Picture this: You’re sitting in front of the television one night watching Ax Men when suddenly the power goes out. Stumbling over to the hall closet, you rummage around on the shelves for a flashlight. Finally, after nearly strangling yourself with a scarf, you locate the light only to discover it needs batteries. Diving back into the cavernous black hole of a closet, you emerge—triumphantly—with the battery box. No dice. Your kids got a Wii a while back and used all the AA batteries. Hope you have candles.
All this could have been avoided if you had the Any Battery Light, which, as its name suggests, can be used with a variety of batteries or combinations of batteries. After the natural disasters in Japan, Panasonic decided to create a light where you wouldn’t have to scramble to find just the right battery in an emergency situation. The result was a flashlight that can be used with AAA, AA, C or D-sized batteries or a combination of the four. The light doesn’t actually use all the batteries at once, you can select which battery to use via the power switch. The brightness of the LED—selected for energy efficiency—depends on what type of battery you’re using, but even the AAA battery offers enough light to get around in a pinch. If the flashlight contains one of each type of battery, it will last around 86 hours, according to the company.
This is a really great technology that will be widely available. It's one of those things that has a lot of uses outside of natural disasters and it's pretty cheap, so the price point shouldn't be a huge barrier.
The light will be available at the end of January for about $24.