or the optional AC adapter. A fully charged battery will run the radio for over 40 hours, and when the battery gets low, you can always wind it up. The Freeplay Plus also comes with a detachable, 3-White LED light with a magnetic base.
Dynamo Wind-Up Radio & Flashlight $29.95:
Not in the same league as Freeplay Plus Radio but still a fun little radio. Crank the built in generator a few minutes and it will run for an hour. Built-in solar panel.
Freeplay Ranger Radio $44.95 (no light included)
The Freeplay Plussmaller cousin, the Ranger Radio, mixes Freeplay's most advancedwind-up technology with a stylish AM/FM radio. Wind-up or solar powered with an internal rechargeable battery pack. Up to 25 hours of run-time when fully charged. AC adapter included
------> CHECK THIS OUT: Here's enough led (& regular) flashlights to make your head spin!
They even have a LED conversion bulb to turn regular flashlights into LED flashlights!
I have 2 of the windup flashlights and just love them. I bought them @ Costco about 2 yrs. ago. I keep one in the car and one in the house. They were about $20.00 for two and the light lasts quite a while before you have to wind them up again.
The hand crank ones are rubbish, but I have discovered one you shake to power, that is fantastic, and works really well. It keeps a lot of power for ages, whereas the squeeze type give a dim glow for about two seconds.
I like my Energizer LED flashlight that I bought at Walgreen's several years ago for about $5. It runs on 4 AA batteries that I replaced for the first time just recently. The light is very white, and that takes a little getting used to, but it always lights up, and that makes me happy. I think my next flashlight will be a hand-crank. It's hard to resist a practical toy that works well.
I know this, use led lights if you want to use less electricity. I have found some here. http://www.trad m/ks-led-lights/
Crank lights are not worth the money. LED lights with spare batteries are the best way to go! LED Mag lights that run on "D" batteries are my perfect lights. Bright with long run times. Rugged too!
Shake Lights are also troublesome. Some of the cheap Chinese ones actually had a battery in them and did not work by shaking at all. All have a very powerful magnet that will screw up a compass if placed near one.
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