Reviewing System

Published 2023/11/19

Updated 2023/11/19

Categories: About,

Table of Contents


Reviewing system

This describes how I assess lights in reviews.

I score each light on a number of different categories, which are weighted based on the type of light to provide an overview of my general impression of it.

Personally, I tend towards the enthusiast side of the market and towards high performance, but I follow broader community sentiment enough that I always consider how people with different opinions to me may feel.

Review sections

These will be fairly consistent through most lights, although some lights will by their nature have much more extensive content in some sections than other lights.

Introduction, Background, and Official Specs

Some background information on the manufacturer of the light, my own and the enthusiast community's experiences with them, and the context of the enthusiast scene and market at the time of release/review.

First Impressions, Physical Design, and Build Quality

A description of the light, its packaging, any accessories, and the general physical design. Also including immediate observations during this process and when first trying the light out.

User Interface

Overview of the user interface, and my thoughts on it

Using the Light

My thoughts on the general experience of the light, both while testing it and when carrying it for day to day use. More detail on things mentioned in the first impressions section.

Driver and Emitters

General technical overview of the light. May include information directly from manufacturers, from the community, and my own observations or educated guesses. Also includes subjective notes on the beam profile, quality, and general feel, as well as objective data on the CCT, spectral output, and colour rendering performance.

Power and Charging

How the light is powered, if there is any type of built in charging, powerbank mode, or similar. Also including data on built in charging if available.

Moddability and Repairability

An overview of the light's physical design from the perspective of potential disassembly for mods or repairs.


The important part ;) - output, throw, and runtimes. Both data and my general observations, as well as any notes on the data collection process.


Because we all want to see how it looks in use. Usually including a few similar comparable lights.


Brief overview of other lights you might consider for a similar use case.

Final Thoughts and Score

Mostly subjective opinion on a light. I try to keep my review scores evenly weighted. 5/10 means "completely unremarkable/average in this respect" and 3/10 means "noticeably below average", not "terrible" and "I'd actually rather use my phone" respectively.

Scores for each category are subjective, based on a combination of my own feeling and general community sentiment (leaning towards enthusiasts, but considering how the average nonenthusiast might see it too). As such, they may change over time, as technology advances and standards are raised. Equally, they also depend on expectations for what the light represents in terms of brand, target market, price point, etc. The standard for 8/10 looks in a low priced penlight is going to be lower than for a large medium priced EDC or tactical light. Similarly, 4000lm in a 14500 light would be a definite 10/10 for absolute performance, but a 3/10 in a large sodacan light.

Each light will be scored on each of these categories. Each category is scored according to expectations for the overall category of the light, including its price point and competitors.

In addition, each light will get an overall score based on a weighted average of these categories, reflecting how important I feel the category is to the type of light - for example, most people buying tactical lights primarily care about build quality, UI, and performance, while for an enthusiast-oriented light, the top criteria would generally be performance, UI, looks, and moddability, or for a light that falls within neither category, it may receive a higher weighting for practicality and value.

Testing equipment

Coming soon.

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