ZOOMING FLASHLIGHT IS BRILLIANT IDEA:
How often do you ponder what your perfect flashlight would be like? The time for that musing is not on a dark path, dependent on a dim beam that can barely reach the ground beneath you much less illuminate what’s to come. Now would be a good time to dream big — or rather dream small, with big power and versatility. Focus, for instance, on the talented little Five Mile Flashlight from Hammacher Schlemmer. Its barely 6-inch-long, lightweight 8-ounce aircraft aluminum body packs packs an outsize number of impressive features. The high-output tactical LED can produce 300 lumens of light (that’s about 40 times brighter than the typical run-of-the mill flashlight). A push button on the base lets you click between three brightness levels, an SOS signal and an intermittent-flashing strobe that can disorient an approaching menace — or just annoy innocents in your path. The flashlight’s coolest function is the ability to let you zoom, one-handed, from a wide beam that can light up a large area at a distance, to a sharp, narrow beam that pinpoints a near-in target. The tightly sealed housing can withstand a nasty dunk in the water and extreme temperatures, even though this spunky trooper is powered by three humble AAA batteries (not included). A magnet in the base makes for hands-free illumination for a variety of tasks — say, inspecting the what-chums under your car’s hood, or just topping off windshield washing fluid — with your bright assistant dangling helpfully from the hood’s magnet underside. The bulb is guaranteed for 100,000 hours (don’t forget to keep count), and by all means test the manufacturer’s claim that the light can be seen from more than five miles away. Please make allowances for a mountain — or assailant — in the way, in which case beam span may be the least of your concerns. Did we mention the handy wrist strap? Sorry, no cup holder.