How to Choose the Right Flashlight

Regardless of whether you think you need them or not, flashlights are extremely useful and versatile tools, and everyone should have at least one at home. Even though we all have a smartphone, which offers a small flashlight, the real thing is still better.

People have always been looking for ways to bring light into darkness, and even now artificial lights are still getting better and better. A nice flashlight torch can help you in many different situations, or it can even save you in some potentially life-threatening situations. This is why it should be part of your camping gear, work gear, car tool kit and home toolbox.

There are many different types of flashlights, each of them great for different types of situations and for different uses. They can be divided into different categories, according to the light source, according to the strength, uses, batteries, styles etc. However, if you are looking for one for a specific use, you can look at them under three categories: everyday carry flashlights, tactical flashlights and head flashlights.

Main Flashlight Characteristics to Take into Consideration

Regardless of the type of flashlight you choose, whether it’s a headlamp, an ECD handheld flashlight or a tactical flashlight when you are choosing one, there are several vital things you need to take into consideration. This can help you narrow down your options and choose the flashlight which is most appropriate for your specific needs. The good news is that all different styles of flashlights come with a wide variety of different options, or even some additional options, so you won’t need to scarify one for the other.

  • Light Output (the intensity of the light, measured in lumens);
  • Throw (the distance of the beam);
  • Flood (the width of the beam);
  • Light Source (LED or incandescent);
  • Battery type (rechargeable or chargeable);
  • Level of Water Resistance;
  • Level of Impact Resistance;
  • Weight;
  • Light Modes;
  • Adjustable Focus.

Types of Flashlights



If you need to do things in the dark, especially outdoors, but you need both your hands to be free, you should be looking for a reliable head flashlight. This is an extremely convenient way of throwing light in front of you in the dark which not only gives you the advantage of having both of your hands free, but it also allows you to easily direct the light towards wherever you want to look, simply by turning your head. Because of this, some people use them even when there is another lighting, like a lantern, to provide extra and more focused light.

While it may not be absolutely necessary to have at home, for some activities you definitively need one. For instance, if you are going into the wilderness hiking or hunting, you should definitely have a headlamp in your gear. However, like all other types of flashlights, headtorches aren’t too easy to choose. This is mostly because they come in many options. One of the main things to think about when buying a headlamp is its weight. Make sure to buy head torch light that’s lightweight and that can comfortably sit on your head because it will be strapped around your head for long periods of times.

Headlamps with a battery pack in the back typically offer better weight distribution. Also, you should look for a head flashlight that provides cushioning for more comfort, as well as adjustable straps, to ensure a perfect fit.

Everyday Carry Flashlight


There are many situations in life when a flashlight can help a lot, which is why it’s often included on people’s lists of essentials, also known as everyday carry (EDC) items. In some of them, you may be able to do without, like when you lose a pen under a sofa or you are looking for something in a dark corner, in others you may be better off with a proper flashlight, like if you are looking for the fuse box because the power has gone out or you are fixing the kitchen sink, and in some, you may really need a way to illuminate something, like if your car breaks down in the middle of the road during the night. Everyday carry flashlights come in many different sizes, shapes, styles, qualities, strengths, levels of impact resistance etc.

While some people consider EDC flashlights to be weaker than tactical flashlights, nowadays you can find some incredibly strong and durable options. So, whether you decide to go for a compact pocket torch or for something larger, if you don’t want to have to replace it all the time, you should try to find something of better quality. If you are looking for something that you can really carry everywhere, you should go for a rechargeable LED pocket torch.

Tactical Flashlights


A common part of the gear in most search and rescue jobs like police officers, firefighters, etc., tactical flashlights are considered to be the most reliable ones, made of the toughest materials, as well as the strongest ones when it comes to the light intensity – distance and width of the beam. This type of flashlights usually offers models with the most lumens, or strongest brightness, the highest impact resistance, the best batteries, etc. You should consider buying a tactical torch if you need it for work, or if you think you really need one for a hobby that involves walking through dangerous terrain at night, such as hunting or hiking.

Author: Michael Hobbs

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