Perhaps the best piece of advice I never got was "leave your flashlight in an obvious, easily accessible place”, because the one time you’ll really need it will be during a power outage or a blown fuse and the last thing you want at that time is wonder where the heck you put it. Oh, and keep it fully charged (you know why). While the mPower Emergency Illuminator won’t insist you keep it close by, it does have some impressive features – battery technology that will last up to 20 years (though not if you use it continuously) and a USB outlet which lets you charge other devices.

Designed by the Porsche Design Studios and manufactured by mPhase Technologies, the mPower Emergency Illuminator LED flashlight has two separate battery “tubes” – one is for normal use and holds two CR123 batteries, while the other has what mPhase Technologies calls the OnCommand Reserve Battery. If the regular CR123 batteries run down, the Reserve Battery takes over – even after laying idle for 20 years.

Though not rechargeable, you can grab a replacement battery for your mPower unit for around US$25 (let’s just hope they’re still making them in 20 years time).

The trick will be to get hold of one before you find yourself sitting in your living room during a black out trying to read a newspaper with only a solitary candle.

mPhase Technologies has been named an International CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree and expects the product to become available in March 2010.

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