Time To Update The ANSI Specifications?

Based on use for the last three years or so it seems to me that the ANSI flashlight performance test specifications should be updated to make them more relevant to customers.

Throw distance should be made the distance to a 1 lumen light intensity on target as being much more of a practical use distance.

Make the Lumens output listed for Turbo mode the maximum output that the batteries can sustain for 15 minutes minimum with no more than 10% output droop. As is some lights are now claiming maximum outputs that AA alkaline batteries cannot sustain even for a minute. Some single CR123 lights are getting almost as bad. Lights are claiming outputs which have gotten out of hand and cannot be held for any real time at all due to overheating. The light output area needs major revision.

Run times are currently to 10% of initial light output. Ridiculous. Make it a more user realistic 50%.

Require light makers to list regulation type and whether or not the light includes battery under voltage protection.

Other ideas, comments etc?

“1 lumen light intensity” or “1 lux/cd”?

I think meddling in both brightness and runtime specs would be unfair for a flashlights with timed stepdown. It makes sense for many users. Turbo modes really are bright and I think it’s fair to leave it as it is (now output is measured after 30-120s). Revised runtime figures may clear that out.

Regulation type? 80% of actual users have no idea what it means.

I would like a runtime graph for each mode, it would eliminate the tricks unless its faked (a name brand manufacturer has a lot more to lose from falsified data vs no name ones)

The only real thing is to see a graph. Brands abuse the precise definition of ANSI runtime, in recent months tease us with many runtime jokes….
50% is more realistic.


We should redefine ANSI lumen specs to bring them in line with Chinese specs.


I mean, think how much bigger the numbers would be! We like bigger numbers, right?

Chinese lumens are meaningless POOYA (pulled out of your A—) numbers and have no consistency from seller to seller even on the same light wise guy!. :open_mouth:

I like the graph idea which can show both Lumens and run time simultaneously the way many light reviewers do both here and on CPF. As is now some of the figures were, it appears, figured out by a batch of lawyers working with the manufacturers engineers and tossing in some language professors to come up with the most “creative” use of the English language possible to interpret the ANSI test instructions in the most favorable way possible.

I think the graph is the way to go, instead of standards that are easy to game you have a chart that answers all the important questions. If its faked then the offending company will have some egg on their face, so its unlikely a real name brand such as fenix would do it.
But i would want a chart with both battery types, what i mean is some lights are designed for 2 x CR123 or 1 x 18650, and only the chart of the CR123 is included, which is useless to me, i have none of those batteries and don’t plan to buy any, the chart makes them look good because they will always be over the Vf of the LED. The chart of an 18650 will show very quickly if its a linear or regulated driver and how good/poor the heatsinking is

This is a good thread. I have been thinking about it for a while but thought I might get shot down in flames.
I like the idea of a graph for runtime although my main gripe has been with the throw or beam distance.
Chinese figures are rubbish and I wouldnt even consider any of their information.
But using brand names lights, let say for instance using a one 18650 light from Nitecore A P25, the box says 283 metres. And according to ANSI at 283 metres is should be moonlight. What good is moonlight at 283 metres in real world use? I also question that you will even get moonlight for this style of light at 283 metres.
I think the maximum distance it should show is for useable light. I’m not sure what this should be or how to calculate it but I just put it out there as an idea.

I don’t even bother looking at throw numbers, they are junk

I think with a few light forums we have enough influence to change the ANSI standards to ones which are actually useful to us. I’d like to see runtimes not to 10% but something more indicative of actual usage.

Run time numbers are subject to the most abuse because they are to 10. A graph or at least to 50 would help here. The throw numbers to .25 Lux are easy enough to ‘fix’ to your own standards; just cut them in half or to 1/4 the distance per your own needs.

The throw numbers are actually pretty useful because they generally state the lux at 1m and the throw to 0.25 cd. These are useful standard measurements which can be used to objectively gauge performance. Maybe your eyes don’t like 0.25 cd and would rather measure to 1 cd, but if that’s the case just cut the throw number in half. Simple.

Personally, I find the 0.25 cd measurement useful because it matches up closely with how far a thrower actually lets me see. I’ve gone out and tried it, and I think 0.25 cd was probably a good choice for the standard.

However, the lumen and runtime numbers are largely useless. Lumens are measured on turbo so it only needs to maintain that level for a short time. Runtime is generally measured on the lowest mode, which also doesn’t tell me much. Plus, even when the two use the same level it’s measured to 10% which allows all sorts of ways to mis-represent the actual performance. I’d love to see runtime graphs too; it really shows the difference between a well-regulated efficient light and one with a crappy discharge curve.

Really though, I still wouldn’t trust it. I trust independent reviews which compare multiple similar lights in detail, not manufacturer specs.

I agree that independant reviews are the way to go, but it’s only people like us that are probably going to do that for a flashlight.
I still think that 0.25cd is still far too low at those kind of distances. Unless using binoculars, I know I couldnt see something on the ground or near a tree at 283 metres if all I had at that distance was moonlight. To me the beam is really only useful at say 100 to 150 metres and that is what needs to be represented. You never know, by throttling back the advertised distance of useable light, it may make manufacturers develop even better lights to increase those distances again :slight_smile: Wishful thinking I know.

FWIW, I found 0.25 cd at 600m to be a helpful amount of light with no binoculars or anything. However, when the end of the beam is that dim, it really helps to hold the light as far from your eyes as possible so the glowing beam of air won’t block your view of the target.

OTOH, I’m photosensitive. In the middle of the night I use a whopping 0.1 lumens to light the bedroom, bringing the lux to something low enough I can’t measure it (significantly less than moonlight). And that’s plenty to see by. I almost never use the high modes on any light indoors because it’s way too bright… 5 lumens is plenty. I like my home office lit to a comfortable level of just 15 lux, even though wikipedia lists typical office light at 320 to 500 lux (OSHA regulations say at least 322). And if I go outside during the day without sunglasses I’m partially blind; even with sunglasses it still hurts.

And there in lies the ultimate problem. Everyone is a little different with their eyes. My wife is the same and wears sunglasses outside even if it’s a rainy overcast day. Still, your eyes are good to be able to distinguish something at 600m at night ! I could see a car, or even the reflection of some animals eyes at that distance but I think that would be about it.