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Flashlight Buyers Guide - Battery or Rechargeable, Krypton or LED and Flashlight Uses

Being the bearer of light, we at eLightSpot.com like to make sure you know all that you need to know to make an informed decision. This goes for flashlights too, since no one likes to be in a dark house rummaging through drawers until they finally find a flashlight that doesn't work. We're sure you'd like to avoid that so we're here to help you find the right one that will work when you need it.

Battery or Rechargeable

Battery powered or rechargeable is a choice that is easily answered based upon the requirements of the flashlight. For flashlights that are used often, battery powered is typically the way to go. Battery powered flashlights can run on a variety of battery sizes ranging from AAA up to D cell. Of course the larger to batteries used, the brighter the beam. Battery powered flashlights like Maglites are among the most popular flashlights around. Known for their ruggedness and durability, their reputation precedes them.

Now if you are looking for a flashlight that is to be used once in a while or in emergency situations, a rechargeable flashlight might fit the bill. Some rechargeable flashlights plug directly into a wall outlet, while others have ac/dc adapters that can be used in the home or in a vehicle. The obvious advantage of a rechargeable flashlight is the savings on batteries. Inevitably when you pull a flashlight from the back of a drawer in your house, the batteries are dead. Rechargeable flashlights are always at the ready. Of course the downside to a rechargeable flashlight, like any other rechargeable device, is the run time. They typically do not run as long as their battery powered counterpart, which is why they may not be the best choice if you use a need to use a flashlight frequently.

Which Type of Bulb Should I Choose?

In flashlights we basically carry 3 bulb options: LED, Halogen and Xenon. All have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what is required of them.

Halogen

Because of the halogen cycle, a reverse chemical reaction of tungsten and a halogen gas, halogen flashlight bulbs emit a lot of heat to light the brightest, which is why there aren't that many flashlights using halogen bulbs. They are typically reserved for spotlights. However, the Maglite Rechargeable Flashlight is one of the few that uses a halogen bulb and, because of that, emits and very bright and powerful light. The light also boasts features like 1000-hour battery life, high shock resistance, 12V DC cigarette lighter adapter for charging on the go and a slew of other features that make this flashlight worth the c-note you may lay down for it.

Krypton

Krypton flashlights save a bit of energy by creating less heat. They provide a high lumens output at a low wattage as well, offering a very bright light that is slightly warmer than LED lights. While they're fairly inexpensive, krypton light bulbs do not last nearly as long as LED bulbs, nor are they as energy-efficient. This could be a problem if you're looking to light something for a long stretch of time and were hoping to save a bit on your battery-life while doing so. A good example of a krypton bulb flashlight is the Maglite 3 C Cell Flashlight. Maglite revolutionized the flashlight industry with their bright, focused beams of light and near indestructible exteriors.

LED

LED is the latest trend in flashlights, due to their environmental footprint and energy efficiency. LED flashlights have long lives that can stretch out for hundreds of hours, due to the energy efficient nature of the bulb. LED bulbs virtually never burn out, so there is no replacing bulbs. LED flashlights are available in all shapes and sizes now ranging from the Maglite 4 D Cell LED Flashlight to the compact Brinkmann 1 AA Armor Max LED Flashlight. The downside to LED flashlights is the brightness of the beam. While still producing bright beams of light, LEDs typically are not as bright as a xenon or other incandescent bulb flashlights. So when evaluating an LED flashlight vs a Krypton, it is a matter of beam power vs battery life.

What If I Have Specific Needs for My Flashlight?

Knowing what exactly you are going to use your flashlight for is a key part to making the best selection. We have a wide assortment of flashlights that can be used for a great many uses.

Heavy Duty Work

So you have a job that can wreak havoc on a flashlight if it is not of high quality and durability. We have you covered. With their high strength aluminum alloy casings that are shock and water resistant, Maglites are legendary for their durability and reliability.

Not a fan of Maglites? Well you might be interested in the ARMOR MAX and TUFF MAX flashlights from Brinkmann. ARMOR MAX flashlights are constructed from shock proof, glass reinforced composite for the ultimate durability and can withstand being driven over by a ½ ton truck. TUFF MAX flashlights are also designed with the worker in mind. They too have a rugged shock resistant exterior with soft rubber grips for non slip holding. Both ARMOR MAX and TUFF MAX lights utilize ultra bright LED technology.

Camping Use

So you don't need a light that necessarily can be run over by a truck, but you still need a weather resistant reliable flashlight for those weekend camping trips. We have you covered there also.

Both the Dorcy 3AAA LED Carabineer Flashlight and the Dorcy LED Dial-a-Light are great choices for camping. Both lights are waterproof and floating so they will not be impacted by rain or being dropped in a lake. The long lasting LED Bulbs and bright light beams make them reliable for long trips without the worry to needing to replace batteries. Of course, just like the work lights, you can't beat a Maglite for overall quality and dependability.

Household Use

Just choosing an everyday household use flashlight for most people is simply about price. However, would you want to rely on a $3 flashlight should you have a power outage?

Every home should have a good rechargeable flashlight like the Dorcy Failsafe 2 Hour Flashlight. On a full charge this flashlight will give you up to 2 hours of use, which will greatly be appreciated in an emergency situation. It also doesn't hurt to have a reneweable energy flashlight like one of our crank powered flashlights as a back up. These flashlight do not use batteries or require charging. Their energy comes from cranking a handle that charges the internal battery creating short intervals of light.

Finally, if you are just wanting a reliable small flashlight to keep in a drawer, take a look at the Maglite 2 AA LED Flashlight. These flashlights are small so they don't take up much space, but produce a bright beam of light while using very little battery power.

What Are Renewable Energy Flashlights?

Renewable energy flashlights are the most eco friendly of all flashlights as they require no constant battery replacement or electrical charge. They utilize either renewable solar energy or kinetic energy (cranking).

Solar

A solar-powered flashlight seems counterproductive at first, but it's actually a good deal. Solar-powered flashlights don't deal with batteries or AC/DC charging. Just set it out in the sun and allow the sun's energy to charge the internal battery. Solar flashlights typically use LED bulbs to extend the life of the charge since LED bulbs require less energy than typical bulbs. In the case of the Dorcy 3 LED Solar Flashlight, a full charge can yield up to 100 minutes of run time.

Solar flashlights do have a lot of limitations that prevent them from being a popular choice for most people. The low relatively run time can be prohibitive, while the inconvenience of having to keep the flashlight in direct sunlight can also be a problem. In most cases camping or outdoor activities seem to be the best uses for solar flashlights.

Crank-Powered

The best thing about crank-powered flashlights is that you don't have to carry extra batteries or worry about charging in the sun or through an outlet. Just crank it up, like a jack-in-the-box. No surprise that your cranking directly relates to how much light you'll receive. Because of their reliance on kinetic energy, crank powered flashlights really are the best choice when selecting a good emergency use flashlight. They normally will use LED bulbs, because like solar flashlights, LEDs use less energy compared to the light they produce. This makes better use of every turn of the crank. A good choice in a crank powered flashlight is the Dorcy 5 LED Dynamo Flashlight at only $12.99.