Flashlights or headlamps are an essential tool in any pilot’s flight bag. Pilots need to be prepared for emergencies or electrical failures at night and the best way to ensure this is by having a quality flashlight with you.
Flashlights can offer a valuable tool during pre-flighting or in the cockpit. They can be a life-saving tool as well, in case of an emergency or electrical failure at night.
The Best Flashlights and Headlamps for Pilots list below will help pilots find the right light for their needs while flying during day or night.
Things to Consider When Buying a Flashlight or Headlamp as a Pilot
Types of Flashlights
When it comes to flashlights, there are a few different options to consider.
To start, we have two main types of lights, the standard flashlights to hold in your hand or the headlamps that mount on your head to free your hands. This second type can be very convenient as you often need both hands in the cockpit. The first type offers more flexibility, mostly out of the cockpit when doing your walk-around, for example.
Furthermore, it’s important to pick a flashlight that can switch to different colors. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the flashlight has a red color, which prevents your eyes from losing their light sensitivity when turning on the light.
It’s a good idea to pick a flashlight that has independent switches for the different colors of light. You don’t want to scroll through blinding white light to get to the night vision-friendly red light.
All of the flashlights mentioned in this guide are able to switch to different colors, including red.
Most flashlights you will find are powered by a few changeable batteries, mostly AA-batteries. Other types might have rechargeable batteries that can plug-in a power outlet or USB port to charge. Although it might be a little more expensive to change AA-batteries frequently, they do offer the advantage of being able to switch quickly, while a rechargeable battery often has to charge for a few hours before it can be used again. Most pilots already have spare Alkaline batteries in their flight bag anyway for headsets and other gear.
The Best Flashlights for Pilots in 2021
1. Ledlenser, P7R Core Rechargeable Flashlight
2. Smith & Wesson M&P Delta Force 1050 Lumen Flashlight
The Smith & Wesson Galaxy M&P Delta Force LED Flashlight is highly durable and functional in any situation. It has 4 modes (Low, High, Strobe and Momentary ON) producing 1050 lumens. The flashlight has a 1-hour 25-minute runtime on High/40-hour 40-minute runtime on Low. It weighs 5.86 oz.
$72.99 $84.99Buy now on Amazon
3. Flight Outfitters Pilot Flashlight
The Pilot Flashlight was designed specifically for aviation. Two buttons will independently control the two types of light. No more scrolling through the blinding white light to get to the red light. The knurled grip and included wrist strap will make keeping the light close at hand easy. For those inevitable times when a pilot holds their flashlight with their mouth, a soft silicon bite ring protects you teeth for scraping against the metal. Uses 3 AAA batteries.
4. Fenix PD36R 1600 Lumen USB rechargeable CREE LED tactical Flashlight
The Best Headlamps for Pilots in 2021
1. Flight Outfitters Headlamp
Flying at night can be a daunting task. Having both hands free to handle the workload during these tense situations is extremely important. This dual-color headlamp puts the right type of light right where you need it without tying up your hands. Dual switches allow you to turn on just the white light, or just the red light. This means you don’t have to scroll through different lights and ruin your night vision. Each color of light has a high and low setting to maximize battery life. Uses 3AAA batteries (included).
2. QUALIS Headlamp Flashlight 170 Lumens with Red/white light
$14.99Buy now on Amazon
3. Coast – 20755 FL85R 700 Lumen Dual Color (White/Red)
$61.34 $64.99Buy now on Amazon
4. Ultra Bright CREE LED Headlamp
A handheld radio is an indispensable part of a pilot's flight bag. We'll help you pick the right one with this definitive guide about the Best Aviation Handheld Radios!
Buying an aviation headset should be a well-thought-out decision. We searched for the best aviation headsets and help you pick the right one in 2021!
This guide will help you decide which kind of flight back you need, whether you're a student pilot, private pilot or professional pilot.