There are a number of different ways to measure the quality of an LED flashlight, and not all measurements are the same. For instance, there are at least three ways to measure the light output of an LED bulb: lumens, wattage, and candlepower. There are also many ways to measure how energy efficient an LED flashlight is, but not one method is standard. This makes it difficult to compare features of products made by different companies. Luckily, the ANSI FL1 flashlight standards were recently developed to clearly spell out methods by which manufacturers can test and report on their products. The following are the eight LED features you should look for when buying a new flashlight.
This is the total light output measured in lumens and only lumens. No more wattage or candlepower measurements.
Measured in meters, this is how far the light will project a useful amount of light, considered to be .25 lux.
Pretty straightforward, the run time tests from 30 seconds after the light is turned on until it hits 10% of the initial measurement – with fresh batteries, of course.
Peak Beam Intensity
Measured in candela, this tells you how bright is the brightest point in the beam.
This one’s fun: Measured in meters, this tells you from how high the flashlight can be dropped onto concrete and still work. Look out below!
Water Resistance – Splash
For this feature, the LED flashlight is splashed with water from all angles to determine just how wet it can get and still work.
Water Resistance – Submersion
This measurement tells you how deep the flashlight can be submerged in water before it stops working.
For more information on these measurements read ANSI FL 1 Flashlight Standards Explained on the Coast Portland website.