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If you are planning a camping weekend, where there are no shops to buy batteries, or you are just forgetful and need a torch for those dark times then buy this. It is a wind up torch, so to work it you need to unfold the turning handle, wind it up for around 30 seconds to a minute, depending on how long you want the beam to last. It makes a whirring sound when turned and the faster you turn it the quicker you will have light. The best thing about this is that it is so much better for the environment than having to buy batteries and then disgard them. I have owned this torch for about 4 years now, at one stage I was living in a tent for a few months and used it every day for long periods of time. Over the years the length that the beam stays on for has gone down a bit, but its still working and you can see in front of you if having to walk in the pitch black. Its a nice grey colour, it is light to hold, fits in your hand and clicks on and off with a button. The arm folds neatly away and doesnt need to be out all the time. The beam is quite a white light and the bulb has not needed to be changed, although Im not sure if you can change it or not. It cost £15.99 at the time but Im sure you can get it cheaper now.
The Uni- Com Torch Wind- Up is an eco friendly torch that needs no replacement bulbs or batteries. I have had one of these for a couple of years now. It was bought from Wilkinsons (I think) for less than a fiver. With there being no need to buy batteries it's paid for itself. It has long life rechargeable batteries that are charged by winding the handle. The bulbs are no need to replace LEDs of which there is three, these shine white light rather than yellow which I prefer. You can have one bulb or all the bulbs on by pressing the button on and off (I didn't know this until playing with it for this review). The torch itself is a nice sized silver coloured plastic with a pull out winding handle. There is an on/off button and rubber hand grips run along both sides. Looking at it I would say it's about six inches long, three wide and two inches in depth. The torch is surprisingly light in weight. It's comfortable to hold and fits well in my pocket. In Use: To wind the torch you just pull the handle out and wind it round and round for a few minutes. It is easy to wind up there is no stiffness and only minimal resistance. It does make quite a whirring sound as it's winding and people can certainly hear me coming!. The torch lights for about 25 minutes before needing to be fully rewound, but is only bright for around 10-15 minutes after this time the light fades. I just give it a top up wind. The winding mechanism is still in working order and hasn't loosened from loads of winding. It's not a powerful torch and just lights the immediate way ahead but is perfectly adequate for walking in the dark or finding things in the back of the cupboard which is what I use it most often for. I've had this for ages and used it alot, the bulbs are all still working and the wind up handle is still in good condition, it's also much easier than looking around for batteries so for that reason I would recommend it. 5 stars from me.
I wonder how many people have missed this torch because Dooyoo have called it a 'headlamp' when it is actually called a 'dynamo torch'. Either way, I bought 2 of these many years ago to put one in each of our cars after suddenly finding out late one night, whilst trying to do a tyre change, that our trusty battery torch had gone flat. So never to be left in that dark situation again, I invested in these wind-up or dynamo torches to ensure that I would be able to have light when I needed it. At the time, I think I paid something like £5 each for them. The torch itself feels quite chunky in your hand, being about 15cm long, 6cm wide and 4.5cm deep. Being made of plastic, it is also very light weight and has some small cushioned rubber type strips on either side to help with gripping and holding the torch. At the front of the device you have the clear lens which houses the 3 super bright LEDs, where the overall lens has 3 separate smaller lens moulded into it, one to focus the light for each LED. Now the purpose of the LEDs is to emit light when the torch is switched on. But the beauty of LEDS is that they are designed to emit quite a lot of light whilst using little power, and by building up LEDs in sets (in this case 3 together) you can get quite a good beam of light emitted. Hence, that is why many modern torch manufacturers are starting to use LEDs in their devices in order to get good light output for little battery usage, thus giving a greater duration of the torch batteries. Looking around the torch further, on the top you have a rubber protected push button on off switch, and moving around to the bottom of the torch, you have the business end where the winding handle is. Now this has actually been very cleverly designed. The handle hinges around the winding spindle and is 10cm long. On the end of the handle you have grip which pivots on the end of the handle. So the idea is that you wind the handle round and round to charge the internal battery up. When not is use, the handle folds away flat against the torch, where the grip sits into the little recess at the base of the torch. So what's it like to use? Well winding the torch up is a breeze. You will feel a slight resistance from the internal generator, but the length of the handle and the size of the grip ensures that winding the torch is an easy operation, and the handle and mechanism itself feels quite robust. Winding for about a minute will give me about 20 - 25 minutes duration of a fairly strong light, but what you do find is that that light will gradually fade off during that duration. So the first 10-15 minutes will be fairly bright after which it will start to fade out. To overcome this, the idea then is to wind the handle again for about another minute to recharge the battery and get your bright light going again. Is it any good? Well personally, I think it is brilliant, especially considering that it doesn't need to use any conventional batteries, and hence uses green energy. Whilst the light output is not 'earth shattering', it is bright enough to see what you are doing and where you are going. I have used it several times for various issues with or around the car, or to see the pathway to someone's door, and in each case it has been more than adequate. It's also been dropped and scraped several times to no ill effect, with no cracks on the casing bar a scuff mark or 2. It is also designed to be splash proof, and we have tested that theory after dropping it in a puddle, again with no problems. In summary, after several years of use (and abuse), this torch is still going strong and has never let us down. Having already found myself in a situation with a flat torch in the middle of the night, this wind-up variety has been an absolute god send in terms of reliability, giving me light when I needed it, and all wrapped up in a robust tough design that is easy to operate. So this easily justifies a 5* recommendation.
I'm not quite sure why I have this, it's just one of those things you have lying around that you seem to have had forever but don't know when or how you got it. It has however come in very useful for powercuts and finding my way around the stables to work with my horse after dark. Since I've had it around for so long I can't remember how much I paid for it or where I've got it from but similar items are available both on Amazon and in camping stores for around £10; when you consider how much you save in batteries it will easily pay for itself. The charge comes from a windup mechanism which is strong and durable. Over the years it has been dropped several times and has not been damaged. There is a button on the top to turn the torch on and off and there are three light settings - bright, brighter and flashing. All of which work well and I have had no problems with any of them. The only problem I have found with the mechanism itself is that it is incredibly painful when you hit yourself with the handle whilst turning it! This is actually the reason it has been dropped so many times although it's probably a fault on my end as opposed to a fault with the torch itself! I have found that over the years I need to wind the torch more often to get the torch to stay on and where as once charged it used to hold its power it doesn't anymore and so I need to wind it up every time I turn it on but this is nothing more then a minor inconvenience and doesn't cause a problem for me. Once you have finished winding it the handle folds into the body of the torch so it is easier to hold. The light itself is provided by 3 bright LED's and when it's fully wound up the light is enough to see across a room so not really suitable for finding your way across country but still decent little torch which I would recommend. The torch gives out a good light, easily enough to see where you are going or even to read something. It really is quite powerful.
When working on a campsite it gets very very dark at night, especially when your live area has no street lamps apart from the lights in your tent. When getting up in the middle of the night to ermmm, have an alfresco wee, then its best to have a torch to stop you tripping over or stepping on a bograt (which frequented our live area regularly). I didnt want to have to take anything that needed batteries with me, as enough batteries for 2 months is a bit heavy, so my dad lent me his wind up torch. To use, rotate the handle fast for about a minute, this gives you a bright light which can be turned on and off with the button on top. The handle folds neatly into the torch so can be held less awkwardly. This torch is a fair few years old now, so you have to wind it up more to get the best light from it. However I dont mind doing this, and everyone wanted to borrow it when they had to leave the live area on emergency duty. A good buy for powercuts, camping and dark places. Its better for the environment as you dont have to worry about disposing of batteries, and its nice and light!
This torch is a great little invention. One was bought for me a couple of years ago before I was going out to Africa for the first time. It's absolutely ideal for those times when there is no power or you are in the middle of nowhere at night and need to see where you are going. The wind-up mechanism is easy and tough (despite being dropped on numerous occasions, there has never been a hint of damage.) Say goodbye to expensive batteries that are always running out at the most inconvenient time and in the most inconvenient place. The torch gives out a good light, easily enough to see where you are going or even to read something. It really is quite powerful. The only downside is that it can be a bit annoying if you are using it to read a book. As I said above, I've had this torch for a couple of years (and it's had some serious regular use) and maybe the internal battery is losing a bit of its capacity to hold charge. Whatever the reason, the light does seem to start to dimish after some minutes. Not a problem if you are just nipping to the loo but more of a problem if you're lying in bed trying to read that last chapter of a book that you're hooked on. Having to stop every 5/10 minutes to wind up the torch again is a real pain. Still, all in all, a great product that I would recommend highly. P.S. Although this torch is great for finding your way around and doing stuff close at hand, don't expect to use it for a search party. This is not an all powerful outdoor flashlight but an excellent indoor hand torch. Mine was given to me as a gift but I don't believe that they are particularly expensive to purchase and you will definitely get your money back due to not having to keep purchasing new batteries.
