ANSI “Flashlight” Specifications

Background and Status
In late 2007, some leaders in the Flashlight Industry decided that it would be a good idea to develop an ANSI Industry standard to measure basic Flashlight performance standards. The growth of LED development in the Flashlight category also promoted a flood of goods that were cheap, inferior and had widely misrepresented product performance claims.

The goal was to formulate a standard that can help provide clarity and accountability to our industry as a whole and that is scientifically based. The standard would not be intended to cover every potential application and measurement, rather focus on the basic performance measures that were applicable and of general interest to consumers across many classes of trade.

A Flashlight Standards Committee (FSC) was established made up of Flashlight Industry leaders, and NEMA (North American Electrical Manufacturers Association) was hired to facilitate meetings and develop the final paper that would be developed and submitted to ANSI (American National Standards Institute)

Fast forward to today
Numerous meetings and teleconferences were held by members of the FSC to debate performance standard criteria and test procedures to support and verify these claims.

Icons to demonstrate the performance and results were developed and voted on. On August 17, 2009 NEMA submitted the FSC Standards recommendation to ANSI for their review and approval. On August 18, 2009 the FL1 Standard was approved and became an official document.

Today the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard addresses six different performance measurements and establishes a constant baseline to report measurements.


Peak Beam Intensity Reported in lux or candelas (1 lux is approximately equal to the light from one candle measured at a point 1 meter from the candle, 1 lux = 1 candela but only when measured at 1 meter). Measured with a lux meter.

Net Light Output Reported in lumens. (1 lumen = 1 candela * 1 square meter).
Total projected light output, taking into account inefficiencies in lens, reflector, and casing, measured at a specified time after the light is switched on, to account for “sag” in the batteries.
Must use the same new and unused batteries as packed with the light. Measured in an integrating sphere to capture light radiated at all angles
As you can see from the above, while lux and lumens are related, there is not a direct conversion from one to the other. An analogy for this would be the height and volume of a container – even though there is a relationship between height and volume, there is not a direct conversion between the two.

Beam Distance is defined as the distance from the device at which the light beam is 0.25 lux (0.25 lux is approximately the equivalent of the light emitted from the full moon “on a clear night in an open field”).

Runtime Reported in hours and/or minutes.
The continuous time lapsed from the initial light output to when the light output is at 10% of the initial light output.
Must use the same new and unused batteries as packed with the light.
Measured in an integrating sphere or with a lux meter.

Protection Against Water Penetration Ratings Based on the ANSI/IEC 6029 standard, the following enclosure ratings for the devices covered by this standard have been defined as:

Water Resistance IP X 4 — Water splashed against the device from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Water Proof IP X 7 — Ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is temporarily immersed in 1M of water for 30 minutes.

Submersible IP X 8 — Ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is continuously immersed in water under conditions which shall be stated by manufacturer, but which are more severe than for IP X 7.

Impact Resistance is the height from which a device (including batteries) resists damage from dropping on a solid surface.

Glossary of Terms

ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
These standards are accredited by ANSI, which is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so American products can be used globally.

Candela — A unit of measurement of the intensity of light that is, power emitted by a light source in a particular direction.

Lux — The unit of luminous flux in the International System, equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.

Lumen — A unit of measurement of the amount of brightness that comes from a light source.

Lumens define “luminous flux,rdquo; which is energy within the range of frequencies we perceive as light.

IP (Ingress Protection) Ð Ingress Protection (IP) ratings specify the environmental protection the enclosure provides. The IP rating normally has two numbers (IPXX). The first number represents protection from solid objects or materials (dust) where the second number represents protection from liquids (water). With the IP rating IP 54, 5 describes the level of protection from solid objects and 4 describes the level of protection from liquids.