Bantam HB 62 Update:
Burn Hazard When Using Rechargeable Battery
wrote a mini
flashlight review in early December
2013. This is a Bantam HB 62 update about a potential burn hazard --
that is, potentially obtaining a thermal burn -- when
using a rechargeable
AAA battery in this unit.
On July 26, 2014, Vicki wrote to her contact at
Nighthawk Lights containing the following:
As you may recall, we received the mini flashlight in
late October 2013. I've used the unit extensively since then. Over a
period of the last couple of months, I've noticed the following
* Instead of the top and middle pieces of the
screwing out (as a unit) from the bottom (where the battery is stored),
the topmost part has unscrewed, leaving the flashlight burning with the
middle piece that contains the bulb screwed into the bottom. I'm
hazarding a guess that this has happened at least a dozen times now,
each time of which I've had to use pliers or even channellocks to
unscrew the middle piece from the bottom. I've even used pliers or
channellocks to screw the middle piece back up into the top piece as
hard as I can to make sure that it unscrews as a unit from the bottom,
only to have the same problem happen again.
* Twice now, I've noticed that the flashlight has
to turn on when the top and middle pieces were screwed all the way into
the bottom. For some reason, a jarring of the flashlight in that
setting has turned the flashlight on, but it heats up such that I
cannot hold it unless I cover it with the tail from my shirt. This
evening, this happened again and I tried to find out just how hot the
flashlight got by holding a digital thermometer near it. I'm sure that
the reading wasn't completely accurate (as the thermometer is meant to
be submersed in something and I was only resting it against the hot
flashlight). But the hottest reading on the thermometer was over 106
degrees F. For the sake of comparison, our home water heater is set at
about 120 degrees F and I can handle all but the very hottest water
running out of our faucets.
I do not plan at this time to publish this information
on our website. I'm sending it for your information only. I do not
expect any replacement (because it was a gift the first time). I
thought you'd want to know.
If you have any troubleshooting or repair ideas, I'd
interested in learning them.
Vicki did not receive any reply to this Bantam HB 62
Email #2 for
Bantam HB 62 Update
On September 5, 2014, Vicki sent another Bantam HB 62
update email to her
contact containing the following:
This is a follow-up to my email from July 26 (below)
which I noted an overheating situation from the Bantam HB 62 Mini
Tonight while I was walking my dog in the dark, in
to hold the illuminated HB 62, I had to wrap multiple layers of my
shirt tail around it because it got so hot. So when I got inside, I ran
The two unaltered photos attached tell the story:
* 2014-09-05 22.45.52.jpg shows a black foam tray, two dishcloths
covering something bright underneath and the display from a digital
thermometer reading 145.4 degrees F; and
* 2014-09-05 22.46.06.jpg shows the uncovered Poldex digital
thermometer's probe laying beside the illuminated Bantam HB 62 Mini
Flashlight while the display reads in excess of 145F.
I purposely waited until the temperature got to its
maximum point under the dishcloths before taking the photos. For what
it's worth, I was using a rechargeable battery in the flashlight at the
time of this situation. However, I have used rechargeable batteries in
the unit ever since I received it from you. It was only after months of
use that the unit started to overheat.
Although this may not be an absolutely authoritative
source, it is one that shows both a temperature and length of exposure
to cause second and third degree burns on adult skin:
According to the page linked above, a 5-second
to water at 140 degrees F can cause second and third degree burns.
Although the Bantam HB 62 Mini Flashlight is not "water", it can be
handled similarly and it definitely got up to over 145F in my presence.
If you need to have the unit for analysis, I can send
to you (although I may not have the original packaging). Please let me
Finally, would you please be so kind as to let me know
that you received this email and will take the necessary steps to make
sure no one else who has purchased a Bantam HB 62 Mini Flashlight will
get a thermal burn from it?
Thanks in advance.
Photos Attached with
Email #2 for Bantam HB 62 Update
Note: The images below, which were sent with Email #2
for a Bantam HB 62 update were altered only to resize them
for publication on this page
and to add a black border.
