The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved a new specification standardizing flashlight performance. The standard was developed by the Flashlight Standards Committee of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The committee consisted of a number of flashlight manufacturers. The resulting specification is called ANSI/NEMA FL-1. As with many technical specifications, the full standard can only be purchased from ANSI or NEMA.

Performance of flashlights is measured using new batteries included with the light when purchased or, if no batteries are included, the batteries recommended by the packaging. There are six criteria used: