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'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup 655

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« on: November 14, 2016, 04:07:04 PM »
I came across these some time back.

They run on supercapacitors instead of batteries, and have watch batteries for backup. They're about the size of a Mini Maglite. 40 lumens, run 8 hours on a full charge.

So, the theory is, the capacitors hold a charge essentially forever. So, SHOULDN'T run down once charged (although they say 3 years), and something like 100,000 charge cycles. So, charge it up, stick it in emergency kit (get home bag, BOB, whatever), pull it out every other year to check the charge. I'm not thrilled that the backup battery is a watch cell, but... the battery backup is not at all why I'm getting them. i'd be just as happy without the battery backup feature.

I saw one for sale at a 'big lots' or something on clearance for like $15 and passed it by, but I've kept them in mind.

Then, while looking for capacitor-powered flashlights, I came across them again, and saw that there's a deal on them on Amazon right now, 2 for $13.
https://www.amazon.com/Hy...p;qid=1479135531&sr=1

I ordered 2. I'll get them on Tuesday, but if anyone in the U.S. is interested, the price looks pretty awesome, if you're looking for inexpensive, theoretically 'lasts forever' flashlights. I think they look about perfect for emergency use. I'll let you all know what I think when they're actually in my hands.



And, if those don't interest you, but the idea of a solar flashlight with capacitors instead of batteries sounds awesome, maybe check out the Xeus flashlights page. These things look pretty amazing (but the guy's paypal page is not working, so I couldn't order one).
http://www.xeusflashlights.com
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 04:12:56 PM by Lynn LeFey »


No Life Club Posts: 1,078 Hook enthusiast
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2016, 04:12:27 PM »
Emm... I think capacitors are not very good at holding a charge?   :oops:
Correct me if I am wrong, as always! 

No doubt about the capacitors having more charge cycles than a battery though. 8)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 04:14:45 PM by Pablo O'Brien »

Hooked, like everyone else. :D

Small knives do what big knives do, just slower.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 04:20:25 PM »
Supercapacitor.

They hold their charge for years. The site I linked to for Xeus flashlights, the guy said his prototype which is sitting in a desk drawer, has held its charge for 5 years so far. So the video I linked, where the guy says it'll hold the charge for 3 years may be a vast underestimation.
No Life Club Posts: 1,078 Hook enthusiast
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 04:29:27 PM »
Oh cool.  :gimme:

(Still, eneloops will hold their charge just as long.  :whistle: )

Hooked, like everyone else. :D

Small knives do what big knives do, just slower.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 05:19:09 PM »
Yep. And are nice and small, and you can get a AA or AAA light that's pretty decent for about $5, and a really solid one for $10, but not with built-in recharge capability.

And while the difference between 2,000 charge cycles and 100,000 charge cycles might never be important, it might.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2016, 02:22:23 AM »
So, these showed up at about 3pm this afternoon.

First thing, that claim of 'comes charged'? FALSE.

I'll have to wait for some sun tomorrow to see about getting them to full juice.
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,696 mmmmm SAKrelicious
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2016, 04:52:01 PM »
 :facepalm:

Fingers crossed for some sun Lynn  :tu:

'Use the force Harry' - Gandalf

Eamo is not a collector. He has a disparate group of knives and multitools. NOT a collection.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2016, 09:18:38 PM »
I got some yesterday.

After charging, the lights actually work pretty well. I've been running one off-and-on about half an hour at a go, and leaving the other at full charge, then comparing. Yesterday's test, the lights charged in direct sunlight for 6 hours (and that's low, autumn sun), then ran for 2 hours with no discernible drop in brightness compared to the control.

Some other notes. These have 3 indicator LEDs. As you point the flashlight away from you: the far left is orange, and shows when it's running on solar power. The far right is green, and shows when you're running on battery backup. The center is red, and is active when the flashlight is both not on, and charging via solar.

Except... on one of the two, the green LED doesn't work.

