Comparing LED Flashlights: What to Look for as You Shop

LED Flashlight FeaturesWouldn’t it be wonderful if we could put on a pair of special glasses and see the world through the eyes of an expert? For instance, a trip to the art museum would look very different if we could slip into the viewpoint of Jackson Pollack or Vincent Van Gogh. In many ways, the Internet is the modern equivalent of those magical glasses. Shopping is an entirely different experience today than it was a decade ago, because today we can automatically pull up advice from product experts.

Below is a list important flashlight characteristics that flashaholics tend to list in their LED flashlight reviews, to help make it easier for you to choose between LED flashlights.

Power System and Run Time

Some people prefer that their LED flashlights to be rechargeable. Others just want a single set of batteries to last for a long time. If buying new batteries irritates you, skim LED flashlight reviews for run time, which describes how long an LED flashlight will run on a single set of batteries.

Brightness, as Described in Lumens

Different professionals demand different brightness levels for their LED flashlights. For instance, one of the most thorough LED flashlight reviews comes from the AHSI Reporter, the online resource for the American Society of Home Inspectors. Home inspectors need flashlights with a minimum brightness of 200 lumens so they can see far into crawlspaces and other dark crannies.

Basically, lumen ratings describe how brightly LED flashlights glow. Some LED flashlights allow the luminosity to be dimmed; others allow the user to toggle between high- and low-intensity light. For instance, the COAST HP7 LED flashlight offers two brightness settings: 251 lumens for high-intensity light, and 58 lumens for low-intensity applications. If you’re wondering what those light outputs might look like, consider that one lumen is equivalent to the light of one candle from one foot away.

Tone of Light

When LED flashlights first appeared on the scene, they emitted a bluish light that many consumers found off-putting. Fortunately, improvements in LED flashlight technology have removed this limitation. Today, you can even buy LED flashlights that emit red, green and blue light, in addition to pure white light. There are specific uses for each of these shades (red preserves night vision, whereas green is excellent for fishing), but most people will do just fine with all-white light. If your work requires exceptional color matching, you should search LED flashlight reviews for torches that deliver neutral light that resembles sunlight.

Size and Weight

Ergonomics matter. People who use them on a daily basis know to look for LED flashlights that will fit well into pockets or tool belts. In addition to reviewing the general dimensions of each prospective flashlight, look at weight specifications. Home inspectors prefer lighter models that won’t weigh them down over the course of a home evaluation.

Light-Focusing Mechanism

Many high-end LED flashlights can be adjusted to provide either a very bright, focused beam of light (like a spotlight) or a more scattered, diffuse light spread over a larger area (like a flood light). Each of these settings is useful in different circumstances. For instance, those who enjoy night running often set their headlamps to a flood setting so they can see a wider swath of the trail. On the other hand, when checking out a rustling sound coming from several hundred yards away, a spotlight is the better choice since it will shine farther.

Home inspectors and other professionals typically prefer LED flashlights that can switch smoothly and quickly between spotlight and flood light settings. If this feature is important to you, zoom in on the mechanisms for focusing light beams; such information is typically included in LED flashlight reviews.

Construction Quality

As with every product, engineering and quality of materials have a big impact on an LED flashlight’s performance. Generally, high-quality LED flashlights are made with aluminum cases. While browsing LED flashlight reviews, check to see if each model is waterproof and impact-resistant – these are often indications of construction quality.

Many of the characteristics listed above are included in the FL1 Standards, a set of flashlight ratings from the American National Standards Institute.

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One Response to “Comparing LED Flashlights: What to Look for as You Shop”

  1. HFG Admin says:

    Many high-end flashlights are now becoming more affordable so the non-professional can invest a reasonable sum and impress their friends with a good light. There are also several budget lights which would more than satisfy the illumination needs of the average user.

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