• Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
  • Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare
Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare

Wagan EL2639 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare

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MRP: €36,00
Regular price
€60,00
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per 
( 40% off )
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Expected Delivery: 21-28 days
Import Duties to be borne by the customer at the time of delivery.
Product price is exclusive of such duties.

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  • 10 different flashing modes: spotlight, double blink, double pulse, single blink, rotate, SOS rescue (morse code), alternate, solid-on high, solid-on low, 2 LED flashlight
  • Multiple uses: road flare, emergency beacon, marine applications, camping/outdoors
  • 15 LEDs total; runs up to 38 hours
  • Shatterproof, crushproof and rainproof plus it has a magnetized base and hook
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries (included)

Customer Reviews

These Are Great. Do Not Keep Batteries In Them. These are great. The only thing that would improve them would be some reflective material on the outside of the case, perhaps surrounding the on button. I haven't had my car break down, but I've used them as emergency flashlights, for outdoor lighting at night, and unfortunately to test my DC circuit repair skills.I had them in my trunk for a year, stored with the spare tire. I took them out to test them - dead batteries. I saw the batteries had leaked a little. I put in fresh batteries, and a year later those were dead in two of the devices, and they had leaked a LOT. The other device still had juice, but those batteries had leaked as well. They were high-quality alkaline batteries. The spare tire area should be the coolest area, so... no I should not have used alkaline batteries.I noticed when I put new batteries in the two dead devices that two red lights glowed a little even when it was off. As you can see in the picture, there was extensive damage to the circuit boards. On one of them, the solder had been eaten through in places, dislodging components. A battery is more prone to leaking in high temperatures, and a dead battery is also prone to leaking - I think the high temps made them leak, which caused the current leak, which made the batteries leak more. The third device was luckier.I cleaned up the functioning one, fixed another, and kept the severely damaged one for parts. I'm keeping them in my trunk, next to six NiMH AAA batteries in cases. Lithium would be better. 4Don't buy. It won't be alive when you have an emergency..... It won't be alive when you have an emergency unless that emergency is only a month into your owning it. Read on.What kind of emergency device drains batteries while not in use? That makes it a nice orange puck that you can throw at passing motorists while they dodge you and you them. The last time this (the device draining batteries on its own) happened was when I bought some LED flashlights a Costco. They had a similar multi-function controller built in which also drained the batteries.Costco took them back. Here's the reply to my inquiry to Wagan: "Hello, We truly apologize for this inconvenience and are currently working on an improved model that is due to launch in a few months. For the current models, it is recommended to leave the batteries out of the unit while not in use. Once again, we do apologize for this inconvenience." So I'm supposed to put this flare in a zip lock bag with the batteries and a screw driver in the back of my wife's van so she can curse me when she stops for an emergency and wants other motorists to see her?I'm guessing they didn't test this product (much) or didn't follow up on the spec for the controller. (Maybe this is part of a Chi-com plot to destroy America. They are very long term in their thinking. Maybe marital strife in American families is part of their plot and this is just one small link in that chain.) If they did they would have at least make the battery cover easier to open and close.Why not a simpler product that just works? Maybe I'll just put a second simple flashlight in her van. 1Great product, pretty good customer service. I wanted this product for over a year. I held off because of the reviews about the battery drainage issue that I saw on Amazon. I emailed Wagan in December of 2014 asking when they would have this issue resolved. They assured me that they had a solve, and would be implementing it into their production process in early 2015. In December of 2015, I saw they were on sale, so I picked up a set. They arrived in time, and well packaged. I LOVE the product. These things appear nearly indestructible. The orange feels like hard rubber, and the clear plastic seems very strong.I didn't have any trouble opening the unit up to try it out. Some folks mentioned having difficulty here, and I didn't seem to have any. I removed the screws, and then used the screwdriver to press up on the two tabs to force the upper and lower assemblies apart. When I did, I found a date stamp. It was marked April 2015. I wasn't sure if this date would have the battery drain issue so I called Wagan. I talked to their rep, and explained my concern. He informed me that they didn't know the date of the change in their process and the only way for me to ensure there was no battery drain was to try the unit, and then set it aside for a month or two and try it again? I explained that I wasn't comfortable being the quality control for their company, and that I would need them to check. He informed me that there was nothing more they could do. I hung up disappointed in the response I got so I emailed Wagan. They agreed that I could ship