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What Are Lumens & Candle Power? How Do I Select a Flashlight?

flashlightThe purchase of a flashlight is a decision which many don’t research. The metrics by which flashlight power are measured have fairly non-obvious names, and the benefits of making a better choice aren’t immediately apparent. Yet, with a bit of basic understanding of the concepts involved, you can choose the flashlight that best meets your specific needs. If you’d like to buy a flashlight but aren’t sure how to make the right decision, here are a few illuminating pointers that will help you find the best flashlights.

Light is traditionally measured in units known as Candle Power. Created in early 19th-century England, a single unit of Candle Power is defined as the amount of light produced by a candle weighing a specific amount and composed of a specific material. The makeup of this candle has changed slightly over the years, but the output is much the same, and a single unit of Candle Power can be thought of in these terms.

Candle Power is commonly used for measuring flashlight brightness, though it isn’t necessarily the best means of finding the brightest flashlights. There is more to the effectiveness of light than how much power is available to produce it. For instance, if a bright light is shined in a single direction, or if its surface is partially covered, then its effectiveness is greatly reduced. As such, the Lumen is a far better unit for measuring the effectiveness of a flashlight.

Lumens aren’t simply concerned with how bright a given light is. They also take into account the human eye’s sensitivity to various wavelengths. In other words, if you purchase a flashlight based exclusively on Candle Power, or on how bright the light it produces is, much of that light may not be as easily perceived by the human eye, thus wasting precious battery power. Candle Power is certainly a useful metric, but purchasing based upon produced Lumens will yield a much better buy. Lumens also help determine how widely dispersed a flashlight’s beam can get. A flashlight with greater Lumens is likely to illuminate a larger area more brightly.

Various bulb characteristics and materials impact both how much power the light produces, as well as how much area the produced beam can illuminate. Two broad bulb designs employed in flashlights use halogen or xenon. Bulb design is an important consideration when shopping for the brightest flashlights.

As electricity crosses bulb filaments and creates light, the resulting heat causes the wires to slowly evaporate. It was found that the lifespan of bulbs could be extended by filling their interiors with gasses designed to return the evaporated chemicals back to the filaments. These techniques also change the characteristics of the light and heat produced. For instance, halogen bulbs produce more heat and light with a yellowish tint. Higher operating temperatures mean that the bulbs will burn out faster, though the produced light is usually brighter.

Xenon bulbs help mitigate these disadvantages somewhat. Xenon produces light with a whiter tint, and at lower operating temperatures. Less heat helps increase the bulb’s lifetime. This is an especially important consideration, as often power is not as readily available in circumstances where flashlights are needed.

In recent years, another style of flashlight bulb has become increasingly common. LED flashlights abandon more traditional gas filament designs in favor of bulbs that emit light in response to electric conduction alone. These bulbs have several key advantages. First, they are far more energy efficient, producing intense light for hundreds of hours using a single set of batteries. They also produce much less heat and are often more rugged. Their light output remains constant even as their power decreases, and they can produce light at lower intensities to help conserve power even further.

With a large selection of designs and strengths from which to choose, you’re certain to find a flashlight that meets your needs, whatever they may be. If you’re looking for a small, efficient light for a disaster kit, perhaps one of the personal or LED models would make an excellent choice. Larger needs might be better served by one of the medium duty or tactical offerings.

If you’re searching for the best flashlights on the market, then be sure to check out Pelican Flashlights carries a number of designs employing every style of bulb, from traditional halogen to LED. Flashlights are also categorized by size, thus helping you choose the best flashlights for your particular needs. Whatever the need, Pelican models are among the brightest flashlights on the market. For more information on Pelican Flashlights, Please visit providing Flashlight Reviews and other related Information, Advice and Resources.

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