Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Look At Some Less Expensive Lighting Options

Many of you, when you think of flashlights, probably think that you have to spend at least $30 to purchase a decent/useful flashlight. $30 may even be cutting it close. If you are a flashaholic (someone who really likes flashlights), then you have a general idea of how much a good light should cost.

With all of the technical comparisons of light output, lighting modes, runtime, durability, etc., one can easily get lost and forget about why they have a flashlight in the first place: In order to help you see in the dark.

Whether it costs $1 or $100, if it helps you with the task at hand, it's a success. I guess one way of measuring the success of a flashlight purchase would be to see how much money is left in your wallet.

In this post, I want to look at a very inexpensive lighting option that may be overlooked by some as being too cheap or simple.

We all know about keychain LED flashlights, right? Well, these little guys can be had for a very inexpensive price and are small enough to put just about anywhere. You can attach them to your keys, to zipper pulls; practically anything with a loop can have one attached. At their price, it's not a bad idea to have a few just in case you're stuck without light.

The Keychain LED Flashlight is small enough to be put anywhere.
I've had situations where a simple keychain flashlight would have saved me a lot of time. Let me explain.

I was outside with some friends throwing a ball around at night when it fell in a bush. "No worries, I'll get it," I thought to myself. Well, the bush was out of range of any streetlights around, so it wasn't that easy. I should also add that it was pretty cold outside.

Being unprepared, I didn't have a flashlight with me, so, as anybody would, I took out my cell phone and used it as a light source. Long story short, it took me about 15 minutes to find something that should have taken 30 seconds with a keychain flashlight.

How bright is it?

I do not have a lumen output to give you, but, from my non-scientific tests in a pitch black room, the keychain LED flashlight that I tested helped me see all large objects across the full length of the room, which was about 50 feet away. It was definitely bright enough to maneuver around comfortably. If I had a longer distance to test, the light easily would have shined further. I would guess that it would work to illuminate to distances of about 75-100 feet and probably more, which is really amazing for something so small and cheap. For close-in work, this light is definitely bright enough to do what needs to be done. Heck, it beats nothing at all.

Now, a keychain led light is not as bright as some flashlights, by any means, but it may be just enough to help you out when you don't have any other options. Think of it as insurance. Buy one, or seven, and throw one onto your keys for those moments when you do not have a flashlight and absolutely need to see at night. It will probably end up saving you a lot of headaches.

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