Flashlight Basics and Features

Welcome to the homepage of the “flashlights reviewed” website. Since you’re here we can safely assume you have a desire to learn about the top flashlights and make a buying decision. We’ll make that easy for you with articles and posts that will make your learning experience productive and, hopefully, lots of fun.

Take it slow at this point since there is much to learn. We are featuring content for different types of users so it’s best to soak up a bit of knowledge before making a decision. So what exactly do we mean by different user groups? For simplicity you could say there are people who just need a good flashlight for personal use and the occasional emergency like a power failure. On the other hand, there are persons in the professional world who rely on their flashlights for performance of their duties. These folks include police and fire personnel to name just a few.

Within each of these groups, there are many different subgroups for the civilian and professional flashlight user. Both of these groups have one thing in common; A good quality flashlight with the right set of features. There are lots of quality manufacturers and lots of features that are available. In order to make the right choice, you’ll need to understand a little bit about different options that are available.

Flashlight Product Features

Case and Lens Cover

The case and lens cover are important for a durable flashlight. The lens cover should be manufactured with a highly scratch resistant lens that provides an even light dispersion. This is similar to the crystal on a watch where a single scratch will ruin the visibility of the face. A scratched lens on your flashlight will be equally destructive to its ability to project light efficiently. The lens may be designed to throw the light over a wide area or adjust to a tight spotlight. Some have a variable lens that will be able to adjust from a spotlight to a broad throw for maximum light coverage.

The case should be constructed to withstand impact and also to provide a waterproof seal for the internal parts of the flashlight. A plastic case is really not an option due to its loss of structural integrity over the long term. That leaves a metal case as the best option. Either a stainless steel or powder coated steel case will perform adequately, but there is extra weight involved when compared to a hardened aluminum case. The top flashlights will be constructed of a military grade anodized aluminum case for ultimate hardness and durability. Unless you have a specific need to utilize the flashlight as a baton, then consider going with the aluminum case.

Lumens (Brightness)

The light output of your flashlight is measured in Lumens. Lumens are a unit of measure that describe the light intensity of the visible light output. Many flashlights will be equipped with dual output settings, high and low, and others are simply designed for one or the other. The choice is yours and should be considered before making a purchase. Usually a dual output setting is preferred for the extra versatility. The low setting is commonly used to read maps or other mundane tasks when an intense light is more distracting than helpful. The low setting also helps to conserve battery life which could be critical for survival in the wilderness when every resource must be conserved over several days. The high setting is used for throwing the maximum light to provide a brightly lit room using a broad throw lens or a tight spotlight for a weapon mounted flashlight. The uses are as varied as the person using the flashlight.

Batteries

A good battery will greatly enhance the performance of your flashlight. Our preference is the CR123 battery that has been designed to perform at top output throughout its battery charge. These specialized batteries were designed for high out devices and also feature a 10-year shelf life. You will commonly hear flashlights described as one cell or three cells, etc.… This is simply a reference to the number of batteries housed inside the flashlight case. The price of the CR123 batteries is the only drawback, but they can be purchased at a reasonable price in bulk when shopping online. Expect to pay about two dollars apiece when bought in quantity. Other flashlights are equipped with traditional “flashlight batteries” and these will also work fairly well, although you will notice these batteries will become dimmer and dimmer as they reach the end of their charge.

Many models are rechargeable. This is a great option for having a flashlight at the ready in an emergency. The debate runs hot and heavy over using CR123 batteries or traditional batteries in either the NiCad or lithium sunsets. Lithium batteries great for high output tasks but will tend to lose some storage capacity over time when compared to their NiCad brothers. CR123 are lithium batteries and can be equipped in either a standard or rechargeable flashlight.

LED Flashlight Bulbs

There is no substitute for an LED bulb. This feature alone is what sets the modern flashlight apart from its predecessors. The LED bulb will put out more light with less energy consumed. this translates to the best efficiency and should be included in any flashlight purchased whether for civilian or professional use. The technology has evolved to a point where there is no reason to consider and other choice in a flashlight bulb.

Specialized Flashlight Features

There are a number of additional extra features available for specialized users. For instance, a law enforcement officer may desire a strobe function to distract and disorient an opponent at close range. A weapon mounted flashlights have become popular since Surefire introduced the category in the not so distant past. Weapon mounts can be used in either tactical situations are for recreational use. Other “hands free” mounting options are important for search and rescue or hiking. Top this off with several different styles of on/off tail cap switches and I think you’ll agree that a feature comparison is helpful before making a purchase.

Top Flashlight Manufacturers

There are several good manufacturers of top best tactical flashlights and these will be featured on this website. By studying various reviews you will discover some differences in the features and some surprising values. Of course, the best tactical grade flashlights will be more expensive than their more modest cousins, so you will have a tough decision to make before deciding on a purchase. Some of the imports have reached a level of quality making them difficult to ignore.

tac-flash-04Please browse through the content to find useful tips and information. Leave your comments concerning your own experiences and tell us about any flashlights that you currently own. Thanks for visiting and we’ll look forward to hearing from you.

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