Whenever a handheld light is preferred, a flashlight is still one of the most popular choices of all. And no wonder why up until now, more innovations are introduced from time to time. Now if you’re shopping around, you might want to know how to pick the right one that will last long and keep up with your demand.
In the following section, we’ll discuss a few important tips in selecting a flashlight that you can depend on when you want the most reliable, portable light beam anytime, when you’re signaling, or if you need precision in light output control.
Some factors when selecting include run time and battery type, light output and beam distance, to name a few. To discuss these things and more, keep reading to learn about their differences as well.
This is one of the main differences of flashlights on the market. In some cases, pricier models and brands give a more powerful light than those with lower price tags do.
The reason here is that the pricier ones are using advanced bulbs, circuitry and battery. However, we’re not discounting that many affordable flashlights can also have as bright as the light from a more expensive product.
An important factor when looking for a new or replacement flashlight is to check on its performance. The latest innovations make newer models more dependable and powerful than their older counterparts were.
Since 2009, flashlights are checked and then rated in the same manner by ANSI FL1 to ensure they are in compliance with high and strict standards for the best performance of the products.
The makers themselves do the testing, and many of them are including performance information on their product’s labels. You may want to check on details, including light output when buying.
Switching on and off
Know how it switches on and off.
There are some models that you can switch on while inside your bag or even when wearing gloves. Nevertheless, you should pick a product that you can turn on or off easily and quickly without any hassles. This factor is essential especially if you are the outdoor enthusiast who’s always on the go and out for an adventure. You won’t want a flashlight that will give you a headache when switching on/off.
Another top feature to look for when shopping around for a new flashlight is to check on its lumens (light intensity measurement).
The light’s intensity on its highest brightness level with new batteries will give you an idea on whether it is the flashlight you’re looking for – tactical, search and rescue, outdoor adventures, camping, military operations or spotlight, among other purposes, that a good flashlight can be used for at any time of the day.
But while lumens is one of the most important factors to check on which to buy, it isn’t the only thing to review when comparing brightness, as other things including type, beam distance and beam intensity also influence how effective the flashlight will be for different purposes. Additionally, lighting output can be at least 20 lumens up to 3500 lumens or even more.
Beam Distance and Type
Self-explanatory – how far the distance its light beam can reach? Beam distance can also be told as the distance that the light will keep shining before it will totally diminish to something that can be compared with a full moon.
[On the other hand, full moon illumination can be safe for outdoor travels, but its distance will change according to the selected brightness level.]
Aside from distance, you must also look into the beam type used in the product. For one, remember that the lens reflector surrounding the bulb affects how light will be dispersed.
One is fixed, a light that has a single beam width and can be used while walking or performing general camp tasks.
Second is focused light output, which is only one beam that is condensed into a spotlight that can penetrate a long distance. This type of beam is perfect for fast-paced activities or tactical missions.
Finally is the adjustable beam, which can be wide or focused or any between it.
Another thing to take note of when looking for a new flashlight is its shock resistance. If not, you might have to replace yours more often than not due to cracks and broken flashlights that cannot keep up with drops and falls.
Top brands test their products for shock-resistance, which is measured in meters. For example, many of them would drop the product 6X onto concrete surface at specific distance (in meters).
The test is conducted to ensure that their products will work again after accidental dropping, but not to guarantee that it will remain functional after being used to strike another object or being run over.
It is a great thing that there are innovations used in modern flashlights, and an example is an advanced LED technology that proves supreme versus other types of bulb used in other flashlights.
LED lights are not only bright, but they’re also energy efficient and shock-resistant as well as they have long-lasting run time. So when it comes to light bulb type, you might want to pick one using LED lighting technology.
Aside from shock resistance, you must also be checking for water-resistance of the product you’re buying. The standard used by flashlight makers here is the IPX system, which makes use of three ratings. It is important to ensure that your flashlight will keep working if you’re using it around bodies of water or in the rain. For example, an IPX4 rating means that it is splash-resistant from all angles.
When talking about run time, think of hours. So, you could think of this as the length of time it will take before the output finally dropped to 10% of the rated output, which is also rounded to the nearest quarter hour.
Generally, light output, as time passes, will reduce, and that’s given. In some cases, it can also stay constant or decrease gradually. But then, most makers determine a run time categorization according to the light setting used.
There are many factors to consider when shopping around for a flashlight. And to tell you honestly, choosing one isn’t easy, but you can get by and buy the best one by using this guide on how to choose a flashlight you need for specific activities and purposes. Hoping you could find the right flashlight to last long with optimal performance today!
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