Firefighters are some of the bravest people in the world. They’re an essential part of our society, and they do significant work to ensure that people are safe. Only the bravest and the boldest can do this job, and they should be celebrated like the true heroes they are!
For firefighters to do their job correctly and more efficiently, they need a great deal of equipment. They need to help keep people safe from raging fires, but firefighters also need to be safe on their own.
One of the essential tools for any firefighter is a flashlight. They provide much-needed illumination and make it easier for the firefighters to find their way around. If you’re a firefighter or looking to be one, you need to have the best flashlight you can get your hands on. To make things easier for you, we’ve laid out some of the top choices available in the market for you.
The Best Firefighter Flashlights
Now, to the meat of why you’re here. You’re a firefighter, and you’d like to find the best flashlights available to you. Well, let’s see what is available when it comes to the best-rated firefighter’s flashlight to keep you safe on the job.
Kicking off our list of the best-rated firefighter flashlights is the Streamlight 90757 Knucklehead Spot Flashlight. Streamlight is one of the most recognizable brands for developing luminous equipment, and this is one of the products that got the company’s name on the map.
We primarily picked the Streamlight 90757 Knucklehead Spot Flashlight for several reasons, but none is quite as crucial as the flashlight’s durability. The flashlight is built with a nylon material that can withstand some of the roughest contacts you could imagine.
This durable feature is further enhanced by the polycarbonate lens and its silicone coating. This Streamlight 90757 Knucklehead Spot Flashlight is your sure companion for when the firefighting mission becomes dicier.
With a solid base, this flashlight stands tall and is convenient to use. All you have to do is place it on a flat surface, and it will be able to clear your way. Even better is the fact that the flashlight is also durable. So, if you want to use it as a handheld, feel free.
The water-resistance feature of the Streamlight 90757 Knucklehead Spot Flashlight is incredible. Thanks to an O-ring placement that covers all openings and prevents water from getting into the flashlight.
For performance, there’s a lot to love as well. This flashlight offers C4 LED lighting, which offers up to 50,000 hours of performance and shock-resistant circuitry. Its parabolic reflector allows the flashlight to beam light even farther to help you see much deeper without having to move.
- You get different charging options
- The flashlight offers a highly durable body
- You also get optimal flexibility
- The bottom magnet makes it a bit difficult to operate the flashlight’s clip
Streamlight 69189 Vantage LED Helmet Mounted Flashlight
When we said that Streamlight is one of the top options out there, we meant it. This company struck gold with our #1 option, but this is a healthy second choice that you’d love just as much.
Unlike the top pick, the Streamlight 69189 Vantage LED Helmet Mounted Flashlight is a helmet-mounted flashlight. So, it already gets bonus points for convenience. Simply attach the flashlight to your helmet, and you’re ready to roll.
Besides its convenient design, this flashlight also offers a rugged build. Its material is a chemical-resistant, high-impact polymer LED housing, resisting impact, shock, and high temperatures. The O-rings feature of the Streamlight 69189 Vantage LED Helmet Mounted Flashlight ensures water resistance functionality. At the same time, it features a 6.4-ounce weight which means that you don’t even feel like there’s anything on your head when you strap this flashlight onto your safety helmet.
These firefighters’ work flashlight is only battery-powered. But, it more than makes up for that with C4 technology, which allows it to produce up to three times the luminous intensity of some top LED lights. It’s on/off feature is also great, allowing you to operate the light with heavy gloves. What else could you possibly need?
- A very sturdy build
- Flexible 360-degree swivel
- Temperature-resistant material
- Only battery-operates
Nightstick FDL-300R-K01 Helmet Light
Nightstick is another company that has become pretty popular for the quality of its products. The FDL-300KR-K01 Helmet Light gives you everything you need as a firefighter and more, and it also comes in at a pretty competitive price.
This safety helmet light is especially great for being so versatile. It comes with an entire system, allowing you to attach it to your helmet. Even better, you can attach the light to any part of your helmet. So, feel free to try anything.
