July 6, 2005 Are we just suckers for a gadget or is this US$30 multi-tasking rechargeable LED flashlight a really good idea? Plug the Sentina (that's what it's called) into any power outlet and it charges itself during the day, sensing when darkness falls and becoming a nightlight. If the mains power should fail during darkness, the Sentina can be unplugged to become a torch with eight hours of emergency flashlight power. Finally, the Sentina is also a motion detector and can be set to switch on when someone enters the room. Apart from being handy to light the way in an otherwise darkened house (the light stays lit for one minute), the motion sensing will alert you to any movement in your room giving it useful functionality in a host of situations.
In an emergency power outage situation, the Sentina is a winner, beating candles and conventional flashlights for longevity and safety - because it’s normally plugged in, it’s always fully charged, and ready to deliver 8 hours of steady light. And as it comes with three long-life AAA NiMH, rechargeable batteries, the batteries are always 100% charged when Sentina is kept plugged into an outlet and can be used to power other devices which have run out of power such as the remote control, your wireless mouse, electric toothbrush or cattle prod. The Sentina will sell for US$30 when it becomes available in the United States in August.