We're sharing everything on our homesteading journey to living a happy, self-sufficient life

We're learning a lot, and so will you...

6 Best Flashlights for Walking at Night: Reviews and Buying Guide

A flashlight can provide you with an instant source of light in all sorts of situations. It can light your way in the middle of the night when the power grid goes down, illuminate low light areas while you are doing some DIY chores around your home. You can use it while you trying to find the toilet in the dark on a camping trip. Or you can leave a mini flashlight in the car in case you need to change a tire or find the keys to your front door.

Our pick

THE BEST FLASHLIGHT

Maglite ML50LX Flashlight

It is easy to see why this flashlight is a favorite source of illumination with many security professionals. An American made flashlight, it boasts a superior sturdy slimline design, a super bright light, a range of lighting choices like the handy eco-mode to conserve its battery and lamp life. Whether you are working at home or holidaying in the wilderness, the Maglite will provide you with all the lighting you need.

LED or Incandescent Light Bulbs?

A flashlight can be powered by either an incandescent light bulb or LED bulb, but these days the ground-breaking invention by Thomas Edison is being quickly replaced by the new and improved LED light.

Incandescent

Incandescent bulbs may be cheaper to buy due to their low manufacturing cost, and though they can still give you a very good source of lighting power, they are not very energy efficient, and their lighting power tends to weaken over time. Another reason why they are so quickly following the extinct dinosaurs is because the tungsten filament that is contained within the bulb are no longer manufactured in the U.S.

The humble incandescent light bulb may still be available on supermarket shelves, but more and more flashlights are being manufactured with the super smart and efficient LED bulb.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

So move over incandescent light bulb, make way for the more superior Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The LED bulb is used in a wide variety of household appliances like remotes, electrical products like your television, indoor fireplaces, and even traffic lights.

LED bulbs may be smaller than their widely used predecessor the incandescent light bulb, but they do not use as much energy, they do not have a filament that can burn out, and they do not get overly hot. Their key selling point, which makes the LED the ideal bulb for a flashlight, is because they are long lasting and can give you super strong lighting for thousands of hours.

Some more powerful LED lights in three-celled flashlights are called CREE XML T6, and they can provide up to 900 lumens of power. Their strong lighting capability means that they are ideal for security purposes or other outdoor activities.

10 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Lighting Buddy

1. Lightweight and Long-lasting

The best type of flashlight is the one that is made from strong durable material that can resist any damage, while also being lightweight. How it feels in your hand is especially important, especially if you are going to be carrying it around or using it for lighting in tight spots. These days aluminum is the material of choice and many manufacturers use superior aircraft grade alloy material that has anti-abrasive and reflective coating, which means the flashlight can take a lot of wear and tear.

Looking for a flashlight that is made from tough material also means your flashlight can withstand harsh weather conditions.

2. Lighting Power

The lighting power of a flashlight is measured in lumens, which relates to the intensity of the light beam that comes out of the flashlight. The light output (like the brightness and distance of the beam) can range from a modest 14 to 20 lumens (which is ideal for reading a book) up to 900 lumens, which is ideal for finding your way in the dark while you are camping.

3. Batteries and Battery Life

Some flashlights use stand AA or AAA batteries while others use rechargeable lithium batteries that can give your flashlight extended battery life. But even though these batteries can give you superior battery life, their durability still depends on how often you use the flashlight and if you are using it on the full or high power setting for long periods.

You can tell when the batteries need to be replaced or recharged as the light output may gradually decrease over time, or remain constant and then suddenly flicker out.

4. Waterproof versus Water Resistant

A flashlight that is water resistant or waterproof is especially important if you are going to be using the flashlight in the rain or in the great outdoors, while you are fishing or when your children decide to play with the flashlight in the pool.

In order to test a flashlight’s resistance to water, it has to undergo a water immersion test. Once the flashlight has undergone the immersion test, it is given an IPX rating, which gives you an indication of how water resistant or waterproof the flashlight will be.

For example, IPX-1 indicates that a flashlight can withstand rain for a short amount of time, while IPX-4 means the flashlight can handle water splashes from any angle. Higher up on the scale, IPX-7 means that the flashlight can safely withstand

temporary immersion up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.

Aside from the feel and construction of the flashlight and its lighting capabilities, there are some other additional features or functions to consider.

5. Settings and Special Modes

Many flashlight manufacturers design their flashlights with additional settings that can be adjusted according to your lighting needs.

Flood Light. A flood (or fixed light) is a single beam that gives you strong light, which can give you the necessary illumination for when you setting up your tent at a camping ground.

Spotlight. The spotlight is a focussed single beam that be used for lighting purposes that require illumination over long distances. This mode is ideal for law enforcement tasks and other outdoor activities.

Strobe and SOS Light. A strobe light is good for security purposes and the SOS light is a much needed feature when you are out in the wilderness.

Red Light Laser Pointer. As well as giving you a white light for general illumination, some flashlights have a red light laser pointer, which is ideal for when you are out camping, fishing, or even as a source of amusement for your cat.

Adjustable Beam: Some flashlights allow you to adjust the beam’s settings or the direction of the beam, like the Maglite ML50LX that has an advanced focus system, which allows you to adjust the focus of the beam from a spot to a flood light with just a ¼ turn of the flashlight's head.

Adjustable Brightness. Many flashlights also come with a choice of two or three settings that allow you to change the brightness or intensity of the beam, from low, medium, to high.

You might need a lower setting if you are using the flashlight at home or you might want to use the higher setting when you are out in the woods or for security reasons.

6 Handy Tips for Using Your Flashlight

1. Get Acquainted With The Manufacturer’s Instructions

Although the flashlight is not as complex as a Ride-on Mower, reading the instructions can help you to operate the flashlight correctly. Also, it tells you what type of settings it has or what its lighting capabilities are. Reading the instructions can make all the difference between a positive and a negative operating experience.

2. Flashlight Longevity

Even though most flashlights come with a choice of brightness settings, you will get a better performance out of your lighting buddy if you do not use the high beam or high-intensity brightness setting for too long. An “eco setting” is especially ideal for conserving lamp and battery life. A good tip for lighting conservation is not to use your flashlight on high power for long periods. Instead, switch it on to eco-mode.

3. Water-resistant or Waterproof

It probably goes without saying, but water-resistant does not mean waterproof. Some models are waterproof down to one meter, but it is a good idea to check the small print before you use the torch, especially if you are going to use it where there are lakes or rivers.

4. Hot LED and Incandescent Bulbs

Even though super smart LED’s are designed not to heat up as much as incandescent bulbs, they can still get quite hot when they are of the stronger variety, so be careful that you always switch the flashlight off after use.

5. Keeping Your Flashlight Extra Watertight

Many flashlights are designed with water- resistant or waterproof coating or material, but a good tip to further protect your flashlight is to lightly grease the O-rings or seals with Vaseline or petroleum jelly.

6. Safety Tip For Using the Red Light Laser Pointer

A red light laser pointer can also be used to amuse your cat or as an exercise tool for your dog. But if you use the laser pointer with your pets, make sure that the red light is not shone directly into their eyes.

6 Best Flashlights — Product Reviews

1. Juslink LED Tactical Flashlight

This sturdy flashlight from Juslink is made from durable aluminum aircraft grade alloy material with a premium type 3 hard anodized anti-abrasive and reflective coating, and an ultra-clear glass lens. It can provide you with 900 lumens of lighting power for up to 50,000 hours.

The flashlight has a lot of handy features that makes it the ideal security companion for when you are out at night, and it also ideal for camping trips. You can adjust the beam to either zoom in at 500-700 lumens for a spotlight or zoom out to 700-900 lumens for a wider beam of light.

There are three levels of brightness, 20%, 50%, 100%, and five lighting modes to choose from: high, medium, low, fast strobe, and SOS. The flashlight is small enough at 5.35 inches, so it fit into your purse, pocket or in the glove compartment of your car, and the solid end of the flashlight gives you a secure grip, so it can even double as a weapon.

Although the flashlight is not waterproof, it is water-resistant at the level of IPX-5, so it can withstand heavy rain, but it cannot be submerged in water.

The Juslink flashlight requires one lithium (18650) Battery or three AAA batteries, but to get the best battery life, it is recommended that you use rechargeable batteries.

Juslink offers a 30 days money back guarantee, a lifetime support guarantee, and if you receive a defect product, contact Juslink for a replacement or refund.

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Very good quality
  • Compact
  • Good bright light
  • Adjustable light settings
  • Zoom in and out capabilities
  • Water resistant
  • Very good customer service

What we don't like:

  • Not bright enough for long distance
  • Colour of the light is too blue

2. Streamlight 88040 ProTac Professional Flashlight

The Streamlight flashlight is a compact and strong illuminating tool that is favored by many security professionals. It is compact and slimline and is made from tough aluminum construction and the rubber sleeve gives you a firm grip. The flashlight's beam uses innovative C4 LED technology that enables it to light up a large area with a strong 750-lumen beam of light up to 270 meters.

It is the ideal choice if you are patrolling a car-park or doing some DIY work around your home. It has TEN-TAP® Programming, where you can reprogram the light with just a few quick taps of the switch. There is a choice of 3 light output levels: low, medium (strobe light) and high, and you adjust the beam for close-up, long-distance, and wide beam illumination.

The LED solid state power regulation provides you with maximum lighting power and prolonged battery life up to 1.25 hours of single use and up to 50,000 hours over its lifetime.

The anti-roll head stops the flashlight from rolling away from you when you place it on the table or ground, and there is a pocket clip so you can always keep it safely on your belt for when you need it. The flashlight is rated with an IPX-7 rating, so it is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and impact resistant for 1 meter.

The Streamlight flashlight also comes with two 3V CR123A lithium batteries and a nylon holster. In order to maintain good battery life, it is recommended that you do not use the light on high power for too long. The flashlight is also available in blue and pink.

What we like:

  • Very bright light
  • Excellent mid-range beam
  • Compact
  • 3 lighting modes
  • Handy pocket clip and holster
  • Waterproof
  • Anti-roll capabilities

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Batteries drain quickly on full power
  • Rubber sleeve hard to attach
  • TEN-TAP® Programming switch takes time to get used to.

3. Refun A100 Tactical High-Powered Flashlight

If you are looking for a compact light that can be used for any lighting purpose around your home, or for a handy source of illumination in your car, then the Refun Tactical Flashlight is a great choice.

The flashlight's housing is made from solid aluminum material that is water and extreme temperature resistant but is it very lightweight, it will feel super comfortable in your hand.

It gives you 900 lumens of super lighting power for up to a whopping 100,000 hours, and it performs very well in both the close-up zoom mode, due to its high-quality convex lens, while also giving you a bright even light in the zoom out (wide beam) mode up to 200 meters.

There are five brightness settings to choose from: high, medium, low, strobe (intermittent flashing); and sos (emergency signal), which you can adjust for either a slow or fast flash.

The flashlight comes with one rechargeable lithium battery and a charger, but you can also use three AAA batteries.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Compact
  • Very bright light
  • Very good zooming capabilities
  • Provides good lighting coverage
  • 5 settings
  • Rechargeable battery and charger

What we don't like:

  • On/off switch is not easy to operate with one hand
  • Batteries lose charge easily

4. Maglite ML50LX LED Flashlight

The all American Maglite is one of the most recognizable names in flashlights. Since 1979 they have been making high quality and reliable flashlights for security and law enforcement agencies.

