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Safety managers give much thought to equipping and training employees for emergency situations and keeping them safe on the job. But when it comes to one critical safety tool -- flashlights -- these same safety professionals may be overlooking the many recent technology innovations and options that are now available to them. By taking the time to understand recent enhancements in flashlight technology, safety personnel can better prepare workers to respond to emergencies and, in general, help maintain a safer working environment.
Following is a primer on what safety professionals should know about the latest in flashlights:
Enhancements in LED Technology
There are times when safety depends on a high-quality flashlight or lantern that delivers extreme brightness, such as when lighting up an accident or fire scene, working in a hazardous environment (such as a refinery), or making repairs under low light or other challenging conditions.
While high lumen flashlight models have been available to industrial and other professionals for several years, the earliest of these lights typically had short run times. They also generated a lot of heat, which made them uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time.
In recent years, LED technology has evolved to a point where flashlight manufacturers now can provide higher lumens while also delivering optimal levels of run time and candela peak beam intensity, a measurement of the brightest spot in a focused beam. These powerful LEDs emit an output in the 500-800 lumens range. They are designed to flood an area with light, making them ideal for lighting incident and accident scenes, as well as large work areas. Similar in light output to many lanterns, many are still small enough to fit into a pocket or on a belt clip. And they do not overheat as previous models did.