The photo above shows a Bantam HB-62 mini flashlight
shining under two dishcloths next to a digital thermometer, on top of a
black foam tray. The read out from the digital thermometer says
This photo shows the same setting as the photo above,
except that the dishcloths have been removed to show the Bantam HB-62
mini flashlight right next to the probe of the digital thermometer. The
temperature is still over 145° F.
Can you see why it was important to Vicki to send this
Bantam HB 62 update?
Reply to Email #2
for Bantam HB 62 Update
This is the main part of the reply that Vicki
received on September 7 regarding her Bantam HB 62 update:
Thanks for your email and detailed experience with the
HB-62. I am sorry to hear of your bad experience and glad you were not
We are aware of previous situations like yours and
have addressed it on a number of levels. The common denominator in ALL
these situations is that the user was using a rechargeable (lithium)
battery. The Bantam Series is designed to be used only with 1.2-1.5v
We have made every effort to make this clear to all
purchasers of the product through multiple channels, including but not
limited to: instructions on the manual, on our website and in direct
communications. Our dealers network is also aware and has been
instructed to re-enforce the warning whenever possible.
The situation is not a defect in the product but
rather a case of users literally over-powering the unit. Using the
correct voltage, the unit operates within the design and safety
I am not sure if the operation of your HB-62 has been
affected, some are and some are not. If it has not been affected using
an alkaline AAA battery should not cause any future problems.
Thanks again for your email and concern, we certainly
take situations like this very seriously and never want anyone to be
injured by using any product, let alone one of ours.
The writer also added this at the bottom
PS Might I also suggest that you post on your review
that the HB-62 is to only be used with a AAA Alkaline 1.2-1.5v battery
and edit the section on using and testing the unit with a lithium
battery as I would not want someone to assume it was safe to operate
the unit with this type of battery. I am not sure if or how many units
have been sold based on your review, but going forward I think it is
the prudent thing to do.
Email #3 for Bantam HB
On September 8, 2014, Vicki wrote a third email about a
Bantam HB 62 update to her
contact, containing the following:
Thank you for your reply and for taking my experience
I do not know on what date Nighthawk Lights made the
change to its information, but it was definitely after I received the
Bantam HB-62 in October 2013. I wrote the review of it in December 2013
and had been using rechargeable batteries from the beginning.
For reference purposes, I have attached four images --
two of the exterior box that the mini flashlight came in and two of the
instruction manual that was included. Nowhere is there an instruction
about using only an alkaline battery in the Bantam HB-62.
I don't recall being advised about the overcharging
situation when I first reported that the mini flashlight got warm or
hot to the touch. If it was the case that I was not advised, I wonder
I will be using my images in a follow-up to my
original review and I will be placing a warning at the top of my
original review, pointing to the follow-up. I can let you know where
the follow-up appears on our site if you like.
Photos Attached With
Email #3 for Bantam HB 62 Update
Note: These images were attached to Email #3 for a
Bantam HB 62 update and were altered only to resize them
and add a black border.
Nowhere on the box or in the instruction manual
is there a prohibition against using a rechargeable battery.
Reply to Email
#3 Bantam HB 62 Update
Vicki received an email reply to her third Bantam HB 62
update on September 9 containing
the following (red font and capitalization preserved):
The voltage for use with the light is in the manual
you sent. Actually at that point it says *Voltage: 1.2V~3V
It has since been revised to: *Voltage: 1.2V~1.5V Only
Plus we revised the warning to below, and added the
warning to our site. This was all done in ’14.
DO NOT USE
Lithium Batteries or any Battery exceeding 1.5V with this product.
EXCEEDING 1.5v CAN CAUSE MALFUNCTION AND EXTREME RISK OF PERSONAL
When using in High Beam mode with an AAA 1.2-1.5v battery the
flashlight will get warm.
This is normal and will not affect the flashlight operation.
CAUTION: DO NOT SHINE INTO EYES-WILL CAUSE SEVERE EYE DAMAGE.
KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN.
