You’re thinking ‘I need a led flashlight?’ Well, before you start searching for reviews, it might be good to get educated about flashlights. There are undoubtedly varied factors and considerations that ought to be made so as to find a quality flashlight that matches your desires.
Did you know that FBI research shows that most crimes occur at night? Now you know. Considering that, don’t you think that shining flashlight into the darkness is worth consideration? Light up your world by ensuring you always carry a high-end flashlight. What’s more, getting one won’t drill holes into your pockets, but first.
Who is this guide meant for?
See, do you deem yourself to be a flashaholic man? If yes, then this guide is going to be overly exciting to you. But, literally, any Dick, Tom, and Harry will undoubtedly benefit and should endeavor to acquire a flashlight.
How having a flashlight is very important in our lives
In this era of smartphones, one can easily forget how essential a flashlight can be. Truth be told, apart from a pocket knife, the next most important tool you can ever have is a flashlight, right? A great flashlight is something that you do not know you need until necessity comes knocking. In a nutshell, if you want to see in the dark, think flashlights.
How to determine the best flashlight for varied purposes
So far it’s evident that flashlight uses greatly range from needs of peacekeepers to those searching for a heavenly flashlight for outdoor use. No wonder flashlights manufacturers continue with unmatched innovations to ensure your needs are met. As you determine which flashlight to consider, just think, ‘which light is best for me?’ Below are details to help judge on which flashlight suits you best.
Mini LED Flashlight
A small flashlight is a useful everyday gadget that takes up very little space and only weighs a few grams. Often, a large, cylindrical flashlight is too cumbersome when you just want to do something simple- like find your car keys, read a sign, or pull a thorn from your dog’s paw when you’re taking him for a walk.
For those people who need both of their hands in the dark, like campers, climbers or fishermen, a headlamp is ideal. Similarly, a mini flashlight on the handlebars of your bicycle increases your safety in traffic and – albeit unconventional – most small flashlights can double as key-rings.
The most affordable mini LED flashlights are produced in China and sold in multipacks of 10 units. However, customers often complain about poor workmanship, so these are not good candidates for use as emergency lights.
It is therefore recommended that you consider the quality when choosing a mini LED flashlight: lights with a waterproof aluminum housing, a bright, focusable beam of light, and with economical energy consumption are available from as little as $10. In the price range from $10 to $20, you will find pocket flashlights in an attractive stainless steel design.
Penlights are used as technical and medical diagnostic lights. These pen-shaped flashlights offer various features such as floodlight, flashing light, a broad-angle lighting field, a swiveling clip or a magnetic mount.
Tactical flashlights can do more than simply illuminate. The term “tactic” is derived from the Greek word “taktikos”, which means “ to arrange”, or “to put in order”, which in this case refers to the ability to focus on an object or event in the environment, for the purpose of affecting a certain outcome- commonly for self defense.
In combat, peculiarities of military tactics are projected onto the flashlight: it should be ready to use quickly, easy to grasp and have various functions in a discreet, functional design. The latest LED technology provides very high lighting power with extremely economical battery consumption.
The added value of tactical flashlights over regular flashlights is that they can be used for survival and outdoor activities, police work, and technical relief agencies. A multifunction switch often enables one-handed operation, even when wearing thick gloves.
The robust material, most often highly stable aerospace-grade aluminum, lends itself to making the LED flashlight into a weapon of self-defense. If the flashlight is shaped like a baseball bat or has hidden switchblades, the flashlight might fall under certain weapons laws, and unauthorized private persons may be forbidden to own them.
But, even small models can give you a feeling of security. The stroboscope/blinding functions can effectively fend off attackers, both human and animal. The Navy Seals LED flashlight, known as the Shadow Hawk X800, is one such flashlight and has now been adopted by the Coast Guard.
For outdoor use, an LED flashlight has to be waterproof. The red, green or blue LED flashlight is a great help to special forces and hunters.
The battery-free flashlight has several additional tactical features: turning a crank handle provides the dynamo flashlight with power. Alternatively, the flashlight is also available with a rechargeable battery and an integrated USB connection, so that it can be recharged quickly when necessary.
These flashlights often feature very high lumens output combined with some of longest throw distances. Is it a new campsite or a person in distress that you’re looking for? A powerful flashlight will ensure you fulfill your desire.
For utmost thrilling camping experience, you ought to light your way to the camp or even a night excursion. A camping flashlight has a high level of lumen output. Make a wise judgment on best-camping flashlights to meet your desire whether you are fishing, car camping or in for an extended stay in the high sierras.
Hunting lights possess features that resemble those of tactical flashlights. They can be incorporated to a firearm thus becoming an essential outing to have on your next hunting trip. One of their unique attributes is the ability to shine different colored lights, hence helping you see blood trails when hunting.
