When you’re looking for flashlight to use in emergency search and rescue situations, you know without a doubt that you want to spend money on the brightest model available. But do you have the faintest clue what to look for in it? There’s nothing worse than getting an expensive bright flashlight that doesn’t meet your needs and demands and fails you when you urgently need it. However, if you take into account the following important factors, you’ll be less likely to experience any problems with your choice.
It’s All About the Lumens
How powerful a flashlight can be is determined by its lumens. For general tasks around the home, simple camping needs and more recreational activities like hiking, a fairly powerful beam around 300 lumens might provide all the brightness you need. However, tactical and military activities, and search and rescue operations need a model that can provide long distance visibility. The more lumens the wider the beam will be. So, anything above 1000 lumens is serious outdoor torch power. To give an example, search lights with 1200 lumens can produce a beam with a maximum distance of 1000m. That’s very impressive!
Go for a Multi-purpose Model
If you want more functionality out of your flashlight, you should consider narrowing your choice between models of search lights that come with several brightness modes. This way you’ll get a general-use flashlight for simple tasks and be able to switch to the search and rescue mode whenever the situation calls for one. A good search and rescue light should come with brightness levels ranging from 3 to 1200 lumens and a strobe mode for signalling and SOS calls, as well as for warding off any wild animals.
Robust, Waterproof Construction
Most good flashlights are constructed using aircraft grade aluminium making them incredibly strong while being light to carry around. Another advantage of aluminium is that it allows for extremely fine threading which in turn results with seals that are pretty much waterproof. Some search lights manufactured according to the IPX-8 International Standard are capable of operating even when submerged to a depth of 2 meters.
Consider Your Battery Options
Normal alkaline batteries are not a good choice for search and rescue lights since they don’t have a long runtime. Without a doubt, a torch that runs on an Li-On rechargeable battery is your best option. Both the runtime and the performance it offers far exceeds any ordinary battery. For long search operations it’s also extremely important that the light has rechargeable batteries which make it possible for it to be charged in a car. In any case, always look for a flashlight that’s supplied with an indicator of battery voltage which allows you to know exactly how much power you’ve got left.