Powerful, bright, compact, portable: how to select the best manual torch or flashlight

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portable flashlight

The first portable flashlight appeared almost immediately after sealed batteries were invented. Despite the abundance of offers from different manufacturers, there is a basic classification of all the types.

Household flashlights

They are considered universal because they have the largest selection of models that differ in size, power, brightness. Used for household needs or as additional equipment of professionals.

household lantern

Professional flashlights

A powerful professional hand torch is equipped with bright LEDs, and their quantity is often more than in other common models. They are also better in terms of the case reliability and battery life.

The price is also affected by the presence of expensive optics and electronic filling. It is in this type of flashlights that the application of the most advanced technologies is observed, including the requirements for the case, which are necessary for special operating conditions. It can be a manual rechargeable flashlight, resistant to high temperatures, with an explosion-proof case.

professional flashlight

Tactic flashlights

Used for hunting, fishing, and tourism. Chinese flashlights occupy this niche. Moreover, there are both very cheap models on sale, as well as those related to the so-called “expensive China” models. The diode is powered by AAA / AA batteries or an accumulator.

tactical flashlight

How to choose a flashlight based on the material?

There are 4 main types of material used:

  • stainless steel,
  • aluminium,
  • titanium,
  • plastic.
How to choose a flashlight

Remember that although diode lights do not give as much heat as other lamps, there is still heat dissipation. Therefore, there is a direct dependence between the choice of case material and the power of the device. If you choose a low-power device, then a plastic case is enough. The plastic itself is made to be impact-resistant and sufficient to withstand a fall from a small height. But its heat dissipation is poor, which is why you should not go for more than 300 lumens.

metal flashlight

Metals are a completely different story. Aluminium is lightweight, has good thermal conductivity, which is why it is popular in the middle price segment. However, the titanium and stainless steel models are the ones which will withstand hunting or even a military mission. These flashlights have a completely hermetic waterproof case which even allows you to dive with it.

What requirements must an LED flashlight meet?

The plastic version is suitable only for domestic needs, because in more or less extreme conditions, where the likelihood of damage increases, such a model does not withstand water and can be impaired.

What requirements should an LED lamp meet?

When choosing an LED flashlight, be guided by several aspects:

  1. If you are going on a hike, and, moreover, in unfamiliar terrain and at night, choose a high-quality and reliable unit with a metal case. Investing a little more money than in a similar plastic one can solve the problem of transportation, and, possibly, save a life by highlighting the obstacle in time.
  2. Minimum moisture protection is a must. The higher this indicator, the better, but it also influences the price. Therefore, focus strictly on your needs and operating conditions.
  3. The handheld LED flashlight which are smooth on the outside look stylish. But will it be comfortable to hold it? What if your hands are wet? Thoughtful manufacturers make rubber or plastic pads for a comfortable grip. And in the best samples of engineering design, recesses repeat the shape of your fingers.
  4. 4. If the flashlight is large and its power is also impressive, then it should have additional ribs. It is necessary to increase the surface area for heat removal.

Some models have a so-called “turbo mode”, which brings power to the maximum. For hikes, this is the preferred option: sometimes you need to look further than a couple of meters ahead to assess the situation. The specifications of the models indicate the power when working in turbo mode, but the duration is not always indicated, so it is better to ask a specialist about it.

powerful flashlight

A short summary

If you are going to use the flashlight at home, i.e. for domestic needs, you can take a low-power model up to 500 lumens. This is quite enough for an evening walk with your dog, searching for something in the cellar, or small repairs.

But if you are going camping for several days, we advise you to take a hand-held rechargeable flashlight with a good battery capacity and increased brightness of about 1000 lumens. Increased capacitance and light output automatically affect the size, so try to find a middle ground between these parameters. Or bet on power, if the issue of dimensions is not so important.
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