Advances in Flashlight Technology

By James Mellor posted 10-21-2019 20:01


Think back to the flashlights of your childhood and compare them to your options today. You’ll see that flashlight technology has made several advances since then.


The handy flashlight has been around for many decades. It has proven to be a staple household item. A flashlight is ideal for power cuts, hiking, and camping. Its light helps you to navigate your way around in the dark so that you don’t trip, fall, and hurt yourself.


Shining a light on the past


Conrad Hubert patented the first flashlight in 1898. He was the founder of the American Ever-Ready Company. His Eveready flashlight was the first handheld flashlight to be made and sold. It was an instant hit.


If you’ve ever wondered why it’s called a flashlight, here’s your answer. The first flashlights were very crude compared to those available today. They were made from paper, fiber tubes, and a brass reflector. In those days, bulbs and batteries were weak. When you turned a flashlight on, it provided exactly that: a brief flash of light.


Battery technology


In the intervening years, batteries have become more powerful. They are also long-lasting and don’t need to be replaced that often. As far back as 1967, the first Eveready rechargeable flashlight entered the market.


Rechargeable batteries are commonly used in flashlights today. They last longer and are more environmentally friendly. Today’s rechargeable flashlights sustain their charge for more extended periods than their early predecessors.


Bulb technology


Bulb changing was a problem with the first flashlights. Over the years, improvements in bulb technology mean that you’re unlikely to need to replace yours before it’s been in use for many years. Bulbs now come in different strengths, allowing you to select a flashlight with a brightness that suits your needs.


Many of today’s flashlights have fluorescent bulbs. They offer a brighter light and utilize the battery power supply more efficiently. The concept of LED lighting is becoming more popular as it uses little power and provides substantial brightness.


Housing technology


Gone are the days of paper and cardboard tubing for a flashlight. These days, flashlights are produced using thermoplastic molds or metal exteriors. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors.


Owing to the durable materials used in their manufacture, flashlights are hardier and do not break easily. They should still be treated with care as a fall could damage them.




When the first flashlight was produced, its users would never have imagined that one day, a flashlight would work underwater. But that is precisely what has happened.


The sturdier materials used in the construction of flashlights allow them to be waterproof. Water can’t reach the bulb and battery. When water gets into the interior of a flashlight, it damages the connection, and the flashlight fails. Rubber is a typical outer housing for waterproof torches.


The glass or plastic used on the face of the flashlight is also more advanced. Flashlights can now be taken deep down underwater without cracking due to the additional pressure this environment presents.




From a penlight battery to a huge spotlight, the first flashlight has evolved beyond its creator’s wildest imaginings. Today’s user has the option of using a handheld flashlight or one that is wearable, such as the flashlight on a strap you can wear around your head.


Whereas before a flashlight was large, bulky, and heavy, some of today’s models are as light as a feather. They can be carried easily due to their compact design. Many are designed to fit into the grip of the human hand, making them easier to use. Others are so tiny that they can be attached to a keychain.

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