Flashlights are simple devices, but choosing one? That’s a completely different story. There are so many things to consider. Should you go for an LED flashlight or one with a xenon bulb? What is a lumen anyway? Are rechargeable batteries really the best option? Between the best tactical flashlights and EDC flashlights, which should i opt for? The list can go on and on. To simplify the process – and save your sanity – we’re going to share some of the key things you need to consider, so you can find the best flashlights for your needs.
Identify Your Needs
First thing’s first, ask yourself, “What am I going to use this flashlight for?” Is it for home use? On the job? Maybe you need a reliable flashlight for camping or survival purposes. Identifying your needs will help you pinpoint which features you need.
A flashlight that’s used for camping, for example, should be more lightweight and smaller in size than a flashlight used for home purposes.
Types of Flashlights
There are quite a few different types of flashlights, and knowing what your needs are will help you find the right one.
- Incandescent: These bulbs have been around the longest, and they’re typically the least expensive. Although they produce bright light, incandescent bulbs produce excess heat, which wastes energy. Needless to say, the bulb doesn’t last long – and it eats through batteries.
- LED: LEDs are quickly replacing incandescent bulbs because they have such a long shelf life and waste very little energy. LEDs may cost more initially, but they’re highly durable and will last much longer than flashlights with incandescent bulbs.
- HID: These aren’t as common because they’re heavy, bulky and expensive. But they produce very bright light and last a very long time.
- Xenon: These bulbs are filled with pressurized gas. This gas helps extend the life of the filament, so xenon bulbs last quite a long time. They’re not quite on par with LED lights, but they’re the brightest bulbs available.
- Conventional flashlight: This is the most common type of flashlight with a cylindrical design. They’re great for simple tasks and some tactical purposes, but not ideal for extended use or situations where you need to use your hands.
- Headlamp: They may look goofy, but headlamps offer hands-free lighting. For camping or extended use, headlamps are the best option.
- Shake flashlight: Named after the man who invented them, Faraday flashlights (a.k.a. shake flashlights) use the electromagnetic principle to supply light. Just shake the magnets inside the flashlight for about a minute, and you can enjoy several hours of LED light. The light may not be bright, but you won’t need batteries. They’re an excellent choice for emergency situations. Just keep in mind that the magnets inside can damage credit card strips, computers and even pacemakers.
As you can see, there are many different types of bulbs and body types to choose from. But once you know what your needs are, it will be much easier to narrow down your choices and find the right one.
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