the unit back to them, and they would test it. If they found that the units had the battery drain issue, then they would replace them with units that had been verified not to have the problem.I took them up on their offer, and shipped the units back. From there, they emailed me and confirmed receipt as well as to state they had checked my units and did not see the drain issue happening. They then shipped the units back to me.So, if you order these units, check you date stamp. If it is after April 2015, you're probably in the clear. They do have a 1 year warranty, and explained that if a customer sees the issue within a year of purchase, they will replace the lights free of charge (although you'll probably have to pay to ship the lights to them) I would suggest validating them just in case. These come with a small carry bag to store the lights in. I actually put another 9 aaa batteries along with a small screwdriving in the bag with the lights. Granted, I probably won't need them, but since the space is there, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.Again, I love the product. The service was good. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the hassle of having to return the units and then get them back weeks later. Why Wagan doesn't know when this change was implemented into their process is beyond me, but they stood behind their sale, and I appreciate that. 4warning, chews up batteries even when off Bought 6 of these 3 months ago. Installed the aaa batteries that came with them, and put them in the cars. Happened to be working on one of the cars and decided to try one to see if it worked, and it was dead. Tried all 6 with the same results. Opened them up and the "rapid" brand oem batteries are corroded and leaking around the negative terminal. Installed new batteries and they are working fine. Will wait another month and check them again to see if the same thing happens to the new batteries.update: 3 months after replacing the oem batteries with costco kirkland batteries there is no leakage and the units work fine.update2: 4 months with kirkland aaa batteries and they are dead again. How could a company make an emergency device that most likely will sit in the trunk for years, without thought, chew up batteries while off? Especially if it requires a screwdriver to get to the batteries to change them! Should I explain to my wife that, when you get a flat in the rain by the side of the road, please pull out the spare batteries and the screwdriver I am sure you always carry and then take 5 minutes to replace the batteries and hope you don't get hit?Alkaline batteries have a shelf life of 10 years if not being drained! Poor electrical engineering in this version, please Wagan, go back to the circuit drawing board and get this right! 1Seems durable, but potentially confusing to turn off correctly. These are nice little pucks, solidly built, bright, well sealed and lots of flash modes.That said, there are several minor problems with the product.1) The most severe problem with the product is that you can make it look off, without being off. I connected a multimeter between the light and the last battery on the negative side.If you turn the light off correctly (per the manual), by holding the button down until it goes out, there is no measurable current draw on the battery (0.0 ma).If you push the button cycling through modes, eventually the lights will go out. However, at this point it is NOT OFF. It may look off, but it is still drawing 1.21 milliamperes (ma) from the battery. While this not be very much current, it is definitely enough to kill the batteries in a few weeks. By comparison the "Solid on high" mode consumes the most current at 193.3 ma, and the "Solid on low" mode consumes the least (of the light-bearing modes) at 16.59 ma.It is very strange the product has a mode that makes it look off when it isn't... I brought the device into a dark room with no lights on, and let my eyes adjust for a while.. the puck was definitely not emitting any light while drawing current. This is foolish and creates customer confusion, as it is possible to store them without realizing they are still on...All they needed to do was make it cycle straight from 2-red to 3-white mode at the end, rather than going into an "all off but still wasting batteries" mode. This way it would be impossible to think you turned it off when it isn't... How hard is that? This just amounts to shoddy design and poor testing.2) Changing the batteries on these is quite difficult... They've left tabs for you to pry the lid off after you unscrew it, but these are quite tiny.. even bracing a screwdriver against my knuckle and prying against the tab takes a bit of work to get it open.. There is no notch in the lower half, so you can't just stick a screwdriver in and pry, which would make it much easier to open. I know they wanted these to be tough and well sealed, but a larger tab or a lower-side notch to make opening easier would be an easy improvement.These two problems are somewhat synergistic... The lack of clear power off brings the risk of the light being dead when you need it. The difficulty changing the batteries means you'll be cursing at the thing for quite a while trying to change them in an emergency...For these reasons I knock 2 stars off an otherwise excellent product. They'll work for me, but I'll have to be careful when putting them away. You should too!edit: added snapshots of my multimeter readings. 