Still Keeping Up

It seems the pace of technological innovation is moving faster than we can grasp. When I was a kid, a flashlight was made of thin aluminum, took two D-cells, put out a dim yellow light and broke if you dropped it. It was kept in the junk drawer until there was a power failure, at which time it wouldn’t work.

But flashlights have been evolving rapidly for at least the last three decades. Take the iconic SureFire 6P, introduced circa 1988. A marvel of its day, the original 6P had an incandescent light that ran hot, had a one-hour battery life, and put out about 65 lumens. Around 2008 the 6P LED was introduced. It was tougher, less likely to be damaged if dropped, ran cooler, tripled (or more) battery life, and put out about 80 lumens. I have one, and still use it.