What Are Flashlights?
Humanity’s ways of providing a portable light source have come a long way since the days of the crude torch. With the invention of the flashlight by David Misell in 1899, humanity’s way of finding a bright spot in the dark became a lot easier. While modern flashlights are much more reliable than the crude “flash” of light provided by Misell’s invention over a century ago, modern day flashlights still provide a way to shed light on the world in areas where a traditional light source is either inaccessible or dangerous to use. The modern flashlight ranges from the small, dollar store AAA powered bulbs with colorful cartoon characters printed on the casing to industrial strength emergency response flashlights intended for use in hurricane response settings, and can come in an ever wider range of makes, models, bulb types, and power sources.
How it Works
The traditional flashlight uses the energy stored in dry-cell batteries or other forms of energy transference, such as a crank handle device that transfers kinetic energy into the flashlight’s internal electronics, generating a source of light. The batteries are connected to the light source, either a traditional incandescent bulb or another kind of light source, such as LED and mercury bulbs, by a conductor metal. The switch on the outside of a flashlight either completes or breaks the connection between the metal on the batteries and the metal base of the light source, which allows the flashlight to turn off and on. While flashlights operate off of some of the simplest electronic components, to the point where it is possible to operate a flashlight using a potato for a battery, the wide range of uses and types of flashlights outshines their simplistic technological components.
Best Flashlights For The Money
Here are some of the better examples of flashlights available to buy:
- BIGGEST & BRIGHTEST - The S2000 is the biggest and brightest GearLight on the market. With a solid build and blinding brightness, the S2000 outshines the competition. This mid-size flashlight is big on power but still compact enough to fit in your backpack, survival bag, or car glove compartment.
- SUPER BRIGHT WIDE BEAM - Ultra wide beam effortlessly illuminates a whole room or backyard. It is 20 times brighter than old incandescent lights and has double the lumen output of the popular As Seen on TV model. Conveniently takes 4 standard AA batteries. (Batteries are not included.)
- ZOOMABLE & 5 MODES: Focus in on objects up to 1000 feet away or zoom out to sweep a large area. 5 settings replace the need for multiple flashlights: (High|Medium|Low|Strobe|SOS) Makes for a practical addition to any household or emergency kit.
- WATER RESISTANT & DURABLE: Rain and snow will roll right off the all-weather aluminum body. Designed to be virtually indestructible, this flashlight can survive a 10-foot drop or being temporary submerged under water. Its durable and weighty feel delivers a sense of quality that smaller flashlights simply can't offer. Ideal for use around the house, dog walking, or fishing.
- ONE-YEAR RETURN POLICY - Buy with confidence. You have a full year to put this flashlight to the test and through its paces. Every purchase comes with an extended one-year return policy and friendly customer service provided by GearLight, a US-based company.
- SUPER-BRIGHT: 900-lumen (max) Cree LED sweeps bright light over the length of about two football fields (660 ft / 200 m) and reaches nearly 1000 ft. Fully zoomable from wide to narrow beam. Features 5 adaptable settings: High / Medium / Low / Strobe / SOS.
- LONG-LASTING: Up to 6 hours (Medium-beam mode) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium rechargeable 3350mAh battery. LEDs boast an extended 50000-hour lifespan. Recharge in just 6 hours with a 1A adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.
- TOUGH & RELIABLE: IP65-rated water resistant and designed for use in heavy rain. Its durable aluminum body and shock-resistance endure rough handling.
- SMART DESIGN: A pocket-friendly compact chassis with an anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand or stands on-end as an emergency lamp.
- WHAT YOU GET: Anker Bolder LC90 Flashlight, 18650 3350mAh rechargeable battery, Micro USB cable, wrist strap, welcome guide, and our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
- ULTRA BRIGHT & LONG-LASTING - Easily light up an entire room or focus in on objects up to 1000 feet away! 10 times brighter than old incandescent lights. Conveniently powered for hours with 3 AAA batteries or one 18650 rechargeable battery. (Batteries not included)
- COMPACT, ADJUSTABLE FOCUS, & FIVE MODES - 5 Useful Settings (High|Medium|Low|Strobe|SOS) and wide-to-narrow beam zoom makes it ideal for use around the house, dog walking, or camping. It is compact enough to fit in your pocket, backpack, or purse allowing for easy storage and quick access.
