You always want to have the right gear and equipment in the outdoors whether you are camping, backpacking, hiking, or even fishing. Lighting, especially for the night or in low-light conditions is very important for you to have. You want to have the best rechargeable flashlight so you can always know what is going on in your surroundings – especially in the wilderness.
Rechargeable flashlights are a great asset to have with you out there. They usually boast stronger power and luminescence compared to other power source flashlights such as batteries. They are also a lot more affordable and minimize the maintenance headache for you.
Listed below are the 10 best rechargeable flashlights in 2021. We have outlined their unique features to choose from for your needs in the outdoors.
How To Choose A Rechargeable Flashlight – Buying Guide
Bulb and Lumens (Brightness)
The best rechargeable LED flashlights to come with different modes of brightness; denoted in lumens. The standard ones being high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. This helps you to choose the amount of brightness that works best for your circumstances. Additionally, some even come with zoomable functions allowing them to work as a floodlight or spotlight — from narrow to wide for more functionality and versatility.
The best rechargeable tactical flashlight will have a high operating lumen of 600 to 1000 whilst the lowest will be at around 50. The majority of rechargeable flashlights utilize LED bulbs. These bulbs use one or more light-emitting diodes. They are favored because they have a longer working life compared to regular incandescent bulbs. Typically, an LED bulb will work up to 50,000 hours before dying.
Additionally, even LED bulbs deliver impeccable lighting abilities and a long lifespan, they also consume less power compared to regular bulbs (only 10% of what incandescent bulbs use). LED bulbs come fitted with chips that enhance their effectiveness in high lumen delivery, thus making them better lighting options than regular bulbs.
Beam distance is described as the maximum range at which the most intense portion of the beam reaches. The best rechargeable torches boast a beam distance of at least 200 meters. Some rechargeable flashlights boast a beam distance of up to 500 meters on high.
Flashlights can also boast several types of beams. Typically, flashlights with zoomable abilities tend to deliver different kinds of beams from narrow to wide. Floodlight view provides a wide area illumination whereas spotlights provide a narrow illumination — ideal for more focus or searching.
Go for rechargeable flashlights that offer adjustability to the brightness they deliver. A good flashlight is versatile and should come in handy in different circumstances. A high and medium lighting output is ideal for normal lighting; a low output works great in instances such as night hiking where it is good to adapt to low light levels. Strobe and SOS lighting functions also come in very handy in emergencies such as mid-highway car breakdowns, natural disasters, or hiking instances.
Rechargeable flashlights come fitted with lithium-ion batteries which can be recharged and used over and over again before needing replacement. Unlike disposable batteries, lithium-ion batteries will work for several hours and require recharging to continue usage.
To supplement lithium-ion batteries, some flashlights come with the option to use disposables as well. This is great in an emergency and will ensure you keep the flashlight operational at all times.
There are different types of rechargeable batteries including nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), lithium-ion polymer, and lithium-ion. lithium-based batteries are the most favored and used battery type for rechargeable flashlights. Lithium-ion batteries tend to supply more power for high-draining electronics such as flashlights and speakers. They also boast a larger energy capacity which makes them more enduring and helps them last longer.
Some rechargeable flashlights feature traditional charging mechanisms requiring you to plug the cable into the power outlet or extension for charging. This means that they are charged using the regular 240v AC power.
However, to enhance their versatility, ease the charging process, and make them more adaptable for use in the outdoors — many manufacturers make rechargeable flashlights that feature a USB charger. Thus, you can use the regular wall or outlet charging or simply charge using the provided USB cable – either by plugging it into your laptop or power bank.
The best rechargeable torches come fabricated with at least three to five powering modes. This simply means the level/intensity of the brightness they deliver. Within the modes, innovative manufacturers try to design them to be as useful and versatile as possible.
The best rechargeable led flashlights to come with modes ranging from high, medium, low, strobe to SOS. Typically, a high mode will deliver at least 600 to 1000 lumens whilst the lowest will deliver anywhere between 50 and 100. The strobe and SOS modes are designed for use in the outdoors, whether during a car breakdown on the highway or when calling for help in the wilderness.
Within the modes, some flashlights feature a zoomable function which puts in more character to deliver flashlight or spotlight brightness according to the selected mode. Manufacturers also design mode operating controls that are easy to press or move to allow for one-hand operation, giving you the ability to perform other tasks at the same time.
Controls go hand in hand with the design. You want controls that are easy to operate and don’t hinder other activities. Sliding controls work better at picking your modes and turning the flashlight on and off. Round controls may not be as efficient and easy to operate.
Battery life for rechargeable torches varies with the model used. Typically, on high mode, a flashlight will work for an average of 1.5 to 2 hours. Whilst on low, they will work up to between 6 and 12 hours. This length of battery life is relatively good because you don’t expect to operate the flashlight on high or low throughout. Thus, this means that usage is balanced and so is time. Balanced enough that the length of battery life is reasonable.
Additionally, rechargeable flashlights that come with the option to use disposable batteries as supplementary power sources go a long way to prolong battery life. In case the prime rechargeable battery dies off, the disposable batteries jump into a supplement.
You want to invest in a good quality flashlight. When thinking of design, construction and material are important. The best-LED rechargeable flashlights feature a rugged and yet lightweight design for easy carrying and operation. A versatile flashlight should feature a strong enough construction to endure use in the wilderness.
Furthermore, a long, sleek, and thin construction allows for proper carrying and fitting for easy accessibility and control. Also, put your focus on the outer finish, you want the outer finish especially where your hands grab to be slip-resistant to allow for a tight grip even in wet conditions.
