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FLASHLIGHT WARS – Choose Your Weapon Wisely!

Lighting - by David Neubert - updated on 6/21/2013

close up of flashlight on an angle to the right

In the war against darkness, the battleground has changed.

With advances in technology, the range of tactical, handheld and mountable flashlights has evolved into an impressive arsenal of rugged, multi-purpose, ultra-dependable devices; displaying a raw power never witnessed in portable lights before. The staggering variety of options covers a multitude of functions, and navigating your way through this myriad of battery-powered mega-tools can be excessively daunting if you're not adequately equipped to make an informed decision that could affect the rest of your life! Well, maybe that's a little extreme, but the amount of flashlights to choose from is remarkable, and knowing the differences between them will certainly help you find exactly the right one you're looking for.

What is the primary function you want your flashlight to perform?

Do you need a basic handheld, multi-functional tactical, or hands-free headlamp or mountable device? Will you be using it on the job as a police officer or fireman, or as a mechanic, craftsman or maintenance engineer? Or, in the outdoors for hunting, fishing, hiking, or walking? Or, just around the house to look in the basement, or to use during an emergency, such as a power outage? Answering these simple questions will help determine the light output, durability, design, run-time, and power source (batteries needed) of the flashlight that will best satisfy your needs.

Lary 8 LED Pocket Work Light; 8 powerful LEDs, LED Housing, 3 AAA Batteries Included, Water-resistant reinforced plastic body design, Power button, Rotating magnetic clip

Best Seller

"The Nebo 'Larry' flashlight is the most popular. It sells for around $10, can clip on to a breast pocket and has a magnetic clip; so if you're working on your automobile, the magnet comes in handy. It can last 11 hours on three AAA batteries." – Tom Schultz (franchise owner, San Francisco)

*available in stores only

Light Output (Lumens or Candlepower)

This is the measurement of brightness of a bulb or flashlight. Intuitively, the higher the number of lumens or candlepower, the brighter the light emitted from the device. Some of the most powerful flashlights sold at Batteries Plus Bulbs can max-out at up to 350 lumens and 30,000 candlepower! For example, a 13.2" Streamlight Handheld is an imposing piece that can be used for personal or professional use; always outshining the competition, regardless of what it's being used for (max 28,000 candlepower). The 10 watt, 6V quartz-halogen lamp can also run for up to 1.5 hours of continuous use, with an LED back-up that runs for an additional hour. Sold with a 120V AC/DC charger and 2 sleeves.


When it comes down to indestructibility, Batteries Plus Bulbs offers an assortment of choices, including the perfect-for-any-household Rayovac Indestructible LED Handheld. It's made with high performance LEDs with 2 operating modes and 120 Lumen max output; and designed with high impact resistant engineering opens in new window and a tail cap switch. The Streamlight Stinger Series, which is primarily intended for police, fire and tactical use, also offers professional performance capabilities and extreme durability.


Flashlights also come in a variety of colors and styles. For example, the Buckmaster Camo Twin Task Streamlight Handheld is ideal for outdoor sporting and adventure. Whereas, the Keychain/Mini Flashlight Pink Nano Light from Streamlight delivers up to 10 lumens via white LED, and is perfect for unlocking doors in the dark. Each of six different colored Nanos (except black) donate $1 of each sale to a different cause. Batteries Plus Bulbs carries an assortment of lanterns, headlamps, and mountable devices, as well.

Streamlight donates $1 to breast cancer research for each Pink Nano sale

Run-time/Power source

With the emergence of LED and Halogen technology, flashlights can run for literally hundreds of thousands of hours before burning out. In all cases, the batteries will die far sooner than the lamps will, making continuous run-time an important consideration. If you're looking for a device that will run for hundreds of continuous hours before needing new batteries or a recharge, then the Black 3C LED light from Streamlight might be the perfect choice for you. It can run for up to 336 hours on just 3 C alkaline batteries!

Range of products

Batteries Plus Bulbs offers dozens of flashlights: from a basic Rayovac aluminum (little household gem), to a 6V, high-powered lantern, up to a professional-grade, tactical Streamlight Stinger Series' handheld (complete with charger and holders), as well as a little bit of everything in between.

So visit our Flashlight Section online, or stop in at one of our more than 560 retail locations and feel free to take a little "target practice" with some of these bad boys while you're there. Just be sure to watch where you're aiming, and don't forget to stock-up on plenty of ammo – alkaline, lithium, or rechargeable NiCad or NiMH – just talk to one of our friendly, trained sales associates and he or she will help you get what you need!

Firefighters using a work flashlight