The holidays are coming around. This is the time that we find time to thank the people around us with gifts, and also to reward ourselves for making it through the year. This holiday gift guide isnít designed to compete with the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue. If youíre planning to get a submarine or a BMW M6, you wonít need to look at this list.
For those looking for enlightenment
Everyone has a flashlight, but with the constant threat of floods or earthquakes, are you sure that yours is up to the task? Flashlight technology over the past few years has shifted towards LEDs and with complex voltage regulation circuitry. This means that your lights will be much more efficient than before, and make the most of your batteries. The color of the LED light is also much more pleasing than regular flashlights. Think of it as HID versus halogen lights.
My choice for the ultimate flashlight as a gift or for yourself is the Surefire Kroma K2. This light uses Lumiledís newest variation of the Luxeon, the K2. The K2 is designed to handle more power and be more efficient than the earlier Luxeon drivers. Who said performance per watt was just limited to CPUs? In addition, the lithium power source, while not as readily available as AA batteries, has a longer shelf life and better performance in extreme temperatures.
If you are on a budget, you can still get a Luxeon LED light with lithium batteries and similar brightness for a little less. Inova makes the XO3 which uses a 3W Luxeon driver and lithium batteries.
$79 retail, but under $40 from Amazon Partners
Now if you donít really want to make too big of a statement with your gift, there are still a few options. There are emerging companies out of Asia that are making some fine looking lights. One that comes to mind is Fenix which offers Luxeon lights with hard anodized aluminum and use AAA, AA, or CR123 batteries. They range from $30-60. My pick is the Fenix P1D CE which will fit on your keychain and put out more light than a 2D Maglite. It uses a CREE driver which is another next generation LED.
$70 for CREE LED
$50 for Luxeon
Weíre not done yet. If you are on an even tighter
budget and you are just looking for stocking stuffers to pass out to the office staff, you can still get them a Luxeon-style LED for less than $10. Try the overseas sites such as www.fifthunit.com
. I havenít purchased enough from these sites to officially endorse either, but I have bought stuff from them in the past and received it.