Powerbank Torch

Emergency light plus battery charger

I still have vivid memories of the Northeast blackout of 2003, so a few years ago I decided to get prepared by purchasing one of those emergency flashlights which stays plugged in and switches on automatically when the power is cut, thus guiding you right to a fully-charged unit. Oddly enough, the best plug-in emergency flashlight I’ve found — which uses standard AA batteries — isn’t even marketed as a flashlight! The manufacturer refers to this unit as a battery charger with a built-in light, but it’s exactly what I was looking for. There is a three-way switch: always off, a smaller LED night light on the bottom, and automatically turn-on four LEDs when the power fails. Mine sits in a wall outlet in the bathroom, waiting to turn on during the next blackout. In the meantime, I use it regularly as a battery charger. It comes with four 1300 mAh batteries, but I actually use 2000 mAh batteries, which I switch out as I use them in other devices. All for the better, since I’m told batteries should be allowed to discharge on occasion anyway.

-- Allan Peda 08/12/08

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