Your guide to powerful, long-lasting lighting
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So how to choose a flashlight?
Adapt the flashlight to your use
It is important to pick a lamp that meets your needs, depending on your activity.
For instance, if you’re a police officer, you will opt for a tactical flashlight with a rechargeable battery – perhaps even one with a magnetic charger – so you don’t have to continually purchase batteries, thus simplifying your life.
If you’re seeking a lamp for camping, a headlamp with various lighting modes will keep your hands free and illuminate a wide area ahead. There are thousands of different uses and dozens of models of flashlights or headlamps to consider.
Choose the power of your flashlight
Many are on the lookout for the world’s most powerful flashlights (some can reach up to 100,000 lumens), but these are often unsuitable for everyday tasks. A lamp producing 1,000 lumens already offers extremely potent lighting. Most contemporary flashlights come equipped with one or more powerful LEDs, an adjustable beam, and several lighting modes.
The different lighting modes of a flashlight
A light beam must be adaptable to your usage. Imagine a torch perpetually at full power (say, 2,500 lumens); the battery would drain rapidly, and the intense beam could be dazzling. A flashlight or tactical light should feature various lighting modes:
Multiple beam and power settings: Turbo, Max, Medium, Low, Ultra-Low
Specialized modes: Laser, red or blue LED (UV), or a responsive mode to ambient light
Other specific lighting modes: SOS or strobe mode ((for disorienting purposes))
A rechargeable flashlight
The advent of the latest rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery technology has enabled flashlights to produce ultra-powerful beams for extended periods. Generally, we advocate for rechargeable flashlights, as they are more environmentally friendly and more economical. Recharging the battery is nearly cost-free, whereas purchasing batteries can be expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, if your torch comes with a charging stand, it will always be charged, ensuring you never run out of power during your activities.
However, there are instances where we recommend battery-powered flashlights for their lightness (mini flashlights or headlamps) or in situations where electricity access is unavailable, such as during an expedition and in remote places.
A flashlight with quality materials
The light intensity of a flashlight is also influenced by the quality of the LED, the reflector, and the lens. Most leading flashlight brands utilise CREE or COB LEDs, known for their durability and high power.
Additionally, the materials used in manufacturing the lamp are significant. For a tactical flashlight intended for police use or self-defence, we would recommend an aluminium alloy body. Conversely, for a headlamp used in sporting activities, a robust and lightweight plastic is more suitable. If you frequently use your lamp outdoors, consider a model that is shockproof and waterproof. Generally, lamps that recharge via USB port are less waterproof compared to those recharging through a magnetic charger or a charging stand.
Choosing Top LED Flashlight Brands
To ensure high manufacturing quality, it’s advisable to opt for well-established lamp brands. These manufacturers have earned their reputation through years of research and development, producing very powerful lamps and offering a manufacturing quality that represents the best value for money.
A Guide to the Best Flashlight Brands:
The best tactical lights: Olight, Klarus, Surefire or Fenix (the preferred choices of gendarmes, police or military)
The best lights for firefighters: Peli, the reference for ATEX lamps
The best headlamps: Petzl reigns supreme in this category, but brands like Ledlenser, Olight and Fenix are close behind.
The best EDC lamps: Thrunite or Nitecore (the specialist in small format Every Day Carry lamps)
The most powerful lamps in the world: Imalent or Acebeam
The best flashlights: LedLenser and Olight, very high quality
The best headlights and diving lights: Bersub, DragonSub and Light and Motion
Major brands also offer many compatible accessories for their flashlights:
- Chargers : Types include magnetic, USB, car (cigarette lighter), and pocket chargers (similar to Airpods-style charging cases).
- Colour Filters: Useful for various lighting conditions and purposes.
- LEDs and LED Conversion Kits: For example, Maglite-style conversion kits to upgrade or modify the lighting.
- Mounts for Firearms or Airsoft Replicas: Ensures secure attachment to equipment.
- Tactical Rings or Notched Heads for Defence: Designed for tactical applications and self-defence.
- Remote Switches: Allows for convenient operation from a distance on a firearm or on airsoft gear.
- Cones for Lantern or Light Signalling: Useful for signalling or creating a more diffuse light source.
- Long-Range Lenses: Enhances the beam distance for specific needs.
- Key Rings or Magnetic Base Attachments: Offers easy attachment and accessibility.
- Headlamp Headbands: For hands-free operation, ideal for various activities.
- Additional Long-Lasting Batteries: To ensure prolonged use and reliability.
- Straps or Supports for Bicycle or Mountain Bike Helmets: For enhanced visibility and safety while cycling.
- Strap or Clip: Provides additional carrying options for portability.
- Pouches for Tactical Vest or Belt: Convenient for carrying your torch securely and accessibly.