How did they do?
Putting these flashlights through their paces was interesting, not to mention somewhat enlightening (no pun intended). From what I witnessed, performance and product quality pretty much ran the entire spectrum. It didn't take all that long to determine which were quality products and which were the wanna-bes.
One thing I noticed shortly after looking the lights over was that the two Nightstar flashlights display their US patent numbers while the others do not, although the Hummer light has a sticker on it that says a patent is pending. The similarity between some of these lights is down right amazing....all the way down to the magnetic on/off switch. Gee, I wonder just which flashlight is the patent infringing knockoff and which one is the legitimate product? OK, I'll stop at this point since I never got my law degree and I'll let the folks that did sort it all out.
Back to the flashlights......may I have the envelope please!
The 4th runner up is, without a doubt, the Forever flashlight. Its light brightness and duration times put it at the bottom of the list. During the leak-down test, it didn't retain enough of a charge to register an indication on the light meter. While it passed the float test, it allowed more water entry than any of the other lights during the waterproof test. If this was the first magnetic flashlight I had ever encountered (as an uninformed consumer), I would be so disappointed with the entire idea that I would most likely tell my friends it was a waste of money and encourage them not to buy a magnetic flashlight. The fact that the switch broke the first time it was dropped rendered it non-usable.
The 3rd runner up position goes to the Everlast flashlight. Its performance in the brightness and duration test was second from last. It held the same spot in the leak-down test as well. It was the only other flashlight that saw water entry during the submersion test. Its on/off switch must be continuously depressed in order to use the light. Even if it had no other faults, the switch would keep it out of the top performer ranks due to this design choice. The drop test caused the gasket to dislodge which would not be a good situation in a wet environment.
The 2nd runner up position was grabbed by the Hummer flashlight. While I liked the rubber grips and overall feel of the light, it too suffered from less than acceptable light output duration times. The two minutes of shaking needed to generate 6 minutes of light is inefficient, in my opinion. Although its leak-down test made it the number two performer, the cooler bluish beam quality was too tight to reasonably illuminate an object at an appropriate distance for the flashlight.
The 1st runner up position was awarded to the Nightstar RS flashlight. Its overall performance ranked #2 only to its bigger brother. While the Hummer scored a bit higher on initial brightness testing, it didn't have the staying power of the Nightstar RS. A fully sealed housing with no switch penetrations, surface mounted electronic components, luminescent switch, high beam quality....these were more than enough extras to position it ahead of the Hummer.
The winner of Magnetic Flashlight Roundup goes to the Nightstar flashlight, made by Applied Innovative Technologies, Inc. When it came to initial brightness and duration test, it was head and shoulders above all the others. Its duration numbers in the leak-down test were twice those of the Hummer. While it shares many of the same quality features of the Nightstar RS.....I like to think of it as the RS on steroids! It didn't take long to pick up on the quality that goes into this model. It is a winner, no ifs, ands, or buts about it!
If you are looking for a quality compact unit that won't break the bank but yet produces a good beam of light, pick up a Nightstar RS. It fits in my too small Jeep Wrangler glove box and it will most likely fit in yours. My wife, who now is pretty much up on all this flashlights stuff keeps eyeing the RS.....I am afraid to leave it unattended and so am forced to carry it to work. I know that if it sits at home for just a day, it will be reported as MIA once I get home.
If you want a light that charges fast and puts out more light for a longer time, then get your hands on a Nightstar. The sealed body (no screw rings, no gaskets, no switch penetrations) will keep out the elements. Its LED puts out a warm beam of light that lets you see better than anything tested. Simply put, it is THE magnetic flashlight that all others are compared against. I seriously doubt any will ever surpass it. Do it once and do it right.....get the Nightstar!
Good trails to you and remember to TREADLightly!
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