Long Running Emergency LED Flashlights/Lanterns/Etc for Blackouts

Any flashlight can be used and should be used in a blackout as they are safer than candles which pose a fire risk. Moreover, with newer technology, battery operated LED devices may produce more light with longer runtimes than candles.

The following explores a few devices with long runtimes for blackouts. Most were found in-store at local retailers.


Search Criteria

There are many qualities to look for in a portable lighting device for blackouts. They are listed below in order of importance.

  • Batteries – It should use batteries commonly found in stores or around the house
    • AA and D cells are the most common batteries
    • In a longterm blackout D cells and C cells are hard to find instore
      • Consider keeping a stash for emergency use, they are good for 10 years
    • Single cell flashlights are effective with used batteries
      • Only one battery is required
      • Alkaline battery leakage is less likely
      • Pairing batteries (similar type and charge) is not an issue
    • AA and AAA batteries may be found in remotes, toothbrushes, clocks, thermostats, etc
  • Price – Cost is factor when purchasing multiple units
    • The light should be placed in storage for emergency use
    • Multiple lights will be required by family members and for multiple rooms
    • Neighbors / strangers may need a light
      • Loaned lights might not be returned . . . it may be easier to give them away
  • Low Lumens / Long Runtimes – Efficiency is important for long periods of blackouts
    • Blackouts can last for multiple days
    • The most useful lights are those with long runtimes
    • In pitch black a low lumen light is all that is required to see and move around safely
      • Less than a lumen of light is too little to be of use
      • 5 lumens is plenty of light to see indoors and it won’t ruin night vision
      • 10 lumens or more can ruin night vision
      • 20 lumens or more can start lighting a room
    • There is a correlation between long runtimes and low lumens
      • LEDs tend to be more efficient at lower currents (5 mA -20 mA)
      • Alkaline batteries are more efficient in low drain devices
  • Simplicity – Ease of Use
    • Simple operation is best
    • It’s dark and the light needs to be turned on
    • Other people / children may need to operate the light
    • Fewer modes increases the ease of use
  • Design – Hands free use is best
    • The light should be able to stand or sit freely on a table
    • 360° illumination is ideal for lighting a room
    • Ability to hang the light is also a bonus
  • Quality – Construction and Durability
    • A good light is a working light
    • Primary use will be indoors
    • The light may dropped or knocked over
    • Animals, children, or guests may fiddle with the light
  • Weather Proof – For outdoor use
    • Can be used in the rain
    • O-rings make it water resistant
  • Battery Caddy – Separate plastic carrier module to hold the batteries
    • They can be lost or broken, rendering the light without a power source
    • Cause problems when changing batteries in the dark

Emergency LED Lights

Ideal portable devices for blackouts may be LED flashlights, LED headlamps, LED lanterns, LED candles, or LED glow sticks. The following are some devices purchased and tested.

Coleman 1AAA Glow Stick

Coleman 1AAA Glow Stick
Batteries: 1xAAA
Price Paid: $2.98
Simplicity: 4 Mode Push Button – Glow / Flashlight / Combo / Flash
Design: Can stand on a table / Lanyard hole / Wearable / 360°
Quality: Good, Designed for children
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: Yes
Claimed Ratings: None
Notes: A glow stick using a single AAA battery! Most use 3 miniature batteries.
Works well with used batteries even at 0.8 volts. Joule thief.

Dorcy 41-1017 4 LED Lantern

Dorcy 41-1017 4 LED Lantern
Batteries: 4xAA
Price Paid: $8
Simplicity: 1 Mode Switch
Design: Can stand on a table / Built-in hang hook within the handle / 360°
Quality: Cheap plastic
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: 40 lumens / 70 hours
Notes: Nice long runtime but construction and quality is poor.

Dorcy 41-2339 1D LED Frostbrite

Dorcy 41-2339 1D LED Frostrbrite
Batteries: 1xD
Price Paid: $5.00
Simplicity: 1 Mode Sliding Switch
Design: Can stand on a table, Hanging ring
Quality: Cheap thin plastic
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: 50 hours (Heavy Duty Battery)
Notes: 3 LEDs with TrueSpot Reflector.
Claimed runtime is for heavy duty batteries.
Alkaline batteries would be at least double the runtime.
Works well with used batteries. Joule thief.

