There are a lot of common elements and features that you are going to find among the best tactical flashlights on the market. The most common that I have found is the use of LED lights as opposed to other bulb and lighting options. Why is this? Let’s explore a bit.
There was once a time that all flashlights used incandescent bulbs and I am not talking about a hundred years ago. Well, now the reign of the incandescent bulb is at an end and much of that can be attributed to the rise of the cost efficient LED.
The main reason for this shift is because of how efficient LED lights can be. Anyone who has had a tactical flashlight shined in their eyes (don’t do this) knows how blinding they can be. The reason that they can be so bright is because even low power LED lights use electricity about 3 times more efficiently than standard incandescent bulbs. Some LEDs are over 5 times more efficient and one company recently claimed to have created an LED that had an efficiency of 208 lumens per watt of power at room temperature. That’s almost 14 times more efficient than an incandescent bulb. We aren’t going to see those in flashlights any time soon, but it’s a glimpse of things to come.
Next is the durability and working life of LED lights. We have all had incandescent and fluorescent bulbs break at the work possible time. They are fragile and the glass they are made out of can be dangerous. LED lights are made out of plastic that resists impact extremely well and is almost impossible to shatter. They can be made out of plastic because they run at very low temperatures and produce very little heat. Even after hours of running normal LED lights will feel slightly warm, this means that they don’t break down in the same way as normal bulbs. Their working life can be hundreds of times longer than incandescent bulbs and even when they do start to fail; LED lights don’t just burn out immediately. Rather, they begin to dim a bit and that’s much better than sudden blackness in a tactical situation.