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When was the first flashlight invented?
The first flashlight was invented in the 1890's. Early in the flashlight's history, it was used as a novelty, a small light that could be attached to a man's tie or a woman's barrette—but it was necessary to carry a large battery pack to power the light.
As the flashlight developed, it became ideal for more conventional uses, and its size and shape evolved. Battery technology also improved—while battery power increased, battery size decreased, making the flashlight more portable and user-friendly.
Who invented the first flashlight?
Conrad Hubert is the inventor of the first flashlight. Hubert is also known as the founder of the Eveready Battery Company.
What's the difference between a flashlight and a lantern?
A lantern is used to cast light over a wider area than a flashlight and has three main characteristics differentiating it from a flashlight. A lantern:
- Traditionally has a handle and is not tube-shaped.
- Has a large head and large reflector.
- Is powered by a lantern battery or four (4) D cell batteries
How did the flashlight get its name?
When the flashlight was first invented, battery power was still in its infancy and there wasn't a strong enough source to power the flashlight for a long period of time. Users pushed a button to literally “flash light” on the path in front of them, shining the light for just a moment. Hence, we have the name we use today—flashlight.
What sizes do flashlights come in?
All shapes and sizes. Mini flashlights conveniently fit on your key chain or in your pocket. Penlights are aptly named since they are about the size of a ball point pen. Medium flashlights are easy to carry, fit in your hand and are perfect for everyday use or trick-or-treating. And large flashlights and lanterns are ideal for camping or providing light when you need to brighten up a large area.
How do flashlights work?
A flashlight is powered by batteries—they create an electrical current that flows through metal contacts and brings electricity to the lamp (light bulb) in the flashlight. A thin wire in the light bulb contains the element "tungsten", which glows when in contact with electricity, producing a visible light. This light reflects off the reflector resting around the light bulb. For more information, visit our How Flashlights Work page.
How should I store my flashlight?
Store your flashlight in a cool, dry place that is conveniently located and easy to reach in case of an emergency or power outage. Don't store your flashlight in direct sunlight.
What is an LED?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs have several very positive characteristics such as they are virtually indestructible, are more efficient than traditional bulbs and never need replacing.
When I'm not using my flashlight, where should I keep the batteries?
Keep the batteries in your flashlight when it's not in use—that way, you'll have a working flashlight when you need it. If you don't use your flashlight for a long period, turn the power switch on and off occasionally, just to make sure the flashlight is still working. It's also a good idea to change batteries periodically to prevent battery leakage if you don't use the flashlight for long periods.
You should also keep an unopened package of fresh Energizer® batteries where you store your flashlight. This way, you'll be sure to have a working flashlight and a backup set of batteries.
What type of batteries does a flashlight need? How many?
The batteries needed to power your flashlight can vary. Most flashlights for everyday use require two C or D cell batteries. Smaller flashlights can take four or more AA or AAA cells. Lantern lights typically take a single 6V battery. Look for markings on your flashlight or its packaging to determine the correct batteries.
How often should I change the batteries in my flashlight?
If you use your flashlight frequently, change the batteries when the beam starts to go dim. If your flashlight is used just a few times a year, we recommend changing the batteries occasionally to prevent leakage due to aging. An alkaline battery has a 7-year shelf life and can be used for years when maintained properly.
What are a flashlight's uses?
Flashlights have multiple uses. First and foremost, they give you the power of portable light whenever and wherever you need it. Key uses are safety and security, general household use and outdoor camping.
Other flashlight uses include:
- Safety when walking in the dark
- During emergencies—searching in dark areas or in case of automotive breakdown
- Helping lead you out of the house in case of a home fire
- During a power outage
- Hiking through caves
- Lighting your way during trick-or-treating
- During a visit to the doctor—an eye doctor uses a special light to look into your eyes; a dentist uses a light to get a better look at your teeth; surgeons use special lights during surgery
- Lighting construction areas
- Searching through a garage, attic, or dark closet
- Shining light on hard-to-reach places when working on machinery, such as a car
Can I replace flashlight bulbs?
In almost all flashlights, it is possible to replace the bulbs. Different flashlights require different size bulbs, and battery-powered lanterns typically require special bulb sizes.
Replacing your flashlight bulbs is a great way to extend the life of your light. It is a good idea to periodically replace your flashlight bulb, especially if your flashlight is mission-critical. Light Emitting Diodes (LED), however, never burn out and do not need replacing.
What's another name for the flashlight?
"Flashlight" is the common term in the United States, but many other countries refer to a flashlight as a "torch."
What specifics should I look for when purchasing a flashlight?
Be sure to find one that meets your needs. Most commonly, you'll want a flashlight that's reliable and durable—one that shines a bright beam, uses batteries efficiently and doesn't break easily.
What if I have a question about Energizer® battery-powered lighting and flashlights, but can’t find the answer on your site?
Just call 1-800-383-7323. Our customer service experts can answer all your Energizer questions. Or Contact Us electronically and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.