This little gadget is a great idea. I have had one for a few months now and we keep it by the electricity cupboard when it is not travelling with me! When a fuse goes in the house, (which seems to happen every couple of months or so,) it is impossible to see which fuse has tripped without a torch. With this torch you don't have to worry about the batteries going dead in the meantime because you wind it up yourself. One minute of winding gets you about fifty minutes of light! I find that remarkable! They are also handy when travelling if you end up in a room with no bedside lamp. You have to get out of bed to put the light out and then you are awake again! I often read myself to sleep and have run torch batteries down on numerous occasions. It doesn't matter if I do this with this wind up torch. I love it! (Lazy aren't I?) It is not hard to wind at all, the only problem I have found with it is that occasionally it can shoot out of my hand because it is quite small. It is sometimes hard to grip properly and not get your fingers in the way of the winder. It might just be me being a bit clumsy. The torch has three light settings. The first one is adequate though and I hardly ever use the second brighter one. It has a flashing setting too which would be handy for signalling an alert warning if you broke down in an unlit place. It has three superbright LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) in my experience with other torches and gadgets these don't ever wear out. The winder tucks away neatly when not in use and is easy to get at when you want it. The amount of light you get from one little torch is astonishing. It was a present to me from a friend and it had already been used, but I think it cost him about £8.00. When you think of the saving in replacement batteries and the subsequent fiddling around, I think this is a reasonable price to pay. (Unless you are lucky enough to get one free like I did!) It is quite sleek design. The case is silver and black coloured. I haven't seen any signs of wear or dulling of the casing and it has had a lot of use. As I said earlier, I have dropped it a couple of times and it hasn't dented or broken so it is quite sturdy. I don't know why it is called a headlamp because I don't see how it would fit to a bike and it doesn't have an elasticated strap to fit on your head like some little torches do. I didn't get it in the original packet so perhaps there is a bracket missing. (I thought about trying to balance it on my head but that would be silly!) So, no more worrying about batteries, no light bulbs burning out, it's light, very neat, gives a good amount of light and doesn't cost much. What more could you ask for £8.00?
NB: For some reason Dooyoo have called this a headlamp when in fact it is purely a torch. ------------------------------------ A little while back my dear old mum went on one of her shopping sprees and amongst the carrier bags of unneeded tat was a new torch, not just any torch but a wind up one, in fact a Uni-Com 54849 Wind Up Torch. Now I must admit I thought this was just going to be another piece of rubbish which ends up buried at the back of her cupboards, especially as she already had two traditional (battery) torches sitting on the side in the kitchen. Well several months later I am actually eating my words as those two traditional torches are now buried in the cupboards and the wind up torch is now the main one, after proving its worth. >>>> You're winding me up So what is a Uni-Com 54849 Wind Up Torch? Well to be honest it is not much different to your bog standard torch except that it has a rechargeable battery pack enclosed which is ingeniously charged by using a wind up handle. Of course it is not that simple and inside the torch are some clever workings which use gears and a dynamo to turn the winding into electricity. The other change from a standard torch is in the bulbs, in this case the torch has three white LED's which I believe are more energy efficient than your standard light bulb, as per the reason for using them in this torch. >>>> Go on crank my knob So to use this little beauty there is a fold away arm which fits snugly into the body of the torch, which you flip out to enable the winding mechanism. Grip the body of the torch in your hand and then turn the arm to start charging the torch. One of the good things about this torch is that you can wind it either clockwise or anti-clockwise so it is well designed for both left and right handed people. Though it does say that once you start the winding you should keep going in the same direction until you have finished. The actual design of this winding mechanism and the arm is pretty decent as on the end of the arm is a knob which you can grip while cranking away, and there are no other protrusions which you can scuff your hand on whilst charging the torch up. The only concern for me when using this cranking mechanism is snapping it, as whilst it is not flimsy in any manner I can imagine putting a