Product Design: Making Flashlights Fun




As a kid, your earliest act of engineering might have been to take apart the family flashlight. First the batteries came out, then out slipped the switch, the incandescent light, and the grand finale – the always fascinating parabolic mirror. Raise your hand if you actually put the light back together (file under, “you might be an engineer if…”).

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The modern flashlight essentially works the same but with a few changes, mostly driven by new technology and a few design aesthetics.

The thoroughly modern flashlight

LED lights play a huge role in the modern flashlight. That’s partly because LEDs offer numerous advantages for consumers such as energy efficiency, longer lifetimes, better reliability, and overall environmental friendliness (lack of mercury or other nasty hazardous substances).

But as you might guess, there’s more to it than merely plopping in an LED array where an incandescent bulb used to be. New-generation flashlights come with new engineering challenges.

You need to worry about keeping voltage up and current steady, which may require additional circuitry, like a step-up converter. Because modern high-power LEDs produce heat, you may have reconsider housing and other materials that can keep the device cool. On the other hand, you no longer need to worry about making the lights serviceable, since consumers are unlikely to ever need to change the “bulb.”

And as with most consumer products, you still have to make it attractive to consumers.

Because it turns out that, as long as you’re not burning their hands or setting their houses on fire, users don’t care much about the thermal conductivity of your design. They care about cool products that look curvy, clean, and colorful. Sure, they want functionality, but they also want to party:

Meet Eveready Industries, India

Eveready Industries, India, has been a leading brand in the Indian market for the past 100 years. While the company develops batteries, lighting, electrical appliances, and mobile power, it’s their flashlights that really shine.

To respond to ever-changing customer needs they designed a line, Trendy Plastic Torches, that offers the brightest LED, long-life, and a long high beam.

One of the company’s biggest selling “torches” is the DL55 Duralite, which offers 25 Lumen, 0.5 Watt LED wattage, a durable plastic body, and of course, contemporary design.

The curvy, smooth, and cool DL55 Duralite: Designed with Creo.

As you can see in the image above, the team at Eveready designs with Creo Parametric, including the Creo Surface Design Extension (ISDX). With Creo ISDX, designers can build free-form geometry, using as many or few constraints as they like. In short, Creo ISDX makes it easy create and manipulate those curves and surfaces freely. That means the design team can keep pace with  consumers’ ever-changing needs and tastes. In fact, Eveready says the team has cut design time by roughly 30 to 40% using our software.

We’re proud to have helped Eveready create their chic battery-powered torches. Want to see what you can do with our 3D CAD software? Download the free 30-day trial of Creo Parametric and get started today.