Flashlights are so commonly used in today’s world that we almost never stop to think much about them. Through many years of innovation and improved technology, the selection of flashlights available in today’s market has become quite large. There are so many different types of flashlights that it would be difficult to even list them all, but a few of the main types include the basic cylindrical flashlight, pocket and penlights, the tactical flashlight, headlamps, underwater lights, and rechargeable versions. Each of these has its own unique benefits.
A basic cylindrical flashlight is what most people picture when they think of a flashlight. It is a hand held cylinder that emits a light at one end. Traditionally, these used incandescent bulbs. More recently, LED bulbs have also become quite common.
Pocket lights and penlights are essentially smaller versions of the basic flashlight. They often look very similar to a pen, which is why they are sometimes called penlights. Other pocket lights can be of other shapes, and they can even be used as key chains. Most penlights use batteries since they are so small. These are convenient since they can be easily be carried at all times.
The tactical flashlight is commonly used by military and law enforcement. It is not as small as a pocket sized flashlight, but it is typically quite compact, designed to be held in one hand while a weapon is held in the other. They are very durable and extremely bright. Police officers shine this bright light into the eyes of a suspect, which causes a temporary stunning effect.
Headlamps are used by spelunkers, miners, divers, rescuers, and anyone else needing a light but also needing free use of the hands. These are typically strapped or fastened around the head in some way, with a light in front and a battery attached on the front or back. As with most other types of flashlights, there are versions that use both incandescent and LED lights.
Underwater lights are used mostly by divers. There are headlamp, hand held, and penlight versions. These lights are waterproof, so they will not be damaged when submerged. They are also typically quite bright, designed to shine even through murky waters.
Most of the different kinds of flashlights also come in rechargeable versions. There are several methods of recharging used. Some models of flashlight come with rechargeable battery kits. While incandescent lights have shorter lifespans, LED lights can burn for up to 100,000 hours, so these are popular for use in rechargeable types. Shake lights are another type of flashlight that is rechargeable, but they have to be shaken every few hours to stay lit, and they tend to be quite dim. They are great for emergencies, however. Another method of recharging is to use solar power.
All of these different types of flashlights are ideal for different situations. The typical household has at least a couple of these around. There are few inventions that have proved quite as useful and enduring.