Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stanley MaxLife 369 Tripod flashlight.
Six LEDs and 13-1/2 volts.
Made on Mars?

I readily admit to being a flashlight junkie. My cars and drawers contain enough battery-powered illumination to rival the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. I have a tiny one-LED light on my key ring, Maglites of all sizes, and a gazillion-candle-power searchlight that can spot enemy bombers approaching the coastline.

My newest light is a wierdo -- a unique light from Stanley that can be held like a conventional flashlight, and also transforms into a tripod-mounted trouble light. It seems to have been inspired by giant three-legged Martian mayhem makers in "the War of the Worlds."

It's the only light I've ever seen that works on 13-1/2 volts -- from nine 1-1/2 volt AA batteries (included) stowed in its aluminum tripod legs. Stanley says the batteries will provide over 200 hours of light, and a low-power indicator light flashes when your power is waning.

The head holds a cluster of six blue-white LEDs (that should last forever), but they don't all have to be on at the same time. A 4-position switch lets you choose Low, Medium, High or Off, and directs power from 3, 6, or 9 batteries, depending on your need.
  • When the tripod legs are spread apart (a button press releases a magnetic grip), the MaxLife 369 stands up by itself, and you can pivot the head into any of four positions to direct the light beam to change a tire or replace a hard drive. One preset position is slightly downward -- a nice idea -- for reading during a power failure or searching for a loosened plug in a dark corner.
  • In a black-out at home or a camping tent, you can aim the beam up to reflect off the ceiling and provide general illumination.
  • When the legs are "at rest," the MaxLife can be held like a conventional flashlight, to direct traffic or search for an earring or contact lens. The legs cluster around a cylinder of rubbery fins which position the legs and provide a good grip. When you press the "open" button, the spring-loaded legs pop out to stand up.
It sells for about $28 at Amazon, $22 at Wal-Mart, and $18 at Costco. A cool tool. Highly recommended!

1 comment:

capdiamont said...

Your legs are in parallel to each other, and the batteries in each leg in series, so only 3v total. You can run on just one leg.

I had dropped my big one, and it would no longer close.

The other problem, is when using two way radios next to it, would cause it to turn on or off. Makes it a pain with in a dark area, for wiring up a building.