Quick, how many flashlights do you have in your home? How many of them actually have charged batteries in them? How long would it take you to put your hands on a working flashlight right now?
Ideally, you should have a working flashlight in every room of your home and they should be tested regularly. The most common locations in the home for a flashlight are the master bedroom and perhaps the junk drawer of the kitchen. If you have any sort of workshop, there’s probably one or two floating around out there as well. In many homes, that’s about it. They have perhaps three or four flashlights, each in dubious working condition.
Flashlight Security Tool
Quite often, in fact, the flashlights weren’t all that great even when brand new. I mean, sure, you can run down to your local discount retailer and pick up a four-pack of cheap plastic lights, complete with batteries, for just a few bucks. There are a few problems with doing that, though. First, those cheap lights aren’t very well made and probably won’t last very long, particularly if you use them on any sort of regular basis. Second, they just aren’t bright enough. Yeah, they’ll cast enough light to see which circuit breaker switch was tripped but that’s about it.
There are two main options to consider with flashlights – LED or incandescent bulbs. If at all possible, go with LED. They are infinitely brighter than incandescent and because they use far less energy to operate, the batteries will last a lot longer.
I prefer the body of my flashlight to be made of metal, rather than plastic. In a pinch, if I need to smack someone with a flashlight, I don’t want it to fall apart in my hands.
How bright should the flashlight be? Light is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light. Something in the 20-30 lumens range will help you find shoes in the back of a closet but that’s about it. 60-80 lumens will be enough to light up an average bedroom so you can see where you’re going without bumping into a night stand or something. Moving up from there, 200 lumens will light up a small backyard fairly well.
Me? I want as many lumens as possible. I have a Coast brand flashlight that puts out 1,000+ lumens. It is about the same size as a Maglite, so we’re not talking some sort of stationary Bat-signal floodlight. I’ll tell you right now, if someone were coming at me and I flashed 1,000 lumens into their face, it’ll be enough of a distraction for me to take further action.
Flashlights are important for security because, well, it is hard to see what’s going on in the dark. Not only do you want the ability to shine a light at an intruder, you want to be able to move around the house without knocking things over or getting hurt. There are many rather small, yet very powerful, flashlights on the market today. Look for brands like Maglite, Foursevens, and Fenix. They’re going to cost you a bit more but they will also last far longer than their cheap, plastic counterparts.