As tools go, construction pros demand a lot from their flashlights. They must be bright enough to make working under cabinets and in crawlspaces easy, and also must stand up to being repeatedly dropped, jammed between pipes and boards for balance, and even bitten on when a third hand isn’t available. New models on the market take all these demands into consideration.
“It used to be that we would need multiple LEDs to get a brightness equivalent to our brightest flashlights,” says Klein Tools product manager Chris Niklas. “LEDs are more sophisticated now, so only one is needed, and the price is more affordable.” Klein Tools’ new line of 10 flashlights (above) includes everything from penlights to full-size, heavy-duty models, and all feature various facets, clips, and cords to keep them in place. The line also has three Recoil LED models. Unlike other flashlights that put the lamp at the back of the lens and reflect the light forward, the Recoil models place the LED at the front of the lens where the light is fired backward onto the reflector. “This creates a much more concentrated beam that’s as bright as an incandescent light,” Niklas says.
At Stanley, steady placement is also important, and the 3-in-1 LED Tripod Flashlight (below) combines that with a lot of versatility. The tool lets users mount three LED flashlights on a tripod base to create a bright jobsite light. “In the base, all three flashlights are adjustable, so the contractor can point one on his work, one on his toolbox, and one on his supplies,” says product marketing manager Tom Chang. Users can also remove the flashlights and use them individually. “The flashlights are designed with five angles and a rotating head, so the contractor can make sure the light is pointed in the right direction,” Chang says. Additionally, all three lights “speak” to one another. When one is removed from the tripod, the other two turn off; they turn back on when the light is replaced.
Finally, Duracell now also offers its compact DayLite LED flashlight with TrueBeam technology. Three models are available with lights that adjust from spot to flood.
LED technology helps ensure long battery and lamp life for flashlights, but as Niklas notes, the price points make them easily replaceable. “Flashlights are one of the most often lost tools on the jobsite,” he says, “and even if they’re able to keep track of it, many contractors will just use a flashlight until the batteries run out, and then get a new one.” With prices ranging from about $20 to $50, contractors can afford to keep a few around to brighten things up.