Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 7: The Best Flashlights

Hopefully you already have a stash of flashlights strategically placed around the house in case of a power outage. I keep a flashlight in every major room of my house, in addition to the car and a small one in my purse. You may have double-checked your flashlights in early spring to prepare for spring storms, but have you neglected them since? Now is the time to check all your flashlights to make sure they are in working order.

If you have had your flashlights for a few years, you might need to replace the bulbs. It’s probably a good idea to buy back-up bulbs just in case you need them. Even if you have replaced batteries recently, purchase an extra set for each flashlight. The chemical reaction in batteries slows down during extremely cold temperatures. When batteries run low they cannot make enough current to keep a charge. I like Energizer e2 lithium batteries.

I have a variety of flashlights. For my bedroom, it is a bright D-cell battery MagLite. It is bright enough to illuminate my way through the house and hefty enough to be used as a weapon if necessary. In the living room, I prefer stand-alone, lantern-style flashlights. During a power outage, I want a wide enough beam to read and play games.

Flashlights come in an exhaustive list of shapes, sizes, functions, features, and lumens. However for power outages, the best flashlights are LEDss, have multiple power options, such as crank power and battery back-up, are hands free, and provide enough illumination to light up a room. LEDs use less battery power than Xenon or incandescent. Use candles only as back up for when all your flashlights fail.

In the case of a power outage, what are the best flashlights? Here is a list of a few of my favorites.

Energizer Emergency Weatheready Station

This 100 lumen lantern-style LED provides a 360-degree area of illumination. Powered by the crank or eight AA batteries, the Energizer Weatheready lantern also has a NOAA emergency radio receiver and alerts, plus a built-in USB port to charge your cell phone.

Streamlight Knucklehead Rechargeable Work Light

Operating hands-free, the Knucklehead has a rotating and tilting head for 360-degree illumination. A 200 lumen LED has four modes, including strobe and “moonlight.” Moonlight, low-power mode runs for 20 days. Streamlight’s Knucklehead uses NiCad or four AA batteries.

Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Lantern

The Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-day lantern has only one power source—three D batteries. You can remove the globe on the lantern and hang the entire unit upside down for use as an area light. The LED has three modes, including an SOS flashing mode.

Industrial Revolution Arka Lantern/Flashlight

The  Arka light’s built-in rechargeable battery will charge your cell phone with the included USB charger. The CREE LED gives out 180 lumens as a flashlight and doubles as a lantern. It includes three red LEDs to protect night vision or for use as an SOS emergency strobe.

Surefire Minimus Tactical LED Headlamp

The best tactical lights come from Surefire and the extremely weatherproof Minimus headlamp is perfect for both indoor and outdoor tasks. The 100 lumen LED is built into a 90-degree rotating lamp. It includes a comfortable head strap and red filter. Included is a CR123A battery good up to 10 years.

Energizer Solar Light

For smaller areas, maneuvering and shorter tasks, the Energizer solar light provides two hours of light on a five-hour charge. In case of cloud cover, one minute with the  alternative crank provides light for four minutes. It has an LED and a carabineer clip to hang from your belt, pack or hook.

What is your favorite flashlight? Tell us about it in the comment section. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Day 9 of our 30 ways to prepare for winter and in case you missed yesterday’s preparation post, you can find it here.


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Comments (7)

  1. I carry the Fenix PD 35 daily. Gives 900+ lumens for around $70.00. Runs on 2 CR 123 batteries. Also have 2 Fenix PD 32 flashlight at the house and still several nag light that have been converted to LED

  2. Thanks Mike! I suspect your like me and have already begun to buy new led lights that beat old incandescent that just use too much power. I can buy $2-3 led lights anywhere that will beat an old school 3xD Mag light by 10x. I have a 1xAAA Maratec light that will beat the pants off any old 3xD Mag light and less than 1/100 the weight, but of course it’s not good for beating off thugs!!! as it’s the size of a Chap stick. All my old incandescent get turned into led’s or are stored for my own personal antique flashlight museum or thrown out. I have quite a collection of IC bulbs and parts! Go on ebay you can get old IC bulbs by the thousands for cheap!

  3. I agree with BYoung. I have a few cheap incandescent flashlights around the house and I’m just waiting for them to burn out so I can buy LED ones.

  4. The crank radio was called “free play” apparently not available anymore….also had solar backup if using in bright sunlight crank unwound even more slowly adding to play time.

  5. crank-lights are awfull, just use a candle. Years ago you could buy a radio that you could crank for 2-3 mins and it would run for 30-40 mins unwinding fast if high volume or slow if low volume(can’t remember brand name)-somebody should make a light like that.
    If your an incandescent light fan get over it-don’t buy replacement incandescent bulbs-buy conversion LED bulbs(for Mag lights+)batts last 10x longer and brighter for longer. Any FL(flash light) you have around that you don’t have a handful of spare batts to use, buy lithium batts only. I will use candles before using up all my batts if appropriate and manage candle vs. FL usage depending on weather/earthquake/hurricane. I would hate to have all my batts dead and have to go out in a thunderstorm with a candle.

  6. Use surefires for the most part. Rolling with a g2 coyote colored one now. Plan on getting the new 500 lumen one by the end of this year. Crank lights have always produced such low light emission that they usually aren’t worth it. Never bothered with solar energy but I have a feeling its worse than crank after having read a few charge times for lights

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