The Nightstick FDL-300R-K01 Safety Helmet Flashlight comes with a glass-filled nylon polymer material with an aluminum alloy. That’s pretty durable, ensuring that you never get stranded while on your mission. However, you should note that its runtime is capped at just three hours. That’s not quite the best, but it should be enough to get you through the day without having to change your batteries. Lastly, the
Waterproof features are tremendous and offer extra protection for your trusted flashlight, and its 180-lumen brightness rating isn’t so bad. For its price, this flashlight gets an A rating.
- Strong waterproof rating
- Versatility in operation
- Limited runtime
Streamlight 90627 Knucklehead Work Light
The Knucklehead 90627 Work Light makes it to our list for several reasons, even though it might be a bit on the expensive side. As you’d expect from a Streamlight product, the Knucklehead offers a strong body made with a nylon polymer material. It is waterproof, shockproof, and chemical-resistant. So, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to safety as you will be protected.
The Streamlight 90627 Knucklehead Work Light offers 200 lumens of brightness with a 360-degree oscillating head when it comes to performance.
Its on/off button is also easy to operate with heavy gloves, and you get up to 3.5 hours of runtime when the flashlight is on high brightness.
With reduced brightness, you’ll be able to use the flashlight for a whopping 16 hours! With a 68-meter beam distance and compatibility with charging and manual batteries, you can’t go wrong with this flashlight. The Streamlight 90627 Knucklehead Work Flashlight is a bit bulky at 1 pound in weight, but that’s not so bad because it makes up for it with other significant functions.
- High brightness rating
- Flexible components
- Long battery life
- Bulky frame
BrightStar Responder Right Angle Flashlight
The name pretty much says it all – BrightStar. And boy, is this flashlight a joy to behold! Regardless of your activity level, the BrightStar Responder Right Angle Flashlight is sure to deliver. It gives the trifecta, offering a proper mixture of brightness, safety, and a lightweight build.
With a 205-lumen brightness rating, you won’t need to strain your eyes with the BrightStar Responder Right Angle Flashlight as the light uses optic technology, which distributes light to a customized beam pattern. Thanks to this technology, the flashlight is perfectly able to penetrate areas that are covered up by smoke.
As a firefighter, you understand the importance of this.
BrightStar claims that the flashlight offers up to 477 meters of beam distance, so you get good functionality from it. The flashlight has an incredibly lightweight and slim body, which will work to your advantage in dicey situations. Thanks to this feature, the flashlight will barely even be noticeable on your body. Just keep it on you, and it will stick. That’s an assurance of convenience.
The BrightStar Responder Right Angle Flashlight makes it easy for you to switch from its rechargeable setting to manual alkaline batteries. BrightStar claims that this flashlight will deliver 4 hours of optimal performance on a single charge, so that should be more than enough to get you in and out of buildings. It uses a lithium-ion battery, which is the industry standard for its efficiency. The battery is also relatively light, so it doesn’t add to the flashlight’s weight at all.
- High brightness rating
- Stainless steel clip
- Seamless power switching
- No SOS mode for emergencies
Streamlight 69331 Vantage II Helmet-Mounted Flashlight
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think this flashlight was the same as the one above. But, it’s not quite the same. They are incredibly similar, but there are instances where you might find this one to be better.
For instance, the Streamlight 69140 Vantage LED Tactical Helmet-Mounted Flashlight offers a staggering 350 lumens in brightness. Its lowest brightness offering is 135 lumens – much higher than what you’d get with several other options on this list. So, can at least rest assured of impressive brightness.
We also especially love the flashlight’s waterproof nature, which allows you to dip it in water for up to 30 minutes. It is limited to just 1 meter, but that’s still something.
This flashlight gives you 118 meters in beam coverage for its high beam. But, doing this will drop its battery life to just 2.25 hours. It makes up for that with a safety feature that prevents any accidental activation. In some scenarios, this can be pretty effective.
