The Basics

What the outdoor retailer offers is personal expertise which is something the web cannot deliver. In a world awash with product and competing claims, the informed sales person comes into his or her own. On these pages and in concert with individual sponsors we offer a series of bullet point guides to the basics of the key outdoor product categories. Our aim is to provide inexperienced sales staff a guide to what to remember and for more experienced ones a reminder of things they might have forgotten. The Basics has been produced so as to make it simple to download – in most cases each takes up no more than single sheet of paper.

The Basics of Torches

sponsored by Led Lenser

Seeing things in the right light
The total amount of light energy produced by a torch is measured in Lumens. To the meet the challenges arising from general outdoor use 80-200 Lumens will suffice, but torches are available with an intensity of up to 1600 Lumens. Note however that not all Lumens are created equal. Brands measure Lumens in a variety of ways so always check to see if the brand is reputable and the Lumen count can be trusted. 

Made of the right stuff
The most widely used material in the construction of a modern torch is machined aluminium. It is very tough and water resistant.  A good torch will feature machine turning on the casing to provide excellent grip. Others use rubber or a similar material for the same purpose. Alternatively polycarbonate housing for torches is also preferred by outdoor enthusiasts as it weighs less than aluminium and is also temperature resistant to higher degree.  


Powering up
Of course power is useless without the energy to drive it. Most outdoor torch brands use standard AA or AAA batteries which are popular and readily available. However, always advise customers to use quality branded products to prevent nasty leaks. Cheaper batteries are cheap for a reason. Some torches use CR123A lithium batteries. These are a more expensive option, but can last longer. Rechargeable systems are the greener options, but trekkers and others may want to avoid the additional weight associated with the recharging port.
















Making a good contact

One hidden feature of good torches is that they will use battery contacts that are hard gold plated. Whilst the traditional nickel versions are perfectly adequate, their conductivity is such that some of the energy provided is lost as heat. Gold is the most efficient of conductors and also is more corrosion resistant. 

Stay focused
The quality of beam is not dependent on the quantity of LEDs but rather the quality of the LED chip and the optical system used around the LED. A single quality LED will most likely deliver a better output then many cheaper LEDs. 

Spot to flood beam focusing is another feature available on quality torches. Multi-functionality of energy usage, preset light programs and various lighting options are also features now available on higher end models.  These are ideal for the outdoor enthusiast that values flexibility of lighting options. 

Now you see it…
Most makes of handheld torch now feature a tactical rather than barrel switch.  The tactical switch, which is located on the end of the torch, allows for the easy use of the off-on capability and removes the risk of accidentally turning the torch on when not required. 

Put it there
The key to torch sales is to get the product into the customer’s hand and whilst he or she is testing it point out the key features. Highlight how light it is, the ease with which it can operated with one hand only and the engineering that has gone to make it tactile and easy to grip.

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