13 Different Types of Flashlights

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It’s time to turn the spotlight on the flashlight and discover the many different types of flashlights that exist to brighten up our lives and make it more convenient.

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Beaming flashlight on gray background.

The first flashlight was invented in 1899 by English inventor David Misell. It was called “flash” light because the light couldn’t be turned on for long and had to be rested from time to time. That’s because it used zinc-carbon batteries and carbon-filament electric bulbs.

The batteries were eventually made better and the carbon filament was replaced with tungsten. By 1922, flashlights were a hit. Several types of flashlights existed as well as 10 million flashlight users.

Types

Incandescent Bulb Flashlights

Incandescent bulb flashlight

Incandescent bulb flashlights are the most common type that you will find in people’s homes. These flashlights have been around for many decades and usually run on D batteries. There are some variations in how these types of flashlights are powered on the market, though. You may find an incandescent flashlight that runs on another type of battery.

Generally speaking, these flashlights are most convenient for their affordability. You will be able to purchase one of these incandescent bulb flashlights at a very low price. This makes it easy to simply go out and buy a flashlight whenever you are in need of one. Many of these incandescent bulb flashlights have a reputation for breaking easily, but not all of them are quite so fragile.

There are flashlights on the market that will be more durable and will last you for a long time. You will simply want to make sure that you are buying something that has a better build quality. They aren’t as low in price as some of the other models, but they will do a better job of standing the test of time. This model that is being shown here is a great example.

This flashlight is built to be as heavy duty as possible. The craftsmanship on this flashlight is actually quite impressive. It is made to be weather resistant and will resist corrosion as well. You will be able to make use of this flashlight in rainy situations because it is water resistant, and it is durable enough to withstand being dropped. It should work well for many purposes.

People bring flashlights such as this with them on camping trips or even fishing trips due to their ease of use. They can withstand a little bit of punishment and are powerful enough to provide light when needed. You can purchase this flashlight in multiple different colors too, making it a bit more fun. This is a good flashlight that you won’t want to pass up when you’re in need of one.

LED Flashlights

LED Flashlight

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In modern times, LED flashlights have started becoming more popular. There are situations where having an LED flashlight is going to be preferable. They don’t work in the same way as the incandescent bulb flashlights mentioned above. LED flashlights don’t produce any heat and they can last for a long time.

You don’t have to worry so much about the LED bulbs having a problem either. They are quite durable and will be able to put up with some punishment. Dropping the flashlight shouldn’t put you in danger of having it stop working. These flashlights are great for camping trips because of how long they last and not having to worry about their durability.

A good LED flashlight isn’t going to be quite as inexpensive as some of the entry level incandescent bulb flashlights. You will have to pay a bit more money on average, but you will be getting a generally superior flashlight. The cost of an LED flashlight should be similar to the cost of a heavy duty incandescent bulb flashlight. It is up to you to decide which type of flashlight you should go for.

Another important thing to know is that these LED flashlights will give off a different type of light than the incandescent ones. Incandescent bulbs give off a white light that has a yellow hue. LED lights can give off white light, but it has a blue hue. Some people prefer one or the other, so it’s just another distinction that you should be aware of.

High-Intensity Discharge HID Flashlights

Sidiou Group HID Xenon Flashlight flashlight 85w 7500LM flashlight long-range outdoor hunting flashlight Rechargeable flash torch

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High-intensity discharge flashlights are usually abbreviated to HID flashlights. These types of flashlights will be capable of producing an extremely bright light. When you want a portable flashlight that is going to be really bright, this type is going to be a good choice. They work by having an electrical current run through a ball of ionized gas, so they’re definitely different from either of the models that have been mentioned so far.

These flashlights are far less common than either incandescent models or LED models. The HID flashlights are a bit on the expensive side due to how they work. In order to purchase one of these flashlights, you may have to pay up to 10 times the price of one of the incandescent flashlights. This steep price turns most people off and these flashlights wind up only being used by enthusiasts.

The fact that they can produce such a bright light is very beneficial, though. For people who live out in the country where things get really dark, it can be good to have a super bright light available to use. When you don’t have streetlights to rely on, it’s good to be able to see what you are doing at night. This is a reliable flashlight that will work well for you if you are willing to pay the price.

The flashlight being shown here is very efficient and the bulb is going to last for a long time. The flashlight is rechargeable for your convenience and is also waterproof. You’ll be able to use this in poor weather conditions, without having to worry. If you need a bright flashlight, then this is an easy recommendation that you will get plenty of use out of.

