Are LED Flashlights Better? (And Why Are Most Made With LEDs?)

September 22, 2022 6 min read

The B.A.M.F.F. Tactical LED flashlight by STKR Concepts sitting on a rock in a night time scene with both flood and spot light on

So you’re looking for a reliable flashlight you can count on. If you’ve been taking your time, you may have noticed how most flashlights are made with LED technology. And now you’re wondering if LEDs are simply better than the rest. Whatever happened to those containing halogen or incandescent?

LED flashlights are far superior to traditional flashlights made from bulbs like incandescent and halogen. They remain superior because LEDs have high performance in terms of high-intensity illumination, durability, cost, and energy efficiency.

As a result, flashlight manufacturers and consumers alike both prefer LED as their base light source. 

Nevertheless, traditional flashlights which use other lighting sources apart from LED are still available in the market but are becoming more of a novelty.

But since LED flashlights have proven their reputation among outdoor sports enthusiasts, law enforcers, rescuers, and other people who use torches on a daily basis, the demand for the said portable lighting device remains high. With that, the supply also increases. 

a random assortment of different flashlights all sitting side by side on a flat surface

So, Are LED Flashlights Better? 

There is no doubt about it. The LED flashlight is the king of flashlights and portable handheld lighting devices. 

Its superiority comes from the fact that LED produces broader and brighter light while using less power. In the world of mobile light production, this is practically the deal of a lifetime.

So, when manufacturers incorporated LEDs into flashlights, the traditional heat-generating flashlights we used to carry around at camp or outdoors took a backseat. 

LEDs brought us brighter flashlights with longer-lasting battery life.

But while LED flashlights are preferable over other flashlights, not all LED torches are created equal. Of course, newer and more innovative LED flashlights have expanded their advantages through additional features.

For example, the BAMFF Tactical Flashlight uses two main LED light arrays instead of just the typical one light array flashlight. What that means is that in addition to the standard spotlight array for seeing into the distances, this multipurpose flashlight also includes an LED floodlight to light up your peripheral vision as well as the trail ahead.

Likewise, it comes with multiple light modes allowing you to use the different light arrays separately or together as a team. Some of the other modes include strobe and SOS functionality.

 

B.A.M.F.F. Tactical Flashlight posing on a fisherman's kayak setup lakeside

Why Are LED Lights Better Than Fluorescent and Incandescent? 

It’s no secret that LED lights surpass fluorescent and incandescent lights. First, LED lights do not produce much heat. That makes its energy usage lower as no power is wasted creating heat. Another strong point is that the materials used in LED lights are safer. 

Fluorescent lights need time to warm up and contain toxic elements. On the other hand, incandescent light bulbs consume high energy to produce a lot of heat to generate light, costing you more battery life. 

So, to put it simply, LED lights resolve the critical issues and complaints against fluorescent and incandescent lights. Hence, making it one step higher than other lighting devices.

Why Are Most Flashlights Made With LEDs? 

Almost all flashlights you can buy today are made of LEDs. This is because LED suits well with the function, light intensity requirement, and hazard of using flashlights or torches.

Another important factor that puts LEDs above their predecessors is their durability. Incandescent bulbs take almost no abuse before the filament breaks inside the bulb and its "lights out". And I’m sure you’ve seen fluorescent bulbs with their long or spiral tubes that are brittle and can’t hold up to a hard hit or drop. LEDs on the other hand can take quite a bit more abuse and still function. 

Most circumstances that require the use of a flashlight involve pitch darkness. It could be because of a sudden blackout at home or any outdoor activity at night.

LED produces so much light with high intensity that you can practically light an entire path with a single flashlight.

Likewise, flashlights are used in emergencies wherein light is not just needed for visibility. It is also used for protection.

For example, if your car broke down in the middle of an obscure road, your first ally would have to be a reliable flashlight. You use it to check your engine and wheels and depend on it to keep you away from danger or even signal for help.

These scenarios require intense light output, which can easily be achieved if you use a flashlight with an LED. 

BAMFF 4.0XL SHINING INTO A DATSUN ENGINE BAY SITTING NEXT TO SOCKETS

What Is the Advantage of Using an LED for a Torch? 

Flashlights or torches that use LED lights remain superior in the market because of several benefits. 

For one, a crucial advantage of LED in a torch is its strong light intensity. Considering torches are primarily used in areas where light is either limited or completely absent, bright light becomes a strict necessity. 

Moreover, LED holds more advantages encompassing the following conditions. 

  • It’s more energy efficient.

LED has been known as the most energy-efficient source of lighting in the market. Unlike other light bulbs and fixtures, LED uses less energy to generate lumens or light output. 

Generally, LED uses electroluminescence technology wherein an eclectic current goes through a semiconductor, typically a diode, triggering the emission of light. 

This phenomenon relies on the interaction of electricity and the microchip material, which requires less wattage. 

Likewise, LED has expanded to additional technology that consumes the same minimum energy but higher light output. This principle has brought about brighter, longer-lasting flashlights. 

  • It produces less heat.

LED relies on current flow and its interaction with the diode. As a result, it doesn’t need heat to produce light. 

On the other hand, traditional torch bulbs like incandescent lights produce heat at high temperatures as a byproduct of generating light. As a result, you can feel some of the residual and even the actual heat when using the torch with the said bulb. 

But with LED torches, the device is cool to the touch. So, you can hold on to your flashlights for a long time without absorbing the heat, which can irritate your skin. 

  • It generates brighter light. 

The primary appeal of LED light in torches is the number of lumens it produces. Lumens measure light intensity. So, the higher the lumens, the brighter the light produced by the flashlight. 

The LED generates high-intensity light and broadens the scope of illumination. 

Out in the dark, a traditional flashlight will most likely provide visibility for your tunnel vision. But with LED attached in a flashlight with innovative design, even your peripheral vision is illuminated. 

This is evident in modern torches such as the BAMFF Tactical Flashlight. With this quality, you can just continue trekking a linear road at night without so much as turning left and right to maximize visibility. 

  • It has a long lifespan. 

Torches with LED lighting tend to have a longer lifespan than other kinds. This is due to the durability of the device and the efficient mechanism of LED in generating light. 

Moreover, LED lights also have more reliable runtimes, which means you can use your torch for hours without dwindling brightness. This has to do with not wasting any power to create the unnecessary heat as older bulb types did.

If you buy a quality flashlight you can expect as much as 50,000 hours of light before having to replace it.

  • It’s more resilient against damages. 

LED lights are incredibly resilient. This is because they are made of sturdy materials. Hence, you can expect that common causes of damages for flashlights can be resisted if your torch has LEDs. 

Traditional lights like halogen and incandescent bulbs contain fragile components. As a result, you may find your flashlight suddenly failing to produce adequate light.

But LED lights are highly durable. The design alone protects the core parts of the chip. So, if you use it in a torch with reliable casing and outer structure, you can expect your flashlight to function for a long time. 

male police officer using car as cover illuminating the night with a BAMFF tactical flashlight

Summary 

Economics would tell you that demands dictate the number of supplies. And since most flashlights nowadays are LED flashlights, it speaks volumes of how much people rely on and look for this type of flashlight. 

Naturally, the reputation comes from the impressive performance of LED flashlights in different scenarios. 

Therefore, it’s safe to say that buying an LED flashlight won’t leave you regretting your purchase. 

But of course, it’s imperative to go for an LED flashlight that contains all the impressive qualities of the LED while enhancing its functions by at least two fold. 

And if you’re looking for a LED flashlight that fits the description above, don’t forget to check out the BAMFF Tactical Flashlight by STKR Concepts.

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