What Types Of Flashlights Exist?

Are you looking for a new flashlight? Looking at any shop can be overwhelming because of the sheer amount of different flashlights. Read on to discover the different types of flashlights, what they are used for, and what makes certain flashlights stand out above the rest.

Different Types Of Flashlights

There are several types of flashlights on the market. They come in all shapes and forms and have different power supplies. However, they all provide light when the user needs them. Below are the different types of flashlights that are available today.

LED Flashlights

LED flashlights are becoming more popular thanks to their durability. These flashlights do not emit much heat, are long-lasting, and withstand a decent amount of punishment before failing. This makes the LED flashlight perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

black LED flashlight

LED flashlights produce a bright white light that has a distinct blue hue to it, compared to the yellowish light of an incandescent bulb flashlight. The average general-purpose LED flashlight will emit 350 to 600 lumens, sufficient for outdoor activities.

A quality LED flashlight is priced amongst the higher-tier flashlights. Still, you get what you pay for, adding to their popularity.

Lantern Flashlights

Lanterns have been around for hundreds of years! They are an old-fashioned way of providing light by burning a liquid fuel such as kerosene. Newer variations of the lantern use LED and a battery to provide light. To maintain the traditional element of a lantern, the LED is low power to keep the same ambiance.

old-fashioned lantern flashlight

The best use of a lantern will be to place it on a table to provide a soft light around the room. Lanterns can also be carried by hand to illuminate a walking path, but due to their large bulky shape, they are better suited for stationary applications.

Fuel Lanterns provide 90 to 120 lumens, while the newer LED lanterns can vary between 120 and 160 lumens. Lanterns are ideal for keeping in storm shelters or enclosed spaces where they can illuminate the entire room.

Incandescent Flashlights

The incandescent flashlight is the most popular as it is reliable and cost-effective. They are weather resistant, versatile, resist corrosion, and have a long battery life. The durability of incandescent flashlights will depend on what the casing is made from. In most cases, it is made from a strong plastic that can withstand a reasonable amount of abuse.

well-known incandescent flashlight

Incandescent flashlights run on replaceable batteries and provide enough light for everyday activities such as hiking or camping. These flashlights produce around 500 to 800 lumens, but the higher the lumen, the shorter the battery life.

The incandescent flashlight has been around for decades, and it won’t be disappearing any time soon. It is priced right and can do the job of most other flashlights on the market.

Pressurized Gas Flashlights

The pressurized gas flashlight is very similar to an incandescent flashlight, with one big difference. It uses a pressurized gas combined with an incandescent bulb to emit a bright light, which will last much longer than the old incandescent bulb.

very bright pressured gas flashlight

Most pressurized gas flashlights will use halogen, krypton, or xenon gas to brighten the emitted light. They use disposable batteries, and the flashlight is budget-friendly. The pressurized gas flashlight is ideal for emergency situations such as hurricanes or power outages, as they will last a long time. A typical pressurized gas flashlight will emit 800 to 2,000 lumens.

Diving Flashlights

The diving flashlight is available in a lamp or wrist-mounted flashlight variations. They are specifically designed to be waterproof up to a depth of 600 feet. LED bulbs are commonly used as they provide a bright light that is required while diving at depth.

waterproof diving flashlight

Special materials are used in their construction to prevent the casing and power supply from corroding in salt water. So for anyone who enjoys scuba diving, free diving, or snorkeling, this is the flashlight for you.

Headlamp Flashlights

The headlamp has been used in underground mining since early 1900. Although technology has changed, the basic principle of keeping your hands free while lighting up the area in front of you stayed the same.

hands-free headlamp flashlights

Headlamp flashlights are fitted with an elastic band or strap that goes around your forehead. This keeps your hands free to grab, hold, or carry items while lighting the way. Headlamp flashlights are ideal for almost any activity, such as caving, hiking, fishing, and automotive work.

These flashlights are practical and relatively cost-effective. They are available in incandescent and LED bulbs and use a battery for power, with newer versions being rechargeable. New headlamp flashlights are usually high-power flashlights above 800 lumens, with high-end flashlights exceeding 1600.

Heavy-Duty Flashlights

The heavy-duty flashlight is just that, heavy-duty. It is designed for everyday use where it will get bashed, scraped, stepped on, and possibly thrown. The casing is made from a shockproof material, like rubber or composites, that will protect the internal components. These flashlights are drop tested from 100 feet to prove their toughness.

robust heavy-duty flashlight

The heavy-duty flashlight uses an incandescent light bulb. Although it is an older technology, it still serves the purpose as there is no need for wiring inside the casing. This also makes them much more affordable than LEDs.

The heavy-duty flashlight is well suited to hunting or fishing activities as they are waterproof up to 10 feet. The bulbs are easy to change out, and rechargeable battery packs are available.

HID Flashlights

The high-intensity discharge (HID) provides an exceptionally bright light. An HID flashlight bulb passes an electrical current through an ionized gas ball. The result is an intensely bright light that can illuminate a large area.