Every Day Carry (EDC)
What do you usually put in your pockets after waking up? Maybe your mobile phone, wallet and car keys, right? What about a flashlight? Every day carry flashlights come with a length that makes them easy to slip on a pocket. Consider one that’s made for daily tasks and adventure.
Different Types of Bulbs For flashlights
Gone are the days when consumers only had the options of the traditional 4v bulbs, today, LED lights are the talk of the town. Despite the numerous LED flashlights in the market, not every flashlight uses the same type of LED bulb, do proper judgment and comparison. Take time to check the varied types to determine which LEDs will be the right match for your needs.
We all ought to have one or two flashlights to prove handy when it comes to power outages, journeys into the basement or even camping trips. Evidently, there are varied types of flashlights at our disposal, which can make choosing one a daunting task. In case you’re in the market searching for a new one, worry not, below are the varied types of Led Flashlights you can choose from.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) is most popular and wildly use bulb types in the market due to its durability and powerful features.
High-Intensity Discharge bulbs come with an electric current that runs through an arranged ball of ionized gas. Though very rare, these flashlights are very bulky and expensive. However, they’re known for their sharp light and durable bulb.
Xenon, Halogen, and Krypton Bulbs
Some flashlight bulbs are filled with a pressurized gas that helps to prolong the life of the interior filament. This results into the bulb burning brighter without running down the batteries. Today, these are the brightest flashlights in the market. However, they’re not durable or rugged as LED flashlights.
These are also called the Faraday flashlights, thanks to their inventor. You operate it by shaking the magnets inside for a minute. Doing so ensures you get several hours of LED light. Despite its light being overly bright, their lack of batteries makes them perfect for emergency situations. However, it’s prudent to be careful with them since their powerful magnets can cause damage to your credit card strips and computers.
Points to consider when buying an LED flashlight
Which LED flashlight is the best in the world? Generally, there is no answer to this question, because the choice depends on the intended spectrum of use.
As a buyer, it’s prudent that you know why choosing the right flashlight is a better investment than any other lighting option.Every buyer should ask him/herself the following five basic questions:
What is the house material?
The materials used to create a flashlight largely determine its durability and weight. The most commonly used house materials are:
- Plastics or Composites: These are not high-quality flashlights.
- Anodized Aluminum: This is the most popular material used to manufacture flashlights today. The material is much durable than composites model.
- Stainless Steel: Though strong and durable, flashlights made of this material are quite heavy.
- Titanium: This is arguably the best house material of both worlds. They’re strong like stainless steel and much lighter. One downside, however, is that they’re quite expensive.
Ensure that the reflector is made of glass. Plastic gets scratched easily, which has a considerable effect on the illumination, especially when long distances are involved.
Is the LED flashlight waterproof?
The International Protection Code, IPX, denotes the level of protection against moisture.
- IPX-0 = no protection, for indoor use only
- IPX-4 = protected from splashing water, an allrounder, mainly intended for indoor use
- IPX-6 = protected from powerful jets of water (e.g. rain), for walking the dog, outdoor sports, guard duty
- IPX-7 = protected from brief immersion in water, for leisure activities and camping
- IPX-8 = protected from extended immersion in water (LED flashlights for diving), for survival, jobs with frequent water contact
3. What is run time?
Longer Battery Life –Choosing the right flashlight accrues you the benefit of battery power efficiency.
Better Investment over Time – As much as a customer may shy away from the huge initial price tag associated with a high-end flashlight, they normally cost less over time. For instance, you won’t require frequent change of battery.
Longer Bulb Life – A good flashlight offers longer bulb life with lesser power consumption thus proving handy for those who regularly use a flashlight for nighttime activities like hunting or fishing.
4. Which lumen levels you need?
High-end flashlights offer different lumen levels. Buyers ought to consider how and the purpose of the flashlights before considering the lumen levels. Thankfully, there are a number of options to choose from.
5. What is your Purposes?
Quality flashlights are versatile. They normally come in a variety of form factors ranging from durable and bulky to slim and small.
6. Is the flashlight durability?
Good flashlights usually have sturdier construction than their other counterparts. They come with house materials that have the ability to withstand adverse impacts.
7.Is it easy to handle?
A high-quality flashlight has an ergonomic (designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment) shape. The handle is sheathed in profiled rubber, making it pleasant to hold for extended periods, even in winter. Once again, this will appeal to dog-walkers, hikers, hunters, and task forces.
The convenient one-handed operation, even when wearing gloves, enables you to easily change modes or focus.
A flashlight with a tail stand can be positioned on the cap of the handle. A lanyard also serves as a halter or a belt clip, ensuring safe carrying and preventing the flashlight from being lost.
