|Item Weight||4 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||5 x 11 x 11 inches|
|Item model number||EL2639-3|
|Batteries||3 AAA batteries required. (included)|
|Manufacturer Part Number||EL2639-3|
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Wagan EL2639-3 The Original FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare, (Pack of 3)
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- 3 pieces are included in this set, which also includes a convenient carrying bag
- 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; 3 AAA batteries are included
- Shatterproof, crushproof and rainproof plus it has a magnetized base and hook
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Legal DisclaimerThis product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
For more than 35 years Wagan have been a leader in the automotive accessory industry. The F.R.E.D. Light is a Wagan Tech original design; we are the originator of the Flashing Roadside Emergency Disk that is being used world-wide by police, fire, ambulance, civil services, and people just like you. Don't be fooled by copy-cats selling inferior products, The Wagan tech F.R.E.D. Light is THE ORIGINAL flames-less LED flare!
This 3 pack also includes a convenient carrying case. “FRED” Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare offers 10 different LED lighting modes to make sure it attracts attention whenever it is in use. Perfect for emergency use, camping/outdoors, road flares, marine applications, etc. Plus it is shatterproof, rainproof (IP55) and it can float so you can take it anywhere. 10 different LED lighting modes include spotlight (6 hours), double blink (9 hours), double pulse (9 hours), single blink (38 hours), rotate (9 hours), SOS rescue morse code (15 hours), alternate (9 hours), solid on high (5 hours), solid on low (28 hours) and 2 LED flashlight (9 hours). Easy to use: Just press the button and hold to turn on and cycle through the different lighting options. Requires 3 AAA batteries (included). Superior visibility: Super bright LED array can be seen up to 1 mile at night and can also provide additional protection during the day as well. Lateral illumination: 360 degree coverage is provided (a common weakness of other emergency lights). Attachable: Strong magnetic backing allows flare to adhere to your vehicle’s hood and other metal surfaces. Plus the extendable hook can be used to fasten to backpacks. Compact: The size is similar to a hockey puck, and they can be mounted or stored just about anywhere on your bike. Versatile: FRED Light units can be used for traffic control, as a warning light, as a rescue beacon, and for any other emergencies. They can also be used for recreational activities such as camping and hiking. Durable: Can withstand weight of 10,000 pounds vehicle. Watertight: Used on rainy weather and marine applications. Non-reactive: Flares can be used in places where old-fashioned flares would be dangerous, such as in dry brush or in the presence of gasoline.
From the manufacturer
Wagan Tech FRED, Flashing Roadside Emergency Disk
Wagan Tech’s Flashing Roadside Emergency Disk (FRED) is a safe, bright and effective tool for warning other motorists of your emergency roadside situation. A safe alternative to road flares, the FRED Light is IP55 rated, shatterproof, extremely bright, and is a highly versatile and valuable tool no matter what your use. Use it at home or on the road, your friend FRED will not let you down!
Hanging Hook/Stand + Magnet
FRED has a flush fitting hook that can be used to hang FRED from a fixed object, or used as a stand to support FRED in an upright position for better visibility. The integrated super strong magnet ensures that FRED will stay in place on an iron (ferrous) metal surface such as a car body, fence post, mailbox, street light, handrail, car bumper, or road sign.
Emergency Use at Home
The FRED Light is not only for roadside use. Use FRED at home to identify your location so that first responders can easily find you. If you are in an emergency, seconds count. Placing a FRED Light on your house or curbside can make it easier for emergency personnel (Police, Fire, and Ambulance) to find your location.
FRED's Included Bag
Included with the 3-pack of FRED lights is a handy zippered storage bag that functions as good as it looks. The bag is designed to hold three FRED lights when not in use, and facilitates easy location of the FREDs when they are needed.
F.R.E.D. LED Lights
Trusted By Emergency and First Responders
We constantly receive rave reviews of the FRED from all over the world. Many Police Departments, Sheriff’s Departments, Fire Departments, Ambulance companies, and Civil Services rely on our FRED Lights to keep them visible and out of harm’s way. Wagan Corporation thank those individuals for their dedicated service!
The 3 white LED worklight is perfect for up-close work and can help act as an under the hood light. A perfect amount of light for finding the path at night, or keeping tabs of items during a roadside repair, the bright 3 LED worklight/Flashlight is a great addition to the FRED's already invaluable toolbox.
IP55 Waterproof Rated
The FRED Light is IP55 (Ingress Protected) which means that it can withstand most dust from entering its case and it can with stand low pressure water jets. For regular users, that means that the FRED is built tough; dust and water do not affect the FRED Light and it even floats too!
For Use Anywhere
FRED can be used for non-emergency use too. A great way to add party ambiance; use FRED as a neat floating pool light show, walkway or path marker, keep track of the kids at night, or marking your campsite, FRED’s uses are only limited by your imagination!
New Upgraded Internals
Our FRED has been redesigned with a new switch and perfected battery regulation. The redesigned switch is intuitively designed to allow easier mode manipulation through all of the FRED’s 10 lighting modes. Our resolved PCB allows the FRED to be stored for long periods with negligible battery drain.
New Upgraded Internals
Compact and Tough
Easy Battery Replacement
Unlimited Use Options
Lighting Modes (with Run times)
3-LED flashlight (white): 6 hours
Double-blink: 9 hours
Double-pulse: 9 hours
Single-blink: 38 hours
Rotate: 9 hours
SOS Help (Morse code): 15 hours
Alternating: 9 hours
Solid-on high: 5 hours
Solid-on low: 28 hours
2-LED flashlight (red): 9 hours
- Redesigned Switch
- Perfected Battery Regulation Circuit
- IP55 Waterproof Rated
- Floats on Water
- 15 LEDs Total
- Storage Bag Included
- Strong Magnetic Backing
- Flush Fitting Hanging Hook
- 360 degree visibility with up to a mile radius
- 9 Lighting Modes + LED Worklight mode
- Safe, will not start a fire or get hot
- Helps you be seen or found
- 500kg Shatterproof Load Capacity
Top customer reviews
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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.
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:
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 - Wagan
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 - Wagan
Access 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 - Tie
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 - Wagan
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 - Wagan
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 - Wagan
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 - Wagan
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 - Tie
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.
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 - Wagan
Price: Winner - Wagan
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.