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Every Home Needs an LED Flashlight

Jul 9, 2008
Often we take light for granted, right up until we get left in the dark. Have you ever been caught in the dark, wishing you had a flashlight handy? Have you reached for the flashlight kept in the "junk" drawer only to find it was dead? Many times we never really think about light until we really need it. There is new technology available to you that ensures you will never be left in the dark again.

Police officers, firemen, soldiers and other public safety professionals that rely on a flashlight regularly, seek out lights that are designed for their specific tasks. Since the late 1990's, light emitting diode (LED) technology has improved significantly and today if you are looking for a flashlight, you will probably find more models with LEDs than models with older incandescent bulb technology.

Public service professionals have demanded that manufacturers produce flashlights that are brighter and have longer run times. The manufacturers have responded and today you will find flashlights that produce brilliant white light, or other colors if you need it, have runs times from one hour to sixty hours or more and have bulbs that never need to be changed. Some models have batteries that have a shelf life of ten years and some models require no batteries, you just shake or wind up the light and a chemical reaction produces battery power to run the light.

With the focus on emergency preparedness today, a flashlight is an essential piece of equipment in any home emergency kit. It is easy to convince yourself to find a light on a store shelf, spend a few dollars, and throw the flashlight in the kit, check it off the list and move on. However, when you really need that light, it will need to be charged up and ready to go, easily accessible and bright enough to lead you to safety. With all of the technology available today, you owe it to yourself and your family to shop around a bit and find a light that will last for years and be ready in an emergency.

LEDs use much less power than conventional incandescent light bulbs, therefore an LED can run a lot longer on the same size or smaller batteries. LED technology is quite different from incandescent technology in that an LED is a semi-conductor chip. The semi-conductor is made specifically to produce a certain color of light when a current is applied to it. An LED is much more efficient than bulbs and produces 95% light and only 5% heat, the exact opposite of incandescent bulbs. Also there is no filament to break; meaning an LED light is much tougher than an incandescent bulb. LEDs can last for several thousand hours and never burnout and never need to be changed.

When purchasing an LED light you will notice they are usually more expensive than an incandescent light. The cost is related to the quality of the LED in the light. If you are buying an LED light for only a few dollars, you may not be getting LEDs that were designed to produce usable light, but rather they are computer grade LEDs thrown into a flashlight. LEDs were originally designed to be indicator lights, signaling the status of something, usable as an indicator, but not as a primary source of light.

Many low end flashlight manufacturers take these "indicator" LEDs, place multiple LEDs into a light head and call them LED flashlights. By combining several LEDs into the light head the consumer gets misled into the "more must be better" mentality. In reality, there are several of the LEDs in the light to produce a glow bright enough to be considered usable light. These lights are OK for around the house when supplemental light is needed; but, in an emergency when you need a light source to replace all usable light, an LED designed specifically for the job is what you require.

So, know we know LED flashlights are brighter, tougher, more efficient and longer lasting than incandescent flashlights. Do yourself and your family a favor and replace those dead flashlights that are taking up space in your junk drawer. Replace them good quality LED flashlights and you will never find yourself in the dark again.
About the Author
Rick London has been a police officer for sixteen years and is co-owner of www.tacticalleds.com. Rick has written numerous articles regarding LED flashlight technology and the application of LEDs to tactical LED flashlights used in law enforcement and public service.
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