A tactical flashlight is different from the kind of flashlight you would keep in your car or have on hand encase the power goes out.
A tactical flashlight will support you in survival situations, recreation, or work missions. A flashlight needs to be able to keep up with you, and that’s why an ordinary flashlight just will not make the cut, you need tactical.
A good tactical flashlight is sturdy, water and weatherproof, and will withstand heavy impact. They are also exceptionally bright and have a long life. They often have military and law enforcement features.
With these things in mind, we will help you figure out how to choose a tactical flashlight. Keep in mind they provide more features than an ordinary flashlight will and it will require long-lasting bulbs. Will all this, this flashlight will be dependable and trustworthy in an emergency.
Before you make a purchase of a new tactical flashlight, there are a few things to look over, so that you get the best out of what you buy.
You will need a flashlight that is suitable for your exact scenario, so you will have a few things to consider before you make your purchase.
Here are a few things to help you choose what kind of tactical flashlight is best suited for you and your needs.
Types of tactical flashlights
There are two primary types of tactical flashlight, these are EDC (everyday carry) and full-sized. An EDC tactical flashlight is compact and convenient, small enough that you can take it anywhere.
Despite their size, improvements in technology mean that they are brighter and last longer than before. EDC flashlights make for a good backup encase your full-sized tactical flashlight was to cut out. You can even get them as keychains!
Full-sized flashlights are more primary and usually resemble classic police flashlights. This type of flashlight is usually anywhere between 8-12 inches in length and will usually weigh a good couple of pounds.
They make up for their weight in effectiveness, being very bright and with long-distance beams, they are also effective as a backup defense tool in emergency situations.
Types of bulbs
The primary bulb type for tactical flashlights is LED’s. LED lights are very energy efficient, so they will eat up less of your battery, giving you a longer light life.
It would be ill-advised for you to use any other type of bulb for your flashlight, as other bulbs will eat away at your battery with lower performance.
You also want to consider how you are powering a flashlight, you have two primary options, standard batteries or rechargeable. Standard batteries are probably the best way to go, but if you do this, make sure it is a more common battery type and nothing too out there.
If you choose rechargeable batteries, there are many options, the most favorable is probably li-ion. Though it is worthwhile remembering that rechargeable batteries do get a decline in their charge over time, so it is worth keeping a spare set and spare charger, just encase of an emergency.
In 2009, as a result of manufacturers deciding a need for uniformity in tactical flashlights, the ANSI/NEMA FL-1. This document requires manufacturers to release important flashlight data so buyers are aware of the flashlight’s capabilities.
Some of these core capabilities are light output, impact resistance, and beam distance.
Impact resistance is measured in meters, simply stating how far the flashlight can drop and still function properly. All flashlights endure a test to see how durable they are to be dropped from a height.
Beam distance is affected by the lens and bezel as well as the focusing of the light beam. The light beam is measure in lux, which simply defines the number of lumens in the surface area of the light beam.
Light output is measure in lumens, which sounds all technical, but it is simply a measure of how bright something is. Put simply, the higher the lumens, the brighter your flashlight will be. But also the higher the lumens and brighter the flashlight, the more power will be consumed.
The most high-end tactical flashlights will have an output mode (lumen output), and some may include a strobe effect setting that could be used to deter attackers and buy yourself extra time.
The battery life of your flashlight is measured by how long it takes for a fully charged flashlight to reduce by 10% of the value. The battery is also affected by the brightness of the light, the brighter the light, the faster the battery will drain.
There are two ways a flashlight can use energy, either; regulated or unregulated.
A flashlight that is regulated is a bit like a smartphone, the quality will stay the same but when the battery is empty, the light will suddenly shut off without warning.
An unregulated flashlight will do the opposite, as the battery drains the light will grow dimmer, in this sense it is a bit of a warning that the battery is getting lower.
Don’t forget to consider weight, the lighter the better. As well as, the finish, as black is better for night-time operations.
Weather resistance and the lens are important too, you want your flashlight to be able to tolerate all kinds of weather, and while plastic lenses are clearer and more versatile, ensure scratch resistance in your lens.
In summary, you want to make sure that your flashlight is the best of the best for you. And there are a lot of things to consider.
A flashlight that has little life, low light, or is easily damaged will not be a great investment in the long run. It is best for you to ensure that your new tactical flashlight is worthwhile and will be reliable in the field.
Keep in mind that every flashlight will have pros and cons, but by ensuring it has appropriate weight, a good lens, durability, and reasonable lighting, it will support you well. And, you can’t go wrong with that.