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Does it Work Wednesday

Faraday Flashlight

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Does it Work Wednesday
Faraday Flashlight
By: Lauren Keith

The Faraday flashlight claims it's the last emergency light you'll ever need - that got my attention alone.  Then, when I saw the commercial, I knew I had to put this light to the "Does it Work Wednesday" test.

In the commercial, the product makers dunk the light in water, bang it on a rock and even run over it with a car! We're going to test each of those claims.

The directions clearly say for first-time use, you've gotta shake the light vigorously for at least two minutes.

Now, we're testing if you can really see this light from one mile away. My photographer Tony McClellon and I strategically place ourselves exactly one mile apart on Broadway. Sure enough, you can see me turning the flashlight on from a mile away.

So far so good.

But as I turn this light on and off, I've noticed it seems to dim after awhile. The directions do say the Faraday can only guarantee at least 3 minutes of light. I test that too starting at 9:27 on the clock.

While we wait three minutes, I ask Storm team Meteorologist John Dissauer, who's a technology junkie, how this thing works without batteries.

"What's happening is you've got copper wire surrounding a tube. As you shake it, it sends an electrical charge inside, and the more you shake it, the more charge gets sent through the copper wire," said John.

That explains why the light gets brighter, right after you shake it. Okay, it's been three minutes. I click the light on and see it still has a little juice left.  I think the Faraday works so far, but you're going to have to do a whole lot of shaking!

Now it's time to see just how waterproof this thing is.  I hold the the Faraday under the water for a few minutes, and sure enough, it still gives off light.  I'm impressed by that.

The next test is the doozie. I can't believe I'm going to run over this light, but they did it in the commercial!  Immediately, the tires crush the Faraday. 

"Okay, I clearly heard that I crushed it! If this thing works, I will be so surprised! Oh my gosh-- this thing will not die!"

All right, I'm stumped on the final grade!  The Faraday is obviously durable, and it works without batteries, but this shaking, I think, could be a bit annoying. So, I asked an outdoorsman and a local fire chief their opinions.

Kyle Radake of Foutz' Hunting and Fishing Shop said, "It'd save you a lot of expense on batteries, if you can see it a mile away, that's better than your cheap lights, and it's durability, you can tell it's been abused and it still works."

Jim Hanks, the East Cape County fire chief says, "It doesn't matter if you shake it or not, this one still works, when your batteries might not-- a little light, no matter what is better than no light. If we have a disaster or a tornado, these would be the thing to have."

Fair enough. I don't think the Faraday will be the last flashlight you'll ever need, especially if you want a high-powered beam that lasts longer, but this product lived up to each and every one of its claims.

You also don't have to worry about batteries, so I do think it's something you definitely need in your emergency kit. The $20 Faraday gets the very "fair" grade of A-.  I purchased mine at Walgreens; you can also buy it off TV.

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