What does lumen output mean in a flashlight?
Lumen output is a measurement of light intensity, the higher the intensity the brighter the light. When manufacturers rate their flashlights they use a light meter to measure the lumen output an thus giving you an idea of how bright the light will be. When we talk about flashlights there are other factors also to consider. One of the most important is the size and design of the reflector matched with a suitable amount of lumens to achieve the results we want for a specific purpose. For example a 200 lumen pocket torch matched with a reflector diameter of 20mm may only throw its beam of light 30-40 meters, but will light up the first 20 meter very well. Whereas if you take the same 200 lumens and match it with a 55mm diameter reflector you will be able to have more focus and throw the light 100 meters. So a balance of lumens and reflector are important. Not everyone has a light meter, so to give you an example of lumens in relation to commonly found identifiable flashlights, we have compiled some lumen measurements.
4 D Cell Maglite = 70 lumens
2 D Cell Maglite = 37 lumens
Maglite Mini aa = 15.2 lumens
Everyready Dolphin = 67 lumens
These are all old style bulb flashlights as opposed to what we have in stock which are the latest generation Cree LED chips. The Cree LED chips should not be mistaken with the commonly available LED diodes which have been used for many years in industry and have a very low intensity.
What is the difference between ANSI lumens and lumens ?
ANSI stands for American National Standard Institute. If a light is rated in ANSI lumens it means the light intensity has been measured out the front of the light after it has passed the reflector and glass; and to get this rating you have to conform to the Institute’s strict testing procedures.When a manufacturer rates their lights in ANSI lumens, the lumen output will appear a lot lower, as it has been measured properly, therfore giving the initial impression that it is not as bright as a flashlight that has been measured in LED lumens but is more accurate. Some manufacturers give the lumens ratings in LED lumen potential, which means they will take a certain LED Chips statistics, for example the SST-50, which has a maximum led output of around 1200 lumens when matched with a paticular flashlight that has a heat sink large enough to cope with the heat when it is running on high. Then they place it in a smaller flashlight that only has the potential to run the chip at half of its maximum capacity, because the smaller the head the smaller the heatsink. Then they advertise the light as a 1200 lumen flashlight when in fact it should only be a 600 LED lumen flashlight, which in reality may only be a 450 ANSI lumen flashlight. This is why rating in ANSI lumens makes it a lot easier to estimate the light intensity of a flashlight.
What is a good general all purpose torch?
We recommend the Niteye MS-R28, EagleTac T25C2 , Klarus XT12, JetBeam RRT02 or the Fenix PD35 . All of these torches are medium in size, all have an adjustment to change the output settings from low to higher lumen output levels very easily, all have a strobe mode, all have a very high lumen output level of light, and also all of these torches are very reliable for outdoor use as they are very tough in construction and are waterproof to an IPX 8 standard.
I need a long throwing flashlight and have picked a light with the highest lumen output.
Again highest lumen doesn’t always mean the longest throw. Some lights are more focused and use larger, highly polished reflectors to give a maximum throw. Some lights are designed with orange peel reflectors to smooth out the beam and give a more even spread. For example the Thrunite Catapult V3 1300 ANSI lumen flashlight, with its deep smooth reflector will give a lot further throwing distance than the Thrunite 3600 lumen TN30 or the 3200 lumen Jetbeam DDR30,
As the Catapult is designed as a throwing light. This is why we feature it as a gun light in our gun section, as hunters need lights that will illuminate subjects when looking through magnified scopes past the distance the the naked eye will see.
Lights we recommend that are designed to give maximum throw in the big lights catagory are as follows: Sunwayman T40C, Thrunite Catapult , Sunwayman V60C, EagleTac MX25L2.
Lights we recommend in the big light section that give you good distance and also a lot of flood which is the best beam pattern for general purpose are as follows: EagleTac MX25L3C, Thrunite TN30, Microfire Challenger, Jetbeam DDR30.
How long will it take before I receive my order?
