How do backpackers and outdoor workers choose outdoor flashlights

2022-04-29 09:29:32

Despite the growing popularity of headlights in the wilderness, flashlights are still a good choice as long as hand-held fixtures are preferred.
Advances in LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology and battery efficiency have made flashlights smaller, lighter and brighter than they were just a few years ago.
Key factors to look out for when choosing a flashlight:
1. Light output performance:
Light output is measured in lumens.
This is a measure of how much light the flashlight emits at its highest brightness setting powered by a new battery. It's a good comparison parameter, but doesn't tell the whole story about brightness. Beam intensity, distance, and type all affect how light works in different applications. The light output of the flashlight can range from a modest 20 lumens (great for reading a book) to a harsh 3500 lumens. Beam distance in meters. The beam distance will vary with the brightness setting selected for the flashlight.
2. Battery type and usage time:
The ease of changing batteries and the versatility of batteries are also a factor in choosing a flashlight.
Flashlights with disposable dry cells are common.
While lithium batteries are more expensive, they have the advantage of being smaller in size and weight, and higher voltage output, allowing for brighter flashlights to be carried in smaller, lighter backpacks.
The rechargeable built-in lithium battery can be charged from a USB connection through an AC or DC power outlet or a solar panel, etc.
Lithium-ion batteries have lower continuous electricity costs and no need for disposable batteries, which can reduce waste to make up for higher up-front costs.
Note: Unless the manufacturer recommends a lithium battery for the flashlight, using an incompatible lithium battery for the flashlight may damage the bulb.
In hours, the run time of a flashlight is how long it takes for the light output of a new battery to drop to 10% of its rated output.
The light output may gradually decrease over time, or remain essentially constant and then decrease abruptly.
3. Weight, shape and size:
Most flashlight bodies are plastic or aluminum alloy. Some use stainless steel on the flashlight head for greater impact resistance. Not all aluminum housings are created equal, thinner styles are lighter, while thicker ones are a bit stronger.