Features December 2007 Issue

Practical Sailor Sheds Some Light on LED Flashlights

In a search for the perfect, energy-efficient flashlight, testers evaluate brightness, beam quality, and utility.

Testers evaluated 25 different flashlights. Among these were products from Inova, Underwater Kinetics, Tektite, Sea Fit, Streamlight, Garrity, Pelican, Dr. LED, and IQ Lights. The goal of this test was to find a flashlight that was compact, light, and provided superior spotlight and wide angle illumination for objects in close range. Unfortunately, no light we tested answered all of these requirements. The winners proved to be units that excelled at one. We also discovered that size still matters, and more batteries means more power, more light, and more life. The best marine flashlight is one that suits your needs. A well-equipped sailor needs a few different flashlights to cover all the bases: one thatís a dedicated spotlight, one that lights up the lockers, one that serves the needs of bright, wide angle floodlight, and lastly a tiny pocket light used for in-the-cockpit chart reading or other instances when you need a quick light but want to preserve your night vision.

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