3 Reasons to Ditch Your Smartphone “Flashlight” and Get the Real Deal

Let’s face it, many of us prefer convenience. Today’s technology has bundled our needs together into compact devices. We’re now able to call, read mail, news, and even navigate from one item in the palm of our hand.

But all tools have limits, and our smartphones are no different. They’re relatively delicate, expensive to replace and may not excel where we need them to in certain functions. There is a particularly popular feature on smartphones that’s essential for everyday use, but it wholly insufficient.

The flashlight feature on phones can be handy for finding your keys when you drop them in a movie theater, but the usefulness stops there. The flashlight feature on most smartphones is simply an extension of the camera’s flash. The effective range is limited to a few feet, and is part of a fragile platform.

The simple and effective solution to this is to carry a flashlight on your person.

Lighting technology has come a long way since your dad’s Maglite. Lights the size of a pinky finger can cast intense beams of light over long distances.

The construction of modern lights also allows them to be used for self-defense.

Many lights are built from aluminum with bezels carved out to be more effective blunt striking weapons. Some also come with strobe functions that can allow the user to disorient an attacker or signal for help.

They’re quicker to operate and function far better than cell phone lights for clearing a room, finding your car in a dark parking lot, or navigating the office during a power outage.

Today’s light market offers near endless options for users.

The main things to consider with lights are the power source, output and run-time. CR 123 type batteries will generally provide more power and longer battery life, but AA and AAA batteries are more common and less expensive.

For run-time, look for a light that has a high power function that runs for more than an hour and a low function that lasts for more than 24 hours. How bright you need your light to be depends on what you’re doing on a daily basis.

Having a proper flashlight on your person allows you to be ready for a variety of scenarios.

If the power goes you in your workplace, you’re a pocket away from lighting up the room and servicing the outage or making your way around in the building (this has happened to me on a few occasions). You also have another self-defense tool at your disposal with the light working as a blinding and striking tool.

A light can also prevent an attack by making it known that you’re aware and actively looking for threats that may be around you in a dark environment.

Remember, there’s no app for being prepared. Don’t get left in the dark.