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I learned this the hard way with my portable recording rig.  Picture this: I’m squatting at the back of a dark theater setting up my rig in almost complete darkness.  I really need to see to hook up the power, so I grab my trusty (black) Mini Mag-Lite.  But before I can turn it on, I drop it.  It’s black, the floor is black, and for that matter, everything is black.  It’s gone.  Doh!

Look, I love Mag-Lites as much as the next guy.  But buying a black flashlight strikes me along the same lines as painting your bush plane green with leaf-shaped brown spots — it’s just a bad idea.  Buy the silver ones!  Or blue.  Or red.  Just not black!  Black flashlights sort of defeat the purpose of having a flashlight; if you can’t find it, you can’t use it.


15 Responses to Tip: Don’t Buy Black Mag-Lites!

  1. Kurt Schwind says:

    Come on now. Can’t you buy a piece of glow-in-the-dark tape or something and just slap it on?

    Still, your logic seems reasonable. If the point of the flashlight is to be able to see in the dark, it makes more sense to have a flashlight you can find easily in low-light.

  2. Tom says:

    but it doesn’t look as “tactical,” besides then people can see it when you club them over the head with a maglight.

  3. salsa says:

    gotta ask– what were you doing setting up your rig in complete darkness with a black flashlight?! sounds like you’re living and learning; no need to slam the LAPD mag-lite.

  4. Arnold says:

    I have never gotten desirable results from my maglight. They always seem to break on me. I only keep one in the car with dead batteries for protection. It’s got some heft to it. If only I could find the nightstick handle attachment, but I think that’s only available to law enforcement types.

  5. Graham says:

    Hey… I’m a pro recording engineer… and I’ve done a fair share of live recording gigs. Salsa, very often during load in, the theatre or venue or wherever is completely dark and your only way of seeing anything is your flashlight. Very often all of the breakers are flipped too so it’s not like you just have to find that one lightswitch. I do have a black flashlight. It’s a very powerful 5 led Inova X5. It’s the perfect size and it comes with a wrist strap so I don’t have to worry about dropping it. Because it’s small, if I’m not using it it’s in my pocket. So if I were to ever drop it, it would be on anyways. And if on the off chance you do drop it.. you can always use your cellphone screen as a last resort to find it.

  6. Clinton says:

    I love my 3AA Led Mini-Maglite that extra battery makes a huge difference on battery life and AAs are plentiful compared to the Lion cells used by many “tactical” flashlights. I’ve left it on up in ceilings and come back for it 16 hours later the next day and it’s still glowing strong. The long slender profile makes it great for busting holes in drywall without bruising knuckles. Mine is black because it was the only color The Home Depot had in the LED versions when I lost my last one. Doesn’t really matter to me because I can always see the white electrical tape that I wrap around it so I don’t chip the enamel off my teeth everytime I get in a “wish I had a third hand” situation. I thought that the extra length would make it bulky and annoying the have on my belt compared to the 2AA but usually it just swings out of the way.

  7. Roscoe says:

    A. Mag Lites come in lots of colors, like red and silver,
    B. Get organized- keep it in a pocket or holster.

    I like my Maglight just fine; it’s simple and reliable.

  8. false_cause says:

    Not to mention, black is the most popular color, by far. Getting something different will help you pick out your light from the one that belongs to the guy whose has a cracked lens, etc.

  9. Steven says:

    Re: glow in the dark tape.
    I had a camping flashlight, and I thought the designer was absolutely brilliant for making the outer ring (which holds the lens and bulb in place) out of glow-in-the-dark plastic.
    When the flashlight was on, the outer ring was “recharging.” Then when you turned it off, the ring glowed for a while.


  10. PLC_Doctor says:

    Or better yet, if you have more than one Maglight and they are different colors you can mix-n-match the parts to create a multicolored light that won’t be confused with anyone else’s on the site. BTW make sure to get the LED bulb conversion so you won’t have to worry about blowing the bulb when you do drop it.

  11. GSW says:

    Unfortunately, some Maglite models are no longer available in any color but black.

  12. Leslie says:

    I have come up against this many times, but I already have three! I think the glow tape suggestion is a good one.

  13. Stuey says:

    Haha – I like PLC_Doctor’s idea! I’m gonna be the first on the block to have a rainbow shelled Mag-Lite!

  14. Douglas Kwan says:

    throw on a piece of reflective tape(the kind on tractor trailors) too while you are at it

  15. Matt says:

    I got an LED conversion kit (this one, I think). The one suprising feature of the “smart” tailcap switch, is an intermittant blinking red led to help you find it in the dark.

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