Over the course of the past two weeks, I discovered two flashlights that seem to be built decently, shine a good enough beam and cost both around $10 a piece with batteries included.
They both run on 2 common Alkaline AAA batteries too.
One is sold at Wal Mart and the other is sold at Target.
Now here’s the thing, you won’t find these lights in the flashlight sections of these stores (more on that in a bit.) They are both in different departments, although these departments both involve products that will eventually need a flashlight for assistance.
The first light I’m going to discuss here is a Hyper Tough 100L LED flashlight. It is sold in the automotive section at Wal Mart. I’m guessing it gets its model number because according to the ANSI data, it gives off 100 lumens. What I can best compare this light to is my more (3X more) expensive 5.11 Tactical TMT PLx as far as performance, construction and brightness. The pocket clip was much more brittle though and it broke off. The pocket clip on my 5.11 light is still in tact and I’ve had it since Christmas of 2015. So maybe there are some corners cut in some materials in order to sell this light for a third of the price. Also the 5.11 light gives off 90 lumens for 5 hours, this Hyper Tough flashlight gives off 100 lumens for 3 hours or so. I bought it last Friday at the Wal Mart on the West Side of Houma, Louisiana (about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans.) My only complaint about it is that the pocket clip broke way to prematurely, other than that it is a decent light, especially for the price.
The second light I’m going to discuss is a Coleman IllumiLast IL+75LED flashlight. This light is sold in the camping section at Target. I’m guessing it gets this model number because, on high mode it gives off 75 lumens. It also has a low setting to give off 2 lumens, which would be ideal for night or low light reading of maps, documents or gauges. It sure as hell can also throw a beam for a decent distance. It even has quite a throw on low mode if one could call it a throw. This cool looking flashlight is sold in the camping section at Target. It is constructed of Aluminum and a high quality polymer plastic and has the neatest looking slide switch. The overall design reminds me of some of the older tactical, police style flashlights of bygone times, just in a much smaller size and with a modern twist. It runs on 2 AAA batteries, but its size makes it appear like a 2 AA flashlight. Looks are definitely deceiving, though. I’m guessing the reason why it is wider than most 2 AAA flashlights is because it has a special circuitry that totally disconnects the batteries while the flashlight it turned off in order to make them last longer. I bought the flashlight last night at the Target at the Clearview Mall in Metairie, Louisiana (just to the immediate west of New Orleans.)
I mentioned the particular stores where I purchased them, but I would guess they are sold in any of the bigger Wal Marts or Targets. I’ve never heard of the Hyper Tough brand but I’m sure it’s pretty new. However, I’ve been knowing about the Coleman Brand since I was a child because we had a small Coleman Cooler. I also got a Coleman Rechargeable “dog bone” style flashlight for Christmas in 1998 and it became one of my favorites until it cracked a few months later.
I actually have a story about that:
My parents’ house was built in 1986 and for whatever reason the electrical outlets were placed horizontally in the walls instead of vertically (well except for by the air handler/heater/evaporator unit and the stove.) That was the style in house wiring at the time and excuse my foul language, but I believe it is a dumb ass design. So, in order to charge this flashlight it had to be plugged in to one of these outlets and the weight of it all went to one side instead of being positioned in an evenly distributed vertical manner. So by May of 1999, there was fatigue in the plastic and it had chipped and cracked. I was devastated and ended up replacing it with a Rayovac 2 AA Workhorse flashlight which I had used on and off until my late teens. Ever since then I’ve firmly resolved that if I build my own house, all of the electrical outlets will be vertically positioned.