3Save yourself the battery trouble... Don't bother with the cheap batteries that were included with these flares! These came with some no-name batteries pre-installed. I opened the flares again today to replace the batteries because they were two years old. They have been sitting safely in our dry cars.In one set, the original batteries were dead. No big deal. But in the other set, the batteries had totally leaked everywhere and corroded the entire battery holder. That set of flares is completely ruined by the corrosion. I put in new batteries, but they still don't work. I'm sure the flares work fine with good batteries, but it's a shame they ruined their own product by installing horrible cheap batteries. 1They will fail you when they're needed the most! DO NOT waste your money! For a product that (1) stakes its primary use in an emergency situation and (2) because of this, requires long-term storage inside a car during all four seasons, these magnificent pieces of junk have failed me 3 times now! Solution? The trio just went into my trash can and after wasting $40 of my money. While their design is almost genius and IF and WHEN they work they are really bright (not to mention the clever flashing program that are built-in), I am incredibly frustrated after needing them 3 times since 2013. Yes, I understand batteries corrode but in the case of these, they did so on a frequent basis (necessitating 9 AAA's total for the three) and after the latest and final occurrence, the circuit boards that harbor the LEDs and logic card were completely trashed. One would think Wagan's engineers would devise a better design to prevent this but not these. They are useless and in my case, failed me on a dark stretch of US54 in southern Kansas at 1130 PM. Having staked possibly my life and definitely my safety on these things, I was fooled by their slick looks and initial operation. 1Wagan (4.5 stars) vs. Smittybilt (3-3.5 stars) This review is based on a comparison between the Wagan EL2639 FRED light vs. the Smittybilt L-1409 UFO light. Neither light has yet been field tested or tested against time.I wanted to buy about 6 of this type of light, and was leaning toward the Smittybilt, based on the slightly higher rating and the fact that it uses a CR123 battery. But because of the significant price difference (78% more for the Smittybilt at the time of this writing) I decided to buy one of each and compare them myself, to see if the price difference was worth it. Here are my preliminary observations of the two lights:Outer construction\design:Both lights are made very well, with a seemingly durable rubberized plastic (Orange vs. Black) molded around a water-tight inner housing made of a seemingly durable clear plastic. This inner clear plastic appears to be of equal thickness and durability on the two units. The outer rubberized plastic is a bit more robust feeling on the Smittybilt because it has 18 outer lugs vs. 12, and the lugs are bit larger. However, this also means that it has smaller LED window areas between each lug. In comparison, the Wagan has about 9/16" spacing between lugs vs. about 5/16" on the Smittybilt. This becomes very noticeable when viewing the unit from the side with the lights on, especially when viewing the Smittybilt in line with one of the 3 triangular points where you see less of the LEDs. Note: There are no LEDs at these 3 points, so although there are 18 lugs, there are actually 15 LEDs vs. 12 in the Wagan. Although the Wagan has fewer LEDs, I like having the larger window area for each one, as it makes them stand out more from the side. Also, it is worth considering the color of these units. Orange is certainly more visible when the lights are off, making it easier to find.Winner - WaganSwitch:Both lights use a similar electronic switch in which the button is flush with the housing. The Wagan is much easier to push and cycle through. The Smittybilt is much more difficult to push, however this may not be a bad thing if you are concerned about accidental activation in a pack or something. Although I don't foresee the Wagan turning on accidentally since the button is flush.Winner - WaganAccess cover construction\design:Both lights have a similar removable cover to gain access to the batteries. The Wagan is round and it`s the back cover. The Smittybilt is triangular and it`s the front cover. They both require the user to remove 2 screws and gently pry up on the tabs - Wagan has 2 tabs, Smittybilt has 3. I had no problems in removing either one, and they both had a nice tight fit without being too tight. These covers have seals which are what make the unites water-proof. The Smittybilt uses a standard O-ring design found in many flashlights. It is replaceable, if you can find one of the same size. The Wagan uses a thicker integrated rubber seal that is molded right into the cover. It is not replaceable, but I doubt it will wear out any time soon.Winner - TieInner construction\design:The Wagan has a battery compartment & circuit board which is secured to the housing with 2 screws. Everything stays in place when changing the batteries. Also, the switch is on the opposite side of the circuit board, so it cannot be disturbed while changing the batteries. The Smittybilt also uses a similar circuit board but it's just loose in the housing, as it's held in place only by the 2 screws (& posts) which hold the access cover on. Once inside, the entire circuit board is free to come out. In fact, it will come out when trying to change the battery. The battery "compartment" is very flimsy as there are no screws holding it to the circuit board. It just presses in place around the battery, while the battery just sits between two metal contacts on the circuit board. It appears cheaply designed with little thought. Also, the switch on the Smittybilt has a 5/8" long x 1/8" diameter plastic extension which goes up through the access cover to the push button. It sits right next to the battery "compartment", which made me feel as though I needed to be very careful when trying to remove the battery. And replacing the battery is not real easy compared to the traditional battery compartment found