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United States Flashlight Market Forecast and Analysis

This is the ElectroniCast analysis and forecast of the use of flashlights in the United States. In regions outside of the United States, flashlights are often referred to as “torches.” Flashlights are portable electric-powered light source. The primary power source of a flashlight is batteries (rechargeable or disposable); however, power sources can often include ultra-capacitors, electromagnetic induction, solar power, and hand powered dynamos.

In the process of this market research project, in addition to interviewing existing customers and distributors of flashlights, ElectroniCast Consultants also studied over 50 lighting manufactures/brands with various ranges of performance, price, power-source, light source and other variables. ElectroniCast's estimates of the (year 2013) market share (%) and flashlight revenue for all 50 manufacturers/brands are also detailed in this report.

Boutique Shops

Some of the (flashlight) manufacturing/brands are relatively small and are considered “boutique” shops serving a niche market; however, we included some of these “boutique” brands, since they are opening up number market segments, which would otherwise be un-served. (Some of these shops have flashlights with a list price in the $500 range).

Specialty Shops

Other companies that we zoned-in on in our research efforts are the “specialty” shops, which are typically much larger in volume versus the “boutique” shops; however, the specialty-brands still address (serve) a niche market. For example, there are companies/brands that target the Police and Military market segment with list prices of less than $100 to several hundred dollars. Other companies/brands target the medical/surgical (headlamps) or the high-end outdoor sport market segment(s), and others target the explosion-proof market segment with list prices of several hundred dollars, even over $1,000.

For example, the winning sales/distribution-channel for LED lamps used for explosive-proof lighting is the application-specific lighting fixture manufacturer (specific to the explosion-proof lighting segment) that has the experience, expertise and established sales/distribution-channels. Therefore, LED lamp manufacturers should target the existing manufacturers of explosion-proof lighting solutions regarding their sales efforts.

General-Purpose Companies/Brands

ElectroniCast also researched companies, which serve multiple end-user market segments, such as household in-expensive (less than $5), low- and high-end professional, and even application specific such as the United States military, as well as products with a wide price range. This “General-Purpose” group also has a huge sales/distribution channel involving major retailers, such as Home Depot, Office Depot, Sears, Ace Hardware, Target and an almost endless opportunity in supermarkets, on-line shopping, and on-and-on.

Market Forecast, by Light Source

In this study, we provide a market forecast and analysis for the use of flashlights in the United States based on the following light source types, as well as flashlights equipped for recharging versus standard (not rechargeable/equipped types):

  • Light Emitting Diode (LED) Flashlight
    • Rechargeable
    • Standard
  • Halogen Incandescent Flashlight
    • Rechargeable
    • Standard
  • Argon or Krypton Incandescent Flashlight
    • Rechargeable
    • Standard
  • Xenon Incandescent Flashlight
    • Rechargeable
    • Standard
  • Fluorescent Flashlight
    • Rechargeable
    • Standard
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Flashlight
    • Rechargeable
    • Standard

A typical flashlight is a hand held unit, however, flashlights are often mounted on weapons, which are tactical flashlights used by the military, law enforcement or even recreationally by hunters. Flashlights are mounted to helmets or for recreational and work use. In fact, the list of different uses of these portable (cordless) light units is close to endless; therefore, the flashlight industry is constantly driven to identify innovative applications and designs.

Some flashlights have more than one light source, for example a fluorescent flashlight from Makita also has an incandescent light source; however, the differentiation is that it is a fluorescent flashlight - so, ElectroniCast counts the flashlight as a fluorescent flashlight. ElectroniCast does not “double-count” the quantity of flashlights; therefore, we tend to evaluate the flashlight and assign it a classification based on the main market-push (objective) from the particular supplier (“HID Flashlight with LED,” are classified as a HID flashlight).

Through research and development (R&D), manufacturers are striving to differentiate themselves from competitors, by means of customer end-markets (applications), lumens/brightness, durability, sales/distribution channels, or a patriotic appeal to purchase products that are made and designed in the United States (“Made in the USA”).

