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Join Date: Jul 2008
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LED Flashlight Recommendations?

11/01/2021 5:40 AM

Are there any LED flashlights with switches that don't go bad within about a year? Every one I bought over the past few years has developed switch problems. I bought cheap "impulse buy" flashlights at various stores, Amazon "military technology" flashlights, battery store "good" flashlights and a Kobalt flashlight from Lowes. Most appear to have very good mechanical construction. All have very poor switches that must be hit against something to make them work after about a year.

I even researched Mag Lights. They seem to have fallen to the greed gods too. I have read that their expensive flashlights not only have bad switches after time but the springs that maintain good battery contact don't do their job.

It seems like someone ought to make a flashlight that works for a reasonable price. I remember "in the good old days" you could buy things that actually worked. Anyone know of a LED flashlight that keeps working?

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Guru

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hemel Hempstead, UK
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#1

Re: LED Flashlight Recommendations?

11/01/2021 7:59 AM

Good question.

It seems to be the battery contacts that always go on the ones I buy, but, I'm always dredging along the bottom of the market (buy several and throw them away when they fail: I'm likely to lose or break a good one).

This looks like the absolute best at ~$50 it should be (reviews seem to confirm the 6000 lumen rating).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lumitact-Rechargeable-Flashlight-Waterproof-Emergency/dp/B09CKZWMB3/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

I can't find it on Amazon.com: it doesn't help that we call them torches.

One problem with lots of reviews is that most are done within the first few months of a product release, so it's difficult to capture reliability.

Would a can of contact cleaner help?

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: LED Flashlight Recommendations?

11/01/2021 9:52 AM

The switch area seems to be permanently sealed on most of them. I suspect most of the LED flashlights actually have the switch as in input to a LED controller IC. This may not have been true in the early days but it probably is now.

Most new LED flashlights have all sorts of slow flash, rapid flash and other flash modes that most of us hate because it is now necessary to turn the flashlight on and off several times until you find the "on" mode. I guess I'm old fashioned because I wish the flashlight would interpret me pressing the "on" switch as me wanting it "on".

My guess is that there is one factory in China making the switching and flashing module for most all of the worlds flashlights. They make them dirt cheap, turn out tens of millions a year and ignore complaints as they get rich on endless replacement sales.

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Join Date: May 2006
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#9
In reply to #4

Re: LED Flashlight Recommendations?

11/01/2021 11:05 PM

As with the recent screwdriver handle issue here on CR4, I think the main problem is your climate, and possibly salt in your air.

I don't recall a single problem with any flashlight switches. My problem is forgetting where I left one the last time I used it. If I were to do a thorough search, I'd probably find 20 LED flashlights of various kinds and sizes around the house and cars, but every once in a while, I have to search to find one...

My pet peeve with LED flashlights is that when the batteries get weak, they don't go dim, they just quit!

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#16
In reply to #4

Re: LED Flashlight Recommendations?

11/02/2021 7:35 AM

I refer back to an old thread about planned obsolescence. In addition we are now in a "throw away" society where the majority of people just buy a new one. Prices range a lot so the old adage of "you get what you pay for" usually ring true on these as well. There are exceptions of course as there are in just about everything.

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#30
In reply to #4

Re: LED Flashlight Recommendations?

11/04/2021 7:04 AM

It was my birthday after your first post and in a fit of unusual high spirits I decided to buy one of the Lumitact units above. I see that they've gone up from £33 (about $45) to £36 (about $49) in the mean time. I've got to say it's incredible:-

wide beam