One of the more essential items that should be included in a hunter's pack, and in every motor vehicle, is the humble flashlight. There are innumerable stories of how a daylight trip turned into an after-dark saga, when a light source might have made all the difference.
One of the major problems with flashlights is the fact that batteries need to be replaced or recharged at regular intervals - a flashlight with a flat battery must be high on the list of useless things. Green Beam torches have a solution for this.
The Green Beam torch differsfrom others by not needing replacement bulbs and batteries. It is powered by a rechargeable capacitor and never requires maintenance, apart from an occasional wipe-over to keep the lens clean. It is claimed to be water - and weatherproof.
The internal workings can be seen through the translucent casing. A powerful magnet passes through a copper coil when the unit is shaken. This generates a current that is stored by a super capacitor. Switching on the flashlight activates the LED beam to provide light. The torch must be held parallel to the ground and shaken backwards and forwards for about 40 seconds. If the capacitor is completely drained, it may take about 90 shakes to bring it up to full power.
This means that the torch can be left unused in the glove-box or pack for years, but will be ready for use with a minimum of preparation.
Because a powerful magnet is used to help generate power, the user must be careful not to allow the flashlight to come anywhere near objects susceptible to magnetic fields. This includes tapes, discs and credit cards.
We were supplied with two sizes, which do not have model numbers but are 17cm and 28cm in length. We charged both torches and set about finding out how long they would perform. The larger model gave a useful beam for about two minutes before requiring another shake. The smaller model provided a beam of less intensity and required more attention to charging.
These flashlights cannot be compared to conventional battery/bulb set-ups as far as performance is concerned. However, as an emergency light source they are a useful tool that can be stored and forgotten without worrying about batteries and at a cost of about $16 for the small flashlights and $25 for the large one, they won't break the budget.
SURVIVAL FLASHLIGHTS: View all no-battery flashlights.