Depending on the situation that you find yourself in, what kind of flashlight would you want? You’re probably thinking that you would be happy to have ANY flashlight. But since you are reading this, I can tell that you are someone who wants to plan ahead and you don’t just want any old flashlight, you want the best possible flashlight for your tasks.
Want to See Even More Flashlights?
The flashlights included on this chart actually only begin to scratch the surface. So many manufacturers and models exist that there is no way that we could have listed everything. However, many exceptional flashlights are included at every price range and from a wide variety of quality makers.
Types of Flashlights
The type of bulb will determine the classification of a flashlight. There are three main categories, Incandescent, LED and fluorescent.
Why an LED Flashlight?
Powered by Light Emitting Diodes, the bulbs of these flashlights are durable and long lived. Capable of giving you up to a theoretical run time of 100,000 hours at the best quality. They do not require quick replacement so this saves you money in the long run when selecting a flashlight.
They come in a variety of different colors. The below is a quick look at some of the colors that the LED bulbs can range in.
In our opinion these are the most practical and reliable choices for a flashlight.
Types of LED Flashlights
With diving lights the primary concerns that you will have are ease of use and the battery power of your lights and of course to make sure its waterproof! I say lights because its good practice to have a main larger light and a smaller backup light that you can easily carry in your harness etc. A general rule is to carry a primary light that has twice the battery life of your planned dive time.
How to Find a Flashlight That Meets Your Needs
There are few key factors to consider when trying to find the perfect flashlight for you. Namely these are Battery Power, Brightness, Size, Composition, and Cost. These will be expanded on below:
- Battery – there are various power sources including alkaline batteries, rechargeable NiCd, NIMH, or lithium ion batteries. The amount of power you need and how long will need it for will determine which of these you choose.
- Brightness – Candlepower is the measurement of the brightest spot in a flashlight’s beam, with the focus not taken into consideration. A “Lumen” is the measurement of all visible light. This is very important factor in choosing your flashlight. The amount of light needed for changing a car tire won’t be the same as that needed for hunting game in the woods.
- Size – the battery size usually dictates the size of the flashlight, if you want a smaller flashlight you’re going to get a smaller battery.
- Composition – the choice comes down between metal and plastic. Metal is sleek and sexy looking but it is heavy while plastic is lighter and more likely to still look alright after suffering a drop.
- Cost – this will depend on your needs. A beam for changing a car tire will not be to be as pricey as one that’s used by a soldier in the armed forces. A price cannot be put on safety and reliability though. An investment in a rechargeable flashlight is higher than a disposable one but it will be cheaper in the long run especially if it’s used frequently.
- Place of manufacture – For some this can be a make or break as they would prefer to support a certain country where the light is made.
The comparison chart above contains a listing of many of the top led flashlights on the market today. You can take a look around the chart and hopefully it will help you find the perfect beam to fit your needs.
What’s So Great About the Top LED Flashlights?
I don’t know about you, but there was a time when at any given moment we probably had 8-10 flashlights scattered throughout our house, cars, camping equipment and garage. And typically when we had a need for them, they never seemed to work – at least not well. Either the batteries were dead, the bulbs were burned out or broken, or they simply didn’t work for whatever reason.
In my opinion, the main reason they didn’t work most of the time was because they were all really crappy, cheap flashlights. It’s all well and good to save money, but when you need a working flashlight – especially in an emergency situation – I learned that it’s better to not be so cheap and instead invest in several quality flashlights that you can depend on.
There are so many different types, sizes and brands that we want to try and make it a little easier for you to decide which top LED flashlights suit your needs.
What makes a Top LED Flashlight?
It’s happened to all of us before. You’re fumbling for your car keys, stumbling through darkness trying to figure out where the hell you are, or perhaps even jumping chain-link fences trying to catch a criminal in pitch black darkness. And that’s why you’re here, because you realise that having one of the top LED flashlights ready to go and on hand can make all the difference. Useful in a variety of scenarios, the practicality of having a great flashlight in your purse or back pocket will mean you’re prepared for anything.
Whilst it’s not in everyone’s “must have” books, the often overlooked flashlight (and in particular, one with a powerful LED light) is a great tool to have on you. And with our breakdown of the most popular models, combined with comparative and analytical reviews, you’ll never be caught out again. We’ve gone and extracted the most important specifications and features out of the top LED flashlights available, and displayed them in an easy to read format so you don’t waste money on junk! Take a look at the following key features:
Output and Range
We know it’s a fairly obvious point, but the most critical component of any LED flashlight is their ability to generate light. Many different flashlights have different capacities for generating light, and the amount of light generated is generally measured in “lumens“. It’s fairly easy to follow, with the amount of light generated increasing with the lumen count. Your $2 cheapo LED flashlights from your local service station might put out 10-20 lumens, which is handy to have, but is hardly going to be effective in total darkness. But with the continually evolving field of electronics improving the lumen output of flashlights, it’s not uncommon for small handheld flashlights to be pumping out a whopping 1000+ lumens. This is thanks to the powerful LED unit, which not only uses less power than your traditional bulbs found in older flashlights, but is able to output much more lumens!
Also going hand in hand with the output capacity, is the range. It’s no good having a 1000 lumen flashlight that can’t concentrate it’s beam for more than 10 metres. The innate benefit of LED flashlights is their ability to focus and concentrate their light towards a fixed point, giving you the benefit of amazing output, and great range. Some flashlights have the option to adjust the range, giving you options to move the flashlights lens to “flood” and “throw” modes. Flood being used to illuminate a large area in a short distance, with throw being used to illuminate a small area over a large distance.
It’s all well and good to have a 1000 lumen monster in your hands, but sometimes you don’t need to light your target up like a Christmas tree and want something a little gentler on the eyes. Many top LED flashlights now incorporate multiple modes, to accomodate different intensities. This means that your torch, whilst it may have the capacity for 1000 lumens, may be set into a different mode and only output 200 lumens, making it more practicable and saving on battery life. Buyers should look for at least 3 different modes of varying intensity, to ensure they cover a variety of scenarios.
Size and weight
Advancements in technology mean that whatever devices we have in our hands these days, they’re always getting smaller. In the past, to get a reasonable shine out of your torch, you had to carry around a 10 pound monster and a backpack full of batteries to keep it going. Now, LED technology means that we have smaller and more tactically sound LED flashlights that fit into the palm of your hand and don’t sacrifice on any amount of power at all.
With any new emerging market, there are companies that try to capitalize by making cheap, inferior products at lost cost to give to unaware consumers. A LED flashlight won’t do anyone any good if it’s plastic casing cracks in the first 30 seconds of use, or its components break the first time you drop it on the ground. The best flashlights incorporate solid metal construction, with grips for stability, insulation to protect against heating metal, and a solid design to prevent it from failing due to wear and tear.
Power and batteries
Essential in the make up of any top LED flashlight is their ability to keep the power on for longer. Though some torches have amazing lighting capacity, usually this comes at the expensive of operating times and will mean that you might have to carry around a spare battery or two to ensure that you’re always powered. Many flashlight manufacturers have multiple products to market, and an important consideration is whether to have an internal rechargable battery, or a replaceable one. The convenience of being able to throw your torch on the charger without fiddling around is undeniable, however if you’re out for extended trips you might want to consider a model that facilitates you being able to pack a few spare packs of batteries.
Models with replaceable batteries typically run on AA, AAA, CR123 and 18650 batteries. These are able to be bought in both non-rechargeable and rechargeable varities.