If you’re shopping for an LED flashlight to take out into the wilderness with you, it’s important to choose a model that can withstand getting a little wet. While many manufacturers may claim their flashlights are waterproof, however, there’s no way to tell whether those assertions have any truth – unless you choose an LED torch that’s been tested according to the voluntary FL1 Standards.
The FL1 Standards provide guidelines for how LED flashlights are tested and rated, so consumers can make accurate comparisons between models. By choosing a torch that has been rated for water resistance according to the FL1 Standards, you can rest assured that the product will deliver on the manufacturer’s claims. If the FL1 Standard logo is missing from your LED flashlight, then it’s impossible to validate how its water resistance was tested.
There are several different levels of water resistance; which level you need will depend on how you plan to use your flashlight:
Water resistant. If an LED flashlight can be splashed with water from every direction and continue to function 30 minutes later, it is considered water resistant. This level of water resistances is suitable for most indoor and outdoor activities.
Waterproof. A waterproof flashlight must be able to withstand being submerged in water a meter deep for half an hour, without sustaining any damage. Waterproof LED flashlights can take a soaking while rafting and continue to function even in the wettest weather conditions.
Submersible. When scuba diving, snorkeling or other prolonged underwater activities are on your to-do list, you need a submersible flashlight that has been proven to work even when submerged for four hours or more. The depth to which the flashlight has been tested (in meters) will be displayed on the packaging.
To add another level of robustness to the water resistance ratings, the FL1 Standards require that these tests be performed after an impact resistance test, in which the LED torch is dropped from a predetermined height directly onto concrete 6 times in a row. This is done to ensure water resistance under real-life conditions.