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A UV flashlight can come in handy more than you think, especially if you live in an insect-populated area. With the right intensity, these flashlights can even be used for water sterilization or detecting bugs and scorpions in the wild. In addition, UV flashlights are a great tool to spot bed bugs on a new or old mattress.
However, finding a suitable UV flashlight can be tricky. There are several factors to consider before buying one, such as the battery type, adjustability, versatility, zoom/beam focus, water resistance ratings, drop rating, and weight.
The ideal UV light is easy to carry, offers a high luminosity flux, is rechargeable, offers adjustability options, and does its job expertly. Luckily, we have many flashlights like that on our list.
If you’re looking for the best UV flashlights to buy in this year, you’re at the right place. This article includes the top 10 picks, detailed reviews, and a comprehensive buyer’s guide.
|Streamlight E-spot Firebox Rechargeable Lanterns
|Maglite Mini 2 Cell AA Incandescent Flashlights
|Princeton Tec 40 Incandescent Handheld Diving Halogen Flashlight
|Mini Maglite AAA 2-cell Incandescent Flashlights
|Esco Lite 51 LED UV Flashlight
Here are the top 10 UV flashlights to check out this year. We’ve discussed their specifications, pros and cons, and included a detailed review for each flashlight.
|6V lead-acid battery
The Streamlight E-spot Firebox Rechargeable Lantern is the best overall UV flashlight for many reasons. First, this industrial-duty and rechargeable UV light is the perfect fit for someone looking for a bright flashlight to use outside.
The main features of this UV flashlight are its high brightness, long runtime, and high reliability. In addition, it’s worth noting that this UV flashlight is made from high-impact ABS thermoplastic housing, ensuring that it retains its high-quality exterior in the worst conditions.
In addition, its rubberized impact bumper, lens ring, and cushioned grip handle add extra functionality to the UV flashlight, ensuring a comfortable experience for the user. It features three C4 LEDs, which have a lifetime of 50,000 hours.
The gadget also has deep-dish parabolic reflectors to produce a large spot pattern. More importantly, the flashlight runs on a zero-maintenance, 6-volt, 12-amp-hour, lead-acid battery, which you can recharge 500 times.
Aside from being IPX4 Rated for weather-resistant operation, the Streamlight E-spot Firebox Rechargeable Lantern is also serialized for positive identification. The UV flashlight features an optional shoulder strap, AC and DC charge cords, and a charge rack. However, it’s somewhat heavy, making it hard to carry around.
The Maglite Mini 2 Cell AA Incandescent Flashlight is the best UV flashlight for the money. This UV flashlight boasts a high-intensity adjustable light beam which can be switched from Spot to Flood bulb type with just one click.
Plus, if you want to use the UV light but your hands are busy, you can quickly set this flashlight to Candle Mode for a hands-free experience. Finally, it’s worth noting that this UV flashlight is anodized inside and out for improved corrosion resistance.
In addition, the Maglite Mini 2 Cell AA Incandescent Flashlight is water-resistant and impact resistant up to 1 meter. As for the exterior, this UV flashlight has a rugged, machined aluminum construction with knurled design.
The flashlight runs on AA batteries, included in the box, and lasts 5 hours on one charge. Moreover, it’s only 5 inches in length, making it pocket-friendly and easy to use on the go. Lastly, it has a light output of 14 lumens and a beam distance of up to 96 meters.
Next on our list is the Princeton Tec 40 Incandescent Handheld Diving Halogen Flashlight, which is the premium choice for diving or other outdoor activities. It’s made from high-quality aluminum, featuring a non-slip rubber grip to help you hold the flashlight securely even underwater.
Plus, the flashlight features a twist-activated switch instead of a button, so you don’t accidentally turn it on. The best part about this UV flashlight is that it’s IPX-8 waterproof down to 100 meters deep, making it a must-have gadget for divers.
The Princeton Tec 40 Incandescent Handheld Diving Halogen Flashlight is powered by four AA alkaline batteries, which are included in the package. Besides that, it has an impressive beam distance of 330 feet and an underwhelming light output of 28 lumens.
The 6.25-inch length of this UV flashlight makes it lightweight and easy to carry around, ideal for running, paddling, camping, scuba diving, and work. Besides the ordinary halogen bulb type, this flashlight also offers focused, narrow beams illuminating distant areas.
|2 AAA Alkaline batteries
If you’re looking for a truly mini UV flashlight to always carry in case of emergencies, the Mini Maglite AAA 2-cell Incandescent Flashlight is the best portable UV flashlight. Its exterior has a rugged, machined aluminum construction with knurled design.
In addition, it’s anodized inside and out for improved corrosion resistance, along with being water and shock resistant. What sets this UV flashlight apart from other options on our list is that it features a spare lamp safely secured inside the tail cap. Plus, if you want to use the UV light, but your hands are busy, you can quickly set this flashlight to Candle Mode for a hands-free experience. It also boasts a high-intensity adjustable light beam which can be switched from Spot to Flood bulb type with just one click.
