LED Flashlights, and AA and AAA Rechargeable Batteries.

LED flashlights

I like flashlights, having worked in both fire and law enforcement I have had many occasions in which have I needed to depend on one.  In the old days, the majority of us carried D cell Maglights.  I still have a few around and they are still reliable.  Maglights were big and heavy which was both good and bad.  Bad when you had to carry it, but great when you had to hit someone with it.  However, technology has improved and the LED flashlights are a better choice for my purposes.

I always have at least one flashlight in my everyday carry and often two.  With the advent of LED bulbs, the new flashlights are so small and easy to carry.  I probably own 30 flashlights. Because of my fascination with them; people are always giving them to me.  I play with everyone I get and have formed some opinions on them.

led flashlight
Hybrid flashlight

First, I have not found a wind up or shake flashlight that is any good.  Don’t waste your money on them.  Now solar is another thing entirely.  About five years ago, I found a hybrid solar flashlight that works well.  I have had several of them sitting on window ledges around the house.  The sun keeps them charged and they are as bright today as when I bought them.  Here is a link to a review I did on them in 2011 Hybrid solar flashlight review

My everyday carry LED flashlight is either a Fenix LD 10 or a Fenix E01.  The LD 10 uses AA batteries and the E01 AAA batteries.  The only reservations I have about these flashlights and many other LED flashlights is that some have circuitry that could be affected by EMP.  The cheaper ones may survive better than the fancy ones.

LED flashlight
A Fenix E01 attached to my key ring.

Today I would recommend that any LED flashlights that you purchase use either AA or AAA batteries.  These batteries are small, lightweight and are available in a rechargeable format.  The Sanyo Eneloop are very good batteries, holding their charge for years and can be recharged up to a 1000 times.  They are my favorite battery.  A review of the Eneloop NiMH Batteries

Solar chargers like the  ones by Goal Zero and Powerfilm are lightweight small and can recharge 1000’s of batteries. Here is a link to further information on them A Good Portable Solar Charger, the New Goal Zero Nomad 7 and A Nice Little Solar Charger.

LED flashlight
Goal Zero Nomad 7 and the Guide 10 battery pack..

Another advantage of using AA batteries is that today you can buy AA powered GPS, flashlights, FM Radios, Handi talkies, lanterns, sensor lights and many other things that use them.

Cheap AA and AAA LED flashlights are available almost everywhere, anybody can afford to purchase several.  In my experience, they all seem to work fairly well even the cheap Chinese ones.


3 thoughts on “LED Flashlights, and AA and AAA Rechargeable Batteries.”

  1. A factor to consider with rechargable NiCd or NiMh batteries is that they only produce 1.2-1.3 volts per cell vs. 1.5-1.6 volts for standard alkaline or LiOn batteries. This can effect performance of devices which require a specific voltage. Further, some rechargables do not provide sufficient capacity to power devices requiring sustained high current levels. Rechargeable battery packs for high current devices such as photo flashes, radio communications transceivers and emergency locator beacons, incorporate current regulation circuitry and thermal protection to prevent cascading failure in the event of afailed cell

    Some types of rechargeables will lose their charge if left in a hot vehicle in summer, or if cold soaked in.below freezingconditions. For life-safety equipment insist on professional quality, aviation or public safety grade batteries which have been engineered for the specific application.

  2. I will also strongly recommend the purchase of a headlamp. Modern headlamps are very popular with the outdoors and military communities, and are not the massive miners headlamps of years past. Most are AAA battery powered but there are other options. I strongly recommend Petzl brand (most are made in France), or Princeton Tec (recently moved most of their production back to the USA). They are generally very robust and reliable, and often have coloured light or tactical versions.

    I also suggest turning around one of the batteries if you store any flashlight for a long period of time. Switching one battery around backwards stops the batteries from trickle draining, and prevents corrosion on the terminals.

  3. I love flashlights. These are beneficial for everyone. Carrying a flashlight in purses provide extra level of confidence to women. Children can bring the lights on camping trips, sleepovers or other adventures.

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