Sunday, December 2, 2012

A screaming deal on a powerful flashlight

I'm preparing a detailed article on lamps, lights and flashlights as part of my Emergency Preparations series (see the list of articles in the sidebar).  However, there's a deal on right now that's so good I can't wait to finish that article to tell you about it.  (For the record, no, I'm not making a cent out of doing so, or being paid any referral fee.)

Something everyone needs for emergency situations is a powerful flashlight - the sort of thing that can throw a beam long distances for navigation at night, or light up a room or a property while searching it for intruders.  Low-power lights just won't cut it for such applications.  High-power 'tactical' flashlights are excellent for this purpose, but relatively costly;  and most of them use specialized batteries such as CR123A lithium cells, which are also expensive and not freely available over-the-counter at most supermarkets or corner stores.  Flashlights using standard consumer battery sizes are frequently less powerful, and/or have a shorter life until the batteries must be replaced.

That's why I was delighted to find this very powerful LED flashlight at Home Depot last week.  It uses three standard 'C' cells, which are available almost everywhere.  Home Depot's Web site lists it as having 500 lumens light output, but its packaging claims 550.  It's available for the ridiculously low price of $19.98 - almost four times less than the lowest-cost 'tactical' flashlight of similar power I've been able to find online.  Competing flashlights with similar features and light output at other vendors appear to be at least twice as expensive.

At first I feared this low-cost flashlight would prove to be a disappointment - it might be flimsy, breaking easily, or throw a poorly-focused beam.  I bought one to test it, and found that my fears were groundless.  It's made of aluminum, not plastic, which I prefer;  and it throws its beam a very long way.  It's more of a flood than a spot, but I can easily see 200 yards or more with it, including being able to read street name signs through binoculars three blocks away.

I was so impressed with this flashlight that I went back to my local branch of Home Depot today and bought every one they had in stock.  Some will be for Miss D. and myself, to go into our emergency kits.  Others will be Christmas presents for friends.  I think this is an extraordinarily good deal.  I've no idea how long these flashlights will be available, or whether Home Depot will import any more once these are gone;  so I strongly suggest that if you need a good high-output flashlight and are on a tight budget, get to your local branch before everyone else does, and buy one or two of these for yourself and your loved ones.  Based on my experience with them so far, they're worth every penny, and then some.



DaddyBear said...

Thanks for the heads up! I'll have to check them out!

HeroHog said...

NO Stores have them in my area or online!

Peter said...

@Herohog and others with the same problem: I suggest writing to Home Depot and asking them to bring in more stock of these flashlights, both in their stores and online. They're good enough that I think they'll find a market for them, particularly at so low a price.

Anonymous said...

The Home Depot web site will let
you check store availability. I had
to go to a store 15 miles away but
I got two of them....thanks for the
great tip!! Phil

Anonymous said...

BUT they won't ship to HI or AK. What, we drop out or something? Crap.
Storyteller, HI

TurtleBurt said...

Thanks, these are awesome. I snatched up a number of these and man, are you right. I MAY give a couple away as gifts.

Good quality and BRIGHT.

Anonymous said...

You're not the only one who scooped up the stock, apparently. I bought one, liked it, and when I went back for more, they were sold out.

Randy said...

Got one last night and was stunned at how bright it is. It's like a high bean from a car. Hard to tell if it will hold up to abuse for years, but it looks well built enough that I will get a few more.

Anonymous said...

Bought seven of these today. Had to drive 45 miles but well worth the effort. I am thinking about going back and getting the six that they had left tomorrow. Great gift. Can't beat it for the money. I have paid 4 or 5 times that much for less lumens. Thanks, Ralph

Kansas Scout said...

These are available again in Home Depot. They are awesome! Got one today (3/13/13

godblessmyrights said...

They now have the defiant ultra tactile mag! ! It takes 3 d size battery and is almost 3home times is bright!!!! I only paid 45.00 at home depot!!!!