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LED Flashlights - Reviews & Guides For 2020

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LED Flashlight Buyers Guide

Whether you need an LED flashlight to make the trial more visible at night or you need a regular one to use every day at your home, making the right choice is essential. LED flashlights are available in a range of options, so you have to be careful while choosing.

From durability to battery type and lifespan of the battery, you have to consider a variety of things. Hikers love flashlights that can be mounted on the head, whereas homeowners need a simple flashlight that works with a click.

To make a quick and rewarding decision, you need to go through this comprehensive buyer's guide that will help you choose the best LED flashlight for the money.

Why should you buy an LED flashlight?

You might be thinking why an LED flashlight should be your choice when there are other bulb types available at affordable rates. The foremost difference that sets LED bulbs apart is the lifespan.

An LED bulb lasts longer than most of the bulbs used in a flashlight, so you don't have to worry about a fused bulb if you go for flashlights with LED. Check these advantages to find out why LED flashlights are the choice of modern buyers.

Long life

The average life of an LED bulb can be around 50,000 hours, and that's huge. These bulbs last longer without getting fused so you can use the flashlight for a prolonged time.

Less battery consumption

LED bulbs are energy-efficient and consume less battery. This is the reason why the world is adopting LED bulbs over the standard counterparts. In short, LED bulbs consume 1/3rd battery than that of incandescent bulbs, so you don't have to spend a lot of money on replacing the batteries after some time.

Lightweight

Here is another reason why you should own an LED flashlight. LED bulbs are light in weight and compact. A small bulb renders more light than some big incandescent bulbs. If you want to explore the dark forests or caves, then an LED flashlight should be your choice.

Multiple light modes

You can use multiple light modes with an LED flashlight to let your mates know that you need help. From SOS to zoom in/out, there can be many modes available based on the LED flashlight you opt for.

Factors to consider before buying an LED flashlight

Buying an LED flashlight may sound easy but buying it can be a difficult task. There are many things to consider, like:

  • Can you turn it on/off with gloves in cold conditions?
  • Does the battery compartment require a specific tool to open?
  • How durable is the flashlight?
  • Can you switch it on when it’s inside your backpack?

With all these questions in mind, it can be hard to purchase the best flashlight! Flunking to consider these factors means buying a flashlight that’s not up to the mark for the purpose you need it. So this LED flashlight buyer’s guide is something you need at hand when choosing a flashlight.

Why do you need an LED flashlight?

To start with, understand why you are buying a flashlight. Do you want it to be used at home, or you need one to explore hidden places in the dark? Well, for both purposes, you need a different LED flashlight.

For home use you should buy a device that has a decent light throw, but for outdoor use, you need a flashlight with a superb throw and powerful beam.

Light output

The light output is measured in lumens, and that's why you see lumens listed on every LED flashlight you see out there. The number of lumens can vary depending on the type of flashlight, such as cheap torches have fewer lumens and less throw of light, but expensive flashlights have more lumens and better power.

The torch's price ramps up with the lumens, so you have to make a wise choice while selecting the light output. The lumens are available in a range of 100-2000 depending on the intensity and model of the light.

Below we have explained how lumens impact the performance of the flashlight.

100 lumens

LED flashlights with 100 lumens are good for households. You can use the torch to search items in your storeroom or use them in power outages. The power of light is not that great, and that's why you cannot use them outdoors, such as hiking and searching purposes.

200-500 lumens

These flashlights have better light output, and you will find this lumens range in most of the affordable flashlights purchased by a majority of hikers and fishers. If you want to buy a flashlight for any of these tactical tasks, then go for more lumens for better light output.

1000 lumens or more

These flashlights can produce a monstrous beam of light that's highly intense and bright. These devices are expensive, and professional agencies like emergency services use them. You should stay in the range of 200-500 as these are the best flashlights for everyday use.

But you can also go for the higher light output if you need it for searching purposes such as locating new places in a dark forest or caves.

Battery type

So you have selected the light output, what now? Now you have to select the battery type! LED flashlights come with two types of batteries i.e., rechargeable and disposable. If you are looking for a budget option, then you will find AAA or AA batteries due to the availability and ease of use.

Rechargeable vs. Disposable

Both battery types have their own pros and cons, but you have to settle down with the right type for ease of use and affordability.

Disposable batteries

Disposable batteries are available in affordable flashlights with fewer lumens. After exhausting the batteries, you can dispose of them off to get new batteries for the torch. These batteries are good if you don't want to use the light regularly.