This 5.7-inch UV flashlight runs on two AAA Alkaline batteries and can last up to 2.5 hours on a single charge. The small size of this flashlight makes it ideal for everyday use but also powerful enough for safety or outdoor purposes.
It’s also worth noting that the flashlight comes with the batteries required and a pocket clip to help you carry the flashlight hands-free.
|3 AA batteries
The Esco Lite 51 LED UV Flashlight has endless purposes. Some include finding scorpions, identifying fake cards or currency, finding vegetable worms, and detecting pet urine or bed bugs.
What sets this UV flashlight apart from others is that it shines 30% brighter than any other UV flashlight. Plus, it features a 51 LED blacklight that expertly detects anything you might not spot with ordinary light, such as scorpions, minerals, stains, pet urine, bed bugs, etc.
It runs on three AA Alkaline batteries, which allow the UV flashlight to last 4–6 hours on a single charge. In addition, this flashlight emits UV light in the 390–405-nanometer wavelength, providing a light output of 51 lumens.
Other than that, its beam distance expands to more than 20 feet. The Esco Lite 51 LED UV Flashlight is 5.8 inches long and provides excellent heat dissipation. In addition, its aluminum alloy body protects the flashlight from scratches, corrosion, rust, and breakage.
Lastly, this UV flashlight has a lifespan of 15 years, but you can expand that period by removing the batteries whenever the flashlight isn’t in use.
|2 AAA batteries
The Infray Pen UV Flashlight is thin and small enough to fit in your chest pocket. So, this is the right option if you’re looking for something truly mini. Its 5.7-inch, pen-like body, features a pocket clip, but you can also attach it to a keychain for quick access.
More importantly, it boasts an IP65 waterproof rating and MIL-SPEC abrasion rating, protecting the UV flashlight from damage. It also has a corrosion-resistant, anodized aircraft aluminum construction with an unbreakable, scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens.
This flashlight emits UV light in a wavelength range of 390–395. In addition, the Infray Pen UV Flashlight runs on two AAA batteries, allowing it to last 7 hours on a single charge. And this pocket-friendly UV flashlight only weighs 1.4 ounces and has a light output of 120 lumens. Lastly, it’s protected by an 18-month warranty.
|One 18650 battery or two CR123 batteries
Next on our list is the Ultrafire UV Flashlight, which is 30% brighter than other flashlights. It offers a light output of 200 lumens at a beam distance of at least 50 feet. It guarantees to help you find even the faintest stains in streetlights and indoor lights.
Although this UV flashlight has many uses, it’s ideal for detecting dog or cat urine on carpets. It has a premium aluminum construction, protected with anti-abrasive surface treatment, and a non-slip textured grip.
In addition, this flashlight is rated IP65 water resistant and dustproof. You can choose to power it with one 18650 3.7-volt rechargeable battery or two CR123 batteries, neither of which are included in the package.
Other than detecting pet urine, you may also use this UV flashlight to authenticate currency, driver’s licenses, official identification cards, and passports or detect leaks and contamination. Most importantly, it’s a must-have gadget for medical forensics and HVAC repair.
It’s worth noting that the manufacturers of this UV flashlight offer after-sales service and longer product protection for up to one year. Lastly, it emits UV light at a 395–405-nanometer wavelength range.
|100 UV LEDs
|6 AA Alkaline batteries
The Vansky 100 LED UV Flashlight is 70% brighter than any other flashlight thanks to the 100 UV LEDs providing the light output, each of which lasts up to 12 years. The flashlight emits UV light at a wavelength of 396 nanometers.
The flashlight’s powerful LEDs allow it to cover a larger area without weakening the light, going as far as 260 meters. You can power the flashlight with six AA Alkaline batteries, which are not included in the package.
These batteries allow the flashlight to run for 20 hours on a single charge. You may use this UV flashlight to authenticate currency, driver’s license, official identification cards, and passports or detect engine oil leaks, glow paint, rocks, dyes, stones, and more.
This is the perfect UV flashlight for hunters, as it also indicates the presence of UV brighteners in clothes. In addition, it helps detect scorpions, minerals, and tomato hornworms. Lastly, you can use it to detect fluorescent whitening agents in your clothes or cosmetics.
The exterior of this flashlight is made of impact-resistant, military-grade aluminum, which is protected with anti-abrasive, IP44 water and shock-resistant surface treatment. Lastly, the textured body of the flashlight prevents slipping, while the lanyard can easily be attached to a belt loop.
|3 AAA batteries
The Letion UV Flashlight is different from the other options on our list as it offers four options in one gadget. Its exterior is made from sturdy and durable aluminum alloy while being 13 centimeters long and weighing 150 grams.
You may use this UV flashlight to detect fungi in food and check if bills and banknotes have been counterfeited. But, other than its UV light, it also offers traditional white light thanks to its four-in-one option.
The flashlight allows you to quickly switch between its four modes with the help of the power button. These modes are high white light, low white light, UV light, and SOS light, which can help you in case of an emergency.
