|Mostly OT: What's your experience with LED flashlights?|
Message #1 Posted by Paul Brogger on 13 July 2010, 12:42 p.m.
(The LED's involved aren't red, but they are LED's . . . )
Most of the stubby, multi-LED, 3-AAA flashlights I've purchased seem to be undependable, and when turned on often require a sharp knock against something to (at least temporarily) get them lit again. Some of those I've purchased have been clearly El Cheapo, and others not so much. They're not of identical manufacture, but share the same basic design: six or seven white LEDs in a stubby aluminum case, with three AAA batts in a plastic insert, and the on/off button on the end.
I find it strangely amazing that several different models, from several different manufacturers, could all share a similar problem.
I started casting about for a better LED flashlight, and the one I've found that behaves flawlessly (and gives TONS of light) is one that came with a Leatherman tool ("Blast", I think) from Costco. The flashlight ("LGX 200") is a single AA model with a single, large square yellow-looking-when-off LED, and has worked absolutely without problem.
I recently bought another Leatherman ("Freestyle" knife) from Costco, because it also came with an LED flashlight -- this one a single AAA style that is more compact ("Monarch 300"). It seemed to work for a while, and though not quite as bright as the other, it's smaller in the pocket.
However, lo & behold! The newer unit is now acting intermittently, and I have to slap it to get the light to come back on.
I'm more than a little perplexed. Is there something inherent in LED flashlight design that makes them vulnerable to corroded contacts or loose connections of one sort or another? It's amazing that, as many of these as I've tried, 90% share this annoying trait.
Any insight or work-around suggestions will be appreciated!