Whether you choose to use this slimline, durable flashlight for work or for camping, you are guaranteed to get a high level of lighting performance as the 3-cell capability ensures long lasting battery life. The flashlight is made from a superior “Diamond Knurl” design, with a tough anodized black matte aluminum body with a “Stealth Matte Finish” and water resistant seals.

The flashlight is easy to use with just a press of a button, and the slimline design provides for a very comfortable fit in the palm of your hand. The advanced focus system allows you to adjust the beam from a spot to a flood light with just a ¼ turn of the head, and the light is very bright up to 611 lumens and the beam gives you a good range of 339 meters.

There are three levels of power: full power, low power, and eco mode, which is a super power saving mode. You also have a choice of four brightness settings:

  • General: Full, Low and Eco
  • Outdoor: Full, Low and Strobe
  • Law Enforcement: Momentary, Full power, Eco
  • Tactical: Momentary, Full Power, and Strobe.

What we like:

  • Very good value for money
  • High-quality design
  • American made
  • Easy grip
  • Adjustable beam
  • Super bright
  • Four settings

What we don't like:

  • No anti-roll feature

5. Sunlite 51003-SU Tactical Flashlight

The tactical flashlight from Sunlite is a solid and well-made flashlight that is made from tough anodized high strength black aluminum with a water resistant coating.

The anti-roll construction means it will stay put when you place it on a table, and the textured non-slip surface gives the flashlight a comfortable and secure feeling while you are using it.

The Sunlite flashlight is the ideal choice for extra lighting when you are working on your car or for general use around your home, and if you have pets, they might find the red laser pointer especially appealing.

There are four settings: the “white light” setting gives you a strong source of illumination that is generated from ten solid bright white LEDs, which produce 50 lumens of power for up to 110,000 hours of lamp life. The “green light” uses five bright green LEDs, and the powerful “red laser” can reach up to 450 yards, and there is also a powerful strobe flashing function.

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Good lighting capability
  • Sturdy and well-built
  • Compact
  • Bright red light laser pointer

What we don't like:

  • Battery life runs down after continuous use

6. Maglite Mini Incandescent 2-Cell Flashlight

It might be small, but the Maglite mini flashlight can deliver a very good lighting performance. Its compact size means you can carry it in your pocket or in your purse. It is easy to hold and maneuver and it is perfect for close-up work when you need some extra illumination while you are fixing a computer, or trying to find your keys that are lost in the depths of your handbag.

Once more Maglite had designed a solid flashlight from high-strength anodized aluminum casing that is corrosion, impact resistant and weather resistant, which can protect it even in the toughest of conditions. Whether you use it in the rain or if you drop it while you are hiking in the outdoors, it will continue to deliver a bright warm-toned light.

You can even adjust the flashlight to “candle” mode and then stand it up on a table or hang it by its loophole for a handy lighting source when you are out camping. It has a high-density focusing beam that is powered by a 14-lumen incandescent bulb, and the beam can be adjusted from a spotlight to a floodlight.

The mini Maglite also comes with two AA batteries, a handy holster for greater portability, and there are nine colors to choose: blue, purple, red, pink, gray, silver, black, camo (camouflage) and American flag. There is also an extra spare lamp located in the tail cap of the flashlight. You can also purchase the Maglite that comes with a presentation case.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Very good light source for its size
  • Easy to hold
  • Durable
  • Multi-functional
  • Replacement bulb hidden in the tail cap

What we don't like:

  • Short battery life if used for long periods

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best flashlight is the Maglite ML50LX Flashlight. 

Our pick

THE BEST FLASHLIGHT

Maglite ML50LX Flashlight

It is easy to see why this flashlight is a favorite source of illumination with many security professionals. An American made flashlight, it boasts a superior sturdy slimline design, a super bright light, a range of lighting choices like the handy eco-mode to conserve its battery and lamp life. Whether you are working at home or holidaying in the wilderness, the Maglite will provide you with all the lighting you need.

Leave a comment: