Phone or flashlight

We’ve all done it. You have your phone with you all the time. So when it’s dark you use it as a flashlight. Of course you do. It’s so easy. There’s only one problem:

That’s a $1,000 flashlight you have there.

Your phone is a bad flashlight because it’s not durable at all. It’s not terribly bright and it’s incredibly expensive as flashlights go. If it’s all you have then fine, but maybe it shouldn’t be all you have.

Instead of using your phone, make sure you have flashlights around. Solid Signal has a ton of them. You can choose something inexpensive or you can pick this 350-lumen monstrosity that will really light up the night. It all depends on your needs.

Battery or rechargeable?

Flashlights with rechargeable batteries are more convenient and they’re also better for the environment. However you can only recharge about 500 times on average and you can’t replace the batteries. If you’re using the flashlight all the time, choose one with replaceable batteries. If you’re using it only for emergencies, keep it charged.

Small or large?

There are some really tiny flashlights that are super bright but they don’t tend to last long on a charge. Choose a small flashlight if you want convenience, but remember that a big flashlight full of D-cells is going to keep on providing service night after night.


Head-mounted lights can help you keep both hands free if you need. That’s going to be a lot more helpful than telling someone to hold the light steady for you while you’re trying to work in the dark.

Should you cheap out?

Before buying the cheapest flashlight you can find, remember that this is something you’ll need to depend on. Most folks don’t use a flashlight just for fun. They use it to help get out of a jam, and a $5 light isn’t going to do a lot for you if it doesn’t work.

Bottom line…

Keep your phone safe in your pocket so you can make calls with it in the case of an emergency. Don’t risk dropping it or losing it by using it as a flashlight, when you have so many other options to choose from.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.