Rechargeable Shake Flashlights vs. Crank Flashlight

Rechargeable Shake Flashlights vs Crank Flashlight comparison

We give two styles of flashlights, the shake flashlight and crank flashlight. Our shakedown provides light on which style comes out on top.

Rechargeable shake flashlights and crank flashlights are handheld lighting innovations which increase emergency lighting flexibility options. While EcoCentricNow provides numerous options to fit your emergency lighting needs, not all options are a cure-all for every scenario. No electrical outlets, generator, or alternate power source to plug into? That doesn’t do much for an AC/DC rechargeable battery. Forgot to expose your solar flashlight to sunlight and now it won’t illuminate through the night? Sounds like you could be stuck in the dark.

So, if we don’t have access to an external power source, then what do we do? Two options to consider are crank flashlights and shake flashlights. These two designs allow the light to recharge with just a little mechanical movement by the operator and provide lighting for emergency or everyday use. While EcoCentricNow is phasing out crank flashlights in favor of shake flashlights, we feel it’s important to mention them to provide a solid comparison to shake recharging technology.

Crank Flashlights

How do they work? Without getting into the tech too much, the basic premise is rotating the light handle moves a permanent magnet mounted in proximity to magnetic copper wire, aka a coil, generating electricity which is stored in a battery. There are different forms of batteries including capacitors. The Lightstorm SL1 Crank flashlight-lantern is unique in that it is the only crank light that incorporates a capacitor.

The obvious benefit to crank flashlights is there is no need for an external power supply to operate the light. It’s all self-contained! A downside to the crank flashlight is the crank mechanism increases the number of moving parts versus rechargeable shake flashlights, which over time increases the possibility of mechanical failure. If you’re in an emergency, you want the most reliable system available. The Lightstorm SL1 crank flashlight with capacitor is multi-functional. The light operates as a flashlight, lantern, emergency beacon with flashing red LED and is capable of recharging other low voltage devices. A capacitor was selected because they don’t corrode, and they don’t rely on an electrolyte reaction associated with traditional batteries. A downside to a capacitor is it requires frequent recharging. Another con of a capacitor crank flashlight is the limited runtime. A fully charged capacitor only stores enough electricity to operate the flashlight for 10-15 minutes. So, if you need light for an extended period, this may not be your best option. 

Rechargeable Shake Flashlights

In contrast to crank flashlights, Shake Flashlight 40B offers the same recharging versatility but produces greater illumination and longer runtime. The principle behind both rechargeable flashlights is based on Michael Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction. Faraday discovered passing a permanent magnet through a coil of wire produces an electric current. While there is more to the theory, that is the concept that leads us to Rechargeable Shake Flashlights.

Take Shake Light 40B, for instance. The impact and water-resistant body house a rare earth magnet, copper wire coil, and NiMH battery. When the user shakes the light, the magnet moves through the coil and Faraday’s theory comes alive. The SL40B produces light for up to 2 hours! That’s a significant increase above crank flashlights (10-15 minutes), and with minimal effort. Periodic shake recharging provides hours of illumination! With longer running times and fewer moving parts it’s easy to see Shake Light 40B offers clear advantages over crank lights. When time and energy are two of your biggest concerns in an emergency, rechargeable shake flashlights help you preserve both.

We can take rechargeable shake flashlights another step further and look at the NightStar Green LED Shake Flashlight. It eliminates the need for a battery and replaces it with a gold film capacitor. That means no battery leakage or corrosion. Furthermore, it utilizes green LED lights to reduce eye strain on the user. When you package these options together, Shake Flashlights like the NightStar have the user’s best interest in mind: less user energy, longer runtime, and reduced eye strain; all things that you need to preserve in an emergency. 

EcoCentricNow has plenty of options to choose from. Browse our selection and find the right light to keep you ready for any emergency.

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