Many first time customers of premium flashlights are often confused by the myriad of product specifications thrown to them by flashlight manufacturers. These come in the form of emitter lumens, smart UI, anti-roll and coating. Here at Fstop Lights, we like to keep things simple and easy to understand, so we have come up with a K.I.S.S specification list that is common throughout all the flashlight brands. This makes it easy to understand and compare the many flashlights that we sell. Here is the list:
Battery: The type of battery(s) the flashlight uses. Some flashlights utilise rechargeable lithium batteries. The two most common types are the RCR123A battery (also known as the 16340 battery), where the R stands for rechargeable, and the 18650 battery. There is a non rechargeable form of the RCR123A in the form of CR123A, but the RCR123As have a cost advantage over them as they can be recharged plenty of times. RCR123A batteries and 18650 batteries use their own special charger. Also, we like to recommend rechargeable Ni-MH AA/AAA batteries over alkalines as they tend to leak.
Max Brightness: The total amount of light a flashlight produces. This is usually measured in terms of candlepower but more commonly lumens (Lu). The greater the lumens, the brighter the flashlight will be. However, some flashlights will appear brighter than others due to their more intense hotspot and dimmer side spill.
Max Runtime: The total amount of time the flashlight can run on the dimmest setting. This value is usually an estimate and is affected by the type of battery used when testing the light. Runtime also varies with what mode you are using with the flashlight.
Max Range: How far the hotspot of the flashlight beam can reach. Flashlights with larger heads and thus bigger reflectors usually throw better but have a dimmer side spill, making them more useful for outdoor use
Emitter: The heart of the flashlight, the type of emitter used affects the colour and output of the beam of the flashlight. ‘Warm tint’ flashlights usually use Cree XP-G R4s or XM-L T6s to give a colour temperature closer to that of incandescent bulbs, while flashlights that use Cree’s more common emitters such as XPG-R5 or XM-L U2 are whiter. There have also been developments of bigger emitter dies such as the SST-50/SST-90 that give plenty more output compared to their R2 counterparts. There are also led emitters with 4 emitters put together to form a multi-emitter, in the case of Cree MC-E and SSC-P7 emitters. The latest developments from Cree are the XM-L U2 and the XPG2 (or generation 2) R5 LED pills.
Multi-Mode: Most tactical flashlights nowadays have multi-modes, either controlled by turning the head, a selector ring or by half-pressing the tail switch
Material: Look for solid state material in the form of Type III military anodized aluminium. More expensive flashlights usually use stainless steel or titanium to give it better durability (Titanium is usually for shelf queens though)
Waterproof: Most flashlights sold on the market have at least an IPX-8 standard waterproofing ability. This allows it to survive in water as deep as 1.5m for 30 minutes, although it lasts longer than that
Switch Type: A forward switch allows you to half press the button without fully depressing the tail switch to turn on the flashlight. A reverse clicky does not have that function.
Other Features: Such as anti-rolling design, flat regulation and so on
Accessories: Included with the flashlight in the package. Do take note some accessories are optional and have to be purchased seperately.
Technical Specs: Weight, length and diameter of the flashlight body. May also include other measurements.