The design of a flashlight reflector makes a big difference in the way the light beam is emitted by the flashlight. Without a reflector, the light would spread in all directions, like a candle. There are several different types of reflectors, each with their advantages. Here are a few…
* Smooth Reflector *
The smooth reflector is the most common type used in your average flashlights. The beam put out by this type of reflector is usually full of “rings and holes”, meaning rings of light and patches of darkness. Some of the better smooth reflectors put out a decent beam of light, but most don’t.
* Course Faceted Reflector *
In a course faceted reflector, the facets all act like tiny little mirrors, sending the spot of light in the same direction. This usually results in a very nice, smooth beam which does not need focusing.
* Fine Faceted Reflectors *
The facets in this reflector are much finer than those in a course faceted reflector. The finer the facets, the smoother the beam will be!
* Spiral Faceted Reflector *
The facets of a spiral faceted reflector have the same effect as the faceted reflectors, above, but the fine facets in a tight spiral help it achieve a smoother beam.
* Hybrid Reflector *
This reflector contains faceting, but only near the bulb. This helps to get rid of the central “hole” found in the beam from most smooth reflectors. It’s a way to produce a decent beam without the expense of making the reflectors fully faceted.
* Textured Reflector *
This last one is called many things, including “textured” or like an orange peel. This is considered by some to be the ultimate faceted reflector. Instead of facets, there is a gentle texture on the reflector that again projects a very smooth beam with little or no “rings and holes”. This type of reflector is usually found in better quality lights.
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