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When purchasing a flashlight, it’s important to take the time to do proper research. Knowing the different characteristics of a flashlight, what flashlights work best for different situations, and what companies make the highest quality flashlights, are all vital pieces of information that can help you choose the flashlight that suits you best.
Whether you need a regular light for your home, a tactical flashlight for your sidearm, or the best EDC flashlight, you’ll want to look carefully at all of your available options. This is especially important when choosing a flashlight for a carry or home defense weapon; the right choice could mean the difference between life and death.
But before we look at flashlight options, let's look at the characteristics of a standard flashlight .
To understand what flashlight suits you best, you have to look at the specifications that all flashlights share. This can be broken down into a few categories: lumen output, range, what kind of light the device uses, and it's overall durability.
1) Lumen output
A flashlight’s brightness is defined by how many lumens it is capable of putting out. Lumens are how we measure the quantity of light a flashlight can emit; the more lumens, the brighter the flashlight.
2) Maximum range
A flashlight’s maximum range is the distance the beam can reach before the light is no longer visible. In higher-quality flashlights, this range can be hundreds of meters, casting a long-distance beam to illuminate far away objects.
3) Type of Light
The most common form of light used in flashlights are incandescent bulbs. They are generally the cheapest light bulbs to produce and purchase, and are also used in a wide variety of household appliances and devices. They are also the least efficient form of electric lighting, and are prone to burnout.
Incandescents also have the lowest luminosity potential, with an average of only 16 lumens per watt. This means they produce very small amounts of visible light, and are not good for long distance or large areas. You are much better off choosing an LED light. LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are far brighter, and last much longer, than incandescent bulbs.
A flashlight’s durability is defined by the material used to build its case, and how resistant it is to water and impact. When choosing a flashlight, you’ll want one made of a strong, water resistant material, that can withstand the force of being dropped.
Knowing the different aspects of a flashlight is only one part of finding the right light for you. You also need to know what function you want the flashlight to serve, whether it be for self defense, or a simple EDC flashlight.
EDC, which stands for “every day carry”, are flashlights that you carry with you anytime you leave the home. The best EDC flashlights are often LED, as these small but powerful lights are compact enough to easily transport in a pocket or purse, but have the lumen output to help you see in low-light situations.
While an EDC flashlight doesn't have to have the same capability as one you will attach to a sidearm, it should still have similar characteristics. You want to make sure you choose a durable light with a high-lumen output, and a decent maximum range.
Here are some brief EDC flashlight reviews, comparing their lumen output, range, and durability:
●ThruNight Ti3: The ThruNight Ti3 is a very small EDC flashlight, capable of slipping into the tiniest pocket of your jacket or pants. Though very portable, the light is only capable of a lumen output of 252, and a range of a little over 50 meters. Because of it’s incredibly small size, it’s not quite as durable as other models. It is also capable of withstanding drops of up to 1 meter.
●Fenix PD25: The Fenix PD25 is more durable than the ThruNight Ti3, and slightly larger in size. It also has a higher luminosity, with a potential lumen output of 550. It has a moderate range, with a maximum beam distance of 130 meters.
●Olight S2: With a lumen output of 950, the Olight S2 can reach a slightly higher maximum range than the Fenix PD25, topping out at 142 meters. It is also decently durable: the Olight S2 is rated for drops of 1.5 meters and can withstand water for up to 30 minutes.
●Zebralight SC63: The Zebralight SC63 has the second highest lumen output on the list with 1300, but with a lower range (the exact range is not listed, but it is under 140 meters). Unfortunately, the Zebralight is also less durable, and very prone to overheating.
●Imalent MS03: The most powerful EDC flashlight available is the Imalent MS03. This Imalent brand flashlight is capable of putting out a whopping 13,000 lumens, and has a range of 324 meters. It’s very durable: crafted from incredibly strong aluminum, it is not only oxidation-resistant and waterproof, but rated for drops of 1.5 meter
A flashlight can be an invaluable part of someone’s self defense equipment. A bright light can help you identify friend from foe, and better see your surroundings in a self defense scenario. A tactical flashlight is one that is either meant to be used with a firearm, or (preferably) attached directly to a firearm.
Depending on whether you want a tactical flashlight for your carry weapon, or the best home defense flashlight, the right choice can help ward off attackers or blind potential assailants. Here is a list of several tactical flashlights, along with their lumen output, range, and durability.
●Inforce APLc: The inforce APLc has an output of 200 lumens, and is described on the inforce website as having a “short to medium range”, but looks as though it struggles to reach 25 yards. It does have a lightweight and futuristic looking design, and is made of a durable glass-reinforced polymer.
●Streamlight TLR-1: with an output of 300 lumens, this impact-resistant light is durable, and provides a decent amount of brightness. While the range is not listed, it does come with a strobe feature, and is waterproof for up to 3 feet and 30 minutes.
●Surefire G2X Pro: The only tac-light on the list that does not attach to a sidearm, the Surefire G2X is nevertheless classified as a tactical flashlight. It has a lumen output of 600, and is made of moderately durable nitrolon polymer. It is water-resistant, and has a beam range of 115 meters.
●Olight mini valkyrie 2: Built with highly durable aluminum, the Olight Mini Valkyrie 2 also has a lumen output of 600. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach quite the same distance as the Surefire G2X Pro, and only has a range of 100 meters.
●Imalent UT10: The best tactical flashlight for self defense is the Imalent UT10. This Imalent flashlight attaches effortlessly to your sidearm, and has a green laser to ensure deadly accuracy. It also contains an incredibly powerful LED light, capable of a 1160 lumen output. This light will not only help you identify targets, but blind attackers who try to get close. This light is not only waterproof and impact resistant, but has an impressive range of 213 meters.
Whether it be for everyday carry or self defense, the best flashlights for any situation are made by Imalent. We are the world leaders in high-lumen flashlights, and pride ourselves on crafting flashlights that are ideal for EDC and self defense. Our high-quality LED flashlights are incredibly durable and long-lasting; you simply find a better device anywhere else.
Visit our store today and use code BTF10 to get 10 percent off your first purchase. Self defense is important; if you want the best, don’t wait. Purchase an Imalent flashlight today!