Flashlights

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by bittersweetsymphony, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Has anyone read up on the life expectancy of LED?
     
  2. 1234user

    1234user Member

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    I think I have heard on some radio program that LED's can last 100 times more than a regular light bulb... I know the ones on my computer have been working like 5 years or more
     

  3. Hoot

    Hoot New Member

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    I am a flashlight junkie so I try to stay current on information. The better flashlight LED's give an advertised 50,000 hours.

    The current generation of flashlights are increadibly good. Get one! But not a Wal-Mart el cheapo.
     
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    Life of an LED or set of LEDs will depend on the input voltage.
    The higher the voltage, the shorter the lifespan.

    LEDs will have a 'Threshold' voltage where they operate, and the closer you stay to that threshold voltage, the longer the LED will live.

    With most common LEDs, you are looking at a 10,000 hour lifespan, and with some of the hand crank generator lights, you are looking at up to 50,000 hour life span.

    One thing you can do to keep your LED lights working longer is to use rechargeable batteries in them.
    Every time a rechargeable cycles, it's a little less efficient, but that doesn't matter with an LED since they draw so little current...
    The older the rechargeable, the less current it's putting out even fully charged, and the longer your LED's will live.
     
  5. telegramsam

    telegramsam Member

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    Can't anyone go to their local radio shack, purchase a little baggy of L.E.D.'s from the electronic components bin, batteries, and some tape / wire and make like 40 flashlights? You can use switches if you want to get fancy...
     
  6. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    I don't go that far for switches or handles,
    All I use is a couple of the 'button' batteries (Cells) stack them for 3 volts, the threshold voltage for a lot of the LEDs, and use a cloths pin to hold the batteries and LED together and make a handle for the 'Flashlight'.
    That is if you are too cheap to pay the 59¢ for the entire thing at the local 'Dollar' store for the key ring version.

    The batteries about the size of a nickel to the sized of a quarter work the best.

    A single 3 volt 'Button' cell will work if you can find one.

    Look for, or ask for, the batteries coming off the racks because they are outdated, you can get them CHEAP!

    If you try this, REMEMBER!

    1. Diodes are polarity sensitive.
    They won't work if hooked to the batteries backwards.
    Turn them around and try again if it doesn't work the first time.

    2. If you use something like a 9 volt battery, you MUST use a resistor to keep it from burning out the lower voltage diode.
    That's why the little button cells are so good for this, they don't put out enough voltage or amperage to smoke the average small diode.

    3. Anything that is non conductive will work to keep the parts held together.
    If you solder, just solder one leg of the diode to each side of the battery, and let natural forces spread the batteries apart to shut things off,
    Pinch them together to make the 'Flashlight' come on.

    4. If any of you have 'Light Amplification Night Vision' equipment, or infrared night vision equipment, check out a IR or Infra Red diode.
    (or just point your TV remote at the night vision for a sample!)

    You can see it plain as day through your night vision, but it's invisible to the human eye!
    Cool toy!

    Instant picket line too!
    Set a few singles, or string out wired set of IR diodes and fire them up at night...
    Anyone moving through the field will appear to be walking in daylight, when in reality they can't see them and think it's too dark to see them!

    Just for the IR junkies, there are IR 'Light Sticks', the chemical lights you snap and shake!
    Those will shine for hours with no battery power at all and the light they emit is invisible to the human eye, so know one knows you have illuminated the area.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  7. slurp

    slurp Member

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    Does anyone like maglites? The batteries would always explode in mine and then get stuck in the handle really bad for some reason...
     
  8. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

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    LED's last longer and shine more brilliantly. They're a godsend to us, out here in the desert. They don't seem to use more battery, if any, than the conventional flashlights, but if it did, it'd be worth it when you're in total darkness.
     
  9. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    They are making increasingly good solar flashlights. Anyone have one?
     
  10. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

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    I got one of those "shake the magnet past the copper spools" flashlights and it works everytime, but the intensity of the light is poo.
     
  11. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    Love my 'Mag Lites' and they are VERY easy to convert to LED.
     
  12. groundhogsniper23

    groundhogsniper23 Active Member

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  13. groundhogsniper23

    groundhogsniper23 Active Member

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    jeephammer how do u convert maglights into led?
     
  14. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    No Dean, but I have a hand crank flashlight that I use camping, boating, about everywhere and I really like it!

    Those little 'Shake Em' lights just don't charge the capacitors enough to keep the LED's lit for any reasonable period of time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  15. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    One LED and about 5 minutes...
    Take a 3 volt forward voltage LED from Radio Shack or one of those little key ring pocket lights, and install it right where your AA mag light bulb came from.

    You will have to drill the reflector out to about 1/4" so the led can fit into it, and you are done.

    If you want longer life out of your batteries, get 3 'N' cells and a longer spring for the butt cap.
    I used the package from the batteries (Cardboard) to line the tube and center the 'N' cells since they are a little smaller than AA cells...

    Add the longer spring to have the cells make contact with the switch and you are done.

    I was getting about an hour total run time out of the mag light before, and if I dropped the light, it cost me a $5 bulb.

    I ran the light on 3 'N' cells with no 'Bulb' failures for 3 years before I converted over to a commercial 3 LED arrangment from Wally World and went back to AA batteries last year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  16. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    They also sell Maglite LED conversion kits at Wal-Mart but they are pricey. $20 I believe.
     
  17. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

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    Love my Maglite, and love my LED torches.
    I have a LED head mounted lamp which runs 3 AAAs for over 60 hours of light.
    Was poking around the hardware the other day and saw some similar to maglites for $10 with incredibly bright LEDs.....only $10 too! Going bak to get one soon...
     
  18. digapony

    digapony Member

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    You can always do the laser conversion

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf3M-_RUSCM]YouTube - How to Make a Burning Laser[/ame]

    Be prepared to purchase 70 dollar safety googles
     
  19. ldmaster

    ldmaster Well-Known Member

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    Uh, you can also just buy the LED conversion kit from maglite...
     
  20. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    You can NOW, what about the last 15 years I've been using them?