You are probably thinking what does a flashlight have to do with firearms. In the event of a nighttime emergency it is critical to be able to identify and illuminate a threat. I got to thinking about that while using a small LED flashlight we had and posted on a local forum for flashlight suggestions. Some people suggested the tactical route which is not really what I was after. What I really wanted was a fairly inexpensive small LED with an end push button which could be easily stashed in a drawer, center console or glove compartment. I quickly found the old Rayovac flashlights don’t cut it anymore. Someone suggested a Coleman from WalMart and so I went and checked out the selection at a local store and it was quite pitiful. Later in the week I was at another WallyWorld and found a 90 Lumen with 9 1/2 hours of run time for $20 with tax. I decided to purchase it and try it out. It came with batteries and is probably the brightest flashlight I had owned up to that point. Below is a YouTube review of that flashlight.
Later in the post someone had suggested a three pack of flashlights from Costco which were 150 lumens for $20 plus tax. I went to my local Costco and they had a three pack of 200 lumen for $13.99 plus tax so I bought the package. The run time is 1 hour at full strength, 4 hours at 30% full strength and the light also has a strobe mode. I tried them out when I got home and initially did not believe the light was as bright as the Coleman, but later that night did a side by side comparison and found it was much, much brighter. They are a little shorter than the Coleman by about a half inch, but still work easily in my hand. I plan to pick up more packages my next time in the store.
Someone suggested that a quality flashlight will have the ANSI ratings on the package which clearly can be seen for the Coleman in the video and for the Costco lights on the package. What I did find interesting is the FL-1 rating has an impact test which requires the light be dropped six times on concrete and still function to achieve the rating. Since we have no better measurement for how a flashlight will withstand recoil I believe this is the best we can do to know how it might perform. Most lights I checked are 1 to 1.5 meter which in reality is not a great height. The Coleman and Costco are both 1 meter, some of the more expensive brands go to 1.5 meters. I guess if one really needed a light to be used on a firearm they must go by what the manufacturer says in terms of the ability to withstand recoil. Since the lights I have purchased are for home use I believe they will function just fine. I may eventually head to the range and try them with some pistol drills to see if they still function properly after being subjected to that type of abuse.
So if you need an inexpensive LED flashlight I suggest you head to your local Costco and see what they have. The price is certainly right!