Sanyo Flashlight - Bakelite Dual Bulb Rechargeable "Cadnica" Light - Model No. NL-421 (c. 1980)
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Flashlights : Sanyo Brand / Rechargeable Style

Sanyo Bakelite Dual Bulb Rechargeable  
Sanyo Bakelite Dual Bulb Rechargeable "Cadnica" Light

Value: $10.00
Manufacturer: Sanyo
Mfgr. Model #: NL-421
Circa: 1980
Battery: N/A
Style: Rechargeable

Online Since: 1/23/2007
FM Reference #: SAN0001

  John Foster
Going through my stuff in storage--found a brand new, never used, still-in-the box-Sanyo NL421 rechargeable flashlight. Charged it up, works perfect!! Price sticker says $5.50, purchased in Feb 1980. Wow. I also have three NEW spare bulbs, still in the original wrapper Untested, but they look good, have the magnify lens on the end. These flashlights are fantastic--used them when I was flying for the Air Force back in the 80's. This one is a spare I stashed away. If anyone is still interested, what do I do? Put it on EBay? What should I ask for the unit, and/or the new bulbs?
Dec 21, 2013 - 12:19 AM
Still looking to buy a NL-421 in good condition. Thank You
Oct 11, 2013 - 8:40 PM
Still looking to buy a NL-421 in good condition. Thank You
Jul 5, 2013 - 9:11 PM
Looking to buy a NL-421 in good condition. Thank You.
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:35 PM
Scott, I emailed you a private message! LMK your thoughts!
Nov 4, 2012 - 9:10 PM
Good day all,

I have one of the NL-421 lights new and still in the package.
I am considering putting it on ebay.

Would anyone be interested?
Nov 4, 2012 - 10:00 AM
  clara vaught
I am in need of replacement bulbs and tried the web site you recommended and they say they don't have them,they are 2.2 volt 110 mA with screw base.
I have two of the flashlights NL 421. Would appreciate you help in this matter.Thank you.
Jul 27, 2012 - 1:27 PM
  Duane G.
I carried this lighy with me on 499 misasions (retired B-52 tail gunner) in Vietnam. My model is listed as NL-221. Is mine number correctr what ?
May 2, 2012 - 11:54 PM
I made a comment back in Jan. 08 about the two lites that I have had for years. I am happy to say, they both still work like new.
Apr 24, 2012 - 2:29 PM
If anyone would like to part with their old non-working light for a reasonable price, I'd be interested. (Yes, I agree with @NAVEED, you should be able to find a replacement pack that is at least close. Try ebay or look online.)
Apr 24, 2012 - 12:33 PM
  Steven Hartman
I have one, my dad was in the Air Force and station in Osan Korea, he had picked up a few of these and brought them home, mine doesn't work anymore, I too would like to see if these are still around.
Apr 20, 2012 - 4:44 PM
I'm looking for another one of these. This one I have will not charge anymore and I just LOVE this little light!!!
Do you know where we can buy them???
Mar 17, 2012 - 7:04 PM
Jun 22, 2011 - 3:07 PM
as its battery is built in how can i change the battery with new replacement to make this in order for use
Jun 20, 2011 - 6:47 AM
i am having this cadnica sanyo dual bulb light.its brand new but its battery is not working.the battery doesnt charge it.
Jun 20, 2011 - 6:44 AM
I am a merchant marine, I have 2 lights one in 110V and one in 220V. They sell them overseas. 110V are no longer available only 220V. I could possibly pick some up?
May 9, 2011 - 8:56 PM
I had several of these lights. I still have one, only the battery will no longer recharge.
Apr 24, 2011 - 6:21 PM
I had a couple of these well before spending 1968 in SEA. Can't remember where I got the first, maybe Pakistan or Panama. Used them at Sewart, Hurlburt, Utapao, and Wright-Patt. As Chief of Safety at Wright-Patt in late 60s or early 70s, a Safety Alert from USAF Safety Center, then at Norton AFB, came out warning of incidents of the things bursting into flames while plugged in and charging. Mine didn't work anymore so pitched them. They were a lot better than carrying a 2 C-cell flashlight in the cockpit.