on the Wagan. The batteries are MUCH easier to replace on the Wagan. This inner construction on the Smittybilt surprised me, given the 78% higher price.Winner - WaganModes:Both lights have pretty much the same 9 modes to choose from, however the Wagan also has an additional flashlight mode with 3 white LEDS. This is a very nice additional mode, as it can be very useful when all you need is a small flood light, perhaps for reading a book, looking at a map, or a tent light, etc.Winner - WaganOperation:To access the modes on both lights you just push the button repeatedly until you get to the mode of your liking. Both units turn off by pushing and holding the power button for a few seconds. The Smittybilt will turn back on in the last mode in which it was used. The Wagan will always turn on in the 3 white LED mode which I much preferred.Winner - WaganMagnets:Both units have equally strong magnets which work great. However, upon close examination I noticed that the magnet on the Smittybilt appears to be just glued in place, whereas the Wagan appears to use a magnet with a 1/16" step (5/8" diameter as measured from the outside, 11/16" diameter as measured from the inside). This step should prevent the magnet from ever coming out the back side.Winner - WaganWater-proof\buoyancy:I placed both units in a pail of water and neither of them leaked during this short test. I pushed both units to the bottom of the pail and let go. Both units surfaced (floated) without any problem, but the lighter weight (5.4 oz. vs. 6.9 oz.) of the Wagan caused it to surface quicker.Winner - TieBattery:The Wagan uses 3 readily available AAA batteries. The Smittybilt uses a single CR123 battery. It is my opinion that a light of this type ought to have lithium batteries inside, to withstand a wider range of temperatures. Although you can buy lithium AAA batteries, they will cost more than a single CR123 battery. This is purely subjective, but I prefer using a single CR123 battery. Having said that, there are more options with the AAA configuration (e.g. heavy duty, alkaline, lithium). If the run times listed on the packages are correct, you will get anywhere from a little more (10 hrs. vs. 9 hrs.) to a lot more (100 hrs. vs. 38 hrs.) run time with the CR123 Smittybilt, depending on the mode. However, these run times may be more evenly matched if using lithium AAA batteries in the Wagan.Winner - Smittybilt for me, but depends on each user.Additional features:The Wagan includes a hinged hook which will allow for hanging from a hood latch, a tent loop, a tree branch, etc. It only opens 90 degrees. Although useful, it would have been nice to see it open 180 degrees. But given that the Smittybilt doesn't even have this feature, it's a nice touch.Winner - WaganPrice: Winner - WaganSummary:I can honestly say that I am not sure why the Smittybilt is sold at a higher price, given that they are both made in China, and given that I found nothing that leads me to believe it's a better product. With the exception of having a bit more robust outer rubber plastic, it did not excel in any one category. In fact, my analysis led me to be glad I didn't buy more of these based strictly on review ratings. I plan to buy more of the Wagan units.My guess is that all the positive reviews for the Smittybilt unit were not based on a comparison of these two units. Although a nice product, and worthy of a recommendation, the Smittybilt is no where near the value of the Wagan.I don't intend to talk down the Smittybilt or it`s makers, nor would I say that the 4 & 5 star reviews for it are unreasonable, but this is a great example of things being relative. By itself, I probably would have given the Smittybilt 4 stars. But compared to the Wagan, I cannot give it more than 3 or 3.5 stars, while I give the Wagan 4.5 stars.My suggestion to the makers at Smittybilt would be to focus more design time on the entire product. As it is, it appears, upon initial analysis, that the focus has been strictly on the appearance of a sturdier built unit. It is possible that this unit can handle more abuse, I don't know, but if it can, it is not evident upon my desktop analysis. Perhaps some day I will torture test them by driving over them. Until then, I will just see which one lasts longer under normal use.Notes: Both units came with batteries included. Also, the brightness of these products are pretty much identical, as they should be with ANY battery-operated device using these cheaper LED bulbs. They should all (including those not tested here) be about the same brightness, which is plenty bright for their intended purpose - to be seen. 4Good product but you need to prep before first use Better prep these devices before you actually need them. You will need some tools to get these operational before your first use. Don't just throw the package in your trunk and expect them to work when you're stranded.A screwdriver is needed to take the plastic plate off the back to enable the batteries. Then you'll need to pry off the cover, then screw it back together. Once that's done - blamo - you're good to go.I was thinking "this would suck if it was a rainy night and I'm on the side of a road." 2Poorly designed product I have had this model for 4 years. I have used many different batterie brands, and stored under various conditions. The most life I get from the batteries is about 4 months, WITHOUT turning on the units at all. Called "customer service" and was told this is the average life for the batteries. The units were poorly designed with a parasitic battery draw that will not function when you need to use them. I was told to not install the batteries until I need to use the units. This is totally unacceptable. The covers have two screws holding them on, and then you have to pry ( not easy) the cover off, insert the batteries and then reassemble. I was also told there is an improved model that will last form 8-12 months, and a unit with no screws holding the cover. I asked if I could trade these in, for a discount on a newer model. I was told they will not do that. I would not recommend this light for an emergency use as you never know when it will function, and to have to assemble the units for use in an emergency situation is totally not acceptable which negates the purpose having them in the first place. 1
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Customer Reviews

These Are Great. Do Not Keep Batteries In Them. These are great. The only thing that would improve them would be some reflective material on the outside of the case, perhaps surrounding the on button. I haven't had my car break down, but I've used them as emergency flashlights, for outdoor lighting at night, and unfortunately to test my DC circuit repair skills.I had them in my trunk for a year, stored with the spare tire. I took them out to test them - dead batteries. I saw the batteries had leaked a little. I put in fresh batteries, and a year later those were dead in two of the devices, and they had leaked a LOT. The other device still had juice, but those batteries had leaked as well. They were high-quality alkaline batteries. The spare tire area should be the coolest area, so... no I should not have used alkaline batteries.I noticed when I put new batteries in the two dead devices that two red lights glowed a little even when it was off. As you can see in the picture, there was extensive damage to the circuit boards. On one of them, the solder had been eaten through in places, dislodging components. A battery is more prone to leaking in high temperatures, and a dead battery is also prone to leaking - I think the high temps made them leak, which caused the current leak, which made the batteries leak more. The third device was luckier.I cleaned up the functioning one, fixed another, and kept the severely damaged one for parts. I'm keeping them in my trunk, next to six NiMH AAA batteries in cases. Lithium would be better. 4Don't buy. It won't be alive when you have an emergency..... It won't be alive when you have an emergency unless that emergency is only a month into your owning it. Read on.What kind of emergency device drains batteries while not in use? That makes it a nice orange puck that you can throw at passing motorists while they dodge you and you them. The last time this (the device draining batteries on its own) happened was when I bought some LED flashlights a Costco. They had a similar multi-function controller built in which also drained the batteries.Costco took them back. Here's the reply to my inquiry to Wagan: "Hello, We truly apologize for this inconvenience and are currently working on an improved model that is due to launch in a few months. For the current models, it is recommended to leave the batteries out of the unit while not in use. Once again, we do apologize for this inconvenience." So I'm supposed to put this flare in a zip lock bag with the batteries and a screw driver in the back of my wife's van so she can curse me when she stops for an emergency and wants other motorists to see her?I'm guessing they didn't test this product (much) or didn't follow up on the spec for the controller. (Maybe this is part of a Chi-com plot to destroy America. They are very long term in their thinking. Maybe marital strife in American families is part of their plot and this is just one small link in that chain.) If they did they would have at least make the battery cover easier to open and close.Why not a simpler product that just works? Maybe I'll just put a second simple flashlight in her van. 1Great product, pretty good customer service. I wanted this product for over a year. I held off because of the reviews about the battery drainage issue that I saw on Amazon. I emailed Wagan in December of 2014 asking when they would have this issue resolved. They assured me that they had a solve, and would be implementing it into their production process in early 2015. In December of 2015, I saw they were on sale, so I picked up a set. They arrived in time, and well packaged. I LOVE the product. These things appear nearly indestructible. The orange feels like hard rubber, and the clear plastic seems very strong.I didn't have any trouble opening the unit up to try it out. Some folks mentioned having difficulty here, and I didn't seem to have any. I removed the screws, and then used the screwdriver to press up on the two tabs to force the upper and lower assemblies apart. When I did, I found a date stamp. It was marked April 2015. I wasn't sure if this date would have the battery drain issue so I called Wagan. I talked to their rep, and explained my concern. He informed me that they didn't know the date of the change in their process and the only way for me to ensure there was no battery drain was to try the unit, and then set it aside for a month or two and try it again? I explained that I wasn't comfortable being the quality control for their company, and that I would need them to check. He informed me that there was nothing more they could do. I hung up disappointed in the response I got so I emailed Wagan. They agreed that I could ship the unit back to them, and they would test it. If they found that the units had the battery drain issue, then they would replace them with units that had been verified not to have the problem.I took them up on their offer, and shipped the units back. From there, they emailed me and confirmed receipt as well as to state they had checked my units and did not see the drain issue happening. They then shipped the units back to me.So, if you order these units, check you date stamp. If it is after April 2015, you're probably in the clear. They do have a 1 year warranty, and explained that if a customer sees the issue within a year of purchase, they will replace the lights free of charge (although you'll probably have to pay to ship the lights to them) I would suggest validating them just in case. These come with a small carry bag to store the lights in. I actually put another 9 aaa batteries along with a small screwdriving in the bag with the lights. Granted, I probably won't need them, but since the space is there, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.Again, I love the product. The service was good. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the hassle of having to return the units and then get them back weeks later. Why Wagan doesn't know when this change was implemented into their process is beyond me, but they stood behind their sale, and I appreciate that. 4warning, chews up batteries even when off Bought 6 of these 3 months ago. Installed the aaa batteries that came with them, and put them in the cars. Happened to be working on one of the cars and decided to try one to see if it worked, and it was dead. Tried all 6 with the same results. Opened them up and the "rapid" brand oem batteries are corroded and leaking around the negative terminal. Installed new batteries and they are working fine. Will wait another month and check them again to see if the same thing happens to the new batteries.update: 3 months after replacing the oem batteries with costco kirkland batteries there is no leakage and the units work fine.update2: 4 months with kirkland aaa batteries and they are dead again. How could a company make an emergency device that most likely will sit in the trunk for years, without thought, chew up batteries while off? Especially if it requires a screwdriver to get to the batteries to change them! Should I explain to my wife that, when you get a flat in the rain by the side of the road, please pull out the spare batteries and the screwdriver I am sure you always carry and then take 5 minutes to replace the batteries and hope you don't get hit?Alkaline batteries have a shelf life of 10 years if not being drained! Poor electrical engineering in this version, please Wagan, go back to the circuit drawing board and get this right! 1Seems durable, but potentially confusing to turn off correctly. These are nice little pucks, solidly built, bright, well sealed and lots of flash modes.That said, there are several minor problems with the product.1) The most severe problem with the product is that you can make it look off, without being off. I connected a multimeter between the light and the last battery on the negative side.If you turn the light off correctly (per the manual), by holding the button down until it goes out, there is no measurable current draw on the battery (0.0 ma).If you push the button cycling through modes, eventually the lights will go out. However, at this point it is NOT OFF. It may look off, but it is still drawing 1.21 milliamperes (ma) from the battery. While this not be very much current, it is definitely enough to kill the batteries in a few weeks. By comparison the "Solid on high" mode consumes the most current at 193.3 ma, and the "Solid on low" mode consumes the least (of the light-bearing modes) at 16.59 ma.It is very strange the product has a mode that makes it look off when it isn't... I brought the device into a dark room with no lights on, and let my eyes adjust for a while.. the puck was definitely not emitting any light while drawing current. This is foolish and creates customer confusion, as it is possible to store them without realizing they are still on...All they needed to do was make it cycle straight from 2-red to 3-white mode at the end, rather than going into an "all off but still wasting batteries" mode. This way it would be impossible to think you turned it off when it isn't... How hard is that? This just amounts to shoddy design and poor testing.2) Changing the batteries on these is quite difficult... They've left tabs for you to pry the lid off after you unscrew it, but these are quite tiny.. even bracing a screwdriver against my knuckle and prying against the tab takes a bit of work to get it open.. There is no notch in the lower half, so you can't just stick a screwdriver in and pry, which would make it much easier to open. I know they wanted these to be tough and well sealed, but a larger tab or a lower-side notch to make opening easier would be an easy improvement.These two problems are somewhat synergistic... The lack of clear power off brings the risk of the light being dead when you need it. The difficulty changing the batteries means you'll be cursing at the thing for quite a while trying to change them in an emergency...For these reasons I knock 2 stars off an otherwise excellent product. They'll work for me, but I'll have to be careful when putting them away. You should too!edit: added snapshots of my multimeter readings. 3Save yourself the battery trouble... Don't bother with the cheap batteries that were included with these flares! These came with some no-name batteries pre-installed. I opened the flares again today to replace the batteries because they were two years old. They have been sitting safely in our dry cars.In one set, the original batteries were dead. No big deal. But in the other set, the batteries had totally leaked everywhere and corroded the entire battery holder. That set of flares is completely ruined by the corrosion. I put in new batteries, but they still don't work. I'm sure the flares work fine with good batteries, but it's a shame they ruined their own product by installing horrible cheap batteries. 