Thursday, May 31, 2012

Carrying a torch

I have spent recent night shifts grumbling and stumbling around in the dark after losing my trusty old silver Maglight LED torch. Finally coming to terms with the grim fact that I'm unlikely to get it back because paramedics are like magpies when it comes to finding useful pieces of kit, the shinier the better, I concluded that I needed a replacement.

The type of torch that is currently der riggur for front line emergency personnel is called a tactical flashlight. I've no idea why they're tactical, because they're pretty titchy. In my books, a tactical flashlight would be four feet long with built in crossbow and grenade functions. I also don't know why they are called flashlights instead of torches. Maybe two syllables sounds like you're getting more for your money. In that case they should give them an even longer name like Photon Throwing Devices or Visible Spectrum Electromagnetic Radiation Emission Implements.


Dutifully, I researched current torch trends and was amazed at how much you can spend on the damn things. Hundreds of Great British quids in some cases! If I spent two hundred pounds on a torch I would expect not only light but a stream of Bollinger and caviar vol-au-vents as well.

In the end, I settled for a compromise. One that was not too expensive (although still the priciest torch I've ever bought) yet still had a good reputation. In fact I noted a lot of my colleagues already had the same sort. I placed my order and, a few days later, received my new Lenser P7 Photon Throwing Device through the post.

It's aesthetically pleasing, small enough to fit into the hand and feels quite rugged.There's a sort of air of competence about it, but I couldn't really get away from the fact that the bit at the front, the bit the light comes out of, seemed quite . . . well . . . small.

And then I switched it on.


It has something called a Cree LED in it, which is similar to the traditional torch LED but instead of a light emitting diode the manufacturers appear to have opened up a small wormhole into the fiery heart of the sun.

Honestly, you press the on button at the base and, after the briefest roar, photons spill out of the end like a funnelled nuclear explosion.

It is so bright that, even at twelve noon on the hottest day of the year, light levels across the country went up three hundred percent.

Moles, four feet underground, moved deeper.

Clouds shifted in turmoil, like Jupiter's bands after a comet strike when I pointed it at the sky.

The ambulance broke down, but rather than wait for the tow truck I simply shone the torch out of the window, pointing it backwards, and the sheer power of it's beam thrust us forward, occasionally reaching speeds of two hundred miles per hour.

It is a Jedi light club.

It’s like that red-eyed feller off of X-Men who shines red beams of red light out of his red eyes when he takes his red sunglasses off, only brighter. And less red.

It’s like staring into the back end of a Delta V Heavy Lift Rocket as it takes off..

I’m worried about crossing the beams with another one.

Now, I am one hundred and ten percent against exaggeration, and incredibly amazingly against hyperbole but I want to give you an idea of just what this torch is capable of.  For this reason I took some before, during and after shots of me turning the torch on and shining it at my works Zafira: 

My office

A quick flash

The unadulterated result

It’s quite bright, is what I’m getting at.

Illuminating, isn’t it?



  1. Yes! That IS bright!

    We need new stage lights, please send 400 Lenser P7's.
    We gonna blind the fuckers! (And ourselves!) :¬)


  2. I feel duty bound to share this information with my husband even though we already have 7 billion flashlights within arm's reach. I hope it will reach Uranus.

  3. mapstew - I think 400 of them would bring about some sort of apocalypse. An easily seen apocalypse.

    Trucking Tumbleweed - He will want one, and then he will get one, and then he will be complete.

  4. That's a phaser, not a torch. Doesn't it have a stun setting?

  5. GB - Nope. It's a manly man's phaser, and the lowest setting is "nuke".

  6. And - even more impressively - you bought it in German!

  7. I've got one of those! Mr WithaY gave it to me for Christmas, and it's excellent.

    We must never, ever meet.

  8. Mrs Jones - Luckily my credit card is multilingual.

    livesbythewoods - Sadly true. It would be too dangerous.

  9. Let me get this risk your life to save others at all hours of any day or night, you suffer wind and rain and horrid sunny days, climb huge mountains daily, ford treacherous rivers to reach the sick and the stingy buggers couldnt even buy you a torch?
    I suggest you point the death ray at them...

  10. i am blinded by the light!

    *laughing out loud at my own brilliance*

    *and yours as well, of course*

    xoxoxoxox and thanks for the laughs, sugar!

  11. Ho ho ho... you men and your gadgets! In our house it's just gadget this and gadget that. I can hardly move for gadgets! Men! Gadgets! Gadgets! Men! Only the other day my dear husband brought back a hadron collider of all things, the silly old sausage! Of course he had to get the most expensive one that Dixons had in - £43 billion - that's the gazebo up the swanny! And wouldn't you know it, he's only gone and collided the children into another dimension! Blooming gadgets! Oh, well, whatever keeps you happy I say!

  12. Aw shit, did you steal Dr. Who's screwdriver??

  13. Tempo - There is a rechargeable torch on the car, but it's the size of an elephant calf and about as bright.

    Savvy - It's sooo beautiful . . .

    Chants Cottage - Ha! And it's a shame because particle physicists have been theorising about the gazebo for decades.

    Chantel - Pfft. That's just a sonic screwdriver.Mine's a lightwave mallet.

  14. I believe you nailed it TJ, it can only be classed as a "flashlight" if it can down planes at 35,000 feet, from the ground. Also, thanks for reminding me why I need to get back online more often, because I miss the damn laughs every time I come over here. Ha!

    Also, I must have one. The torch, I mean.

  15. Veggie Ass - Now THAT'S a flashlight. And you're right,you should come online more. The internet is always a bit better when you're tickling it.

  16. So the 'cree led' is the opposite of the 'wee led'?
    Does it take B sized batteries?

    'I noticed that there are no B batteries. I think that's to avoid confusion, cause if there were you wouldn't know if someone was stuttering.'
    - Demetri Martin

  17. Eric - Heh. It's got four AAA batteries but I think they're just for show, and it really gets it's power from tapping into the dark energy of the universe. And voodoo.

  18. Freaking heck! I walked into a store today and they had this very torch for sale...When you said it was expensive you werent joking! It's a bloody Lighthouse!

  19. Damn you, Jules. Damn you to hell and back (take your pick which is worse).

    Now I WANT one of these. Oh to find an excuse...

  20. Monster P - Night time! There's your excuse.


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