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.