On Test: Flashlights
On Test: Flashlights
This morning, I conducted a highly scientific test of three flashlights: Duracell's Daylite 2-AA, ICON's Rogue 1, and a pink Eveready my mom bought my sister prior to a family vacation in 1989.
The Daylite 2-AA ($23, www.duracell.com) and the Rogue 1 ($39, www.myiconlight.com) share several characteristics. Both have LED bulbs, aluminum bodies, and tailcap switches. The Daylite 2-AA runs on-you guessed it-two AA batteries and features adjustable focus. It's 7 inches long and weighs 5.5 ounces.
The 4.5-inch, 3.8-ounce Rogue 1 uses one AA battery and features two-stage output. Click the button once to activate the 50-lumen mode, which has a 3-hour battery life; hit the button again to select the 6-lumen, 70-hour mode. ICON says the Rogue 1 is waterproof up to one meter, thanks to strategically located O-rings. It comes with a two-part lanyard that fits around the wrist or the neck.
The Eveready was the control in my test, representing the old school. It's bigger and heavier than the others, has a tiny, incandescent bulb, and runs on two C batteries. While this pink beauty doesn't sport the modern features of its competition, you have to appreciate its durability. Its sister ship, a blue Eveready, has been collecting rainwater beneath my gas grill for several years and, to my amazement, still jumps into service every time I ask it to verify the doneness of my meat.
The crux of my test involved activating the three flashlights in the dark. As you might expect, the Eveready's incandescent paled in comparison to the LEDs. Duracell rates the Daylite 2-AA at 80 lumens, but the Rogue 1 shined much brighter in 50-lumen mode. The ICON's beam was also more consistent than the Duracell's.
It wouldn't be fair to declare an outright winner, since the best performing flashlight, the Rogue 1, costs nearly twice as much as its closest competition, the Daylite 2-AA. Perhaps a better test would be to leave the ICON and the Duracell beneath my grill for the next 20 years, then see which one's still kicking.
For use on a raceboat, I'd go with the Rogue 1. It's lightweight, compact, and waterproof, and the dual output modes give you the option to light up the night or preserve your night vision. Toss one in your nav station, gear bag, or ditch kit.
Bottom line: For a reasonable price, you can buy a modern, LED flashlight that will shine a whole lot brighter than your old incandescent.