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flashlight

Understand Flashlights Choice

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Understanding Your Best Flashlight Choices

The main facts to consider when compare or selecting a flashlight:

  • Light brightest ( measure in Lumens )
  • Battery type and run time ( rechargeable flashlights )
  • Size and weight
  • water-resistance
  • multiple lighting modes

Flashlight Performance

ANSI FL1 standards for flashlights ensure that models are tested and rated in the same way.Total lumens of output, measured in an integrating sphere after the light has been on for 30-120 seconds.

Flashlight Light Output

Measured in lumens. This is a measure of the intensity of the light coming out of the flashlight, on the highest brightness. Light output can range from a modest 20 lumens (great for reading a book) to a terrain-scorching 3500 lumens.

Flashlight Beam Distance

Measured in meters. The distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. This is not very bright, about equal to a full moon. This is how far the light will shine before the brightness diminishes to the equivalent of the light from a full moon. Full moon illumination is considered adequate for safe and careful travel outdoors.  This distance will vary with the brightness setting selected.

Run Time

Measured in hours. The test is done in an integrating sphere just like the lumen test with light output measured every 15 minutes. How long does it take the light output to drop to 10% of the rated output on new batteries, rounded to the nearest quarter hour.

Peak Beam Intensity

Light intensity measured in candela  at the brightest part of the beam. A lux reading in the brightest portion of the beam is taken at some distance (2m, 10m, or 30m) with the light on its brightest mode and tightest focus at some time between 30 and 120 seconds of turning the light on.

Impact Resistance

Measured in meters. Lights are tested by dropping them 6 times onto concrete without cracking or breaking and still function. Lights are dropped while in the Off position and allowed to come to rest before inspecting for damage.This test is primarily to ensure the light remains functional after occasional accidental drops.

Water Resistance

Norm IPX4  “Water resistant” Light can be splashed with water from all directions without water getting inside.

Norm IPX7 “Water proof” The light can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Water can leak into the light, but not into areas with electronics or batteries. The light must still operate when removed from the water and then is tested again 30 minutes after being removed.

Norm IPX8 “Submersible” The light can be submerged for 4 hours to some depth greater than 1 meter. The depth would be specified, e.g. IPX8 10 meters. Realistically the light is not put in the given depth of water, but instead is completely submerged in a container and the pressure is then increased to simulate the depth.

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