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Published Feb. 20, 2019

While light has many functions, the most common of its uses is illumination. For most people, navigating the outdoors in the dark is an impossible feat, and it becomes inconceivably harder when an emergency occurs. This is why road flares are relied upon by many. Not only do they work as a great means of light production, but they are also very handy in an emergency, as they are specially designed to light up any given area that can be seen from a distance. This ultimately makes it very easy to signal to others to either provide help or avoid the area.  Surprisingly, roadside flares do not only work while outdoors, but they can also be used to light up your home or workshop during a power outage. It is for these reasons they have proved themselves to be vital for both on the road and off. The following list of the best road flares has carefully been selected by our team and will have your back in the time of a crisis.

The Best Road Flare

When buying an LED road flare, you have more than enough products on the market to choose from. But in the midst of all the available road flares, the Wagan Tech FRED: Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare stands out for its durability and versatility. This is one of the best LED flares available as it comes in a set of three, and if you need bright illumination this is your go-to flare. It is designed in a way that each light can be placed in different areas while they simultaneously provide illumination for the entire field. 

With 10 flashing light modes and a long-lasting battery that offers a shelf life of more than five hours for each mode and a total of 38 hours, FRED road flares will fit perfectly in your emergency kit. The various flashing modes mean that they can work in more than one capacity. However, usage cannot be limited to just emergency situations as it works great for any other activities that happen at night time.

Key Features
  • 3AAA Batteries
  • Rainproof and Shatterproof
  • Ten flashing light modes
  • Lightweight
Specification
  • Brand Wagan
  • Model EL2639-3
  • Weight 4 ounces

When selecting the best LED road flares, there are many aspects to take into consideration. The most vital is understanding the type of road flare that will best fit your requirements  – this is because there are many different models on the market that offer a  range of features. For example, do you want one that blinks rapidly, one that offers a stable source of light or one that lights up in different ways? If the third option gels best with your requirements, the SlimK 3 Pack LED Road Flares Flashing Warning Light Roadside Flare Emergency Disc Beacon is the LED road flare to purchase. SlimK comes in a set of three flares that are sturdy and strong with lights that transmit to a far enough distance to cover a wide range. This road flare works great for emergencies as multiple emissions of light are built within it with an option for SOS. This will enable other people to alert emergency services and ultimately allows your location to be marked very easily.

LED Road Flares are not limited to emergencies but can also be used in other situations when a rechargeable source of light is needed. These situations include outdoor festivals that go well into the night. Due to the fact that it can last for up to 36 hours without going out, SlimK is a great choice for nighttime events. You can not go wrong with rechargeable LED road flares.

Key Features
  • Carryon bag
  • Three road flares
  • Hook for hanging
  • Strong Magnets
Specification
  • Brand SlimK
  • Model W0228
  • Weight 1.01 pounds

The Original Highway Flare Kit is a road flare unlike the others in this list as it is not LED or battery operated. If you are a more traditional person who would rather use the type of flares that has been in use for decades, then this will be your best bet. This flare kit comes in a set of 6 and has been designed, constructed and packaged in the USA; this guarantees that the product is one of quality and durability. The Original Highway Flare kit is best used by those in an emergency and does work great as a source of light. Once in use, you are guaranteed a reliable light emission so as to inform others in a certain mile radius of an emergency situation that is areas away.

With a shelf life that lasts for more than five years, having this road flare handy in your car is vital not only for its functionality as a road flare but also because it has been approved by the US Freeway Service Patrol for its effectiveness in emergencies that can occur with your car while you are out with family.

Key Features
  • Comes with a reflective jacket
  • Burns for 30 minutes
  • Velcro Pouch
  • Easy to grip
Specification
  • Brand Orion Safety
  • Model 6030
  • Weight 5 pounds

Camping is one of the best ways to unwind, especially after a long weekend spent in the city nature is almost non-existent. If you are an avid camper, it will surely be unwise to set off camping at night time without a safety flare handy. No doubt, good lighting is necessary – and we are not talking about light from a campfire which is often too difficult to start and tends to engulf the surroundings with smoke. Instead, opt for the ABN Portable 16 LED Safety Flare Signal Light, a great choice for any camping event.

This safety flare signal light does not only work for weekend getaways in the woods but can help save lives during emergency situations. ABN is a family owned business that offers parts that care for all types of automobiles; this is why their flares are one of the most trusted out there due to their durability and reliable nature. They rarely die out and are made from the best quality to ensure that users get the best out of it. The flares come in 3 parts each with a hook; two of which you can place at the back of your car while the other is placed in front.  It also features a light pattern in Morse code that spells “SOS” which would immediately alert people from a distance of the emergency that you are facing.

Key Features
  • Battery life of 150 hours
  • Protective waterproof lids
  • One year Warranty
  • Return Policy
Specification
  • Brand ABN
  • Model 7592_3PACK
  • Weight 8.8 ounces

Do you spend a lot of time on the road, and are you a regular traveller who drives long distances? If so, be sure to have the First Alert LED EB1-Y Road Flare on your priority list. This is a single car flare that comes in the color yellow, just like some of the lights on your car, making it an easy replacement for a broken light. With its sturdy hook, you simply hang the flare to illuminate the road.

This is one of the few car flares that also works in an emergency by alerting others while you wait for the authorities to locate you. Locating your vehicle is an easy feat as the First Alert LED makes it much easier and faster for emergency operators to find where you are parked.