AND... one of the two has what seems to be nearly dead backup batteries. And those are CR2032 watch batteries, and it requires 2. Not cheap.

HOWEVER... that solar function seems to be good.
No Life Club Posts: 2,771
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2016, 11:42:27 PM »
Very interesting!  :salute:

I have been "waiting" for super capacitor based flashlights for years, and now they're suddenly fact. So, I guess you've already returned the favor from the news of current hand driven reverse osmosis pumps, Lynn.  :D
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2016, 05:25:46 PM »
And I was glad to.

Also, in case you missed it from the first post (since it was sorta buried beneath the video), there are also Xeus flashlights. These things (while more expensive) look fricking AMAZING.

But before i post the video for them... Most recent findings on the Hybrid Solar. Okay, so i've got two to compare side-by-side. I let one charge for 2 consecutive days, about 12 hours of direct sunlight total, and ran that one yesterday against the control. It ran about 2.5 hours before i noticed significant drop-off in light output. It was maybe at 50% brightness, or about 20 lumens. I don't know the curve of brightness dropoff, but suspect I'd get about the same runtime to half THAT bright (10 lumens). So, speculating here, but it MAY actually get 10 hours of light, but you'd be down to like 5 lumens at the end. Which, honestly, is still a very useful light level. That's still untested speculation. What is CERTAIN is 2.5 hours dropping to half brightness. Further tests to follow.

Now, about the Xeus lights...
http://www.xeusflashlights.com

The BAD news is, the guy's paypal page isn't working and i couldn't order one, because... man, they sound frickin COOL.

No Life Club Posts: 2,771
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2016, 06:58:14 PM »
Wow, the Xeus lights look really cool! Personally not a huge fan of solar as only charging option, but it allows for an extremely elegant design.

The numbers from the Hybrid solar are really quite good, all things considered, in my opinion.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2016, 09:41:04 PM »
I figured I'd give a note as well on the 'rugged construction' of the Hybrid light.

The good news. Both ends have rubber on them. And the head of the flashlights has bump-things on it that prevents it from rolling (easily) while it's lying on its side.

The bad news... I had them setting on a railing on my back porch, and a gust of wind blew them both off. The clear plastic housing that holds the solar panel popped off slightly on one. No damage. I just clicked it back into place, but still, a 3 foot drop onto a deck causing damage doesn't exactly make me feel like these things are 'rugged'.

Sure, it could be that the drop was my fault in the first place. I had them standing on end when they blew over. That kinda doesn't matter though when discussing durability.

Another side note, related to the blowing over thing. These lights are a lot lighter than their bulk would suggest. While being somewhat longer and much bigger around than a mini maglight, they weigh about the same (4.4 oz or 125g)

More reports as they become available. However, I'm going to say that if you're in the U.S., these things are worth the 2 for $13 pricetag.
No Life Club Posts: 2,771
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2016, 10:30:38 PM »
Loose parts disengaging at impact does have the advantage of dispersing kinetic energy, though. A palmtop way back when pretty much disassembled itself by design when it fell to the floor, making that little computer very robust when it came to that kind of damage. (I'm thinking of some of the Psion models here.) Those things weren't marketed as rugged, so I do get the point. :)
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2016, 09:47:56 PM »
Thought I'd give an update. I'm still testing these things.

I've only run one of these for 4 hours straight, after what I assume was bringing it to full charge. After 4 hours, the light drop-off is pretty significant. It might be down to 2 lumens at that point.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,877
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2016, 10:45:49 PM »
I'm seriously looking at the Pico XEUS.  It seems the best option for me when considering price, runtime and dimensions. The build quality and technology seems sound, and most of their claims are good except one, where they state that the lights have the "potential to last forever".  Supercapacitor capacity fades over time, and after about 10 years it is down to about 80%. 

I would sure like to see a warranty on their products, but I can't find any mention of one.