With 360-degree use and a clamp feature, flexibility is also sure for this flashlight
- Different options for brightness and distance
- A safety feature is available
- Strong waterproof capabilities
- It also doesn’t attach to all helmets
Streamlight 69140 Vantage LED Tactical Helmet-Mounted Flashlight
This tactical helmet is one of the most popular from Streamlight. It stands out for several reasons, including but not limited to its rugged and robust look. Its polymer material is chemical and heat-resistant while preventing water from getting to the major components.
An extensive clamp system is also present to easily attach the flashlight to your helmet so it stays fit. The Streamlight 69140 Vantage LED Tactical Helmet-Mounted Flashlight gives a 360-degree rotation movement, so you’re guaranteed flexibility as you use the flashlight.
The light you get from this product comes from a Lithium power source, guaranteeing optimal brightness. Interestingly, you will also find a blue tail light that helps in some close-call scenarios. The Streamlight 69140 Vantage LED Tactical Helmet-Mounted Flashlight has a brightness rating of 115 lumens which ensures that you can see your field of view clearly and easily. You will have no problems operating it with heavy gloves on, too.
- Easy to mount
- Operates with heavy gloves
- Flexible neck
- It doesn’t fit all helmets
FoxFury Command+ LoPro Helmet Light
The FoxFury Command+ LoPro Helmet Flashlight is another excellent choice for anyone looking for incredible illumination and brightness for your safety and protection.
As you would expect, this light comes with a fire-resistant construction. The material is solid and sturdy, combining nylon with a polycarbonate lens and a firm silicone cable. You can feel comfortable walking into a fire with this on.
We noticed that the FoxFury Command+ LoPro Helmet Flashlight comes with three lighting modes.
So, you can set things up however you’d like. There’s also a wide-angle beam that will improve your ability to see clearly. In dire situations where you need everything to be perfect, this will come in handy.
This helmet light offers you a 14-hour battery life; this makes it very reliable, especially in long rescue missions that can be pretty dangerous. Interestingly, the flashlight also gives you a mixture of green and white LED lights. This feature will help improve your ability to perceive colors while also helping you to handle situations.
The FoxFury Command+ LoPro Helmet Light slim design won’t affect you in any way, although its reliance on batteries alone limits your functionality a little bit.
- Three light modes
- Wide-angle beam for better clarity
- Long battery life
- Low lumen rating
Streamlight 44450 Fire Vulcan LED Standard System Flashlight
Streamlight makes yet another entry on our list, thanks to the 44450 Fire Vulcan LED flashlight. This is another of Streamlight’s most popular products, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The body of this flashlight is made of a high-impact ABS thermoplastic material, as well as a cushioned grip handle that allows you to hold it firm but comfortably.
The Fire Vulcan also comes with one of the broadest modes ranges available. You get eight different brightness settings, all perfect for different situations. Its highest lumen rating is 180, while its lowest is 80 lumens. Not too bad, although not the best for sure.
As you would expect, this Streamlight 44450 Fire Vulcan LED Standard System Flashlight has an excellent waterproof rating. It can stay one meter underwater for up to half an hour without stress. Its LED lights offer up to 50,000 hours in a lifetime, so all you have to do is to take care of the flashlight, and you will have no reason to worry.
On a single charge, this safety helmet and hard hat flashlight promise 5 hours of operation. However, we noticed that it is a bit too bulky for a handheld flashlight. So, you want to be a bit careful with this one—still, it’s a great overall option.
- Impressive brightness rating
- Up to 8 modes
- ide-angle beams
- The bulky frame isn’t the best
Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight
Well, we started the list with Streamlight. It seems only fitting that we end it with the same manufacturer. Say hello to the 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight – a durable handheld flashlight that delivers everything you need to see and walk clearly.
