Tips for Choosing the Right Flashlight
Torches are probably one of the most convenient tools everyone should own, as they can come in handy in many situations. Not only are they essential for outdoor adventures, but a torch can also come in handy when performing repairs around your home or your car. So, if you don’t have at least one multi-purpose flashlight, it’s time to find one. Here’s a couple of tips you might find helpful when buying.
Pick a Handy Type
Decided to explore quality flash lights, but have no idea where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The first and most important thing is to get to know the different types and pick the right one to suit your needs. And for this purpose, we can divide flashlights into several categories.
Hand-held torches are the most common type due to their convenience of use. As their name states, these flashlights are intended to be held in your hand and illuminate specific spots or desired directions. Hand-held flash lights can be found in many different designs- from the high-end models for a variety of specific uses to the compact and lightweight ones that can be conveniently carried in your pocket.
Unlike hand-held ones, head torches are mostly intended for hiking, backpacking and climbing enthusiasts. This is due to these torches being mounted on your head, most commonly with adjustable strap systems to leave your hands free for other tasks. Besides being used for outdoor activities, head torches can also come in handy for many home or job site tasks where you need both of your hands and pinpointed illumination at a specific spot.
Lanterns are mostly known for their vast scope of illumination- they can light up a huge area, and this is why they’re most commonly used for illuminating tents while camping. They typically run on other mechanisms than batteries, so they can successfully illuminate your camping space all night long without running out of power.
Battery Powered Vs. Rechargeable Flashlights
Flash lights typically run on batteries- rechargeable or disposable.
Disposable batteries are the powering type many people rely on. However, with the technology developing, rechargeable batteries are becoming more convenient. These batteries are a money-saving investment, as you only need to recharge them instead of buying new ones each time. They can be charged using a USB connection from a computer, laptop or your car, solar panels or AC and DC outlets, making them a more convenient option to stay powered up wherever you are.
When it comes to disposable batteries, flashlights typically use alkaline, AA, AAA or D batteries. Keep in mind that the type of battery will determine the flashlight’s brightness performance and how much time it can efficiently run.
The Different Types of Bulbs
Except for different batteries, torches also use different types of bulbs- LED, halogen or incandescent.
LED torches are the most convenient type that opens a bunch of opportunities so far. These bulbs are very energy-efficient, last way longer than the other types and offer an excellent illumination source. Plus, LED bulbs can be found in many different colours- such as the red ones to maintain night vision or orange ones to avoid nosy bugs while outdoors.
Halogen bulbs run on gas to produce a source of lighting. Same as LED bulbs, they’re known for the excellent lighting they have. However, they tend to generate a lot of heat and run hot, making these flashlights less energy-efficient than LED ones.
Incandescent bulbs are powered on argon or nitrogen gas. When it comes to flashlights, they’re not much recommended as they produce a lot of heat and last much shorter than the other types.
Other Important Features
The powering type and the bulb are among the most important considerations. However, a couple of other important features will determine the flashlight’s performance.
The light output is the ultimate feature determining the light intensity your torch delivers. Light output is measured in lumens- the more lumens it features, the more light it can produce, and it highly depends on the torch’s purpose. For instance, an average torch will produce an output of around 50 lumens, while there are also high-end models that give an output of up to 1000 lumens.
As its name suggests, the beam distance measures the distance your torch is capable of lighting up in front of you. Hence, choosing the beam distance with your needs in mind is very important so you don’t invest in something you won’t even find helpful.
For instance, when it comes to hiking or climbing, it’s recommended to pick a torch that features a considerable beam distance of at least 200m. But when it comes to choosing a torch for camping or general use around your home, a beam distance of fewer than 50m will be more than sufficient to light up in front of you.
Time performance might be one of the essential features many people tend to overlook. It determines the time your torch can produce illumination before it runs empty. However, keep in mind that nowadays, you can find a lot of high-end models that feature adjustable settings and modes to make your torch last longer.