Some time back I bought myself a wind-up torch, I kept finding the batteries in my ordinary torch had either gone or where so low the weak light it emitted was next to useless. As we’d had a few powers cuts not long back it seemed a wise idea to go wind-up.
There are a lot of options on the market and not a lot of information, I had no idea whether I would need a 3-, 4- or 5-LED torch, how some of the candle or watt ratings compared to an ordinary torch, nothing. Some of them don’t even specify the power of the LEDs, unless we’re supposed to assume they’re all the same. There also seems to be very few reviews or much written about them, and getting an idea of scale/size is nearly impossible. In the end it was a little bit of guesswork, but it seems to have paid off.
I went with a Trevor Baylis Mini Pro, partly because Baylis is a name I recognised (he pretty much brought wind-up back to the mainstream with his radios) and so it seemed trustworthy (plus it was pretty cheap). I bought mine through allthingsgreen.net, which seems to be some sort of white label/middleman for who you actually buy from, which wasn’t well advertised up front and probably would have made me think again (I had to chase the order as it, after a week, I hadn’t even had a confirmation of my order, let alone it turn up).
Anyway, the torch is fairly small, 14cm long x 4.5cm across (it’s circular). It easily fits in the hand and is what I would class as a small torch, not a pen torch, but the next size up basically. It comes with 3 5mm LEDs (don’t ask me how powerful a 5mm LED is!), they’re arranged fairly close together and give off a strong, clear light that would be fine for anything that doesn’t need a dispersed beam, so for poking in dark corners, going up the loft and using around the house it’s great, but you’d probably want a larger one for walking around outside at night.
The handle tucks away well on the under side and so far I have only done the initial three-minute wind and another one when I used it in another power cut (good thing I had it), so it’s very frugal on power.
Overall I have been very pleased with it, it’s solidly built, works well and never needs charging. If it runs our a quick wind and I’m back in business and, for the price, you could happily buy a few of them and store them in your car, on your boat, out the garage, wherever you rarely need a torch, but it could come in handy, because you’ll never need to worry that by the time you need to use it, the batteries will be dead.