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It’s a rare day when we pass up cheap tools. In the case of cheap light, we’re very similar to a moth to a, well, you know. I saw this one in the discount bin at the local drug store for $2. In this case that’s roughly six-and-a-half cents per LED (31 total).

With the whole side panel and front bulb cluster wrapped in a 10″ aluminium frame, these LEDs are light and sturdy. The light packs are bright and work well for either close work or general lighting, considering the power plant is three AAA batteries coiled in a cylinder at the butt of the unit.

It’s brand X, it won’t survive like a Maglite, and the plastic light bar cover on the handle will break quickly, but at $2, who really cares? Get one, throw it in a drawer or tool bag, and forget about it for a few months — or use it all the time and beat the living tar out of it. Either way, you’re getting your money’s worth. Keep your eye out for ones that interest you and take it home.

Cheap LED flashlights [Google Shopping]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

10 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: LED Lights

  1. Chris says:

    My experience with cheap LED flashlights has been primarily with Harbor Freight giveaways, but I’ve already seen a handful of their LEDs die. Considering a good LED should last upwards of 20,000 hours, that isn’t too encouraging. Granted, losing one-ninth of your lighting power is worse than losing 1/24th (looks like seven in the head, leaving 24 in the handle) of it, but a flashlight that doesn’t light when it’s supposed to is less than useless.

    Doesn’t stop me from having several of them around, but I also probably wouldn’t spend more than $1-2 on anything of that quality anyway.

    cl

  2. Chris says:

    Oh, and I *hate* the ones that use three AAA batteries. Nobody sells batteries (rechargeable or otherwise) in packs of three, and a lot of these lights come with crappy Chinese alkaline batteries or no batteries at all. Drives me crazy. Even numbers of batteries, please, or just one single battery.

    cl

    • KokoTheTalkingApe says:

      Dealing with three batteries is a pain for sure, but the reason apparently is that LED’s require more than three volts, and the only way to make more than three volts with 1.5 volt batteries is to stack three of them in series. I notice that all of my LED flashlights call for three batteries, no matter what their size.

  3. miss francine says:

    I have two mag lights made right here in the usa. Both small and very portable, ones on me keychain. I love them to death. You can also buy replacement bulbs for both of them. That is soooooooo cool.

  4. george says:

    the only cheap ones i like are the ones that use
    normal aaa and such batteries. if they have those small button ones i pass. those are a pain.

  5. Mac says:

    I dunno… Two bucks is kinda steep… Have at least eleventeen of the HK freebies, (hey, they’re free) on top of several very nice flashlights I’ve actually paid for.

    Yeah, the HF ones are cheap, but I use them quite a bit more than I thought I would. The batteries in them don’t last, so replacing them is going to happen sooner than later. But what do you want – it was free.

  6. Randy says:

    If you have a chance to try out a “real” flashlight, you really should do it. You will never again think that a Maglite is some sort of standard. Check out some of the offerings from Surefire for example. They are a bit expensive but have a good reputation. I have a bunch of lights (or “torches”), some of which are custom-made, and one, an incandescent, that will light paper on fire and light up an entire football field. It’s in the body of a large machined Maglite.

    I lost a Maglite that I used all the time and started doing a bit of research for a replacement, which is how I ended up discovering there’s a really odd world out there full of people that collect expensive flashlights.

  7. Jeff says:

    Love my Surefires. When you need to stake your life on a flashlight you need a Surefire. If you can only have one light you need a Surefire. Nothing can replace a quality knife and flashlight in my mind.

    That being said I have at least a dozen HF freebies stashed all over. They are perfect for the kids, come with batteries and cheap enough to have in every glovebox, console, tool box and bag. You won’t shed a tear for losing one and they work well enough on the el cheapo HF batteries.

    I also love the magnetic HF work light they sell for about $3. Its got a fold out hook and a magnet so you can shine it anywhere. Its a flash light plus an area light. I’ve got one in every car. They are very handy. Wish they would put them on the free coupons!

  8. ambush27 says:

    I love my Fenix. Not as expensive as a surefire but still a quality light. I wouldn’t go much cheaper than a Streamlight personally.

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