Everything is illuminated
April 11, 2006 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Flashaholics are self-identified flashlight enthusiasts. The hobbyist community is big in Japan, and has a seedy underbelly as well.
posted by casconed (23 comments total)
Pimp my flashlight! As with this, I guess there's a hobby out there for just about everything. Thank you, Internets!
posted by davejay at 4:07 PM on April 11, 2006

Oh, wow. I just discovered I'm one of them.

I thought I needed all those flashlights..... My ex-wife once accused me of liking flashlights way too much. But then I brought up the 16 million yards of cloth she has and she let it drop.
posted by nyxxxx at 4:10 PM on April 11, 2006

Oh my gosh. Hi, my name is Steely Duran, and I'm a flashaholic. Often I stay home in the dark, alone, with my EliteMax, night beacon on, until I fall fast asleep.

I could quit anytime, but you can bet I won't!
posted by SteelyDuran at 4:24 PM on April 11, 2006

The hobbyist community is big in Japan

Why aren't I surprised?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:40 PM on April 11, 2006

There are also fleshlight enthusiasts. [NSFW]
posted by billysumday at 4:50 PM on April 11, 2006

i started 10 years ago with a standard Surefire. Shortly thereafter i discovered that a good friend was just as 'interested' (obsessed) with them as i was.

For the next few years we fed off each others enthusiasm and a bit of brinksmanship developed where we were each trying to out do the other. We looked for brightness, quality, battery life, and just overall coolness.

Now i have more lights than i know what to do with. My car has three separate lights (a ultra low power LED for seeing maps, a slightly brighter for finding stuff on the floor/ looking at the engine when there is a problem, and a spotlight), i have a flashlight in almost every room of my house, and i typically have at least one on my person.

It is one of my very favorite hobbies.

And when people ask why? i just tell them i'm afraid of the dark. They typically leave me alone after that.
posted by quin at 4:53 PM on April 11, 2006

They will tempt you with their excellent ARC flashlights, but that can't be used for everything, so you get another one...have to replace the junk Maglite...OH GOD, WHY DO I HAVE 10 FLASHLIGHTS THAT EACH COST MORE THAN $20!?

I just stay away now. I don't want to have 10 knifes, sheaths, multitools, or tatical nylon bags.
posted by easyasy3k at 5:01 PM on April 11, 2006

easyasy3k don't even get me started on knives, i started collecting flashlights to help me kick my knife habit.

And $20 flashlights are fine, it's the $80 ones that cause your spouse to start questioning your sanity.
posted by quin at 5:12 PM on April 11, 2006

torch pr0n
posted by caddis at 6:14 PM on April 11, 2006

I find that my 12$ Hong Kong surefire Knockoff is nearly as good as my 60$ surefire. I'm so in love I bought rechargable CR123s

I get so many "gifts" in the mail from Hong Kong, my postal carrier asked me if I was getting a mail order bride.
posted by Megafly at 6:20 PM on April 11, 2006

I always carry a flashlight in my backpack. (mini mag) Very cool thing to have when somebody needs one and they look at you after like you are psychic or god because you *just happened* to have a flashlight. One of the guys who reacted like this about five years ago now always carries a mini mag clipped on his belt. I have seen him about a hundred times since then and never seen him without it.
posted by bukvich at 7:46 PM on April 11, 2006

I have one of those cheapo 15-million-candlepower spotlights, and I don't know what to do with it besides scare the shit out of my neighbors. What do you do with all those flashlights?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:07 PM on April 11, 2006

Hey, I resemble these remarks.

I have, don't even need to look, an original Arc AAA, a new high-end Arc AAA, and a shortened M@g cut down to use one AA lithium cell with a Bad Boy 500 LED sandwich module -- on my person, at the moment. Earthquake centennial, anyone?

The recent CPF discussion (see the "Batteries" forum) about lithium 123 batteries used -- the ongoing analysis seems to have concluded -- in an unmatched pair, caused one to reverse, producing an explosion sufficient to blow up a flashlight, start a fire, and knock a hole through an oak cabinet door. Useful, as well as fascinating. It led me to go home this evening and look with great suspicion on my old Pentax Zoom camera that also uses two lithium 123 cells and has been sitting powering its date/time clock and counter for at least five years now.

The $10 drop-in LED replacement bulbs that one of the members sells, for use in any old 2-D flashlight, are unbeatable improvements for old tech.

CPF. If you didn't know about it already, you probably don't need it. But check, just in case. See you there.
posted by hank at 8:22 PM on April 11, 2006

Flashlight fanclubs. Exploitation film catalogues. Plastic schoolgirls with kneadable breasts. Is there something in Japan's water?
posted by davy at 8:49 PM on April 11, 2006

Paging Daniel Rutter..... I know you're here somewhere...
posted by pompomtom at 9:09 PM on April 11, 2006

pompomtom Subtle. Nice.

i didn't know his last name, but he most definitely is The Man.
posted by quin at 10:36 PM on April 11, 2006

I bought almost every model in the Surefire line last year. Most I've never used. They're sitting packaged on my window sill like the comic book action figures in 40 year old virgin.
posted by b_thinky at 11:03 PM on April 11, 2006

Mm... yeah, that empty chatboard is really, uh, seedy. And underbellyish. Grr.
posted by squirrel at 11:45 PM on April 11, 2006

You'll also find some of the flashers here.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:20 AM on April 12, 2006

Here I thought I was alone in my fixation for flashlights. Its actually kind of comforting to find that there are many out there with the same "hobby".
posted by zngsd at 1:13 PM on April 12, 2006

Is this really just a thing for flashlights or do all of you spend a larger than average share of your time in the dark?
posted by ontic at 8:36 PM on April 12, 2006

Probably a bit of both ontic. in a given day working second shift, i would argue that i spend more time in the dark than in the light. Even in my office, with it's florescent lighting, there are times you need to find something under your desk, or work in your PC, or look under your car or whatever.

And it's just one of those things, once you have the ability to summon a pool of light at will you will find yourself using it a lot. Sure, we could grope around under our desk looking for that lost pen-cap, but jeeze, what are we, animals?

And yes, it has a lot more to do with the gadget factor. The ruggedness, the constant evolution of the technology. Personally, i blame SureFire. The jump forward that their switch from halogen to xenon was a catalyst that brought a lot of people into the fold. "you mean i can have a flashlight as bright at a 3 D cell Maglight that fits in my pants without being noticeable? sign me up!"

After xenon came high output blue LEDs which we all needed to have, then phosphor doped white ones, which we all needed to have, then Luxon Stars, which when driven hard enough were as bright as the xenon but ran far cooler and had a much longer battery life. And of course, we all needed to have those as well.

There is a moment in every flashlight aficionado's life, when someone took their newest acquisition, turned the business end towards their face and hits the 'on' button. Usually they hand it back a little shaken and say "what do you need something that bright for?"

To which we smiled and said "because i knew someone would one day want to do what you just did, and i wanted to be there to see it."
posted by quin at 9:03 PM on April 12, 2006

What? Only one link to my site so far :-)?

I'm kinda The Outside Scoop as far as reviews of these things go, but I do get the occasional impressive object to play with.
posted by dansdata at 4:43 AM on April 13, 2006

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