Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Miniature Flashlight for Everyone

A couple years ago, my dad gave me one of these lights. It's less than 4" long, and thinner than a pencil. It quickly turned into the most useful small light I've ever had. I was struck by how bright it was for its size. I used it often, at home and work, to find my way around the house at night, to examine the insides of computers, see how to plug in cables on the back (they always seem to be in dark places), etc.

Then one day I lost it. I was very bummed out. So I searched the Web, for hours on end, for wording like "LED flashlight" or "LED mini flashlight," but never could find it.

Finally I had the bright idea of asking Dad where he got it. (Sometimes the best solutions are low tech!) He told me a particular sporting goods chain, whose name I've forgotten already. But I found it on their site (their own branded version). They called it a "torch" instead of a flashlight. No wonder I couldn't find it. I've never before heard a flashlight called a torch. (Is that a British usage or something?)

Anyway, I then realized Amazon might have the original manufacturer's version at a better price. Sure enough, after searching for something like "LED mini torch" I found it! Anyway, it's made by Coast Cutlery, and at last I have gotten my replacement. It will live in my shirt pocket forever.

It has replaceable batteries, but the LED uses so little power you won't be worrying about that for a good long time. If it appears to be on the dim side, use a voltmeter to check the battery voltages.

And of course this light is really "light" -- a must for backpackers.


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