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A lot of companies are competing for the “shake” or “no-battery” flashlight market, but Valor makes a $10 version that’s both more efficient and much less expensive than many of the other offerings. While other companies promise only four to five minutes of light for 30 seconds of shake, Valor boasts that their light’ll provide 100 minutes of light for just 60 seconds of shake — for a survival/”green”/no-battery light, that seems reasonable.

They probably don’t compare to battery-powered lights for brightness, but that’s a tough comparison since the products have totally different application niches. One of these babies could sit in your barn, tool shed, or boat for 50 years, and when you need it, you just shake and point. You don’t have to worry about the batteries corroding in the case — no need to even think about it until you need it.
Ever since these “shake” lights hit the infomercial circuit, I’ve been looking for a really good one, and this at least looks passable.  If you have one that you like, or if you know any DIY tips for how to build one, or if you’re interested in seeing a Hands-On or comparison of them — please post in comments.

Shake Flashlight [Valor]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]

 

8 Responses to Valor “Shake” Flashlight

  1. Joe says:

    Is it really a “no battery” light?

    Because a lot of these cheap flashlights claim to be shake lights, but when you crack them open you discover that there’s a lithium button cell hidden in there somewhere and the “shake” mechanisim is purely cosmetic – the weight isn’t magnetic and the coils aren’t hooked to anything (or aren’t even wire).

    Caveat emptor and all that.

  2. Ron says:

    100 minutes? Prove it!

  3. bbot says:

    Dan reviewed a version of the shake light which he called “a working definition of the term “built to last””

    http://www.dansdata.com/ledlights11.htm

    It’s definitely a cut above the Made For TV crap, that’s for sure.

  4. bbot says:

    The NaN shakelight he reviews, by the way, doesn’t make any preposterous claims at “battery” life. Five minutes of useful light is what you’ll get; depending on your definition of “useful”.

  5. fred says:

    These are more useful as demos of the Faraday Effect than as working flashlights

  6. Zathrus says:

    They work just fine as pure emergency-use flashlights — don’t expect them to replace a maglite or even an el-cheapo LED flashlight for work/DIY use, but that’s not the point.

    If your power goes out, the last thing you need to discover is that the “emergency use flashlight” you had on your dresser has had its batteries go dead in the several years since you last used it. If you have one of these handy then you shake it for a few seconds and you get enough light so that you can go find the candles/matches/batteries/whatever.

    Really, for $10 it’s worth having around.

  7. Brau says:

    Just have to back up Joe. These cheap shake-lights are using watch batteries (wrapped up to appear like a big capacitor) to power the LED. The shaker coil only energizes the little red “charging LED” on the top for a split second. There is no way a coil that size could produce enough energy for 100 minutes from 1 minute of shaking.

  8. Mark says:

    I think these flashlights are great, but only for an emergency – not long term use.

    I do have my suspicions on how these things are wired. Here’s my own performance test (without cracking it open):

    1. Flashlight had been stored in a bag for 2 years – no movement, no charging.
    2. Took it outside at night – flashlight emitted a good 150 feet beam of light – satisfactory visibility.
    3. Left flashlight on overnight. Beam was dim but still visible after 8 hours.
    4. Shook flashlight vigorously for 60 seconds – beam was initially bright but lasted only about 2 minutes until dull again.
    5. Hooked up flashlight to the end of a reciprocating saw with zip ties and charged for a full 5 minutes at a moderate speed (charging LED was lit the entire time). Turned on flashlight, beam was bright this time for about 3 minutes, but went dull again.

    My independent conclusion (without cracking it open) is that the initial long lasting charge must be provided by a hidden long-life battery. The charging circuit is present, though weak, and only provides about 2-3 minutes of new light at the very most. These are very good flashlights to have around for an emergency, but will have reduced performance once the initial battery charge is gone. Constant shaking will be required in order to get several minutes worth of use after a full discharge.

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