When the blackout comes, will you be prepared? While you may already have a good selection of flashlights and a good supply of batteries, your neighbours may not be. In this day and age, a lot of people already take electricity supply for granted. Paying US$100 for a top of the line, powerful LED light would also be out of the question for them. Here’s a recommendation for a flashlight kit that will cost $100 or less.
To ease maintenance of the lights, I would recommend standardising on one common battery. The best bang for buck can be had from the common AA battery. It’s (relatively cheap), and you can get it anywhere – except possible during blackouts and disasters. This is because common items tend to sell out first. However, it’s easy enough to keep a good stock of AAs in hand. The new Energizer e2 lithium batteries last up to 10 years in storage.
The flashlights should be easy to operate – without a manual! Anyone from a toddler to a senior citizen should be able to pick up one of these flashlights and start using them.
The Streamlight Propolymer Luxeon (price range : $40-50) is a good candidate. It’s tough and light – and takes the common AA batteries. It uses a Luxeon LED instead of a common Xenon bulb, which means it never needs replacement, and it’s also super bright.
Gerber Infinity Ultra Task Light (Price range : $15-20). This is a great, tough little light. It’s waterproof, and it can last up to 100 hours on a single AA battery. That’s just over four days. You can get two or more of these lights to add to the blackout kit.
Chances are, you have an old Mini Maglite AA flashlight stashed somewhere. You can extend the battery life and get rid of the yellow beam by upgrading it to an LED flashlight. The easy do-it-yourself LED Upgrade Kit from Nite Ize is affordable (less than $10) and will make your old light much more valuable and dependable.
There you have it – $100 is plenty for one main flashlight, a couple of secondary/backup lights, and enough batteries to last for a week’s blackout.