Apr 24, 2011 - 8:46 AM
I had several of these while stationed in Guam 1967 thru Apr 1969. Left them on charge all the time (ala "night lite") which was a mistake as the battery would not lite the bulb for long after a long time in the outlet. Don't remember using these when I was in Spectre in 1972.

Apr 23, 2011 - 10:01 PM
I used this flashlight while flying as an airborne gunner in VietNam. We would hold them in our mouth while working in the dark fixing the guns and they were perfect for what work we were doing.
Apr 21, 2011 - 11:51 PM
Well I found one on ebay that is newer and black. The plug slides in and out. It has yellow wording the says "Aviator's Flashlight" with a model number NL-K1(D).
Mar 21, 2011 - 9:39 PM
  Mr voston
I have one that my father gave to me. It works great. Anyone interested, contact me;
Mar 16, 2011 - 7:46 PM
I have one, though the model is NL-5100. It was dead, but I took it apart and brought it to Batteries Plus. They replaced the rechargeable cells, but couldn't put it back together. Took me all of 5 minutes to do so. Pretty sure it's even brighter than before. SO glad to have it back and working! Sure wish I could buy a few new ones.
Jan 16, 2011 - 12:26 AM
Where can I buy One of these lites
Dec 7, 2010 - 12:15 AM
Does anyone know where I would be able to find one of these? Please let me know. Thank you.
Nov 4, 2010 - 10:38 PM
A lady had one of these at Radio Shack one day when I was there. I finally bought one of ebay and now I need to replace the batteries that only hold a charge an hour or less. Wonder how much they are worth?
Jun 17, 2010 - 10:25 PM
I had one of these in Vietnam. I caried it everywhere. As I remember it always recharged without a problem. Recently seeing the book, The Things They Carried, I thought of that falahlight. I too would love to find a replacement.
May 25, 2010 - 9:53 PM
I had a bunch of these things from my days at Kadena in the early 70s. Got them for 5 bucks a piece or less and gave them out as Christmas presents/stocking stuffers. Because we got them at Kadena, they were euphemistically called "Habu lights." If anyone knows where to get them these days, please let me know!
Apr 10, 2010 - 4:30 PM
We had one or two of these when I was a kid in the '70s...I guess brought here from Japan by family friends. Looking for one now to give my little boy. Nothing on ebay - any of y'all have one to sell?
Mar 31, 2010 - 9:27 PM
  George Pearson
I have one of these that is in working order, but I don't have the instruction manuel for it. Does anyone know where I can find it on the WWW and how long the batteries are to be charged? I have had this lite for many years, as a Navy friend of mine gave it to during the Vietnam War Era.
Mar 22, 2010 - 1:49 AM
  George Pearson
I have one of these that is in working order, but I don't have the instruction manuel for it. Does anyone know where I can find it on the WWW and how long the batteries are to be charged? I have had this lite for many years, as a Navy friend of mine gave it to during the Vietnam War Era.
Mar 22, 2010 - 1:44 AM
  Kent Hayward
NL421 are still available in Japan.As recently as Dec 2009 I bought 4 at Yokajama when our container ship came in. I haven't found a US supplier yet.
Mar 16, 2010 - 4:36 PM
Hey Larry, Thanks for the tip. I must have an odd one. No screw under the rubber tool either though I can see a resistor through that hole. No way in under the flip-around charging plug either. I got mine for USN deck watches back in the early 70's and just came across it again recently. Cleaned a little corrosion off the lamp sockets with club soda on a Q Tip. It does still charge and holds a charge for about a week but that charge doesn't keep the light on continuously for very long.
Feb 17, 2010 - 10:41 PM
Hi John,
On my flashlight the little screw that holds the halves together is in the bottom of the hole where the rubber light bulb tool resides, opposite switch and near end where the AC plug is. I did see one light that had a removable piece on the end that had to be removed for charging.
