There I was, a week or so ago on a typical Indiana Spring evening. Spring here
tends to mean pouring rain and booming thunderstorms, and the night in reference
fit that description. The time was 8:30pm or so, pitch black outside, and after
a nice loud thunderclap, the inside was just as black as outside! Argh, no
electricity… So, off I went in search of a flashlight. The first one I found
was a rechargeable that of course had not been plugged in, so it was deader than
a door nail. The next one I found, powered on, but the batteries were so low
that the light that emitted from it was too anemic to be of any value. Dejected
and in the dark, I ended up going to bed way early…
At a time like that, what I really needed was the Fliklite LED torch from
Fliklite in the UK. The Fliklite is
probably the last flashlight you’ll ever need. Machined from a solid bar of
aluminum, this a little light with a big heft. Size wise it is 4.85 x 1in (123.1
x 25.6mm) and weighs 6oz (168g). It feels extremely solid and comfortable in
hand. The aluminum body has very fine lines etched around the barrel that allow
you to securely hold it without it feeling slippery. I would like to see a belt
clip or lanyard attachment of some type on the FlikLite.
Now before anyone mentions it, I agree that this product does have an…uh…
distinctive shape. Or is my mind just in the gutter?
Anyway, the base of the light is flat, which allows the light to stand
upright on a flat surface. This is a good thing, since laying it flat will
probably result in it rolling off a table top and landing on the floor. But
that’s ok too, as the Fliklite is quite rugged. So much so, that it has been put
through durability tests including being run over by a car! It is also
waterproof up to 100ft.
The Fliklite isn’t a typical flashlight. Instead of light bulbs, it uses 5mm
LEDs. 4 of them to be exact. LEDs are much brighter and have a longer life span
that standard flashlight bulbs. Standard bulbs have a thin filament (wire) that
heats up until it glows. This is what gives a flashlight its light.
Unfortunately, standard bulbs are fragile. LEDs on the other hand, have a
lifespan of over 10yrs of continuous use! As far as brightness, the 4 LEDs in
the Fliklite put out as much light as 24,000 candles! That’s a lot of candles
(no, I did not test this out!). They never need replacing and are rated for over
50,000 hours of use.
The LEDs are situated in such a way that even if you drop the FlikLite on
it’s top part, it would be rare that anything would ever come in contact with
the LEDs to damage them.
The Fliklite is powered by three N cell alkaline batteries which are rated
for 50hrs of continuous illumination from one set. Shelf life for unused
batteries approaches 3yrs. I had never seen the small N cells before, so I was
worried that finding replacements might be difficult. Luckily I was wrong, as I
found them on various battery websites and at a local Wal-Mart store for around
$4.00 for 3 cells. In a pinch, you can use 2 AAA batteries with the Fliklite.
The only disadvantage is that the LEDs will only glow at half their regular
Besides using LEDs and N cell batteries, there is another unique feature to
the Fliklite. If you notice, there doesn’t appear to be a mechanical on/off
switch. There isn’t a push button and you don’t have to twist the top to turn on
the beam of light. So how do you turn it on? You flick it! That’s right, you
hold the base in your hand and give it a strong downward flick of the wrist.
This action takes a couple tries, but once you get the knack of it, it’s a snap.
The flick takes about the same force as what you would do to reset an old
fashion style thermometer. To turn the light off, you tap the base on the palm
of your hand. While this unorthodox style of power toggling is cool, it does
have one downside which I ran into one night… Picture this scenario: It’s
pitch dark outside. You’re running through the woods trying to escape the
clutches of a crazed maniac. Your foot trips on a root and you drop the
Fliklite! It lands on its base which causes the light to go out, submerging you
into total darkness. Oops, now what do you do, you can’t find the Fliklite? Ok,
this didn’t really happen to me… I was actually using the Fliklite in the
garage one night, dropped it on the floor, the light went out and I tripped over
the litter box trying to find it. Similar circumstances right?
Bottom line: Granted, the Fliklite is expensive for a flashlight. But, as
rugged as it is, it probably will last forever, and the LEDs never need
replacing. I would recommend this flashlight for someone that has had problems
with breakage in the past.
Price: £39.95 ($54.95 from
Bulbs never need replacing
Finding replacement batteries might take a little effort
Light can turn off if you drop it