Last updated on November 3rd, 2013
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
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.