7 Things To Consider When Choosing an LED Flashlight
The flashlight on your smartphone may be good enough to find the door knob or glasses on your bedside table but it is nowhere near adequate if you look after your health and venture outdoors often. Whether you are going hiking, camping or jogging in Germany, Europe or anywhere else in the world, you need a more powerful source of light. Two options immediately come to mind; a LED flashlight or a LED headlamp.
A handheld flashlight provides a quick way to direct light in the direction you want. You can also find a LED flashlight small enough to put in your pocket or even hang from your keychain. A LED headlamp, on the other hand, provides a convenient hands-free way of lighting up the area in front of you.
Whether you want something to see down dark pipes and drains or light your path when out hiking, this guide is for you. But first, why LED? After all, there are plenty other lighting technologies including halogen lamps, xenon lights, and the infamous incandescent lighting.
The best thing about LED is that it can burn brightly without greedily eating up the battery. Incandescent technology is the worst when it comes to conserving battery life. LED produces a bright light while allowing your batteries to last for longer. With that bit out of the way, let us start with the well-known handheld flashlight.
Buying the Right LED Flashlight
With the coming of smartphones, flashlights seem to have become less ubiquitous in homes. But a good flashlight has plenty of advantages over your smartphone flashlight. Handheld flashlights come in all varieties from tiny ones that can be hung on key chains to massive ones that seem to light up the entire world before you.
With a gazillion options to choose from, how do you choose the best flashlight for your needs? Here are 7 key considerations to keep in mind.
Before you start shopping for a flashlight, ask yourself one question; what do I want it for? The answer to this will help you decide what features matter most to you. For example, if you want a flashlight for use on your camping trips, features like light control and battery life matter a lot. If you are planning to use it when working on home improvement projects, hardiness and durability are priorities.
The most commonly used batteries for LED flashlights are traditional AA and AAA batteries. These are good enough for most people, especially if you are using LED. If you want a brighter kick and longer life, consider getting a flashlight that uses lithium batteries. For an ultra-bright light, CR2 batteries will gladly deliver. If you need to turn the night into day, look for flashlights using CR123 batteries.
By design, a flashlight is meant to be carried around. When you are not holding it in your hand lighting whatever it is hiding in the darkness you can put it in your pocket, stow it in your bag or put it on your keychain.
Keychain flashlights are great, especially for emergencies. Since you always have your keys with you, the flashlight is also always with you. Slightly bigger are pen lights that you can put in your shirt pocket when not in use. The standard size flashlight should easily fit into your pocket. On the higher side are toolbox or trunk lights. These powerful flashlights are meant for carrying in your trunk, toolbox or bag.
4. Light control
It is not enough for the flashlight to emit light; you must be able to easily control the light to suit your needs. The basic control on most flashlights is an on/off switch. Some flashlights have a button you can press with one hand while others come with a traditional switch you can flip quickly. Others, especially small keychain flashlights require a twist to come on or go off.
You may also want a flashlight that provides more control than simply off/on. Some LED flashlights come with added dimming and mode changing controls. The mode changing feature allows you to turn the light from a floodlight to a narrow spotlight or somewhere in between.
Brightness is not really a major issue despite what marketers want you to believe. A majority of LED flashlights will produce enough light for human vision. Any flashlight that boasts of brightness higher than 150 lumens is probably a waste of money. 150 lumens are at the very high end of the amount of light you need to see. Anything beyond that and you will be squinting to see what’s ahead. For normal use at home and when walking the dog, 75 lumens are perfect. If you are going camping or hiking, a figure between 100-150 lumens is ideal.
If you have a drawer specifically for dead flashlights, you are not alone. Numerous customers complain that they buy a flashlight, it works perfectly well for 2 months then it flickers to an early death. Instead of buying cheap generic LED flashlights, go for a slightly pricier respectable brand that will serve you for years.
Technically speaking, a headlamp is a type of flashlight, just that you strap it on your head rather than carrying it in your hand. Because it leaves your hands free, a headlamp is recommended for camping, hiking or exploration. You can also use it when working on projects at home.
Most of the considerations for flashlights apply to headlamps too. You need to think about what you will be using the headlamp for, what kind of battery you need, how easy it is to carry around, the kind of controls it comes with, brightness and durability (see this guide on how to find a good LED headlamp in Germany).
Stop using your phone’s camera flash, or even worse the screen, to light you way around dark areas. Even if you are not going cave exploration or crossing the Alps in Germany by foot, a flashlight will still come in handy. Thankfully, there is no shortage of cheap but quality options out there. Did you know you can buy a LED flashlight for as low as $5? As for headlamps, $20 will get you something decent. If your budget is more allowing, you can get more powerful lights for $50 and above.
So you have no excuse for not having a flashlight. Chinavasion has ton of different LED flashlight, LED camping light, Headlamp and so on. Check to find out more: LED Lights