Vicki did not send another email to her contact. Rather,
for Bantam HB 62 Update
After receiving the Reply to Email #3, Vicki began to do
some research for this online Bantam HB 62 update. This is a summary of
- The Energizer AAA rechargeable batteries that Vicki
been using in the Bantam HB-62 mini flashlight are rated at 1.2 Volts,
as shown outlined in red on both the
battery and the packaging.
- Vicki was unable to get any reading on this type of
battery using a standard voltmeter (to learn if the battery truly had
- The recharging unit that Vicki has been using was
meant specifically to work with Energizer rechargeable batteries.
- According to Energizer's Rechargeable FAQ sheet,
"12. Can a NiMH battery be overcharged? NiMH batteries are sensitive to
continuous over charge. A smart charger monitors the cell condition
during charge and prevents overcharging and subsequent negative impact
on battery cycle life."
"16. Can I use other NiMH brands in an Energizer®
chargers are designed and tested for optimal performance with Energizer®
batteries. Therefore, it is recommend using Energizer®
batteries in Energizer®
- Even though the name of the page goes by the file
name "smart-charger.aspx", Vicki was unable to find an Energizer
recharging unit that is named "smart charger" on their website. The recharging unit
that we have been using for years is the Energizer®
Recharge® Universal Value Charger, more
information about which is online here.
- The information on NighthawkLights.com about the Bantam HB-62 mini flashlight now
reads (in part):
***DO NOT USE ANY BATTERY THAT EXCEEDS 1.2V-1.5V IN
THIS FLASHLIGHT*** ***DO NOT USE RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES IN
THIS FLASHLIGHT*** AS THIS MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THE
AND OR PERSONAL INJURY***
*1 AAA alkaline battery (not included)
*Run Time up to 60+min. of use on high beam
/ 20+ hrs on low beam.
- After noting the need for a Bantam HB 62 update,
Vicki purchased a small (but not a "mini") flashlight
with a metal case that could be turned on with one hand,
carried in her pocket and which takes 3 AAA batteries.
To be fair
about the assessment regarding rechargeable batteries overheating a
flashlight, Vicki took 3 new and
charged rechargeable batteries, put them
in the new flashlight, turned it on, put the digital thermometer
alongside it under two dishcloths and waited. Over a period of maybe 45
minutes on September 10, 2014, the
external temperature of the new flashlight rose from 75° F briefly to
92° F and settled
at about 90° F. The flashlight was warm but not hot to the touch.
Bantam HB 62 Update
The Bantam HB-62 mini flashlight has a run time of only
about one hour on high beam. The unit's high beam is what Vicki liked
most about it.
Alkaline batteries cannot be recharged and therefore
must be either thrown away or recycled after being used.
(Throwing away an
alkaline battery is not good for the environment and it may not be
convenient for truckers to recycle their batteries.)
Based on a search on Amazon.com and WalMart.com, AAA
alkaline batteries can cost $0.23 or more each, depending on vendor,
manufacturer and quantity purchased.
- If a trucker walks for an hour
after dark 5
nights a week, 50 weeks a year;
- If he/she uses the Bantam HB-62
mini flashlight on
high beam that whole time and completely uses the capacity of one
alkaline AAA battery each night;
- If one alkaline AAA battery
- That's an annual cost of $57.50
for batteries; and
- The annual cost goes up
as the cost of
batteries goes up.
Bantam HB 62 Update
It took many years for us to decide to invest in
rechargeable batteries and a recharging unit. However, after running
through what seemed to be an endless supply of alkaline batteries, we
We have had no issues with using recharged Energizer
rechargeable batteries in any of our other items (such as our portable
digital clocks). Another flashlight that was powered by 3 rechargeable
batteries got warm but not hot to the touch.
We have no desire to revert to using alkaline batteries
to power a flashlight.
Because of the issues associated with the Bantam HB-62
-- the unit's pieces becoming difficult to separate when it was
on and the burn hazard associated with using a rechargeable battery --
we can not recommend that truckers use this product as part of their tools
from Bantam HB 62
Update: Burn Hazard When Using Rechargeable Battery to our
Tools and Equipment
page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips