Flashlights can be useful at any given time. It is a handy device to have with you during power outages and even while camping or hiking.
There are so many varieties of flashlights with different types of bulbs and lighting methods. The LED flashlight is a popular choice among people these days.
You may own a flashlight and know how to use it. Have you ever wondered what is inside a flashlight? Or how it works to emit a powerful light beam.
Read on to discover the answers yourself.
What Is An LED Flashlight?
LED stands for Light emitting diode, which is what produces light in this type of flashlight. The other common type of flashlight uses an incandescent bulb emitting a lot of heat, a waste of energy.
LED flashlights are cooler, more energy efficient, and more popular than flashlights with incandescent bulbs. They also last longer and are durable, with parts hardly requiring replacement.
These days LED flashlights come in all shapes and sizes to suit different purposes. There are carry-on flashlights, pocket lights, headlights, and many more options.
Many of the LED flashlights these days have a setting to adjust the beam according to your requirement. It makes these flashlights useful in multiple applications.
What Is Inside An LED Flashlight?
Although you may have owned several LED flashlights, you would have never considered what is inside an LED flashlight. Many people only know how to use flashlights and are unaware of the inside parts.
Parts Of An LED Flashlight
An LED flashlight comprises several essential parts for it to work correctly. Flashlight parts are interconnected to flow electricity throughout the device and produce light beams.
Here are the parts found in a LED flashlight.
- Outer cover or case
The case is what covers the internal parts of the flashlight, including the lamp or light bulb and the batteries. Flashlight cases are usually made of plastic or some non-conductive material.
- Metal contacts
This thin metal strip made of brass or copper helps electricity flow between the different parts of the flashlight.
The metal strip is located throughout the flashlight and usually connects the parts that conduct electricity, the lamp, switch, and batteries, to complete the circuit.
Pressing the switch activates the electricity flow in the flashlight, which is in the ‘ON’ position. Pressing the switch to the ‘OFF’ position breaks the electricity flow in the flashlight, thus turning off the light.
The batteries source power to the flashlight so the electricity can flow and emit light.
The reflector rests around the lamp and is responsible for redirecting the light rays from the lamp to allow a steady light beam. It is the visible light that the flashlight emits. The reflector is made of plastic and coated with a shiny aluminum layer.
The lamp or light bulb is the source of light in a flashlight. It’s made of LED which glows when electricity flows through it, thus producing a light beam.
The LED bulb consists of a semiconductor diode that is encapsulated in epoxy. More on the parts of an LED lamp later.
The lens is the translucent barrier that protects the lamp from breaking since the lamp is made of glass. It’s usually made of plastic, so it doesn’t break when the flashlight is dropped.
LED Lamp Components
Here is a brief explanation of the components of an LED lamp found inside an LED flashlight.
An LED lamp consists of four main components.
- LED chip
- The driver
- Heat sink
- Optic lens
The LED bulb emits light in the chip while the driver regulates the input current. The role of the heat sink is to draw the heat away from the LED chip, which coils cause it to burn. The optic controls the attributes of the light output.
The essential features of an LED lamp are given above. However, with the advancement in technology, variations are added in the form of different LED lights.
How Does An LED Flashlight Work?
All of the above parts in a flashlight should be in working condition for the flashlight to emit light. Here’s how a flashlight works.
Switching on the flashlight makes contact between the two metal strips, which begins the electricity flow powered by the batteries. The batteries function so that the flow of electrons or electricity is between positive and negative electrodes.
The contact strip runs down the battery’s length and makes contact with the switch, which reaches the lamp, providing an electrical connection.
Another part of the lamp makes contact with the battery’s positive electrode, which completes the circuit, thus generating electricity.
The flow of electricity makes the LED lamp glow and produces a light beam that reflects off the flashlight’s reflector.
Pushing the switch to the OFF position breaks the electricity flow and turns the flashlight off.
How Do You Regulate LED Lights?
Most LED lights in flashlights and other devices have drivers regulating the voltage the lights receive. These drivers also perform the following functions.
- Control the brightness levels.
- Amplify or reduce the voltage coming from batteries.
- Function as an interface between the batteries and the lights.
How Do You Dismantle An LED Flashlight?
Flashlights these days come in simple designs that are easy to use and dismantle when required. LED flashlights are very strong-built and long-lasting, so it’s highly unlikely that you would need to dismantle them.
However, it doesn’t hurt to know how to dismantle a flashlight. Here is how to do it.
- Hold the back end of the LED flashlight with one hand and grab the front end with the needle-nose pliers.
- Twist the needle-nose pliers until there is a crack in the seam between the back and the front. Put the needle-nose pliers down to dismantle the flashlight.
What Plastic Is A Flashlight Made Of?
The case of a flashlight is made of non-conductive material, usually plastic. The plastic components used in flashlight construction are typically polystyrene and other durable polymers.
It goes through a process in which the plastic pellets are mixed with plasticizing agents and colorants.
What Element Is Used In A Flashlight?
The element which is often used in flashlights is gallium arsenide. However, many variations of this are used in flashlights, including aluminum gallium arsenide or aluminum gallium indium phosphide.
These materials belong to the III-V semiconductors group- the elements listed in columns III and V of the periodic table.
Types Of Batteries Used In Flashlights
Below are the different types of batteries used to power LED flashlights.
- Alkaline batteries
- Lithium batteries
- Carbon-zinc batteries
- NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries
- Rechargeable batteries
Although people know how to use an LED flashlight, many of them don’t know the parts inside one.
Knowing what is inside an LED flashlight and how all parts work together is essential, especially to help identify problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do LED Flashlights Burn Out?
LED lights don’t burn out because they don’t use heat to produce light as incandescent bulbs do.
Do LED Flashlights Need Batteries?
LED flashlights require using disposable or rechargeable batteries as the power source.
What Are LED Lights Made Of?
LED lights are made of materials such as gallium arsenide and variations like aluminum gallium arsenide or aluminum gallium indium phosphide.
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