Flashlights - A Quick Buyer's Guide
Thinking about buying a flashlight, but don't know where to start? The experts at Battery Junction are here to help! Picking the right flashlight can easily get overwhelming. But don't worry - we'll go through four key points to consider when buying a flashlight and give you some recommendations to get started.
4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Flashlight:
1. Battery Type:
There are two types of batteries that power flashlights: rechargeable and non-rechargeable. Many flashlights are only compatible with one type, while others are compatible with both.
For people who tend to use the flashlight more often, rechargeable batteries are a great feature to consider. This is especially important if the battery is an uncommon size, like 18650 or 21700. A rechargeable battery will save you money and time on finding replacements. Some flashlights even have a built-in battery pack, so you can just plug it in and not think twice about getting long runtimes! Flashlights with rechargeable batteries come in all shapes and sizes - you can find models that are great for people who use their lights for camping, hiking, trail running, work, law enforcement, and more.
A non-rechargeable battery is perfect for people who reliably pick up a spare pack of batteries whenever it is needed. This is great for flashlights powered by common, non-rechargeable battery sizes like AA, AAA, 9V, or even CR123As. Disposal batteries are cheaper and can be found almost anywhere, making it easy to replace them when depleated.
2. Lumens and Light Output:
A lumen is the unit we use to measure light output. The more lumens a flashlight puts out the brighter your flashlight's beam will be. For example, a flashlight that has an output of 1000 lumens is going to be brighter and have a further beam distance than a flashlight with say 180 lumens. Some flashlights are built to be portable search lights, so they have lumen outputs ranging from 10,000 to 80,000 lumens. That's a LOT of lumens built for a specific job and isn't really necessary in daily life. Everyday Carry (EDC) lights have a wide range of lumen outputs that are suitable for daily tasks, giving you options from 100 lumens to 3,000 lumens. As a buyer, you need to pick the lumen output that is most suitable for your needs. Below are some recommendations for EDC and tactical flashlights based on lumen output - we've included a small range of lumen outputs so you can see what's common for these categories.
- Fitorch P25GT USB-C Rechargeable LED Flashlight - Max Output = 3,000 lumens
- ThruNite T1S USB-C Rechargeabled LED Flashlight - Max Output = 1,212 lumens
- Olight i1R 2 Pro Keychain Light Max Output = 180 lumens
Tactical or Search Flashlights:
- JETBeam IIIM Pro Tactical Flashlight - Max Output = 1,450 lumens
- Acebeam X75 USB-C Rechargeable LED Searchlight - Max Output = 80,000 lumens
- Nitecore TM12K Tiny Monster Rechargeable LED Flashlight - Max Output = 12,000 lumens
Durability doesn't matter to everyone but it is one factor that shouldn't be overlooked when buying a new flashlight. In this day and age there are so many quality certifications and durability tests that it seems some flashlights are almost indestructible. There's flashlights that are waterproof, impact resistant, they can be thrown off a cliff and still work - well maybe.
As a police officer, construction worker, firefighter, or some other hands-on profession, you will want to look into a flashlight that can keep up and last through tough conditions. You want a flashlight that can be dropped from higher distances and can resist water penetration to a greater extent.
Some brands you can look at are:
- Streamlight Survivor X
- Klein Tools Rechargeable Personal Worklight
- Acebeam E70 Mini TI LED Flashlight
- Streamlight 44331 Vulcan 180 HAZ-LO Standard System
Moreover, if you only need an everyday carry then maybe those things are not as important. You can get something with a normal impact resistant that is perfect for finding monsters in your child's closet - or if you want to take a stroll into the woods.
Flashlights to have on you at anytime:
- Olight Obulb Pro S Rechargeable LED Lantern
- JETBeam JET-Mu Everyday Carry Flashlight
- Olight Gober USB-C Rechargeable LED Safety Light Kit
This is the one factor that many Flashaholics don't want to think about - the dreaded budget. When you are looking for an everyday carry, there are many frugal options available. What most people don't realize that you can get an extremely durable and long-lasting flashlight on a decent budget.
EDC Flashlights Under $50:
- Streamlight Twin-Task 3AAA LED Flashlight
- Acebeam Rider RX EDC LED Flashlight
- Olight iMini LED Keychain Flashlight
- Streamlight Nano Keychain Light
However, if you are interested in high performance flashlights and you do have a little bit more money to toy around with, there are some really great flashlights available to you! Sometimes "more is more" and if you can afford to get a flashlight with a few more features than we are happy to help!
Flashlights with a little "more":