Torches – Everything You Need to Know

Torches, also known as flashlights, play a critical role in low-light settings across residential, commercial, and industrial spaces. From home blackouts to working in tight, dark areas, torches have essential applications in all parts of life.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about torches, focusing on their key features, the available types, and specifically how torches are used in workplace environments. And where you can get them in bulk for an affordable price, for example, a reputable supplier like RS Components.

Types of torches

A torch is a portable device that emits light, usually by an electric bulb. The word “torch” comes from the Old French torche meaning “to carry a burning object before one” or “to provide with a light”.

Torches are classified into two groups: incandescent bulbs with tungsten filaments and solid-state bulbs (normally LED). Modern LED torches are the most popular option thanks to their bright light and varied colour options.

Most torches feature a simple on-off switch, while others offer additional options such as brightness settings and SOS or flash features.

In this article, we’ll focus on electric torches. Some common types include:

  • Night vision torches
  • LED lanterns
  • Bike lights
  • Dive torches
  • Hunting torches
  • Thrower torches
  • LEP torches

To choose a torch that works for your business’s needs, consider light output, beam distance, and run time. You should also consider the weight and durability of the torch—i.e. a large, impact-resistant torch might be a better choice in heavy-duty industrial settings, while a light, easily portable torch will work best for office use.  

A torch’s light output is measured in lumens, which we’ll discuss in the next section of this article.  

Understanding light output

Lumens are the measurement of the total amount of light emitted by a light source. 

A torch’s light output is measured in lumens. This is a critical factor to consider when buying a torch because it indicates how bright it will be—the higher the lumens, the brighter the torchlight will shine.

Some other factors can also influence a torch’s beam distance. For example, thrower torches feature large reflectors, indented to achieve a high peak beam intensity—making it possible to illuminate objects located far in the distance.  

How torches work

An electric torch usually has a battery pack that stores energy generated by a dynamo or generated by another power source like solar panels. This power source is then converted to electricity by the dynamo, which powers up the electricity system in the flashlight.

The power generated can be stored in batteries, which are charged during periods of low demand. This way, we can use the light when we need it most—in dark workplace settings or during unexpected blackouts.  

Similarly, the popular LED torch is powered by an electric current. Users control the power to this light source using a button or dial on the torch. Since LED torches use less power, they generally last longer than other torch types.


Now you understand how torches work, what they’re used for, and the different types available on today’s market—why not get out there and start shopping? Investing in high-quality torches can improve safety, make work easier in tight and dark spaces, and keep your workplace illuminated in an emergency.  

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