Dorcy 41-2350 2D LED Worklight Flashlight

Dorcy 41-2350 2D LED Worklight Flashlight
Batteries: 2xD
Price Paid: $7.69
Simplicity: 1 Mode Push Button
Design: Can stand on a table
Quality: Heavy duty plastic and rubber
Weather Proof: Yes
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 20 lumens / 123 hours (Heavy Duty Battery)
Notes: A tough and cheap weather resistant flashlight.
Claimed runtime is for heavy duty batteries.
Alkaline batteries would be at least double the runtime.
Poor cutoff voltage at 1.15 V / battery

Dorcy 41-3108 Waterproof Floating Lantern

Dorcy 41-3108 Waterproof Floating Lantern
Batteries: 4xD
Price Paid: $29.99
Simplicity: 3 Mode Switch
Design: Can stand on a table / Built-in hang hook within the handle / 360°
Quality: Good, Strong Plastic
Weather Proof: IPX-7, Double O-rings
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: 400 lumens / 100 hours
Normal / 200 hours
Amber / 1000 hours
Notes: Brightest setting lights a whole room like a 40 watt bulb.
Glare is minimal.
Remote Phosphor LED.

Energizer Compact Headlight (HDV22E)

Energizer Compact Headlight (HDV22E)
Batteries: 2xAAA
Price Paid: $9.97
Simplicity: 1 Mode Push Button
Design: Can stand on a table / Wearable / Headlamp
Quality: Okay
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 45 lumens / 18 hours
Notes: Small, cheap, and light weight

Energizer Weatheready 3 in 1 Led Light (WRTWL41E)

Energizer Weatheready 3 in 1 Led Light (WRTWL41E)
Batteries: 4xAA
Price Paid: $7.50
Simplicity: 3 Mode Push Button – Flashlight / Lantern / Nightlight
Design: Can stand on a table / Lanyard hangs at an angle / 360°
Quality: Good
Weather Proof: Yes, O-rings
Battery Caddy: Yes
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 27 lumens / 60 hours (Flashlight)
40 lumens / 40 hours (Lantern)
N/A (Nightlight)
Notes: A unique and versatile LED light.

Energizer Weatheready 360° LED Area Light (WRLMF35E)

Energizer Weatheready 360 LED Area Light (WRLMF35E)
Batteries: 3xAA or 3xD
Price Paid: $3
Simplicity: 3 Mode Push Button – High / Low / Nightlight
Design: Can stand on a table / Bottom Hook / Handle / 360°
Quality: Good
Weather Proof: Yes, O-rings
Battery Caddy: D Cells: No, AA Cells: Yes
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 55 lumens (High) / 195 hours (D Cells) / 29 Hours (AA Cells)
28 lumens (Low) / 380 hours (D Cells) / 58 Hours (AA Cells)
N/A (Nightlight)
Notes: Found this at a thrift store for $3.
Missing bottom rubber protection.
Versatile lantern uses D cells or AA cells (with included adapter)

Energizer Weatheready Compact Led Light (WRCLD41E)

Energizer Weatheready Compact Led Light (WRCLD41E)
Batteries: 4xAA
Price Paid: $5
Simplicity: 1 Mode Sliding Switch
Design: Can stand on a table
Quality: Good, Rubberized grip and head
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: Yes
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 19 lumens / 77 hours
Notes: A no frills stubby flashlight.

Energizer Weatheready LED Folding Lantern (WRCLD41E)

Energizer Weatheready LED Folding Lantern (FL452WRBP)
Batteries: 4xD
Price Paid: $10
Simplicity: 3 Mode Switch – Nightlight / Low / High
Design: Can stand on a table / 360° / Handle
Quality: Good
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 80 lumens / 135 hours (Low)
N/A (High)
N/A (Nightlight)
Notes: Unique and well designed lantern for long blackouts.

Energizer Safety Light (WRCL11E)

Energizer Weatheready Safety Light (WRCL11E)
Batteries: 1xAA
Price Paid: $5.39
Simplicity: 1 Mode Push Button
Design: Can stand on a table / Carabiner
Quality: Good
Weather Proof: Yes
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 19 lumens / 6 hours 45 minutes
Notes: Surprisingly useful light and beam pattern.
Decent side spill when table standing.

Eveready 2pk 1xD LED (EVEL15S)

Eveready 2pk 1xD LED (EVEL15S)
Batteries: 1xD
Price Paid: $7.99 for Eveready LED Economy Flashlight 2pk
Simplicity: 1 Mode Push Button
Design: Can stand on a table
Quality: Poor – Standard Eveready light plastic
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 8 lumens / 50 hours (Heavy Duty Battery)
Notes: Works well with used batteries. Joule thief.
Claimed runtime is for heavy duty batteries.
Alkaline batteries would be at least double the runtime.
Cheap and weak plastic body.
Use a bicycle inner tube to rubberize the flashlight.

