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Flashlight Buying Guide

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An informed article useful for anyo
ne contemplating the purchase of a
quality flashlight. Discusses the m
erits of various technologies along
 with what is available in the mark
et place.

Flashlights, Torches

Article Body:
<p>Gone are the days when buying a
flashlight meant one would automati
cally seek out Maglite. Whilst reco
gnising the impact and unprecedente
d success of the Maglite design, LE
D, HID (High Intensity Discharge) a
nd Xenon technology along with ultr
a strong casing materials means tha
t the flashlight has evolved to a s
tate where the more powerful the be
am does not necessarily mean the la
rger the flashlight.</p>

<p>When seeking out high performanc
e, reasonably priced lighting tools
 it is easy to become swamped by th
e amount of brands on the market. F
lashlight technology at the beginni
ng of the 21st century offers a baf
fling variation of bulb type, body
material, body size, power source a
nd price range. This guide is a bri
ef overview of the salient points w
orth consideration when buying any
quality flashlight. </p>

<p>In the same way that feet measur
e length so lumens measure brightne
ss. The higher the Lumen count the
brighter and further the beam will
show. Occasionally you may find bri
ghtness levels measured in Candlepo
wer or Candelas, this describes a u
nit of light at source. One Candlep
ower/Candela is equal to 12.57 Lume

<p>Perhaps the most significant bre
akthrough in lighting technology wa
s the L.E.D. (Light Emitting Diode)
. The L.E.D. produces light on a mo
lecular level as distinct from a no
rmal bulb, which heats a filament t
herefore using more energy to produ
ce less light. As a result an L.E.D
. will last a lifetime and dramatic
ally lengthen the life of a battery
. They do, however, vary in purity.
 Like diamonds, at the point of pro
duction some produce clean white li
ght whereas others have a very slig
ht blue, violet or green tint.</p>

<p>Xenon Lights produce a broad spe
ctrum of light (including infrared)
 and can be made to have a high max
imum lumen output by the inclusion
of Xenon gas in the bulb thus enabl
ing light to be produced at a highe
r pressure, but they are comparativ
ely less efficient users of power.
H.I.D technology (High Intensity Di
scharge) uses a Xenon bulb slightly
 differently with the addition of a
 tubular outer bulb and an inner ar
c tube with a cerium-doped quartz p
artition in the bulb to block out m
ost ultraviolet. HID torches have l
umen output of approximately 500-10
00. Lighting technology could be de
scribed as a battle between light a
nd heat, as the energy to produce t
he heat detracts from that which pr
oduces the light. The undoubted ma
ster is the LED. It makes light wit
hout the need to heat a filament, t
hus lengthening bulb and battery li
fe. However the power from a Xenon
bulb can be astoundingly bright yet
 harder on the batteries.</p>

<p>Casing material has progressed s
o far as to be almost indestructibl
e if dropped and virtually water re
sistant in very wet conditions. A g
ood, quality flashlight will invari
ably have an Aerospace grade alumin
ium body and a rugged construction
and design. </p>

<p>Manufacturers vary in quality an
d specialism. Surefire have a quali
ty range of Xenon and LEDs with a c
omprehensive range of accessories.
Ledwave produce excellent, powerful
 and reasonably priced LED and Xeno
n lights. Nextorch can boast the ex
traordinary Saint, capable of produ
cing a massive 450 lumens, plus a r
ange of    ingeniously, versatile L
ED, Xenon and rechargeable torches.

<p>Navigating the labyrinth of flas
hlight production is tricky and ult
imately dependant on what job will
be asked of it. Lumen output to siz
e ratio, tough hardwearing casing m
aterial and bulb / battery life are
 essential elements to take into co
nsideration when choosing a lightin
g tool to last and perform over tim

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