Going off grid is often a very dark proposition. But having a great flashlight can certainly shed some light on some hairy or not-so-hairy situations.

As everyone should know by now, your grandfather’s flashlights have gone the way of the horsedrawn carriage and the whalebone corset. The invention of the LED (light emitting diode) changed the world of illumination. Magical and even painful amounts of pupil-popping power are now available to all. Not long ago, 100 lumens was considered a lot. Now, almost 10 times that is standard and many people go for more. The satisfaction of using quality light is like getting new glasses. So improve your sight with a new flashlight!



MSRP: $133.77


  • Light Source:LED
  • Light Output: 164 lumens (high), 36 lumens (low)
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 15 minutes (high); 15 hours (low)
  • Beam Distance: 243 meters (high), 113 meters (low)
  • Batteries: One 3.7V 2200mAh lithium-ion
  • Length: 8.65 inches
  • Weight:10.4 ounces
  • Colors: Black
  • Charge Time: 4 to 5 hours

Defining Features: The Pelican 7060 LED light’s dual-switch technology allows light activation with a tail-mounted switch or a bodymounted switch, allowing a grip from several positions. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries provide maximum brightness and a lightweight carry. Accessories include one battery back, one 110volt transformer and one charger.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “The 7060 reinvents the flashlight with a number of technical breakthroughs. Suitable for the best patrol and tactical applications.” —Keith Swenson, Senior Marketing And Media Relations Specialist




PRICE: $100 – $139 (online resellers)


  • Light Source:C4 LED technology, shock-proof, 50,000-hour lifetime
  • Output: 640 lumens/340 lumens/170 lumens
  • Runtime:High for a super-bright beam, 1.25 hours/ 297 meters; medium for bright light, 2 hours/210 meters; low for light without glare, 4 hours/148 meters; strobe for disorienting or signaling your location, 3 hours
  • Batteries: Three-cell, 3.6V Ni-MH sub-C battery, rechargeable up to 1,000 times
  • Length: 8.41 inches
  • Weight:12.4 ounces
  • Charge Time:10-hour steady charge, 2.5-hour fast charge or PiggyBack charger

Defining Features: Delivering maximum illumination with a wide beam is what the Stinger LED HL rechargeable is all about. This high-lumen flashlight delivers 640 lumens over 297 meters. The multi-function on/off push-button switch lets you choose three lighting modes and strobe, and the deep-dish parabolic reflector produces optimum peripheral illumination. The body is machined aircraft aluminum with a non-slip rubberized comfort grip (anti-roll rubber ring included).

Manufacturer’s Comment: “Designed to be worn on an officer’s belt. It only runs on the nickel metal hydride battery—NiCad has heavy toxic metals, nickel metal hydride does not. Charges in 2.5 hours.” —Jeff Orr, Regional Sales Manager



MSRP: $271.50


  • Light Source: HD LED 5, 12 watt
  • Output: 1,200 lumens
  • Runtime: 45 minutes high output; three hours low output
  • Batteries: Two 18650 lithium batteries and charger included
  • Length:8.5 inches
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Colors:Black matte
  • Included Accessories: Lithium battery charger

Defining Features: The beam of intense white light that shines from the new Barska 1,200 Lumen FLX Flashlight goes on for miles. It comes with rechargeable batteries and charger. The 12watt output lasts for hours on a single charge. Designed for military and law enforcement, this flashlight is shock-proof and can be used defensively.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “The FLX features a 1,200-lumen lamp and is flat-out powerful. Hand-held or weapon-mounted, it lights your way through any situation.” —Ryan Hills, Product Specialist



MSRP: $129.95


  • Light Source:CREE bulb
  • Output: Ultra bright, 900 lumens; high, 145 lumens; low, 30 lumens; strobe, 900 lumens; S.O.S., 900 lumens
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Power: A/C rechargeable

Defining Features: Guard Dog Security’s widest and brightest beam is the Solaire 900 Lumen Tactical Flashlight. This blinding beam spans 20 yards wide and can fully illuminate an enclosed area more than two football fields away. The Solaire has a completely waterproof body and anti-roll shaft. Additionally, the glowing green O-rings ensure the light won’t get lost in the dark.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “Drop it or drown it, the Solaire is the premium in tactical flashlights.”—Yasir Sheikh, Director Of Marketing



MSRP: $49.99


  • Light Source: LED
  • Output: 208 lumens
  • Runtime: 6 hours, 15 minutes
  • Beam Distance: 419 feet
  • Batteries: Three AAA (included)
  • Length: 4.7 inches
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Colors:Black

Defining Features: The Coast PX25 LED Flashlight outputs 208 lumens in a convenient-to-carry package. It produces a focused spot out to about 419 feet along with an outer ring of light, allowing broader side vision. The PX25 has been tested and rated to ANSI/FL1 standards.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “It goes anywhere, lights a great area and takes a beating.” —Kevin Corcoran, Marketing Communications Manager


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2014 print issue of American Survival Guide.