how to choose right flashlight

Hey folks, so now you’re thinking ‘I need a 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 light 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 light 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.

 

Search Flashlights

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.

 

Camping Flashlights

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.

 

LED 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.

Types of flashlights

  • HID

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.

  • Shake 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.

 

Tactical Flashlights

Normally constructed of aero grade aluminum, these tactical flashlights are designed for military and police officer’s use. Essentially, they’re designed to cater for the needs of the most demanding professions in mind. Due to their increased demand, their manufacturers have added features and functionality that will ensure you will be happy to use on a daily basis.

 

Hunting Flashlights

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.

 

How to choose a high-end flashlight

It goes without saying that flashlights are enormously loved worldwide with everyone ranging from military personnel to hikers, campers, dog walkers and even kids enjoying their sheer light. It’s therefore very essential to choose the right one for your anticipated use. In doing so, you need to determine:

  • Its purpose

Better said, what do you need a flashlight for? For instance, if you intend to use it for hunting, search and rescue missions, then it’s prudent that you buy a flashlight that is durable and with big brightness. If it’s for hiking, fishing recreation or related tasks, it’s prudent you still choose a powerful beam and something that will stand hard knocks.

  • Weight, Composition and Waterproofing attributes

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. Aluminum-bodied flashlights happen to be closely woven thus ability to be submerged to a depth of 2 meters.

  • Decide how much brightness you need

Flashlight aficionados say that more brightness is good only that one has to decide how tame or explosive you want the beam to be for your needs. The brighter a flashlight is, the higher the cost, be informed.

  • Brand Name

This is vital since it ensures better performance, excellent warranties, durability, larger brightness, extra beam variations and peace of mind.

  • Price

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.

  • Learn the Limitations of the flashlight’s strobe settings

Today, most flashlights come with strobe setting that causes the light to blink rapidly on and off. Although seldom useful, strobe setting may impede the user especially during an attack. It often doesn’t offer the owner much benefit but instead hamper their ability to deal with a situation compared to a steady illuminated scene during an attack.

 

6 Reasons to choose the right flashlight

Evidently, flashlights are continually taking the world by storm as their market share increase. Therefore, as a buyer, it’s prudent that you know why choosing the right flashlight is a better investment than any other lighting option.

  • 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.

  • Variety of Purposes

Quality flashlights are versatile. They normally come in a variety of form factors ranging from durable and bulky to slim and small.

  • Varied Lumen Levels

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.

  • Durability

Good flashlights usually have sturdier construction than their other counterparts. They come with house materials that have the ability to withstand adverse impacts.

 

Important Options and Functions to Consider when buying 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.

Size

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.

 

Battery Type

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

Essentially, they’re:

  • 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.

 

Grip

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.

 

Bulbs

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.

Water Resistance

This is rated using the IP system. Some flashlights come with ratings for water and impact resistance. This is vital if you intend to use your flashlight in the rain or wet conditions. The common ratings for flashlights are:

  • IPX4 — splash resistant from all angles.
  • IPX7 — temporary submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of about 1 meter.
  • IPX8 – submersion for 4 hours at the specified depth.

 

Impact Resistance

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.

 

House Materials

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.

 

Lumens

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.

 

Bottom Line

Ultimately, no doubt that among the tools that depict attachment and necessity, flashlights stand tall. In all fairness, every man should always have one with him. Would any of you head to a music festival without a portable charging solution to enhance your iPhone? Consequently, you can’t be overly ready for an adverse scenario, which makes owning a flashlight a priceless idea.

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