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11/03/2005 Archived Entry: "Reviewing the Freedom Flashlight"

I'VE BEEN TESTING THE FREEDOM FLASHLIGHT. This is the hybrid lithium battery/shakable light that Debra and I have been offering at cost as a sneaky incentive to get you to buy more autographed books in our 2005 holiday sale.

JPFO -- which supplied the flashlights to us -- is also offering the Freedom Flashlight as their November special. And frankly, their deal is even better than ours. (Both of us are offering the flashlights at cost, but our cost is slightly higher than theirs. And they have a lower purchasing threshold. But we're the only ones offering autographs.)

Anyhow, the Freedom Flashlight is a cool tool and I plan to keep one in my truck and one around the house from here on.

It's a slender, lightweight device with an LED light. It has a sturdy safety lanyard. It comes with a bonus LED keyring to help you find your door locks at night. You can stand it on either end or lay it flat. Its got a cammo finish (which is applied on the inside of the transparent plastic case so it's not likely to scratch up. And it floats. Mine already spent 15 minutes in my bathtub, shining its light at the ceiling.

But the best thing is the power source. Power sources, actually. With one click of the button, you get a bright light powered by a long-lasting lithium (camera-type) battery. Click again, and the light becomes self-powering. Simply shake the flashlight for a few seconds and you have emergency light without ever worrying "Did I put in fresh batteries?" or "Will the batteries have gone defunct in the heat or cold?"

That makes it ideal for keeping in a vehicle or in a bug-out bag, or other places where we might not remember to do that theoretical twice-a-year battery change the experts recommend. Put it in the glove compartment of your vehicle and supposedly even ordinary road vibrations will keep it charged. (Should the charge go completely dead, you might need to shake for a minute or more to get light.)

The vendor says the LED in the Freedom Flashlight is good for up to 100,000 hours of use and the self-charger good for up to 100,000 charges. Time will tell.

Only drawback I've found: the self-powered light is pallid. It's sufficient for navigating your way to the electrical box to flip a circuit breaker. It was adequate to get me to the stove for my pre-dawn tea. It does the job, in other words. But in self-power mode it won't exactly light up your life. Not a big problem, though. If you need brighter light, just go to lithium-battery mode.

Thanks, Aaron, for sharing JPFO's flashlight bounty with us. This is a fine tool. If book buyers don't snap them all up, I know what my friends will be getting for Christmas this year.

Posted by Claire @ 08:23 AM CST

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