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ANSI/NEMA FL-1:  for high lumen flashlights
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ANSI/NEMA FL-1: for high lumen flashlights

ANSI/NEMA FL-1, what the heck is that?

The lack of proper standards has made it hard for consumers to choose the correct high lumen flashlight. Whether used for personal or professional purposes, a flashlight is essential on a frequent basis. In order to find a high lumen flashlight that lives up to all expectations, the ANSI/NEMA FL-1 standard was created. This is an optional standardization test for flashlights to be subject to, prior to being classified according to their performance. ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute and NEMA is short for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. They teamed up with representatives from 14 flashlight manufacturers, to create this standard to help consumers find their perfect flashlight.

How are high lumen flashlights rated?

There are six different criteria that need to be taken into consideration, before evaluating each high lumen flashlight. Below, are the criteria that determine the quality and specifications tested flashlights. Testing is performed with brand new batteries, either included upon purchase of the flashlight or recommended in the instructions.

  1. Light Output: Measured in lumen, is the overall quantity of the Lumens emitted by the flashlight, which is highlighted after 30 to 120 seconds have passed since it was switched on.
  2. Run Time: Measured in hours and minutes, is the time required, for the flashlight to drop to 10% of its initial light output value. A great thing about LED flashlights is that they have regulated circuits that will provide many hours of useful light beyond the manufacture’s rated runtime.  Unlike incandescent flashlights that “die”, LED’s slowly fades over hours.
  3. Peak Beam Intensity: Measured in candela, is the maximum light intensity, which is measured at the centre of the flashlight’s focused beam. Peak beam intensity is found by multiplying the surface light intensity by the distance squared.
  4. Beam Distance: The actual distance in meters, when there is a light beam of 0.25 Lux. The distance is found without any testing required. Instead, the calculation takes place.
  5. Water Resistance: In this criterion for a high lumen flashlight, various tests are preformed to determin the level of waterproofing.
  • IPX0 No waterproofing
  • IPX1 Can withstand falling water, small drips
  • IPX2 Falling water with device held at 15 degrees
  • IPX3 Spraying water with device held at 60 degrees
  • IPX4 Splashing water
  • IPX5 Water jets
  • IPX6 Protection against heavy seas
  • IPX7 Can be immersed in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • IPX8 Submersion in water, rating will be based off the manufacturers test

6. Impact Resistance: The height from which the high lumen flashlight can be dropped and not get damaged. Testing requires the flashlight to be “off”, with the batteries in, left to rest for a while and then examined for any damage. If test height exceeds 1m, subject is dropped 6 times from different angles.

Conclusion Thanks to ANSI/NEMA FL-1’s testing standardization, it puts manufacture’s specifications on a level playing ground.  That way consumers can rest assured they could choose a high lumen flashlight that fits their needs!

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