- Terry

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me...
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,506 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2017, 03:19:00 PM »
I've tried to get ahold of xeus with no luck. Let me know if you succeed.I think their lights look pretty amazing.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 55,948 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 04:39:58 PM »
I'm seriously looking at the Pico XEUS.  It seems the best option for me when considering price, runtime and dimensions. The build quality and technology seems sound, and most of their claims are good except one, where they state that the lights have the "potential to last forever".  Supercapacitor capacity fades over time, and after about 10 years it is down to about 80%. 

I would sure like to see a warranty on their products, but I can't find any mention of one.

Retaining 80% capacity after ten years is virtually forever these days.   At the very least, it seems like it would be good enough for me.

Def





Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 55,948 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2017, 10:18:01 PM »
Well, these were on clearance at Canadian Tire for $15 today so I decided to give in to the old joke about buying a solar powered flashlight and get one.  They had two different models and I debated getting both, but in the end I decided to get the Journey model as it was smaller and functions as a power bank.  Also, the larger one was 120 lumens, while this one is rated at 160 lumens.



At least it claims 160 lumens, probably on high, but it doesn't say how bright it is on low power.  It has a single switch to control the modes- one click gets low beam, second click gets high beam and one more click shuts it off.

It claims 30 hours of light on one full charge (unless you are French or Spanish, in which case you only get 12 hours.   :facepalm:



It also claims (as mentioned above) that it holds a charge for years, waterproof and floats and is extremely durable.  I have a feeling this will make it into my regular kayak kit as I am legally required to have a flashlight with me, and I usually don't, largely because most of my flashlights are too valuable to leave with my kayak stuff which is often wet.



Compared to the various tactical lights I have gotten used to over the years, this thing is huge, however compared to standard flashlights from bygone eras (Mag Lights, I'm looking at you guys) it's quite small.  If I had to estimate in such a way as people would understand the size, the body is about as big around as a C cell Maglight, with the head only slightly larger.  Lengthwise it is about as long as my phone (Samsung Galaxy S5 in an Otterbox Defender case) is high, so overall it is not an offendable size, well suited for glove boxes or packs, and not so much for pockets.

Twisting off the butt cap reveals the USB in and out, for charging it, or for using it as a power bank to charge other devices, using the included Micro USB cable or one of your own to fit whatever device you want to charge.

All in all this does not seem like as silly an idea as it once did.  In the old days, a solar powered flashlight was a joke, similar to a screen door on a submarine or a phone for a deaf person.  Like the phone example, technology has turned the solar powered flashlight from a cruel joke into a functional tool- or at least, if it lives up to it's hype it will.  I've owned it for a couple of hours now, and it's daylight, so I have had very little testing so far, but even low power seems more than bright enough for most uses.

Time will tell how long it lives, and how useful it is, but I'm actually quite optimistic right now.

Def





Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 55,948 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2017, 11:27:30 PM »
I have been using this light for over a week now and I have to say that it is fast becoming my favorite light.  All I have to do is just leave it out when it isn't in use and it constantly recharges itself.

I have no idea how long it is going to remain useful/rechargeable and such, but I have to say that so far I really like it.

Def





Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,587 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2017, 11:54:08 PM »
I actually like the idea of it being a back-up power supply for my phone etc.  I'm going to see if I can snag something similar. :tu:

Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 55,948 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2017, 02:50:17 AM »
Me too. I haven't used it yet, as my new phone has a battery that doesn't completely die by noon.   :ahhh

Def





Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,587 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2017, 03:53:38 PM »
Typically I can't seem to find that one, or anything quite like it, for sale.

Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 55,948 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2017, 03:41:24 AM »
If you want I'll look at Canadian Tire where I got mine next time I'm there to see if they still have any.

I wish I'd known... I was there yesterday.

Def





Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,587 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: 'HybridLight' Solar Powered Flashlight with battery backup
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2017, 09:37:40 AM »
Cheers for the offer boss, but I'll find something over here eventually. :)


 

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