As a consumer, you may have been used to measuring the power of a flashlight with lumens, so it might have been a little confusing to you to see that INFORCE rates the power of its flashlights with both lumens and candelas.
For the sake of clarity, it’s not redundant to see both lumens and candelas on a single product’s spec sheet. Simply put, lumens measure the total output of light generated by a device, regardless of direction. Meanwhile, the 1979 General Conference on Weights and Measures defined candelas as “the luminous intensity, in a given direction, of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 x 10¹² hertz and that has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 watt per steradian” which, in simple English, is a light source’s total intensity.
For the longest time, flashlight companies have preferred to use lumens over candelas in their marketing because lumens are frequently very large numbers, which sound impressive to a customer. Even the lowly candle, with its 1 candela intensity, shines with 12 lumens of brightness.
How is total output different from intensity? Imagine a single lightbulb that fills an entire garage with a faint yellow light. This is an example of a device with high lumens but low candelas. Now imagine a laser pointer with an intense, bright light concentrated onto a single point. This is something with high candelas but low lumens.
How will this information be helpful to you when you shop for your next tactical flashlight? A flashlight with a high lumen rating but low candela count might be useful for illuminating a wide area, but its visibility will probably be poor due to its lack of intensity. On the other hand, an INFORCE flashlight such as the WMLX Gen 3 is great for self-defense thanks to its impressive 25,000 candelas of light intensity concentrated in a beam that can be flashed in the face of an oncoming threat.
An ordinary 120 lumen flashlight (left) compared to the INFORCE’s 1,100 lumen/25,000 candela WMLX Gen 3. Note the bright white circle in the center of the beam.
Lumens don’t take a light’s direction or spread into account. For example, a 2,000 lumen fluorescent bulb is good enough to light up an entire room, but the lighting power of a 2,000 lumen flashlight is inconclusive if no mention is made of the size of the beam.
In fact, the effective range (or throw) of a light source doesn’t take lumens into account at all. A light source’s range is determined by the following simple formula:
Using this formula, we can approximate the throws of several light sources. For example, knowing that the INFORCE WMLX Gen 3 has 25,000 candelas of beam intensity:
To put that into context, an everyday flashlight with 120 candelas only has 24 yards of throw, while a military flashlight, shining with an intensity about 1,500 candelas of intensity, has a range of about 84.21 yards.
It is important to note that a flashlight's brightness, measured in lumens, does not guarantee a substantial detection range. For those looking for a powerful and far-reaching weapon flashlight, the INFORCE Gen 3 is a formidable choice. Its advanced features and design make it a reliable companion in situations requiring superior visibility and reach. By choosing the INFORCE Gen 3, users can equip themselves with a flashlight that combines impressive luminosity with an extensive detection range, ensuring optimal performance when it matters most.