Flashlight History

Since then, the flashlights were little changed on the principle, but benefited chronically improvements enabled by the technology boom of the post World War II.

Thus, the first flashlights provided only 15 to 20 lumens (unless a lower front-end modern) and about 180-200 lux (an effective range of ANSI just over 25m) for a very short battery life (a few minutes). For comparison, a 60W household bulb delivers about 600-800 lumens.

The “good old” TL-122 of the Second World War, used by professionals into the 80s and much later in a recreational setting (scouts, hikers, etc.), provided about 15 lumens for many hours through “D” batteries aka “BA-30”. Its evolution MX 991 Fulton appeared late 60 peaked at 28 lumens with the same batteries.

In 70-90 years, the Kel-Lite and Mag-Lite, at significant cost to the origin (the equivalent of € 200-250 today), provide in their more powerful versions just over 60 lumens and less than 200 meters effective range when the beam is focused to the max (9720 lux precisely).

At the same time, the flashlights are diversifying to meet the spectrum needs: medicine, hiking, diving, rescue, computers, each with different problems that appear, are a problem, and are solved over the technological change: colorimetry, beam type, scope, intensity, sealing, explosion, etc.

In the 1980s, a small unknown American company specializing in lasers is required by the LAPD SWAT (shock response group of the LAPD), which prepares the safety of the 1984 Olympics and wants to test the installation of laser pointers on a weapon, then, very quickly, that of compact flashlights, the company invented.The Surefire 6 was born, introducing the D26 standard still predominant in the global market due to its versatility and its ratio profile / remarkable efficiency.

The first SF provide 60 lumens for a little over 30 minutes. For the time and for the size, it is a revolution. More powerful than a Maglite, 3 times shorter, five times lighter. Soon the model evolves and becomes the must 6P, available, copied, evolved, transformed. The vast majority of current compact flashlights drift of the D26 standard, including our PXE-L1.

Anecdote still: it’s Surefire realized that the laser gun in Terminator (1984). Do not say you did not know, that’s wrong.

A few years later, around 1995-2000, a Chinese company, UltraFire, introduced a new system, then WF standard C, with a revolutionary approach to the standard D26: module (bulb + reflector) is not inserted in but the lamp screwed into it: better electrical efficiency, longer life, better reliability. For filament bulbs are fragile and break more often than not.

Thus appear the WF-500 and 800 and the C2, C3, C8, appearing among all the models of best selling flashlights in the world since the 2000s.

Then came the revolution of the diode, or LED (in English for Light Emitting Diode), more efficient, more economical, more durable, more solid. Autonomy as dual power, even triple, from the first diode generations.

D26 standard sees in (one can now exit near 1000 real lumens D26 a) as the standard C (our PXE-L8, C8 strongest available in Europe to date, provide 860-1400 actual lumens). Surefire, already leading provider of US armed forces in particular, strengthening its position and Ultrafire is illustrated by the considerable scope of its compact model yet: the barrier of 250m for a flashlight 20cm mass was reached in the mid 2000 (Ultrafire C8 XR-E, popular in special units at the time), all with a range of more than 1 hour.

The US and Chinese Surefire UltraFire see their marks once copied to the death. Surefire, American society does not hurt to prevent theft of his name, but Ultrafire Chinese quickly engraved on dozens of flashlights models never left their factory or copies of their own models, and unfortunately becomes synonymous with “chinoiserie” in the bad sense.

Some brands, Garyflashlights comes super bright versions for flashlights, innovating and sometimes on the same basis, prized by their planetary frequency guarantee of easy maintenance on all continents.

The electronic boom occurred since the late 2000s brings its innovations in ergonomics, lighting modes, user interface. Thus today lists more than twenty different systems just to start up a flashlight, when only 3 existed 15 years ago.

Utility object of a thousand uses and for certain essential daily, the flashlight has also become an object you want beautiful: since the 2000s appeared a demand for more “sortables” flashlights than the usual black tubes . colorful anodized finishes, textured coatings, modern flashlights, even utilities, diversify, although black is still predominant as economical to manufacture, durable, and still wanted by a majority of users.

You will find us extremely durable and efficient utility models based on the D26 and C8 standards, and the possibility of tailor-made achievements on the same basis, for specialized professional tool to the exclusive functional object.

You’ll understand that many models of flashlights exist now, and unfortunately 90% of the market offers, the more so with ease permitted by internet offer anything made anywhere by anyone , are fundamentally bad products.

In our next series of articles “How to choose your flashlight,” we will bring you all the necessary information to make YOUR choice based on YOUR needs, far from any marketing blah.

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