1They will fail you when they're needed the most! DO NOT waste your money! For a product that (1) stakes its primary use in an emergency situation and (2) because of this, requires long-term storage inside a car during all four seasons, these magnificent pieces of junk have failed me 3 times now! Solution? The trio just went into my trash can and after wasting $40 of my money. While their design is almost genius and IF and WHEN they work they are really bright (not to mention the clever flashing program that are built-in), I am incredibly frustrated after needing them 3 times since 2013. Yes, I understand batteries corrode but in the case of these, they did so on a frequent basis (necessitating 9 AAA's total for the three) and after the latest and final occurrence, the circuit boards that harbor the LEDs and logic card were completely trashed. One would think Wagan's engineers would devise a better design to prevent this but not these. They are useless and in my case, failed me on a dark stretch of US54 in southern Kansas at 1130 PM. Having staked possibly my life and definitely my safety on these things, I was fooled by their slick looks and initial operation. 1Wagan (4.5 stars) vs. Smittybilt (3-3.5 stars) This review is based on a comparison between the Wagan EL2639 FRED light vs. the Smittybilt L-1409 UFO light. Neither light has yet been field tested or tested against time.I wanted to buy about 6 of this type of light, and was leaning toward the Smittybilt, based on the slightly higher rating and the fact that it uses a CR123 battery. But because of the significant price difference (78% more for the Smittybilt at the time of this writing) I decided to buy one of each and compare them myself, to see if the price difference was worth it. Here are my preliminary observations of the two lights:Outer construction\design:Both lights are made very well, with a seemingly durable rubberized plastic (Orange vs. Black) molded around a water-tight inner housing made of a seemingly durable clear plastic. This inner clear plastic appears to be of equal thickness and durability on the two units. The outer rubberized plastic is a bit more robust feeling on the Smittybilt because it has 18 outer lugs vs. 12, and the lugs are bit larger. However, this also means that it has smaller LED window areas between each lug. In comparison, the Wagan has about 9/16" spacing between lugs vs. about 5/16" on the Smittybilt. This becomes very noticeable when viewing the unit from the side with the lights on, especially when viewing the Smittybilt in line with one of the 3 triangular points where you see less of the LEDs. Note: There are no LEDs at these 3 points, so although there are 18 lugs, there are actually 15 LEDs vs. 12 in the Wagan. Although the Wagan has fewer LEDs, I like having the larger window area for each one, as it makes them stand out more from the side. Also, it is worth considering the color of these units. Orange is certainly more visible when the lights are off, making it easier to find.Winner - WaganSwitch:Both lights use a similar electronic switch in which the button is flush with the housing. The Wagan is much easier to push and cycle through. The Smittybilt is much more difficult to push, however this may not be a bad thing if you are concerned about accidental activation in a pack or something. Although I don't foresee the Wagan turning on accidentally since the button is flush.Winner - WaganAccess cover construction\design:Both lights have a similar removable cover to gain access to the batteries. The Wagan is round and it`s the back cover. The Smittybilt is triangular and it`s the front cover. They both require the user to remove 2 screws and gently pry up on the tabs - Wagan has 2 tabs, Smittybilt has 3. I had no problems in removing either one, and they both had a nice tight fit without being too tight. These covers have seals which are what make the unites water-proof. The Smittybilt uses a standard O-ring design found in many flashlights. It is replaceable, if you can find one of the same size. The Wagan uses a thicker integrated rubber seal that is molded right into the cover. It is not replaceable, but I doubt it will wear out any time soon.Winner - TieInner construction\design:The Wagan has a battery compartment & circuit board which is secured to the housing with 2 screws. Everything stays in place when changing the batteries. Also, the switch is on the opposite side of the circuit board, so it cannot be disturbed while changing the batteries. The Smittybilt also uses a similar circuit board but it's just loose in the housing, as it's held in place only by the 2 screws (& posts) which hold the access cover on. Once inside, the entire circuit board is free to come out. In fact, it will come out when trying to change the battery. The battery "compartment" is very flimsy as there are no screws holding it to the circuit board. It just presses in place around the battery, while the battery just sits between two metal contacts on the circuit board. It appears cheaply designed with little thought. Also, the switch on the Smittybilt has a 5/8" long x 1/8" diameter plastic extension which goes up through the access cover to the push button. It sits right next to the battery "compartment", which made me feel as though I needed to be very careful when trying to remove the battery. And replacing the battery is not real easy compared to the traditional battery compartment found on the Wagan. The batteries are MUCH easier to replace on the Wagan. This inner construction on the Smittybilt surprised me, given the 78% higher price.Winner - WaganModes:Both lights have pretty much the same 9 modes to choose from, however the Wagan also has an additional flashlight mode with 3 white LEDS. This is a very nice additional mode, as it can be very useful when all you need is a small flood light, perhaps for reading a book, looking at a map, or a tent light, etc.Winner - WaganOperation:To access the modes on both lights you just push