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Top 4 Features to Consider When Purchasing a Rechargeable Flashlight

Top 4 Features to Consider When Purchasing a Rechargeable Flashlight

Flashlights have come a long way, baby!

Are you tired of dealing with throw-away batteries? Then a rechargeable flashlight may be just for you. Just like selecting any flashlight, the number of options can be overwhelming.  So we have focused on four general areas you should consider when selecting a rechargeable flashlight.

1. Battery types

Rechargeable flashlights have different battery types.

a. Proprietary battery: This battery is integrated (included) into the flashlight and is designed specifically for the flashlight. These batteries may or may not be able to be removed. At the end of the battery life, the battery or battery pack will normally have to be obtained from the manufacturer.

Fenix UC35 Rechargeable Flashlight

Fenix 18650 Batteryb. Standard Rechargeable Battery: Most recently, rechargeable flashlights include standard rechargeable batteries (such as an 18650 rechargeable battery) which are included in the flashlight at the time of purchase. The flashlight has the charging components built into the flashlight so there is no need for an external charger. (The consumer has the option to charge the battery inside the flashlight or in an  external charger.) When it is time to replace the rechargeable battery, the battery can be obtained from a variety of vendors since the battery is not proprietary. This is becoming more the industry standard because of the convenience in getting replacement/spare batteries.

2. Charging mechanism

Here is where there are many options for your rechargeable flashlight. The question to ask yourself is, “ Where do I want to recharge my flashlight?” In the house, auto, in a remote area, etc.? Also, do you want to plug it into a cable or do you want to place it in a cradle for charging? The major charging types are:

a. Solar charging: Perfect if you are going to be in a remote area with no power options. However, you are at the mercy of the sun and cloud cover. Solar charging is very slow so you will be without a light during the charging time. The only time one would want to select this type of flashlight is if you will be a power-free location for an extended time.

b. Micro USB: This has become the most popular method of charging because of the versatility and locations of USB ports (computers, autos, wall with adapter, etc.). Most lights will include the  USB cable. How do you want it to connect to the light? Some have entry ports in the light body. Others have magnetic connections to the light. Charging through a USB cable is a bit slower than charging through an A/C wall outlet. Some lights have a  charging 

Fenix RC20

cradle that is charged through a USB cable. This is popular feature for law enforcement, placing the cradle in the auto. There are no connections to make directly on the light.

c. Auto Cigarette Lighter: Some rechargeable flashlights charge using a cable that plugs into an auto cigarette lighter. Recently this option has been a secondary charging method since many autos now have USB ports in them or people have added USB adapters to auto cigarette lighters.

3.  Operation and battery life

a. Battery Life: When selecting a flashlight that operates on a rechargeable battery, it is important to know that all rechargeable batteries have a limited life. This life is ABOUT one year or 400 charge cycles, depending on the quality of battery purchased. As the battery ages, the ability to charge up to 100% starts to decrease. The battery will lose it ability to hold a charge.  

Fenix UC30 LED Flashlight

b. Running Time: A very important consideration of a flashlight with a rechargeable battery is the length of operation time you will get from a fully charged battery. Will the fully charged battery run 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1 ½ hours, etc.? When you see those stated times, that is accumulated run time. IMPORTANT TO KNOW: the run time of a battery is mainly determined by the mAh (Milliamp) rating of the battery. Generally speaking (but not 100% of the time), the higher the mAh rating, the longer the run time you will get from the battery. All high-quality flashlights will provide a runtime chart so you will know performance expectations. High-quality lights also have the technology to enhance battery performance.

Another factor to understand is that a rechargeable battery in a flashlight will have a slow drain. So if it sits idle for a period of time, you will want to periodically recharge it so it is ready for full performance when needed.

4. Flashlight Size and Features

Fenix UC01

Rechargeable flashlights can be keychain size all the way up to high-lumen, search and 

Fenix RC40rescue lights. With today's advanced technologies, manufacturers are able to add features, which were normally found in larger lights, into the smallest of rechargeable flashlights. There are a  variety of rechargeable flashlights on the market today. You should be able to find one to meet any environment. You can always email for guidance in selecting the flashlight which will best meet your needs.  

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