Most homeowners choose flashlights with disposable batteries because these seem an affordable option when you don't use the touch every day. Flashlights with rechargeable batteries are expensive, so disposable batteries can save you a few bucks.

Rechargeable batteries

If you want to use the flashlight daily, then disposable batteries can turn out to be pretty expensive. You have to keep a pack of batteries with you to prevent the flashlight from dying. Rechargeable batteries should be your go-to option as you can recharge the battery on the go to continue using the flashlight.

Yes, LED Flashlights with rechargeable batteries are pricier than disposable batteries, but you can save money in the long run.

Battery run time

The battery run time is measured by the number of hours you can use the flashlight on a single charge or set of batteries. The run time depends on multiple factors like the power of the flashlight and how frequently you are using it.

Moreover, it depends on the power of the battery. If the battery is new, it can hold more charges so that you will get more run time compared to an old battery. To get more run time, you need flashlights with fewer lumens as these last longer, and you don't have to replace the batteries multiple times.

Flashlights suitable for outdoor purposes generally have less run time, so you should keep a backup source with you in case the battery dies.

Beam distance

The beam distance is how far the light travels without diminishing. Every LED flashlight has a different beam distance based on its power. If you need a flashlight to use at home and office, then less beam distance will be great, for example, up to 50 feet as you don't need a powerful torch.

On the other hand, for travelers, and hikers, beam distance is important as these people have to see things that are far away, and that's only possible with a flashlight with excellent beam distance.

Some high-end torches have over 2,000- 3,000 feet beam distance so that these flashlights will show you everything at a considerable distance.

Many manufacturers offer flashlights that are adjustable, and you can use it just like a spotlight to let your group know where you are and to guide them on the correct path.

Beam type

The beam type in a flashlight comes in three options:

  • Spot
  • Fixed
  • Adjustable

Spot

Flashlights with spot beams are good for locating routes as the light travels to a greater distance without getting diminished. Also, these are fast and are suitable for hikers.

Adjustable

With adjustable beam-type, you can use the flashlight as spot and flood. When it comes to studying the map, you can use flood, and when it is time to find the path, you can switch to the spot option. However, these LED flashlights can be expensive due to the pricey adjustable mechanism.

Flood

The flood beam type is ideal for a shorter distance. You should get these flashlights for reading and other such tasks like setting up a tent. The floor beam-type doesn't travel to a significant distance.

Material

The common materials used to manufacture LED flashlights are aluminum and plastic. You will see stainless steel heads in some options for added durability. The choice of material depends on where you want to use the flashlight.

Plastic is less durable than aluminum, but the price is lower. On the other hand, aluminum is lightweight and resists corrosion, which is a great reason why you should opt for flashlights made using anodized aluminum if you want to travel with it.

Shape

Some of you may think that how the shape of the flashlight influences its performance. Well, it does, and here's how! Most flashlights come in a cylindrical shape for the ease of portability and handling, but these flashlights have a common problem that's called a rollover.

If you drop the torch accidentally, it can roll over to another place. But this is not the case with profiled flashlights that resist rolling. Also, check if the shape is easy to hold, and you get a decent grip over the torch's body, so it doesn't slip while holding.

Weight and size

The weight and size of the flashlight impact its portability. You cannot put a bigger and heavier flashlight in your pocket, and it would be a task to hold it for a long time. Small flashlights are easy to carry, but these lack in brightness.

The best way to decide the weight and size is by determining your purpose. If you need a flashlight for home, go for a compact one, but when you are out hiking or camping, you need a bigger light with more brightness and battery capacity.

Check the dimensions to ensure that it fits in your pocket, or you can easily accommodate the torch in your backpack.

Water resistance

Water-resistance is measured in the IPX system, and it shows how much water the flashlight can resist. Some flashlights are fully waterproof, while some are partial. It depends on how much you spend on the light and why you need it.

Lights with an IPX4 rating are resistant to splashes, and you can use them in mild drizzling. IPX7 is a better rating, and these flashlights are waterproof up to some extent. The flashlight will work well even if it gets submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes (up to 1-meter depth).

You will see some lights with an IPX8 rating, and these are highly waterproof flashlights that can withstand exposure to water up to 4 hours. You can use these torches even in heavy rainfall or similar situations.

Impact resistance

The impact resistance is how the flashlight behaves when it falls from a specific height. Usually measured in meters, the impact resistance shows how durable the flashlight is.

You should go for high impact resistance flashlights for outdoor purposes such as hiking and climbing when there are more chances of the flashlight falling or striking a hard surface.

Flashlights used at home should have normal impact resistance, and these are affordable as well.

