The best aviation flashlights are essential for pilots. I know from experience that you need to be able to depend on a flashlight in some of the less ideal circumstances.
Flashlights serve an essential purpose by making it easier to perform inspections before your flight. I must also emphasize the importance of flashlights when reading charts in the cockpit. You don’t want to be fumbling around in the dark!
A helpful bit of news is that high-quality flashlights don’t need to be expensive. I have some recommendations for flashlights that every pilot ought to consider.
Table of Contents
Types of Aviation Flashlights
- Universal aviator’s light – This headlamp-style light uses white light for pre-flight inspects and red light for night vision
- Rechargeable flashlight – Rechargeable flashlights also feature USB ports that you can use to recharge a phone
- Bush pilot flashlight – This type of flashlight is durable, waterproof, and recharges easily from a cigarette lighter
- Cockpit clip flashlight – Clip flashlights allow convenient, hands-free operation in the cockpit
My picks and reviews for best aviation flashlights include:
- an ideal flashlight for universal needs, the Smith & Wesson Night Guard Micro Flashlight
- a perfect flashlight if you need an option that’s rechargeable, the Blukar Flashlight Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
- one of the most versatile options for bush pilots, the WdtPro High-Powered LED Flashlight
- the best flashlight with a cockpit clip option, the COAST® G15 Inspection Beam LED Clip Light
Smith & Wesson Night Guard Micro Flashlight
The Smith & Wesson Night Guard Micro Flashlight is one of the best options I’ve found on the market for universal pilot needs. The LED beams are white and red, making them ideal for inspections and night-vision chart reading in the cockpit.
In addition to the standard dual-beam light, I was pleased to find a quad-beam option. Slim, elite, micro, and elite dual beam options were choices I enjoyed.
The 2.25 hr battery life is entirely sufficient for my needs. Although AAA batteries are easy to come by, I appreciated the inclusion of batteries anyway, for greater convenience.
Dual digital buttons make it easy to switch between the white and red beams. However, the best feature I found, by far, was the rugged aluminum construction that allowed drops without substantial damage.
Blukar Flashlight Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
The Blukar Flashlight Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight was the best rechargeable option I found of all the products reviewed. Having an option of buying a single flashlight or a set of two was one of a few helpful features I found with this brand.
I found the performance exceptional, providing an illumination level that would make the flashlight ideal for all outdoor activities. The power consumption is low for the brightness level, which was helpful for me.
The USB cable made charging the flashlight much easier. With a 16 hr battery life, most will be able to use this light for maximum hours without any problems.
This flashlight has strobe and SOS settings as well as high and low. I found being able to use the light as a floodlight or spotlight helpful in hangars with difficult lighting situations.
WdtPro High-Powered LED Flashlight
The WdtPro High-Powered LED Flashlight was one of the most versatile options I found when testing out pilot flashlights. This flashlight provides up to 1,600 lm while only requiring two AA batteries.
I liked how much light this model provides, up to six hrs in a high setting and up to 30 hrs in a low light setting. With a lifespan of up to 50,000 hrs, this light is sure to last.
This light features three modes, with a strobe option in addition to high and low-light modes. I found the presence of a strobe light mode helpful in conserving power, giving this flashlight an advantage over models with five modes and requiring more energy when switching between.
I liked this flashlight’s waterproof construction. Being able to inspect the plane during an unexpected rain shower without worrying about destroying the flashlight is always good.
COAST® G15 Inspection Beam LED Clip Light
In my search for a light with a cockpit clip option, the COAST® G15 Inspection Beam LED Clip Light met my needs. A floodlight beam helps increase the visibility needed in the cockpit area when reading charts and maps.
I enjoyed the beam distance extending out to 62 ft. When I had to view something in the hangar or on the runway while grounded, this beam made it easier to see everything more clearly.
Running the flashlight for up to two hours proved helpful more than once, and I am thankful for this option. The inclusion of a single AAA battery made this light easier for me to use right away.
The best feature this light provided overall was the multi-position clip. Adjusting a light used in the cockpit or for inspections to multiple positions is always helpful.
What do pilots need a flashlight for?
You will need to fly at night during your training for your pilot’s license. A flashlight is helpful for pre-flight activities, as well as to have if you have an electrical malfunction during the flight.
Does a night flight require a flashlight?
Pilots should have at least one reliable flashlight on all night flights. An LED light with white and red opinions or an incandescent flashlight will meet the criteria.
What type of flashlight is best for night flights?
White lights can cause a loss of night vision and are unsuitable for cockpit use. Flashlights with colored lenses in blue, yellow, red, or green are best.
Why do pilots use red flashlights?
Red lights are better able to protect night vision than white lights.
Why do some pilots use green flashlights?
Green lights, like red lights, help pilots preserve their night vision. One of the advantages is that green lights give the eyes a shorter recovery time after turning off the lights.