A regular flashlight can come in handy in a pinch, but it doesn't quite provide the level of performance and longevity that's needed for bigger, more significant tasks— such as leading a search-and-rescue mission or navigating a smoky, burning building as a firefighter. Tactical flashlights, on the other hand, are built from strong, sturdy materials, are damage resistant, and are far brighter than your average flashlight. This makes them ideal for use with military and law enforcement operations. Since tactical flashlights tend to be used during high-stake missions and other crucial moments, it's important to make sure you're equipped with the right kind. Tactical flashlights come in a variety of types, performance levels, and with different features. This can make choosing one difficult if you don't know what you're looking for. If you're wondering how to choose a tactical flashlight, this guide will help you navigate your options.
The Type of Flashlight
There are multiple types of tactical flashlights, ranging from smaller, everyday carry (EDC) flashlights to full-size ones. The right type for you ultimately depends on what you're looking for in terms of size, convenience, and practicality. EDC tactical flashlights are compact and lightweight, meaning you can take them just about anywhere and use them easily. They make good backups for a full-size tactical flashlight, which, as the name suggest, are bigger, sturdier, and can even be used as a defense tool.
If you're choosing a tactical flashlight over a regular one, you're probably expecting a huge boost in performance. The flashlight's performance is gauged by its light output, impact, water resistance, beam distance, battery life, and other crucial qualities. To start, you'll want to look at the number of lumens and the beam distance that the flashlight provides. The amount of light that a flashlight emits is measured in lumens, and beam distance is the furthest distance at which a light can still produce 0.25 lux. Generally, you'll want a flashlight that has a high number of lumens and a respectable beam distance. Battery life is another important factor to consider. You don't want your tactical flashlight to grow dim in the middle of a dangerous task. The same goes for impact and water resistance. If you accidentally drop your tactical flashlight into a puddle, you want to be able to pick it up, dry it off, and carry on.
Another tip on how to choose a tactical flashlight is to make sure it has all the right features. Two flashlights similar in size and performance might have their own, unique features that set them apart. The controls might be in a different place, one might have modes that the other one doesn't, and even the type of battery they use could be different. These factors aren't as important as the overall build and performance of your tactical flashlight, but they can still improve—or hinder—your overall experience. Make sure to look for flashlights with controls that are easy to reach, have the modes that you want to use, and which uses a convenient battery type.
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