The Best Flashlights for Everyday Use and How to Choose Them
Incandescent flashlights are things of the past, ancient even.The best flashlights today are LED Flashlights and rightly so. Incandescent flashlights were inferior when compared to the flashlights of today in so many parameters it's hard to count. One for instance is the short battery life and other can be the dim amber glow, both of which have improved immensely in its successor the LED flashlights. The use of flashlight ranges anywhere from as an emergency backup during natural calamities like hurricane and tornado when the entire power grid fails, when you are out on adventure in the great outdoors where power lines are not even constructed.
LED Flashlights vs. Incandescent Flashlights
Incandescent bulb flashlights are not just yesterday’s technology but also highly inefficient. As per the reports of www.energy.gov, 90% energy is given off as heat when lighting an incandescent bulb flashlight. Although the introduction of halogen bulbs proved to be slightly more efficient, they still don’t compare to those of LED flashlights. Other than this, incandescent bulb flashlights or halogen bulb flashlights have fragile filaments that are known to give away with minor shocks and drops, rendering them useless.
LED Flashlights, on the other hand, have no such restrictions. LED flashlights are considered 70-75% more energy efficient than traditional flashlights. The LED is a semiconductor that lights up when the current passes through them. They are also brighter than traditional flashlights using the same amount of energy thus making them last longer when it compares to battery life.
Understanding LED Flashlights Better
Although LED flashlights are energy efficient, they still give off a considerable amount of heat, the brighter the flashlight, the more heat is generated. Heat management in an LED flashlight can be done with two different ways - first is the heatsink method where the LED is mounted on a piece of metal with a large surface area to dissipate the heat evenly and the second method is to have a mechanism that can regulate the power to illuminate the LED. The best flashlights have a circuitry that manages power consumption and also prolongs the life of the battery and the flashlight itself.
The brightness of a bulb or flashlight is measured in Lumens. A Lumen is a measurement of total light emitting equally in all directions. Lumens are often hyped for being directly proportional to the maximum brightness and energy efficiency of a flashlight. However, that is not always the case. Although most manufacturers disclose the actual Lumens of the flashlight, some do not. Other factors important for super bright light from a flashlight include reflector shape, lens and the fact that LED lights up the brightest when it is first turned on, contributes to the brightness of the flashlight.
What are IP Ratings? How are they Important in a Flashlight?
The full form of IP is Ingress Protection, meaning protection from stuff like dust and water from getting inside the flashlight. IP is followed by two numbers, depending on the number, the protection capability of the flashlight is determined. The first digit after the letters denote protection from solids like grime and dust and the second digit denotes protection from moisture. Likewise, the best flashlights (from reputed brands, of course) will have an IP rating of IP68, which is by far the highest level of protection to a flashlight.
Build Quality, Weight and Dimensions
It is needless to say that the market is flooded with flashlights from different brands, of different sizes, Lumens and IP ratings. How do you then determine which is the best flashlight for your use? Like the above mentioned factors such as IP rating and Lumens, the size, make quality and weight of the flashlight is also very detrimental in being the perfect addition in your utility tool kit. Flashlights with anodized surface felicitate comfortable and ergonomic grip while shock-proof, anti-skid body construction will make them durable for outdoor use as the chances of shocks, bumps and drops increase when you are out on an adventurous activity. Flashlights that are compact yet have high focus, zoom, strobe functionality and a lanyard to hold them are perfect in every way.
Based on all the above parameters you can choose the best flashlight according to your personal set of requirements. Always remember, it is better to buy an expensive flashlight from a known brand as compared to an inexpensive flashlight from the marketplace as Flashlights are supposed to be the backup light and reliability is the most important factor that makes any Flashlight good.