How to Choose a Flashlight ?

How to Choose a Flashlight ?

Choosing a flashlight can be a tedious task. There are so many questions that need to be answered, before choosing a flashlight. What is “Lumen”? What is the difference between LED and XENON? Is a rechargeable flashlight suitable for me or not? What will be its physical size? How much money should I spend? more and more…

In this article, we will try to explain some terms and basics from the field of flashlights so that you can choose the flashlight that will be most suitable for you.

First and foremost you need to identify your needs from the flashlight. Will it function as an emergency accessory in the car bag or glove compartment? As a backup in case of a power outage? To locate a wounded person in the field? As a tactical flashlight mounted on a weapon? And so on.

A flashlight is a tool and like other tools, some flashlights are designed to answer certain tasks. You probably do not need a multi-functional flashlight for fighters that costs 2000 NIS and on the other hand, a compact flashlight and simply will not dazzle a burglar / attacker.

Important concepts:

  • Bezel head : The front and wide part of the flashlight, usually includes the lens, reflector and bulb.
  • Peak Beam Candle Power : The index at which the light beam is the brightest in a flashlight with focus capability (Fucos).
  • CR 123 : The most common consumable 3V lithium battery mainly due to excellent weight / power ratio.
  • Fast Charger : A transformer used for fast charging, sometimes adapted to several different electrical voltages.
  • Halogen bulb : A “clean white” light bulb that maximizes its illumination intensity using halogen gas that helps keep the bulb’s interior clean.
  • LED (Light Emitting Diodes) : A durable bulb with an extra long lifespan. Up to 100,000 working hours mainly at low illuminance.
  • “Lumen” : A unit for measuring the total illumination product of the bulb. Without regard to focus.
  • Reflector : Wraps the bulb, focuses and directs the light rays.
  • Illumination time : How long the flashlight will continue to illuminate effectively.

Batteries:

Contrary to popular belief, Alkaline batteries are still relevant. Although they are larger, heavier and have a shorter shelf life than the popular lithium batteries, alkaline batteries are capable of providing electrical current over days. You should carefully evaluate the tasks of the flashlight and choose its desired intensity and desired operating time.

Lithium batteries offer more power than alkaline batteries of the same size. The lithium battery is on average 2.5 times stronger and also weighs half the weight of an alkaline battery of similar size. Also, a lithium battery maintains a continuous and consistent electrical voltage (without voltage drops) up to 95% of the battery life, compared to an alkaline battery whose power decreases consistently with use. Due to the nature of lithium batteries, which have low internal resistance, they are more suitable for use in case of heavy loads.

Consumable batteries provide, in most cases, a longer operating time than rechargeable batteries and are of course cheaper to purchase. On the other hand, if maintenance costs are taken into account over time, the recharging pavements will be more economical.

Rechargeable Flashlights:

Significantly cheaper to maintain for reuse and they, in most cases, come with a convenient bracket for charging in the car / home / office. Rechargeable flashlights are more expensive (in the first purchase) than non-rechargeable flashlights, but save a lot of money and a lot of waste due to not using consumable batteries.

Rechargeable Flashlight? Depends on how many users

Incandescent bulbs:

Uses a thin filament, in which an electric current passes that causes it to heat up and produce light. The glass shell of the bulb, prevents oxygen from penetrating it and thus prevents the oxidation of the filament. The inside of the bulb is filled with xenon gas or halogen which raises the working temperature of the filament and causes it to produce more light. Incandescent bulbs can be found that contain argon gas or krypton, but are less efficient at using flashlights.

Incandescent bulbs are considered less resistant to shocks and shocks, but they offer bright and white light at extremely high intensity and are fairly easy to focus on light rays. Their high power makes them especially effective in cases where long-term illumination is needed. So if your need for a flashlight is mostly for a great deal of light without the need to prevent shocks, a flashlight with an incandescent bulb may be the better choice for you.

LEDs:

Light Emitting Diodes. The LED bulb has a rigid structure and is very durable. Due to the enormous lifespan (up to 100,000 working hours) they do not need to be replaced, which saves quite a bit of money over time. LED bulbs emit soft and delicate light and are great for short-term illumination. They do not come close to the high power of incandescent bulbs, but are maintained for hundreds of hours of work.

clarity:

Measured mainly in lumen. A flashlight for a keychain will distribute about 5-10 lumens. A flashlight with a 1 watt LED bulb will distribute about 50 lumens for about 3 hours. Definitely enough for many tasks (replacing a wheel in a car, camping, etc.), but will not shine well on a fox in a field 100 meters from you.

Most security experts will recommend that you choose a flashlight (for security purposes) with a minimum intensity of 80 lumens required to dazzle a person. Another must-have feature for them is the high-intensity flicker.

The illuminance of the flashlight is of great importance to the user. A flashlight that does not illuminate enough for its intended purpose will frustrate its owner in almost every use. It is very important to diagnose a need and choose a flashlight that will at least meet the intensity of illumination required.

Physical size:

It is usually determined by the size of the battery. A small flashlight will use small battery (s). If the flashlight is required to illuminate through thick smoke (as for fire crews) and for daily operation, the battery size becomes negligible.

Shock color:

Colorful LED bulbs are becoming more and more in demand over time. Green light not dazzling. A light and pleasant red light and blue light is mainly used to detect blood. What do you need it for? Mainly so as not to strain the eyes in cases where we want to act in the dark and not impair our natural night vision.

Each color has a different role

Flashlight shell material:

By and large, it is divided into two main types: metal and plastic. It is natural to think that metal is better… So here are some facts: Metal is heavier and can crack while plastic allows flexibility. Metal cools and heats up more than plastic. Metal can cause a spark and plastic can not. If you are not convinced, then more examples can be found in the plastic compounds from which modern pistols are built.

cost:

Almost any flashlight will do the job with easy use. If the flashlight is used for contractor work and finds itself in a toolbox full of pipe and flyer keys, it is best to invest in a flashlight that has high shock resistance. Some of the flashlights are manufactured in high quality and provide very high data in a way that we will never utilize the capabilities of the flashlight. Conversely, if you are a combat soldier, how can you price safety?

It is important to remember that despite the high initial cost of a charged flashlight, in case of reuse and over time it comes out much cheaper.

Common applications for flashlight:

Hunter – As mentioned earlier, very colorful lights lighten the eye in relation to white light and therefore they are recommended for hunting (provided the flashlight also produces white light). LED headlights are best suited for equipping because of the soft light they produce and also because of their long operating time. A professional and high-quality headlamp with an elastic strap is ideal for equipping, as it sets both hands free for you. The elastic strap can also be worn on a hat or helmet and can also be used as a flashlight.

Diving – There are diving flashlights that are effective up to depths of about 300 meters. Far beyond what we will need. It is important to check and compare the flashlight data in terms of water tightness and choose the flashlight that suits us best.

Security services – the days when the security man carried a huge flashlight, are gone from the world, unless the security man has to carry these. With the advancement of technology, much emphasis is placed on weight saving and there is no reason that a tool used for enlightenment will burden the user. There are various gun shooting techniques that combine the use of a flashlight (detection and glare) that can only be done with the help of a compact, high-quality hand flashlight that weighs more or less like a cartridge.

Can sometimes prevent the use of weapons

Marine use – Requires high illumination intensity and high illumination range. A water-protected flashlight would be ideal for this type of task. It will be used to detect floating fragments in the water that can damage the belly of the boat and even illuminate into the water to a certain depth. Rescue operations will only succeed through the use of a suitable flashlight.

Camping – Space accommodation or static recreation in the area will be more suitable for flashlights that are used mainly as stationary. They are best hung in a tent or placed on a dining table. They emit a wide light that allows tasks to be performed and is therefore more convenient. In case of using stationary flashlights, using LED flashlight will be preferable due to the soft light and long operating time.

Weapon mounted – Weapon flashlights mounted on pistols have become a must-have. Everyone is sure they owe one and a weapon without a Pictonic rail is considered obsolete. Most new pistols come with a dedicated notch for installing a tactical flashlight. When the weapons were first introduced, they were different in size to ensure that you used the same manufacturer’s product. Today arms rails set the same standard.

Natural matchmaking

A very serious problem created by flashlights mounted on weapons, stems from carelessness and awareness on the part of users. People tend to aim the gun at their friends only because of the desire to experiment with the flashlight. The First Weapon Safety Act prohibits aiming a weapon at a person (unnecessarily). Flashlights mounted on weapons are an excellent tool after training with them and in the weapon system in which they are installed. Assault rifles and shotguns can have extremely powerful flashlights and of all sizes. When choosing a flashlight for weapons, all the relevant parameters for you must be taken into account, such as: weight, level of illumination, shock resistance and water resistance.

Emergency and Home Use – As mentioned earlier, almost any simple flashlight will function adequately for simple tasks. For the purpose of individual tasks, dedicated flashlights are needed. LED bulbs are especially recommended because of the long operating time, and high longevity. Every family must have at least one flashlight nearby.

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