Picking a flashlight of your choice isn’t a walk in the park. Ask yourself several questions such as why you want the flashlight? What brightness level you want? The size and weight of the flashlight? What are you willing to pay? Type of bulb? How many Lumens does the light have? And many other questions. If you are able to answer these questions, then you will end up with an affordable, durable, and powerful flashlight that meets your needs. So, how to choose a flashlight that is bright, portable and hard-anodized body?
Handheld flashlights are the most preferred form of portable lighting. Headlamps have tried to penetrate the market, but they have not been as successful as handheld portable flashlights. This is because flashlights can be controlled with much ease and they are more powerful than headlamps.
Summary of Contents
- 1 How To Choose a Flashlight
- 2 Things to note about the flashlight you desire
- 3 The performance of the flashlight
- 4 Main features to look for in a flashlight
How To Choose a Flashlight
The advancement in the LED (light-emitting diode) technology and battery efficiency have led to the creation of flashlights that are small in size, lightweight, and much brighter than they were some few years back. This is a great achievement in the flashlight field. As you read on, you will come across different points that will assist you to outstandingly select a flashlight of your choice and needs.
Things to note about the flashlight you desire
Some of the important points to look into when choosing a flashlight are as follows:
- Size & weight
- Light output
- Type of battery and runtime
Typically, flashlights range between under $20 to over $250, still, they may be of the same size. The main difference between flashlights is their brightness. A costly light is more powerful as a result of its advanced bulb, battery, and circuitry technology. Also, if the flashlight uses a rechargeable battery, the cost might shoot up. Other features that make a flashlight to be costly include different lighting modes, impact & water resistance, and effective heat dissipation.
In addition, when you go shopping for your flashlight of choice, you should comprehend how the flashlight is switched on/off. Know if you can switch it on while it is still in the pocket or if you can easily switch it on/off when you are wearing gloves or in cold conditions. Is it very rugged or not light enough for your needs? How does it feel when you hold it in your hands? These queries will help you make a well-calculated move.
The performance of the flashlight
Since its introduction in 2009, the ANSI FL1 standards for flashlight make sure that the flashlight models are tested and rated in the same manner. Compliance with these standards is done by choice and the manufacturers do their personal testing, but a good number of main brands now include the following performance information on their packaging.
- Light output – this is measured in Lumens. It is a measure of the intensity of light emerging out of the flashlight, on the brightest setting powered by brand new batteries. The light output can range from a modest 30 Lumens to powerful 3000 Lumens.
- Beam distance – this is usually measured in meters. It is how far the light will shine before the brightness reduces to the equivalent of the light from a full moon. The distance the beam covers vary with the brightness setting that is chosen.
- Runtime – this is measured in hours. It is determined by how long the light output takes to drop to 10% of the rated output on new batteries, rounded to the nearest quarter hour. The runtime is normally provided for every light setting.
- Water resistance – this is measured using the IPX-system. This is important if you intend to use the flashlight near a water body or in rain. Some of the water ratings are IPX4, IPX7, and IPX8. All of them indicate how far or the duration a flashlight can be immersed in water.
- Impact resistance – this is as well measured in meters. Flashlights are measured by being dropped 6 times onto concrete at the rated distance. The test is performed to make sure that the light stays functional even after accidental drops.
Main features to look for in a flashlight
Construction and design
A good number of flashlights are built with either plastic or aluminum. Aluminum is the most common. There are thin aluminum and thick aluminum body. Other flashlights are constructed with steel in the head for extra resistance. Also, some flashlights are created with an anti-rolling body. A knurled pattern provides a great grip.
Type of bulb
After the introduction of LED bulbs, other bulbs have been used less often. For instance, incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs have a great runtime, energy efficient, provide a wide range of brightness options and are impact resistant.
The manner in which the light is dispersed is determined by the lens reflector that surrounds a bulb. In most cases, there are three common choices. These are the flood or fixed, spot or focussed, and adjustable.
Different flashlight comes with varying light modes. Although a single light mode can provide the brightness needed, having more modes allow the user to control the light according to use. Many of today’s flashlight have low, medium, high, and turbo mode. Some come with special modes like strobe and SOS modes. The brighter the mode, the lesser the runtime.
Type of battery
You should choose your type of battery wisely. Some batteries are hard to find and if you are going to use a flashlight in remote areas, rechargeable batteries are not the best choice. There are disposable, renewable, and rechargeable batteries. For great performance, rechargeable batteries are the best.
The type of on/off switch that your flashlight has is very important. This is because some switches will require you to operate with one hand or both hands. It can be a side switch or tail cap switch. Some have rotating bezels which you will have to adjust using two hands.
Size and weight
This primarily depends on your needs. Some prefer very small lights as they don’t want to be burdened by large flashlights. Others prefer large lights because they run for longer periods of time and are brighter.
Most brands add extra features to their packages such as holsters, O-rings, lanyards, belt clip, battery, and lens filters. This varies from one brand to another.
Many flashlights come with a warranty of at least one-year or more. It is vital to check whether the brand you are buying from offers warranty or not. When products are transported, they usually break or some parts may be missing. A warranty helps you receive the product in good condition or if it’s damaged, you can get a replacement.
To sum up, if you know what you want to do with the flashlight, it becomes easier selecting a flashlight of choice. Do you want a regular flashlight or a tactical one? The brighter the flashlight is the more costly it will be. Look at its construction so that you can end up with a durable and sturdy flashlight. If you want a flashlight for outdoors, it should be lightweight. Also, if you intend to use the flashlight for long, you should look for one with a rechargeable battery. Hope you’ve found this post to be helpful in your quest of finding the best flashlight for your lighting needs.