The Hydra Light Product Review

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I got word a water powered Flashlight was heading my way for a product review & immediately pictured a contraption with a propeller to dip in a running stream, or some penlight hooked up to a water bottle. Instead, I got the Hydra Light, a foot long, rubber-coated, yellow & black plastic cylinder, looking every inch a serious lighting device. It sported some heft to it too, but strangely, no propeller or water tank.  Instead, inside it was a long white cylinder where a battery would be, with two metal ends and holes along the length of it’s sides.

End-cap with fold-out hook

 

 

 

The end-cap flares out forming a stable base with a recessed fold-out plastic hook to hang it upside down. (Although I doubt the hook will hold up long.)

At the business end, a clear plastic lamp bezel sports a mirrored concave top cover, and an aperture in the center. Around the single white LED inside the bezel, was more mirrored plastic.

The bezel does double duty. Slide the bezel fully extended, the light is configured as a lantern. With the bezel retracted, it becomes a directed flashlight, projecting the light out the end through the aperture.

So far, it LOOKS like a flashlight. But now what’s up with this white plastic can-like tube inside, where a proper battery would be? It looked intriguing.

The fuel cell of tomorrow?

I learned it’s the fuel cell that relies on a process of Ion Transfer involving oxygen as fuel. The Hydra-Light fuel cell has a generous heft to it. It rattles, which I assume is something that somehow reacts to moisture.

I began to figure out that this ISN’T a water POWERED flashlight as the advertising implies. Instead, water is used another way, as a CONDUCTOR.

A chemical reaction occurs when two dissimilar forms of metal interact with each other. It’s called ELECTROLYSIS. Simply put, molecular ions from one metal flows to another metal when a current path between the two is present. A common example of electrolysis is galvanic corrosion…how Iron becomes rusty when exposed to oxygen. All it takes is a conductor. It just so happens WATER is a conductor, and it’s conductivity is greatly increased when MINERALS are dissolved in it.

It clicked…(like a light bulb over my head). Inside this moistened fuel cell container, enough electrical current is generated when the contents of the fuel cell is moistened and exposed to oxygen, causing Ions to flow from one metal end-cap to the other .

Even though it only takes water to create electrical current, there’s not a whole lot of electrical current being produced. There’s another component in this that makes it work… a super efficient LED!

The star of the show is this LED

LED’s have revolutionized lighting. Light Emitting Diodes have become very efficient after years of development, all but replacing the incandescent light bulb. Being able to radiate bright white light from very little energy, modern LED’s are now the ideal low cost, low maintenance, long-life light source.

And it’s a single LED that makes everything happen.

Now…Something needs pointing out.

While this Ion transfer process results in electrical current being generated, there isn’t a LOT of electrical current. So while the LED is efficiently producing light, it’s not the brightest of lights. The Hydra Light isn’t meant to blind, it’s made to produce light, JUST using water!

 

Within these narrow constraints, the Hydra Light DOES IT’S JOB, LIKE NO OTHER!

The Hydra Light is ideally suited as a emergency light source, one that can provide light with just water, without ANY other technology.  I get that, and anyone who is desperately NEEDING light when ALL ELSE FAILS would get that too.

The Hydra-Light boasts up to 100 hours of continuous service. One short dunking of the fuel cell in water is all it takes.

THAT I put to the test.

I dipped the power cell in a glass of tap water, shook out the excess water, slipped it in the Hydra Light, and turned it on.  The LED immediately produced a bright blue-white light. As a flashlight it threw a very impressive beam. As a Lantern the single LED was able to light up a totally dark room to a respectable level, not super bright, but still bright enough.  Then I left the Hydra Light on and started the clock.

72 hours later (that’s THREE DAYS), the light was noticeably dimmer, and it went dark while I was away at work at day four. at least 90 hours total. That’s close enough for me.

Again, this is just dunking the fuel cell in water, shaking out the excess and turning the lamp on.

Pretty darn impressive IMHO.

For the Hydra-light, the duration test is more of showing how long the fuel cell will conduct current until the fuel cell dries out. Of course, normal battery powered flashlights can last 100 hours, (often brighter too.)  But after that, you just need to briefly re-moisten the fuel cell of the Hydra Light, & the light can stay on for 100 hours more. (Do that with other flashlights.)

After a few dips in water, the efficiency of the fuel cell diminishes. Still, that’s remedied by simply adding salt to the water. The saltier the water, the brighter the lamp will glow. According to the maker, more fuel cells are available. But generally speaking, the whole idea of a emergency light source that can be left on a shelf for decades, & still be able to produce light after just a dip in some water, is just the thing to have when all else fails.

And for that, I TOTALLY approve.

The post The Hydra Light Product Review appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Testing the Bell and Howell “TacLight”

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Testing the Bell & Howell “TacLight” This light is very affordable and holds a special place in my heart. I used this light professionally for about 6 months. There were definitely issues with it but I thought it a pretty functional and useful light for the money. If you are a true lumen addict you …

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How to Make an Emergency Light

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com When you live in a small space, you don’t have a lot of room to store a lot of supplies.  But you can learn an unlimited amount of survival skills and tips you can use if an emergency were to come up. If you find yourself in a power outage at home or at a friend’s house and you don’t have any candles or flashlights, here’s a quick way to make an emergency […]

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How To Make A Pine Knot Torch For Emergency Light

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How To Make A Pine Knot Torch For Emergency Light Whether navigating the woods in a survival situation or simply needing an emergency light when resources are limited, knowing how to make a torch with just a few common supplies is a valuable skill. When SHTF you might just need a steady source of light and heat. If …

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National Preparedness Month is September!