As a firefighter, you need durability and reliability from your flashlight. The PolyTac offers all of this and more, thanks to its nylon polymer material and C4 LED technology. The technology itself helps to resist shock, adding to the material’s heat and water-resistant nature. Wherever you choose to go, the flashlight goes with you.
The flashlight gives you 3 hours of uninterrupted use, with two Lithium-ion batteries that guarantee a shelf life of up to ten years.
We were particularly impressed by the flashlights’ brightness. Its high output gives 600 lumens, while the medium level gives 260 lumens. For low, you get just 35 lumens. You also get a strobe that helps with signaling.
A push-button helps with easy operation, with Streamlight ditching the famous on/off button. But, we noticed that the button is a bit flimsy. If you’re wearing heavy gloves, it might not be the best for you.
- High brightness rating
- Strong water resistance
- It comes with an emergency strobe
- Flimsy power button
What Are Firefighter Flashlights?
What Makes a Firefighter Flashlight So Different?
Why Do Firefighters Need Flashlights?
Firefighters will need to have flashlights for different reasons. Some of them include:
Illumination and sight
This is pretty much a no-brainer, of course. Firefighters need to be able to see easily, especially when they’re on active duty. Thick smoke is a real pain in the neck to deal with, and a firefighter will need good vision to do their work and save as many people as they can.
The job of a firefighter is never easy. Besides both their eyes, firefighters will also need to work with their hands. If they need to carry stuff or move items from their way, they very well can’t do that with one hand holding a light.
Interestingly, many firefighters hold spare flashlights. However, they’re not so practical when it’s time to get down to the actual work.
Signals for emergencies
Sometimes, firefighters get into emergencies and will be unable to get out on their own. If their unit sends a rescue party, the flashlight can send out an SOS signal or direct the rescue party to the firefighter’s location.
There are many instances where a firefighter could get stuck. Or, they could find someone in a burning building who can’t get up or help themselves. In such instances, the flashlight will be essential in calling for and getting help.
Ease for crawling
Suppose a firefighter needs to get into a crawling position seeing while carrying a flashlight. You don’t want to sacrifice your ability to move fast, to see clearly. Firefighter flashlights are placed inside the helmet, so you can easily see while enjoying the comfort you need to move fast in your crawling position.
As a firefighter, you will be in situations where you need to crawl. Having a flashlight will be handy at points like these.
The Different Types of Firefighter Flashlights
Like many things needed by firefighters, flashlights come in different forms. Generally, your choices are limited to the following types:
Handheld right-angle flashlights
If you’re the type of firefighter who prefers to have the flashlight in hand, you will want to have one of these. These are tactical lights that you hold. They’re trendy because they’re easy to use and focus on a specific spot. If you have a crack or a crevice in a spot, you could even use these flashlights to find your way pretty quickly.
The handheld right-angle flashlights also tend to be great when you need to see something far away but can’t reach it. Most of them are large and will need several batteries. You’ll find many of them with additional functions like zoom, which will increase power supply and brightness in dire situations.
The helmet-mounted flashlight is the ideal choice for the firefighter who loves compactness and convenience. These flashlights are smaller and easier to use than many others, so they’re perfect for quick-action situations.
These flashlights are firmly held in your helmet, allowing you to enjoy the use of both your hands. So, they give you the best of both worlds. These are your best bet if you need to read something or carry a heavy object while still seeing. The flashlights offer optimal light and illumination, and you can even remove them and use them as handheld flashlights if you like.
The headlamps look a lot like the helmet-mounted flashlights, but they’re not particularly the same thing. They can be worn around the helmet, and they’re pretty effective. While they’re smaller than the handheld flashlights, they deliver comparable luminous intensity.
These flashlights are probably the biggest and bulkiest of the bunch. But, while their weight is a disadvantage, they more than makeup for it with their immense brightness. Thanks to their size, floodlights are ideal for areas like hallways, large rooms, and other massive spaces. You simply light them up, lay them down on a surface, and move around without having to bother about adjustments. A single floodlight should be fit to clear out the entire room.
