One of the most important tactical gear you should have with you is a flashlight. Many think it’s just a supplement to the more important firearm or knife, but there’s a lot more than it does for survival! Not only will it help you see in the dark, but it can also serve as an SOS signal! To guide you, here are some factors you need to consider when getting a tactical flashlight.
Flashlights are either rechargeable or non-rechargeable. The former is great for those who are always on the go and tend to use flashlights more often. If you need one for work or are always venturing to the outdoors, this type is more suitable for you.
A non-rechargeable flashlight, on the other hand, is for those of you who are just on the go and will pick up a spare pack of batteries whenever it is needed.
In measuring the light output of your flashlight, lumen is the correct unit. The more Lumens a flashlight puts out the brighter your flashlight’s beam will be. Lumens may also be shown for multiple light settings. Remember that lumens do not tell the whole story about brightness. Beam intensity, distance, and type all influence the effectiveness of a flashlight in different applications. Light output can range from a modest 20 lumens (great for reading a book) to a terrain-scorching 3500 lumens.
Some flashlights have a single setting which is good for general purpose use. Meanwhile, there are other gears with 2 or more modes like low, medium, high, and boost. The latter is better for a survival situation. Some even offer a strobe or SOS feature.
What type of on-and-off switch should you pick? For some, this is an important feature. Do you want sliders, rotating bezels, or clicking? A safety lock feature may also be considered to prevent the light from being accidentally turned on, helping prevent unexpected flat battery exasperation and inconvenience.
Run time is measured in hours. Light output may decrease over time or may remain the same and suddenly decrease. This kind of feature should be taken into consideration, especially if you’ll be using your flashlight most of the time. Check the flashlight’s runtime graph as it provides the best illustration of the performance of light over time.
Water-resistance is rated using the IPX system and it is necessary if you’ll be using it in the rain, lake, or other bodies of water. Here, there are three ratings considered. An IPX4 rating means your flashlight is splash resistant from all angles after the impact test has been applied. IPX7 means it can be temporarily be submerged in water up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1m. Lastly, an IPX8 rating means it can last underwater for up to 4 hours depending on the depth.
Durability is also one factor that tends to be overlooked when buying a new flashlight. There are so many quality certifications and durability tests that can assure you that the product you’re purchasing will last a long time.
If you’re a construction worker, firefighter, police officer, or just a backpacker who loves to spends nights in the wild, you should look for one that can last through tough conditions. Impact resistance is measured in meters. Flashlights are usually tested by dropping them 6 times onto concrete at the rated distance to guarantee that it remains functional after occasional accidental drops.
Practically speaking, any prepper will still consider a budget when buying any tactical gear. Some like to invest in more expensive ones believing they are of higher quality, while others like to save as much as possible for other supplies. The truth is, you can get an extremely durable and long-lasting flashlight while also saving a few bucks at the same time, like the Olight S2A Baton EDC Flashlight.
Take note that most of these reasonably priced flashlights are high quality enough for everyday use. But if you are interested in high-performance flashlights, you really need to pay a bit more!