Travellers torches

Here are the most valuable types of traveller’s torches

Whether you are willing to admit it or not I think the best of us would agree, darkness isn’t much fun. Thankfully, we have our trusty torches, although it’s not always easy to decide which one we are going to trust.

Do you go for the most powerful torch, blinding any and all darkness with light? Or, do you look for a savvy bargain and take a risk it will work when you need it most? No matter what you are after, whether it be power or price, there is a torch for you. Travelling the world or camping in the national park – these tips will help you discover the best value torch money can buy.

Fit for purpose  

Not typically considered one of the most expensive parts of a holiday, torches can still represent a significant investment. You would want to be sure the torch you buy will be capable of doing the things you need it to do, particularly when it is dark and you are in a foreign place.

Will this torch be used for intense travelling or on a family holiday, on a short evening stroll or a midnight cave climb? Consider a torch that is fit for purpose. Led head torches are ideal for any scenario and any level of traveller, the freedom afforded by being hands free is worth exploring, so that you can get back to exploring.

Power the way

Anyone in possession of a lamp or light will be familiar with the term watts.

Lights put out a certain wattage which is effectively the power of your bulb. But with torch bulbs we tend to delve a little deeper. LED torches tend to look at lumens for their output. To achieve a standard 450 lumens, a traditional incandescent bulb needs to be 40 watts. Most household bulbs sit between 40-60 watts.

If power is important to you, consider an LED bulb.

For an LED bulb to achieve the equivalency of 450 lumens it only requires 4-5 watts. Alternatively CFL bulbs will only require 8-12 watts for 450 lumens. So if you are after real power with less energy then consider bulb choice a crucial element in achieving this. With a superior bulb you can expect your next torch to achieve a far greater energy to power ratio. LED bulbs are the best choice if it is power you are ultimately looking for.

Cost isn’t just the initial purchase price

Generally speaking when you are looking at torches for your next big trip rarely would you consider the lifespan of the bulb. Let’s be honest, when the bulb burns out is future you’s problem. But realise that the cost of replacing bulbs can be vastly different, so that bargain torch might be costing you more than you think. The type of bulb you are using can change the cost of the torch over its lifetime.

Incandescent bulbs are the cheapest; there is no way around it.

Although it gets complicated when you consider that you will use more watts to generate power, which may not do your battery any favours. CFL and LED are more expensive, however, over the span of the torch’s life, it will likely work out cheaper than replacing incandescent bulbs frequently.

On average an incandescent bulb will last 1200 hours before needing to be replaced.

Compare that to an LED bulb which will last 50,000 hours. Effectively you will replace 41 incandescent bulbs by the time you replace one LED bulb. Do that math over the lifetime of your torch and remember that the initial replacement cost seems less important.

Durability  

Not all bulb replacements are down to the bulb burning out.

The darkness brings the nerves out in us all and, if you have ever jumped in fear, then maybe your motor skills have failed you. Long story short; smash goes the torch. If this happens on your next trip, it helps to have some faith that your bulb will stand up to the test.

Bulb durability depends on the type of bulb, like most other choices.

LED bulbs are made of tough stuff when compared to CFL or incandescent, and while they are not invincible the odds are if you dropped your torch it shouldn’t cause any undue harm to the bulbs. When talking about value it is important to consider durability as well as cost or power.

Price and power are always going to form part of your decision making when buying a torch. Comparing all of your options is the key to making the right choice. On face value LED may seem expensive initially but when considering value, think about the lifetime value of the torch. LED will last longer, will be more durable and uses less power to shine brighter. Use these tips to ensure you get the best value when choosing your next torch for travelling.

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