Market Forecast Application Categories

This market forecast of each product-type by the following end-user type (application) categories:

  • Commercial/Industrial
  • Government-Sector
    • Military/Law Enforcement/First Responders
    • Other Government-Sector
  • Consumer/Non-Specific

Market Forecast, By Function

This report provides the 2012 market data review and 2013-2017 forecast for flashlights by the following functions:

  • Consumption Value
  • Quantity (number/units)
  • Average Selling Prices

Since the market opportunity for flashlights continues to evolve, through the push by manufacturers to differentiate from each other to achieve increasing revenue, there is a need to explore technology-driven solutions addressing, but not limited to the list shown below. The relationship of cost of materials, along with the end-user price-points, are important considerations for flashlight manufacturers; however, there are many other items of interest to consider in finding ways to differentiate from your competitors.

Flashlight

  • Casing: Durable/stronger and/or lighter material, design/color, other
  • Circuit, Contact, Interior Parts, Switch: energy-efficiency, spark-proof, durability
  • Reflector: Durable, designs to increase reflectance and lumen/brightness, other
  • Lens, Lens Seal and Face Cap: Durable, focus-ability/adjustable, heat-resistance, other
  • Light Source: Durable, size, lumen/brightness, energy-efficiency, spark-proof, life-capacity (hours), other
  • Recharging Interface: Integration design from flashlight to recharge unit, material, size, durability, other

Power Source

  • Battery: Size, weight, shape, run-time (hours), replacement availability, other
    • Primary (disposable) battery types used in flashlights include button cells, carbon-zinc batteries in both regular and heavy-duty types, alkaline, and lithium
    • Secondary (rechargeable) battery types include lead acid batteries, NiMH, NiCd batteries and lithium ion
  • Ultra-capacitors/Super-capacitor:
    • The capacitor can be recharged more rapidly than a battery and can be recharged many times without loss of capacity; however, the running time is limited by the relative bulk of capacitors compared to electrochemical cells
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Solar power
  • Hand powered dynamos

The most common power source for flashlights is the battery. Many types of batteries are suitable for use in flashlights, such as button cells, carbon-zinc batteries in both regular and heavy duty types, alkaline, lithium and rechargeable lead acid batteries, NiMH, NiCd batteries and lithium ion batteries. The choice of batteries will depend on the light source used, and will usually play a determining role in the size and shape of the flashlight.

Primary cells are used for infrequent use; some types of primary cell can be stored for years, where flashlights are required only in emergencies. Flashlights used for extended periods every day may be more economical to run on rechargeable (secondary) batteries.

Flashlights adapted for use with rechargeable batteries may include features to allow charging without removing the batteries from the light, for example, a light kept in a vehicle may be trickle-charged and always ready when needed. Power-failure lights are designed to keep their batteries charged from a wall plug and to automatically turn on after an AC power failure; the power-failure light can be removed from the wall socket and used as a portable flashlight. Some flashlights are solar powered, using the energy generated from a solar cell to charge an on-board battery for later use.

Ultracapacitors, or supercapacitors, are the new batteries. They recharge (very) quickly, the charge lasts for a long time, and you can keep on cycling them for tens of thousands of charge cycles; however, conventional rechargeable batteries are less expensive and are easily available.

Rechargeable versus Standard

The overall consumption value is forecast to decrease with moderate rising quantity growth offset by declining average prices. Flashlights, which are equipped to recharge the power source (batteries) without removing the batteries from the flashlight, are forecast to dominate the product mix.

In terms of volume (number of units), the Standard-types of flashlights are forecast hold a substantial market share lead during the forecast period; however, because of their relatively low average selling price (ASP) compared to the rechargeable-type units, the Standard-types have a (much) smaller market share in terms of value. ElectroniCast provides a detailed market forecast, in terms of volume (number of units in millions) the price differences per light source/type, as well as value ($ million), covering the years 2013-2018.

