There are so many gadgets on the market today that it can be hard for some people to quantify what is a gadget and what isn’t. One of the things that for me has always fallen into the gadget category is the flashlight. Everyone needs a good flashlight and if you are still rocking the $1.99 special you bought from your local grocery store on a whim, you need a new one.
A good flashlight is a requirement for a lot of the things that geeks do. You need a flashlight to see inside your computer case to check connections and clean it out. You will also eventually need one when you are hooking up a home theater or doing another project. Don't wait until you need a flashlight to realize you don’t have one.
Most of the quality gadget-grade flashlights on the market today no longer use the dim and yellow looking incandescent bulbs. Today's modern flashlight has moved to LED lights that are bright, white, and sip less power so your battery will last longer between replacements. Having a long lasting battery is a big deal if you are without power for a long time and have kids like I do,
There is a huge array of flashlights today that vary in style, price, and how much light they produce. Many of them have multiple intensities for when you need a lot of light and for when you want to extend the battery life as much as possible.
One of the things to me that makes a flashlight a gadget is the cool designs you can get. The days of plastic flashlights with D-cell batteries are long gone. Today's lights have brighter bulbs and can last longer with AAA or AA batteries inside. Read on for my picks for some of the coolest flashlights on the market.
1. Nebo Redline Tactical Flashlight - This is a very cool looking flashlight with mostly black looking anodized shiny finish with a red trim ring. The light has 220 lumens of light and is very compact. The light measures in at 4.5" x 1.5" in diameter and runs off three AAA batteries. The Redline has a 22 lumen night mode and a 220 lumen super mode for attracting attention or getting the most light possible on the subject. The Redline is also waterproof and has a glow in the dark button. The base of the light is magnetic so you can use it hands free. The Redline sells for about $24.
2. Maglite XL 100 LED Flashlight - Maglite is one of the best known names in flashlights. TheXL100 has nine LED lights inside the front with five different selectable modes. It has strobe rate settings and is small and very portable. This light also has a cool dial that lets you choose what mode you want out of all the ones it offers rather than just hitting the button and waiting until you find what you are looking for. The XL 100 sells for a bit under $31 and it has 83 lumens at maximum brightness setting.
3. Streamlight 88033 Protac Tactical Flashlight - This light uses LED bulbs and gets power from a pair of AA batteries. It ships with a holster for carrying as well. The light measures 5" L x 2" W x 10" H. The LEDs are good for up to 50,000 hours of use and the light has different intensities and strobe modes selectable by a switch on the back. This light produces up to 120 lumens and is waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The batteries are good for 21 hours on low setting.
4. Denali 9-LED Compact Flashlight 3-Pack - This is a three pack of little LED flash lights that sells for about $14. The bulbs are good for more than 100,000 hours and the lights are powered by three AAA batteries. The pack includes a silver, gunmetal, and black light. The small flashlights measure 3.62" L x 1.06" W a 10.6" H. The maker doesn't offer a lumen rating on these lights.
5. Fenix LD01R2 CREE LED Flashlight - This flashlight uses super bright CREE LEDs inside. It weighs under an ounce and has three output settings with up to 85 lumens of light. The flashlight uses a single AAA battery and is good for 3.5 hours of light on 28 lumen low setting. It is also waterproof to IPX-8 standards. This is an excellent compact and portable flashlight.
6. Joby Gorillatorch Flare - Joby makes some of my favorite flashlights on the market thanks to the cool design the lights use. This Flare flashlight is made to be kept in the car for lighting in an emergency and as a warning strobe. The light has an articulating tripod so you can stand the light on the ground, it also has legs that will wrap around a branch or arm, and the tips of the legs are magnetic too. The light has up to 100 lumens and has a white strobe, red strobe, and red or white constant lights. You can buy this now for right under $32.
7. Fenix TK45 - If you need a light with the most output you can get, it doesn't get much better than the TK 45. This beast has a triple LED light barrel that makes a 760-lumen beam that can be seen from over 200 meters and is about as bright as the headlight on a car. The 760-lumen mode is good for two hours, 95-lumen mode is good for 22 hours, 8-lumen mode is good for 232 hours, and 312-lumen mode lasting 6.5 hours. The light uses AA batteries and sells for nearly $130 making it the most expensive on the list.
8. Spotlight Rechargeable Flashlight - This is a very cool little flash light that has a LED bulb. The maximum output for the little light is 25 lumens and it will last 180 minutes on a charge. The cool part about this light is that it is designed for automotive use. The light plugs into the DC outlet in a vehicle to charge and is always there if you need it. You can pick one up for about $15 in several colors.