When you’re shopping for a new flashlight, you’ve probably come across the word ‘lumens’ to refer to its brightness. You’ve seen numbers ranging from around 10, right up to several thousand and you’re wondering which one you should choose if you want a bright, reliable, easy to control the flashlight.
In this short guide, we’d like to tell you more about what lumens are all about so you can get the best flashlight for your needs. We’ll cover what lumens are, why lumens aren’t the only measurement that counts and what you should bear in mind before buying your new flashlight
Sometimes, we need to take some time out away from our busy life schedules to enjoy such a magical moment with our partner. Because you have no idea how much you have been missing out on the good things of life and what better way to remind yourself of what that feels like than to go stargazing.
What are lumens?
We can measure the amount of visible light produced by a source in lumens. This scale is commonly used by flashlight manufacturers as it’s one of the most useful ways to compare brightness.
For example, a candle produces around 12 lumens, the flashlight on your cell phone is somewhere between 26-50 lumens and a 60w light bulbs give you around 760 lumens.
Most of the flashlights for camping and hiking come in at between 10-100 lumens, depending on whether you’re simply looking for a lightweight help for emergencies or if you want to cast your light further. Police and emergency service flashlights usually start at 90 lumens and up.
But brightness isn’t just about lumens
Although lumens are a really useful tool to use, the brightness of your flashlight doesn’t just depend on lumens. It’s also about the quality of the reflector that’s tucked inside of your flashlight because this is what influences how the light is dispersed. If this reflector is better quality, then the light will travel further. The brightness of your flashlight also depends on how wide the beam of your flashlight is. The wider the beam, the dimmer the light that is produced.
How many lumens do you really need?
The lumens you need depends on what you plan to do with the flashlight. Are you looking to read a book at night? To go trail running? For security reasons? For when you go camping and hiking?
If you’re planning to use your flashlight in low light conditions, a really bright flashlight could be as low as 25 lumens. (This is because there will be less light ‘interference’, you only need to see a limited distance and space through which the light needs to travel will be smaller.
Here are a few words of guidance that can help you work out how many lumens you need.
This is more than enough for those simple, close tasks such as reading, finding the lock on your car in the dark or hunting down your favorite snacks in your tent. Flashlights of this size are usually compact, lightweight and don’t require much battery power
Still, lightweight, flashlights of this range are great for searching for things up to 120 meters away and great for tasks around the home, camping, hiking, and other general outdoor use. At the higher end of the market, they can cover up to 250 meters and also work well for both security and tactical use.
These powerful flashlights are mainly used by the emergency services, the construction industry and for security. They’re also powerful enough to blind and confuse an attacker if needed.
Flashlights of this strength are used for night work and search and rescue by the emergency services. They’re also needed for activities like caving.
Consider this before you buy your flashlight
If you’d like to buy a really bright flashlight, there are a few things you should consider before making your purchase.
What do you want to use it for?
If you’re simply reading a book at home or for helping when you have a power cut, you don’t need a bright flashlight.
How good is the reflector?
Don’t just look at lumens when making your decision. Also, look for information on the quality of the reflector.
Does the flashlight have multiple output modes?
Many have multiple output modes including bright, medium and dim output. You might not even need the higher lumen output, especially if battery power is a factor.
If you’re looking for a really bright flashlight, first ask yourself why you need one and then make your choice accordingly. Bear in mind factors such as the reflector, the output and the width of the beam to get exactly the best flashlight for your needs.
When you’re out on duty, camping, hiking, trail running, walking your dogs or hunting, you’ll need a high-performance, lightweight and compact tactical flashlight that you can rely on.
Tactical flashlights offer a range of benefits that put them head and shoulders above the regular kind of flashlights you’ll find at the local store.
They’re made from more durable materials that will last for longer and won’t suddenly break when you need them most. They’re usually weather resistant, shock resistant and even corrosion-resistant too. As they’re made for performance, they usually offer a minimum of 200 lumens which gives you excellent clarity, brightness, and visibility about the length of a football field.
We’re about to share with you what you need to consider before you invest in a tactical flashlight plus our five favorite pro-quality tactical flashlights. Enjoy!
What to consider before buying
Before we get onto our flashlight recommendations, it’s worth mentioning a few points that can help you choose the right one for you.
How bright is the flashlight?
Check how many lumens your flashlight offers plus how well the reflector performs, the width of the beam and any other features.
Why do you want a flashlight?
Not everyone needs an incredibly powerful or bright tactical flashlight, so consider what you want to do with the flashlight before you buy it.
What is the battery life?
Depending on what you plan to use your flashlight for, you’ll also need to consider battery life. How many hours does it offer? Under what conditions? Remember that the brighter and more powerful the flashlight, the faster it will drain that battery.
When looking for a new tactical flashlight, you should never pay less than $50 because the product you’ll be buying is likely to be made of low-quality materials, won’t provide the performance you’re looking for and are likely to break much faster than you’d like. Expect to pay over $100 to get the best technology, materials, and performance.