Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I had to move around my emergency kit some last weekend (the truck version) and came across my emergency flashlight. I store it without batteries and have a fresh unopened set of batteries and the flashlight in an old sock, together. Now, I love my Maglites. I love my little LED lights. I love my Surefire. That said, when I think "Flashlight" this is the image that comes to mind. .

  The Brightstar is the quintessentail "original" Flashlight and they are as durable as a brick. They're all plastic on the outside, which means they can be used inside electrical cabinets (Some older models had metal screws holding the switch on but I think that is now gone on all models) and a three D cell version costs $11 something. They are designed for industrial use- the light wands you see cops using and most airport ground people are usually brightstars. No, it doesn't have high technology ultra super bright bulbs or whatever, but they work for about 19 hours before needing battery replacement. Brightstar has moved up to some fancier models and they certainly do compete with the higher end flashlights in many arenas, but the original, ubiquitous BrightStar, still the familiar black and yellow, still damned near indestructible, is still Made in the USA. At $12, I find myself wondering why I don't have a few more of these. 


  1. I was issued one in 1986 at RJR Tobacco. I still have it.

  2. I have a flashlight problem which I admit. The brighter they are the more I covet them. I think I carry about 2000 total lumens in my car (you just never know when you might need to guide a lost spaceship in for a landing). Bad guy ducks behind a trashcan, bush, or the neighbor's fence? No problem, I have lights that will shine through that stuff like it was waxed paper.

    But super bright lights are not always the proper tool or even useful. Sometimes you need just a little light. And sometimes you need anything but bright, or even white, light. I have small, and some old-fashioned, and even red lights for those times.

    I keep one of those ol' 9 volt flashlights in the shed hanging on a lanyard near the door. Battery lasts forever and light it throws is generally enough to find what I'm after. If not there's something more powerful nearby.

  3. I have one of those. I got it when I was the fire warden for my section when I worked for Big Aerospace Company.
    Knuck, when I was a Junior in High School (Do they even use those terms anymore or do I have to say 11th Grade?) I took some #2 pencil test called the PSAT, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. I recall walking out of the test room and building with a fellow student who was also a fellow Boy Scout. As we walked north we could see way across the campus to where a group of firemen were breaking into a car. My friend said, "Hey, look at the firemen, they look like they'r breaking into a car. Hey, that's my car!" and he took off running. It wasn't my car so I walked. By the time I got there the firemen were tearing the upholstery out with heavy fireproof gloves. My friend had a 12 volt spotlight that plugged into the cigarette lighter and he left it plugged in, on, and face down on the seat. Ever since, that has been my standard for a bright light.