Most HID flashlights will allow the user to focus the light by turning the head of the lamp. It can be set to illuminate a wide angle or a narrow angle to cover a long distance. HID flashlights are not as common as incandescent or LED flashlights, as they are ten times the price of an LED.

extremely bright HID flashlight

Although they sell for a hefty price, they are definitely worth it, especially if a large area needs to be illuminated. HID flashlights range from 1,200 to 12,000 lumens, but they require a large battery pack to provide so much light.

This limits the operational time that HID flashlights can be used, and they radiate a lot of heat. The HID flashlight is well suited to search and rescue missions or any other outdoor activity requiring high-intensity light.

Novelty Flashlights

The novelty flashlight is a low-power flashlight that is small and compact. They are not designed to emit lots of light and usually run on a single AAA battery or round button batteries. Novelty flashlights can be found on key chains, pens, tape measures, and remote controls.

low-power novelty flashlight

The small compact size of a novelty flashlight makes them easy to keep in your pocket or on your keys. They will provide sufficient light for small tasks, such as looking in a cupboard, but that’s about it. They only emit 100 to 200 lumens and can have incandescent or LED bulbs.

Shake Flashlights

The shake flashlight does not need any batteries to operate. As the name suggests, the user must shake the flashlight to provide power to the bulb. The shake flashlight utilizes a coil and magnets that provide an electrical charge when shaken that can be stored in a diode for a short time.

shake flashlight without batteries

The power created is meager, resulting in a low-power beam of light. This flashlight will provide 50 to 150 lumens for about 10 to 15 seconds before it runs out of power. The user must constantly shake the flashlight to supply power for it to work. The shake light is ideal for emergencies, where all other lighting options have been depleted.

Solar Powered Flashlights

This is the flashlight for the environmentally conscious, as it gets its power from the sun. The solar-powered flashlights are convenient to use and provide enough light for basic tasks. Many will compare the solar-powered flashlight to an incandescent or LED flashlight. Unfortunately, it will only compete with these flashlights for a few minutes when fully charged.

solar powered flashlight

Solar-powered flashlights are very cost-effective and will work well for short durations. If the battery is depleted or if there is not enough sun to charge the flashlight, then most will have a cranking handle that can be cranked to charge the battery. However, those solar flashlights are more expensive.

Hand Crank Flashlights

The hand crank flashlight is very similar to the solar-powered and shake flashlight, except it only uses a hand crank to charge its battery. The hand crank flashlight does, however, provide more lumens for a longer period. This is due to its simplistic design, as they can use a larger battery, which will take longer to charge.

simple hand crank flashlight

On average, 350 to 450 complete crank rotations will charge the battery, which will provide 60 to 80 minutes of illumination. Hand crank flashlights are ideal for emergencies as they can be stored for extended periods without damage. These flashlights will use a LED bulb and can provide up to 800 lumens. Combo units are available that have an emergency broadcast radio.

USB Flashlights

The USB flashlight is a newcomer to the flashlight market and is quickly gaining in popularity. It charges via a USB phone charger and uses a built-in lithium-ion battery pack. The USB flashlight uses an LED bulb and can provide 2000 to 2500 lumen for a long period. These flashlights also hold their charge for up to 12 months, making them perfect for emergency situations.

USB flashlight loading on powerbank

The added benefit is that there is no need to replace batteries, simply plug it in and charge it. This technology does cost a fair bit more than a standard LED flashlight, but if it is used often, it will pay for itself.

Work Flashlights

The work flashlight is a reliable rechargeable light source commonly sold in a bundle. The bundle will consist of two flashlights with different lumen outputs. The work flashlight is ideally suited for site workers needing a reliable and bright flashlight to identify possible problems. The work flashlight comes in incandescent or LED and is durable and waterproof.

rechargeable work flashlight

Most work flashlights will charge fully within 3 to 4 hours and provide more than 10 hours of light. The work flashlight will come with a zoom function so that high-up or distance equipment can be seen with ease. The work flashlight will come with 350 to 800 lumens, with one flashlight more powerful than the other.

Utility Flashlights

The utility flashlight is a flashlight you will not fret too much about if it gets lots. This is due to its low price tag. The utility flashlight is as basic as a flashlight can be. It is similar to the incandescent flashlight but much less durable. The utility flashlight is a flashlight that is kept in the kitchen drawer or workbench to use in a power outage.

compact utility flashlight

It will provide sufficient light but should not be your sole backup light source. This flashlight uses disposable batteries and will emit 400 to 800 lumens. The utility flashlight is unreliable; if it is bumped or dropped, it may stop working. Then simply purchase a new one at Dollar General.

Tactical Flashlights

The tactical flashlight is carried by the military, police, and emergency services. The name of this flashlight says it all, tactical, and that is what it is. Police often use this flashlight to disorient people, look for clues in all weather conditions, and as a self-defense tool.

reliable tactical flashlight

Tactical flashlights are designed and built to be really tough and reliable. Most tactical flashlights use LED bulbs and are powered by disposable batteries, but rechargeable versions are available. They provide up to 1,500 lumens, and high-quality tactical flashlights will have a beam distance exceeding 1,000 feet.

This makes it ideal for search and rescue operations, no matter the weather. This is the flashlight that you will want in an emergency situation, but it will work just fine for almost any other purpose. Tactical flashlights are expensive but won’t let you down in any situation.