LEDs are becoming more and more popular, not least because of their cost-effectiveness. LED lighting is presented in various forms – lamps, spotlights, tapes, as well as LED hand-held lanterns. Let’s consider the main characteristics and types of lanterns and the criteria for their selection.
Technical characteristics of LED lights
Lumen is a special unit of measurement of the luminous flux of LED sources of artificial lighting, including hand lamps. When choosing an LED flashlight, you should pay attention to what the characteristics of the device are described in. All manufacturers are divided into two types: some specify parameters in BuldLumen, and others in TorchLumen. Let’s consider these two concepts in more detail.
- BuldLumen – indicates the characteristics of the supplied light without taking into account its losses on the optics.
- TorchLumen – characteristics are indicated taking into account reflex losses.
Speaking about the degree of protection of a hand-held LED flashlight, it should be noted such a process as anodization, because it is with its help that a protective coating is created. The essence of the method is that the metal is immersed in a container with a special acid and an electric current is passed through it, which increases the strength of the protective metal. Manufacturing companies indicate the degree of protection with Roman numerals II or III. As a rule, the higher the numerical value indicated, the greater the protection of the lamp body.
It should be noted that thanks to this coating, good dielectric properties and protection against oxidation are provided, as well as the wear resistance of the housing increases.
The following factors should be considered when considering flashlight power supplies.
- If there is a need for constant operation of the flashlight, then you should choose a battery that is charged directly from the alternating current network, that is, from a regular outlet, since it is much more profitable than constantly spending money on batteries.
- If there is no such need, and the flashlight is bought for hiking or country trips, then it is best to use batteries.
The light-emitting diode used in the development of hand-held lanterns can have a warm or cold shade. When making a choice, you should pay attention to several parameters. First of all, you should think about your eyesight, because some people’s eyes tolerate shades of warm colors better, and some, on the contrary, cold ones.
There are two types of LED lamp reflectors: smooth and crumpled.
- Smooth reflector – provides better focusing of the light flux in the center of the light supply and blurs quite sharply to the sides.
- Crumpled reflector – has a better scattering property, thanks to which it provides uniform illumination over the entire width of the light stream.
Many will also be interested to know why some models are produced with absolutely flat glass, and some with a so-called lens (convex glass). When the glass is completely flat, the principle of operation of the lantern is similar to a crumpled reflector, as it disperses the light flux well, providing a wider range of lighting with a lower quality of light. As for the lens, it collects light and thus focuses on the center of the light supply, improves the quality of the light flow closer to the center and does not provide a wide range of illumination, as in the case of smooth glass.
Also an important factor is the field of application. If you are going to use the lantern in a closed room, for example, in a warehouse, then a device with a cold shade will work without any problems. If you buy it for wildlife lighting, then you should make a choice in the direction of a warm shade, since such lanterns, unlike the ones mentioned above, do not distort the color range of the environment.
Some LED lights have a built-in “strobe” mode, thanks to which they flash a bright light. As a rule, such types of hand-held flashlights are most often bought by cyclists in order to mark themselves on the road in the dark, in order to avoid traffic accidents.
Also, many models are produced with an emergency signal installed in it, which helps to protect yourself in the dark and to signal for help in case of a traffic accident or some other breakdown.
Types of LED flashlights
A flashlight for diving should be chosen taking into account the greatest waterproofness. When buying, pay attention to the characteristics, there you can always find the degree of waterproofness, the maximum depth of use and the time during which the LED light of a particular model can be and work continuously under water.
If you are an avid hunter, and often hunt in the dark or in dark places, then an LED hunting light will not hurt you. When buying, you should pay attention to the fact that there is a special attachment with which you can attach it to the barrel of your weapon. Also, such a lantern should be compact and light in weight – for your own convenience.
Speaking of tourist lanterns, it should be noted that considering what type of tourism you need this artificial lighting device. If you are a fan of mountaineering, it is best to use a lantern with a head mount option, as you should have free hands. However, the main factor of such a flashlight is the battery life, since if you are going on a trip away from the human world, for example, into the forest, then it will be very difficult for you to find a power source there.
The flashlight keyring, as a rule, does not provide a wide range of lighting. Such a flashlight is suitable if it is necessary to illuminate a small section of the road in the dark or to search for an object that, let’s say, has fallen behind the sofa. The main advantage of such a flashlight is its fastening, because it can be easily worn on a bunch of keys, thanks to which it will always be with you.
EDC flashlight or as it is also called – pocket flashlight. In terms of its appearance and level of light output, this flashlight resembles the previous model – a keychain flashlight. It will be good for those moments when a little lighting is needed, but not more than that.
The LED lantern-lamp is a table lamp that provides a sufficient level of illumination for the entire surface of the table. If you have a child who studies at school and has to do homework, then such a device will come in very handy, because it provides additional light.
Tactical LED lights are widely used by units of special services, because they are fundamentally different from ordinary lights. The fact is that the tactical flashlight, in addition to its main property of providing additional artificial lighting, can be used in 12 other modes of operation. Such a lantern will come in handy if you live in a troubled area, as it can be a good means of protection.
The difference between LED lights and lights with incandescent lamps
If you compare LED lights with analogs on incandescent lamps, you can note several advantages of the former:
- Thanks to LEDs, better lighting quality is ensured. The light is brighter, thanks to which the luminous flux is much greater than that of incandescent lamps.
- Such lanterns can act as a means of protection, as they can easily blind the enemy.
- As for the lack, there is only one – compared to incandescent lamps, LED ones are much more expensive, but they fully reflect the cost with their work. The main advantages are described above.
So, if you decide to buy a hand-held flashlight, we advise you to make your choice in favor of an artificial lighting device with LED bulbs. They provide a better quality of light flow, even if they cost significantly more.