Should manufacturers include drop tests?

Was just reading the unfortunate story of smithd1's Emisar that fell on the floor...dead.

Since the competition (in the flashlight world) has been growing significantly I am of the belief that it is mostly about quantity and not as much on quality!

I also think QC is a passed station for many, and a simple on/off check of the flaslight is all we get before it gets shipped out.

Wouldn't it be great if all the flashlight maker to start including drop tests? And share proof? I'm totally for this.

(Not for the flashlights before they get shipped but during the manufacturing proces, and improve materials during the process.

I think yes!

I thought most of them were already doing this? If not, they should.

Yes! One of the reasons I bought my first enthusiast light was because I saw a video of a guy performing a drop test (dropping it multiple times from different heights).

A lot already do, and they are usually rated for like 1m or 2m drops or whatever.

This is a very good idea. Some do already. These are cylindrical objects and they roll. Plus we lend them to muggles :slight_smile:

My Q8 fell out of a 10ft ceiling onto concrete once - still works! Just minor scratches.

Olight testing factory

the video starts at the time of the drop testing.

I think it is more independent if not the manufacturers but the reviewers do those drop tests as a standard section of the review. Not if you payed dearly for your light but if you receive the light no charge from a seller for review it should hurt a bit less if it gets damaged. For me at least the information that I get from some torture is more valuable than ending up with a pristine light.

Yes, but minimal. Like from a table or so. The fact that you climb in a crane and maybe drop your light is not relevant for the majority of the owners. So I would support a minimum standarised test for all. And welcome the manufacturers who boast (and deliver proof) that they can do better than that.

I miss that guy. RIP Marshall.

I don’t believe that what happened to smithd1’s D4s would have been avoidable. Lexel wrote in that thread that the driver board would not contain heavy components that could be affected by that height. So unless a bunch of people confirm that their D4s also died from a fall that high I assume that this was a manufacturing problem which would not get caught in drop tests during development.

BUT: If your light is certified to survive an e.g. 1m drop you would have it much easier getting your light replaced after it dropped from a coffee table and died, I believe.

I think it’s in general not a bad idea. But it will cost money and it will make the light more expensive. Just be aware of that.

Very good point.
Some reviewers do really awesome job in other areas, but this seems a bit overlooked despite being very important.

I’ve dropped a number of lights (Thorfire, Convoy, Sofirn) intentionally or otherwise and none of them died. Some were on carpet but others were onto concrete or terrazzo floors. A Convoy S2 bounced down a flight of terrazzo steps suffering only body scratches and dings. From my experience led lights are pretty robust and while some obviously die when dropped (wasn’t there a problem with the Sofirn SP10?) I wonder what percentage of lights die or are damaged (not counting body damage) from being dropped/abused and how much testing would help unless a statistically significant number of lights were dropped for a given model?

Wouldn’t damage generally be due to broken/loose connection in the led/driver/switch?

Just thinking out loud.

I am a little conflicted with the case of the Emisar D4S. I think that generally speaking, the answer depends on the flashlight and what the consumer expects from it. Do they expect it to be shockproof, drop-proof or waterproof? If I get an EDC light for my pocket, I don’t expect that it will hold up as a weapon light if I were to strap it to my AR-15. It might work fine as a weapon light, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if it wasn’t rated for such use. On the other hand, if I get a weapon light, I fully expect that it will also stand up to the rigors of EDC pocket carry, since weapon lights need to be a bit more durable to survive their normal use. Virtually everyone who carries a D4 seems to admit that it is a “hot rod” flashlight, intended more for hobbyists to have fun with than for general consumption by the uninitiated. The D4S is, in many ways, an overpowered D4. Now, I recently got a D4S myself and I am not sure I totally agree with that assessment — it’s complicated since the D4S’s heat management is very good but the size is now exceeding the EDC category — but it’s still a pretty specialized hand torch.

I just want to give a few examples of hot rods and maybe that can shed some light on the subject. The thing is, people generally don’t expect a hot rod car to perform the same as a more general purpose car, like an SUV. The SUV is made, and therefore expected, to survive a broad palette of harsh conditions, from dry asphalt to wet asphalt to wet mud, snow, ice and flowing water. The kind of performance expected out of the hot rod is limited to the more narrow scope of just going fast on asphalt. If you drive a hot rod car on a rocky dirt road, it will definitely be damaged and no one would be surprised. As another example, most modern handguns are made to be close to 100% reliable with a wide variety of ammunition because a misfire at the wrong time can be the difference between life and death in a defensive gun use. A Glock that jams even once per 100 rounds of ammo should be sent back to the factory on suspicion of a manufacturing defect. On the other hand, people are perfectly willing to pay $1600 for a Desert Eagle, even though they jam pretty regularly, because Desert Eagles are chambered in really fun, high powered calibers like .44 magnum and .50 AE. The Desert Eagle is a handgun “hot rod” and it’s only expected to be a fun thing to bring to a shooting range. Nobody (sane) would carry one for self-defense, so the fact that you might get 5-10 jams for every 100 rounds fired doesn’t factor into the equation of its appeal.

What it boils down to for me is this. If there is a category called “hot rod flashlights,” and their main use is for flashaholics to have fun with, then do we expect flashaholics to be rough on them in regular use, and if not, do we expect flashaholics to be put in danger or seriously inconvenienced (not just in terms of money) by the flashlight breaking from being accidentally dropped? To get at the answer, take a look at how the Emisar flashlights are sold. You have to order them from China and at the time of ordering, you select from a bunch of cryptic options for the LED type and tint. You then need to make sure you have the right battery and a charger for it. On the order page, you can also find a visual diagram of the D4S’s operating instructions. Note that it is not a newbie-friendly “on/off” type of operation.

I dropped a Sunwayman V11R less than 30” onto concrete 4 years ago. Contacted them, they said send it into China, never heard another word on it to this day…

The key is correct Engineering Design, material used to absorb shock and compression once flashlight is subjected to severe impacts.

BTW, I do my own impact tests. Slam, drop, throw to direct cement concrete walls and falls. I done 2 Wuben lights that way.

Been working in TUV (UL in US is the same) mechanical laboratory and have over 100 drop test behind.
You may not be aware, but drop tests are common. Every cell phone goes thru it, many electronic devices but also simple products. It’s just cheap so when testing fitness for use, it’s easy to perform this one as well.
What I can tell from experience, drop tests are quite random. You need to have statistical approach. Best if you can use 100+ samples and see, how many out of 100 breaks after falling from 1m. So a producer should set an acceptance level - e.g. 95% must pass the test. But even that won’t prevent all the cases. There’s always worst case scenario which leads to malfunction. It’s just economics: a flaslight totally resistant to 1m falls would be pricey. And I’m sure you don’t want emisar to cost 300 bucks just knowing it’s 1m fall proof. It’s better to leave it as is and refund accidental claims.

I wouldn’t believe their drop test claims any more than I believe their IPX ratings.

Yes!

Seems like the video won’t play embedded, so here’s the link: Spark Technology Torture Test - YouTube