Figure 1:
Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights in the Consumer Application
United States Market in 2014 (Value Basis)

Figure 2:
Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights in the Consumer Application
United States Market in 2014 (Volume/Quantity Basis)

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

  • 1.1. Overview - US Flashlight Market Forecast
  • 1.2. Bare (Unpackaged) LED Chips - Overview
  • 1.3. Barriers to Growth in the Military/Government Sector
  • 1.4. Explosion-Proof LED-based Flashlights
  • 1.5. LEDs Used in Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS)

2. United States Flashlight Market Forecast by Application

  • 2.1. Overview
  • 2.2. Flashlight Use in Commercial/Industrial Applications
  • 2.3. Flashlight Use in Government: Military, Law Enforcement and First Responder/Emergency Applications
  • 2.4. Flashlight Use in Other Segments in the Government Sector
  • 2.5. Flashlight Use in Consumer/Non-Specific Applications

3. Competition

  • 3.1. Overview
  • 3.2. Flashlight Company/Brand Profiles (over 50 companies/brands)
  • 3.3. Market Share (2012) Flashlight Company/Brand Profiles (over 50 companies/brands)

4. Flashlight Intellectual Property, Patents and Related

5. ElectroniCast Market Research Methodology

6. Definitions

  • 6.1. Acronyms and Abbreviations in U.S. Army
  • 6.2. Lighting Standards and Protocols

7. Market Forecast Data Base Explanation

  • 7.1. Overview
  • 7.2. Tutorial

Addendum. Excel - Global Market Forecast Worksheets

Addendum. PowerPoint - Global Market Forecast Data Tables (Slide Format)

List of Tables

  • 1.1.1: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source Type (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 1.1.2: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source Type (Quantity Basis, Million/Units)
  • 1.1.3: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source Type (Average Selling Price, $ Each)
  • 1.1.4: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 1.1.5: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Quantity Basis, Million/Units)
  • 1.1.6: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Average Selling Price, $ Each)
  • 1.1.7: ANSI/NEMA FL 1 Flashlight Basic Performance Standard
  • 1.4.1: ANSI/NFPA Areas Description
  • 2.1.1: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.1.2: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.1.3: Market Forecast of Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights in the USA By Light Source Type (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.1.4: Market Forecast of Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights in the USA By Light Source Type (Quantity Basis)
  • 2.1.5: Market Forecast of Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights in the USA By Light Source Type (ASP $)
  • 2.1.6: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.1.7: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Quantity Basis, Million/Units)
  • 2.1.8: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Average Selling Price, $ Each)
  • 2.2.1: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.2.2: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.2.3: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type ($Million)
  • 2.2.4: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (Quantity)
  • 2.2.5: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (ASP $)
  • 2.3.1: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.3.2: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.3.3: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type ($Million)
  • 2.3.4: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (Quantity)
  • 2.3.5: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (ASP $)
  • 2.4.1: US Other Applications in Government - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.4.2: US Other Applications in Government - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.4.3: US Other Applications in Government - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type ($Million)
  • 2.4.4: US Other Applications in Government - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (Quantity)
  • 2.4.5: US Other Applications in Government - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (ASP $)
  • 2.5.1: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications- Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.5.2: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.5.3: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type ($Million)
  • 2.5.4: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (Quantity)
  • 2.5.5: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications - Rechargeable vs. Standard Flashlights By Light Source Type (ASP $)
  • 3.3.1: Market Share Estimates (% and $ Million) of 50+ Flashlight Competitors/Brands - USA Market (2013)
  • 7.1.1: Market Forecast and Analysis by Application Category List
  • 7.1.2: Market Forecast and Analysis by Flashlight/Light Source Product Type Category List

