How Torches Work

How Torches Work

The mechanics of a torch seem so easy that’s it’s often overlooked. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how your everyday battery powered torch works:

1 – This part of the torch is called a case. It is the tube that encompasses the parts of the torch.

2 – This part of the torch is the contact throughout the torch. It is a very thin spring or strip of metal that runs through the torch, electronically connecting the various parts of the torch. This parts conduct electricity and completing the circuit.

3 – This is the switch of the torch. The flow of electricity is activated when you switch the torch on, turning the light on. The flow of electricity is interrupted when the switch is turned off, turning off the light.

4 – This part of the torch is called a reflector. It’s the plastic part, coated with a shiny aluminum layer that sits around the lamp and transmits the light rays from the lamp to allow a steady light beam.

5 – This part of the torch is called the lamp. It is known as the light source in a torch. In most torches, the lamp is either an incandescent bulb or a solid-state bulb, also known as an LED.

6 – This part of the torch is known as the lens. It is the clear, plastic part you see on the front of the torch that protects the lamp, since the lamp is made of glass and may easily be broken.

7 – This part of the torch is where batteries are inserted. When activated correctly, the batteries are the power source for your torch.


Now you ask, how do all these parts work together?


When the switch of a torch is on, it allows contact between two contact strips, which begin a flow of electricity. This power is from the battery. The contact strip runs down the length of the battery case and connects with one side of the switch. There is another flat contact strip on the other side of the switch, which runs to the lamp, providing an electrical connection. Another part is connected to the lamp that connects with the positive electrode of the top battery, completing the circuit of the lamp.

When activated by electricity, the LED in the lamp begins to glow, producing light. This light reflects off of the reflector that is positioned around the lamp. The reflector transmits the light rays from the lamp, creating a steady beam of light, which is the light you see emitting from the torch. A clear lens covers the lamp on your torch so that the glass on the lamp does not get broken.

When the torch switch is then pushed off, the two contact strips are physically moved apart and the path for the electrical current is interrupted, thus ending the production of light, and turning your torch off.

All parts in the torch must be connected as stated in this article for it to work correctly.