Before I bought my first LED flashlight in 2006.
It was going to be my first trip overseas, all by myself, and at the same time my first time ever on a airplane. 9 months backpacking in Australia, and 1 month Thailand.. that was my plan, that changed my life.
It was September 2003 when I left Amsterdam and headed towards Sydney as my final destination. A large backpack full of stuff was all I had. And inside that backpack was a small flashlight. A single AA, plastic flashlight. Why I bought it?
Because someone recommended it while I was at an outdoor store looking for a flashlight. The guy next to me recommended it, so I bought it.. I don't remember why he liked it, but it was enough for me to decide to buy it.
I admit that it wasn't much worse than the other flashlights available at that time, but after 10 months traveling I came to the conclusion that there just had to be something better out there....
Fast forward 2 years.
One of the people I traveled with in Australia was from Seattle. So in 2006 I decided to go and visit him. During this trip I bought my very first "power LED" flashlight.. Not with those simple 5mm LEDs, but a real power LED, named Luxeon LED :--)
(It was a Task Force with a 1 watt Luxeon LED and running of 3AAA batteries) Just like the one pictured here. (Picture I found online).
Another 2 years later I moved to Japan and after lurking around on some flashlight forums, I finally became a member on CPF (candle power forums) in 2009.
During the time I was living in Japan, Japan was hit by one of the strongest earthquakes (and Tsunami) in the history of Japan. It was March 11, 2011 at 2:45PM. When it struck I had to evacuate the building I was working in. After a few hours I had the opportunity to go back into the building to get my belongings. The only way to go upstairs was by using the windowless emergency stairs, which were pitch black. (The elevators didn't work because the electricity was cut off). Fortunately I had a mini coin light on me, which was barely enough to see the stairs. After that experience I started looking for a bright keychain light with more lumens, and reliable batteries, I think my first real keychain light was the ITP A3 EOS Titanium.
Only after the earthquake we decided to prepare an emergency bag.... and of course one of the things that need to be in an emergency bag, is a flashlight.... with batteries.. (Alkalines are Not recommended!). The same year (2011) I became a member of BLF (budgetlightforum). My nickname on both forums is ChibiM. So I have been active on flashlight forums since 2009.
Some may actually known me as ChibiM, the eneloop guy ;--)
That is because of my fondness for eneloop batteries, and my extensive research. You can check out my website about eneloop batteries , called eneloop101.com. If you want to know anything about eneloops.. that's the place to go!
Besides flashlights and eneloop batteries I'm also a little into photography.