We all know what a torch is for – lighting up something or somewhere. But you can still be totally in the dark when it comes to knowing precisely where to start when you’re on the hunt for the perfect torch or flashlight for work. Whether you’re a building inspector or a mechanic, whether you need illumination in a roof-space or a cave, the list of productive, profit-making activities that need a lot more than that little flashlight in the top corner of your smartphone really is endless.
Making the right choice, though – especially as technology, efficiency and product diversity speeds ahead at a lightning pace – can be particularly difficult, and doubly so if you’re busy every minute running your business or checking off that list of critical daily operations.
That’s why we’re here to help! Whether you’ll need it every day, or you just want to tuck it into the toolbox, the right torch can play a vital role in making work business just that little bit easier … and brighter.
Here’s what to look out for:
1. What do you need it for?
With so many different products and product categories, on the market, this really is the big question. You can grab a torch for $20, or spend hundreds on something that still fits in one hand. So the obvious place to start is how valuable it will be for what you do at work, which will narrow down the technological options for the basic bulb, battery and circuitry fundamentals, not to mention features like operating modes, impact and water-resistance, heat dissipation, and advanced features.
2. How will it need to perform?
Now that we’ve narrowed down your budget range, we can start to dive into the key performance metrics for torches. In the marketing material of torches, you can generally find guidance as to the following:
Light output: This is measured in lumens, which measures light intensity. To light up some instructions, 20 lumens may be enough. And to scour the terrain for a hidden detail in the distance, crank up the lumens to 3000+.
Beam distance: This metric will be in metres, measuring how far the beam reaches before what it’s pointed at is basically still in the dark.
Run time: Now we’re talking hours – specifically, how many will pass before fresh batteries or a full charge is down to 10% for a given setting.
Impact resistance: Like beam distance, this is also in metres – specifically, how many your torch can typically drop before it smashes.
Water resistance: This needs a rating system, with IPX4 torches resistant to a splash, IPX7 good for a metre of submersion for 30 minutes, and IPX8 able to survive after 4 hours underwater.
3. Everything else
Originally, the word ‘torch’ referred to the type Indiana Jones might have lit up with a stick, a rag and some kerosene to navigate a cave. But today, there are so many factors, features and functions that must guide your choice – especially for activities relating to your work or operations.
Bulb type: Yes, many still use incandescent and even krypton bulbs for high performance, but LED technology really can do it all these days, whilst running longer, being more energy efficient and expanding expectations for colour and light intensity options.
Beam type: Get a torch with a flood/fixed beam to light up a space, a spot/focused beam to light up a thing, or a multi beam to do it all.
Battery type: Whether disposable, rechargeable or renewable (ie. hand crank or solar), you can choose your energy when choosing your work torches.
Mode & control type: Need high beam, programmable modes, buttons, sliders, bezels, safety locks or another useful feature for your specific application?
Size/shape/materials: Torches are made from a multitude of materials, from plastic through to alloys, stainless steel and more exotic, modern materials. It will affect not only the robustness and price, but also the weight – and you’ll discover that there is a long list of potential features and accessories for your chosen torch, as well.
So while there are a lot of flashlights, not everything will be appropriate or perfect for your particular industry, business and application. But if you choose well – and choosing well is always best with expert guidance – you will select a torch that not only ticks every box, but makes work better, safer, easier and more productive.