Over the last year, I’ve been on a quest to track down the best EDC flashlights for under $20. In the process—I’ll be totally honest here—I’ve tested out some truly dismal products. But I’ve also discovered some surprising diamonds in the rough.
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to one of the latter: the Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight.
This is a pocket flashlight that I almost passed right by, but I’m so glad that I took a chance on it. The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight is a tough, reliable EDC light with a simple, straightforward design. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know that I like basic tools that do a single job well. This is one of them.
First Impressions of the Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight
The first thing I notice about the Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight is that it’s got some good, solid heft to it. From tip to tail switch it measures 4.2 inches, and it’s about 0.8” thick. It’s a chunky little guy, right at the upper edge of what I consider comfortable for everyday carry.
That being said, it fits nicely in the hand, and there’s something to be said for a more substantial light that doesn’t get lost in your palm. It has a bit of crosshatch-pattern grip on the barrel, and I don’t get the impression that I would ever have a problem with this light slipping.
The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight is made of durable aircraft grade aluminum with a black finish, and it has a pocket clip that is easily removable and reversible. The flashlight operates with the use of a tail button, which is easy to activate with one’s thumb.
Energizer makes a few models in this family of flashlights ranging as high as 1,000 lumens. This particular model throws 140 lumens, and is sort of the miniature tactical version of the Energizer LED flashlight. On Amazon it’s sold as the “Mini Tac-140” though I don’t see that printed anywhere on the actual packaging.
The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight runs on a single AA battery, and it gets a solid 5 hours of runtime on high (10 hours on low) out of one battery. That’s about par for the course for a flashlight of this size and power.
Best of all, a battery is included! Seriously, this flashlight is made by Energizer—how weird would it be if it didn’t come with a battery?
Generally speaking, one of the best things about AA flashlights compared to AAA flashlights is that they tend to get a longer runtime out of each battery, and that’s definitely the case here. The trade-off is that the flashlight ends up being a little bulkier to accommodate the larger battery, but at the end of the day, I don’t really mind that too much.
One thing to note: I’ve seen some customer reviews that say that the Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight gets extremely hot with continuous use. Just to be sure, I turned mine on high and left it for an hour. It got a little warm, but that’s about it. Definitely nothing out of the ordinary to report there.
The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight has three light modes: high (140 lumens), low (20 lumens) and strobe. The high setting offers a crisp, vivid beam that carries for a solid 70 meters, while the low setting is significantly softer, and well-suited to up-close tasks. The tone of the light has just a bit of yellow-y warmth to it.
You can click through these settings using the tail switch (the pattern goes: high, off, low, off, strobe, off). The flashlight also has a memory, so if you use it on high and then turn it off for more than a couple of seconds, it’ll click back on straight to high rather than cycling through the modes.
I also very much appreciate that the cycle starts with high output. Most flashlights seem to begin with the lowest setting, forcing you to hit the button half a dozen times or more to get to the highest mode. With this one you can go straight to the strongest beam with one click.
When the Energizer flashlight is turned on, you can also cycle through the modes by pressing the tail switch down only partially (not firmly enough to feel the ‘click’). Many other flashlights use this half-press to activate a momentary-on feature, which this does not have. Which you prefer is entirely a matter of preference.
The button itself is made of well-textured rubber. It’s snappy and responsive, and has some solid resistance, which makes it easy to choose between a full-push and half-push. The button is somewhat recessed into the tail of the flashlight, and the rear rim has an indentation on one side for easier thumb access. Basically, you have to hold it at a certain orientation, or else pressing the switch can be a bit awkward.
The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight is strong and sturdy. It weighs just a little over 6 oz. and the aircraft grade aluminum can take quite a beating without affecting the operation of the flashlight. You’ll start to see some wear on the matte black finish, but that’ll happen with any similar flashlight.
I’m a fan of the reversible pocket clip, which can be used to affix the light to a hat brim and essentially transform it into a headlamp. The flashlight also rides very comfortably in my pocket despite being a little bulkier than my usual EDC flashlight.
The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight has an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means that, at minimum, it’s splash-waterproof. I generally translate this rating as: it’ll do fine in the rain, but don’t take it for a swim.
Overall, this is a very capable tactical flashlight for everyday carry. My personal preference tends to be for something a bit smaller (the Microstream from Streamlight is pretty much my gold standard, size-wize) but if you have larger hands or simply prefer a heftier flashlight, then this might be just what you’re looking for.
In any case, you really can’t go wrong at this price point. The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight is definitely worth taking a chance on.
Alan Dale is an experienced backpacker and adventure sports athlete who pays the bills by writing. Married with a small brood, Alan often has his kids in tow on many of his adventures.