Bulb type

This buyer's guide is solely about Led flashlights, but you will see some other bulbs type like krypton. LED bulbs are highly energy-efficient, and you will get an excellent experience with these lights when it comes to run time, durability, and longevity.

Controls

Not all flashlights have the same control; some have push buttons, whereas some have side click on/off switches. The reason to check the control is the ease of using the light. If you are in a cold area, then you need a light that is easy to turn on/off without taking your gloves off.

If you are traveling with your gear, then go with lights that are easy to control, and you can turn it on with one hand only. Rotating bezel requires two hands, so these are ideal for home use only.

A pro tip: Check if the flashlight has a switch lock so that it doesn't turn on automatically in your backpack. It will help you save a lot of battery, and the run time of the flashlight will be more.

Multiple modes

The everyday flashlights come with one mode only, and you cannot adjust the intensity of the beam. But some models have multiple modes available, and you can choose from low, medium, and high mode to control the intensity of light.

Furthermore, SOS and strobe mode are also available in some flashlights. You can program a mode yourself by connecting the light to your PC via USB using the dedicated software.

Flashlights with multiple modes usually have less run time due to the strong beam.

Accessories to buy with an LED flashlight

You can buy a handful of accessories to make the light even handier. Not all flashlights come loaded with accessories, but that doesn't mean you can't use them.

  • Lanyard –

Using a lanyard with the flashlight, you can make it much handier. There is no need to keep the flashlight in your pocket, and you can attach it to your backpack or keep it on your wrist using the lanyard.

  • Lens filter-

Lens filter is useful to reduce the reflection while protecting the primary lens from any damages. You can also say that it can improve the impact resistance of your flashlight.

  • Bike mount –

With a bike mount, you can attach the flashlight on your bike, and it eliminates the need to use a standalone headlamp.

  • Weapon mount-

To hunt better in the dark, you can attach the flashlight to your weapon with a weapon mount.

FAQs: Best LED Flashlights

Q: Can I recharge the battery without any power outlet?

A: Yes, you can still recharge the batteries if there is no power outlet available. Look for portable solar panels to recharge the batteries. Some solar panels come ready to use, and you can connect them with the light to recharge it.

However, the time taken in the process can vary depending on the power of the panels and sunlight's availability.

Q: Do LED lights really last longer?

A: The lifespan of LED bulbs is better as compared to other bulbs such as incandescent. Some LED bulbs can last around 50,000 hours, and that's enough to prove why LED flashlights are the first choice of everyone nowadays.

Q: How to replace the batteries?

A: To replace the batteries, open the battery compartment and take the existing batteries out. Now put in the new batteries taking into consideration the positive and negative points and close the lid. If you have a flashlight with a rechargeable battery, follow the process described in the instruction manual.

Some flashlights charge directly with a cable, whereas some require you to take the battery out and then put it back after charging.

Q: How durable can a flashlight be?

A: The durability of the flashlight depends on its material and impact resistance. Lights made using anodized aluminum are durable as these can withstand impacts, and the material resists corrosion. If you want a torch that lasts longer, check the impact resistance and go for branded options only.

Q: Can I swim with a flashlight?

A: If you want to swim with a flashlight, then you need to invest in a diver's flashlight that's highly waterproof, and the beam doesn't deviate in water. Regular flashlights with an IPX4 rating are not good for swimming, and it can damage the circuit and inner mechanism, making the light unusable.

Q: Are LED flashlights expensive?

A: LED flashlights are available at a range of prices, starting from $10 up to $200. The budget of the light depends on why you need it. Flashlights with single-mode and low water resistance are cheaper, whereas lights with multiple modes, impact resistance, and water resistance are expensive.

Q: The battery in my flashlight exhausts quickly, what do I do now?

A: After some time, rechargeable batteries lose the strength to hold the charge, and that's why you are facing this issue. What you can do is look for a new set of batteries, or if the flashlight doesn't allow you to replace the battery, then go for a new light.

Q: Are flashlights with bezel switch better than side click switch?

A: It depends on why you are purchasing a flashlight. Bezel switches require two hands to control the light, whereas the side click switch is easy to operate with one hand only. If you want to use the light in everyday life, then a bezel switch can be good, but the side click switch is more convenient for travelers.

Conclusion

With the help of this LED flashlight buyer's guide, you can easily make a rewarding choice. The guide contains every factor you should cozier before purchasing a light. Make a list of these factors and compare the flashlight so that you can funnel down the most versatile and powerful light for the money.

Also, check the FAQ section to learn about a handful of tips you should know before buying an LED flashlight.

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