Flashlights are enormously popular and much-needed pieces of gear for everyone – from military/enforcement personnel and hikers to campers, hunters, dog walkers, etc. Old flashlight models did not have the power to provide enough light for cases like a power outage or when out camping, but the great advances in technology have transformed the flashlight into a valuable multipurpose tool with many benefits for its user.
The modern flashlight torch models available on the market are smaller in size, have a rugged waterproof aluminium construction, substantial brightness, and a high-capacity rechargeable battery. However, not all of them are created equal. Finding a good flashlight is easier when you know what to look for. And that is why I’m here today – to show you the main features you should search for when buying a quality flashlight torch.
Start With a Well-Known Brand
This is the fastest way to simplify your pursuit of a good flashlight. Among the most popular brands that have been making great torches for years now are OLIGHT, LEDLENSER, and Nitecore. These brands offer a wide range of flashlight torch models for different situations. Their products are made from the best materials, with the ultimate safety in mind. There are many other brands that might be more affordable, but many of them do not follow all the required safety regulations, which can compromise the overall quality of their products.
More Lumen = More Light
The modern flashlights of today use LED which significantly improves their performance. Compared to flashlights that use incandescent bulbs, LED torches are much more powerful and more efficient. Lumen is the term used to describe light capacity – it is the total amount of light from a single LED. Hence, the more lumen a flashlight has, the more light it will provide.
The ANSI/NEMA FL 1-2009 is the internationally accepted standard for lumen and the reliable brands that produce quality flashlights use this lumen standard to prove the quality of their products, which means they have nothing to hide. Brands that don’t want customers to know about the exact quality of their flashlight, often only refer to ‘lumen’, so they don’t have to follow the proper measuring procedure. So, be aware when you buy a torch and see whether the brand uses the ANSI/NEMA FL 1-2009 term, which should be displayed on the packing to make it more clear for you.
Categories of Flashlights
Flashlights can be divided into three main categories:
- Utility – this is a flashlight for general use and it is usually lightweight, made of plastic and provides just enough light to get the job done. It is affordable and will last you a few years.
- Keychain – this light is an essential part of one’s everyday carry kit. Its small size allows users to put it in their pocket, in their bags, etc., and it is the easiest option to attach to a keychain. But due to its low light, it is intended to be used only as a backup or an emergency flashlight.
- Tactical – a torch designed for tactical use. These are typically smaller than traditional torches, emit much more light, and are made from aluminium for maximum durability. Although it is designed primarily for police and military units, it is also a really handy personal defense tool for the average Joe.