List of Figures

  • 1.1.1: United States Flashlight Market Forecast (Value Basis, $Billion)
  • 1.1.2: United States Flashlight Market Forecast (Quantity Basis, Million/Units)
  • 1.1.3: United States Flashlight Market Forecast (Average Selling Price, $ Each)
  • 1.1.4: Street With No Illumination
  • 1.1.5: Street Illuminated with High Intensity Discharge (HID) Flashlight
  • 1.1.6: Single-die LED: 1000 lm at 100 lm/W at 3A
  • 1.1.7: Four-die LED with Primary Optics
  • 1.1.8: LED Packaged Chip/Bulb
  • 1.1.9: LED Packaged Chip/Bulb
  • 1.1.10: LED Packaged Chip/Bulb Surface Mount Variations
  • 1.1.11: LED Packaged Chip/Bulb, as defined by ElectroniCast
  • 1.1.12: High Brightness LED Packaged Chip/Bulb, as defined by ElectroniCast
  • 1.2.1: Diagram of a typical LED chip
  • 1.2.2: Diagram of a typical LED chip
  • 1.2.3: LED Chip Cross-Sectional Structure
  • 1.2.4: ESD Protection Diodes
  • 1.2.5: Electrostatic Discharge Example
  • 1.2.6: Chip-on-Board LED Technology
  • 1.4.1: Performance Intrinsic Helmet Light
  • 1.4.2: Explosion Proof LED Flashlight
  • 1.4.3: Explosion Proof LED Flashlight
  • 1.4.4: Cordless, Water-Proof, Explosion-Proof Miners Headlamp
  • 1.5.1: Chromaticity Limits for NVIS Colors, NVIS White and NVIS Blue
  • 1.5.2: NVIS Response Curves
  • 1.5.3: NVIS Colors Allowed in a “Class A” Cockpit
  • 1.5.4: NVIS Colors: Type I Class B
  • 1.5.5: NVIS Green A Flip Filter Hood for Flashlight
  • 2.1.1: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.1.2: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.1.3: Police-Style Rechargeable Flashlight with Accessories
  • 2.1.4: Standard-Type Consumer/Household Flashlights with Batteries
  • 2.1.5: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.1.6: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Quantity Basis, Million/Units)
  • 2.1.7: United States Flashlight Market Forecast, By Light Source End-User Application (Average Selling Price, $ Each)
  • 2.2.1: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.2.2: US Commercial/Industrial Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.3.1: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.3.2: US Military/Law/Emergency Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.4.1: US Other Applications in Government - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.4.2: US Other Applications in Government - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 2.5.1: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications- Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Value Basis, $Million)
  • 2.5.2: US Consumer/Non-Specific Applications - Flashlight Forecast, Rechargeable vs. Standard (Quantity, Million)
  • 3.1.1: Recalled LED Flashlights - Manufactured in China
  • 3.2.1: 2-C Flashlight
  • 3.2.2: Expandable Batons with Integrated Light
  • 3.2.3: Focusing LED Flashlight with Tactical Strobe
  • 3.2.4: LED-based Surgical Headlamp
  • 3.2.5: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.6: Cold Cathode Fluorescent Flashlight/Work light
  • 3.2.7: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.8: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.9: Military Angle-Type Flashlight
  • 3.2.10: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.11: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.12: Hands Free Recon Flashlight
  • 3.2.13: Military Grade Recon Task Flashlight
  • 3.2.14: Flashlights attached to Mining Helmets
  • 3.2.15: LED Tactical Flashlight
  • 3.2.16: CFL (Fluorescent) Glow Flashlight
  • 3.2.17: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.18: Designer LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.19: Mini Flashlight with Krypton Bulb
  • 3.2.20: (a) 18V Cordless Fluorescent Flashlight
  • 3.2.20: (b) 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless 12 LED
  • 3.2.21: Small Flashlight with Krypton Bulb
  • 3.2.22: High Intensity Discharge (HID) Flashlight
  • 3.2.23: LED-based Surgical Headlamp and Carrying Case
  • 3.2.24: Combat Flashlight
  • 3.2.25: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.26: LED Rechargeable Photoluminescent Flashlight
  • 3.2.27: LED Headlamps in Use
  • 3.2.28: LED Headlamps
  • 3.2.29: High Intensity Xenon/LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.30: LED Headlamps
  • 3.2.31: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.32: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.33: LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.34: Flashlight Continuity Tester
  • 3.2.35: Police-Style LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.36: Explosion Proof Flashlight
  • 3.2.37: Magnetic Control Fully Variable Output LED Flashlight
  • 3.2.38: Xenon Incandescent Bulb Flashlight
  • 3.2.39: High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon bulb Flashlight
  • 3.2.40: Flashlight / Non-Lethal Weapon
  • 3.2.41: Profession Diver Underwater Flashlight
  • 3.2.42: High-Performance (1000 lumens) LED Flashlight
  • 5.1: ElectroniCast Market Research & Forecasting Methodology
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