The best headlamp we've ever had is Patrick Freeburg's veriglow Loma Creek headlamp. It's super bright with a wide beam that's perfect for working on stuff. It holds its charge really well, bring bright for hours and hours after one charge, and even after having used it for a year and lost it for almost a year, it still had it's charge. I LOVE mine. And, you don't need batteries--jjust don't loose the charge cord and you can plug it into any usb port to charge (so your computer, a USB plug-in, or even a hand crank radio that has a USB port.). Here's the link to my review: https://permies.com/t/72250/USB-Rechargeable-Headlamp-Veriglow#602328
My current favorite little handcrank flashlight is this guy: Coghlan's Dynamo Flashlight. It's TINY. It's maybe an inch long, and fits well in my purse. I've two for a few years. One seems to have lost it's ability to hold a charge, but it still illuminates when I crank it. The other--despite being lost and unused for a year or two--still holds a charge. I might not be the best for arthritic hands, but I love that it makes light no matter what, and it's tiny. I bought mine in a camping store for $7, and the best price on amazon seems to be for four. You could find them elsewhere on line, too. I can't say whether they last 30 years, but mine are 6 years old and still great.
As for solar flashlights/radios, my experience thus far seems to say that they don't keep working much more than a year or two. A radio might keep playing in the sunshine, but the sunshine doesn't charge the battery....which kind of defeats the purpose with a flashlight. That's happened to two of my solar radios. I would definitely get one with a hand-crank back up. I like having a radio/flashlight in the car as they're multipurpose. But, so far I haven't found one that lasts the tests of time. The one Dale wrote about here Eton microlink FR 160.: is good and mine is 11 years old and still working, though it doesn't hold a charge for long. You have to crank it for a while before using it, but then it works like it should. I got a different one (I need to find the link) and when I didn't use it for a year, it stopped holding any sort of charge. You had to crank it while using it.
I found an amazon listing for the Eton radio/flashlight here but they're currently charging $77 for a radio/flashlight that I'm pretty sure I originally paid no more than $25 for.
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 3 months ago
Thank you Nicole!
I like the headlight especially.
We had two little crank/solar radios that did last a long long time. Mine especially because my husband used his a lot in his non electric shop. I think we sent them to the thrift store after probably twenty years when they quit solar charging but still crank charged and were collecting a lot of duct tape to hold the plastic together.
I'm not too interested in the radio but like the idea of a usb port charge for a flashlight. We have a hybrid car now so I think it will be useful for charging up stuff when we need to.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
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