Eveready Floating Lantern 2014 (5109LS)

Eveready Floating Lantern 2014 (5109LS)
Batteries: 1×6V Lantern
Price Paid: $7.42
Simplicity: 1 Mode Push Button
Design: Can stand on a table / Handle
Quality: Good
Weather Proof: Yes
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 50 lumens / 100 hours (Heavy Duty Battery)
Notes: Claimed runtime is for heavy duty batteries.
Alkaline batteries would be at least double the runtime.
Floats on water.

Home Accents Holiday LED Tealights 42100HDC

Home Accents Holiday LED Tealights 42100HDC
Batteries: 1xCR2032 (3V Lithium Coin – 240 mAh to 2.0 volts)
Price Paid: $9.98 for 24
Simplicity: 1 Mode Switch
Design: Can stand on a table / 360°
Quality: Fair
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: None
Notes: Too little light when it flickers. Need multiple units.
Very cheap and useful to buy in bulk for blackouts.
Lithium coin cells are expensive to replace.

Lord & Taylor LED Candle 3×5

Lord & Taylor-LED Candle-3x5
Batteries: 2xAA
Price Paid: $2.38
Simplicity: 1 Mode Switch
Design: Can stand on a table / 360°
Quality: Made of wax
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: None
Notes: Flickers, but enough light.
Very cheap and useful to buy in bulk for blackouts.

Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier

Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier
Batteries: 3xAA
Price Paid: $2.50
Simplicity: 2 Mode Switch – Steady on / Timer (6h on / 18h off)
Design: Can stand on a table / 360°
Quality: Cheap hollow plastic
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: None
Notes: Steady constant light.
Very long runtime with a useful timer mode.
Does not work with NiMH batteries.

Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier 3C

Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier 3C
Batteries: 3xC
Price Paid: $4.49
Simplicity: 2 Mode Switch – Steady on / Timer (6h on / 18h off)
Design: Can stand on a table / 360°
Quality: Cheap hollow plastic
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: None
Notes: 3 LED candles built into 1 unit.
Batteries inserted into 1 row inside base.
Steady constant light.
Very long runtime with a useful timer mode.
Does not work with NiMH batteries.

Rayovac (VB1DLED-BA)

Rayovac (VB1DLED-BA)
Batteries: 1xD
Price Paid: $4.99
Simplicity: 1 Mode Sliding Switch
Design: Can stand on a table
Quality: Fair
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 9 lumens / 52 hours (Heavy Duty Battery)
Notes: Works well with used batteries. Joule thief.
Claimed runtime is for heavy duty batteries.
Alkaline batteries would be at least double the runtime.
Cheap plastic body better than Eveready (EVEL15S).
Sliding switch is stiff.
Features an easily replaceable 1.5V PR2 LED bulb.

Rayovac Sportsman 4D Camper Lantern (SP4D-KB) + Rayovac LED Upgrade (4V6VLED-1T)

Rayovac Sportsman 4D Camper Lantern (SP4D-KB)
Rayovac LED Upgrade (4V6VLED-1T)-1Rayovac LED Upgrade (4V6VLED-1T)-2
Dorcy Replacement Bulb LED (41-1644)-1Dorcy Replacement Bulb LED (41-1644)-2
Batteries: 4xD
Price Paid: $10.50 (Lantern) + $4.99 (LED)
Simplicity: 1 Mode Switch
Design: Can stand on a table / Handle / Hook Accessory / 360°
Quality: Fantastic
Weather Proof: Yes, O-rings
Battery Caddy: Yes
Claimed Ratings: Rayovac LED Upgrade – 40 Lumens, 6V / 0.13A / 0.8W
Dorcy Replacement Bulb LED – 40 Lumens
Notes: Very rugged and tough. Designed for outdoor use.
Easily replaceable PR2 bulb.
PR2 Krypton bulb was replaced with a PR2 LED
PR2 LEDs, Rayovac (4V6VLED-1T) and Dorcy (41-1644), were tested separately.
Floats on water.

