Saturday, January 15, 2011

Successful LED Lights

I intended to post this several months ago, as my last post on this subject said: "It will probably be next week before I post about my current assortment of lights, mostly made by Ray-O-Vac"

I have owned quite a few LED lights over the last 5 years. There has been much improvement in the quality of white light LED's over that time. The main improvement has been in the quality of white light. White LED's in 2001 were of such poor quality someone wrote an article titled "White LED's Suck" and they were fairly correct. Today's LED's are much better.

The flashlights around my house in the 90's and early into this century were the ordinary 2 D-Cell kind with fairly good bulbs and were decent quality. However, in the last several years, I have set out to replace each and every one of them with LED lights. And for mainly this reason: The cost of batteries is soon greater than the cost of the flashlight, if you use it very much. Also, while I have never had an LED flashlight bulb burn out or just quit, regular bulbs used to quit on me from time to time in the past.

The best LED replacement I have found for the most common house and car flashlight is the Ray-O-Vac "Brilliant Solutions" variety. These can be had at Wal-Mart, and are fairly inexpensive. Oddly, they are available on the Net for about double the price.

Naming convention for most of the Ray-O-Vac flashlights is fairly straightforwards. If you see 2AA in the name, it takes 2 AA batteries. If you see 3AAA in the name, it takes 3 AAA batteries.

Brilliant Solutions also includes a $1 conventional flashlight that takes 2 AA batteries, and might be useful somewhere you hope to never need a flashlight, but must keep one for safety reasons.

I believe I have written in the past about the headlamp I use at work, and I still think the Ray-O-Vac 3-in-1 LED Headlamp is the best headlamp on the market for under $30 apiece. I don't know if it is still in production, but it is still intermittently available from Amazon for about $13 (but you have to buy them in the 2 pack for $26).

For an extra bright flashlight, I recently bought Ray-O-Vac Sportsman 3W 2AA DC-DC Regulated Flashlight that is rated 80 Lumens. That model may not be available, but similar models are. Expect to pay between $20 and $35 each. They are water and impact resistant, and use a twist bottom switch with push button momentary. I don't particularly like that type of switch, but it is the most trouble free and longest lasting type of switch around.

The 5 LED basic headlamp I used to get on line for about $6.50 is now available at Wal-Mart near the checkout for $5.75 and will probably show up at places like Family Dollar stores soon. This is a very generic headlamp that shows up from time to time and place to place with inconsistent model and UPC numbers.

I waited for some time for Ray-O-Vac to make a caplight that I liked, but Energizer beat them to it. They make a caplight and a headlight that are virtually the same, for around $15. Has two red LED's and three white LED's. Runs on 2 AAA batteries.

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