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Some Basic Knowledge of Outdoor Lighting

Perhaps most people think that the lamp is a simple thing that does not seem worthy of careful analysis and research. On the contrary, designing and manufacturing an ideal lamp requires rich knowledge of electronics, materials, machinery, and optics. Understanding these foundations will help you evaluate the quality of the luminaire correctly.

  1. Incandescent light bulb

If you want to look a little farther at night outdoors, it is unthinkable without incandescent lamps. It is not easy to make incandescent bulbs bright and energy-saving. Filling an inert gas with a certain lamp power can make the brightness. There is a certain improvement and extended life, usually krypton and xenon, and special high-power halogen bulbs at the expense of life. From the perspective of outdoor use, considering the use of multi-faceted, reliability and long-term, ordinary inert gas bulbs are more suitable, of course, the use of high-brightness halogen bulbs has its absolute advantages. Popular lamps and lanterns have more standard bayonet and two-pin sockets or special lamps. From the perspective of versatility and purchasing convenience, lamps using standard bayonet lamps are easy to replenish, with many alternatives, low prices, and long life. Many high-end lamps also use Halogen’s xenon bulbs. Of course, Halogen’s price is high and it is not convenient to buy in China. Super light bulbs in major supermarkets are also quite good substitutes. In order to make the bulb more energy-efficient, we can only try to reduce the power. Brightness and time are always contradictory. At a certain voltage, the bulb with a smaller rated current takes longer. PETZL SAXO AQUA uses a 6V 0.3A radon bulb to achieve This shows the effect of ordinary 6V 0.5A bulbs, and the theoretical time using four AA batteries reaches 9 hours, which is a typical example of relatively successful brightness and time balance. The domestic mega light bulbs have a smaller rated current and are a good substitute. Of course, pure pursuit of strong light effects is another matter, Surefire is a typical, 65 lumens with two lithium batteries can only last about an hour. Therefore, when buying a lamp, check the lamp’s bulb calibration value and calculate its approximate power. Combined with the diameter of the lamp bowl, you can basically estimate the approximate brightness, maximum range and use time, and you will not easily be passive. Be wildered by advertising.

  1. LED lights

The practical use of high-brightness light-emitting diodes has brought about a revolution in the lighting industry. Low energy consumption and long life are its biggest advantages. Using several ordinary dry batteries is enough to maintain a high-brightness LED for dozens or even hundreds of hours of lighting. There are too many benefits. The life span of thousands of hours makes it theoretically unnecessary to consider the problem of standby. However, the biggest problem of LED at present is that its light collection is difficult to solve. The divergent light source makes it almost impossible to illuminate the night. The cold light color of the ground 10 meters away also drastically reduces its penetration to outdoor rain, fog, and snow. Therefore, the lamp is usually improved by using several or even dozens of LEDs in parallel at the same time, but the effect is not obvious. At present, high-power high-brightness condensing LEDs have appeared, but the performance has not reached the point where they can completely replace incandescent bulbs, and the cost is also very high. The standard driving voltage of ordinary LEDs is between 3-3.7V. The brightness standard of LEDs is expressed in mcd. There are several levels such as 5mm and 10mm in diameter. The larger the diameter, the higher the mcd value and the higher the brightness is. For energy consumption considerations, 5mm grades are mostly used, and the mcd value is around 6000-10000. However, due to the large number of LED manufacturers, many domestic LED tubes are marked with false heights, and the nominal values ​​are not credible. Generally speaking, imported products from China, Japan and Asia, the performance of LED is recognized, and it is also the most popular choice for famous brand lamps. Because the LED is enough to light under very small current, the nominal tens or hundreds of hours of ordinary LED luminaires will be greatly reduced in actual use. Perhaps the brightness of the first few hours is enough to light up the entire camp, and the next few dozens. It seems difficult to use it to look at the meter for hours. Therefore, it is standard to install a voltage adjustment circuit to optimize the configuration of electrical energy. At present, ordinary LEDs are more suitable for use as near-light sources in camps or tents, which is also its advantage.

  1. Light bowl

An important factor that determines the quality of lighting is the reflector of the light source-the lamp bowl. The ordinary lamp bowl is silver-plated on the surface of the plastic or metal bowl. For high-power incandescent light sources, the metal lamp bowl is more conducive to heat dissipation. The diameter determines the theoretical range. In a sense, the smoother lamp bowl is not the better. The lamp bowl with the best effect is a circle of wrinkled orange peel, which effectively controls the dark spots of light spots caused by the diffraction of light and makes the light spots in the illuminated area. More concentrated and even. Often, having a wrinkled lamp bowl illustrates the professional tendencies of the luminaire.

  1. Lens

The lens protects the light head or converges the light. The general material is glass or resin. Glass has good heat resistance, is not easy to scratch and is stable, but the strength of outdoor use is worrying, and the cost of processing into a convex surface is too great. The resin sheet is easy to process, the strength is reliable, and the weight is light. However, care must be taken to prevent excessive wear. The lens of an excellent outdoor flashlight should be a resin sheet processed into a convex lens shape, which can effectively control the convergence of light.

  1. Battery

In many cases, you may complain about the lamp’s lack of power soon, and blame the lamp itself. In fact, the choice of battery is also important. Generally speaking, the capacity and discharge current of ordinary alkaline batteries are ideal, and the price Low, easy to purchase, and versatile, but the high-current discharge effect is not ideal. The nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery has a higher energy density ratio and is more economical for recycling. However, the self-discharge rate is high, and the discharge current of the lithium battery is ideal, which is suitable for large use of power lamps is not economical. At present, the price of lithium batteries is relatively expensive. The matching lamps are mainly high-power tactical lamps. Therefore, most of the lamps on the market use brand-name alkaline batteries. In principle, the performance of alkaline batteries will be greatly reduced at low temperatures. Therefore, the ideal method for lamps used in cold areas is to connect an external battery box and use the body temperature to ensure the battery’s operating temperature. It is worth noting that, for some imported lamps, such as some models of PETZL and princeton, as the negative electrodes of foreign dry batteries are slightly raised, the negative contacts of the lamps are designed to be flat. When importing domestic batteries, there may be poor contact. The solution is very simple, just add a small gasket.

