Whether you’re going on an outdoor activity, working in a dark space, or just walking at night, flashlights are essential to carry with you. When you get involved in the darkness, one of human’s most common fears as well as one of the most likely linked to danger, flashlights provide you with the ability to see surroundings clearly, to spot and escape danger. In addition to illumination, they also offer yet another signaling option. Usually,some powerful and versatile flashlight also comes with strobe to deter and strike aggressor so as to save your life.
Now that you are aware of the importance of flashlights for outdoor use against darkness and potential danger,do you know how to choose reliable outdoor flashlights and what features should be taken into consideration? The following are essential features to include in your attention.
Brightness, also called light output, is measured in lumen. This is a measure of the amount of light coming out of the light source in a unit time. If the bulb is placed in a closed sphere and then makes it light, the overall illumination energy received by the inner surface of the sphere is the lumen of the bulb.For outdoor flashlights , lumen is in direct proportion to brightness. Generally speaking, the greater the lumen value, the higher the brightness. However, lumen doesn’t tell the whole story about brightness. Beam distance, light divergence mode and type also can influence the effectiveness of a light in different applications.
2. Beam Distance
Beam distance, also called light range, is measured in meters. It refers to the distance at which the illumination intensity of the lamp decreases to 0.25 lux. This is equivalent to the light produced by the full moon in an open field under clear skies. Full moon illumination is considered adequate for safe and careful outdoor travel.
3. Run Time and Battery
Run time of flashlights is a measure of how long it takes the light output to drop to 10% of rated output on new batteries or fully charged situations. Light output usually decreases over run time. They may gradually decrease over time or remain constant for a certain time and then suddenly decrease.
Regarding the battery of flashlights, lithium battery has become the mainstream choice due to its higher voltage output,compact size and light weight so that we can carry with the portable flashlights in our pack. Rechargeable lithium batteries can be charged by USB connection or solar panel, some even use magnetic charger. Compared with the flashlights using disposable dry batteries, rechargeable flashlights have less electricity cost and are more environmental. However, with regard to remote areas or places where it is inconvenient to charge flashlights, then flashlights with disposable dry batteries are a better choice. You may need to carry a few batteries for replacement.
4. Weight,Size and Shape
Flashlights in the market vary in weight and size. Particularly, porketable flashlights are more welcomed due to their compact size and light weight, which make it convenient for people to carry around wherever they go. If you have a great demand for run time, then a larger, heavier flashlight may meet your requirements. These flashlights may not necessarily be brighter, but they are likely to feature an extended run time due to a greater battery capacity.
In terms of shape, cylindrical flashlights are most common, but these flashlights tend to roll around. Therefore, some models are designed with irregular cylinder or even flat shape to anti-rolling.
- Water Resistance
The IPX system is an international certification system of water resistance. It is the most common technical index for outdoor gear. The IPX system is divided into 8 grades, and the water resistance performance upgrades in turn from IPX-1 to IPX-8 respectively.
IPX-0: No water resistance at all.
IPX-1: It is waterproof to vertical drops of water. It can provide waterproof up to 10 minutes for rainfall approximately 30 to 50 cm/min.
IPX-2: It is basically the same as IPX-1, and can waterproof to water droplets falling within 15 degrees from the vertical.
IPX-3: Waterproof to 60 degrees splash water, providing waterproof up to 5 minutes for a flow rate of 10 liters/second and a pressure of 80 to 100 N/m.
IPX-4:It is basically the same as IPX-3, which is splash resistant from all angles.
IPX-5:Water resistant from all angles, providing waterproof up to 3 minutes for a flow rate of 12.5 liters/second and a pressure of 30 N/m.
IPX-6: Spray water resistant from all angles, and waterproof to huge waves. For 2 to 3 minutes at the depth of 3m underwater.
IPX-7: temporary immersion: up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1m.
IPX8 – submersion: up to 4 hours at the specified depth.
6. Impact Resistance
The impact resistance is measured in meters. Flashlights are tested by dropping them onto concrete or hard rigid surfaces at the rated distance. The drop testing aims to simulate the accidentally free drop of flashlights, and to investigate the ability of flashlights to resist accidental impact and remain functional.
7. Switch Mode
The type of on/off and lighting mode switch is also important. Switches are usually divided into magnetic switches, physical push buttons, sliders and rotary switches. The magnetic switch is the most unreliable one, which is prone to problems such as broken magnets and corrosion.
The rotary is the simplest structural design and the least possibility of switch failure, but it requires two hands to operate. Push buttons and sliders are typically thumb operated, so they are preferred for users. Some flashlights are equipped with the safety luck feature to prevent light from being accidentally turned on, which is helpful to avoid unexpected battery electricity consumption.
8. Beam Type
The lens reflector that surrounds a bulb influences how the light is dispersed. There are three common options for flashlights.
Flood: Floodlight is a broad-beamed enable to illuminate larger area. They are good for general tasks in outdoor or walking at night.
Focused: A single beam condensed into a spotlight to penetrate a long distance. This is best for route-finding or long distance observation.
Adjustable: The light beam is adjustable between flood and focused. It is flexible for users to conduct beam type switches according to scenarios.
9. Color Temperature
Measured in Kelvins. Color temperature is a way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb. It is used to categorize the color of light emitted by other light sources regardless of their temperature. Color temperatures over 5000K are called cool colors while lower color temperatures (2700-3000K) are warm colors.
Cool color appears brighter, cleaner and fresher. It is better for concentrating or seeing details. While warm color has better color rendering. The color rendering of a light source refers to its ability to reveal the color of various objects faithfully. Generally speaking, the better the color rendering, the more suitable it is for outdoor sports. Furthermore, warm color has longer wavelength, stronger penetration and longer irradiation distance in rainy and foggy weather.
Arkfeld is the most porketable EDC flashlight with 5 brightness white light and a green laser beam. An amazing max 1,000 lumen output is able to light up every corner you can see. The green laser beam meets the Class 1 safety standard, and it can be used to direct people’s attention in any scene.
The following are its advantages for outdoor use:
- Up to 1000 lumen
- Up to 101 meters throw
- Flat shape and compact size
- Dual Light Source
- 6 light mode supported
- Convenient magnetic rechargeable
- Pocket clip and strong magnetic tail
- IPX-7 water resistance
- 1 meter impact resistance
- One button control and toggle switch