the button repeatedly until you get to the mode of your liking. Both units turn off by pushing and holding the power button for a few seconds. The Smittybilt will turn back on in the last mode in which it was used. The Wagan will always turn on in the 3 white LED mode which I much preferred.Winner - WaganMagnets:Both units have equally strong magnets which work great. However, upon close examination I noticed that the magnet on the Smittybilt appears to be just glued in place, whereas the Wagan appears to use a magnet with a 1/16" step (5/8" diameter as measured from the outside, 11/16" diameter as measured from the inside). This step should prevent the magnet from ever coming out the back side.Winner - WaganWater-proof\buoyancy:I placed both units in a pail of water and neither of them leaked during this short test. I pushed both units to the bottom of the pail and let go. Both units surfaced (floated) without any problem, but the lighter weight (5.4 oz. vs. 6.9 oz.) of the Wagan caused it to surface quicker.Winner - TieBattery:The Wagan uses 3 readily available AAA batteries. The Smittybilt uses a single CR123 battery. It is my opinion that a light of this type ought to have lithium batteries inside, to withstand a wider range of temperatures. Although you can buy lithium AAA batteries, they will cost more than a single CR123 battery. This is purely subjective, but I prefer using a single CR123 battery. Having said that, there are more options with the AAA configuration (e.g. heavy duty, alkaline, lithium). If the run times listed on the packages are correct, you will get anywhere from a little more (10 hrs. vs. 9 hrs.) to a lot more (100 hrs. vs. 38 hrs.) run time with the CR123 Smittybilt, depending on the mode. However, these run times may be more evenly matched if using lithium AAA batteries in the Wagan.Winner - Smittybilt for me, but depends on each user.Additional features:The Wagan includes a hinged hook which will allow for hanging from a hood latch, a tent loop, a tree branch, etc. It only opens 90 degrees. Although useful, it would have been nice to see it open 180 degrees. But given that the Smittybilt doesn't even have this feature, it's a nice touch.Winner - WaganPrice: Winner - WaganSummary:I can honestly say that I am not sure why the Smittybilt is sold at a higher price, given that they are both made in China, and given that I found nothing that leads me to believe it's a better product. With the exception of having a bit more robust outer rubber plastic, it did not excel in any one category. In fact, my analysis led me to be glad I didn't buy more of these based strictly on review ratings. I plan to buy more of the Wagan units.My guess is that all the positive reviews for the Smittybilt unit were not based on a comparison of these two units. Although a nice product, and worthy of a recommendation, the Smittybilt is no where near the value of the Wagan.I don't intend to talk down the Smittybilt or it`s makers, nor would I say that the 4 & 5 star reviews for it are unreasonable, but this is a great example of things being relative. By itself, I probably would have given the Smittybilt 4 stars. But compared to the Wagan, I cannot give it more than 3 or 3.5 stars, while I give the Wagan 4.5 stars.My suggestion to the makers at Smittybilt would be to focus more design time on the entire product. As it is, it appears, upon initial analysis, that the focus has been strictly on the appearance of a sturdier built unit. It is possible that this unit can handle more abuse, I don't know, but if it can, it is not evident upon my desktop analysis. Perhaps some day I will torture test them by driving over them. Until then, I will just see which one lasts longer under normal use.Notes: Both units came with batteries included. Also, the brightness of these products are pretty much identical, as they should be with ANY battery-operated device using these cheaper LED bulbs. They should all (including those not tested here) be about the same brightness, which is plenty bright for their intended purpose - to be seen. 4Good product but you need to prep before first use Better prep these devices before you actually need them. You will need some tools to get these operational before your first use. Don't just throw the package in your trunk and expect them to work when you're stranded.A screwdriver is needed to take the plastic plate off the back to enable the batteries. Then you'll need to pry off the cover, then screw it back together. Once that's done - blamo - you're good to go.I was thinking "this would suck if it was a rainy night and I'm on the side of a road." 2Poorly designed product I have had this model for 4 years. I have used many different batterie brands, and stored under various conditions. The most life I get from the batteries is about 4 months, WITHOUT turning on the units at all. Called "customer service" and was told this is the average life for the batteries. The units were poorly designed with a parasitic battery draw that will not function when you need to use them. I was told to not install the batteries until I need to use the units. This is totally unacceptable. The covers have two screws holding them on, and then you have to pry ( not easy) the cover off, insert the batteries and then reassemble. I was also told there is an improved model that will last form 8-12 months, and a unit with no screws holding the cover. I asked if I could trade these in, for a discount on a newer model. I was told they will not do that. I would not recommend this light for an emergency use as you never know when it will function, and to have to assemble the units for use in an emergency situation is totally not acceptable which negates the purpose having them in the first place. 1
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