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I recently purchased the Nitecore EA45S here on Massdrop and it has a 1000 lumen rating with max distance of 402m. I'm a newbie here with the flashlight specs, but I'm wondering how the Lumintop states 3,500 lumens but it's distance is far less as well as intensity? Certainly appreciate any help in understanding the ratings as such for my further education :-)
I don't know about the EA45S, but if this light is anything like a Klarus model (G20) that I have, at the 3,500 lumen Turbo setting it's beam is very wide with an also wide spot. This kind of beam is meant to illuminate a wide area, as opposed to more focused, long-throw offerings. At the Turbo setting on my Klarus, I can illuminate my whole 300'+ driveway like it's daylight. Maybe overcast daylight, but still, it throws plenty of light downrange as far as I need it to. I imagine this one will work similarly, assuming they've worked the bugs out since previous drops and comments. Make sure you read the comments and reviews. If you get a good one, the price per lumen is exceptionally good.
It all has to do with the shape and surface of the reflector (the silver mirror thing around the bulb behind the glass). If you notice on this one it is sort of rough looking surface and shallow. A surface like this will reflect light against all its different angles, making it spread and scatter. Your flashlight probably has a smooth reflector that is deeper so it focuses the light to be reflected out in a more forward and beam like pattern. It can kind of be compared to the difference between a shotgun and rifle. The shotgun is more powerful up close, but the rifle is more accurate at a distance.
Thank you dzalder and BlueTom for your explanations and help in better understanding the different characteristics behind the various flashlights. There's certainly a wide variety of them to choose from and seeing a lot of offerings on MD so I'm slowly getting up to speed. Thanks again for your help...
I'll add a little here. Lumens is an overall collection of light, which is measured inside of a container that is spewing it all around...the industry standard for this is a spherical container but enthusiasts have made tubing setups that when made right and calibrated come up with reasonably accurate numbers compared to the "real" tools. So for lumens, the beam shape and all that other stuff doesn't come into play, just overall light. Now when you add the driver circuitry, reflector design, etc. then you can DO something with those lumens, and what you do with them is up to you. This is where the candella/throw distance helps you understand what a light does. It's a measure of the beam's intensity, measured at a certain distance (pretty close up actually). So if you take the same lumen output and spread the beam out to a floodier pattern (or diffuse it with a lens) then it has less intensity, which generally means it won't travel as far. If you concentrate all of those lumens into a tighter pattern then it goes a lot farther. Both lights with the same lumens but very different characteristics. That said, the ANSI ratings need to be understood, too, because although they are a good repeatable and comparable standard, they are a little nonsensical for real life. The candella/throw in particular is generally somewhere close to half of the stated max distance in real life (depends on air conditions, target, and your own eyes). Run times are similar because they stop the tests when the emitter is putting out ridiculously low amounts of light, at a point long long past where ordinary people would consider it useful and would have wanted to recharge the batteries. This is where end user enthusiast testers are so helpful because many of them will share graphs that show real performance (proving or disproving advertised specs, but also things like how many real minutes you get at a certain light level before it drops off considerably, etc, etc). If you check out candlepower forums and budget light forums, both sites have tons of helpful posts/articles in addition to all the forum chats.
Great info Stepbystep!
It all boils down to, as with auto fuel mileage ratings, don't put a lot of faith in the manufacturers marketing materials and stats when it comes to performance. Hardware rarely achieves the claims of Marketing.