The old saw dictates necessity is the mother of invention. If you ever experienced a power outage and discovered your flashlight batteries gave up the ghost, Hammacher Schlemmers Unbreakable No-Battery Flashlight is the perfect solution for unexpected blackouts and other lighting emergencies.
Recommend this product?
I find it hard to believe when any concern offers a lifetime of worry-free service; of course, there are exceptions to that rule. In these days of conglomerates gobbling up the competition, Hammacher Schlemmer remains one of the rare highly principled retailers who manages to continue "Offering the best, the Only and the Unexpected since 1848". With that many years under the companys belt, the phrase lifetime warranty returns to its original definition:
"Every item that we sell is guaranteed for its normal life under standard, non-commercial use. Should any product fail to meet your expectations, for any reason, simply return it with proof of purchase. We will replace it, refund the purchase price or credit your credit card, whichever you prefer depending upon your original payment method."
How Many Flashlights Does One Family Need?
This household may teeter on the extreme when it comes to emergency lighting. We own and use Mag-Lite flashlights of almost every configuration on the market. In the tropics, power outages are as commonplace as water bugs. We keep flashlights in every room of our house, in each car for on road emergencies and on our key chains just in case.
This brings up the never-ending need for maintaining a fresh supply of batteries. My most often used and abused 4-Cell D Model Mag-Lite (also known as our dog-walking light slash weapon of destruction) receives a daily workout. Our kitchen junk drawer barely closes thanks to keeping extra batteries on hand for that big boy.
The other flashlights rest peacefully until some minor emergency calls them into service. On several occasions, one of us reaches into the niche where the nearest flashlight resides only to discover weak or dead batteries. Somehow, this too frequent state of affairs ends up attributed to my lack of planning. The only resolution in sight comes to light when I load the cylinder with fresh munitions while innocently aiming the beam directly into the frequent complainers baby blue eyes. (Please note: I do not recommend taking this approach but I admit deriving an extreme amount of satisfaction from my actions.)
One witness to my insidious behavior mentioned a real find online that could very well save my sanity and/or marriage. Once the local electric company restored our power, we visited my beloved Hammacher Schlemmer site. Admittedly, I suffered sticker shock and a mild case of buyers remorse when I clicked through to place my order for one small (Item 66045 priced at $29.95) and one large (Item 66046 a wallet trimmer at $39.95) Unbreakable No-Battery Flashlight.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Unlike many other items for sale on the Hammacher Schlemmer site, this innovative product looks, feels and functions like any other garden-variety flashlight with a few exceptions.
As far as looks go, the size and shape of these lights mimic conventional versions. One added plus, the clear case provides a sneak peek at the rechargeable capacitor.
The recessed lenses appear slightly larger than those on similar sized Mag-Lites do do. This may be an illusion due to the over-sized, flanged frame screwed onto the bulbous end of the light, which securely houses the lens and LED bulb.
The power switch, a large oval button positioned immediately behind the light head does not require a map to locate. Everything about these flashlights seems oversized it is an illusion with the exception of the weight. While there is nothing flimsy about these flashlights, they fail to supply the heft of a fully loaded Mag-Lite.
Dimensions: Small: 6 3⁄4" L x 1 1⁄5" Diameter. (8 ounces) Large: 11 1⁄2" L x 2" Diameter (14 ounces)
The on-site explanation of how the technology of the Unbreakable No-Battery Flashlight operates may enlighten those among us who find these things within their realm of understanding:
"Combining basic principals of physics with innovative modern technology, this practically indestructible flashlight has no need for batteries, and will always be ready to light your way, no matter how long its been left unused. Give it 30 seconds of gentle shaking, and get five minutes of light from the shatterproof LED bulb that, in the darkest of conditions, will illuminate a 6-foot radius at 35 feet. When shaken back and forth, a high-field-strength magnet passes repeatedly through a wire coil, giving the flashlights capacitor a charge it will hold for months. Unlike a battery, the capacitor can be recharged several hundred thousand times, will not corrode, and will operate even in extreme hot or cold environments. The bright LED will withstand the drops, bumps, and old age limitations that finish regular bulbs. Impervious to water, the flashlight floats for easy retrieval when dropped overboard or into a pool."
That translates from techno speak to pogo-ish as "Huh?"
Shake it up Baby!
I cannot speak for anyone else but when I bring home a new electronic toy, those hours of waiting for the battery to fully charge are akin to agony. A new cell phone, or any device requiring preliminary extended charging, seems to stick out its tongue and make "nyah-nyah" noises at me during the entire process. Happily, these nifty new flashlights only ask for thirty seconds of rocking and shaking before first use and every use when in an uncharged state.
Our own on-site tests most likely shortened the recharge life cycles of both flashlights by a minimum of several dozen charges. When used at night along side a similar sized Mag-Lite, we found the No-Battery light more closely simulated daylight or at least daybreak.
The claims on the Hammacher Schlemmer site ring conservatively true. In both cases, the light beam reached at least a distance of thirty-five feet with a diameter of about six feet. Shining the light on my husband while he stood in front of an oak tree approximately thirty-five feet away, I was able to light him up from head to toe. (Need I mention that is a first for me at least in several years.)
One odd discovery became evident when Equal Half and I played dueling flashlights on the front lawn. The larger, more expensive model and the small version throw an almost identical beam of light. While the larger (66046) flashlight retained its brightness for nearly nine minutes, the charge life of the less costly model (66045) came closer to dying off at the quoted five-minute mark.
Before anyone shoots an e-mail or comment in my direction, the answer is yes, it floats. It even stays lit while floating, a fact that amused and entertained our neighbors, our family and most importantly, our dog.
Shedding a Little Light
Owning these flashlights does give us a feeling of security. Once the novelty wears off a bit, our new toys will end up as integral components of our Hurricane and First Aid kits. Even though I still feel more comfortable carrying the weapon-like 4-Cell D Model Mag-Lite when taking our furry kid on midnight walks, I like having the knowledge that we have a reliable back up in case of emergency.
Giving Hammacher Schlemmers Unbreakable No-Battery Flashlights five stars and two thumbs up seems a fair exchange after all, they gave me peace of mind.
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