Flashlights are an essential part of life. There are dozens of ways you can use them, from a camping trip to illuminating your garage. But not every flashlight is created equally. You want to make sure that you are getting something that will last for a long time. So, what flashlight brands can you trust?
There are dozens of excellent flashlight brands on the market. The best ones are; STKR Concepts, Maglite, Pelican, and Streamlight. However, the brand is just one element to consider when choosing a flashlight. You’ll also need to consider the material, type of bulb, number of lumens, and how long it will run.
A reliable flashlight will serve you well. Keep reading to learn more about some of the ways you can identify a quality product.
Identifying the Best Flashlight Brands
There are dozens of companies that specialize in creating flashlights. On the bright side, this means that you have a lot of options to choose from. But it also means that there are a lot of inferior products. These low-quality products can send your money down the drain, often breaking within a few months.
The Most Respected Flashlight Brands
There are dozens of brands that are associated with high-quality flashlights. Some of the most prominent examples are;
STKR Concepts. They specialize in high-quality lights for around the home. They also create unique designs that increase their functionality.
Pelican. These flashlights are highly durable, often coming with packaging to protect them in extreme environments.
Streamlight. This brand routinely consults with customers in a bid to improve its products.
Maglite. These products are known for being highly durable. They also have a wide range of heavy-duty products.
EAGTAC. This company creates flashlights that will be able to cope with rugged conditions.
Convoy. This brand is known for high-quality flashlights for those who are on a budget.
What Flashlights Do the Military and Police Use?
The military and police put their tools through an intensive testing process. By looking at what they are using, we can get an idea of what brands are market leaders. For example, those in the Marine Corp are issued with Fulton MX991.
The exact tactical light that they are using though can vary. Different branches of the military and police will require different types of flashlights. Also, the type of light they are using will depend on their mission. There are plenty of requirements that a military or police tactical light will be measured against, to make sure that it will hold up to rough conditions.
What is the Brightest Flashlight in the World?
One of the biggest features that people look for when choosing a flashlight is the amount of light that it produces. This is measured in lumens. If you want to know more about lumens, you should check out our lumen article.
The title of the brightest flashlight in the world is currently held by the Imalent MS18. The manufacturers claim that this flashlight is capable of producing 100,000 lumens. This is enough power to act as a spotlight, illuminating the outside of a building. You’ll be able to throw the light over a substantial distance.
Longest Lasting Flashlight
One of the most important things for many people is how long the battery will last. The most important factor to consider is often the battery life. We’ll discuss the most respected battery brands a little later. There are a few other factors to consider. These include;
How bright the flashlight will be
How much power the flashlight is drawing from the batteries
The number of batteries in the torch
What mode it is in
Generally, a flashlight will have two modes. Often, if it’s left in low you will be able to get around 50 hours of use. If it’s on high, you might be able to get between one and a half to seven hours. Though these figures should only be taken as a rough guide. Many flashlights will exceed these. Some can last for over 100 hours when left in low.
How to Identify a Low-Quality Brand
There are dozens of other high-quality brands that we could have mentioned. Each of them has built a strong reputation and consistently delivers exceptional products. This raises an important question. How can we spot the difference between a top-notch manufacturer and a low-quality one? There are a few things you can do.
The best place to start is by looking at online reviews. A genuine company will have attracted plenty of reviews. While not all of them will be glowing, most of them will cast the product in a positive light. If all the customers have had a negative experience, it’s a good sign that you should steer away from the brand.
The next thing to consider is the materials that the flashlights are made from. Quality manufacturers will typically use metal. These offer a durable outer shell. This ensures that the product will last for a long time. If it is made from plastic, there is a risk that it will snap.
It can be a good idea to look at the website. Reputable companies will have a smooth interface that displays their products. It should go into depth about the important information. For example, you should be able to find the size and lumens. If you are struggling to get basic details, it’s best to move on.
You should also consider the price. Many reputable companies offer inexpensive flashlights. But if it is only a few dollars, it probably won’t last long.
Finally, it’s important to do your research. Look around and see what else is available. This will give you a good idea of what you should expect from the price range. Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Getting the Right Batteries
The flashlight is important. But it’s equally important to make sure that you are using quality batteries. These have a big impact on how long you’ll be able to run the flashlight.
Before we start talking about finding the right batteries, let’s look at the types of batteries that are available. They are split into sizes. The right size will depend on the flashlight that you are using. The most common sizes are;
There are a few things that you need to think about to find the best flashlight batteries. First, it’s a good idea to consider what the batteries are made from.There are two types of batteries that you can use. You can opt for either rechargeable or single-use. Each one has pros and cons.
Rechargeable batteries are better for the environment. They are also cheaper over the long term. Many of these batteries can be charged up 500 times. However, single-use batteries are the most convenient. They are also cheaper to purchase than rechargeable batteries.
However, if you are planning on getting a rechargeable battery you should be aware that they will always be discharging some electricity. This will slowly deplete the charge, even when you aren’t using the device. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure that you are using something that has a low discharge rate.
There are generally two types of battery materials. You can either get one that is made from lithium or one that uses alkaline. Usually, you’ll be better off using lithium batteries. These will be better able to cope with harsh conditions and weather extremes. However, they produce a higher voltage, this might not be suitable for some products. It’s best to check with the manual before you put them in.
