Many flashlights, headlamps and such include some type of battery life indicator, but it's often very simplistic and easy to overlook. By the time you get a red LED or warning flash, it may be too late to do anything about it. Lights out.
On a recent camping trip, my wife and I started flashing like fireflies as both our headlamps began winding down toward empty at about the same time. We were smack in the middle of preparing dinner, and had we not had back-up lanterns with us, we would have been left dark and hungry in a hurry.
JETBeam Digital Display Series flashlights prevent that type of scenario by giving you a more detailed battery life reading. The flashlights display remaining power using a 10-level scale; nine means full power and zero means low power. With this detailed system, you can keep better track of how much battery you have left and conserve when necessary. With the display right next to the power button, it's all but impossible to overlook exactly where you're at in terms of remaining power.
Power level seems like the most useful reading, but JETBeam's digital display also shows the mode the flashlight is on. "H" stands for high; "E" stands for medium; "L" stands for low; and "S" stands for strobe. The mode displays for five seconds when you turn the flashlight on or switch modes, then switches over to battery level.
The lights that I own tend to turn on directly to the highest setting. If I turn them on in a hurry without conscientiously switching to a lower power mode, it's easy to run the battery dry by keeping it on the highest setting, even if a lower setting would provide sufficient light. The JETBeam gives you a visual reminder to switch to a lower mode when appropriate.
JETBeam launched four Digital Display series flashlights earlier this month. The models range in output from 160 lumens to 500 lumens. Prices start at US$79.
To turn any Digital Display model from flashlight to multi-tool, JETBeam's available "attacking cone" accessory screws into the base. It adds a sharp point for self rescue and glass breaking.