It is also worth noting that these lights tend to be much more expensive than the other options. So, you should get ready to open your wallet when you get these ones.
What to Consider Before You Buy a Firefighter Flashlight
Now that you know what firefighter flashlights are and what you can do with them, it’s time to consider the factors that should inform your decision. You don’t just want to get the first flashlight that you see, so let these factors guide you:
Ideally, you will have to choose from two beam types. The first is flood beams, which are especially great if you’re in an open space. The flood beams offer enough light, allowing you to see everything you need to.
On the other hand, the spot beams are designed to focus on a specific part of the room. They give better visibility to this part and ensure that you can see everything you need to.
Depending on your preference, you should be fit to make a choice. However, you should know that some flashlights offer a combination of these two. So, those are essentially the gold standard. We will recommend these two so that you don’t limit your ability to get optimal views whenever you need them.
The beam distance is a metric that determines how far the light will travel when you’re using the flashlight. So, it tells how far you will be able to see when you’re in action. Some manufacturers offer the measurement in meters, while others check for feet. When looking for the right option, keep an eye on the maximum functional distance for the beam. Of course, you want to get a light with as long a beam as possible.
Also known as the brightness rating, this is simply a measure of how bright the flashlight will be. It is taken in lumens, and the value you see represents how high-quality the light you get will be. So, while the beam distance tells how far the light goes, this metric tells how bright it will even be.
Unlike beam distance, however, this isn’t a clear-cut thing. We generally recommend going for a flashlight with a higher brightness rating. Still, you also want to find one that can focus well. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to do some close-up activities, you’ll be glad you got a light with excellent focus brightness.
All firefighter flashlights use batteries. So, it would be best to make sure that the battery on whichever light you choose is solid and practical.
For this metric, you need to consider two things – battery life and battery consumption. A flashlight with a longer battery life means that you won’t have to spend so much money on replacement batteries. Also, a reduction in replacement batteries cuts down on the load you need to put in your kit. Most firefighter flashlights come with pretty good batteries, so you should have no issues finding an ideal one.
However, you should also consider battery consumption. Some firefighter flashlights come with built-in zoom functions that allow them to focus on a specific spot and deliver a massive influx of light. If you need to check something but can’t reach it, you’ll find that the zoom function will be handy.
But, the problem is that this function will have a significant effect on the battery. With battery consumption rising, you will find that replacement batteries will still be a necessity. So, you need the best of both worlds – a flashlight with long battery life and low consumption.
One of the most important things to you as a firefighter will be your weight. You don’t need something weighing you down as you try to work and evade danger. This is especially true if you will have a flashlight in your helmet. The lighter the flashlight, the better for you. Thankfully, many of the options available are already pretty light. So, you probably won’t have much of a problem in this regard.
However, you should also note that many light flashlights tend to have smaller batteries. So, they might not deliver the best battery life. Just keep searching, and you should be fit to get a flashlight that works for you.
Your flashlight should be fit to help you in the most pressing situations. The more modes the light has, the easier you will find using it to be. You should look for something with an SOS mode, which will help you to call out for assistance if you need it in a situation. Also, you should be fit to switch between two beam types – as we pointed out.
While many features will cost you more money, you’ll find them to be more helpful. Whatever helps you to be more effective at work, try to incorporate it.
It goes without saying that your firefighter flashlight will need to be waterproof. Sas a firefighter, you’ve probably been told that you will get pretty wet several times over. So, your flashlight should be fit to handle some splashes as well.
Many of the flashlights with the best performance underwater have O-rings that are built around their components. They also have rubber gaskets that will seal their bodies. These features will prevent the entry of water into their bodies and protect their inner components.
The ideal firefighter flashlight will need to have shockproofing features as well. If you have a helmet light, its position means that it will need to handle enough pressure and contact. Remember – you’re a firefighter. Your light needs to be just as tough as you.
