United States Flashlight Market Forecast and Analysis (2011-2016)

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.
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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 2011) 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
o Rechargeable
o Standard

• Halogen Incandescent Flashlight
o Rechargeable
o Standard

• Argon or Krypton Incandescent Flashlight
o Rechargeable
o Standard

• Xenon Incandescent Flashlight
o Rechargeable
o Standard

• Fluorescent Flashlight
o Rechargeable
o Standard

• High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Flashlight
o Rechargeable
o 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
o  Military/Law Enforcement/First Responders
o  Other Government-Sector

• Consumer/Non-Specific

Market Forecast, By Function   This report provides the 2011 market data review and 2012-2016 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.


• 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
o Primary (disposable) battery types used in flashlights include button cells, carbon-zinc batteries in both regular and heavy-duty types, alkaline, and lithium
o Secondary (rechargeable) battery types include lead acid batteries, NiMH, NiCd batteries and lithium ion
• Ultra-capacitors/Super-capacitor:
o 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.

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