6 Materials

Metal, industrial plastic, and basic lamps are composed of them. The metal lamp body is strong and durable. Light and sturdy aluminum alloys are commonly used. When necessary, metal flashlights are often used as self-defense tools, but general metals are not resistant to corrosion and are too heavy. Therefore, it is not suitable for diving lamps. It has good thermal conductivity and heat dissipation, but also causes discomfort in cold areas, making it difficult to use headlights and high processing costs. There are too many types of engineering plastics, such as polycarbonate, ABS / polyester, polycarbonate glass fiber reinforced, polyimide, etc. The performance is also very different. Take polycarbonate glass fiber reinforced as an example, its strength is sufficient To cope with various outdoor harsh environments, corrosion resistance, insulation and light weight, it is the ideal choice for headlights and diving lamps, but the ordinary ABS plastic used on cheap lamps is very short-lived and not durable. Pay attention when buying. Generally speaking it can be distinguished by the feeling of hard squeeze. One disadvantage is that it is easy to age, and it may be brittle in extreme cold conditions.

  1. Switch

The setting of the lamp switch determines the convenience of use. The sliding key switch similar to the tin tiger head flashlight is simple and convenient, but the congenital can hardly be completely waterproof, which is obviously very unsuitable. The rubber key type on the magnesium D flashlight the switch is relatively easy to achieve waterproofness and convenience, but it is obviously not suitable for such occasions as diving. High water pressure may cause leakage at the switch. Tail push switches are particularly popular in small lamps, which are particularly convenient for lighting and long lighting. However, the complexity of the structure is a difficult problem to consider both sealing and reliability. Poor contact is also common in some famous factory lamps. The rotary lamp head switch is the simplest and most reliable switch, but it can only achieve a single switch function, it cannot be divided, it is difficult to design the focus function, and the dynamic water resistance is poor (the water-operated switch is easy to leak). The knob switch is used by many diving lamps with the best waterproof structure, easy operation, easy binning, high reliability, can be locked and cannot be lit.

  1. Waterproof

It is very simple to determine whether a lamp is waterproof. Carefully check whether each decomposable part of the lamp (lamp, switch, battery compartment cover, etc.) has a soft and flexible rubber ring. The rubber ring of excellent material plus a reasonable design and The excellent processing technology can even guarantee a waterproof depth of more than 1,000 feet, and the waterproof rubber ring of the common domestic L flashlight is a dummy, and it cannot be guaranteed to leak under heavy rain. The reason is that the rubber is not elastic enough to guarantee the absolute adhesion of the two faces. From a design point of view, rotary lamp-head switches and barrel knob switches are theoretically the easiest to waterproof. Slide-key and tail-press switches are much more difficult. Regardless of the switch design, it is best not to switch frequently when used underwater. The switching process is the easiest to enter the water. When diving, it is safer to put a little grease on the rubber ring, which can be more effective. At the same time, the grease is also conducive to the maintenance of the rubber ring to avoid aging caused by premature wear. After using the lamp for many years, the rubber ring is the most susceptible part of the lamp. It should be replaced in time to ensure outdoor use.

  1. Voltage adjustment circuit

The voltage adjustment circuit should be considered as the best embodiment of advanced lighting. The use of voltage adjustment circuit has two functions: raising the voltage or keeping the voltage constant. The former is mainly reflected in LED lamps. The driving voltage of ordinary LEDs is 3-3.6V. , Meaning that at least three ordinary batteries must be connected in series to achieve the desired effect, which undoubtedly severely restricts the design flexibility of the luminaire, which reflects the most reasonable use of electrical energy, so that the voltage does not decrease the brightness as the battery decays, and always maintains At a reasonable brightness level, of course, it also facilitates the brightness adjustment. There are advantages and disadvantages. The voltage adjustment circuit usually loses at least 30% of the power in vain, so it is usually used on low-energy LED lamps. The representative voltage adjustment circuit is adopted by PETZL’s MYO 5. The LED brightness is adjusted in three steps, and the three-stage LEDs for 10 hours, 30 hours, and 90 hours are maintained for stable lighting.

  1. Functionality

In order to make the lamps not only illuminate, but also have many additional functions or more convenient to use, various designs have emerged.

In most cases, a small flashlight can play the role of a headlight. Many diving lamps also use this fixing method.

The small clip on the ARC AAA can be inserted into the shirt pocket like a pen. Of course, the most practical method is to clamp it on the brim of the hat as a headlight.

The design of the L flashlight is still quite good. The four filters of the tail warehouse are very suitable for signal use at night.

PETZL DUO LED’s built-in spare bulbs, qualified outdoor lamps should do this.

Replace a variety of power sources, ARC LSHP can easily use various power modes according to needs, changing the bottom is, single CR123A, dual CR123A, dual AA

If you have only one lamp around, changing the battery in the case of darkness is often very terrible. The self-supplied 6V power supply of the Black Diamond Supernova headlight can provide 10 during battery replacement or when the battery is used up.

Adsorption, domestically produced 5LED headlights although my personal evaluation is very low, but the function of magnets can be adsorbed on the metal surface is worthy of appreciation.

Rotary Cannon II o can rotate the lamp head arbitrarily, which is convenient for fixed use of flashlight, headlight or various places.


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