New Standards for Handheld Flashlights

posted on March 3, 2020

Self-defense enthusiasts will soon have an enhanced ability to better gauge performance in their next lighting solution, prior to purchase, thanks to new standards announced by the Portable Lights American Trade Organization (PLATO), the largest internationally recognized consortium of global manufacturers in the industry. The ANSI/PLATO FL 1-2019 Standard was released late last month and will soon be appearing on packaging and manufacturers’ websites, ensuring consumers that the products met certain minimum requirements during standardized testing.

“The ANSI/PLATO FL 1 -2019 Standard allows buyers to make solid comparisons of value and performance from all available suppliers of portable lights, including area lights,” PLATO Executive Director Andy Skoogman said. “The new Standard also reduces the chances that a supplier will make false or misleading claims about the performance of its products either by mistake or otherwise.”

The new guidelines focus on key critical testing metrics: beam distance, peak beam intensity, run time, impact resistance and water-penetration protection. The icons do not change in the latest version of the standard. Advancements in technology, growing popularity of area lighting and the need for improved marketing transparency factored in the organization’s decision to establish the new guidelines.

“We are confident the updated ANSI/PLATO FL 1-2019 Standard will assist manufacturers in ensuring their products are preforming as intended,” said PLATO President Kevin Parsons. “We feel it also sets a level playing field in helping end users and retailers make informed decisions about choosing a portable light that meets their needs. Overall, PLATO is in an even better position to add value to the portable lighting industry and our members.”

Enthusiasts who insist their next lighting solution has been tested to, and survived, the rigorous requirements should look for the FL-1 icons on the light’s packaging or noted on the product webpage.


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