Article
Flashlights used to be just, well, flashlights – handy tools for bringing a little illumination to whatever task was at hand. They also could be a little undependable in the old days. Battery strength was always a question, especially if they hadn’t been used in a while.

Manufacturers Bringing Bright Ideas to New Flashlights

Chuck Ross
Flashlights used to be just, well, flashlights – handy tools for bringing a little illumination to whatever task was at hand. They also could be a little undependable in the old days. Battery strength was always a question, especially if they hadn’t been used in a while. And, like an old antenna-based black-and-white TV, they sometimes needed a little whack on the side to get battery connections back in alignment. Today’s flashlights, though, have been transformed by advancing LED technology, becoming lighter and more powerful, with some packing multiple functions into a single device.

In just a decade, LEDs have impacted just about every aspect of the lighting industry, enabling brighter illumination with less power. LEDs also have gotten smaller, which means more of them can be added to each flashlight to make the primary light more powerful and to add other lighting functions to the device. And rechargeable lithium batteries are providing users with more assurance that the light will come on when it’s needed.

“Advances in lithium battery technology allows for smaller, more powerful batteries in tools, reducing the size of tools and also the need to constantly switch out disposable batteries.” says Greg Palese, marketing VP for Klein Tools, which has a number of multi-function flashlights in its product portfolio. “Being able to quickly charge tools on the go and not have to worry about buying batteries saves time and money.”

Smaller, brighter LEDs are allowing makers to turn flashlights into multi-tool devices, with low-energy red night-vision settings, laser pointers and side-facing work lights. “The lasers are very convenient on jobsites when point out things in the distance, especially at very bright or very dark jobsites.” Palese says."
Photo courtesy of Klein Tools
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