A good torch that is truly fit for purpose is an indispensable tool for so many people at work. But just as the potential uses for an occupation-grade flashlight differ wildly, so too do the products themselves. Some, like a mechanic or an inspector of roof spaces, might use their trusty torch every day, others, like search and rescue or other nocturnal workers, need something seriously beefy for their critical and often hazardous operations. Yet more personnel across the industry spectrum, on the other hand, might just want something reliable in the toolbox for occasional use, such as an emergency or an unexpected task.
The landscape of torches, and of torch usage at work, is just about as vast and wide as it comes – so how does a newcomer navigate such a complex and confusing space? With our quick guide, it’s all quite easy:
- The physical object
Before we even switch on that torch, let’s take a look at the physical object itself – which will range in weight from mere grams to a kilo or more. And when it comes to buying torches, size really matters. Your everyday user – let’s say a carpenter – will want something handy, light and small to mid-size. A tactical torch, though – the kind a soldier might want in their arsenal – is typically longer, thicker and grippier. Much of the extra weight gives a sturdier torch its strength and durability, thanks to tough materials up to military grade and shock and impact resistance. The most robust of all will keep performing in a fire fighter’s hands in the most arduous of environments, whilst others will need to easily repel moisture or even chemicals.
- The light
The heart of the torch, of course, is the beam, the bulbs, the light technology, the brightness, the light qualities and the luminous versatility. If that sounds awfully important to torch choice, you’d be absolutely right, with most of the light qualities you’ll ever need now covered by sophisticated, efficient and long-lasting LED arrays. The higher the lumens, the brighter your torch will be – from the hundreds to the thousands. Your beam can then be intense and narrow, focusing intensely on a spot, or wide enough to light up – or flood – a vast outdoor area. You can even select your preferred colour temperature, ranging from intensely white 6000 Kelvin through to more neutral 4000s and the much warmer 3000K.
- The power
We’re talking, of course, about batteries – but the available range is correspondingly vast. Your cheapest torches will be happy with disposable batteries in the familiar sizes – normally AA, AAA or D. Your mid-level torches can step it up a level to fully rechargeable lithium-ion – like the ones in your mobile or laptop with easy plug-in charging, while the high-end options are likely to have the battery fully integrated with charging slots in the housing and impressive power output capabilities.
- The features
Finally, when comparing like-for-like torches, it is the range of operating features that are most likely to affect the price. Your application may call for light effect options, like strobing or beacon capabilities, or you may be able to switch between spot or flood or cycle through warmer or cooler light temperatures. There might be magnetic features for attachment to surfaces, helpful rotary dials, or a range of other options and features that make the perfect torch precisely match your requirements and desires.
So with torch prices ranging from the single digits to incredible four-digit options fit for a King, the onus is on you to pair your needs and operating specifications with just the right product. If you need guidance, consult with an experienced technician and research the best torches for work use – and best of luck lighting up your work tasks!