little too much pressure on the arm will cause it to break. Once you have finished charging the torch, there is a simple on off button on the top of the torch for, as you would expect switching it on and off. >>>> The longer you crank the longer I last The instructions say that a minutes worth of charging will result in 30 minutes light, they also mention that they call a minutes charging as 120 revolutions. But to be honest, although it is not tough to crank the charging arm doing 120 revolutions in a minute would be going some and I have clocked 120 revolutions at a minute and a half. Surprisingly doing 120 revolutions does make the torch last for half an hour, actually I clocked it as 35 minutes which is quite impressive. So being inquisitive I discharged the torch completely and then recharged it by giving it 240 revolutions and the torch then lasted for an hour and a quarter of constant use. Like all battery operated appliances, the batteries do lose there charge after period of inactivity and after a month of the torch sitting dormant it did loose about 10 minutes from a standard 120 revolutions charge. But this is not such a huge issue as you can just give it a few more turns of the crank to get more life out of it. To be honest I was a bit sceptical at how powerful this torch would be, partly due to the winding mechanism but mainly because of using LED lights. I needn't have had any concerns as this torch is just as powerful as any normal household torch, thanks to the plastic lens which covers the three LEDS magnifying the light brilliantly. In fact to put this to the test, the beam is powerful enough to reach a good 15 metres before it seems to fade out, more than adequate for use round the home or for in the car as an emergency torch. It is also okay for close up work but the three separate lights do not focus into one light until the torch is about 20cm from the object. NB. Do not stare straight into the light it does hurt and it will blind you for a few minutes ....... >>>> Nice and thick and easy to grip What is really nice about this torch is that it fits firmly in your hand despite not being the typical cylindrical shape. With the dimensions 145 x 55 x 45mm (LxWxD) it is not too big and surprising light weight. On either side of the torch are to rubber strips which act as grips and are so firmly attached to the torch that no amount of picking at them will remove them, not that you would wanted. The body of the torch is made from plastic and is pretty robust as having dropped the torch on concrete it only shows a minor scuff mark. It is also states that it is water resistant on the packaging, but I would say that it is more splash/ rain proof and would not recommend plunging the torch into water. As already mentioned the lens is made of molded plastic and is in fact three separate lenses for each of the LEDs. The only negative when it comes to this torch, and not really a major issue, is the fact it is only available in silver with black grips. >>>> Technical Gubbins Rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries (3.6 volts 80 m AH) Output power < 1W Dimensions 145 x 55 x 45mm (LxWxD) >>>> Where can I lay my hands on one Well this particular brand of wind up torch is available from a couple of non main stream websites, with prices ranging from £4.99 up to £8.99. But they can also be found in Wilkinsons at a decent price of £3.99, which personally I feel is pretty decent and will probably pay for itself after about two years, in saving on batteries. >>>> Summary Despite my initial feelings of what a waste of money, I can honestly say that I cannot really fault this torch. Not only has it been designed so that anyone can use it, but it saves on having to replace batteries all the time. I suppose I would have liked to have seen the winding arm/ mechanism made stronger, but then again I can say that even after much use the mechanism on my mothers torch still seems in brilliant order. There are numerous other brands and makes of wind up torches available, some with 5 LEDs, some which also have a radio, most of which are more expensive than this model. So I would definitely recommend this as not only does it do the job brilliantly you are also doing your bit for the environment by not using standard batteries and also by not using mains electricity to charge the device. © Christianfilm July 2007
Torches and Lighting. 3 x Superbright LEDs. Splash resistant. To charge the headlamp, simply pull it from its fixing and you'll see the concealed handle, which folds out. Turn it for about a minute and that's it no need to ever buy torch batteries again! Once removed from its fixing, there's nothing to stop you using it as a normal torch, too. This wind-up headlamp really is a carp angler's dream. It's so annoying when your headlamp batteries run out. Even more so when you get to the bank and notice that your headlamp has magically turned itself on in your bag and drained the batteries! No chance of that happening now!