HRT Tactical Gear

Introduction to Lumens and Candela

Lumens and Candela, often quoted on flashlight packages, describe the brightness and intensity of the light emission. Understanding these two measures can help you make an informed choice when buying a flashlight, and also how you use your flashlight effectively. They trace back to 1979 when “Lumen” was officially recognized, while the use of “Candela” was first proposed in 1860.

We at HRT know these things can get confusing when shopping around for a light. It’s important to note that we test and provide the RAW lumen values unlike other manufactures. 

Deep Dive into Lumens

A lumen is a unit of measurement for light output linked to the overall brightness you experience from a light source. A flashlight with high lumens will result in a bright light output. Factors like the LED selected, reflector design, electrical circuit efficiency, and quality of the batteries can influence the number of lumens in a flashlight.

RAW vs Effective Lumens

RAW LUMENS: The raw lumen value is true only for the LED itself, not an assembled lamp. It is calculated by multiplying the theoretical rated output of an LED, at the given drive current, by the number of LEDs in the lamp. 

EFFECTIVE LUMENS: This value is the important one as it takes into account all of the losses that occur with an assembled and working lamp; the thermal and optical efficiencies, and manufacturing tolerances. Optical losses occur as light is scattered at every material interface it passes through and can be bounced around within the material and reflected back into the lamp.

Exploring the Concept of Candela

Candela measures the intensity of light in a specific direction. It is the metric describing how far the beam reaches and how tightly the light is gathered. The lens design, reflector structure, or the LED used in a flashlight can impact the Candela value.

Illuminating Facts: Understanding Lumens and Candela in the World of Flashlights Uncategorized HRT Tactical Gear

Lumens vs Candela: A Comparative Analysis

Lumens and Candela are two sides of a coin. While lumens is a measure of how much light a flashlight produces, Candela measures how intense that light can be in a particular direction. Misconceptions often occur when we equate more lumens with a brighter beam, which is not always the case. The choice between a flashlight with higher lumens or higher candela depends on the intended use.

Practical Implications: Lumens and Candela in Everyday Use

Accuracy in reading flashlight packaging can save you from buying a light that isn’t what you wanted. A flashlight with high lumens and a smaller Candela rating suggests a flood beam that might be useful in lighting up larger areas at a close distance. Conversely, a flashlight with a lower lumen rating and a higher Candela rating may provide a tight, focused spotlight better suited for specific tasks or long distances.

The HRT Advanced Weapon Light System (AWLS) series was designed to provide a long beam throw distance allowing the user to PID threats from afar while having uniform spill for close-range navigations which allow for close encounters. All lights are 5500k daylight-balanced color temperature for true-to-life color rendition. 

Getting the Highest Output from Your Light

It’s important to note that to reach the full potential of your light, you need to ensure you are using the recommended battery type. Some dual-fuel lights can take AA/AAA/CR123 batteries but at the cost of performance. 

Our Compact 18350 AWLS is powered by a single 18350 battery while the Full Size 18650 can be powered by a single 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries at a reduced output. 

Illuminating Facts: Understanding Lumens and Candela in the World of Flashlights Uncategorized HRT Tactical Gear
Illuminating Facts: Understanding Lumens and Candela in the World of Flashlights Uncategorized HRT Tactical Gear


A thorough understanding of lumens and candela can significantly impact your experience with flashlights. These factors determine brightness levels, beam range, and ultimately how well your flashlight serves your purpose.

Illuminating Facts: Understanding Lumens and Candela in the World of Flashlights Uncategorized HRT Tactical Gear

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are more Lumens always brighter?

Not necessarily. The distribution of that light can be more important than its quantity. A flashlight with fewer lumens but a well-focused beam can appear brighter due to improved candela.

What role does Candela play?

Candela measures the intensity of light in a particular direction. High Candela signifies a concentrated beam, useful for long distances. A low Candela suggests a diffused beam, good for lighting up wide areas at a close range.

Does higher Candela guarantee more beam distance?

Yes, a higher candela generally denotes a longer beam distance. But remember, the real-life output could get affected by factors like lens fogging, dust, moisture, and atmospheric conditions.

Remember, your needs should dictate your choice of flashlight, whether you require a wide beam or one that can reach far off into the distance. Understand the role of lumens and candela, interpret packaging labels correctly, and make a wise, informed choice.

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