Ventura Mini Lantern (20201)

Ventura Mini Lantern (20201)
Batteries: 3xAA
Price Paid: $9.97
Simplicity: 2 Mode Switch – High / Low
Design: Can stand on a table / 360° / Handle
Quality: Fair
Weather Proof: No, but it does have a rubber seal.
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings (FL 1): 75 lumens / 28 hours (High)
10 lumens / 296 hours (Low)
Notes: Exaggerated claims.
Good low mode for a cheap price.

Zebralight H50

Zebralight H50
Batteries: 1xAA
Price Paid: ~$50
Simplicity: 3 Mode Twisty – Low / Medium / High
Design: Can stand on a table / Wearable / Headlamp
Quality: Great
Weather Proof: Waterproof
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: Runtime with Sanyo 2700 (NiMH)
66 lumens / 140 minutes
13 lumens / 19 hours
2.6 lumens / 3.5 days
Notes: Excellent headlamp but expensive.

9V DIY Flashlight

DIY 9V Flashlight
Batteries: 1×9V
Price Paid: ~$3
Simplicity: 1 Mode Switch
Design: Can stand on a table
Quality: Great
Weather Proof: No
Battery Caddy: No
Claimed Ratings: None
Notes: A simple DIY 9V Flashlight. Add a resistor before the LED anode.
Enclosed 3xAA Battery Holder with switch – $0.88
Super bright LED from dollar store flashlight (Picture) – $1.00
9V Battery Clip – $0.25
1000 ohm Resister – $0.02

Current Draw

Most LED flashlights, LED lanterns, LED candles, and LED glow sticks do not list the current draw, let alone the current draw for the lowest lumen setting. It is useful to know for calculating the runtime. With all else being equal, the lower the current draw the longer the runtime and the lower the lumen output.

With a bunch of different battery operated LED lights with inaccurate or little to no runtime data stated on the packaging, I was interested in determining the lights with the longest runtimes at the lowest setting. As long as it emits aorund 5 or more lumens, the efficiency or lumens/watt was not important; though, it does correlate with longer runtimes.

Anyway, a multimeter was used to measure the current draw, in milliamps (mA). Multi-mode devices were set to their lowest lumen setting. The lower the reading, the better.

Description Batteries Current (mA) Note(s)
Coleman 1AAA Glow Stick 1xAAA 90* *Fresh battery, Current drops as voltage drops
25** **Weak battery (0.96V), Still bright enough
20*** ***Weak battery (0.82V), Still bright enough, Joule thief
Dorcy 41-1017 4 LED Lantern 4xAA 100 4 LED Luxeons driven at ~25 mA/each
Dorcy 41-2339 1D LED Frostbrite 1xD 100 3 Super Bright LEDs
Dorcy 41-2350 2D LED Worklight Flashlight 2xD 60* *Fresh battery, Current drops as voltage drops
30** **Good battery (1.45V)
~0*** ***Ok battery (1.15V), Too dim to see
Dorcy 41-3108 Waterproof Floating Lantern 4xD 64 Amber LED mode
Energizer Compact Headlight (HDV22E) 2xAAA 85 Fresh battery, Current drops as voltage drops
Energizer Weatheready 3 in 1 Led Light (WRTWL41E) 4xAA 29 Nightlight Amber LED mode
Energizer Weatheready 360° LED Area Light (WRLMF35E) 3xD or 3xAA 36 Nightlight Amber LED mode
Energizer Weatheready Compact Led Light (WRCLD41E) 4xAA 70 2 LEDs driven at ~35 mA/each
Energizer Weatheready LED Folding Lantern (FL452WRBP) 4xD 28 Nightlight Amber LED mode
Energizer Safety Light (WRCL11E) 1xAA 415 Fresh battery, Current drops as voltage drops
Eveready 2pk 1xD LED (EVEL15S) 1xD 80* *Fresh battery, Current drops as voltage drops
18** **Weak battery (1.15V), Still bright enough
Eveready Floating Lantern 2014 (5109LS) 6V Lantern 185 Fresh heavy duty battery
Home Accents Holiday LED Tealights 42100HDC 1xCR2032 3-12 Flickering LED, current varies
Lord & Taylor LED Candle 3×5 2xAA 6-20 Flickering LED, current varies
Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier 3xAA 18 Steady on mode (no flicker)
Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier 3C 3xC 50 3 LEDs, Steady on mode (no flicker)
Rayovac (VB1DLED-BA) 1xD 97* *Fresh battery, Current drops as voltage drops
42** **Weak battery (1.15V), Still bright enough
Rayovac Sportsman 4D Camper Lantern (SP4D-KB) 4xD 140* *Test 1: Krypton bulb replaced with Rayovac LED Upgrade (4V6VLED-1T), Fresh batteries
140** **Test 2: Krypton bulb replaced with Dorcy Replacement Bulb LED (41-1644), Fresh batteries
Ventura Mini Lantern (20201) 3xAA 24 Low mode
Zebralight H50 1xAA 28 Low mode
9V DIY Flashlight 1×9V 5 1000 ohm resistor