It should be noted that you might find some flashlights with renewable batteries. These rely on human input to charge them up. The most common example of this is a flashlight that has a handle. As you turn it, you are powering up the battery. Because of this, you won’t need to replace the batteries. At other times, these renewable batteries will be recharged using solar power.
While we are talking about batteries, let’s briefly mention some tips you can use when storing them. This will have a big impact on how effective they will be. It also reduces the chances that the acid will spill out. When storing batteries, you’ll need to make sure to;
Avoid putting them in extreme hot or cold temperatures
Don’t put them near metal items. This can sometimes cause the polarity to reverse.
If you aren’t going to use the flashlight for a few months, take out the battery. If you leave them in, they will exert a microcharge which can quickly drain the battery.
Choosing the Right Flashlight
While there are plenty of flashlight brands to choose from, it’s important to know how to spot a good flashlight. This will make it easier for you to pick one that best suits your needs. Let’s look at some of the things that you need to know when doing this.
Types of Flashlights
There are many different types of flashlights on the market for you to choose from. Each of these is best to use for specific circumstances.
Lanterns. These are best for lighting up a large area.
Headlamps. These are a versatile source of light. As you are using these, you will have your hands free to do other activities.
Tactical flashlights. These have a wide array of uses and are popular with the military and police. Some are small and light. Others are bulkier and can be used to break through windows.
Flexible flashlights. The entire head of the flashlight can be bent/flexed into multiple shapes creating different lighting scenarios. This allows them to be used in a wide array of situations. The base is magnetic for metal attachment and has a small hanging hook as well.
Light mines. These are a new type of light created by STKR Concepts. In this case, the lights feature multiple magnets. This allows you to attach it in a range of places, making it a highly versatile lighting option.
Mobile task light. This is another unique idea from STKR Concepts. In this case, it acts as a compact, transportable floodlight. It will provide enough light to illuminate a campsite or garage while remaining light enough to carry and store with ease.
What to Look For When Choosing the Right Flashlight
Now that you, hopefully, know what type of flashlight you are looking for we can start to narrow down the hunt. To do this we need to learn what separates the good flashlights from the bad ones. While the brand name is a good place to start, it isn’t the only factor that you should consider.
First, you’ll need to consider the lumens. Put simply, this gives you an indication of how bright your flashlight will be. The more lumens you have, the brighter your torch will be. You should be able to find the number of lumens it produces in the product description section.
While lumens are a good place to start, it doesn’t give you a full understanding of how bright the light will be. To do this, there are a few other elements that you will need to know. First, you’ll need to know the beam distance. This is often measured in meters and tells you how far the light will travel. This will often vary, depending on what setting the flashlight is on.
There are a few beam types. Most flashlights will be fixed. This means that the beam width will be fixed. Some flashlights will be adjustable. This means that you will be able to change the size of the beam, depending on the situation.
The next thing you’ll need to think about is how resilient the light will be. There are a few ways that you can find this. First, look at the impact resistance rating. This tells you how it will cope with being dropped onto a hard surface, like concrete. You might also want to think about whether or not the flashlight will be waterproof, this is known as its IPX rating.
You’ll also want to think about the price. If you want to get a quality model, you will often need to budget accordingly. But you shouldn’t have to break the bank to get a flashlight that you enjoy. Remember to do your research, looking over all your options. This ensures that you aren’t overpaying. Make sure to get a model that comes with a warranty. This is another indicator of whether the company stands behind its products, or is just trying to make a quick buck.
Types of Bulbs
The type of bulb that your flashlight uses will often determine the brightness it can produce. The most common bulb options are;
Incandescent. These bulbs have a metal wire, which produces light.
Halogen. This uses halogen to keep the inside of the bulb clean. It’s one of the brightest models on the market.
HID. These use gas instead of a metal filament. These are powerful and will last for a long time.
LED. They will produce a lot of brightness without needing to consume a lot of electricity. They will also run for a long time, with many lasting thousands of hours. Because of this, they are increasingly becoming the industry standard.
Other Elements to Consider
While these are the core elements, there are a few other things that you might want to think about. This might not impact the core functionality of the flashlight, but it will affect the way that the flashlight is used.
First, you might want to think about the number of modes that the flashlight has. Some might come with low, medium, and high beams. Others will be equipped with flashing lights, allowing you to signal when you are in danger. Some might have a red or blue light function.
You might also want to think about the way that you turn it on and off. Some flashlights will have a button. You click it on and off. Others will have a twist mechanism. Are you going to be mounting the light on a gun a need the on/off switch closer to your trigger finger?
The next thing to consider is the weight and size of the flashlight. The ideal size and weight will often depend on the way you intend on using it. For example, if you want to take it hiking, you will appreciate a compact lightweight model.
Lastly, you might want to think about the accessories that will accompany the flashlight. While this shouldn’t sway your decision, it can be good to know that you are getting a lanyard or a belt clip. Others will come with lens clips, to increase the functionality. Often, you will be able to purchase these items separately if you choose.
Whether you want something that you can take hiking or something you can use to light your garage, there will be a flashlight for you. But getting the right model can be difficult. There are thousands of torches to choose from. While some will be excellent, there is also a lot of cheap crap. While knowing the brand names you can trust is an important element, it isn’t the only thing that you should consider. You’ll also need to think about the type of flashlight, type of bulb, durability, weight, and number of lumens. Hopefully, you now have all the tools you need to compare flashlights and pick the right one for you.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.