One of the worst things is for your flashlight to shatter due to contact and leave you stranded. So, check out its shockproofing features and make sure that it is tough – at least, to an extent.
You will also need to consider your budget when getting a firefighter flashlight. Of course, the rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t get something that is too expensive. But, you also need to keep in mind that quality costs money. While there’s no need to go bankrupt just because you want to get a flashlight, you need to pay for the type of quality you want to get.
Proper Care Tips
Take out the batteries
If you’re not using the flashlight at the moment, you might want just to take the batteries out. This is especially true if you have a flashlight that you don’t use most of the time.
Many of us tend to leave our flashlight batteries in when we aren’t using the device, but that’s not so healthy. The old batteries leak acid into the flashlight’s terminal and corrode the entire thing. If the batteries are still in the flashlight, that could damage the entire thing.
So, if you’re looking to keep the flashlight operational for as long as possible, you need to take the batteries out when it’s not being used.
Avoid water as much as you can
Yes, most firefighter flashlights are rated waterproof to a point. And yes, you will most likely come in contact with water as a firefighter. But, as much as you can, don’t let the flashlight come in contact with water.
Some people even dip the flashlights into the water just for the fun of it. That’s wrong.
Let the flashlight be a flashlight
It’s alluring to think that a flashlight can double as something else – a hammer, a makeshift crowbar, etc. You’d be perplexed at the number of people who abuse their flashlights.
The fact that a firefighter’s flashlight is rugged doesn’t mean it should be subjected to abuse. Just use it for its intended purpose, and you should be more than satisfactory.
Keep your flashlight clean
As a firefighter, you’ll be in the muck and have to do enough dirty work. It can be a bit of a challenge, and your flashlight will get the brunt of it as well. This is why you should spend some time cleaning it regularly.
If you notice that your flashlight has plenty of knurling, simply find a cotton-made swab and put it in alcohol. Use the cotton swab to clean all the dirt. The cotton swabs can also clean the battery compartment and remove any acid and leaking materials.
You also need to know how best to clean your flashlight. For the outer part, get a clean towel and soak the towel with some rubbing alcohol. To remove the dirt, rub the flashlight over the surface.
Keep your flashlight lubricated
File this under the care and safety tips that might look a bit weird. The flashlight doesn’t have any moving parts, so you probably don’t know why it needs lubrication. However, lubrication is essential if you want to keep your flashlight working as it should. Get some silicone lubricant on the flashlight’s threads, and you’ll see how well they help it to move.
If your flashlight is waterproof, then you want to check its O-rings and lubricate those as well. This will prevent them from cracking or getting damaged, and by extension, prevent water entry into the internal components of your flashlight.
Most Common Asked Questions
Should a firefighter flashlight be bulky?
No, it shouldn’t; whether you’re holding it or attaching it to your helmet, you want something light and easy to maneuver.
What is the best type of firefighter flashlight?
The answer to this will depend on the situation. If you’re looking for flexibility, the helmet-mounted flashlights are pretty great. But, flow-mounted lights and handheld flashlights also offer some benefits of their own.
What is the best way to clean my firefighter flashlight?
You can get a microfiber cloth and soak it in some alcohol. Rub it on the flashlight’s exterior, and you should be good to go.
What is the best position for a firefighter flashlight?
You can use your flashlight however you want.
Should I check if my helmet and flashlight are a good fit?
We recommend that you do this. Some flashlights don’t work with every helmet, and you don’t want to get a mismatch- especially if you’re buying the flashlight online.
Firefighters will need flashlights to do their jobs more effectively. These tools are essential as they keep firefighters active and able to see in the thick smoke.
As many would expect, firefighter flashlights need to be durable. You can’t just get a regular old flashlight and try to use it in a rescue mission; This is why manufacturers do a great deal to ensure that these flashlights are of the best quality.
Suppose you’re considering moving into the firefighting profession. In that case, any of the flashlights listed above should be more than good enough to get you through.
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