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About the Author

Steven L

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country's largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box outdoor sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet's Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy nuclear gunners mate, a private investigator, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and together they live with their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek, and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor and isn't ready to cash in his chips yet.

Continue following Steve's gun-laden lifestyle with never-ending firearm excursions and experiments with related products! Visit his blog page at


  • flashlights

Flashlights 101

SureFire HellFighter Heavy Gun Spotlight ( HellFire HF M2 HB-240B ) w/ IR Filter, Amber Filter and Opaque Filter SureFire HellFighter Heavy Gun Spotlight

Choosing a flashlight can be a daunting task. There are so many questions you need to ask before making your flashlight selection! What is a lumen? What's the difference between xenon bulbs and LEDs? Are rechargeable batteries appropriate for you or not? How big should the flashlight I select be? What should I spend? The list goes on. In this article I will try to explain some flashlight basics so that you can make a more informed decision to better fulfill your needs.

The first thing you need to do is identify your flashlight needs. Do you want a light that is cute as a bug for an automobile glovebox? For around the house when the power goes out? Head mounted for tracking a wounded deer? Secured under a weapon? Like many other tools, some flashlights are suited to very specific tasks. You probably don't need a $5,000.00 Surefire Hellfighter Spotlight to check circuit breakers; likewise, most compact pocket flashlights won't blind a home invader.

Key Flashlight Terms

Pelican 7060 LED Dual Switch Rechargeable Tactical LED Flashlight 7060LED Pelican 7060 LED Rechargeable Flashlight
  1. Bezel - front part of light that often includes flashlight lens, reflector, and bulb

  2. Candlepower, or Peak Beam Candlepower - The measurement of the brightest spot in a focused beam

  3. CR123 - The most common size of 3v lithium disposable battery because of their tremendous weight to power ratio

  4. Fast Charger - A transformer used for quick charging lights that sometimes has capabilities of being used with different overseas currents

  5. Halogen Bulb - A clean burning bright bulb that maximizes light output with halogen gas that helps keep the interior of the bulb clean

  6. HID - High Intensity Discharge lamps replace the filament with a capsule of gas. Very bright and efficient and uses less power. Requires a ballast

  7. Incandescent - A bulb which uses a thin filament with electrical current passing through it

  8. LED - Light Emitting Diodes. Durable and long-lived lightbulbs. Up to 100,000 hours run time. Soft focus, short range. Less power than incandescent but can give 100's of hours of run time at low illumination levels

  9. Lumen - A measurement of the entire output of the bulb. Focus is not considered

  10. NiCd - Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable battery. Rugged with high performance

  11. NiMH - Nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery

  12. Reflector - Surrounds the bulb and focuses and directs the beam

  13. Run Time - How long the batteries will last

  14. Xenon Bulb - A clean burning bright bulb that maximizes light output with Xenon gas that helps keep the interior of the bulb clean

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