2007 is the year that LED technology has come of age. Once a novelty of the flashlight offerings, LEDs are now mainstream. Major manufacturers are now offering weapon mounted lights using LEDs, an application where LEDs were all but absent a few years ago. As in years past, this year LED lights once again got smaller, brighter, lighter and smarter. There is no doubt in my mind that the future of LED technology is the future of flashlight technology. The future looks bright (pun intended).
It wasn’t too long ago that if you wanted a pocket-sized light your choices were limited to weak beamed lights with short battery life. I can still remember when an incandescent Mini-Maglite was considered state of the art. How the times have changed, especially in the past few years. LED lights, some smaller than a Quarter, have become commonplace on key chains across the country. Pocket-sized LED Lights are available that produce more light then a two D-cell incandescent flashlight. LED lights aren’t new; the technology has been advancing since the 1990’s, but they are quickly becoming ubiquitous.
2007 also seems to portend the final gasps of the incandescent headlamp. Many headlamps are now available that are not only bright enough for rescue work, but will also run all night on a single set of batteries. Headlamps were a light for specialty use only a few years ago, but as they get smaller and brighter they are gaining a bigger portion of the light market every year. After all, what's not to like about having both hands free to work with and a light that automatically points wherever you look.
The lights reviewed here are those I thought the majority of the readers of this website would be interested in. Most of the lights are LED, but I did included a few non-LED flashlights that I thought were interesting. The specifications published are those provided by the manufactures. Some manufacturer’s were more responsive to information and image requests and this is reflected in the amount and quality of images in this review.
Prices quoted are manufacturer's suggested retail price as of January, 2007, rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Many lights covered here can be purchased at significantly discounted prices from those quoted, though not all. In some cases, items will not be available until much later this year. When we have been given an expected production date, we have included it, but manufacturers often miss such targets and many others do not provide one.
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Contributing Editor: Alan Romania
Email: Alan Romania
Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
Email: Doug Ritter
First Published: February 10, 2007
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