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 it was my first time ever flying. I was going to spend 9 months backpacking in Australia, and 1 month in Thailand.. That was my plan, and it changed my life.
It was September 2003 when I left Amsterdam and headed towards Sydney as my final destination. A large backpack filled with a lot of stuff, and that was all I had for the trip. And inside that backpack was a small flashlight. A single AA, plastic flashlight. Why had I bought it?
Because someone recommended it while I was looking at an outdoor store for a new 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 had come to the conclusion that there had to be something better out there....
Fast forward 2 years.
One of the people I traveled with in Australia was living in Seattle. So in 2006 I decided to pay him a visit. And during this trip I bought my very first "power LED" flashlight.. Not one with those horrible 5mm LEDs, but a real power LED, named a Luxeon LED :--)
(The light in question was a Task Force with a 1 watt Luxeon LED and running of 3AAA batteries) Just like the one pictured here. (This 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, about 10 years ago.
During the time I was living in Japan, Japan was hit by one of the strongest earthquakes (and Tsunami) ever. It was March 11, 2011, 2:45PM. When it struck I had to evacuate the building I was working at. And 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 some reliable batteries, I think my first real keychain light was the ITP A3 EOS Titanium.
Only after the earthquake my family decided to prepare an emergency bag.... and of course one of the things that need to be in an emergency bag is..... a flashlight.... and 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 on the topic. 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.
During the aftermath of the earthquake, D size batteries were the first to be sold out, at EVERY shop. Most people in Japan have old style emergency flashlights that only take D-cell batteries....