Wind-Up Flashlights: Crank Your Way To The Light

Wind-up flashlights belong to the substantially large family of human inventions that utilize motion to create power. Some of their other relatives are bicycle dynamos, crank speakers, and even movement-powered watches from Switzerland and Japan. With power at a premium in most countries, until we find a source of limitless energy and can use it practically for our daily needs, inventions such as these will have to carry the torch.

Motion-Powered Flashlights: The Law Behind The Light

The principle behind crank or wind-up flashlights is fairly simple. Any conducting material such as copper wire, when moved through a magnetic field, will generate a voltage, or charge differential, within itself. If the circuit is closed, then we have a flow of current. The idea was originally proposed independently by several people around the same time, but the one who beat them to the credit was Michael Faraday, the English physicist now famous for his Law of Electromagnetic Induction, which is the basic principle behind all manner of motion-powered gadgets.

The Wind-Up Flashlight Players: Brands And Benefits

There are companies like Earthtech Products, which have a wide variety of crank or dynamo flashlights in a range of color and price, with a simple flashlight for about $20, and combo radio flashlight for $50. The company is committed to reducing human impact on the environment, and their products speak eloquently on their behalf.

There's also the Lentek Dynamo Tri-LED Flashlight from Koolatron. This space-age looking flashlight can provide 30 minutes of super-bright light with just 60 seconds of cranking the handle. Costing about $38 inclusive of shipping, this power-packed flashlight comes with a crank handle that turns into a screwdriver with 6 different bits that are all stored in the flashlight. No parts to replace and no external power ever required.

If you want to do some comparison shopping before your pick the right one for you, or you simply want to see what's out there before you decide, then one of the best sites is NexTag dot com. Their range of product is extremely wide, and you can also filter by cost or brand, narrowing down to the exact one for you. They will also direct you to the store with the lowest price, and that's one of their best features; it makes the daunting choice-gauntlet easier to walk.

Buying A Wind-Up Flashlight: Considerations

Some of the things to consider while buying one of these dynamo or crank or wind-up flashlights are brightness, durability, efficiency (crank time versus light-up time) and cost. Lightweight models such as the Gordon LED Torch have bright and power-saving modes, and can run for about 60 to 90 minutes on a 60 second wind up. They come with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1 year limited warranty, and the best part – they're only $7.99 a piece. The Baumgartens Three-beam LED flashlight is similarly priced, and comes with wind up and pump options. It weighs only .16 oz and has an option to switch between low and high beams depending on your need. The seller, Discount Office Items, is a top rated e-retailer and boasts an A+ rating with BBB. There are also some great combo units that feature AM/FM radios, and also some that incorporate solar charging, which means you don't even need to use the crank unless the charge has completely run out and it's a cloudy day.

Web Purchasing: Net Safety

The usual precautions apply when buying stuff on the internet – security and privacy. Unless it's a site that you buy from regularly, or one that's so popular that they can't afford to mess around with fine print, do read everything before you agree to their policies. Better safe than sorry.