This type of flashlight is what my children used when they were little. Much lighter weight, no batteries to wear out, cheaper to replace.
Two negatives: the light beam is not as powerful as conventional flashlights, and the wind-up mechanism is plastic so there can be breakage.
I always found them to be quite dim as well, and they never lasted long before they needed to be re-cranked. That's changed a bit since LEDs became really common. I've also used slightly better versions that seem to contain more batteries, or a larger capacitor or however these things work. Took longer to charge, but held charge better between uses and lasted longer before cranking.
These things are mostly intended for disaster situations where access to replacement batteries or electrical service for charging is disrupted for long periods. So basically when shitty light is better than no light at all. Don't know that'd I'd use them for much else besides kids and certain kinds of camping.
Foggy nights and frequent power outages?
Like I said I never particularly liked the light out put. I've always found it more useful to keep plenty of batteries and quality flashlights, oil lamps, candles, camping lanterns on hand for the frequent power outages we get. Since I know the power will be coming back in 1 - 24 hours most time I can leave things like hand cranked low output flashlights and these for those situations where we don't have power for days or weeks. They are however excellent for giving to kids, so they don't burn through potentially necessary batteries or burn down the house with candles. The Garrities put out a lot more light than hand cranked guys and store for huge lengths of time without the battery kicking. But they're disposable so they're, again, only really appropriate when other options won't work. Or when they're likely to be destroyed. Which is why they're popular with firemen and fishermen.
I keep this
around for walking the dogs at night and keep it by the front door. Next to the bed and other doors, I keep these and a big old Mag Light.
The hand cranked lights are perfect for what they are. Never dead and always enough light to get around inside or just outside the house. They are certainly enough to help me find other, stronger lights and things during a power outage.
Not flash lights, but if memory serves me correctly wind-up radio was quite an effective plot point in Alistair MacLean's novel Ice Station Zebra. (Haven't seen the film so cannot comment on that.)
If they're anything like the one I have around the house here (that looks identical) the battery or capacitor or whatever that holds the charge doesn't last that long. Mine is a few years old now and won't work for any amount of time unless you are actually cranking it and even then, only very dimly.
I'd concur with people that don't like these type of lights. The problem for me isn't the amount of time holding the charge. The problem is the "ever ready" time. If these lights are left off, stored away, they still get discharged. After it's fully discharge they take awhile to crank, at least more than a full minute of cranking to get the LEDs to light up again.
That's not exactly good when you want some light now.
It's no improvement from the older versions, the filament bulb types.
Thats a very good point actually. Finding your way to the better light source can be tricky in the dark.
I've had a couple just like those for about ten years now and they still work great. While the battery-operated ones might be better for around the house, where replacement batteries are likely to be handy, the wind-up variety are absolutely THE best for keeping in your car for emergency use.
Great for the kids, but needs a real battery with 30 minutes life and a solar cell, because you can't turn the crank while changing a tire.
I've found that a simple LED flashlight at the keychain is much more likely to be around than any other kind of flashlight, though I do own (and use) a Fenix something with a ridiculous amount of lux.
Frequent power outages? I'm 48 and I think I experienced two that were outside our control. Not really high on my list, living in an industrialized country.
I live on the south side of Chicago. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that our power grid was upgraded sufficiently that we weren't having brown-outs multiple times every day, and black-outs for at least a few minutes multiple times per week.
Power grids in the U.S. are highly localized. It's amazing how close together a state-of-the-art and mid-20th-century system (trying to accommodate modern electronics) can be to each other.
sidebar: it must be really nice to live in a country where logic and engineering are valued as a culture. I'm pretty sure the power grid in Germany is of a quality unknown to most places, as your testimonial affirms. "Industrialized" has nothing to do with it. most places' infrastructure (power, roads and everything else, too) is almost certainly not as highly regulated and is built/maintained by the lowest bidder. I live in the dead center of a large US city and we've had more power outages in the last year than you have in your entire life. When I first moved here, Atlanta made national news because a main street near my apartment, and some cars using it at the time, collapsed into the decayed sewer infra under it, which was built after our Civil War (1870s) and never maintained. feelsbadman.
We get power outages a handful of times in the winter here in Juneau, AK USA. Usually when the powerlines from the hydro plant get taken out by falling trees from the snow load or massive avalanches. I keep a couple of old coleman gas powered lanterns around for those times. I've also got a couple 5V chargers for electronics that run off of AA batteries and I've got a box full of AA Eneloops rechargeables I can charge my devices with in the short term. If I was worried about a long term power outage I'd probably pick up small solar charger or look into an option where I could use my bicycle to generate power. Our power outages usually only last 3-5 hours and the city has local diesel generators they turn on if it's going to take longer than 3-5 hours to repair the lines.
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