There are so many flashlights on the market that it can be an exhausting search that mainly ends with you finding the best brands and sticking to the basics. Technology has advanced so far that it may no longer be the case that you need to settle with just looking at brands.
Sure, the company you buy your flashlight from is important, but functionality is important and there are some innovative products on the market.
There are several factors to consider when searching for your next flashlight, and you’ll be better equipped once you have a deeper understanding of what's available and the advancements in technology and innovation that could benefit you.
Some of these factors include how bright your light is and how it directs the light. Battery life and construction are important for versatility and durability. It really depends on what you need a flashlight for.
Let’s take a look at some of the important things to know about flashlights including lumens, what throw and flood flashlights look like, and battery life.
Light output determines what the flashlight will be able to illuminate. Lumens are generally used to measure LED light capacity and the total lumen rating is how much light your device can provide. Conventional light bulbs have become obsolete in the flashlight industry as LEDs provide more light, less heat output, and are battery efficient.
This is important when you’re buying a flashlight since the more lumens you have the more you’ll be able to light up. This preference is completely up to you, but certain activities or tasks may benefit from more or fewer lumens. The nice thing about current flashlights is that they have multiple lumen settings so if you do end up getting more than you need you can adjust it with different levels.
There are recommendations for what lumen rating is best for certain activities, they include:
While those are the general ranges you will see for specific activities, they are still up to you to decide. Some people like to overkill on the lumens just in case they need it.
However, lumens aren’t the entire store when searching for a flashlight. You could have a high lumen lamp but how the flashlight uses those lumens could change how focused those lumens are.
You’ll often see these two types of flashlights on the market, with some clever innovations incorporating both form factors into their design. There is a big difference in what these lights can do and it’s important to know which would work in your situation.
This is a common flashlight that you’ll see stuffed into junk drawers that are used for emergency situations where the power has gone out. These kinds of flashlights are designed to cast their light to great distances away from you.
There is usually a focusing mechanism in the flashlight that is used to make your light more precise. It involves a reflector and a specific lens. It’s the lens that shapes the light to be more focused. This allows you to light up specific areas and are great for search and rescue, camping, and mechanical work.
The focused nature of a throw flashlight makes the light intensity very concentrated in the middle and then slowly diffused towards the edge of the beam. It’s because of this that throw flashlights are seemingly brighter than a flood flashlight with the same lumen rating.
If you’ve ever used a lantern then you’ve used a flood flashlight. Instead of having an intensely focused beam, these lights cast their light in a radius with equal intensity all of the way around. Flood flashlights are best used in group situations like camping, basic tasks, and emergency lighting.
Flood flashlights lack a focused lens and are just efficient LED bulbs that emit light through a diffuser usually made of glass or plastic.
The distance these can cover is extremely limited compared to throwing flashlights. While they can have comparative lumen ratings, a flood flashlight might not seem as bright.
Innovative companies have now found ways to combine throw and flood flashlights. This changes how you purchase flashlights because having an item that does both things is something everyone looks to do. Most products usually involve adjusting something on the flashlight to change between modes.
They are just as efficient as each type both in power and lumens. Additionally, a lot of the products on the market are affordable and durable enough to withstand some punishment.
A great example of a hybrid flashlight that’s good quality and provides incredible functionality, check it out here: FLi PRO 1200 Lumen Telescoping Area Light
This flashlight can be used as both a throw light and then attached to a pole magnetically to be used as a flood flashlight. Additionally, it uses wireless technology to work the included remote, this simplifies the usually tedious process of pressing a button multiple times to cycle through the light settings.
Almost every flashlight product on the market uses LED lights since they have dropped in cost and are efficient in both lighting and battery life. However, technology has made lighting technology extremely powerful with companies being mindful of the fact that these lights could be used for extended periods of time.
Battery technology has evolved too, and now lithium-ion batteries are more efficient and have a higher capacity. Some flashlights still use AA and AAA single-cell batteries which require replacing frequently depending on the power requirements.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are your best bet because they don’t have a lot of power requirements for charging, and they can generally be used with chargers from other electronics. If you have an additional battery bank, then you can use its USB connections to charge the flashlight.