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How To Choose Flashlights
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Headlamps may be popular but when it comes to handheld devices flashlights remain the ideal alternative. They are most useful in a number of situations such as when precision in controlling the light is essential, to carry out signals and to work on specific tasks. Thanks to the advancements in LED technology, flashlights have become smaller, brighter and lighter.
Understanding the type of choices
There are several factors to consider when selecting a type of flashlight. The three primary factors to compare are light output (brightness), size and weight, and battery type of run time. Brightness is always what everyone looks for. The lighter ones and those with rechargeable batteries are usually more expensive. Features such as water resistance and multiple lighting modes can also make a difference to the cost. Other characteristics users look for are appearance, ease of use when wearing gloves, durability in hot or cold conditions and its feel.
There are several types of LED flashlights which include AA plus AAA, Keyring, Pocket, Mid Size, and High Power flashlights. Some of the leading brands include Fenix, EagleTac, JETBeam, MicroFire, and Sunwayman, to name a few. In order to comply with ANSI standards, manufacturers include performance data such as light output in lumens, beam distance in metres, battery run time in hours, impact resistance, bulb type, beam type, battery type, modes, and controls.
Light output ranges from as low as 20 lumens, which is good enough to read a book to powerful 3500 lumens strong enough for a field search. Pay special attention to beam distance, which is the distance the light will shine before diminishing. Long range beams are ideal for outdoor environments, the length of which will vary according to the brightness selected. Just like a mobile phone, battery run time is also one of the most important factors. It is measured in hours and indicates how long it takes for brightness to diminish 10% of the rated output. The occasional accidental drops are inevitable so make sure to choose one which is high impact resistance and water resistant as well just in case you need to use it in the rain. An IPX4 rating is given to flashlights that are splash resistant from all angles. Those that can withstand water up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1m have a IPX7 rating while an IPX8 is given to flashlights that can remain submersed in water up to 4 hours at a specified depth.
led flashlights have almost rendered other types of bulbs obsolete. They are among the most energy efficient bulbs and offer the highest run time, impact resistance and brightness. There are three common beam types, which is determined from the lens reflector that surrounds the bulb. A flashlight with a flood or fixed beam type is good for walking or general tasks. A spot or focused beam penetrates long distance and is best for fast paced activities. You will also find a choice of adjustable beams from focused to wide that are ideal for almost any situation.
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