Round flashlights can roll or be dropped. Take the shape of the lamp head and the handle into account, and find out whether square rubber sleeves are available as an accessory.
For joggers, headlamps might be the right choice.
9.Far-reaching or bright – what are the illuminating properties like?
Compared to a halogen light, a powerful LED flashlight provides brighter light with less energy consumption. The Cree LED flashlights, which contain xenon in their LEDs, are particularly effective.
Illumination power of 1000 lumens in an LED flashlight is equivalent to 100 watts. A flashlight that has 7000 lumens is brighter than the bright headlights of an automobile: ideal for photographers, cyclists, hikers and fishermen.
Lumens determine the volume of light produced over a wide area. If you need to illuminate a distant area, you also need to choose a model with a high lux value. An LED flashlight with 1000 lumens can illuminate an area approx. 230m away, which is adequate for a normal hiker.
If an LED flashlight is “regulated”, the illumination power is not reduced as the charge in the battery drops, which provides for more predictable illumination.
11.Weight & Composition
Designers create flashlights and ensure they’re adaptable to varied situations. For example, light flashlights provide greater usability thanks to their maneuverability and ease of carrying. They can also be easily mounted onto a hunting weapon thus increasing sturdiness.
This is vital since it ensures better performance, excellent warranties, durability, larger brightness, extra beam variations and peace of mind.
As far as this goes, you’ll ultimately get what you pay for, period. Simply follow this guide to help you determine the right flashlight on your way to owning the right flashlight and getting value for your money.
Important Options and Functions to Choose a flashlight
Evidently, a majority of these are purely user preference but still very essential to consider when shopping for a flashlight. First things first, you ought to consider:
How to Operate
Is the flashlight a slider, a push button, or a rotating bezel that switches it on and off? Of course, it’s important to think about this so to determine how you’ll be using your flashlight. For instance, a rotating bezel requires two hands to switch it on/off while a push button usually comes with an audible click in place of a button that slides up/down.
As matters to do with size goes, it’s prudent to get the correct size depending on what you intend to do with your flashlight. Finding a balance of size is priceless. For instance, in case you need a flashlight to carry always, it’s paramount to ensure you choose one that won’t get in the way. Major sizes include:
- Large Flashlights/Searchlight: These are basically over 6 inches. Security agencies normally use them since they are great in being used as a club and of course an extra weapon. Normally, they produce a huge quantity of lumens and come with lesser features than their smaller counterparts.
- Medium/ Tactical Flashlight: They’re usually between 4 and 6 inches. Considering this size, they undoubtedly increase your ability to use them as a defense tool. Under this category, you can find a flashlight that runs on two batteries. They usually have high-end LED bulbs that produce very high Lumens.
- EDC/Small Flashlight: They’re usually less than 4 inches in length. As expected, it’s impossible to put two batteries on them, however, they come with more features, more options and tail switches with deeper reflectors. Also, at some instances they can be used as a striking tool.
- Mini Flashlight/Keychain: A mini flashlight is less than 3 inches in length. Also, under this category, there are flashlights that still manage to put out 252 Lumens on burst mode with a single CR123A battery. However, it’s hard to use them as a striking tool since most people’s hands can completely cover the flashlight.
- Micro Flashlight: These are less than 2 inches; they are the small keychain flashlights that usually use button cell batteries.
We hope you cherish making the world a cleaner place, right? If that’s you, chances are you like rechargeable batteries. However, there are scenarios where non-rechargeable batteries are the better option.
Non-Rechargeable Flashlight batteries
- Disposable Alkaline: Despite being easy to find, they usually offer very low power and have a shelf life of about 2 years. They’re the standard size batteries that you normally see as AAA, AA, C, and D batteries
- Disposable Lithium: Do not confuse them with Lithium Ion batteries! Compared to alkaline batteries, they have more power, can store more energy and are lighter. They normally have a shelf life of around 10 years and are more expensive than alkaline batteries.
Rechargeable Flashback batteries
These normally come in many different sizes. Most common types are 18500, 18650, and RCR123A. In addition to their great power output, they have the ability to recharge. On the other hand, these batteries are expensive and you need to buy a compatible charger to go along with them lest they get destroyed.
A plastic and smooth flashlight will be more prone to slip off your hands if you’re sweating or working in wet conditions. Ensure you can grip your flashlight firmly even when your palms are sweaty.
Before you buy your flashlight, ensure the bulb works properly with the model of the flashlight. Essentially, the light source in a flashlight can either be an incandescent bulb or a LED bulb.
