I love stuff that works.
For some reason that escapes me now, I recently did a bit of research into pocket-sized flashlights (I know, that’s practically the definition of geeky) and found one that kept coming up in reviews as being incredibly bright for its size AND cheap, two things you don’t usually find together. So I ordered one.
Here are the current pocket-sized flashlights in our household. (I am excluding my next-generation Mini Maglite, which is technically pocketable but in a different size class.) On top is some no-name Maglite knockoff, which takes two AAA batteries. Below it is an old Maglite Solitaire, which takes one AAA battery. And at the bottom is my new Streamlight Nano, which takes four LR41 coin batteries (the type that go inside hearing aids) and barely tops out three centimeters in length, not counting the snap clip.
I took the three into our bathroom for a brightness test.
On the left is the no-name 2AAA flashlight, and on the right is the Maglite Solitaire. As you can see, the Solitaire is outclassed, which makes sense given that it has half the power. (Actually I’ve been quite disappointed with this light, which sucks battery power even when not in use, so that every time I do try to use it, the light output is pathetic. After taking this photo, I tossed it in the trash. Maybe the new, LED model is better, but I’ll let someone else test it.)
Now, let’s try the tiny Nano.
It is ridiculously bright, completely outshining the far bigger, more high-powered knockoff light. Why would I want to carry around a bigger, heavier flashlight that needs more power and is less than half as bright? The Nano clips easily onto a keyring (and I appreciate the fact that I can unclip it just as easily), which means it’s always going to be with me.
And the cost? $10 retail; $7.22 on Amazon. It’s sold on Amazon UK, too, but of course there the cost is more than twice as much (£10.79, which today works out to $16.72).
Depending on how the Nano stands the test of time (and getting beat up in pockets), I may be ordering more to sprinkle around the house and car. Heck, it’s worth the cost just for the fun factor of showing people how bright this tiny light is.
Which is probably another definition of geeky.