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National Preparedness Month is Here.

National Preparedness MonthIf you haven’t recently, now might be a good time to access your overall preparedness during National Preparedness Month.  With so many reasons to have some of the essentials you’ll need on a daily basis at your disposal, it makes sense to take some time to do a needs assessment.  Unfortunately, this is something we should all be doing on a regular basis and not just in September.  But for those who are fairly new to self reliance and preparedness it’s a start.

Most of the time “Preppers” are not thought of as anything more than crazy people preparing for the end of the world by the media as we have seen on television.  However, being prepared or prepping is not defined by “Doomsayers” but actually includes over 3 million Americans from all walks of life and from every corner of the country.  Why is this you might ask?  There are a few good reasons that prepping is growing and it has mostly to do with living a more sustainable lifestyle and getting back to basics while realizing the government isn’t going to be there to help  when a major disaster strikes.

Amazingly, according to a new survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the authorities will come to their rescue when disaster strikes. We have news for you,  FEMA is not going to come to anyones rescue anytime soon if disaster strikes.  If we think back to Hurricane Katrina of any other natural disaster in recent memory, or consider some of the potential scenarios including a major financial collapse, It’s time to get prepared so you can take care of your own family if need be.

So what are just few of the things you and your family can start to do today?  We compiled a short basic list to help you to start to get your “Preparedness”  house in order.

Air> Air is the most important thing we need to survive.  It is said that you can live “four minutes without air, four days without water, and forty days without food.”  So, are you CPR certified?  Can you help someone if they stopped breathing? If not get certified.  Here is how to get certified 

Water > Water is an essential to have on hand.  30 gallons per person (2 gallons per person per day for 1 week). This might sound excessive, but look at your water bill this month! This figure assumes that when at home, you will occasionally want a sponge bath, or to cook something like pasta or rice. You might even wash your hair or clothes, and will eventually flush a toilet. Large food grade 55 gallon plastic drums are ideal for bulk water storage. A good location is in your detached garage. Remember that your water heater in the house is typically 50 gallons, and may be used if your dwelling survives. Additional water may be purchased in single use plastic bottles, and should be stored away from the house or garage. Remember that these water bottles will need to be rotated out since they have a limited shelf life unless water treatment is used.  A portable water filtration system is a must.  These systems can provide a very high quality of clean fresh water.  A good water test kit is also recommended so you can evaluate your stored water on an on-going basis.

Shelter > Where would you go if a disaster struck and left you without your home?    FEMA recommends that you know that information now as well as some other important evacuation routes in your area. Do you have a temporary shelter at home that you could use if needed?  If not get one and keep it dry and easy to get too.

Fire > We have all seen survival television shows and each and every time lighting a fire is paramount to survival over the long haul.  We may need it to keep warm, to cook, to disinfect water, for light and protection.  Can you light a fire if needs be?  How to build a fire so it will light – survival 101

Food > If you’re considering a food storage system at your home, than a food storage calculator is going to be required so you have the right amount to meet your families needs. The type of food you store can vary but it might include canned foods long term food storage systems to MRE’s, grains, legumes and alike canned fruits and veggies from your own garden.  Cooking and heating tools for survival incase of a disaster or emergency are easy to use and not very expensive to get.  Wondering how much grain to store? You might be surprised.  Read more at http://www.preparednesspro.com/do-you-have-enough#u1fS0AHFwQfYJ2vg.99

First Aid Kit > A good first aid kit could save a life during a disaster  Make sure you have a good one.   Off Grid Survival recommends “30 Things you Should Have in Your Medical First Aid Kits

Survival Kit > A survival kit is a short term kit of essentials to last you approx three days.  It can be kept in your car incase you get stranded in an emergency. > Learn more

BOB or Bug Out Bag > A Bug Out Bag is more of a long term survival kit designed to help you get out of town or “bug out”.  It would include all of the above mentioned items to a greater or lesser degree plus much more.  Some examples of items included might be weapons, shelter and bedding, clothing, a heat source and tools to name a few.  A good example can be found right here.

 

There is so much more that you can do to get your self prepared both in the short and long term but this will be a good start.  Remember the Internet is a great source of information on all things “Preparedness”.

If you start today you will be better off than most Americans are in case of a natural disaster or National emergency.

Follow our Facebook page for more info on all things preparedness.

Thanks,

Jeff “The Berkey Guy”

 

Sources:

http://scoutingrediscovered.com/scout-skills/the-scouts-guide-to-survival-the-big-5/
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/55-percent-of-americans-believe-that-the-government-will-take-care-of-them-if-disaster-strikes
http://theepicenter.com/howto.html
http://www.preparednesspro.com/do-you-have-enough#u1fS0AHFwQfYJ2vg.99
http://www.bhs.idaho.gov/pages/Preparedness/PDF/Disaster_Preparedness_Kit_Supply_List.pdf
http://www.directive21.com/
http://offgridsurvival.com/30-things-you-should-have-in-your-medical-kits/
http://www.preparednesspro.com/do-you-have-enough
http://www.isu.edu/outdoor/survkit.htm
http://bugoutbagacademy.com/free-bug-out-bag-list/
http://www.philly.com/philly/health/HealthDay666756_20120720_Many_Americans_Not_Prepared_for_Disasters__Poll.html?cmpid=138896554
http://graywolfsurvival.com/2810/build-fire-basics/

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