Over the years, my flashlight reviews have gotten fairly detailed, with a lot of technical data and analysis. I frequently get questions as to what all the terms mean, and how to interpret the results of my testing.
FYI, for a full list of all my reviews, please see: http://www.flashlightreviews.ca
To help provide some background, I have prepared a series of introductory overviews/primers on various aspects of flashlight form and function. These are presented in seven videos, each one corresponding to a key section of my individual reviews.
Please note that these are not intended as comprehensive examinations of the various topics, but rather as starting points to help you understand what I am referring to in my various reviews. They were recorded generally unrehearsed and unscripted, so please bear with me if I seem to ramble a little sometimes.
For more information on how I do my flashlight testing, please see my Flashlight Review Methodology page on flashlightreviews.ca: http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/method.htm
There you will find links to other specific topic pages on my site and others, explaining some of the specific aspects in more detail. You can also check out the "Round-Up Reviews" section at the top of my main flashlight review homepage for a few specific comparions of battery types, tints, etc.
Selfbuilt Flashlight Primer #1 - Introduction to the Flashlight/Torch
In this introductory primer, I introduce the general form and function of a flashlight (or torch, as those outside of North America typically call it). This is one very basic stuff, and is intended for those who find me on YouTube and are not familiar with anything more than the absolute basics (i.e., if you are already on CPF, you can probably skip this one).
Selfbuilt Flashlight Primer #2 - Build and Battery/Body Types
This segment features an overview of the common type of flashlight builds (i.e., body size, battery types, switch placement, etc.). Most of my reviews compare models of similar class, often based on the number and type of batteries used (although sometimes on their output characteristics instead). This primer helps you make sense of the various types of classes that I refer/compare to in my individual reviews.
Selfbuilt Flashlight Primer #3 - User Interface (UI)
This segment features an overview of the common user interfaces (UIs) you will find on most modern flashlights. After the build overview, my reviews typically include a discussion of the specific user interface. A wide variety of interfaces are profiled.
Selfbuilt Flashlight Primer #4 - Circuit Features
Probably my longest video in the series, this segment features an overview of what a flashlight circuit is for, and how it typically works. Most modern multi-mode (or multi-power) flashlights need a circuit to operate. I typically describe these in some detail in my reviews, with oscilloscope traces showing actual circuit characteristics.
In this primer, I spend some time discussing pulse width modulation (PWM) versus current control. I also spend some discussing inductor whine, which is believed to be the source of that annoying hum you can sometimes hear on some lights.
Selbuilt Flashlight Primer #5 - Beam Patterns and Reflectors/Optics
No set of flashlight primers would be complete without a discussion of beam patterns (and the optics that produce them). This segment features an overview focusing methods (reflectors, optics, etc.), with a discussion of the terms used to describe the resulting beam patterns (i.e., spill, flood, hotspot, throw, etc.). This will help you understand the terms that I use in the beamshot section of my reviews.
Selfbuilt Flashlight Primer #6 - Runtime Graphs
Probably the area that I receive the greatest number of questions about - how to interpret my runtime graphs. This segment features an explanation of my output/runtime graphs, where I describe what is normally included on these graphs. This will allow you to understand what each of the lines represent, and how to use them to compare the performance various lights.
Selfbuilt Flashlight Primer #7 - ANSI FL-1 Standards Explained
This segment features an overview of the ANSI/NEMA FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. This one is probably my least visually interesting primer, as I spend the whole time in the voice-over explaining what the various ANSI FL1 icons mean, and how they are actually measured/determined. But it is important to discuss ANSI testing, so you can understand the terms used in my review summary tables and discussions.
And that's it for now. I may choose to do additional primers later, if there seems to be particular interest on a topic. But the above should help you relate better to some of the more technical details presented in my full reviews.
Again, they are really intended as introductory primers to get you started. This forum is an incredible resource, full of a lot more detailed information on the full range of topics broached in my video primers. You should also check out my Flashlight Review Methodology page on flashlightreviews.ca (http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/method.htm) for links to additional resources.