Alkaline Battery Capacity

Data Sheets are available at the manufacturer’s website

The following tables list approximate battery capacity for standard Alkaline cells to 0.8V and 21 °C based on the manufacturer’s data sheets.

Common Cells

Description Current Draw (mA) Runtime (H) Capacity (mAh)
D 25 800 20000
D 50 350 17500
D 100 160 16000
C 25 324 8100
C 100 75 7500
AA 5 650 3250
AA 10 310 3100
AA 25 110 2750
AA 50 52 2600
AA 100 25 2500
AAA 10 130 1300
AAA 25 49 1225
AAA 50 23 1150
AAA 100 10 1000

9V Batteries (6LR61)

Description Current Draw (mA) Runtime (H) Capacity (mAh)
9V 2 345 690
9V 10 60 600
9V 50 10 500
9V 100 4 400

6V Lantern Batteries (4LR25)

Description Current Draw (mA) Runtime (H) Capacity (mAh)
Four 3-361 in series 25 1040 26000
Four 3-361 in series 100 190 19000
Four 3-350 in series 25 840 21000
Four 3-350 in series 100 150 15000

Heavy Duty Battery Capacity

The following tables list approximate battery capacity for Carbon Zinc (Heavy Duty) cells to 0.8V and 21 °C based on Energizer’s data sheets.

Common Cells

Description Current Draw (mA) Runtime (H) Capacity (mAh)
D 25 320 8000
D 50 135 6750
D 100 61 6100
C 25 152 3800
C 100 22 2200
AA 25 44 1100
AA 50 20 1000
AA 100 8 800

9V Batteries (6LR61)

Description Current Draw (mA) Runtime (H) Capacity (mAh)
9V 5 64 320
9V 15 13 195
9V 25 5.2 130

6V Lantern Batteries (4R25)

Description Current Draw (mA) Runtime (H) Capacity (mAh)
Four No. 60 in series 25 440 11000
Four No. 60 in series 100 92 9200

Runtime List

The following list the lights in order of longest runtime of usable light with alkaline batteries. However to determine the order, a score is assigned that estimates the runtime based on ideal and simplified calculations taking into effect the battery capacity and LED.

  • Home Accents Holiday LED Tealights 42100HDC are excluded from the list due to flickering and insufficient light. In addition, they use Lithium batteries. Runtime score is 75.
  • The Lord & Taylor LED Candle 3×5 is excluded from the list due to flickering, though sufficient light is still produced. Runtime score is 412.
Description Batteries Runtime Score
Energizer Weatheready LED Folding Lantern (FL452WRBP) 4xD 1428
Energizer Weatheready 360° LED Area Light (WRLMF35E) 3xD 833
Dorcy 41-3108 Waterproof Floating Lantern 4xD 546
Dorcy 41-2350 2D LED Worklight Flashlight 2xD 291
Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier 3xAA 229
Philips Warm White Battery Operated LED Candolier 3C 3xC 225
Energizer Weatheready 3 in 1 Led Light (WRTWL41E) 4xAA 189
Eveready Floating Lantern 2014 (5109LS) 6V Lantern 184
Ventura Mini Lantern (20201) 3xAA 172
Rayovac (VB1DLED-BA) 1xD 164
Dorcy 41-2339 1D LED Frostbrite 1xD 160
9V DIY Flashlight 1×9V 130
Rayovac Sportsman 4D Camper Lantern (SP4D-KB)
+ LED Upgrade (4V6VLED-1T or 41-1644)
4xD 107
Eveready 2pk 1xD LED (EVEL15S) 1xD 100
Energizer Weatheready Compact Led Light (WRCLD41E) 4xAA 72
Dorcy 41-1017 4 LED Lantern 4xAA 50
Zebralight H50 1xAA 49
Energizer Compact Headlight (HDV22E) 2xAAA 12
Coleman 1AAA Glow Stick 1xAAA 11
Energizer Safety Light (WRCL11E) 1xAA 3.86


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