September 16, 2022
A good flashlight can be your best friend in many situations. Whether you need to change a flat tire on the side of the road, or make your way through a pitch-black basement, you’ll want to have a reliable source of light available to use. But not all flashlights are created equal!
And whilst the smartphone in your pocket probably has a flashlight, and it’s probably pretty good at shining about 3 feet in front of you. Yes it's handy, but you can get far better illumination, versatility, ergonomics, and durability with a good-quality flashlight.
Here’s what you should look for in a good flashlight, and how to pick one that will serve you well in any situation you find yourself in. You’ll never be without light again!
A good flashlight is an invaluable tool for when the power goes out, or if you're navigating around at night. For those reasons, it's important that you have one in your home and car or truck so that you'll be prepared.
The key factors to compare when selecting a flashlight:
Measured in lumens, light output is the measure of the light intensity coming out of the flashlight powered by new batteries at the highest setting. This can also be shown for other settings. This is a handy comparison tool, but does not take into account the role of beam intensity, distance, and type in determining how effective a light will be in certain applications. Lights output varies from 20 lumens (perfect for reading a book) to 3500 lumens.
A good flashlight will illuminate an area that's large enough for you to see, but it shouldn't be so bright that you can't focus on objects. If you're using your flashlight for hunting or self defence, look for one with two switches: a momentary switch and a constant-on switch.
Measured in meters, it's how far the beam of light will shine before the brightness dissipates to the equivalent of the light from a full moon. Full moon illumination is good enough for safe and careful travel outdoors. The distance will vary depending on your brightness setting.
Measured in hours, it's the amount of time it takes for the light output to drop to 10% of the rated output on new batteries, rounded to the nearest quarter hour. If a bulb does gradually produce less light over time, the number of hours it's likely to last on each setting will be noted.
Measured in meters, lights are tested by dropping them six times onto concrete at the given distance. The purpose of this test is to ensure the light is functional after being dropped occasionally. It does not assess its resilience when run over, struck with a heavy object, or used to strike other objects.
Rated using the IPX system. Water resistance is important if using your light in the rain or around bodies of water. Three ratings are used:
IP is an acronym "Ingress Protection" and is a measurement of the protection an item will have against solid objects (dust, sand, dirt, etc.) and liquids.
An IP rating is comprised of 2 numbers. The first number refers to the protection against solid objects (dust, etc) and the second number refers to protection against liquids.
IP65 = Water resistant. Protected against water jets from any angle, but do NOT submerge IP65 LED lights, these are not waterproof.
IP67 = Water resistant plus. Protected against the events of temporary submersion (10 minutes). Do NOT submerge IP67 LED lights for extended periods, these are not waterproof.
IP68 = Waterproof. Protected against the events of permanent submersion up to 3 meters.
The lens reflector that surrounds a bulb influences how the light is dispersed. The 3 common options:
Flood (or fixed): A single beam width. Good for general tasks in camp or while walking.
Spot (or focused): A single beam condensed into a spotlight to penetrate a long distance. This is best for route-finding or other fast-paced activity.
Adjustable: Beam width ranges from wide to focused, or any point in-between. This means, for example, a climber looking for the next pitch would use a spot beam; to study a map, a flood beam.
The type and availability of replacement batteries is often a factor in selecting a flashlight.
Disposable: The most common battery sizes in use, AAA or AA, are readily available. CR123A is also a common choice, but is more expensive and can be harder to find. Their upside is a higher voltage output for a smaller size and weight, making possible a brighter flashlight in a smaller, lighter package.
Rechargeable: Built-in lithium-ion batteries can be recharged through a USB connection from a computer, AC or DC outlet or solar panel. The higher upfront cost is more than made up for by the low ongoing running cost, no need for disposable batteries and reduced waste.
Renewable: Flashlights with a built-in battery energized by a hand crank or solar panel are ideal for emergency kits.
A tough flashlight that will keep you in the light when sh!t goes wrong. The Truck 'N' Co flashlight might look small, but boy is it mighty! We've fitted everything you need into the perfect pocket or glovebox sized flashlight!
Water-resistant, shockproof, with strong 1000 lumens output and 2200mAh rechargeable battery for up to 5 hours of life, simply recharge via USB socket! The flashlight also features a strong magnet at the bottom to provide an extra hand when you've got your hands full!
We hope this guide has helped you figure out what you need in a flashlight and what it is important to consider before buying one. Armed with that knowledge, I hope that you find the perfect one for your needs - and seeing that you're already here, check out our Truck'N'Co flashlight!
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