LED Survival Light, retail $2.00
Manufactured by (Unknown)
Last updated 01-09-06

The LED Survival Light is a plastic flashlight that is supposed to be self-charging (by giving it a shaking or "spanking the monkey" motion), but this shake mechanism is just a phoney - the flashlight actually operates from two CR2032 disposable lithium coin cells. The "magnet" inside is just a steel rod, and the two wire leads from the coil are shorted to one another.

"No battery needed" is what it reads on the package.

Horse puckey!!!
Horse puckey!!!!!!

This product was found at a dollar store in the eastern United States (near Philadelphia PA to be exact) in late-December 2005.


To use this piss-poor excuse for a forever flashlight, slide the switch on the barrel forward. And to turn off this piss poor excuse for a forever flashlight, slide this switch back toward you.

You're supposed to be able to charge it by holding it horizontally and shaking it front-to-back, but this charge mechanism is phoney (the "magnet" is just a steel rod and the coil's wires are just shorted to one another) - you don't have to do that.

This flashlight is sold as a batteryless flashlight that never needs batteries, but it does operate from two CR2032 lithium coin cells.

If you want to change the batteries, here's how you do it:

Unscrew the black bezel ring, remove it and the plastic lens, gently place them on the ground, and kick them in the garden so the praying mantids will think they're something to eat and strike at them...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THOSE!!! So just set them aside instead.

Pull the insides of the flashlight out of the barrel, and set the barrel aside. Behind that metal strap (the switch), you'll see the two cells in a compartment. Remove them, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert two new CR2032 cells in this compartment, orienting them so their button-ends (-) negative terminals face forward (toward the front of the flashlight). Don't worry about accidentally breaking one or both wires going to that coil, because that's just a decoy and has no function in this product. If the wires do become broken, just move them away from the batteries to prevent a short.

Slide the flashlight insides back into the barrel, being sure to orient them so the metal strap goes under the black slide switch on the barrel.

Place the plastic lens back over the end, and screw the black bezel ring back on.
Aren't you glad you didn't kick that bezel ring and lens into the garden with all those hungry, hungry praying mantids now?

Current consumption measures 81.0mA on my DMM's 400mA scale.

Because this is an all-plastic product, "The Smack Test" would really not be appropriate here.

"The Toilet Test" would also be inappropriate, because I know with 100% certainty that it would leak. I removed the lens and bezel ring and removed the insides of the flashlight and then administered that terrible suction test on the barrel, and it leaked rather handily. As far as I was able to determine, the leak occurred around the switch area.

The light output has a noticeable blue tinge to it; partly because the LED is very overdriven and partly because of the lens on the front of the flashlight.

Because this sold as a batteryless flashlight that has a magnet and coil to charge it (presumably a "supercap" that gets charged), yet it uses disposable batteries and the magnet & coil are just decoys, I've decided at once to rate it "Zero Stars - Whip Out Your Ding-Dong or Sit On the Commode and Tinkle On It" and place it in "The Toylet Bowl" section of this website.

DISCLAIMER: Possibly not all "dollar store versions" of the "shake flashlight" are this bad. I would hope that authorities take notice. The Federal Trade Commission (1-877-FTC-HELP) may act if it gets enough complaints about any product that breaks laws against consumer fraud.

Beam photograph on the test target at 12".
Measures 94,100mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
This value is high because of the positive (magnifying) lens in front of the LED.

Beam photograph on a ceiling at 3'.
Photograph deliberately underexposed by two stops to show color more accurately.

Beam photograph on a wall at ~15'.

Those rectangular graphic things near the lower left are marquees from:
Williams ''Robotron: 2084''
Gremlin/Sega ''Astro Blaster''
Atari ''Tempest''
Williams ''Stargate''
Williams ''Joust''
Venture Line ''Looping''

upright coin-op arcade video games from the early-1980s.

That red star thing is from an American DJ Laser Widow.

This product plus three other products were sent by a website fan and were received on 12-27-05.

Product was made in China. A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

UPDATE: 01-09-06
I received via email, the following:

I just read your reports on the "bogus shake-lights". My light looks exactly like those pictured, right down to the number of bumps on the body, but the magnet actually IS a magnet! I can lift the unit by holding a jeweller's screwdriver above the magnet. The leads from the coil aren't shorted, and are soldered to different connections on the board. I removed the two coin cells and turned the light on, and it works, but the output is very dim. There is a small capacitor on the underside of the board that, I assume, is charged by the magnet/coil. The light was re-assembled and turned on for 42 minutes with no discernable dimming, using the CR2032s, no doubt.
Guess they aren't ALL fakes.

Low price

Charging hardware is bogus
Package misrepresents contents
Not very water-resistant and *NOT* submersible at all
Very large for a coin cell flashlight
Light beam is less than optimal

    PRODUCT TYPE: Supposed to be a "shake" flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot with a ring superimposed on it
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide switch on barrel on/off
    BEZEL: Plastic; LED protected by plastic convex lens
    BATTERY: 2xCR2032 cells
    WATER RESISTANT: Light splash-resistance at maximum
    ACCESSORIES: 2xCR2032 cells (already installed)
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


    Star Rating

LED Survival Light *

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