Mission Accomplished: How To Pick The Best Tactical Flashlight For Your Needs

tactical flashlight on black background

While some people prefer headlamps, the best tactical flashlight is good for any person. This is especially if need a strong portable beam, good dexterity, and precision. Or if you need to set your light down for work, having the best flashlight is a must. 

Learn about the best light-emitting diode (LED) flashlight for you and narrow down your selection with this guide!

Knowing Your Options

Some things to consider when choosing the best tactical flashlights are the light output, the battery type/run time, and the size/weight. 

Flashlight prices can range from under $20 to over $100. An expensive flashlight will most likely have an advanced battery, bulb and circuitry technology. If the battery is rechargeable that can also increase the price.

Other features that can impact the price are:

  • Strong Impact
  • Water Resistance
  • Effective Heat Dissipation
  • Multiple Lighting Modes

The best analysis comes from shopping for the best tactical flashlight in person. You can check if the light switches on and off or if it inadvertently turns on. It’s also good to check if you can easily turn it on with gloves or mittens on. 

Also, ask yourself if it feels good in your hands. Will you need a tool to change the batteries? You can check out sites like https://besttacticalflashlights.org
to find more options on a flashlight that'll suit your needs. 

Critiquing Flashlight Performance

The ANSI FL1 standards for flashlights are in place to ensure models are being tested and rated equally. Manufacturers may test on their own but also have voluntary compliance with these standards. Many major brands also include different performance data on their packaging. 

A light output icon indicates the lumens measured. It’s also displayed for multiple light settings. But you need different applications to determine the beam intensity, distance or light effectiveness. 

The beam distance icon shows how far the light shines before the brightness dims and its equivalence to the full moon’s lighting. A full moon’s light is adequate for traveling outdoors safely and carefully. The distance will vary based on the selected brightness setting. 

A run time icon is measured in hours. A light’s output gradually decreases over time or can stay constant before suddenly dimming. The run time determines which settings you need to produce the brightest flashlight output. 

The impact resistance of the flashlight is measured in meters. During testing, the lights are dropped six times at the rated distance onto concrete. This is to test the resistance of a flashlight being struck, run over or being used to strike heavy objects. 

Water resistance is necessary for using your flashlight in or around water. An IPX4 rating can indicate if the flashlight is flash resistant after an impact test. Flashlights are given water submersion tests as well.

More Features and Functions

Not aware of all of the ANSI-rated attributes for the best tactical flashlight? There are other features and functions to consider. 

The bulb type, for example, needs certain functions to perform the best. An incandescent bulb, such as krypton bulbs, hardly exist in flashlight models anymore. However, their energy efficiency, impact resistance, brightness and run time are hard to beat.  

The beam type is the lens reflector surrounding a bulb. It influences how light is dispersed. It’s common to see these three types:

  • Flood or Fixed: It has a single beam width and works great for camping or walking your pet.
  • Spot or Focused: It’s a single beam packed into a spotlight to pierce long distances. It’s perfect for navigation or any fast-paced activities. 
  • Adjustable: This beam ranges from wide to focused and in-between. Someone hiking might prefer a spot beam while someone studying a map could prefer a flood beam. 

Regulated Output and Battery Life

The regulated power supply yields a steady and bright light for most of the batteries' life cycle. This prevents flashlights from starting bright and dimming as they drain power from the batteries. 

The type of batteries are also important when selecting the best-LED flashlight:

  • Disposable Batteries: The most common and sometimes the easiest to find. CR123A batteries are also common but can be more expensive and difficult to locate. They produce a higher voltage though, making even smaller flashlights the brightest. 
  • Rechargeable Batteries: Can be charged through a USB connection from computers, AC or DC outlets or solar panels. They can be more expensive upfront but will save you money in the long run. They also don’t need to be disposed of and help reduce waste. 
  • Renewable Batteries: Some flashlights have built-in batteries energized by a solar panel or hand crank. These are ideal for emergency kits.

Additional Flashlight Settings

Take a look at the mode settings of your prospective flashlights. In most cases, a single-setting is good enough. Some models offer 2 or more modes such as low, medium, high and boost light settings. Just remember that brighter modes tend to have shorter runtimes. 

Other models offer special modes such as strobe or SOS features. These user programmable modes can be integrated into the flashlight. Or they can be set up through a downloaded software via a USB cable. 

Have you checked out the on/off and lighting mode switches of your flashlight? Sliders and push buttons are thumb operated but you may prefer a rotating bezel. Those can serve as switches and require two hands to operate. 

Other flashlights feature a silent, non-clicking function to slightly dim the beam. Releasing the switch turns the flashlight off completely. Many people in law enforcement prefer this feature.

Buy The Best Tactical Flashlight Today!

Once you decide on the best tactical flashlight for you, shopping will be as easy as 1-2-3. You can find the best flashlights at your local Walmart or other stores like Home Depot and Bright Guy. Or once you know exactly what you're looking for, you can order online through Amazon or eBay. 

Happy shopping!

 

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