Furthermore, a water-resistant finish is important. Water-resistance helps with the use of these flashlights on rainy days without risking damage — the amount of water they can withstand depends on their rating. An IP65 rating, for example, allows you to use the flashlight even in heavy rain. An IPX8 rating on the other hand allows you to use the flashlight underwater up to 2 meters deep for at least 30 minutes.
Because the flashlight is used in different conditions you also want extra adaptable features such as impact-resistance and shockproof qualities. Some of the best-LED rechargeable flashlights boast an impact resistance of up to 1 meter. And of course, it always trails back to battery life and power.
Other functional features include low-temperature resistance. Some of the best rechargeables LED flashlights are designed to work in extreme temperatures (to a certain point) whether warm or cold. This allows you to use the flashlight during all four seasons without worrying about damaging it. Rechargeable flashlights constructed with a USB port can easily be changed remotely on any electrical power source — thus, making it very easy for you to recharge them.
The option of materials incorporated in the design also helps. The use of LED bulbs with an upgraded LED chip and dedicated integrated circuit enhances brightness, quality, durability, and reduces the risk of short circuits. Non-removable batteries also reduce the number of “bits” and “pieces” that may be lost and cumbersome for you when replacing the battery or recharging it. However, this may also have its cons — once the battery dies completely, the flashlight is virtually useless.
The majority of rechargeable flashlights are constructed with tough anodized aluminum alloy. Anodized aluminum comes with extra benefits — it’s like coating very strong material with an extra-strong layer on top. This is done by adding a protective layer of aluminum oxide to the aluminum surface. The thicker the layer, the more durable the material.
The anodizing process of aluminum naturally delivers its adhesive and grippy texture thus, making it easy to securely grab the flashlight. Additionally, anodized aluminum boasts wear and corrosion-resistant properties thus making it very durable even when used in an extremely harsh environment.
Aluminum is also known to be lighter than other metals such as iron or stainless steel, making it an ideal option for portable flashlights. And when it comes to design and presentation, the material does not degrade or lose color.
Size and Weight
Size and weight work interchangeably and dependently on the other when it comes to rechargeable flashlights. If you intend to use them on many different occasions such as navigating, backpacking, camping, fixing your car, or changing a light bulb in your garage, you don’t want a large and heavy lump to use.
Typically, in the outdoors and when you are constantly on the move, you want a flashlight that is short enough to fit into your pant pockets or small bag, sort of like a smartphone. Additionally, the weight should be balanced. You don’t want something weighing more than 6 oz as you walk.
Size and weight, however, may not be crucial if you intend to use the flashlight at home or in one designated place. Considering size and weight still, some flashlights come with unique features such as magnetic bases which allow you to mount them for hands-free usage. Such designs come in handy in instances such as those involving doing some work on your vehicle.
Q: What’s a Rechargeable Flashlight and How Does it Work?
A rechargeable flashlight delivers light through a rechargeable battery power source, typically, the battery is a lithium-ion. The flashlight boasts a LED or incandescent bulb whilst the housing is constructed with anodized aluminum alloy.
The bulb is mounted in a reflector which reflects the light from the bulb to illuminate the path or target. A transparent cover (normally treated glass or plastic), the battery, control/switch, and housing also make up the flashlight. The battery is charged via a standard electric power outlet or is fitted with a USB port — the USB charger can be plugged into any power source including a portable charger.
Unlike regular disposable battery-operated flashlights, rechargeable flashlights don't need the battery replacing every time they are depleted. Rechargeable flashlight batteries, typically lithium-ion, normally last anywhere between 2 to 3 years before they need replacing. They are operated by recharging them every time their power is low.
Q: Are Rechargeable Flashlights More Eco-Friendly Compared to Battery Flashlights?
Rechargeable flashlights are more eco-friendly compared to regular battery flashlights. This is because the batteries are rechargeable. This avoids discarding the batteries every time they are depleted. Thus, you can use the same battery for a longer time before discarding it.
Q: How Much Time Do I Need to Recharge the Flashlight?
Typically, a flashlight will take an average of two hours to charge. To make sure you are always covered, you want your flashlight to fully charge in a shorter period than possible. A fully charged flashlight (charged in 2 hours) will on average operate for up to 2 hours on high mode (high lumen brightness) and up to 12 hours on low (low lumen brightness).
Q: How to Avoid Shortened Battery Life?
Features and functions that come with the flashlights are perhaps the biggest perpetrators of battery power drainage. Always consider the usage of your flashlight, when battery life is crucial for you (for example – hiking in the dark). Using low and medium light modes go a long way to preserve battery life.
Additionally, try to adapt to natural lighting when circumstances allow. For example, to reduce strain to your eyes, it is good to hike on low light modes to allow for adaptability to low and natural lighting.
Furthermore, apart from battery draining features, there are instances that you should avoid preserving battery life. Unless designed to be low-temperature resistant, your batteries are most likely to stop working in low-temperature conditions.
Globo Surf Overview
The reviews in this article highlight the versatility of the flashlights. Most of the products mentioned are ideal for use anywhere. Although they carry a common lighting function, each model bears unique features and functions that make it stand out.
The buying guide should have outlined and provided clear guidance on how to pick the best option whilst considering your personal needs. The list of the 10 best rechargeables LED flashlights above provides a pretty competitive start. So, all that’s left is for you to pick out what appeals most to you!