If you’ve ever bought or considered buying a flashlight, it’s likely that you haven’t thought much about what kind of flashlight to buy. Considering that flashlights are a very common purchase for nearly every household, this kind of mindset is not surprising. However, you should put plenty of thought into your decision to buy the best flashlight for your needs. Flashlights are almost always bought for emergency or outdoor use, so finding the best flashlight should be essential to ensure that you get a flashlight that is bright, durable and will last for years. There are numerous factors to consider when trying to find the best flashlight.

What Is The Best Flashlight?

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Choosing the Best Flashlight

There are a few key considerations that you need to keep in mind when choosing the best flashlight for your needs.

Purpose

Flashlights have various applications, and each application calls for a slightly different type of flashlight. For example, if you want a flashlight for power outages and emergencies you’d benefit greatly from getting a fairly large and bright flashlight with a long battery life.

If you want a flashlight for outdoor uses such as camping or hunting, it’s good idea to focus on durability, water-proofing and brightness. It may also be better to get a lighter flashlight to keep your load lighter while traveling.

For more regular uses such as a flashlight for your car or for jobs that involve frequently looking in small dark places, a small yet bright flashlight that is easily portable and can fit in any pocket or small storage area is the best flashlight option.

You can also buy tactical flashlights for emergencies and self-defense purposes. These flashlights come with useful options such as tasers, a blindingly bright light setting, and they can even be used as a billy club.

Size

Size is an important aspect to consider when choosing the best flashlight for your needs, because it affects several aspects of the flashlight such as weight and usefulness in certain situations. There are four basic sizes for flashlights to consider when looking for the best flashlight.

Large

Large flashlights are typically handled by the top on a handle because they’re too large for most people to comfortably grasp them in their hands. Large flashlights have a wide beam of light that is usually bright enough to reasonably light a small room or allow you to see long distances ahead of you. These flashlights are great for power outages, emergency situations and industrial work. However, they’re not the necessarily the best flashlight option in survival situations or outdoors because of how bulky and heavy they tend to be.

Medium

The most common size of flashlight is medium sized. These usually fit comfortably in your hands without a handle, but some of them do have handles to provide a better grip. These flashlights are also commonly used for emergencies and power outages, but they’re not quite as useful as larger flashlights in these situations due to their smaller beam of light. However, these flashlights are perfect for survival and outdoor use as they’re large enough to be useful in those situations without being bulky or heavy while traveling.

Small

Small flashlights can easily fit in the palm of your hand, and they’re commonly used as everyday portable flashlights to keep in cars or toolboxes. While even small flashlights can be very bright, they’re mostly just useful for looking in small dark places or reading in the dark. Small sized flashlights is the best flashlight option for every day carry (EDC).

Keychain Size

As the name suggests, these are flashlights that are meant to be on keychains. They’re even smaller than small flashlights as they are usually merely held with just two or three fingers. Keychain flashlights are useful as you can carry them around nearly all the time, but the beam is usually quite weak. These flashlights are typically used to see locks at night or to find something in a glove compartment or purse.

Battery Type

Another important aspect to consider when finding the best flashlight is the battery type. You can either have a flashlight that has traditional batteries or a built-in rechargeable battery. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional Batteries

Most flashlights use traditional batteries as power, and these batteries are quite useful. They tend to have fairly long battery lives, and there is no need to wait to use your flashlight if the batteries die. All that you need to do when the batteries die is replace them. While traditional batteries are useful, there are also several disadvantages to consider.

They can die pretty quickly if you use a very powerful flashlight. You can end up wasting a lot of money if your flashlight tends to quickly eat up battery life.

Some batteries are difficult to find. While many flashlights run on AA or C batteries, it’s not uncommon for flashlights to require very large or very small batteries that are hard to find and expensive to purchase.

If left in storage for too long, batteries can leak and corrode. This may destroy your flashlight if you don’t remember to check or change the batteries in your flashlights regularly.

