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Even though most towns and cities around the world are filled with light nowadays, there is no guarantee that we will not have to depend on candles and smartphones’ flashlights when power outages happen. However, it is 2021 – modern LED flashlights can satisfy all these emergency power needs, and so much more.
Purchasing the best LED flashlights for your money is simple, as long as you know what to look for. For those who are in need, we have compiled an extensive guide to LED flashlights (with reviews) for you. Let’s get to it:
Choosing LED flashlights is already a great decision for the many benefits that LED bulbs bring to the table. However, since there are many types of LED flashlights out there on the market – it is essential for you to educate yourself to find the one that suits your needs. Here are a few common examples:
EDC (Everyday Carry): Once the tools of choice for handymen and emergency responders – these days, modern EDC flashlights are much more compact and affordable to support routine use.
Rechargeable: As the name suggests, rechargeable LED flashlights come with built-in batteries and USB cords that allow them to be recharged up to 1000 cycles. While these options are more expensive than others, the features pay for themselves – and you can expect them to last for a long time.
Tactical: More than just a self-defense weapon for special law enforcement groups, tactical flashlights can come in handy in other high-risk environments – thanks to their durable construction and excellent lighting quality.
Utility: These LED flashlights are equipped with special features to support hands-free operation and other applications.
Educating yourself about these options is important to make the choosing process easier – but keep in mind that various modern LED flashlights can still satisfy your needs without having to fall into a particular style.
- Number of lumens: 332
- Beam distance: 172m
- Runtime: 2.5 hours
- Adjustable beam
- Water resistant
- Easy to use
- Runs through batteries
- Number of lumens: 600
- Beam distance: 205m
- Can use either rechargeable or disposable batteries
- Runtime: 5.5 hours
- Shock and water-resistant
- ·Multiple modes
- Consistent light
- Hard to use interface
- Number of lumens: 800
- Beam distance: 128m
- Runtime: 2 hours
- Multiple modes
- Various accessories included
- Water resistant
- Suitable for a wide variety of applications
- Hard to use interface
- Number of lumens: 300
- Beam distance: 100m
- Run time: 2 hours
- Multiple modes
- Versatile for many projects
- Short-lived performance
- Number of lumens: 615
- Beam distance: 219m
- 1000 times rechargeable
- Runtime: 1.25-4.5 hours
- Shock and water resistant
- Multiple modes
- Consistent light
The followings are some aspects of LED flashlights that need your attention when you are looking to purchase one:
Durability: Although the price of LED flashlights can vary (with or without discounts), never settle for options that are flimsy or fragile just for the affordable price. Go for something that is well-designed and can withstand falls and abuse from external factors. Flashlights for normal use do not have to be built to military standards, but must be dust-proof and water-resistant.
Battery: Fortunately, LED flashlights’ battery life is always better than any other standard options – but you would have to consider whether you want to use yours with disposable or rechargeable batteries. Each choice has its pros and cons, so make up your mind before moving on.
Beam distance: This aspect is all about how far you want your light to go. Depending on your needs, think about the situations where you want your light to shine the furthest and estimate the distance. Then check the manufacturer’s specifications of the model you need to ensure it fits what you are looking for.
Convenience: Whichever purpose you decide to use your LED flashlight for, make sure that it satisfies your needs in trouble times – and have the reliability to continue doing so for a long time.
Light output: The brightness level of your LED flashlight is measured by the number of lumens that it has. More lumens means brighter lighting output, and there are online tools to transfer the wattage to lumens if you are looking to make the transition.
Lighting modes: Other than basic modes that allow for different intensity of light, advanced LED flashlights can have special features like strobe or SOS – which can create a more diverse selectivity in your flashlight.
Runtime: Take a look at the manufacturers’ specifications to see the expected runtime out of your batteries, and try to look for more details that suit your needs to find out the approximate number.
Size and weight: Bigger and heavier flashlights will lightly offer better brightness and runtime, while lightweight and compact ones will help with mobility – so choose wisely.
How do LED flashlights compared to units that use other types of bulbs?
Traditional flashlights with CFLs or halogen bulbs are notorious for being inefficient in consuming energy. Most notably, a large percentage of the energy that they used is wasted in generating heats – and although they are affordable, their fragility might make you think twice about your purchase decision.
On the other hand, LED flashlights are proven to be more energy-efficient than the aforementioned traditional ones. In fact, they can save up to 80% in energy consumption – providing users longer runtime and higher quality of light. Their durability also means that you will get the most out of your money in the long run.
What do manufacturers do to prevent LED flashlights from getting too hot?
While LED flashlights are more energy-efficient and generate less heat than traditional options, it does not mean that they cannot get hot when you push their operations too far. This can be the case for manufacturers who pride themselves in producing the brightest LED flashlights on the market.
In general, LED flashlight manufacturers will use either one or both of these following methods to manage the thermal matter:
Using a heatsink – to absorb heat and allow the LED bulbs to cool down.
Incorporating circuitries – to regulate power consumption and prolong battery life.
What is the meaning of IP ratings?
IP stands for “Ingress Protection”, referring to the protection against external factors that can get inside and affect the operation of flashlights. These factors are categorized into 2 groups – solids (such as dust or grit) and liquids (such as water). The level of protection that an LED flashlight has will be determined by the 2 numbers that follow the “IP” letters.
The first digit represents the ability to withstand solids – ranging from 1 to 6 in ascending value.
The second digit represents the ability to withstand liquids – ranging from 1 to 8 in ascending value.
For both digits, an “X” means that the flashlight has not been tested for protection or does not have any protection against these external factors.
What are some key notes to keep in mind when it comes to lumens?
In terms of flashlight brightness, here are some things to consider:
The published numbers of lumens are typically very optimistic, and while most of the time they seem accurate – take them with a grain of salt. These numbers are possibly the highest output for your flashlights – but it does not mean that using your unit in this manner will guarantee less heat or longer battery life. In practice, the most lumens does not always result in the brightest lighting output – or the best light for your needs.
The brightest light does not necessarily cast the furthest beam – because factors like the shape of the reflector, lens and the width of the beam also come into play.
Can drained batteries influence the performance of LED flashlights?
LED flashlights’ brightness level is at an all-time high when you first turn them on. However, as they start to warm up and generate heat – they will slowly dim, but will continuously produce white light.
As batteries are used up, the drop-off in lighting output or lumens are not usually perceptible. This is due to our eyes’ ability to adjust to the light and make us have better visions under low light conditions.
A good flashlight is a must-have item for any emergency kits, and LED options are really versatile and can be used for a wide variety of applications. In combination with the superior characteristics that they possess, these modern equipment capture our imagination in ways that we have never seen before.
For the best LED flashlights, it is a toss-up between Streamlight PolyTac X Tactical Flashlight and Streamlight 74751 Strion LED Rechargeable Flashlight. And if you want something that comes in handy for specialized applications, ENERGIZER LED Tactical Flashlight will satisfy your needs without the premium cost. Buy yourself one today, and you will never have to worry when it gets dark again.