Key Features
  • Compact case
  • Crush resistant
  • Can be exported to other countries
  • Available in multiple colours
Specification
  • Brand First Alert
  • Model EB1-Y
  • Weight 3.2 ounces

Our next pick for one of the best roadside flares is the LED Road Flares Emergency Lights, which come from HOKENA. This is a car flare with a difference; apart from the three separate parts, it comes with a seat belt cutter to make your car safe and comfortable. The battery on this flare can be easily replaced with the extra one that has been supplied. Rest assured that you need not worry about changing the batteries so often as the shelf life in these runs into years.

The parts of the LED are easily replaced and come in a compact size that can easily fit in your glove compartment or the bag that houses your tools. This is a fun addition for any long-distance trip, and you can rest easy knowing that if any emergency does arise, you can easily alert others of your location with any of the various modes that the flare operates in.

Key Features
  • Glass Window Breaker
  • Money back Guarantee
  • Extra Batteries
  • Industrial Grade Flares
Specification
  • Brand HOKENA
  • Weight 1.4 pounds

Are you in need of a flare kit that will not only be a great addition to your car’s emergency kit but will also be very valuable when used indoors? Look no further than the Stonepoint Emergency LED Road Flare Kit. Made with lights that can be seen from 2 miles away, this road flare can also be used for over ten days without changing or charging the batteries which also means that it can stand the test of time and will endure long periods of use. It gets much better; as a pyrotechnic tool it comes with three separate beacons that emit light in two patterns, it is also water-resistant which implies that it can be used in a boat for water-related emergencies.

Furthermore, Stonepoint Emergency LED kit promises safety during usage; this is as a result of the LED nature of the flare as it does not emit a spark when turned on. All that needs to be done to turn it on is to press the black button and the entire area will be lit up.  Its sturdy construction means that it is strong enough to withstand the weight of a heavy object falling on it or in a situation where it falls to the floor, while still being a light object to carry.

Key Features
  • Safe Usage
  • Long Lasting
  • Far reach of light
  • Water Resistant
Specification
  • Brand StonePoint LED Lighting
  • Model FLA900TANDBAG
  • Weight 13.6 ounces

Best Road Flare Buying Guide

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Road Flare

Now that you know what the best road flares are, there are some factors you have to consider when you decide to purchase one. Knowing these factors is a sure way to guide your decision, by making sure that you buy a product that suits your needs and wants.

  • Battery Capacity and Strength

LED road flares are all battery operated – this means that before the purchase of any LED car flare, you need to make sure that the battery is not only strong but also long-lasting. There are fewer things worse than being stuck in the dark in an emergency or in the woods during a camping adventure. The difference between being stuck in the dark in a car related emergency, or enduring your camp experience without a light source and other terrible things is that with the road flare you can control the situation by buying one that has a strong battery.

It is advisable that you check if the battery of the flare you are about to purchase is a triple-A; these are expected to last longer than 72 hours and are currently the longest lasting batteries on the market. With this information at hand, likewise, when you choose to buy your road flare pick one that works on AAA batteries but if you cannot find models with this type of battery, look for ones with a capacity that is satisfactory enough for you.

  • Water Resistance

Emergencies can occur in any type of weather or environment; this includes rainy weather or being situated in an area that is close to a body of water. Having a road flare that is resistant to water is one way to get the most out of any purchase you are planning to make. This way, if your car breaks down during a storm, you can be sure that your road flare would still work regardless of the rain. Flares can also be used for emergencies on bodies of water and having one that will not get affected by the water is an added benefit during such an emergency.

The same applies to a camping trip; you may choose to camp near a lake where there is the possibility of a flare falling into, or heavy rain could emerge while you are out camping. Luckily, with water-resistant flares, you need not worry about the light dying out or going dim. As long as water can’t get into it, your source of light is safe.

  • Hooks and Magnets

This might seem like an unimportant feature of a flare but many LED road flares that are being sold come with a magnet or/and a hook. The magnets make it easy to attach the flare to your car without stressing your arms by holding it up. As a result of these magnets, you are able to attach the flare to your car while still attending to the car; especially if you are alone and it is an emergency which you can manage alone. The hooks work in the same capacity; all you have to do is hook them to your car, or in case you decided to use your flare to illuminate your house, you can find ways to hook them in different locations in the house.

Purchasing flares that have hooks or/and magnets is a sure way of utilizing your flare in a way that does not serve as an inconvenience to you. This way, you get the best when you use your flare as an illuminating device.

Road Flares

Why and When Should You Use Road Flares?

Road flares are most commonly used when there has been an emergency that requires people be warned of the cause of the emergency or to ask them for help, flares should not be used when there is no emergency around as this would be misleading. They are mostly used at night, but this is, however, not limited to just emergencies as they can be used to illuminate areas that need light when it is dark.

Road Flare Safety Tips

  • Ensure not to put road flares that are not water-resistant in water; this will alter their efficacy and leave you with a flare that no longer works. If your flare cannot work in wet conditions, do not use it in such conditions.
  • Proper disposal of battery, when the battery of your roadside flare runs out, make sure that they are not burnt or incinerated. Disposing of them the way you would dispose of regular trash is the best way to deal with burned out batteries.
  • Do not dismantle your flare if you are not qualified to do so. Doing so will only ruin the wirework in the flare while inadvertently spoiling it in the process. If you do feel the need to take it apart, take it to a licensed technician.

Our Top Pick

The top pick for this list of the best road flares is the Wagan Tech FRED: Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare, it is an excellent choice as it works perfectly in extreme weather conditions. It also offers  a sturdy frame that is light to carry, waterproof and has multiple light modes.

Sources:

  1. 10 Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip – HowStuffWorks
  2. Light emitting diode – Wikipedia

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