Flashlight  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A flashlight (more often called a torch outside North America) is a portable hand-held electric light. The source of the light is usually an incandescent light bulb (lamp) or light-emitting diode (LED). A typical flashlight consists of the light source mounted in a reflector, a transparent cover (sometimes combined with a lens) to protect the light source and reflector, a battery, and a switch. These are supported and protected by a case.

The invention of the dry cell and miniature incandescent electric lamps made the first battery-powered flashlights possible around 1899. Today, flashlights use mostly incandescent lamps or light-emitting diodes and run on disposable or rechargeable batteries. Some are powered by the user turning a crank or shaking the lamp, and some have solar panels to recharge a battery.

In addition to the general-purpose hand-held flashlight, many forms have been adapted for special uses. Head or helmet-mounted flashlights designed for miners and campers leave the hands free. Some flashlights can be used underwater or in flammable atmospheres. Flashlights are used as a light source when in a place with no power or during power outages.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Flashlight" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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