In terms of flashlights, the only recent revolutions that come to mind are the movement from traditional bulbs to power efficient LEDs. Otherwise, the size + rugged + power = success formula has been the general modus operandi.
Bushnell is set to change all that with the Bushnell HD Torch Flashlight.
Unlike traditional flashlights which emit light in a radial form that bleeds until there’s no light left, the Bushnell HD Torch provides a uniform pattern of light, in a square. Yes, a square. Just look at the comparison below where we put the HD Torch side-by-side with a traditional 2-cell Maglite flashlight, and you’ll see an immediate difference. One of our editors noted that the near-perfect square and ambient light emanating from the intense beam made it appear like there was a skylight cut into the ceiling (keep in mind this was almost 14 feet away). I’m inclined to agree.
Using a high quality lens, the HD Torch illuminates with amazing brightness (165 lumens) and clarity for up to 1.5 hours on two lightweight 3-volt lithium batteries (included), so you can leave the heavy D-cell’s at home. The HD Torch won’t set any records for battery life, but then again you’d need about 10 traditional flashlights strapped to each other to give the real-world output of the HD Torch.
In terms of heft, the Bushnell HD Torch won’t disappoint. As you can see from our photos, it’s constructed mightily – crafted of aircraft-grade machined anodized aluminum that’s scratch free – appropriate for its $80 pricetag. One especially unique feature is the “Find-Me” function. The flashlight has two buttons on it: one button that switches the light between single beam and a
seizure-inducing emergency flashing strobe, and one master switch at the bottom with a glowing “B” (for Bushnell) that illuminates bright green to make finding the HD Torch easier at night. In addition, the “B” will turn red indicating that there are 10 minutes left of high output illumination. Nice touch.
Editor’s Note: Yes, $80 is a lot for a user with casual flashlight needs. But those of you who use flashlights in your work, hobbies, or just enjoy over-engineered products (and what guy doesn’t) will be amazed with the Bushnell’s output, rugged construction, and relative heft without being overweight. It strikes a nice balance in the hand and after a couple weeks of usage, has now officially replaced the Maglite in my car.