Streamlight Inc. reported it has begun implementing a new basic performance standard for flashlights. The company was instrumental in forming a coalition of 14 leading flashlight manufacturers to create the standardized tests and uniform rating system for flashlight equipment.
Developed with the guidance of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the series of guidelines is called the ANSI (American National Standards Institute)/NEMA FL 1-2009 Flashlight Basic Performance Standard. It is the first flashlight standard worldwide and introduces definitions and testing methods for flashlight basic performance as well as associated marking.
Prior to development of the guidelines, there were no industry-wide standards to help buyers evaluate what flashlight would be best for the tasks at hand.
The new standard is the culmination of more than two years of research and testing among participating manufacturers. “As a group, we identified which basic metrics, such as run time and light output, we were going to measure and then determined the standards to evaluate performance,” said Streamlight President Brad Penney.
The standard helps customers rate and compare the most important features of personal lighting tools, including peak beam intensity, beam distance, impact resistance, run time, light output and water resistance. Included in the standard is a series of icons, which participating manufacturers plan to display on their websites, packaging and in catalogues, along with a rating that tells how each light performed.
While compliance with the standard is voluntary, the coalition hopes that that all flashlight companies will adopt it, Penney said, adding that “the real key to industry-wide adoption of it will be consumer demand for this information at the point of sale.”
For more information, visit www.nema.org/stds/fl1.cfm.