Read This Before Choosing Your Tactical Flashlight
When it comes to flashlights, LEDs are far superior to the older style bulbs. LEDs stand out from the older styles because they are a lot brighter than traditional bulbs, but even better is the fact that they have a longer life. With an LED flashlight you won’t have to worry about keeping spare bulbs around because LEDs last for years. However, you will want to keep spare batteries handy, especially with the more powerful lights. LEDs might use less power than a traditional light, but that doesn’t mean the batteries will last as long as the light does.
Flashlights are an important tool that you always want to have around. With how useful flashlights can be you want to make sure you are choosing the right LED for you. The problem is not very many of us now how to choose the right one. So, how do you choose the right LED you ask? Luckily, we have a few basic steps that you can follow.
You need to figure out why you need the LED in the first place. When deciding why you need it, you need to basically ask yourself what you plan on doing with the light. You need to figure out where you are going to be using it the most, as well as what you are going to be using it for. Once you figure out what you will be using the LED for you can find one that is the appropriate size and weight for the task at hand.
Now you need to set some kind of budget for your LED. If you have started researching LED flashlights at all, you have probably noticed the wide price range. You can find some cheap ones, but you can also find some pretty expensive ones. You need to bear in mind that you often get what you pay for, so you want to avoid the cheap LEDs, but you also don’t have to spend $100 to find a high quality one.
You need to figure out just how bright you need your LED to be. When it comes to determining brightness, which is measured in lumens, what you are going to use your LED for is going to play a big role. If you are going to be using it around the house, you are not going to need the LED to be as bright as if you were going to be using it outside. Not only is brightness a factor, but so is distance. When looking at LEDs you need to figure out just how far ahead of you the light will need to illuminate. Both brightness and distance specifications can be found on the product specification page.
You want to look carefully at the LED to determine how many LEDs it actually uses. Majority of your cheaper lights feature multiple LEDS, which more doesn’t mean brighter. Multiple LEDs are often not very bright, but they also don’t provide a focused beam. High quality lights feature a single LED, which also offers a focused beam of light. You want to physically test the LED by turning it on and looking at the shape the beam projects. You want something that projects a round, even light. The way the LED is mounted is also an important feature to look at. You can easily tell the quality of the work involved just by looking at how well or poorly the LED is mounted. You also want to look at the connections, switches, and wiring to make sure the construction is sound.
Pay close attention to the housing material. Plastic is a popular choice because of how lightweight it is, but that doesn’t mean it is the best choice. What you need to remember about plastic is that it is also cheap and it is not going to stand up to time. Plastic is not your most durable choice, it will not stand up to accidental drops and cannot be used on LEDs that can also double as a weapon. If you want something durable your best option is to look for LEDs made from aircraft grade aluminum.
What kind of batteries the light takes is the last and perhaps most important thing to look at when choosing the right LED. Most LEDS sold at big box stores simply use disposable batteries, although you can opt for NiMH batteries, which are the rechargeable ones big box stores sell along with the disposables. However, the only way those batteries can work is in a LED that requires AA. Online retailers carry LEDs that require lithium batteries, which lithium batteries can be disposable (most expensive) or rechargeable. Your other option is to be a rechargeable LED, which are commonly used by law enforcement officers.