Modern Flashlights And Batteries After The Power Goes Out

best-flashlight-for-a-blackout

In a SHTF collapse where the electrical power grid is down, when your flashlight batteries die, will you be left in the dark? If you plan ahead of time, you can still use some of our modern technology after the lights go out.

Here are the best flashlights and batteries for a blackout…


 
You will have plenty of light during a blackout, no matter how long the event lasts, so long as you have the right kind of flashlight and a renewable power source to keep it energized.

 

Best Type Of Flashlight For A Blackout

An LED flashlight is best.

Nearly all flashlights today have an LED for a light source, rather than the older style tungsten (or other type) of bulb. Just be sure to check first…

An LED is a ‘light emitting diode’, and put simply… it is the flashlight’s light source (bulb) and uses far less power than other types of flashlight bulbs (meaning that the batteries will last a LOT LONGER than older style flashlights). The LED (bulb) will also last a very very long time whereas other types of bulbs will burn out comparatively often.

There are quite a variety of LED’s and specifications. Some are brighter than others (which do require more power – but still substantially less than conventional bulbs), and they even come in various color temperatures.

There seem to be as many flashlight body styles as there are grains of sand on the beach… always a personal preference and dependent upon the intended purpose of the flashlight.

 

Best Renewable Power Source For A Flashlight

The Sun!

While most LED flashlights are powered by conventional style batteries, just be sure that it doesn’t require some obscure and less commonly available battery style. The reason for this is because you can replace the batteries with rechargeable batteries which are commonly available in typical consumer sizes (AA, AAA, C, D).

But there’s more…

You also will need a solar battery charger that will charge those batteries. This combination (rechargeable batteries and a solar battery charger) will keep you in the light for as long as you need it.

Currently, a very good choice for rechargeable batteries are NiMH batteries. There are several good brands, of which I’ve written about including Tenergy and Eneloop…
Best Rechargeable Batteries
Off-Grid Charging System AA, AAA, C, D, 9v

NiMH batteries are made of nickel metal hydride, and have become a reasonably low cost rechargeable battery with good charecteristics compared to older types (NiCD). The primary benefits are no ‘memory’ with respect to charging-discharging, and they are more efficient. Newer NiMH rechargeable batteries now have a very low discharge rate while sitting on the shelf (a good thing).

Perhaps the most powerful battery today is the lithium ion battery, however they are unsuitable for replacements of consumer size batteries (AA, etc.) because they are of a different (higher) voltage value, and the associated dangers of mistakenly charging them in a charger designed for other battery chemistry.

 
Just because the lights have gone out, doesn’t mean that your flashlight will become useless when the batteries run out. If you plan ahead, you will be assured of always having a light source whenever you need it… even after collapse.

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19 Comments

  1. We also have rechargeable batteries and use the walk way night light that are solar to charge them :)

    1. Yes, those solar walk-way lights for the yard are a nice source for general light. Not that bright… but it does provide enough light to do many things… They’re pretty inexpensive too.

    2. I use the solar garden lights too. I have several, all with 2 batteries (the cheapest ones from the dollar store use only one). When our power goes out, I bring in a couple of them, remove the housing, which gives you a lot more light, and use them indoors. 2 will light up an average size room quite well.

  2. sigh…

    guessing what is best, is the old lamps we had on the farm, way back when..

    (of course only until you run out of fuel)

  3. I think those “shake lights” and the squeeze lights that have a little dynamo are the best alternative.

    1. I have a ‘shake light’ too, but it’s very annoyingly (almost) useless. It takes too much energy (shaking) to get too little light. Maybe they make them better these days… mine is a few years old. I prefer full-strength LED flashlights with a means to recharge the batteries (solar). Having said that, I believe that alternatives to everything are a great idea! Thanks for the comment. Two is one, and one is none…

  4. I have found this to be the brightest, longest battery life, flashlight on the market right now. I have bought several and can not say enough good things about them.

    Dorcy 41-4750 180-Lumen High Flux LED Cyber Light Flashlight with Alkaline Batteries, Yellow

    It is almost too bright…if you can ever have one that is really too bright, this is it. It is like what a spot light was like back 15 years before these new led high flux’s came out. They are actually comming down in price, I got mine a year or so ago for 18.00 and right now At amazon they are less than 15.00 bucks with free shipping and even with batteries included.

    1. oh and they take only 4 aa batteries. not big C or D.s for as much light that they put out at 180 lumens! wow… take a look at other flashlights lumens and see for yourself how much brighter this one is.

  5. There are many high end led flashlights that are over 1000 lumens but they are very expensive. Monsterflashlight has some very nice ones and are some of the best tactical and high lumen on the market. They have a small 350 lumen 1 aa battery flashlight for 28.99. that is a well made awesome light. but at more than twice the price as the Dorcy I still like the Dorcy better.

  6. These suggestions, while certainly great recommendations, do not take in to account the possibility of blackouts that extend past the visible time horizon and past the useful recharge life of a NiCad/LiOn battery. The shake lights and dynamo lights permit use well past the useful life of any rechargeable battery I know of, since they use a capacitor rather than a battery to store charge. While I’m no expert by any metric, I have owned two shake lights and one dynamo for over eight years and they work quite well. My daughter, now nearly grown, loved to play with the dynamo light and would sit on the porch dutifully squeezing the little charging lever one hundred times to get her 30 minutes of “free light”. She said it was her “friend”.

    I am sure they still sell them, so those who are prepping right now can easily source them. As a matter of fact, the new ones are incredibly bright, and the LED bulbs [in parallel circuit] last nearly indefinitely.

    1. Maybe I got lucky with mine. The way I figure it, it’s cheap enough, I like the features (yellow – you can find it fairly easy in the dark, square body – won’t roll on a table top, LED, it’s bright) and it works. But, don’t expect the same quality as a higher end flashlight – you get what you pay for ;)

  7. I guess I’m Old School but I carry in all my bags a way of light for days that will run on anything almost. One is those cheap small round candles. I carry a bag in each bag, they last all night if need be and are pretty much full proof. I also carry about 3ft of wick and a few different kinds of oil. The oils are doubled as healing properties so not just for light. Oh by the way… I can also cook using my light. One bottle of mineral oil will last a long time and has great healing properties also. Now about the flashlights. I use the head mount ones more than anything as it keeps my hands free. I have been thinking about a solar panel to recharge my marine batteries, but that if for base camp and will be quite heavy to move as I have several. If and when your flashlights go out just remember your great great grandfather didn’t have electric either and the lived. Think outside the box on any survival item you think you need as most time their will be more than one way to skin a buck.

  8. Something to keep in mind about those great LED lights. LEDs are diodes. Diodes are semiconductors. Semiconductors are vulnerable to EMP. incandescent bulbs are not. You might want to keep a couple of the old Maglite flashlights handy, incase all those wonderful LEDs fry.

    Just saying.

    1. I agree completely. Keep a couple of spare LED flashlights in your Faraday cage, which can be a tightly lidded galvanized garbage can. It may not be the perfect Faraday cage, but it’s better than nothing. One note about batteries. I would suggest not storing the flashlights with batteries installed. Seems even the best batteries eventually leak over time.

  9. The best value for the money delivers IMHO the IKEA LJUSA:

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30190857/

    It is very cheap (and it looks a bit like a toy), yet it has a capacitor instead of a battery, which means you can recharge it about 100,000 times or more. Also, it features quite robust mechanics and three LEDs for the light source.

    You cannot really compare it to modern battery powered flashlights because the luminosity is much lower, but for an emergency flashlight that is always ready and will make you completely independent from batteries, this lamp delivers an outstanding value for the low price.

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