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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: LED flashlight problems - flickering and quitting

    A couple of relevant articles from the ASHI Reporter, the magazine of the American Society of Home Inspectors:

    Comparing Portable Lights Made Easy - December 2011. A guide to choosing flashlights.

    Flashlight Shootout 2012 - January 2012. A review of different flashlight models.

    For myself, I disfavor flashlights that use an odd number of batteries because batteries are not sold in odd quantities.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 11-28-2013 at 10:32 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New London County, CT

    Default Re: LED flashlight problems - flickering and quitting

    Most of the low cost LED flashlights are not worth the money. I buy some of these with 3 on a card at the membership stores as a give away. I keep a few in the truck for situations when needed.

    For myself I have the Olight I1 EOS as my EDC (Every Day Carry). I have tried about 4 EDC's and this is the one I like the best. All of them are 1 or 2 CR123A 3V lithium powered. The flashlight is only a little bigger than the battery. I paid about $32 for it and expect years of life from it. The 123A is about 1-3/8" long with 5/8" diameter.

    This buying decision came from research on candlepowerforums.com where hundreds of users discuss flashlights and the technology behind them. The batteries are purchased 12 at a time on the web from a vendor on the forum and cost $1 each. Since they have a very long shelf life I have 15 or so in stock.

    I have many Maglite 2XAA converted to LED with some having the multi-function Niteize end cap with "find me" beacon. These are around the house and in my tool kit.

    Like anything you buy you first have to assess the intended use and analyze that to pick the appropriate light. My major points are:
    1. Brightness levels
    2. Battery type
    3. Glass lens
    4. LED color temp
    5. Removable clip
    6. Small form factor
    7. Cannot be turned accidently

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: LED flashlight problems - flickering and quitting

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Without a receipt and out of warranty, mag lite replaced it free of charge, all I had to do was pack it and send it back to them ($5 in shipping). Unbelievable customer service.
    I'd expect no less from these folks- Joe Maglica and crew are honest gentle-people who make the best product that they can- even if that means a higher cost to the consumer. I have never heard of them rejecting a warranty claim- they want you to love their product and company so you'll buy from them next time. Boy howdy, I wish every manufacturer was like this!

    There was another very similar design marketed to Police, Fire, and Rescue personnel but the company failed and their models are highly sought-after collector's items. As are some Maglites nowadays! There are 'official" and 'unofficial' LED conversions for these. Not all perform well so know what you want and do your research. The earliest LED conversions used pre-focused LED's which didn't utilize the reflector well, scatteting lumens all over the place instead of where you want them. The good conversions are simply awesome in performance. Batteries last darn-near forever with them. LED's and conversions are definitely the way to go!

    There are also some really good specialty flashlights out there, but many take oddball batteries or bulbs which will eat your wallet alive. My "Nano" takes 4 hearing-aid batteries and a couple times I found that it had gotten turned on in my pocket ("Hey Phil, you're pocket is glowing" has been said to me a few times ) "Tactical" style flashlights can be blindingly bright with eye-watering prices to match. Losing one of these will make strong men weep, and in our business I think we've all left something behind once in awhile. That's why I choose affordable work-lights and save the good stuff for my home, vehicle, and bug-out bags where it isn't likely to 'get lost'.

    I liked a 19.2V fluorescent light worklight from Craftsman so much that I bodged a way to power it with my DeWalt 18V batteries- a direct-able, rechargeable room-full of light that I like better than DeWalt's offerings. The newer LED tool-battery systems are great too.

    And now for some trivia:

    "Flashlight" came about as a name because the earliest ones could not sustain illumination for more than a few seconds; one had to "flash" it on, turn it off to rest the battery for a few seconds, then repeat the process.

    97 years ago Eveready, wanting to distance itself from that concept held a nationwide contest to rename it's 'flashlights' since they could now burn an hour continuously. a $3000 prize was offered for the winner which was a huge sum of money back then. Instead of splitting the money, Eveready gave the full $3K to each of 4 winners who thought "Daylo" should be the new name for Eveready flashlights. Of course it didn't last as by then the term "flashlight" was ubiquitous.

    And my Streamlight Nano, at about 1/50th the size of these old 2D cell models, has about the same performance.

    You can never have too many tools- or flashlights!
    Last edited by Mastercarpentry; 11-30-2013 at 04:12 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Wink Re: LED flashlight problems - flickering and quitting

    I've discovered the problem with the Harbor Freight mini flashlights. It's not the springs or connection with the screw-off battery cap (at least not with the 10 or so that I have). The problem is in the connection between the LED bulb component and the aluminum body. It appears the bulb component/unit is pressed into the aluminum tube. The bulb unit needs a ground to the aluminum body. However they are made (I assume some little aluminum tabs on the LED unit is supposed to scar the aluminum body when pressed into place, thus making a connection), the connection deteriorates after several uses. Try this: turn the light on, and squeeze the bulb end of the light. I'll bet your light comes on (if your batteries are good). Now, one of you smart guys needs to come up with a way to fix this problem. I can't figure out how to get the LED unit out of the aluminum tube. Thought about dropping hot solder down the tube, hoping it would stick to the LED unit and the aluminum tube to make connection. But, it would probably damage the LED unit. Somehow, you need to be able to remove the LED unit from the tube and then probably a lot of us could figure out how to make that connection better.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: LED flashlight problems - flickering and quitting

    The problem mine had was the cheap battery holder. I've got three of these HF 'freebies' and with the good battery holders all work no matter how I knock them around. With the bad battery holder one works sometimes, the others don't. Inspection with a 10X loupe shows nothing, tightening the riveted spring connections with a punch doesn't help. Swapping the switch ends is no good either. With alkaline batteries I like these buggers- lots of light and no big deal if something happens to it. I had a keychain Mini-Mag once, just bought it a few weeks before. We were pumping concrete to fill the cells of a block wall and somehow it fell right in- OUCH! I joked with the homeowner that I had just installed the lighting in his basement and that I expected to be paid for the extra work

    Hey, I got what I paid for with the HF light so I'm happy If you really want to know about good LED flashlights and what can be done with them, have a look at the "Candlepower forums" http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ED-Flashlights
    I can't fathom spending $300 on a flashlight but some of those guys do, and the results are nothing short of astounding.


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