Even though we’re used to having lots of light everywhere we go, having the best flashlight can be invaluable in many situations. Whether you’re camping, fixing your car, or looking for something in the attic, a reliable light source is incredibly useful.
While buying a flashlight might seem like a no-brainer, we assure you that putting some thought into the process will result in a much better and more reliable light. To make your choice easier, our flashlight reviews will present the best flashlights available with a special accent on brightness, battery life, and overall quality.
How To Choose A Flashlight – Buying Guide
Types Of Bulbs
Even though all of the models we featured are LED flashlights, it’s good to know that there are also several other options if you want a different type of light. Here’s a quick summary of each one and what it offers:
- LED – The most popular bulb nowadays, it has impressive brightness and excellent energy efficiency. These also often last over 50,000 hours, but their downside can sometimes be the price.
- Incandescent – This is what we consider a common light bulb. It can be very bright, but it also creates a lot of heat, uses a lot of energy, and breaks down more often. However, it’s very cheap.
- HID – HIDs are quite rare in flashlights because of their dimensions. They shine very brightly, but this comes at the cost of increased size and weight.
- Xenon and Halogen – These work with pressurized gas to deliver powerful bright light. However, they are less durable than LEDs so they are not as popular.
- Shake – The main benefit of these is that they don’t require a battery – they work by shaking and creating electromagnetic energy. While they can be used anywhere, the downside is that they are not very bright.
Light Output and Adjustability
Every flashlight you look at has a lumen rating that represents the amount of visible light (light output) it can emit. For standard everyday use, around 100 lumens will usually be enough.
Besides a high lumen output, modern LED flashlights should also have different light modes. You won’t always need the brightest light but instead you want to save the battery, so it’s good if you can adjust the lumen output accordingly.
Construction Quality (Impact and Water-Resistance)
Having a bright light is worthless if the flashlight is going to break after just a few uses. Because of this, we paid special attention to material quality and durability when choosing our products.
A good flashlight is made of anodized aluminum that protects it from impacts and doesn’t corrode. In addition, it should also be waterproof or water-resistant. A higher IPX rating means better water protection, but even IPX4 will protect it against splashing.
When it comes to batteries, you have two options – disposable and rechargeable. Disposable batteries (like AA or AAA) are easy to change on the go, but aren’t eco-friendly and can cost a lot if you change them often.
On the other hand, a rechargeable battery is more cost-effective in the long run but requires a USB port to charge which can be inconvenient.
Design and Intended Use
Depending on how and where you plan to use them, not all flashlights are equally suitable for all jobs. If you want a torch to carry around every day in your pocket, it’s best that you go for a smaller model.
On the other hand, if you need a light for camping and nighttime outdoor adventures, we suggest you get a larger model with a higher lumen output.
Besides standard flashlights, you can also opt for tactical flashlights that will add to the versatility and serve as useful tools in emergency situations (when you need to break glass, defend yourself, or call for help).
Q: How Long Do Batteries Last?
This depends on the type of battery as well as the light output. For example, a 200-lumen flashlight running on a single AAA battery will last less than an hour, while a 5-lumen bulb with a high-capacity rechargeable battery can last for several days.
Q: How Do I Care For My Flashlight So It Lasts Longer?
While most models we talked about are resistant to water and impacts, it’s still recommended that you avoid dropping them or getting them wet. Other than this, you should occasionally wipe the flashlight with an alcohol wipe to remove dirt, and check the battery compartment for any signs of leaks or damage.
Q: What Is The Best Size For A Flashlight?
Choosing the size of a flashlight comes down to how and where you use it, but most people agree that models that fit in a pocket are the most convenient. An everyday carry flashlight should be as compact as possible, while size usually isn’t a factor for a unit that you keep at home.
Q: What Makes A Good Flashlight?
A good flashlight consists of a powerful high-quality bulb, strong casing, and a durable battery. In relation to this, the best option you can get is a model with a luminous LED bulb, high-capacity rechargeable battery, and type III anodized casing.
Q: How Many Lumens Should A Good Flashlight Have?
While this depends on the task, the best flashlights for general use have around 100 lumens. Flashlights with a lower light output are better for close-up use, while those with a much higher output work well in large outdoor areas.
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From moving around the campsite at night to repairing your car, a bright beam of light will allow you to see what you’re doing. Hopefully, these reviews and guide have helped you find the best flashlight for the job, so you’ll never have to be in the dark.