- Incandescent bulbs
We’ll never thank Thomas Edison enough for this heavenly invention. These bulbs produce light when an electric current passes through their wire filament. Unfortunately, they’re not very efficient on your flashlight since 95% of their energy is usually converted into heat instead of visible light. They also age quickly.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
These are currently the most popular bulbs in flashlights. LEDs basically emit light when electric current pass through them. They’re much smaller than their counterparts and have a low power requirement.
This is tested by dropping the flashlight onto a concrete surface at the rated distance with all its bulbs, batteries and lenses. Optimal care ought to be taken, note that this is not a test of resistance for the flashlight being run over, it’s primarily meant to ensure it still remains functional even after an occasional accidental drop.
This refers to how we measure the amount of light energy that is emitted from the face of a flashlight. High Lumen simply means that you have a powerful battery and a powerful LED. Below are the common manufacturer’s rules to help you make a decision of how much light you require by Lumens.
- 1 – 14 Lumens: Virtually any flashlight will do. Such level of light can’t even destroy your night vision. It’s the kind of light you need to forge your way around a dark room.
- 15 – 59 Lumens: This amount of light is sufficient to illuminate a room in case of power outage, though not enough to see very far outdoors. Also, despite it not being strong enough to blind a prospective attacker, it can mess your night vision.
- 60 – 149 Lumens: This is the basic level of light you would desire while going for a walk at night through your neighborhood.
- 150 – 299 Lumens: This level of light can easily light up a large room, your entire backyard and still enable you to see pretty far out of a campsite. It can cause temporary blindness.
- 300 – 699 Lumens: Most flashlights only achieve these lumen levels with specialty batteries.
- 700+ Lumens: This is quite serious. It comes in handy when you want maximum brightness. Rescue teams usually use these kinds of lumens. These insane flashlights can lighten an entire football pitch and make it as bright as a Christmas tree.
Brightness and Beam Distance
Let’s face it, most people don’t know what those numbers on a flashlight’s box mean. Also, there exists a misconception whereby most people think that the more Lumens a flashlight has, the farther it will shine. That’s a completely wrong misconception.
As noted above, the light output is measured in Lumens. Beam distance is usually measured in meters while the Peak Beam is the light intensity and is measured in candela. Understanding these three concepts is crucial. Keen adherence to the simple mathematical rules will certainly enable you to find the suiting brightness that fulfills your needs.
Importantly, most of these are voluntary standardization and not every flashlight manufacturer incorporates them. However, if you’re out and searching, you’ll recognize the terms used and determine whether they meet your taste and preference.
LED flashlights for special uses
There are precise legal standards and special features that denote the areas of use for some types of LED flashlights…
Explosion-protected LED flashlights
The European ATEX standard certifies explosion-protected flashlights. The level of danger from dust, fumes or gases is divided into three categories, although not all explosion-protected flashlights are suitable for use in all situations. Explosion-protected LED flashlights are used by firefighters, the military, and in industry.
LED flashlight, colored light
The usual white, an LED flashlight can also have a red, green or blue light. Either a four-colored LED is integrated, or color filters can be placed in front of the lamp.
1.Red light is used as a signal – stop and go are denoted by interchanging red and green light. Subdued red-green light is suitable for reading cards at night.
2.Green light is used for observing animals and in hunting. The eyes of animals react to movement, rather than to color. The observers then appear to be invisible.
3.Blue lights used by the criminal police or hunters to pick up traces of blood – which appear black – in the field. It makes contrasts more visible.
Using the blinding function of the LED flashlight
A very bright strobe flash is a very effective form of defense, especially for smaller and weaker people. An LED flashlight test showed that situations of conflict could often be averted with just this one feature.
Directing the beam of an LED flashlight into the eyes results in short-term loss of orientation. So does an LED flashlight make a better weapon than other forms of self-defense? It might just be, considering that you could put an attacker out of action without even having to put up a physical fight.
Is an LED flashlight permitted in carry-on luggage?
A call to the airline will give you concrete information in this regard: you might need to remove the batteries and the lamp and put them in your suitcase. But some airlines insist on you putting them in your hand luggage so that any smoldering batteries would be quickly noticed.
Large cylindrical flashlights are generally not permitted in your carry-on luggage because they could be used as a weapon. However, you will usually make it through the checkpoint without any trouble if you have a Mini LED flashlight on your keyring.
First, think about how you are going to use the flashlight. A flooder illuminates the immediate area widely and a thrower illuminates in the distance, with a zoomable beam.
Consider the following selection criteria:
- How often will the flashlight be used, and where?
- Is it rechargeable and is the housing waterproof?
- What modes of light are available?
- Are size and weight well proportioned?
Read our advisory, where we address special features. Armed with this information, you should be able to find a suitable LED flashlight at a good price-performance ratio.