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Let there be light!
Let there be light!

It is that time of year again. Time to review the state of my flashlights/motion detectors/night lights.

Here I sit at the computer to relate what I learned now and over the past year. The context is my situation: retired, drive infrequently, go to school, go to physical therapy, might take an airline trip this next year. Live in a house. If you went 40 – 60 feet, you might be in some else's living room.


I still keep my flashlights unloaded unless they have to be immediate action lights at the front door/bedroom or in the car. Consequently, no bad flashlights over the last year.


I learned a long time ago that bulk packed batteries from the manufacturer does not prevent leakage and destruction of adjoining batteries in the bulk pack. Thus, my back up batteries for the radios/controllers/lights/etc are rehoused in 4 and 8 plastic packs imported from Red China.

Apparently, the girl friend keeps her donated supply RC housed batteries in the kitchen and not in the storage area which is cooler – as all the damaged back up batteries came from her this last year. No problem – throw out the leaked batteries, wash the case, let the case dry and refill. Just remember not to store the batteries in the kitchen.

Be aware that batteries have a use life expectancy. When I last replaced the chargeable batteries in three different outdoor game cameras, I meant to come back and check them out 3 months later. It was 6 months later this week and the batteries were dead. This time I will calendar the checking. I need to know how long they function.

Convoy flashlight experience.

I keep multiple action flashlights by the front door. Last night we had to find something in the dark yard so I grabbed a Convoy. It gave off indications that the 18650 battery was failing. No problem because there are always multiple immediate action lights available. And, I had a quality XTAR VC4 charger on my business desk near the computer.

I make a comment in passing about plastic Dorsey lights and metal maglights. A metal maglite makes an excellent self defense baton. However, I stopped buying them. When a battery would leak, there would go the maglite. I have never lost a $15 Dorsey to corrosion, but I would never use it as a baton. So a plastic Dorsey is available in three locations.

High end lights.

Ok. I indulged and bought one for myself for my birthday and one for Christmas (on sale!).

Low end lights.

You start by disabusing yourself of some your experience and the “cool factor” in selecting a light.

Your 6 year old is doing fine to turn on and off a flashlight. But you wanted a cool 5 function light and the kid cannot read the manual in the dark.

You took your car in for repairs and forgot to take the top of the line flashlight out of the center console and hide it. A few days later, at home, you realize it was stolen!

When you were a kid and flying, you were told to lock and clearly mark your luggage on the outside. Today, there is a company in Mississippi that specializing in re-selling lost airline bags. And if you lock your suitcase and attempt to send it past TSA, you are branded a terrorist.

Locating and buying authentic one mode Sipik sk68 lights has become a challenge. I don't want a three mode or a five mode. I want to throw a one mode in the suitcase with a simple 4 battery pack. No big loss. I remember the time I took a flight from LA to British Columbia and the plane went onto Tokyo, Japan with my luggage!

Motion detectors.

Comments based upon marketing literature.

You will have a range of 10 feet to 30 feet. That is all.

If your motion detector is wired, that is fine until shtf and you have no electricity.

Battery operated detector. Two kinds – non rechargeable and rechargeable. This morning I read a manufacturer's claim that the non rechargeable batteries would operate his product for a year. At my age, I don't want to go up on a ladder to change the batteries once a year.

Most of the “solar powered” units recharge a battery inside. If you can buy the rechargeable battery and convince some else to go up the ladder, fine. Otherwise an ad this am said that the system might last 5 years and the battery was a special one.

A criminal study confirms that door locks and window locks discourage more burglaries than motion detector operated lights. Probably true. When motion detector lights came out decades ago, I assume some burglars were discouraged. Now, everywhere you go, there are motion detector lights and you know they are not being monitored.

How do I use the lights. 1. I have multiple stand up, cheap battery operated lights to illuminate portions of the garage. When shtf, they are portable and will be placed where a person does not expect them, rather than where I might be so I have early detection. 2. the lights along the driveway are solar powered, nailed at a level on a wood fence so I don't have to stand on a ladder to service them. A much more effective wood gate with dead bolt locks was put across the driveway this year. The lights will still go off if a person approaches the gate.

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