Feb 13, 2010 - 11:17 AM
The current similar model is NL-222 but it charges from 220V and is not sold in the US.
Previous comments mention opening case with a screw on opposite side from the switch and at the bottom end near the rubber plug/tool and perhaps under a label. None of that seems to match my NL-421 (circa 1971). No gray label and no small screw. Might it be under the chrome tape?
Jan 31, 2010 - 7:57 PM
Great Website!
These lights were a favorite of Merchant Marine deck officers standing watches on the bridges of commercial ships for many years. As a communications officer on these ships the dead ones were brought to me with the question "Sparks, can you fix this thing? I love this light and it has died." Well, they can usually be repaired by installing new rechargeable batteries. The batteries are NiCad 2/3 AA size. It is a delicate operation to install the batteries, but it can be done with care. I am still using one that was repaired using the more modern NiMH (Nickle Metal Hydride) batteries which have 2 to 3 times the capacity of the original cells. As long as the little transformer in the charging circuit is still OK they can be salvaged. I hope this helps those who are lucky enough to have one of these well designed lights. Happy New Year, Larry
Jan 17, 2010 - 9:19 AM
is the Sanyo NL-421 rechargeable lite still available
Jan 1, 2010 - 12:09 PM
So happy to find your blog. My late husband was a Naval raider and aircraft mechanic in the Korean conflict. He used his NL-421 on rescue missions and for many years after his military years when we'd go fishing together or when he'd go hunting with his buddies. I ran across it the other day when I was clearing out some of his things. It still sort of holds a charge and I'm going to use it (for sentimental reasons) but need to get new batteries and a replacement bulb for the red side. Your blog has been very helpful as I've been going nuts trying to figure out how to get the darn thing open without a manual! Thanks to all of you. And to all you gents and ladies that have been in the Armed Services... My utmost respect and God Bless You!
Dec 30, 2009 - 4:17 PM
  James Bell
My wife recently found my old rechargable in a box of military stuff from before my retirement. It still carried a charge and I now have it plugged in at the night stand, just like all my military days. I got my first one in 1980 when I was a loadmaster on C-5's, and carried them for the next 24 years as I transitioned to C-141's and KC-10's as a flight engineer. This one still works great and thankfully I had the foresight to buy extra bulbs.
Dec 27, 2009 - 3:04 PM
I used one as a C-130 Nav (many of the crewmembers bought one at the time)in Vietnam in the late '60's and early '70's. I remember buying one for my Dad and it may still be at my mom's home. I'll have to look for it. Mine died years ago, I suppose, as I have no idea where it went or what happened to it. It sure served it's purpose for me for years. Great little rechargeable light!
Dec 11, 2009 - 11:44 AM
Hi, where can I buy this item ?
Dec 5, 2009 - 3:07 PM
Would like to buy 3 of these from any source. As a merchant marine officer standing the bridge watch at night, this was the absolute best flashlight I've ever used. Mine is toast now and I have no idea where to procure a replacement that works. I should've bought a dozen of them back in 1981 when they were still around.
Dec 1, 2009 - 12:04 AM
  Duane Wolcott
I wish Sanyo would update this flashlight using high intensity LED's (one white, one red). I have three of these flashlights, all of which still work, though one needs new bulbs.
Nov 4, 2009 - 5:33 PM
bought several when stationed at Kadena AFB in the late 60s. Would like to purchase another if anyone knows where they can be found.
Aug 11, 2009 - 7:42 PM
When I was in RVN 1971 I used 2 to guide aircraft on ground operations at lasted the whole tour and years it.
Jul 12, 2009 - 11:00 PM
I have a couple of these lights that I bought at an estate sale for an airline pilot. (He apparently had tons of stuff he had bought during his travels, but I got to the sale too late to get the real treasures.) The light is still in the original cardboard box and includes the instruction booklet. I charged it up about a month ago, and it still lights up -- though rather dimly, today. Please email me if you are interested in purchasing this flashlight. (I'm not real greedy, but I am saving up to buy a new camera lens!)