It offers further functionality and adjustability by allowing you to change the field of view with the help of the rotatable flashlight head. You may use the circular floodlights mode for large area lighting or the glaring spotlight for long-distance observation.
The Letion UV Flashlight also boasts an IPX 4 water-resistance rating, which allows you to use it in light rain. However, we wouldn’t recommend submerging the flashlight under water or any other liquid. Lastly, this flashlight is ideal for everyday use or camping, hiking, or night fishing.
|3 AAA batteries
Lastly, the Dorlink 12 LED UV Flashlight is the ideal pick for anyone in need of a high-quality UV flashlight on a budget. It utilizes 12 powerful LEDs, each of which lasts 15 years to offer a beam distance of 260 meters. Plus, it can last anywhere from 12–24 hours on a single charge.
The UV flashlight runs on three AAA batteries, which are included in the package, along with a 1-year warranty that protects the UV flashlight against manufacturer issues. This flashlight is ideal for detecting scorpions, but you may have some trouble detecting cat urine with this pocket-friendly, 3.7-inch gadget.
This is the ideal gadget to keep in your pocket or purse in case of an emergency since it’s small in size but equally powerful. You may use it to detect invisible stains on your carpet, bathroom, furniture, kitchen walls, or to look out for arachnids when you’re outdoors.
Here are a few things to consider while buying a UV flashlight.
First, you have to consider what type of battery the UV flashlight is powered by. Typically, UV flashlights are rechargeable or run on non-rechargeable batteries. If you plan on using the UV flashlight regularly, go for a rechargeable one.
If you opt for a non-rechargeable one, consider what types of batteries are required. Most commonly, UV flashlights require AA batteries or AAA batteries. It’s ideal if the batteries are included in the package, as that gives you the right value for your money.
The battery type also determines how long the flashlight will last and how many times you can recharge it. For example, flashlights that run on AA batteries last longer than AAA batteries. Another way to extend the battery life is to take the batteries out whenever the flashlight isn’t in use.
The next factor to consider is the UV flashlight’s adjustability. Most UV flashlights have a fixed range, but you’ll find some unique options that offer adjustability options. For example, some UV flashlights offer options to adjust the brightness level of the bulb.
Ideally, this option should be available with the press of a button or turn of the bezel. For example, the Maglite Mini 2 Cell AA Incandescent Flashlight has an adjustable light beam, which allows you to switch the output with just one click.
Next, you should look for UV flashlights that offer versatility options. For example, the Letion UV Flashlight offers four modes, allowing you to switch between different light and mode options.
Most UV flashlights come with white light as a secondary option, but in this case, the brightness isn’t as impressive as an ordinary flashlight. UV flashlights that offer additional options, such as SOS lights, are ideal for hunters or divers as they work ideally in case of emergencies.
It’s also important to check whether the UV flashlight offers a zoom or beam focus. This feature allows you to maximize visibility at night, adjusting the size of the beam and increasing the brightness to view your target better.
For example, the Letion UV Flashlight allows you to utilize its beam focus, switching from the circular floodlights mode for large area lighting or the glaring spotlight for a long-distance observation.
Make sure to check the water-resistance rating of the UV flashlight, especially if you plan to use it outdoors or for water sterilization purposes. You’ll find that some UV flashlights can stay submerged in water for a long time, while others can only withstand a few splashes before turning off.
If you’re a diver, you must ensure that the UV flashlight at least has an IPX-8 waterproof rating. For example, the Princeton Tec 40 Incandescent Handheld Diving Halogen Flashlight is IPX-8 waterproof down to 100 meters deep.
Before buying a UV flashlight, don’t forget to check the drop rating. There may be instances in which you accidentally drop the flashlight, and it stops working. To prevent that, opt for a UV flashlight with a drop rating of at least a few meters.
It’s ideal if the UV flashlight’s exterior is made of sturdy, impact-resistant materials that protect it during drops or falls.
Lastly, if you plan to use the UV flashlight for hunting or any outdoor activity, make sure that the weight and size are appropriate. You’ll need a portable UV flashlight that you can easily fit in your pocket or connect to your belt.
A UV flashlight is an incredibly handy tool, especially while hunting or if you own pets. The Streamlight E-spot Firebox Rechargeable Lantern is our best overall option, and Maglite Mini 2 Cell AA Incandescent Flashlight from Optics Planet is a great option for those reading the reviews to find an affordable but durable UV flashlight.
Use our buyer’s guide to make your decision before buying a UV flashlight to ensure durability, functionality, and affordability.
Featured Image Credit: breakermaximus, Shutterstock
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Jeff is a tech professional by day, writer, and amateur photographer by night. He's had the privilege of leading software teams for startups to the Fortune 100 over the past two decades. He currently works in the data privacy space. Jeff's amateur photography interests started in 2008 when he got his first DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel. Since then, he's taken tens of thousands of photos. His favorite handheld camera these days is his Google Pixel 6 XL. He loves taking photos of nature and his kids. In 2016, he bought his first drone, the Mavic Pro. Taking photos from the air is an amazing perspective, and he loves to take his drone while traveling.
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