Tomís Tips on Buying Flashlights

By Tom Neale, 12/22/2011

1. No longer do we have to rely on the bogus billion candle power claims when buying lights.

2. On August 18, 2009, the ANSI/NEMA FL 1 FLASHLIGHT BASIC PERFORMANCE STANDARD was approved as an American National Standard. The National Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA) says that it is intended to cover basic performance of hand-held/portable flashlights, spotlights and headlamps providing directional lighting. (I discussed it in an article in BoatUS Magazine.)

3. Total light output is expressed in lumens which represent the lights overall visible light energy. This is largely a function of the power of the lights bulb or LED and is not a measurement of how bright a target will appear when the light is trained on it.

4. Peak Beam Intensity is expressed as candela and is the value that represents the brightest spot in the lights beam when it is focused on a target. It is a combination of the bulb or LED output, combined with the effectiveness of the lights reflector in producing a focused beam.

5. Run Time measures the duration of a lights runtime from the initial light output value (thats 30 seconds after the light is turned on with fresh batteries) until the light output drops to 10% of the initial value.

6. There are other categories of the standard. Look for lights with values from these standards on the packaging.



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