Flashlights

Discussion in 'Machining with Disabilities' started by GailInNM, May 3, 2009.

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  1. May 3, 2009 #1

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

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    I love flashlights, or torches for some of our non-USA members.

    Although my shop is well lit and all my machine tools and workbenches have lots of work lights I still find I need some additional light for many operations.

    Over the last few years I have bought many flashlights and have them scattered throughout the shop and house. There is no room in the house that does not have at least one. Many of them have been dissapointing. LED lights have completely replaced incedesent bulbs and they are far superior. But many of them have been poorly constructed. Switches have failed, battery contacts become intermittent and poor quality or over rated LEDs either fail or start having reduced output.

    I bought a couple of Ray-O-Vac 9 LED pocket lights that use 3 AAA cells a couple of years ago and they have performed flawlessly. So when I wanted to upgrade some of my older lights that had deteriorate I wanted to buy more. Unfortunately that model had been discontinued. But I tried one of the Ray-O-Vac lights that use a single high power LED. It gives an extremely bright central spot that is quite well focused with a fairly uniform surrounding halo of light. I liked it so well that I bought two more. There were purchased at Walgreen's drug store for about $10 each. They give about 45 hours of operation on 3 AAA cells.

    Highly recommended.

    http://rayovac.com/flashlight/sphw3aaa-bx.shtml

    Gail in NM,USA



    Flashlight_product_sphw3aaa-bx.jpg
     
  2. May 3, 2009 #2

    Noitoen

    Noitoen

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  3. May 3, 2009 #3

    Kermit

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    A city in Penn. (not positive which one) replaced ALL the city street lights etc. with the new LED types. They realized a 70% reduction in overall electric usage and recouped the costs for the change over in a year.

    From the Pile of Random News Bits,
    Kermit
     
  4. May 3, 2009 #4

    bearcar1

    bearcar1

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    I tend to agree. Finding a flashlight that is functionally suited for the job as well as mechanically strong can prove to be a real son of a gun problem at best. I REALLY dislike the MagLite series as they utilize that goofy twist the head method of turning the unit on, also that feature is used to focus the beam. 99% of the time I require a bright, moderately spread beam and not some pinpoint unlinear spot of light these units provide. Not to mention that those silly 3V. Halogen bulbs aren't the most cost effective and posses a service life that is questionable. The torches that I prefer are made by Dorchy. They are just as rugged, use three AAA batteries and high output LEDs in the business end and feature a push on/off waterproof switch, none of that silly and distracting scatter beam technology, just press the button and you're good to go. :big:

    BC1
     
  5. May 3, 2009 #5

    shred

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    I'm also a flashlight junkie. I'm a big fan of the single super-high-output LED units now. Work great for peering around under the depths of the bench looking for that dropped part.. The ones that use 2 or 3 of the lithium 123 cells are really nice light-wise, but only for occasional use due to the battery cost.

    Btw, kids love the hand-cranked ones and it'll save you a ton in batteries...
     
  6. May 3, 2009 #6

    mklotz

    mklotz

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  7. May 3, 2009 #7

    rickharris

    rickharris

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    I guess you are being tongue in cheek as LEDs emitt virtually no heat ;)
     
  8. May 3, 2009 #8

    Noitoen

    Noitoen

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    No? What do you think about led lasers?
     
  9. May 3, 2009 #9

    fdew

    fdew

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    Flashlights have gone from a annoyance to a wonderful thing.

    A few years ago I bought a Streamlight Task-Light 3AA LED It has a single 1 watt LED and I ahve come to accept that it just works.
    Every time, no mater what, I never even think of it failing to work.

    I bought it because it was aimed at police work so I thought it might be a good one. I am sure there are many others as well.
    http://www.streamlight.com/product/product.aspx?pid=51

    Frank
     
  10. May 3, 2009 #10

    spuddevans

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    I think you are thinking about the low power LED's, the newer power LED's, eg 1-7 watt LED's giving out 200-900 lumins really need to have additional heatsinking to stop them burning out, they are dissapating anything from 350ma up to 2.8A and above!! That kinda gives off some heat. These are just power LED's that are freely available from places like Dealextreme, there are no doubt even more powerful LED's in development.

    So while older leds do not give off much, if any, heat, the new power led's really do give off heat and need heatsinking.

    Tim
     
  11. May 3, 2009 #11

    rickharris

    rickharris

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    Mmm A Laser diode isn't the same thing as an LED as we normally know them.

    The Laser uses the LED section to produce a pure light frequency and then the light has to be made coherent so the photons all travel together thus giving considerably more power available and yes SOME Laser diodes can produce enough heat to say burst a balloon or in very high output example perhaps 6 watts or so although not all do e.g. a red laser pointer produces very little heat. more information here http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserdio.htm#diocss2

    In a normal LED light is generated and spread over a relatively large area and so more or less no heat is transmitted, altough at high powers a relatively large amount may be produced this has to be dissipated with a heat sink to avoid distroying the LED.

    Plus if you go to the bottom of the page on the LED flash light page he says the photos are fakes.
     
