Skip to content

Search and Rescue LED Flashlight

Choosing a LED Search And Rescue Flashlight

Search and rescue flashlights are the most powerful torches on the market.

The sky is the limit with outputs reaching as high as 100,000 lumens, but to help you decide just how much power you need in your S&R flashlight, we’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind.

Different Types Of LED Search And Rescue Flashlights

Many of the largest flashlights in our store are search and rescue flashlights, but these torches can be surprisingly compact, too.

For most search and rescue applications, lights will fall into one of three main categories: Searchlights, spotlights, and compacts.

Searchlights are the largest in the category and can be identified by their full-sized frames and large, powerful reflectors. These are the highest-powered, longest-reaching torches on the market, and will typically feature active cooling systems like internal fans or radiators to manage the heat they generate.

Spotlights are essentially hand-held searchlights, which use high-quality reflectors and LEDs to get the most throw possible out of a smaller chassis. These won’t quite have the power of full-sized searchlights, but they still pack impressive beam throws in a more portable package.

Compact Searchlights are EDC-sized torches that still manage high enough outputs and throws to be used in search and rescue. Throw distances aren’t as long as the larger lights in the category, but can still reach several hundred meters on a full charge.

Why Do You Need An LED Search And Rescue Flashlight?

Search and rescue flashlights are most useful for outdoor applications.

They typically include lower output modes for indoor or extended use, but their main focus will be searching and exploration outside in the darkness.

Search and rescue flashlights are especially popular for hunting at night, as their long-range performance can help spot and track games from afar.

How Bright Does Your S&R Flashlight Need To Be?

That all depends on how you intend to use it.

Most customers prefer an S&R torch to produce at least 1500 lumens, but for outdoor applications, your focus should be on throw distance rather than peak output.

We recommend a throw of at least 150 yards (140 meters) for basic outdoor use, but many of the searchlights and spotlights in our store offer over 1,000 yards of throw use in open areas.

What Size Should Your S&R Flashlight Be?

If you’re shopping for a full-size searchlight, size doesn’t really matter, since you’ll likely be carrying it on a strap or inside a case rather than attached to your body.

Spotlights are considerably smaller, but still aren’t likely to fit into your pocket, and will require an external holster.

Consider how much output you’ll need, and if a compact light will get the job done, many of these can be found in EDC-friendly sizes under six inches in length and around one inch thick.

Other Features To Look For In Search And Rescue Flashlights:

One of the notable characteristics of S&R lights is the heat they produce.

With power outputs this high, heat is unavoidable, but you should be on the lookout for active heat management features like internal cooling and proximity sensors that help protect your skin and nearby objects from high temperatures.

Safety lockouts are also a key feature as an accidental activation can be a shocking experience and hard on the eyes if you happen to be looking toward the reflector.