- WATER RESISTANT & VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE - Built for rough handling, this flashlight can survive a 10-foot drop or being temporary submerged under water. You can even freeze or run it over with a truck and it will still work! Suitable for use in rain, snow, or emergency situations.
- AS SEEN ON TV + BONUS - Same "military" tactical flashlight as seen on TV, shopping networks, and commercials but at a fraction of the price! Includes a bonus pouch/holster to safely store your flashlight.
- EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, 2 FLASHLIGHTS & 2 BONUS CASES - Keep one in your car, one in your home, or gift one to a friend or family member. Every genuine GearLight comes with a one-year no questions asked replacement warranty and friendly customer service provided by GearLight, a U.S.-based company.
- SUPERIOR LIGHTING EXPERIENCE: S2000 Flashlight is powered by T6S Advanced Wick Chip, 150% larger and 70% more brightness than basic LED flashlight. Focus on objects up to 1200 feet away!
- SURPRISE WIDE BEAM: Ultra wide beam effortlessly illuminates a whole room or backyard. 20 times brighter than old incandescent lights. Conveniently takes 3 standard AAA batteries or 1x18650 Rechargeable Button Top Li-ion Battery. (Batteries are not included.)
- COMPACT & ZOOMABLE & 5 MODES: Easy to fit in your backpack, survival bag, or car glove compartment. Focus in or zoom out to sweep a large area. 5 settings replace the need for multiple flashlights: (High|Medium|Low|Strobe|SOS) Makes for a practical addition to any household or emergency kit.
- UPGRADED NEW DESIGN: A pocket-friendly belt clip make it easy to carry, anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand and hand strip stands on-end as an emergency lamp. This powerful and practical, mid-size general purpose flashlight is the perfect gift for a father or husband, for any occasion.
- EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, INCLUDES 2 FLASHLIGHTS - Keep one in your car, one in your home, or gift one to a friend or family member. Every genuine Wsky flashlight comes with a one-year no questions asked replacement warranty and friendly customer service provided by Wsky, a U.S.-based.
- PRACTICAL -- Vansky UV flashlight black light is Perfect for Revealing Dry Dog, Cat and Rodent Stains and unfavourable Spots that Couldn't See With the Naked Eye. Easily Spot Scorpions, Authenticate currency,Driver license,Official Identification cards,Passports. It can also act as Nail Dryer. Matching with Pet Odor Eliminator
- Detect Larger Area with Brighter Light -- This UV Light has 51 UV LEDs which is 30% Brighter than other lights. It Also covers larger area without weaken the light. No Need to Crawl Around Sniffing the Floor Any Longer.There's No Need to Steam Clean the Entire Carpet, UV Sight Will Pinpoint the Areas With Ease.
- QUALITY ASSURANCE -- The Black Light Emits 395nm wavelength with 51 top quality ultraviolet flashlight, each LED lasts up to 12 years. Heavy Duty Aluminium Alloy Blacklight Flashlight for this URINE DETECTOR.
- Save Time & Money - With the urine detector light,You can exactly detect the invisible stains in carpet.Just think No more paying for professional cleaners,With the best rank Rocco & Roxie odor and stain remover http://a.co/elW1qUT ,Make your cleaning simple.
- WHAT YOU GET -- This is an Exclusive Selling by Vanskytek Direct.We never authorize other sellers to sell our uv flashlight.If you purcahse it from other sellers,we would not offer Hassle-free Guarantee .Vansky 51 Leds Pet UV Urine & Stain Detector UV Flashlight Blacklight（Batteries are not included），45 Days Money Back & One Year Guarantee and Friendly, Easy-to-reach Support.
