Flashlights are often an underrated tool when it comes to camping and hiking and just general outdoor use. People think that anything that emits a light will be good enough, that they’ll barely need it. In truth, a good flashlight is an investment. One that will save you money because you don’t have to continually buy cheap flashlights every couple months. A good flashlight will also show you its true value when you are in need.
While there are many different features to a flashlight, most good flashlights will have some similar characteristics. The three main features for a flashlight are Dimensions, Battery, and Light. Each of these characteristics are very important when it comes to selecting a flashlight.
The dimensions of your flashlight is very important. Along with size, shape, materials, and weight, I also consider the application of its features in the dimensions. Like, where is the switch to turn it on and off? Does it have a clip? How easily can you change the focus of the light? One of the most important things when it comes to its features is how easily accessible they are. A good flashlight should have a sturdy switch or button for turning on and off and an easy way to change the focus of the beam, usually was twisting the plate around the lens. Something you can quickly use while wearing gloves, or have cold hands.
It should be made out of a sturdy but light material. A good flashlight will have some weight to it when you hold it, usually cheap flashlights feel like it’s not there at all (because it’s made out of weak plastics that are painted). These good materials should make sure your flashlight is water and impact resistant (if they don’t, pass on the product).
The right battery will make sure your flashlight has a good amount of time in which it can work, especially at its highest power. Some lesser flashlights have very strong light but not the battery output to back it up, making that feature useless. LED lighting is probably the best as it produces high energy for long periods of time which gives a chance for your batteries to hold up.
There are many different kinds of batteries your flashlight could have. AA, AAA, rechargeable, or not. Make sure the flashlight you’re interested in is something you can resupply when you want. Some flashlights use the CR123A, which is a good battery as long as you’re sure you can find them, as without the internet they can be hard to purchase.
The light is one of the most important parts of a flashlight. Before, even just a few years ago, you’d want to make sure your flashlight filled the role that you wanted it to fill, and you would need a different flashlight for different roles. But now flashlights are more flexible and accommodating. A good flash should have around 4 different settings for the beam. This will make sure that your flashlight can be used for whatever task you have before you.
As already mentioned, LED lights are very good and mercury free. An LED flashlight ensures that you are getting powerful and effective lights without wasting a lot of battery. Each setting on the beam of your flashlight should be filling a role. Some lesser flashlights will simply change the spread of the beam by restricting light instead of refocusing it. This is bad. A good flashlight will have a very strong beam once focused all the way. This is great for doing very close up and detailed work. And when it is placed on the most wide setting, the light encompasses a very large area.
A flashlight is an important and effective tool to have. Buying a high quality flashlight will ensure that you needn’t buy another because it is made of good materials and fulfills its job well. This will save you money in the long run. And a well made flashlight will be a reliable tool for years to come.