  12. May 3, 2009 #12

    black85vette

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    A company called NiteIze makes lots of accessories for the Mini Maglite that are really helpful. Here are some of them:

    Switch and LED conversion:
    http://www.niteize.com/productdetail.php?category_id=28&product_id=108

    Note that with the LED conversion you lose the ability to focus from wide angle to spot beam. It is just a medium wide beam all the time.

    head band:
    http://www.niteize.com/productdetail.php?category_id=28&product_id=134

    fiber optic:
    http://www.niteize.com/productdetail.php?category_id=28&product_id=132

    This is really good for peering down inside of things where you cannot shine a light and look at the same time. You can insert the fiber deep inside and then look through a small opening.

    I have each of these and they really add a lot to the function of an already well made flashlight.

    My current favorite flashlight for night time and camping use is the Streamlight TwinTask. It has a 3 LED section and a single Xenon light so you can chose which you need at any time. They are very rugged and I have never had a problem with mine. Downside: They use the CR123 battery. Not a real problem but I kind of like having everything on AA batteries so I only have to carry one type of battery in my backpack and they are interchangeable in all my equipment.

    Streamlight TwinTask 2 cell LED/Xenon
    http://www.streamlight-flashlights.com/twin-task-tt-2l.html

    While it does not go with me as often, I also have a 4 "D" cell Maglite that is really bright and makes a nice "night stick" should you need one. :)
     
  13. May 3, 2009 #13

    Noitoen

    Noitoen

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    When they say that leds are high efficiency light sources I know that they don't heat up much which means that the energy spent is almost all transformed into light. I suppose if you concentrate the light into a spot you do get that energy's heat. A laser pointer from a blue ray device has only a few milliwatts and can do some damage now imagine those higher power leds.
     
  14. May 4, 2009 #14

    Kermit

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    I've seen them as high as ten watts on a single board 4mm sq.

    Such high power in these little footprints MUST be heatsinked for max performance. The operating junction temperature of a 3 watt Luxeon LED can reach 120 Celcius. They won't last long at that temp, normal range being 75 to 90 C.

    You can get burned but starting a fire might be hard to do.
     
  15. May 4, 2009 #15

    ChooChooMike

    ChooChooMike

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    If you guys/gals thought model engine and other types of machinists were a unique bunch, you ought to see the guys that are flashlight enthusiasts ! Talk about hotrodding flashlights ;D And yes, some of it does involve machining - new reflectors, flashlight bodies, accessories, bling, etc. Interesting (& nutty) subculture akin to ours :) Flashaholics :big:

    Here's a couple of related web sites :

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/ (very active)

    http://flashlight-forums.com/

    Mike
     
  16. May 4, 2009 #16

    Jones

    Jones

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    That website says that the fire images are faked, and that the light generates near zero heat.
    Lol.
     
  17. Jul 21, 2009 #17

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

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    By now many of you know that I like, need and use lots of flashlights. I have them scattered everywhere for a reason. So I am always on the lookout for new ones for particular needs.

    For inspecting tool tips with magnification I need a compact high intensity light. I recently bought a new penlight that works very well for this purpose. It is a little different from many of the cheap penlights in that it only uses one AAA cell. Those of you who have played with LED's know that it takes about 4 volts to run a white LED. This one has a voltage converter to step up the nominal 1.5 volts of the single cell to provide the necessary voltage for the LED. It regulates this voltage to keep the light level constant as the cell voltage decreases as the cell becomes depleted. The down side of this is that when the cell gets really low the flashlight dies really fast so it's a good idea to keep a spare cell around. However, since it uses an inexpensive AAA cell this is not a big hardship compared to the more expensive cells used in many of the penlights.

    The central portion of the light beam is intense at close range and is about 1/2 the diameter of the distance from the nose of the lights to the work. It appears that there is a lens to help focus the light beam and the minimum spot size is about 0.2 inch diameter at a little less than a half inch spacing.

    I just bought a second one and am making a mount to attach it to my 20X pocket microscope for tool inspection. I will post a photo of that when it is done, probably in a new thread.

    The pen lights are made by Ray-O-Vac and their part number is BRSLEDPEN-B. I bought mine at Walmart at a cost of $3.48 each, battery included.

    Gail in NM,USA


    http://rayovac.com/flashlight/images/Flashlight_product_brsledpen-b.jpg
     
  18. Jul 4, 2010 #18
    being in the building trade ive been through all types makes and models of flashlights and i came upon one make called true utility wich was an led type light with a verry beefy aluminium shell and ranoff 4 aaa batterys running 7 led's i had the torch for roughly 18 months used regularly i never had to change the batterys but sooner or later all good things come to an end and it got stolen along with my van about 5 years ago the rotten swines
     
  19. Jul 5, 2010 #19

    steamer

    steamer

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    Speaking of which.

    I saw a package of 15 high intensity LED pocket flashlights ( with the 7 LED sources) with batteries at the Home Depot for $15....Looked good Gail, but I resisted....it was hard and I needed a hug when I got home...but I overcame my obsession need..desire.

    Dave
     
  20. Jul 5, 2010 #20

    Twmaster

    Twmaster

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    Color me old fashioned then. I still have and use a few 2 and 3 cell Maglight flashlights. I love the silly things.
     

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