What is the ultimate light that you can get for under $20? To me, it is the Coast HX4. The HX4 is one of those lights that can serve quite a few purposes and is small in size so it can go nearly anywhere. Let's go ahead and take a look at some of the features and specifications of the HX4.
Beam Distance: 42 FT
Runtime: 3H 45M
Weight: 1.83 OZ
Battery: 2 x AAA
As you can see, the HX4 does not have a lot of lumens, it doesn't have some fancy focusing system, it doesn't even have a rechargeable battery. So why do I think this is the best light you can buy for under $20? Well, first off all, it is $20; however, don't let the price fool you because the HX4 is great. I think it is a great camping light. There are some unique features that set the HX4 apart from many other lights.
One of the great features of the HX4 is the tiny magnets that are located on the back of the light. These magnets allow you to attach the HX4 to objects such as an automobile. This is a small feature that really can be useful if you need to place your light somewhere. Basically, as long as you have a material that magnets will work with, you can attach the HX4 to it.
I have found this feature to be extremely beneficial, particularly for any time you need light around your car at night time.
180-Degree Beam Adjustment
Light is not very good if you can't aim it in the right direction. The HX4 does not have this problem as it has a 180 degree rotating head to help you aim light in the right direction.
Maybe the best feature of all on the HX4 is the clip that allows you to mount it to things such as a front pocket or your hat. Since the HX4 has a 180-degree rotating head, you can clamp the HX4 to a lot of different areas and adjust the head so that you can point the light in the right area.
Dual Color Light
For some of you, this might not seem like a usable feature, but the HX4 has both a white and red LED built in. This is great because white is best for seeing out in front of you, but it is pretty powerful on your eye. Using a red light can help drastically with maintaining your night vision as well as taking away some eye strain. This is good for times when you need to read a map and then maintain your night vision for when you turn the light off. If you don't have much experience with a white and red light combo, the red light can really benefit you.
What I am about to say is a little double sided. The HX4 uses 2 x AAA batteries for power. This is great! Why though...shouldn't you want a rechargeable battery? The short answer is rechargeable flashlights are great; however, a good one will cost more than a flashlight that uses alkaline batteries only. Using 2 x AAA is also very simple and straightforward and easy to use. All you have to do is replace the batteries (which AAA batteries are very common) when the light gets dim. No charging or any cables to mess with. I am not trying to say rechargeable flashlights aren't great, because they are. I am only trying to state that this light is very simple and easy to use, which can be a good thing for some people.
The HX4 is extremely small and can go nearly anywhere. It has a lot of different uses for its size as well. Some lights tend to be bulky and take up a lot of space. The HX4 can fit in your pocket, back pack, center console, or just about anywhere.
The HX4 is not the most powerful light out there, nor is it the fanciest. The HX4 is very good at being a cheap, all-around light that anyone can operate. It is a great light to have in your house for emergencies, your car, or in your back pack or purse. It will be hard to find a better light for much cheaper than the HX4. Plus, you get a lifetime warranty from Coast. Not to mention Coast actually includes batteries with your purchase unlike other manufacturers. The HX4 is a great gift as well. If you are looking for a good, cheap light for yourself or someone else, give the HX4 some consideration. It is well worth its cost.