EDITOR’S NOTE: This article refers to the LIGHTWAY 160 Lumen LED Flashlight. If you’re looking for information about the larger LIGHTWAY 300 Lumen LED Flashlight, click here.
Everyone benefits from having a quality flashlight. Granted, cell phone LED lights can be used in a pinch to provide illumination, but there is something to be said for something bright, durable, and compact, especially for those dark nights when the car breaks down or you need to trek across a campsite.
From time to time — usually in the late spring / early summer — Aldi rolls out a compact flash light made for just such occasions.
The LIGHTWAY 160 Lumen LED Flashlight (formerly known as the LIGHTWAY LED 5W Flashlight) is a Special Buy that often shows up alongside Aldi’s camping gear and accessories. The package comes with the flashlight itself, a carrying case, a manual, and two AA batteries. At the time of this post, it retails for $6.99. It’s made by Maginon, which makes a range of electronic products for Aldi, and it comes with a 3-year warranty.
The LIGHTWAY flashlight, called a “torch” in the manual, is constructed of an aluminum casing and a PMMA (Plexiglas) lens. It contains a Cree XTE LED with a life cycle of 50,000 hours … or about 5.7 years (and more than 7,100 batteries on the low setting) of continuous usage. The manual lists the output at 5W, with 160 lumens of white light and a range of 426.5 feet. The casing is listed as shock resistant and “splash-proof,” with an IPX4 rating, although it warns against submerging it in water.
The torch has a sturdy feel. The aluminum casing feels strong, with a bit of weight that suggests that it’s more than just a cheap flashlight. The casing where the batteries are inserted is well-threaded, and the telescoping mechanism on the light (more on this shortly) has just the right amount of resistance to it. It comes across as higher quality than most of the LED flashlights I’ve bought from the local hardware store over the years.
The torch can be customized in a couple of ways. One: there are two brightness settings: 100% and 50%, which are cycled through using the power button. According to the manual, 100% brightness is good for 3.5 hours on new batteries, while the 50% brightness is good for 7 hours. This flashlight is remarkably bright, even on the low setting.
A second customization is the light focus. By pulling or pushing the front segment of the flashlight, you can broaden the beam or tighten it, depending on your needs. Broad puts out a nice amount of light, but if you need a concentrated beam, you can do that too. The manual does warn against prolonged exposure to the eyes, so avoid pointing it directly at other people’s faces.
One other note: the torch comes with a metal clip that can be used to attach it to whatever you need to attach it to. Alternatively, the carrying case has a small strap that another strap could be threaded through.
If you’re in the market for a tough, bright, small flashlight, look no further. This little torch puts out plenty of illumination inside a durable casing, and for less than $7. The 3-year warranty adds to the value. Definitely recommended.