March 2000 Issue

LED Lights

With bulbs and batteries that last nearly forever, these flashlights are finally ready for the cockpit. (Except they don’t have bulbs.)


A failed flashlight bulb in the cockpit can be serious. Even if there’s a spare handy, changing it can be a challenge in the dark or in turbulence.

How about a flashlight with a bulb that never burns out, or at least not for tens of thousands of hours? How about a light with batteries that last days, not hours?

We’re talking about flashlights that use LEDs (light emitting diodes) instead of conventional incandescent bulbs. Yes, these are the same LEDs we’ve seen in electronic equipment—cheap key ring lights and the like—for years. The problem has been that while LEDs came in an array of colors, they weren’t available in white, until recently, when a white LED was fin...

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