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Choosing his flashlight or headlamp

Published on 06/25/2014

What are your needs?

Frontal or hand?

There are 2 categories of lamps:

  • Flashlights which are brought to the hand thanks to non-slip materials and a wrist strap. 
  • Headlamps that are worn on the head with an elastic headband.

Flashlights have a great choice of format and lighting power. Their sizes vary depending on battery power. This can range from a LR03 AAA 4 LR20 (D) but also in mode rechargeable dynamo hand. The weight is obviously proportional to the duration of use and the power of lighting.

The headlamps are fewer but have very great qualities of lighting. Ultra Compact as the Petzl e - lite or ultra powerful as the Ultra Vario It can free the hands and simplify lighting moving. 

For everyday use 

We will choose a classic extra plastic or aluminium torch. Robust but light it will be powered by 2 batteries AA or 4 AAA.

The scope of the beam will be between 25 m and 45 m, its autonomy will be 40 to 60 h.

The headlamp can be part of this category if one needs to free the hands, otherwise it will be impractical to use.

For specific use

For a sporting or technical use we will choose or 4-powered rechargeable lamp AA or 2 D.

Frontal or hand it will have specific characteristics of the use that will be made. Asked by land or on the front, the shock-resistant or directional.

The range power line varta will allow you to easily choose the right lamp.

For professional use

For professional use we will choose a light shock-resistant and waterproof or water resistant. Rechargeable to always be at the maximum of its capacity. Adapted to different work environments and ATEX, HAZLOC standards for atmospheres with risk of explosion.

LED bulb or incandescent?

Within 5 years, the LEDs will completely replace incandescent bulbs.  Today almost 80% of the torches and headlamps use this technology. 

The advantages of LED compared to incandescent bulbs are:

  • Their extremely long lifespan, the LED high performance have approximate lifetime of 50,000 hours, the LED 5 mm of 100000 hours. This means that they require no replacement.
  • Their resistance to shock
  • Their low power consumption, they are thus very efficient and provide a higher illumination for a much lower consumption.
  • The LEDs provide a very white bright light.

A normal lamp or Waterproof?

Waterproof means that the flashlight can be immersed up to the announced depth (IPX7) for 30 minutes.
Water resistant means that the flashlight is protected from splashing water (IPX4).

Other criteria of section:

The homogeneity of the beam

A homogeneous light beam ensures maximum visual comfort to the user: the lighting is uniform, there is no bright point at its centre, task or grey area.

  • Quality of Optics: A perfectly homogeneous beam can be obtained only with optics and a light source of excellent quality, related to a rigorous design.
  • Absence of point light central: A bright spot in the center of the beam causes Visual discomfort, because it dazzles the user and requires it to precisely guide the light point to the area where he wants to see. A perfectly homogeneous beam to remove these two defects: it dazzles not and allows to see with precision all of the illuminated area
  • Absence of defects of appearance: A homogeneous beam delivers a free task illumination, ring or other area of shade. These irregularities prevents to see with precision and can become annoying to use, or result in losses of vigilance.

The shape of the light beam

Form issued by the lamp, lighting directly affects the type of use to which it is intended.

There are three main types of beam configurations.

  • The wide beam: it allows ideal diffused lighting for the work at hand.
  • Mixed beam: it combines a large part to illuminate nearby and part focused to provide light over a long distance.
  • The beam focused: it focuses the light to illuminate a long distance and can be directed precisely.

The power of lighting

Each lamp has a lighting output suitable for a specific use. The power of lighting is to bring together the type of light beams: a lamp designed to illuminate nearby generally delivers a wide beam and a moderate lighting power. Conversely, a lamp suitable for distant vision provides rather a beam focused, associated with a high lighting power.

In most cases, lamps have several lighting levels to adjust the amount of light, or the shape of the beam, according to its needs.
These lighting modes also allow the user to focus the power of the lighting, or the need for autonomy. These settings are made at the level of the ignition button by pressing it several times, either by turning the optics at the level of the bulb.

Examples of value of luminous flux:

  • Candle: 10 lumens,
  • lamp front PIXA 3:50 lumens,
  • domestic lighting: 100 to 200 lumens.
  • lamp front petzl ULTRA: 350 lumens.


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