Light Up the Darkness: Beginner’s Guide to Flashlights

It’s an instinct for us to feel safe in the light, and afraid and in danger when in the dark. The light, after all, reveals the world to us. And we are visual animals. We perceive the world through what we see. On the other hand, the darkness covers everything. It forces us to rely on our hearing, smell, and touch. And if you’ve experienced darkness when outdoors, you probably know how scary it is to hear the movement and rattling of unknown objects and touching everything and anything, making sense of what’s around you. You’ve probably thought to yourself then “I wish I had a light!”

Lucky for you, there does exist a portable hand-held electric light, which is called a torch or a flashlight. You can take these handy tools with you everywhere you go, as they’re compact and easy to carry and use. Furthermore, they’re absolutely necessary for some situations. For example, they’re part of essential gear for camping, hiking and similar outdoor activities. And the most powerful models on the market can even be used for protection as part of the basic tactical equipment.

But, despite their simple look and use, they’re intricate devices with many technical details. Therefore, you need to consider several factors, before you choose which flashlight is your best choice.

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The Brand

Of course, as with any other industry, there is a certain number of brands that stand out. Or, in the case of the flashlight industry, shine brightly. For example, a great industry leader and flashlight choice is JETbeam, with their cheap, but super-efficient options and high-end specs. The Jetbeam torches lead the way in both usability and technical characteristics.

Since its foundation in 2004, the company has paved the way to the top thanks to the quality workmanship. Due to this, their flashlights are now the preferred choice in fields like outdoor activities, aviation, industrial lightning, tactical, etc. Thereby, you can find a variety of Jetbeam flashlight models that have all the right features for you.

For instance, if you need an outdoor camping flashlight, a great option is the C8R outdoor flashlight. It has a battery life of 50000 hours, it can light up to 1480 lumens, and it has a beam distance of 355 meters. Additionally, it comes with four brightness levels and a strobe option, plus mobile power charging for emergencies. All of this makes it an all-rounder for a variety of camping activities.

Another great manufacturer is ThruNite with their simple-to-use, but very powerful and efficient flashlights. The most popular example from this brand is the ThruNite BSS V4 Tactical, and as the name states, it’s for tactical use. Standing out from the rest of the tactical flashlight range, it has a 2523 lumen discharge with a beam distance of 250 meters.

Or, if you want a brand that is purely tactical, then Olight is probably the best option for you. It’s regarded as a military and tactical specialist, with products like the Olight Warrior Mini 1500. It has a compact design that you can grip for any dangerous situations.

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The Batteries

The battery determines how long the flashlight will last, how bright it will shine, and how much it will overheat. A helpful tip, if it does overheat, don’t be alarmed. It’s normal, and you’ll notice it when the flashlight starts shining less bright. Don’t worry, though it will go back to normal after it’s switched off. But, as a general principle, it’s good to have a flashlight that’s powered by a single battery and rechargeable.

To illustrate better, let’s say you want a battery that you can use for a long time, and shine brightly – then, your best choice is either lithium, specifically lithium-ion. Almost all high-quality torches run on these, as it is the best standard. Another great battery is the NiMH AA, and it doesn’t need a special charger, but it does have a shorter shelf life.

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The Lumens and Scope

These are two crucial aspects to the use of the flashlight. The lumen is the measurement for how much light the bulb is generating, while the scope is the beam intensity, beam distance, and additional options. The light output can range from 20 to 3500 lumens. Meanwhile, the scope can have a zoom-in, strobe or brightness levels. Some even have a moonlight mode, where the lumen is below one, which is made for night-adjusted eyes. Also, these two do not often correlate. The more lumens a flashlight produces doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have a huge beam distance or options.

If you want to read a book under the covers, then a simple flashlight with 20 lumens is enough for you. But, if you want to go exploring outdoors, then a 20-150 lumen is best. Using these, you can search up to thirty feet, and they usually come with features like zoom-in. Flashlights from 160-200 are for general use, albeit they are much powerful.

On the other hand, anything up to 500 is for sailing or tactical tasks. Anything above is already too strong and only used for tactical purposes. But, as previously mentioned, a lot of flashlights come with a built-in brightness option. So, depending on your need, you can go from 1 to 20 to 80 to even 500 with just a quick click. As such, you must go through every option when choosing the best flashlight for you.

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The Tint

While it isn’t always considered, the tint can make a huge difference in how efficient your flashlight is. In technical terms, every light source has its correlated colour temperature which defines the light’s colour tint. Or in other words, the temperature at which your flashlight shines determines the light’s colour. The temperature is measured in kelvins, and can also help you in a tight spot. If you’re by any chance in the woods and need to light something, a strong temperature flashlight can do that for you.

If you want a reddish-orange colour, then you should get a 1000K to 3000K one. This colour is known as warm white. The next colour, neutral white, is between 3100K and 4500K. Here, the light loses some of its reader hues and has some more blue tones. Finally, cool white is anything above 4500K, and it has a heavy blue colour making it the best when you need utmost visibility.