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Shake Flashlights FAQ

  1. How bright are shake flashlights?
  2. Are these the same as Faraday Flashlights?
  3. How do they work?
  4. Should I replace all my flashlights with these?
  5. Considering their drawbacks, what are they good for?
  6. But they are more expensive than regular flashlights. Are they worth it?
  7. Do they really never need bulbs?
  8. What's the difference between a low priced shake light and an expensive one?
  9. Which shake flashlight do you recommend?
  10. I've heard so many less than favorable things about shake flashlights that I'm almost reluctant to buy one. Should I take a chance?
  11. What is a LED?
  12. What's a capacitor?
  13. Why do some shake flashlights have funny color lights?
  14. Can these be used as an emergency flashlight?
  15. Are these as good as my rechargeable flashlights?
  16. What if my question is not answered here?

How bright are shake flashlights?
It depends on the model, but most of the current models are not quite as bright as standard, battery-powered flashlights. We expect this will continue improve in the not-to-distant future. However, the models we have tested are certainly bright enough to use when the power is out and they are always brighter than a regular flashlight with dead batteries!

Are these the same as Faraday Flashlights?
Yes, it's another name for the same product. They are called that because a man named Michael Faraday invented the principle that powers shake flashlights.

How do they work?
Using Faraday's principle of electromagnetic inductance. See our how Faraday flashlights work page for more.

Should I replace all my flashlights with these?
Not necessarily. Shake flashlights do have some drawbacks which make also owning battery-operated flashlights a wise decision. As discussed above, shake flashlights are not yet as bright as regular flashlights and therefore are not good for illuminating long distances. They are more appropriate for short distances like indoor use. They also contain strong magnets which are sometimes harmful if placed very near computers, electronics, credit cards, and people with pacemakers. If you need help finding a good battery-operated light, check out Brock's flashlight page and Craig Johnson's LED Museum. If you still have questions after visiting those sites, try the CandlePower Forums.

Considering the drawbacks mentioned above, what are they good for?
They work great as a backup to your regular household flashlights which might have dead batteries when you need them most. Shake flashlights are also perfect for situations where you need them set aside for long term storage (think survival/earthquake/hurricane kits). They also work well where heat can cause normal batteries to drain more quickly (like in your car or shop).

But they are more expensive than regular flashlights. Are they worth it?
In addition to the advantages mentioned above, they are also not that much more expensive when you factor in the savings they provide. Think of how many bulbs and batteries you might buy over the next 10 or 20 years for a regular flashlight. Shake flashlights are also better for the environment because there are no batteries to throw away that ultimately end up in a landfill and leak toxic chemicals into the ground.

Do they really never need bulbs?
Some manufacturers make this claim based on the fact that LEDs do not have filaments and therefore tend to last for a very long time.

What's the difference between a low priced shake light and an expensive one?
While the lower priced units are very attractive, you might just get all that you pay for. The less expensive lights on the market are generally not as bright, don't light as long on the same number of shakes, and are not fully waterproof among other things. And if it's really inexpensive, it might not be a real shake light at all. There a large quantities of cheap Chinese knock-offs flooding the U.S. market that look like real Faraday flashlights, but in reality contain small batteries that only last a few hours and with no way to recharge. Even if it looks like a real shake light with a coil of wire and a metal slug, if it's really cheap, it's probably an fake.

Which shake flashlight do you recommend?
Since we have not had a chance to test all the brands on the market yet, we will reserve our public recommendation until a later date. However, one clue might be which light we personally own and use. After extensive research and comparisons, we chose the NightStar and have been very pleased with it. See our Faraday flashlight reviews page for more information.

I've heard so many less than favorable things about shake flashlights that I'm almost reluctant to buy one. Should I take a chance?
We can certainly understand your hesitation and the less than glowing comments from others because there are some very poor products out there. Some of the cheap knockoffs are really bad. However, the products from reputable companies perform much, much better and should be seriously considered. The shake light provides so many advantages over regular flashlights that we feel it is worth the small cost for a quality light to try one out.

What is a LED?
A light emitting diode. They replace traditional incandescent bulbs and aren't actually bulbs at all, but rather a type of semiconductor diode that produces electroluminescence.

What's a capacitor?
Technically, it's two metal plates with equal yet opposite electric charges separated by a dielectric forming an electric field. Basically, it can be thought of as a simple rechargeable battery with several advantages.

Why do some shake flashlights have funny color lights?
These are either older models manufactured when white LEDs cost more than other colors or specially made units designed for military and aviation purposes where white light would cause a temporary reduction in low-light or nighttime vision.

Can these be used as an emergency flashlight?
Question: What's the best flashlight to have in an emergency? Answer: One that works! There's nothing worse than really needing something in an emergency and when you go to use it, it doesn't work. In fact, it can be life threatening when emergency products don't work when they are needed most. With conventional flashlights, there's always that chance that the batteries will be dead when you need them most. So yes, shake flashlights are great for emergency situations.

Are these as good as my rechargeable flashlights?
In many ways, they're even better. For example, during extended power outages, once a rechargeable flashlight is drained, you're out of luck, but with a Faraday flashlight, you can recharge it with a few flicks of the wrist.

What if my question is not answered here?
Send it to us and we will try to answer it.

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