For your everyday carry (EDC) you might need to have a AA flashlight. It has lots of advantages over other kinds of flashlights. And, if you want to know how to choose the best AA flashlight on the market, here is an article just for you. Whether you need a AA flashlight as your EDC or you are still looking for the best and most convenient flashlight to bring every day, this article will give you the information you need.
What are AA flashlights?
The AA flashlights are the most popular choice for a lot of people for three reasons. First, most AA flashlights operate with AA batteries and they are available anywhere — even in gas stations and small grocery stores. So, if you have an AA flashlight, it’s very easy for you to get back up batteries for it.
Second, AA flashlights are brighter than AAA flashlights. Though AA and AAA batteries have the same voltage supply, the former has more current because it’s bigger than the latter. Since power is a product of voltage and current, you can easily tell that AA flashlights are much brighter. Lastly, most AA flashlights are durable and are built to last. Especially if your flashlight has an LED bulb, you are guaranteed a long-lasting and brighter flashlight.
These reasons should be enough for you to be interested in an AA flashlight. Now, if you’re a hunter looking for a reliable gear, the following guidelines will help you pick the best AA flashlight for you.
How to choose your best AA flashlight
If you want a smaller and more compact flashlight, the AAA flashlights are ideal, but given the advantages of the AA flashlights, you just have to be careful of the size of the flashlight. If you need a flashlight for EDC, buy something that can be easily stuffed into your backpack or pocket. Perhaps, a 5-inch flashlight or longer is perfect. However, if you need a backup flashlight, maybe get something bigger, but it could be bulkier.
More often than not, you’ll have a flashlight with plastic housing, especially those cheaper ones. However, if you are a hunter or someone who needs a more robust AA flashlight, you can get the ones made of high-grade aluminum or stainless steel. Pick the one that’s suitable for your use and not some waste of money.
The brightness of the flashlight is measured in Lumens. The higher the Lumens means brighter flashlight, which could also mean the distance the flashlight beam reaches. Before, 100 Lumens is already considered bright, but today, you’ll find some AA flashlights with 300 and even 1000 Lumens. You can also find some AA flashlights with multi-level lights, let’s say from 0.01to 500 Lumens, for example.
The reach of the flashlight depends on the brightness, the distance between the LED and the reflector, and the type of LED used. If you have a flashlight with high Lumens, but cast only a shorter distance, this means, your flashlight uses a flood beam. At the same Lumens, if another flashlight casts a longer beam distance, then that flashlight uses a spot beam. You can see on the label or packaging, in which a good range is around 100 meters.
Battery Type Used
There are several types of batteries available. There are alkaline, NiMH rechargeable and Li-ion. The first two don’t offer as many Lumens compared to Li-ion batteries. They operate at a lower voltage as opposed to Li-ion, and higher voltages produce higher Lumens.
If you want rechargeable batteries, although they are a bit more expensive than disposable, you can save over time. It’s up to you on which type of batteries will you choose.
LED or Incandescent Bulb
Check the stock bulb whether it has LED or incandescent. The best choice between the two is the LED. It’s tough and can survive harsh conditions. They are long-lasting and they don’t burn. For the incandescent, on the other hand, they have softer light and are preferred by those who don’t like the striking bright light of the LED. Unfortunately, they easily burn, especially if you’ll use them for extended periods.
Most flashlights have a one-button operation for on/off functions, at the same time allows you to adjust the brightness. This is perfect for one-hand operation. There are also flashlights that you need to twist the head to access these functionalities. This type of flashlight needs both of your hands — one holds the barrel while the other twists the head.
Waterproof and Shock resistant
Unless if you’re just using your flashlight at home, you don’t need these features. But, if you are out in the wilderness, your AA flashlight should be waterproof and shockproof. To determine it’s designed with waterproofing, the flashlight should have the O-rings in them. It should be made of aluminum with an anodized finish.
In general, you’ll get a good Li-ion based AA flashlight for around $50. Above this price point and you’ll get a better flashlight with high Lumens. Military-grade flashlights are above this price. Yet, you are guaranteed of a waterproof and shock-proof product. It still depends on you and how you intend to use the AA flashlight. This YouTube video will help you decide with more tips included:
There are different types of flashlights on the market. However, for convenience and reliability, the AA flashlight is recommended. The above tips on how to choose the best AA flashlight will be very helpful for you on your quest. These are major considerations to be able to get the right flashlight for your needs.
Yet, before jumping into those considerations, you should know for yourself how you’re going to use the flashlight — or your purpose of buying one. If you don’t have this basic knowledge, then, even if you’ve carefully examined the flashlight against these considerations, you still won’t be satisfied with your flashlight. So, the first step would be to determine the purpose of your purchase.