Flashlight Fascination

electric torchesI remember once when I was a kid and my parents threw some kind of party. I wasn’t invited. I was supposed to go to sleep early that night and remain in my bedroom all snug in my bed.

After sneaking down the hallway, I perfectly timed my dive into a huge steamer trunk. Nobody saw me. By opening the trunk just a crack, I could spy on everyone. But on the other hand, by opening the trunk, someone might see me! So I kept it closed.

But it was dark in there! So I lit matches every few seconds to keep the monsters away. Eventually I ran out of matches. Before the monsters got too close, I crawled out and off to sleep in my bed. And my social life has been somnolent ever since.

Months later my mom discovered the burned-out matches in the bottom of the trunk. Boy did I get into trouble.

If only I’d used a flashlight!

In my vehicles I like carrying the big ol’ 4 D-cell flashlights from Mag-Lite. They’re big and bright and last a long time. D-cell batteries put up with hot and cold weather better than smaller ones. Some people feel more secure because you can bludgeon attackers with it. I’ve never yet been attacked, and without practice I’m not sure that I’d even remember to search for it. Besides, I’m more comfortable using shotguns on pesky zombies.

My Mag-Lites all use regular flashlight lightbulbs. I’ve heard tell of LEDs for Mag-Lites, but haven’t actually seen any. Oh sure, I bought a no-name aftermarket LED adapter. But the light that came out of it was all bluish and unholy. So I prefer the yellower bulbs. But someday I hope to see a white Mag-Lite LED. That would just rock.

So let me go on my rant against blue headlights while I’m here. If you have those obnoxious blue headlights you are not only stupid but also anti-social and a threat to humanity in numerous ways. Sure, they look brighter. But that’s just because your eye cannot get much definition from blue light, so your brain just kind of smears it all around in your perceptions and hopes that you don’t notice. And it’s doing the same thing to the people that you’re approaching, smearing light all around their perceptions so they can’t see where they’re driving. If you’re going to get colored headlights, go for green. The majority of the color receptors in your eyes are green. Or choose red, which has the 2nd largest number of receptors, at barely less than half. But stay away from blue. You only have 10 to 20 blue receptors in each eye. They get overwhelmed pretty easily. At night have you ever read a sign with blue letters on a dark background? No, you haven’t. Blue letters are unreadable without some other color or white to contrast against. Whoever wanted a sign with blue letters was just ignorant. Whoever made the sign with blue letters was criminally unprofessional and sycophantically money-grubbing. Just stay away from all of them! And use nice old-fashioned yellowish headlights, PLEASE. Thanks. Sorry for the rant. I’m done now. Here, let me dry off some of the saliva that I rabidly spewed onto you. Sorry about that…. We now return to our regularly scheduled blogpost currently in-progress.

At work I carry a Streamlight MicroStream. It’s 3-1/2 inches long and fits in my vest pocket. There’s a little rubber pushbutton on the end that turns it on. It runs on 1 AAA battery, which I’ve never had to change out. It’s an LED, with a nice whitish light that’s plenty bright enough to fend off my creeping presbyopia. I can read the small print just fine when this thing is turned on and aimed at it.

I tried carrying the Streamlight Stylus Pro at work, but it was too tall to fit into my vest pocket snugly. It uses 2 AAA batteries. And is great in all other regards, much like the Microstream. It fits in pants pockets just fine. It’s about 5-1/2 inches. I use it around the house as need be. And it’s my personal flashlight of choice when I go camping.

But when I go camping I also bring along a Bayco Night Stick Slim-Line 37-LED Flashlight/floodlight. You can get a slightly cheaper version at the WalMarts. There’s a lot to like. It’s not round but sorta oval, so it won’t roll away. It’s bright yellow or orange, so you can find it in the snow. There’s a magnet in there somewhere, so you can stick it onto all sorts of handy places. It uses 4 AAA batteries, and seems to run forever. There’s a single LED at one end that works like a normal flashlight. Press the button again, and that LED turns off but the other 36 clumped together on the side light up. It’s not what I would normally call a floodlight, but it is pretty even and without any bothersome hotspots.

Tell me about your bright ideas.

About Lyle Verbilion

I'm just wanderin' around lookin' at things. Wow.
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