Buying a flashlight is no longer as simple as visiting the local hardware store and deciding between metal and plastic. Buying a flashlight now requires a more detailed analysis of your needs and desires before you can choose a flashlight that works for you. Taking your needs into consideration is the first step. If you want a flashlight for camping and other outdoor endeavors, you are better off with a flashlight that gives you a long range of light; if, however, you are buying a flashlight for emergency blackouts, you are better off with one that has a long-battery life. For home repairs, you need a small flashlight with a strong focal light point rather than one with a big range.
Once you have decided what your needs are, do some research and decide on a budget before buying a flashlight. Believe it or not, some flashlights can be quite expensive, so make sure you know beforehand what you are willing to spend. Anything under $15 US Dollars (USD) will be pretty simple, but once you get over that set price, you have a wide choice of materials and capabilities. Flashlights built for military personnel are also available to the public, but they will cost upwards of $100 USD. They have the advantage of being waterproof and unbreakable, and they may also work in extreme weather conditions, when other flashlights would fail.
When buying a flashlight, it's a wise idea to think about battery life. Not only can it become expensive to replace batteries often, but it's also quite damaging to the environment. If you use your flashlight everyday, consider one that works with rechargeable batteries. Nickel-cadmium batteries are inexpensive, quick to recharge, and as effective as regular batteries.
The last thing to keep in mind when buying a flashlight is bulb color. When most people automatically pick a white light, there are other options in the market. Red and green lights are optimal for the outdoor person who wishes to walk around at night without spooking wildlife. Blue, on the other hand, provides the brightest type of light and is ideal for spot-on lighting.