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What are the main things to consider when selecting a flashlight?Updated 2 years ago

Top 3 Considerations When Selecting a Flashlight

How Do I Know Which Flashlight to Select? 

"There are too many choices!"
"Why this one over that one?"

Have you ever said that? Then this will help you narrow down your MANY choices. With all the flashlight variations and models, it can sometimes be overwhelming when deciding which light is the best fit for your specific needs. Since most of us aren't looking to buy ten different flashlights with all different features, we wanted to provide a list of the most important features to look for in an LED flashlight. By deciding on these features, you will narrow down your choices greatly. 

1. Power Source (Battery Type) What kind of battery do you want to use? 

Flashlight batteries

Do you want a light that uses a battery that you can easily find worldwide? 

Do you want to use rechargeable batteries or throw-away batteries?

Some flashlights use regular AA or AAA alkaline batteries that are easily found.
* Easily found worldwide
* You can't get high lumens from these batteries

Some flashlights use rechargeable batteries (Lithium-Ion). There are several different kinds of rechargeable batteries.
* You can get higher lumens from a rechargeable battery.
* You don't have to keep replacing batteries.
* These are more expensive than alkaline batteries.
* You will have to get an external charger for the batteries (unless they charge in the flashlight)
* Not easily found worldwide

Once you have an idea of the type of battery you want to use, you can begin shopping for your flashlight/lantern/headlamp on our " Flashlights By Battery Types" page.

2. The Main Use of Your Flashlight?

bright led flashlight

What is the main way you will use this flashlight?

Do you need a flashlight for close quarters or outdoors?
Do you want a flashlight you can carry in your pocket, in a holster, or off your body?
Do you want a light with an SOS or Strobe for emergency purposes?

Our flashlights are divided into basic application types. The main categories are Everyday Carry, Tactical, Utility, Key Chain, or Rechargeable.

Sometimes getting the highest lumen flashlight is not what you need. For example, a 1000-lumen flashlight can easily be carried on your hip or in your pocket. That many lumens has a maximum beam distance of 680 feet. Do you really need that flashlight if you will just use it mainly indoors?

Every flashlight has a specification chart. HERE is an example. You can compare the spec chart of each light to compare each flashlight's performance (not features). You will be able to determine if the flashlight is "overkill" for what you need. Then look at the other images and product descriptions to see if you need all the features. Normally, the more features, the more expensive. If you don't need the features, you can select another basic light. Our E Series Flashlights are where you will find most of the entry-level lights.

You never lose the Fenix quality in these lights! You can shop by battery types or flashlight use categories.

3. Lumens Needed and Beam Pattern

Lumens are hard to imagine so you may want to think in terms of "what is the size of the area I need to light?"

How do I compare the lumens of one light to the lumens of another brand?

As determined in #2 above, there is no need to purchase a 4000-lumen flashlight which has a maximum beam distance of 2,395 feet if your primary use is going to be in an enclosed building. On the other hand, if you need a light for search and rescue, you will want one with the farthest beam distance.

Lumens are just one part to compare. You will need to look at the beam distance since the reflector on each light creates a unique beam pattern. For example, one of our lights has 960 lumens and has a maximum beam distance of 1,165 feet. Then another flashlight has 2000 lumens and has a maximum beam distance of 1,050 feet. This distance difference is an indication of the 960-lumen flashlight having a reflector that is more focused and "throws" the beam forward with minimal "flood." The 2000-lumen flashlight has a shorter "throw" because the reflector allows more of a "flood." Each flashlight on our website has an image that gives you an example of the beam pattern.

When comparing flashlight brands, there are specific words to look for so that you are comparing "apples to apples." The flashlight should state performance specifications based on "ANSI STANDARDS."  Simply put, those are international standards companies use to get an accurate performance of their products.  If you see a light with a state lumen output but it doesn't have "based on ANSI Standards," then you can only question how the lumen output was determined.

So in selecting the lumens, you will also want to look at the beam pattern and beam distance. You can begin by shopping on our website in our "Flashlights by Max Lumens" category

IN SUMMARY.  You can always call us, the Fenix Experts, for guidance in selection. 800-616-1326, Monday-Friday, 9-5 CT.  You will have an exceptional shopping experience.

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