How to Choose a Better Flashlight

Recently a friend told me she didn’t think she needed a flashlight because she has a light on her smart phone.

I would agree with her only if two conditions were true. One would be that light is the only thing you need a flashlight for. And two would be that using the light on your cellphone would not wear down its battery.

In other words, I disagree with her 100%. A flashlight should serve a variety of purposes – not just supply light – and using the light on a cellphone does indeed wear down the battery.

A phone is a survival tool, but not for the light it provides. It’s not a multi-tool. And if you drop your phone while using it as light, it could cost you much more money than if you dropped a sturdy tactical flashlight. 

Standard flashlights haven’t changed much

Today I want to tell you why a tactical flashlight is far superior to both a regular flashlight and your cellphone light. And how it could help you in a variety of everyday and survival situations.

We’ve all probably used a standard flashlight. Many still require big batteries and they still turn on the same way and weigh about the same.

These basic everyday flashlights are handy when you’re looking for something under a couch. Or when you’re trying to find something in a dark closet.

Standard flashlights are usually constructed from inexpensive aluminum or cheap plastic and low-grade steel. Many don’t last too long. 

A wide variety of devices 

Among the flashlights we see today are incandescent bulb flashlights, LED flashlights, and high-intensity discharge flashlights. Plus pressurized gas flashlights, solar-powered flashlights, and headlamp flashlights. 

As well as shake flashlights, USB-charging flashlights, and utility flashlights. And heavy-duty flashlights and work flashlights.

They all have their place, and some are more effective than others. A high-intensity discharge flashlight, for example, can deliver a very bright light due to an electrical current running through a ball of ionized gas. 

A shake flashlight turns on by shaking it. It’s powered by magnets that cause a reaction to produce light. A headlamp flashlight is ideal for shining light on something while using both hands to work.

Tactical flashlights rule 

Tactical flashlights look and feel much different. They’re more durable and weather-resistant.

And they feature a variety of settings, such as strobe and SOS. Once you get used to a tactical flashlight, you’ll probably never use a standard flashlight again. 

Most tactical flashlights are made with a higher grade of aluminum and are armor-coated. Normally they are lighter in weight than basic flashlights. And they can resist shocks, corrosion, and whatever the weather throws at them.

The average standard flashlight gives you about 10 feet of brightness. That’s approximately 100 lumens. Tactical flashlights provide brightness to about 50 feet. And they give you visibility up to about 100 yards.

What to look for 

Here’s what I look for in a tactical flashlight:

  • Ultra-bright LED flashlight
  • Solar panel
  • Power bank
  • SOS light and strobe
  • Work light
  • Seatbelt/rope splitter
  • Glass-breaking hammer
  • Compass
  • Magnet
  • Lightweight
  • Anti-slip handle
  • Adjustable wrist strap 

Could a tactical flashlight save your life?

A tactical flashlight is not only superior to a regular flashlight. It could also save your life.  Here are 6 ways that could happen.

Spotting danger in the darkness. If you find yourself walking in a dark area – due to a power outage or if you’re camping in the woods – a flashlight is a big help for finding your way and avoiding pitfalls. You might even spot a human with bad intent or an animal looking for its next meal.

Escaping from a hazard zone. If there were a chemical spill near where you live and the power were knocked out, a flashlight might be the only tool at your disposal to help you get out of the region quickly and safely. The same with dealing with a fire, flood, earthquake, or other disaster.

Signaling for help. If you get lost in the wilderness or stranded somewhere, you could use a flashlight to signal for help. Especially if your flashlight has a built-in SOS component or a strobe function to it. Light carries a long distance and can attract attention. 

Self-defense from an attacker. There are weapons that would be more useful than a flashlight if you’re attacked. But some of us don’t have immediate access to a weapon when we’re out and about. A flashlight can temporarily blind an attacker to allow an escape, while its barrel can be used for a counterattack. 

A vehicle breakdown. If you have to get out of your vehicle after pulling off to the side of the road, your hazard lights should help other drivers see your car. But they won’t help you see what’s going on under the hood. A flashlight will help you change a tire or light your way if you have to abandon the car.

Charging a cellphone for an emergency call. If your cellphone is dead and you need to make a call for help, some tactical flashlights will enable you to charge it. That phone call could allow you to escape a very dangerous situation.

Everybody needs a flashlight. And several of them are much better than having just one. But make sure you have tactical flashlights because they can do so much more.

Why settle for anything less?

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