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are great for people who use flashlights on a daily or weekly basis such as while walking a dog or for work purposes. Unlike traditional batteries which need frequent replacing, rechargeable batteries can be used for years. They merely need to be recharged after every use to ensure that the battery is always full when you need it. Like traditional batteries, there are also downsides to rechargeable batteries.

It’s usually difficult and expensive to replace a rechargeable battery in a flashlight. Once the battery is unable to recharge anymore, it’s usually easier and more cost-effective to just replace the flashlight instead of going to the trouble of replacing the battery.

While keeping a flashlight recharged is not seen as a problem for many people, It could be a big hindrance in power outages and emergency situations. If your flashlight needs charging, there’s no way to recharge it without a generator or a solar powered recharge station.

Bulbs

Flashlights can either have traditional incandescent bulbs or LED lights. While everyone has their own preferences, LED lights have a very apparent edge over incandescent bulbs. They’re brighter, have a more appealing pure white or very light blue color instead of having a yellow tinge, and they can achieve this brightness without using a lot of battery power or wasting power by creating heat instead of light.

While LED lights have the edge on incandescent in most aspects, it’s usually difficult and costly to replace the bulbs while it’s cheap and simple to replace incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs have a long life, but replacement issues should always be a factor since you never know when a bulb can suddenly die or break.

LED bulbs also may be brighter than incandescent bulbs, but their beams are not as powerful. This means that while you may be able to see things at a closer distance better, the beam cannot reach very far.

Best Flashlight LEDvsIncandescent

Brightness and Beam Distance

One of the most important aspects of finding the best flashlight is figuring out how bright and powerful it is.

Lumen Level

Brightness is measured in lumens, and almost every flashlight available lists their lumen level on the package. Typical household flashlights range in brightness from 10 to 100 lumens, which is a perfect range of brightness for merely walking around a dark house. For more intense purposes such as survival situations or outdoor use, anywhere from 100 to 500 is recommended.

Distance

Brightness should not be confused with power or distance. While brightness is obviously a factor in the power and distance of the beam, having a high lumen level does not automatically equate to having a long beam distance. When it comes to distance, flashlights measure their distance or power in meters. A beam distance of 100 to 250 meters is really effective while walking a dog or for power outages. A beam distance of 300 meters or more is most beneficial in survival situations and outdoor activities such as camping, hunting and hiking.

Housing Material

Finally, the housing material should be taken into consideration. Flashlights come in various shapes, sizes and colors, but the housing material should be one of the main external factors to consider when finding the best flashlight for your needs.

Plastic

Plastic is very lightweight and is the most common material for household flashlights. In addition, plastic flashlights tend to be very affordable. However, their light weight comes with a price as plastic flashlights are also fairly fragile and easily broken when dropped. This makes them a poor choice for outdoor use and survival situations.

Aluminum

Aluminum is usually slightly more expensive than plastic, but they’re also far more durable. In addition, aluminum flashlights are very sleek and appealing. However, they tend to be heavier than plastic flashlights.

Rubber

While the actual construction of the flashlight is not made of rubber, some flashlights do have a very thick and hard coating of rubber on them to protect the internal casing. The internal casing of rubber flashlights is usually aluminium for sturdiness, but they can also be plastic. Rubber casings are very useful as they are waterproof and extremely durable.

Conclusion

Many factors go into finding the best flashlight for your needs, but it’s much easier than it seems to find a great flashlight for any purpose. If you can, it’s a good idea to test out a flashlight before you purchase it. Personal experience can really give you a good feel of how the flashlight feels and looks to gauge how useful it would be to you. It should feel comfortable in your hand, have a good grip, seem bright and appealing, feel light enough to carry around for extended periods of time and meet all of your own personal preferences. As long as you keep that in mind, you can easily find the best flashlight for any situation.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Flashlight?

Everyone has an opinion on what is the best flashlight! We would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment on what you think the best flashlight is in the comments section below.