The Purpose of Flashlights: Reasons They Deserve a Place in Our Modern World

We tend to take external light sources for granted just because we have mobile phones that can double as a torch. But what if our phone simply stops working? Or if we find ourselves in a situation where strong light is needed on short notice? Obviously, flashlights still deserve a a place in the modern world.

Historically, a torch was a hand-held light source with combustible material at one end. With time, the use of the traditional torch was pushed back to serve religious and ceremonial purposes only. As technology progressed, so did the torch. First there were flashlights with batteries and incandescent light bulbs. Nowadays, when people speak about torches or flashlights, they usually refer to electric hand-held LED lights.

The type of power source is one of the important distinctions of flashlights. There are torches powered by rechargeable or disposable batteries which can affect customers’ choice. Some prefer changing batteries and do not mind carrying spare ones while others find it more convenient and cost-efficient to recharge.

The most valued feature of a flashlight is the output of lumens it can produce. This translates into the range a light can cover. And this specification alone can often determine the use of the torch. The short guide below provides more info.

  • 30 to 100 Lumen – found in flashlights for general use in the household, walking in the dark, finding objects in a dark room
  • 100 and up – found in torches for tactical use which can be mounted on a weapon or headlamps for biking or running at night
  • 1000 and up – the output of a powerful high beam flashlight used for search and rescue, outdoor use, caving, diving

On top of the lumen range, people also base their flashlight choice on features such as weight, ergonomic design and adjustable output. Some high-grade torches on the market also have indicators that show output level, remaining battery capacity, or the charging status. Based on their features, torches can have many different purposes that can make our lives easier and safer.

Self Defense

Self Defense flashlight

When it come to self defense, light is your number one security tool, because quite literally it can turn night into day by the flip of a switch. It comes handy for temporarily blinding and disorienting an attacker, and if it is heavy and shockproof, you can use it to defend yourself. Because of it’s high lumen output, this type of torch can contribute to safety by facilitating surveillance in the dark, when you are out camping or even in your own backyard.


hunting led torch

When hunting, a reliable flashlight can contribute to catching game in two ways: by hindering the animals’ sight (high output torches can temporarily blind a dear) and by offering you increased visibility to take the shot. They mount on a tactical weapon and can be easily detached for visual support in moving a big catch from the field to your vehicle.

Emergency Response

led flashlight

Quick reaction to an emergency can alter the final outcome for the better. This responsibility does not rest to government agencies alone, sometimes responsible civilians are able to provide crucial help before authorities reach the scene. A high beam flashlight with intense lumen output and long run-time is an indispensable tool for search and rescue operations.

We do not know when the next natural or man made disaster will disrupt our daily lives, so being ready for the unexpected is always smart. This gadget can take you through emergencies as simple as power outage or as complex as a flood. It has its place in anyone’s emergency preparedness kit – every household should own at least one.


camping flashlight

Camping trips preparation varies depending upon the conditions and time spent in the wild. But whether you plan to go a fully equipped site with an RV and take a generator, or simply want to hike with backpacks and decide to rely on campfire, a wide beam flashlight is still needed. It can prove to be handy even during glamping.

Sports and Outdoor Activities

flashlight for running

Basically any outdoors sport requires having a flashlight. You can use it during professional long distance cycling, or recreational kayaking. There are sports in which having a flashlight in the right moment can save your live, such as rock climbing.


fishing flashlight

Some people prefer to fish at night as there is less competition and it is easier to catch something. Land based fisherman need different type of light to set up their gear, and another to extract their fish from the water. Flashlights with adjustable output control are great for this use.

On the Road

led torch

Having a flashlight on board can come in handy if the vehicle breaks down. It can provide practical illumination to do repairs if needed, or to look for help while on the road.

Work Lights

flashlight for automechanics

People whose working in inspection, repair or servicing machines use these kind of gadgets on a daily basis. Engineers, miners, security guards have to be in a position to trust their light source.

Cave Exploration

led torch for cave

Flashlights are essential gear for descending into the underground. One can go for recreational spelunking or to do scientific research in speleology or cave paintings. Visual inspection of cave environment is crucial in planning the next step and to prepare for bats and the unknown lurking in the dark.

Miscellaneous Use

led bulbs

There are areas in which the purpose of a torch is not central to the regular activities, however it can provide much needed support. Marine environments, for example, are relentless to gadgets that are not able to withstand high humidity, so flashlights on boats are useful only occasionally. In other cases, such as diving, the gear has to be specifically built for underwater use. Night diving, cave diving and underwater filming is impossible without a good torch. The increase in off grid living also provides an alternative venue for using flashlights. Homesteads and sailing vessels can undoubtedly attest to the purpose of a torch.

LED flashlights have their place in our world. We ought not to write them off yet even if our phones can offer a flashlight function. Sometimes we are eager to go to the next technology that is around the corner, however the intended use of these hand-held light sources is simply irreplaceable for the time being.