Flashlight Basics

This Is How That Flashlight Works

Most flashlights include some version of these basic parts.

Switch-Component that controls the flow of electrons from battery to lamp

Case-The housing, usually a tube, that keeps the parts together

Reflector-Metal or plastic cone that focuses the light

Contacts-Metal strips or springs that complete the electrical circuit

Lamp-The light source, either a filament or a light emitting diode (LED)

Lens-Clear or tinted glass or plastic that protects and magnifies the lamp

Batteries-The power source for the lamp

How Those Parts Work Together.

Pressing a switch to the “on” postion” allows the contacts to complete the circuit between the lamp and the batteries.  Electricity flows from the batteries and the filament in the lamp, or the light emitting diode, begins to glow.

Battery placement is critical, since the electricity must flow from the positive terminal of the battery, through the lamp, to the negative terminal in order for the lamp to energized.

When the filament or LED starts to glow, it produces a visible light that reflects off the reflector and away from the lens.

The lens focuses, and in some cases, magnifies the light. This produces a steady beam of illumination.

Pressing the switch to the “off” position interrupts the flow of electricity and extinguishes the flashlight beam.

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