With so many different brands and types of flashlights available nowadays, it’s easy to get lost in all the choices presented in front of you. While all of the flashlights do the same thing, going through their specification sheets can make it seem like they’re very different from one another. And while that is partially true, there are some things that you need to pay close attention to in order to make sure you get the right flashlight for your application. Keep in mind that different people have different needs from the flashlight. You can’t expect the everyday user to need the same flashlight as a camper or security worker. So what are these things you need to pay attention to?
Factors to Consider When Buying Flashlights
While it can be beneficial to get a flashlight that accepts the common alkaline or nickel rechargeable batteries, they’re not the most powerful and don’t last the longest. Newer LED flashlights can illuminate much brighter than the older incandescent bulbs, but they also drain conventional batteries much faster. For that reason, consider getting a flashlight that’s compatible with lithium-ion batteries. These come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but the most common one is the 18mm diameter by 65mm long variant. You’ll also want to consider a battery charger, as these batteries are rechargeable. While this battery setup can be expensive to buy, it will last you for a few years, at the very least.
This is a useful feature to have when you want to signal quickly or momentarily flash your flashlight. This switch activates the light with the simple push of a button. Reverse-click switches require a full press and release to provide lighting, so keep that in mind. There are pros and cons to both types, but most people prefer the instant click to get illumination.
Instant Strobe Access
A strobe light allows you to disorient someone. This is a feature you want if you’re working as security or intend on using the flashlight in tactical situations. While it’s not a priority for most people, instant strobe access can come in handy on rare occasions. People who don’t expect it will definitely be surprised when you flash it in their eyes, giving you an upper hand in a confrontation.
The beam type can be either flood, spot, or adjustable. Flood beams are ideal for doing general tasks like walking or camping, as they cover a wider area. Spot beam lights are condensed into a spotlight to penetrate longer distances. This makes it ideal for fast-paced activities. Adjustable beams allow you to switch it up between spot beam and flood beam lights, plus provide a few options in between. You can generally change the light mode based on your needs with a single click.
Klarus vs Olight vs Fenix
Klarus XT11GT Flashlight
Klarus flashlights are some of the best in the industry. This particular model can crank up to 2000 lumens and provide instant access to all of its modes. It also comes with a USB-charging circuit, allowing you to keep it ready at all times. Klarus flashlights, while great, aren’t too expensive. This particular model sells for less than $70. The XT11GT comes with a dual-button tail switch. The centre switch always enables the 2000-lumen output, whereas the secondary switch can be programmed based on your needs. A side switch allows you to change to mid-output levels and between different pre-programmed modes.
Olight M2T Flashlight
Olight is another manufacturer that produces quality flashlights at reasonable prices. They come with the latest tail-click design. In fact, they have premiered a lot of designs that you see on flashlights from many different reputable brands. The M2T has everything you need, such as the best beam pattern for use of any kind. The tail switch provides maximum power, and the strobe function is enabled if you hold the button instead of clicking it. A side button enables the moonlight mode, and every other mode in between. The only downside to this flashlight is that it can feel mushy, so if you want a more reliable flashlight, you should consider another model from Olight instead.
Fenix PD35 Tac Flashlight
This is a high-quality, yet simple-to-operate flashlight. It comes in a simple design but is made of heavy-duty construction that provides max power with the push of a button. It doesn’t have instant to lower-output modes, but it uses only 8 lumens on the lowest setting. Its emitters are tinted, so it doesn’t produce as neutral white light as other models. One of the major downsides is that this light doesn’t come with a battery in the box, which can be a blessing in disguise, as you can choose the battery yourself. While this makes it a costlier option initially, you can save money down the road, and customise your flashlight based on your needs.