Jun 10, 2009 - 7:39 AM
  Rick Dams
used them in Nam & Korea during the late 60's and 70's. They're great. Even bought some for the family. CAN I GET THEM ANYWHERE?
May 16, 2009 - 1:05 AM
  Mike McLoughlin
I just rebuilt two Model 421 Cadnica Lite's that I bought near Yakota in 89. They sat dead for several years but your board convinced me to try and repair them. I found replacement batteries at Batteries Plus for $5.32 a pair for what they called a 2/3 AA battery. The metal straps connecting the batteries were tack welded in place but I was able to pry them off and reuse them with solder. I have charged the repaired units and they work fine.
Apr 14, 2009 - 2:49 PM
I too would like to purchase at least one of these. I had several but they are gone now. Please advise. Thanks
Feb 26, 2009 - 7:29 AM
Looking to replace my Model NL 5350 Battery
Feb 1, 2009 - 10:19 PM
I do not have the light anymore please do not email me asking about it.
Nov 30, 2008 - 8:50 PM
I would like to know if you can purchase this flashlight anywhere? Please.........
Nov 29, 2008 - 11:25 AM
I Want to Buy It Online or in the Stores. Where can I Buy it? I am from U.S.A. Texas, Laredo
Nov 27, 2008 - 10:02 PM
  Helene M. Wilson
I own a Sanyo Cadnia Lite battery and I can no longer charge it. Please let me know where I can buy one in Clearwater, Florida - zip 33756
Nov 4, 2008 - 2:14 PM
  cm Radkins
My husband wants a rechargeable lite with red and white lite such as the sanyo cadnica. Can anyone help me ? It needs to be a 110 volt if possible.
Nov 3, 2008 - 6:24 PM
the best little flashlight I have ever owned. Had several while in USAF.
Nov 2, 2008 - 10:13 PM
Where can I purchase this battery in Clearwater, Florida - the old one I have is #NL-5100 but this picture is identical to the one I have.
Oct 30, 2008 - 2:52 PM
Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!
Aug 15, 2008 - 3:45 PM
  carlos del rosario
i have four sanyo rechargeable flashlight still in original box with manual wrap in plastic model nl5150 and the other is model nl5100 they purchase this in 1970's never been use by the way we use this once only when we test them four it's work both light red and white if anybody is interested for this pls.e-mail me or call me @408-246-4853 thank's.
Aug 4, 2008 - 7:12 PM
Billy: Yes, I have 2 working flashlights like the one pictured above. One is brand new, MINT, unopened in it's original package. The other, I have used some, but not much since I can't find new ones online anywhere. It still looks and works like new and hasn't been recharged more than 4-6 times. I would say it's near-mint condition. The unopened one I'd sell for $200. (USD), and the used one, $150. (USD). Cash, check or money order. I will ship any way you want AFTER payment goes through. I'm not set up with paypal. Let me know if you are seriously interested only. PRICE IS FIRM.
Aug 1, 2008 - 7:27 AM
For those wondering, these flashlights don't seem to be made to be taken apart. The main issue is the metal foil band around it. But you can remove the screw (possibly hidden by a small gray sticker) on the opposite side of the switch down by the rubber bulb remover and open it enough to get at the batteries. You WILL need a soldering iron and two rechargeable 'N' cell batteries. I'd advise finding/buying the batteries first before you mess with it so you can do it all in one sitting. I have a BRAND NEW one NEVER OPENED I would be WILLING TO SELL. But I want $200., so I'm guessing I'll be sitting on it for some time... Hey, to a flashlight geek like myself, it's a rare collectable.