Pressurized Gas Flashlights

Rayovac 2D Industrial Yellow Flashlight with Krypton Bulb and Magnet

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There are flashlights on the market that are powered a little differently than others. Some incandescent bulbs in certain flashlights will also include pressurized gases to increase the life of the bulb. Gases such as xenon, halogen, and krypton can help the light to be brighter than usual while burning out more slowly. Remarkably, the battery life isn’t drained any faster than usual with these pressurized gas models.

The flashlight being shown here comes equipped with a krypton bulb. This will allow the flashlight to generally be brighter for you while lasting longer. It comes in a very durable casing that will be strong enough to withstand a few accidents. Despite its utility, this flashlight is also very inexpensive, making it a good option for anyone who is on a budget.

This flashlight is powered by standard D batteries, not unlike the vast majority of all incandescent bulb flashlights. People often use these types of flashlights in emergency situations. These are kept in cupboards and drawers all across North America. They will definitely be useful during a power outage or any other situation where you need to have quick access to light.

Solar-Powered Flashlights

Solar-Powered Flashlights

It’s no secret that environmental concerns have started to change the way that people look at the world. Many people are looking for more environmentally-friendly options when purchasing tools. Flashlights are no exception and there are solar-powered options out there for people who wish to go that route. They can actually be pretty convenient to use and are powerful enough for many purposes.

Most solar-powered flashlights are going to be significantly weaker than the other options on this list. There are some models out there that can get fairly bright, but you shouldn’t expect it to be able to compete with an LED flashlight or an HID flashlight. These are cost-effective flashlights that will be comparable to an incandescent bulb flashlight when they are properly charged.

The model that is being shown here also comes with a hand crank. This allows you to generate some power on your own in order to produce light. This is convenient for when you haven’t charged the flashlight with solar energy and still need to make use of it. It’s a good flashlight that will appeal to certain people, but others may see it as little more than a novelty.

Headlamp Flashlights

Man wearing headlamp flashlight in the woods.

Headlamp flashlights are very convenient to own because they can help you to light your way while your hands are otherwise occupied. If you need a flashlight to see, but you also need to carry something, it can get a little inconvenient. The solution to this problem is to own one of these headlamps. They can strap right on your head and they will easily light your way.

This is a great flashlight to own when you want to make things as convenient on yourself as possible. Wearing the flashlight on your head allows you to do other things with your hands. If your car breaks down on the road at night, having one of these available to use will be a godsend. You’ll be able to work on your car and you’ll actually be able to see.

You can see that there are many situations where a flashlight such as this one would come in handy. It is something that will prove to be useful and it is cost effective enough to be practical for anyone. Most of these headlamp flashlights will be using LED bulbs to provide light. This means that they will get very bright and that they will last for a long time.

This model here is very high quality and can even be recharged in many convenient ways. With a brightness level of up to 1,800 lumens, this thing can really provide you with a significant amount of light. It’s a good purchase for anyone who wants an easy to use an emergency flashlight. The price is reasonable and it is very useful to own.

Lanterns

Lantern used for reading during camping.

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Lanterns are another convenient way to light up the area that you will want to consider. Of course, traditional lanterns use kerosene or another type of fuel to provide a flame. In modern times, LED lanterns have become much more common. They work similarly to LED flashlights, except you just need to set them down near your location, rather than pointing them where you want to go.

You can carry lanterns such as this to light your way, though. They’re just more commonly used for camping purposes than they are for hiking or walking somewhere in the dark. This lantern will work very nicely if you need to be able to see when the power goes out. People buy lanterns such as this all of the time just to be prepared for big storms.

This doesn’t emit a lot of light, so it won’t make your area incredibly bright or anything. It only produces 120 lumens of light, but this is enough to allow you to see or even read a book. If you want to purchase something that is simple to use and will be effective in an emergency, then this is a good item to buy. There isn’t a lot that sets this item apart from other lanterns, but it is reliable and cost effective.

Shake Flashlights

Shake Flashlight

Shake flashlights are sort of unique in that they don’t run on batteries. You might be curious how the flashlight would even work without a power source. It’s actually powered by magnets that are placed inside of the flashlight itself. When you shake the flashlight, it causes a reaction and will provide you with the light that you need.

You simply need to shake the flashlight whenever you need to use it. This is very convenient as you will not have to worry about buying batteries for your flashlight. The problems with this flashlight show themselves when you notice that the light isn’t very bright. The dim light of these flashlights is enough to see where you’re going, but it may not be the best option for you.

There is definitely a certain amount of convenience to these flashlights. They may not provide a lot of light, but they will always work for you when you need them. They aren’t too expensive either, so you’ll be able to buy one without breaking the bank. Get one of these if you like the idea of not needing batteries and are fine with it not being all that bright.