- SUPER BRIGHT: Awarded Amazon's Choice for "LED Camping Lantern" because their 30 individual LED bulbs provide 360° of super-bright light. Our version is the original patent pending design.
- FEATHER-LIGHT: Smart construction and streamlined design make these easy to pack and carry. Easily fits in any backpack.
- MILITARY-GRADE CONSTRUCTION: Built to withstand the rigor of country excursions, natural disasters and over-caffeinated toddlers. We construct these with military-grade materials that are practically indestructible. Fully water resistant.
- HIGHLY EFFICIENT: Our low-power, long-lasting LEDs provide bright, powerful illumination without sucking up all your battery power so you can light up the darkness, without lightening your wallet. Each lantern provides over 20,000 hours of light and can be used indoors & outdoors. We are a completely green company.
- FOLDAWAY HANDLE: Includes a foldaway handle you can use to hang our lantern from a branch, beam or tent-pole. You can also use to hand-carry your lantern.
- 【Important Note】: Please make sure the products are only sold by【Wsiiroon】and 【Fulfilled by Amazon】, only the Wsiiroon products come with one-year warranty and five stars satisfied guarantee. It is kindly warned that any products from other stores are not genuine for which we will take no responsibility if there is any quality problem.
- 【SUPER BRIGHT 】1800 lumen (max) CREE XML-T6 LED provides bright light over a beam distance of 660ft and reaches nearly 1000ft. Fully zoomable from wide to narrow beam. High-quality LED boast an extended 50000-hour lifespan.
- 【WATERPROOF】 The flashlight can endure rough handling and resist rust and corrosion. IP65-rated water resistant and designed for use in heavy rain. Water resistant from splashing water. It's perfect for use in the rain, snow or emergency situations.
- 【Adjustable & 5 Modes】The flashlight has 5 adaptable settings: High / Medium / Low / SOS. Light for long range observation and floodlight for large area illumination(just rotate torch head to adjust zoom). Lotus top can protect the lens, rhombus skid-proof and waterproof.
- 【SMART DESIGN】A pocket-friendly compact chassis with an anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand or stands on-end as an emergency lamp. Small enough to fit in your pocket, handbag, drawer, or car compartment. Great for camping, hiking, fishing, running, dog walking and emergencies. Takes 3 standard AAA or a single 18650 rechargeable battery. (Batteries Are Not Included)
- EXTREME POWER PROFESSIONAL GRADE 18W 385-395nm UV BLACKLIGHT FLASHLIGHT: Here's your chance to get a multitasking black light flashlight trusted and used by Law Enforcement Agencies, Medical Forensics Teams, HVAC, Hotel Room & Postal Inspections. Kobra UV Flashlight will become your trusted UV Light tool to unveil anything hidden from the naked eye - in the exact same way thousands of professionals do, daily!
- A TIME AND MONEY SAVER: This extreme power 385-395nm 100 LED uv flashlight is a wise investment, as it will help you save thousands of dollars in the long run. You will no longer have to resort to having your carpets steam cleaned, multiple times a year, for fear of not spotting invisible staining, or wait around for a hotel or house inspector to find a free spot in his or her schedule! With this black light flashlight, you can perform all these tasks yourself, just as quickly and efficiently!
- MORE THAN STAIN REMOVAL: Marvel in the wide applications of UV light and Black Light! Pinpoint the origin of leaks of ANY kind with this uv light, such as UV-dyed antifreeze and neon, helping you take immediate action and prevent them from spreading any further! Trace counterfeit money and protect yourself from losses. Also, if you are into scorpion hunting - this flashlight is ideal to spot these nocturnal creatures during their natural activity times!
- EXTREME POWER BLACK LIGHT ILLUMINATION: No need to walk around aimlessly or break your back bent over carpets! Backed by an impressive 100 LED bulbs, this uv flashlight emits a bright light that covers wide areas, effectively reducing the time it takes to complete a thorough inspection.
- 1-YEAR MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE: We take great pride in the quality of our products and offer you a risk-free purchase. If, at any point during the FIRST YEAR of use of this Extreme Power Blacklight Flashlight, you are dissatisfied with Kobra UV Flashlight, you are free to return it and receive a full refund of your purchase. Click Add To Cart Now And Claim Your Own Essential UV Flashlight!
- UNIQUE LIGHT STRIP: The OV LED Broadbeam Headlamp lights up your surroundings unlike any traditional headlamp. This unique, patent pending light strip features a light strip design that illuminates a wide area, hands-free
- 210 DEGREES OF ILLUMINATION: The OV Broadbeam Headlamp features a 300 Lumen output from 20 high-efficiency LED lights. The LED lights are positioned on a flexible strip to provide 210° of illumination
- LOW-PROFILE DESIGN: The sleek, lightweight design of the OV Broadbeam Headlamp is comfortable to wear and less bulky than traditional headlamps. The durable and elastic headband is adjustable to any head size and fits over most hats
- SIMPLE OPERATION: The OV LED Broadbeam Headlamp is easy-to-operate with its single High / Low / Off button and simple 3 AAA battery power source (batteries not included)
- ENDLESS APPLICATIONS: The OV LED Broadbeam headlamp can be used for many applications such as camping, hiking, walking the dog, construction, mechanics, fishing or anywhere else you need portable, hands-free light
- SUPER-BRIGHT: 400-lumen Cree LED (50000-hour lifespan). A compact, yet radiant flashlight to illuminate any dark spot, space, or place. Features High / Medium / Low / Strobe / SOS modes.
- LONG-LASTING: Up to 20 hours (Medium-beam mode) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium rechargeable 3350mAh battery. LEDs boast an extended 50000-hour lifespan. Recharge in 6 hours with a 5V 1A adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.
- TOUGH AND RELIABLE: IP65-rated. Designed for almost any conditions, from heavy rain to dry and dusty environments. Its durable aluminum body and shock-resistance endure rough handling.
- EASY TO GRIP: Lightweight and easy to carry around, the anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand during extreme conditions.
- WHAT YOU GET: Anker Bolder LC40 Rechargeable Flashlight (with built-in 3350mAh rechargeable battery), welcome guide, Micro USB cable, and our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
The Latest In Flashlights
- Brilliant Bright: This wsiiroon flashlight achieves the ultimate brightness of the T6 advanced wick chip and circuit board of similar flashlights, at least 75% brighter than other flashlights on the market. 5 lighting modes allow you to switch freely according to different situations.
- Strict Quality Control: The spring at the battery connection has been improved to a stronger cylindrical contact, the lens and tail switch have been upgraded according to customer feedback, and the details of the aluminum alloy body have been perfected.
- Portable Clip: Latest clip design and pocket size make it perfectly fit in your pants, handbag or car compartment, so convenient to carry as a backup tool. Ideal for dog walking, power outages, household uses or emergency situations.
- Long Lasting & Durable: Powered by 3pcs AAA batteries or 1pc 18650 rechargeable battery(Batteries Not Included), enables 7 hours working time. Water resistant coating and o-ring, fearless of bad weather and enough for daily waterproof.
- Extra Bonus: You get 2 FLASHLIGHTS and our warranty! Our products are only sold by【Wsiiroon】and 【Fulfilled by Amazon】, Wsiiroon products come with ONE YEAR warranty and 5 stars satisfaction guarantee.
- SUPER BRIGHT & LONG-LASTING - Advanced American LED technology replicates daylight color and definition with 200 lumens of brightness. Runtime of up to 45 hours on low and 3 hours on high. (Powered by 3 AAA batteries - not included.)
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMFORTABLE - Weighing only 3 oz with batteries, it is the ideal headlamp for runners and outdoor adventurers. The removable, washable, and adjustable headband comfortably fits adult and children alike.
- WEATHER AND SHOCK RESISTANT - Water resistant and drop tested to stand up to harsh conditions, the S500 headlamp is suitable for rain or snow, indoors or outdoors. It is the perfect addition to your running, camping, fishing, hiking, backpacking, hunting, or cycling gear.
- PIVOTING HEAD AND 7 MODES - The 45 degree adjustable headlight gives you the freedom to direct light exactly where you need it - even in tight spaces. Quickly choose from 7 lighting modes. (WHITE BEAM: Low, Medium, High, Strobe I RED BEAM: Low, SOS, Strobe)
- EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, INCLUDES 2 HEADLAMPS - Keep one in your car, one in your home, or gift one to a friend or family member. Every genuine GearLight comes with a one-year no questions asked replacement warranty and friendly customer service provided by GearLight, a U.S.-based company.
- Floats for easy water recovery
- Ready flex Technology; Runs on 2 or 4 D Batteries
- Features long-lasting LED technology, this ergonomic solution also shines up to 4x brighter than standard LED technology
- Powerful beam and extraordinary runtime up to 140 hours (4 heavy duty batteries) or 400 hours (4 Alkaline batteries)
- Includes two Eveready Super heavy duty D batteries
Types of Flashlights
Flashlights come in a wide range of designs, from lanterns, which are used in camping and low- electricity situations to provide a more constant overhead light, to handheld flashlights. The term flashlight also includes headlamps, which are most often used during outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or in tight areas such as crawlspaces where holding a flashlight would be bulky or nearly impossible. For the most part, headlamps and lanterns can include incandescent and LED light options depending on the price range and intended purpose, while most other forms of lighting come in the form of a handheld flashlight.
The most common and cheapest option for a flashlight is the incandescent bulb. The incandescent bulb is the same kind of light source used by the original flashlight in 1899, and as such is much cheaper and widely produced than some of the other options for flashlights. However, due to the fragile nature of the filament inside of the bulbs, these flashlights are one of the most breakable ones and are not recommended for high-impact situations. Due to the need to produce heat to create light, these bulbs also end up draining the batteries of the flashlights much quicker than some other options, so for long term situations another form of flashlight may be more useful.
LED flashlights are a fairly new technology that is rapidly developing. While LED lights are most commonly associated with multi-color decorative lights and electronic screens, LED flashlights come in “white” light options that have a more bluish tone to them. LED lights are very battery efficient, as they do not require the production of heat to turn on. With the bulbs being much less fragile than the incandescent options, LED lights are a good mid-range price point flashlight for an emergency kit or a camping trip. The only downside of a LED flashlight is that many people find the bluish light very unnatural and it can cause headaches in individuals that are prone to migraines.
HID, Xenon, Halogen, and Krypton
High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs are much more bulky and expensive than LED bulbs. The light is created by ionized gas, and as such the mechanics for creating the flashlight tend to be more complex and more expensive than your average flashlight. However, HID flashlights provide an intense beam of light and are long lasting. They are often used in industrial and emergency situations to create a high powered, focused beam to light to search an area or provide a clear line of site to a safe point. Xenon, Halogen, and Krypton are flashlights that have a pressurized gas inside the bulb to help increase the lifetime of the bulb itself. This allows these kinds of flashlights to produce one of the brightest lights possible for a hand-held flashlight without draining the batteries. However, they are not nearly as durable or reliable as LED flashlights.
Crank and Shake Flashlights
While crank flashlights are slowly moving out of fashion, these incandescent flashlights produce and store light through sheer manpower. The lights are charged through a crank handle, which allows for the storing of a small amount of energy. The energy acts as a renewable battery source, allowing these flashlights to work in an environment where batteries are limited. The modern day replacement for crank flashlights are the shake flashlight, which uses a pair of magnets to generate energy when shaken near each other. The interactions of the magnetic fields allow for the generation of a small amount of energy that produces a weak source of light. While the lights provided are not nearly as bright as some of the other options, the shake flashlight does not require batteries, allowing it to be readily used without concerns of keeping batteries on hand.
Here is a YouTube video explaining how flashlights are made:
When picking out the right flashlight type, keep in mind the intended use. For a children’s sleepover, an incandescent bulb is a cheap, entertaining option. However, for a hurricane or tornado kit, or for everyday use on the job, consider looking into more durable lighting options.