Jul 4, 2008 - 4:22 PM
I received my first one of these as a gift when I was a child - maybe 1970-ish. Loved it and used it non-stop till it would no longer charged. Then, in about 1994, I found it in a catalog and HAD to have it! I bought 2. One is still in the package in a fire box, and the other, while opened, has only been used/charged a few times, since I can't find more anywhere, and these hold enormous sentimental value. I'm kicking myself for only buying two!! If someone wants to make me an offer (hint: $120.00 US dollars minimum.), I would take the highest bid. It looks just like the one pictured here, and has been in a zip lock bag out of the sun. It works perfectly and is mint/near-mint. As for the one still packaged, I'd sell it for a minimum (insane) bid of $500.00. Sorry so high, but I KNOW I'd MISS it as soon as it was gone. I can send a pic of it to anyone SERIOUSLY interested. Money first, then I'll ship to anywhere in U.S. Specify if you are bidding for the packaged one or the slightly used one.
Jun 29, 2008 - 7:30 AM
I had the lite pictured above for about 5 years before I lost it. I have two just like it, but the Model# is NL5100, and I bought them over 35 years ago through a Airline catalog. Best thing I ever did, they both still work great! Was looking to buy some more but can't find them any where. I spent 3 years in Southeast Asia on F-4 Phantoms, and I agree with Doug, they worked great in all situations.
Jun 17, 2008 - 5:35 PM
  John Castronover
As a retired airline pilot I can say this is the finest flashlight for night flying ever produced. If anyone has any that dosen't work I can fix them. They take a "N" sise Nicad or NiMh battery. I would also like to purchase any that are available dead or alive.
Jun 5, 2008 - 6:53 AM
We deck officers in the Merchant Marine use these on the bridge of ships at night. I have several of them. Just replaced the bulbs (bought them at Ace hardware, # 222 2.2V/0.25A) These are still available in Japan last I was over there (this year) use a regular bulb in the red side, your work, in my case nautical charts, will be illuminated enough and the red sides will protect night vision. That is why they are so loved by pilots, deck officers, military, ect.
May 29, 2008 - 4:49 PM
  jim tucker
i would like to buy one of these light again
May 21, 2008 - 7:49 PM
I have the same and it still work pretty good except the fact that one bulb is missing (red side). Was husband was a pilot for a major airline company. I have no need for it. So, if you like it that much, I am willing to give it to the one who can come pick it up. I live in Pompano Beach, FL and I go in Montreal, QC every other month.
May 20, 2008 - 7:58 AM
  jim tucker
i have one that stopprd working i would like another one if you would have one for sall
May 16, 2008 - 11:01 AM
  Dallas Brown
Hi I have a Sanyo Cadnica Lite NL-5100 and it doesn't work were can I get it fixed I have had two of them and used them a lot when I was flying would like to get it fixed thks
May 15, 2008 - 1:21 PM
  Dallas Brown
Hi I have one of these and it doesn't work were can I get it fixed I have had tow of them and used them a lot when I was flying would like to get it fixed thks
May 15, 2008 - 1:14 PM
I had one in the 80,s and loved it! Used it for snowmobiling at night here in Canada. We had various breakdowns and i was very popular, having that flash light.My late son got his hands on it and had it in pieces, i think its still around. Im going to dig it up and try to resurect it, it will be worth it!
May 13, 2008 - 9:39 AM
I have this flashlight but the battery is going and I can't find another one. Any suggestions?
May 12, 2008 - 3:58 PM
I have one and use it since 1980. It work until now! Only the the battery isnt work well. Where can I buy another one? Plese.
Apr 17, 2008 - 5:50 PM
I have a NL 5100 need to get fixed have been using it since the 70's for flying. Need help.
Apr 10, 2008 - 12:07 PM
  Errol Glidden
Is the red side supposed to have a red bulb?
Apr 1, 2008 - 4:09 PM
  Errol Glidden
I'm a contractor and I found the flashlight under a bath tub. Charged it and it still works. Missing a bulb, but it still works.
Mar 31, 2008 - 6:52 PM
BOB: If it's just the batteries, you can get replacement ni-cads online if you do some searching. If you don't have the knowledge yourself, you can take it to one of those places that rebuild tool batteries. They should probably be able to help you. I am still looking for one of those and hate to think anyone would dispose of it for only the battery dying.