USB Charging Flashlights

USB Charging Flashlight

Buying batteries can be a thing of the past when you purchase a USB charging flashlight. Flashlight technology has changed quite a bit in recent years. You can now buy flashlights with built-in batteries that can charge in the same way that you charge your smartphone. Simply plug your flashlight into a USB port and it will charge up for you.

This is the most convenient type of flashlight to own in the modern era. You are most likely constantly charging some type of device in your home. Whether it is your phone, a tablet, or a handheld video game system. This can just be one more item to charge up in case of an emergency. When the power does go out, you’ll have an easy to use flashlight at the ready.

This is a great flashlight that can get very bright, too. It is a bit costly, but you won’t ever have to worry about buying batteries for it. There is a good case to be made for buying a flashlight such as this that will stand the test of time. It’s up to you to decide whether or not the investment is going to be worthwhile enough.

Styles

Utility Flashlights

Maglite Mini Incandescent 2-Cell AAA Flashlight, Black

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Utility flashlights are your common incandescent bulb models. These flashlights are generally the least expensive of all the different styles. You will be able to purchase one of these at a very low price and it should work well enough for most purposes. They aren’t incredibly durable, though, and may wind up breaking when dropped or handled roughly.

Due to the low price of these flashlights, many people simply buy a new one when they need a flashlight. They’re affordable enough to make this an easy thing to do, but it does seem a little bit wasteful to go about things this way. If you don’t need a flashlight very regularly, then you should be able to get by with one of these. When you want something a little brighter that has a better build quality, you’ll need to pay more money.

Heavy-Duty Flashlights

Heavy-Duty Flashlight

Heavy-duty flashlights are a bit better than the normal utility flashlights. These are built to last and will be able to take a bit of a beating. Dropping a flashlight such as this won’t really cause it much harm and it should be able to keep going. People take these flashlights with them on trips and even use them when they go out hunting.

If you need a reliable flashlight that will be able to stand up to regular use, then a heavy-duty flashlight such as this will suffice. Simply purchase one of these and you will never have to worry about being left out in the dark. You’ll have access to the light that you need and you won’t have to worry about things dying out too quickly. This will take batteries as you would expect, but you should get a good amount of battery life out of this flashlight.

There are other durable options on the market, but this is one of the most cost-effective ways to get a heavy-duty flashlight. The incandescent bulbs may not be the most convenient in some ways, but they are very affordable overall. Weigh your options and you will be able to determine if this is the right flashlight for your needs.

Work Flashlights

Nebo Slyde King 6434 Rechargeable LED Flashlight Work Light with 6274 Holster and Lumintrail Keychain Light

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Work flashlights are made for professionals that need to have a reliable light source. These lights are important for people who need to work in the dark. In order to be able to see small details and ensure that jobs get done right, professionals will need to have access to a high-quality flashlight. This work flashlight here will fit the bill and make everything as simple as possible.

There are two different flashlights included in a bundle here. One of them is a 330-lumen LED flashlight and the other is a 250-lumen work flashlight. Both of them will work great for different purposes. You’ll want to take both with you every day.

The first thing to know about this flashlight is that it is fully rechargeable. This means that you won’t have to worry about batteries and you’ll always be able to rely on this tool. Workers simply charge their flashlights every day and it is ready to be taken to the job site when it is time to go. This flashlight can fully recharge itself in about three or four hours.

This flashlight also has an adjustable zoom feature. This is convenient when you are trying to focus on something specific. The zoom feature goes up to 4x and it also has a dimmable beam. This will come in handy on many jobs and is one of the reasons why it is so sought after by professionals.

Tactical Flashlights

Tactical Flashlight on a khaki backpack.

Tactical flashlights are usually carried by police officers or military personnel. There are many different situations where a tactical flashlight is going to come in handy. Police officers use the lights to investigate situations and they also use tactical flashlights to disorient people when it is necessary. For this reason, a good tactical flashlight should be capable of producing a very bright light.

The tactical flashlight being showcased here can get very bright. It can produce 1,500 lumens of light, making it a very good option for tactical use. There are many firemen and rescue workers who keep these flashlights as part of their toolkit. It is an important companion to these professionals on many of their most crucial jobs.

As you might expect, these types of flashlights are made to be rugged. They need to be able to withstand impacts and weather conditions in order to be used properly. You won’t have to worry about this flashlight getting damaged even in many extreme situations. It will always prove to be capable of meeting your needs.

The beam distance on this light is remarkable as well. It can reach up to 1,181-feet, making it a very reliable tool for various situations. If you work in law enforcement or another job that requires a good flashlight, then you will want to consider purchasing this one. It can be a great flashlight that will always work well for you.



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