Your goods will be dispatched on the day of ordering if you order is placed before 3pm. It then takes 1-2 working days for the item to be delivered to you as we use the Eparcel express system which is usually next day delivery, city to city.
Do you have in stock the Flashlight I am interested in?
All the flashlights we advertise on our website are in stock. This means your item is dispatched for postage the same day or the following depending on what time we receive your order; no waiting around for back orders. If we run out of a particular item we mark that item with an “out of stock sign”, and in this case the item is not available until we remove the out of stock sign which in most cases only takes a few days.
I am interested in a flashlight but cannot make my mind up as their are so many models to choose from.
If you are interested in a flashlight for a particular purpose and cannot find what you are looking for you can email us with your enquiry and requirements and we will try and make a recommendation to suit your requirements, alternatively you can ring us and we will try to help you over the phone.
What is the basic difference between the lithium CR123A powered Flashlights and the AA powered flashlights ?
The basic difference between these two different types of flashlights is lithium batteries have a much higher power output level for their size than the standard AA batteries. So let’s say we have two torches the size of your finger, one torch is AA and the other torch is CR123A lithium, the torch with the lithium batteries will have the potential to output almost twice the light levels as the torch with the AA batteries, it is that simple. This is why most professional flashlight manufacturers prefer the lithium battery flashlights as opposed to the AA batteries as it allows them to design much smaller and more powerful and efficient flashlights than if they only had AA batteries to work with. However there is a cost to this efficiency, as the CR123A batteries are more expensive compared to the common and readily available AA batteries. We sell the CR123A batteries in our battery section for around $3.00 as opposed to certain electronics retailers who sell the same batteries for around $10.00 to $12.00 per battery . Alternatively if you are someone who uses your flashlight a lot we usually recommend using rechargeable batteries as a cheaper option. These batteries work in the case of most of the flashlights we sell, however not in the Surefire brand and some smaller flashlights with narrower bodies, as they are too wide to fit the internal tube diameter. So alway check the flashlight specifications first to make sure these batteries are suitable, or ring for advice.
What type of rechargeable batteries can I use to replace my CR123A batteries in my LED Flashlight?
Again to keep it simple we stock 2 types of rechargeable batteries, 18650 batteries an 16340 batteries, Always read the torch specifications as some flashlights wont accept these batteries as their bodies are slightly narrower, but if the specifications say CR123A or 18650 then either batteries can be used.The 18650 battery takes the place of two CR123A batteries when it is specified that both batteries can be used.The 16340 battery takes the place of one CR123A battery when it is specified that both types of batteries can be used in the torch which is suitable for small flashlights that can only fit one CR123A. The charger we currently sell is a TL-100 battery charger and this charger works to charge 18650 and 16340 batteries, so if you have a combination of flashlights that require one battery or two this charger is a good all rounder.
I am looking for a 1000 lumen or higher flashlight and I need it small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. I have seen a 900 lumen flashlight on ebay- do you have anything that fits this criteria ?
Believe it or not this is a fairly common type of enquiry, so I am going to take this opportunity within this question to try and explain why in my opinion these types of flashlights are only of novelty value and not suitable for professional use. One of the biggest problems with putting such a high lumen output level through a flashlight with a relatively small head, is there is not enough metal around the head and in contact with the led chip and heat sink to allow for the sufficient removal of the massive amount of heat these chips produce away from the circuitry. So if the flashlight is left on for a prolonged period of time inevitably the circuitry will over-heat or fry. Then if you are in the dark and I’m assuming you will be if you need to use a flashlight, you will be wishing your flashlight only outputted 200 lumens and still worked when you really needed it. Another reason in my opinion why putting so much light output through a small lens is only of novelty value, is because after roughly 200-300 lumens on a 25mm to 35mm diameter flashlight lens the distance it throws after this is limited to the increase of diameter and depth of the lens. So in other words if you put 900 lumens through such a small lens it wont go any further, it will just spill all the excess light out to the sides, which is just a waste of power, as most good quality flashlights above 200 lumens will give you more than enough light to the sides.