Whether you’re into camping, hiking or dog walking, or are a law enforcement officer or military personnel, you’re going to need a good LED flashlight when you have to find something you’ve dropped in the dark, to light the way during the night, or just for general household use. There are any number of aspects to be considered when buying this type of gear, but the most essential ones include the following:
Amount of Light
The amount of light emitted by a LED flashlight is measured in two standard parameters: lumens and lux.
The higher the lumens, the brighter the light. The greater the lux, the further the beam that the flashlight projects. In general terms as well, greater brightness is better. However, the consumer will have to determine how bright or tame the beam has to be for their own purposes.
If you just need the LED flashlight for close range tasks including finding the keyhole in your front door or locating your keys in a perpetually ‘busy’ bag, a flashlight with 10 to 20 lumens and a beam distance of up to 100 meters should be more than enough for your needs. You may also benefit from a product with low-mid-high-turbo brightness level or one with a pencil beam, which is pretty useful when honing in on an object or target.
If you want a beam distance of around 120 meters just for use around the house or dog walking, a flashlight with 20 to 150 lumens should be your best option.
Flashlights that output 160 to 200 lumens are useful for walking or hiking, tactical work, camping, personal security and most general applications. These types project a beam around 250 meters.The beam should be wide enough to light up your surroundings.
A flashlight boasting from 200 to 500 lumens is designed for work, tactical or hunting, hiking, climbing, sailing, fishing and various job applications.
For units equipped with 600 to 1,000 lumens, you can expect beam throws of more than 300 meters in some models, proving to be highly useful for hiking, camping, cave exploration, hunting, industrial applications and fishing. You may want to check out units that offer a flashing mode, which are good for morse code, signalling and emergencies. A strobe mode can also be a nifty feature for signalling and emergency use.
Products geared with 1,000 lumens or higher are definitely not intended for general household use. These types are full-blown outdoor pieces of equipment that only those in hunting, search and rescue, recreation or work on really sizeable properties can find huge uses for. These units should preferably come with either strobe or flashing mode for emergencies and signalling.
How do you power the LED flashlight you’re thinking of buying?
When you are considering buying flashlights for distribution to all the members of the household, it is wise to get models that use the same kind of batteries so it would be easy to swap them between devices when needed. You can choose from these types of batteries, but you should definitely cross out units that run on button cell batteries, which are a definite pain.
Standard alkaline batteries can be easily bought from any local supermarket, making them convenient power sources. Choose from double or triple-A batteries.
Nickel metal hydride cells can power flashlights that run on alkaline batteries. Disposable lithium batteries offer the same capability while providing a longer shelf life and runtime compared to alkaline ones, which can offset the higher cost. Typically, lithium batteries have a ten-year shelf life. This enables you to get them in bulk without worrying that they will go bad.
The better option to disposable lithium ion batteries is rechargeable lithium ion batteries, which are the best power source for premium quality LED flashlights. With these types of batteries, you will virtually never run out of batteries. You won’t have to do repeated purchases of new batteries.
In addition, you can also pick out from super high performance rechargeable batteries, which pack so much power that they can only be used on flashlights designed to be powered by them.
Portability or Method of Carrying
You want an LED flashlight that you can carry with you for use when you need it.
A keychain unit simplifies carrying. Do make sure the keychain model connects securely to a keychain.
A penlight is geared for carrying in an external pen pocket on a jacket, purse or bag, or a breast pocket. This type generally has greater length than a keychain light and is powered by a pair of triple-A batteries for more runtime and power.
Larger in size compared to a penlight, a pocket light uses larger double-A batteries for greater brightness and runtime. The larger size makes a pocket light harder to lose while easily finding a secure space in your toolbox or held in your hand.
An LED headlamp flashlight can come with variously colored bulbs and an external battery pack, along with many other features. Combining the hands-free convenience of a headlamp and the performance of a LED light, this type is ideal for camping and auto repairs during critical situations. As this type can typically come unnecessarily pricey, the consumer should just get the cheapest one available that uses the kind of batteries preferred.
A shelf, trunk, toolbox or pack light can deliver an exceptional amount of illumination and can even be large enough to break a person’s head. This is a great tool in the arsenal of a law enforcement officer and also makes an excellent implement for home security. Do take note that this type will need specialty batteries for power and often compromises on runtime in favor of maximum output. .