Jan 21, 2008 - 10:43 PM
If anyone knows where to get one of these, I would like to get a replacement for my worn out one.
Dec 17, 2007 - 9:44 AM
Bought one of these in 1970 in tokyo. Landed at Yakota AB japan on a USAF mission and found it near the Air Base. Still have i.
Dec 9, 2007 - 8:38 PM
  mich wilson
If any one has one that works I'll gladly buy it. Please contact me at
Sep 30, 2007 - 2:46 PM
Had one for years and would like to buy another. Where can I buy one?
Sep 29, 2007 - 4:38 PM
I have an old one that doesn't work any longer -- I found that, to take it apart, you must remove the silver label that says "Charge before initial use." There is a screw hidden under that label. It doesn't come apart easily, though; I broke some plastic getting mine open. The batteries aren't easy to replace; they're soldered in. I used mine for years as an airline pilot -- great flashlight! (RIP)
Sep 15, 2007 - 1:06 PM
If you have an idea about price, please email me.
Sep 11, 2007 - 8:30 PM
  Daniel Belisle
Aug 29, 2007 - 7:02 AM
  Daniel Belisle
Hi i have one of these sanyo cadnica lite flashlights as pic above its all intact in good condition with rubber plug and bulbs going to try to charge it to see if it works as it has been sitting for a long time if anybody is interested in this flashlight will sell.
Aug 28, 2007 - 4:09 PM
I'm giving it a rough guess here, but if memory serves me correctly, I think the case splits below the chrome band. I think I remember getting that off (carefully) and then it splits......I think.....hope that helps.
Jul 12, 2007 - 11:51 PM

It's been 20 years since I took one appart, but I do remember they do come appart - I think there are 2 AA ni-cads inside If I remember correctly. Replacements shouldn't be hard to come by.
Once again, I would love to find even a dead one!
OH, did find a reference to them being South America. I dont' speak Spanish, but here's the link.
Good luck Guys!
Jul 12, 2007 - 11:47 PM
I have one of these from 30 years ago and I want to replace the battery. Does anyone know how to get it apart?
Jul 12, 2007 - 4:13 PM
  Bob Matherly
Have two non- working Sanyo NL 421 flashlights - would like to buy either (1) two more like it or (2) replace the batteries - need to know if they are availablel B-52 crewmember in '70s.
May 31, 2007 - 12:45 PM
  Fred Muller
Is this item still available? It was the best aviation flashlight 30 years ago. I just threw away a dead one.
Apr 18, 2007 - 4:40 PM
Mr. Anthony DeVoti,
My mom had that flashlight 20 years ago and I have been looking for another one like it. (Sentimental reasons :) If Dave has not purchased it, and you are still interested in selling it, please let me know. It doesn't matter if it works or not.
Apr 8, 2007 - 9:03 PM
  Anthony DeVoti
I have one of these lights that was purchased and never used. It is in the original box. I charged it recently to see if it still worked and it does. If you want to buy it let me know.
Mar 7, 2007 - 6:58 PM
I bought several of these in the fall of 1999 in the Tokyo airport. They had them in both 220 and 110 volt. I wish I could find more.
Mar 4, 2007 - 10:36 PM
  John Mistretta
While stationed at Altus AFB, OK , pilots /aircrew in-training had a nice habit of leaving these lights on the aircraft-C-141A &B's & C-5A's. Those of us who fixed these planes loved them. You could hold them in your teeth and work. My wife used one while working at the hospital at night so she wouldn't bother patient's
Feb 9, 2007 - 10:29 PM
  Anthony DeVoti
If there is anyone interested in purchasing one of these Sanyo NL 421 flashlights I have one in the original box. It still works I recently charged it. Please contact me if interested.
Feb 1, 2007 - 10:40 AM
  Doug Fisher
Standard item for gunners on AC-47, AC-119 and AC-130 gunships during Vietnam war. Reloading in blackout conditions made for a rough flight at times and the red lens on the Cadnica worked well for the job. Fit nice in the flightsuit as well
Jan 25, 2007 - 3:31 PM

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