Wicked Lasers’ Torch flashlight is by no means a new product, but it sure is an item in its own category. Billed as the “World’s Brightest Flashlight” at 4,100 lumens, the Flash Torch is not only powerful at illuminating dark spaces, it’s also hot. And we mean hot. Seriously, this thing will cook an egg if you need it to in the wilderness.
Just how useful is the Torch? If you can get past its odd power mechanisms, perhaps there are some real life utilities in the product. Come along for our hands-on review to learn more.
Look and Feel
The Torch is made of a military grade aluminum body, adding a good amount of weight to the entire item. The front glass is heat-resistent, so prolonged use won’t melt the surface. The handle also has a textured grip so the Torch won’t go swinging out of your hands.
While the aluminum makes the Torch pretty heavy already, the battery is also what adds to the bulk of the weight. You get two 1500mAh 14.4V rechargeable battery with the set, and charging one takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Don’t get too excited, however. While it may only take 30 minutes to juice a giant battery, a full charge will last you just five minutes of shine. Yes, five. You read that right.
Add everything together and you’re holding a one-and-a-half pound flashlight, which would seem reasonable if it lasted a little longer than five minutes of use.
To get started, you’ll need to juice the battery with configuring the correct +/- attachments to the charger. Unlike traditional chargers where you plug the battery inside of a slot, you have to connect two thermal sensors to each end of the battery and wait until the charger light turns green. The manual suggests that you remove the sensors promptly after the battery is fully charged as to not overcharge. Obviously, this means a lot of paying attention to the product instead of leaving it to juice overnight.
Once the battery is ready, just slide the giant block inside, screw the cap on, and press the power button located at the bottom of the flashlight. Be careful not to have the light turned at your face or you will be in for a rude awakening.
At 4,100 lumens, the Torch is about 4,000 lumens brighter than a decent flashlight needs to be. The added brightness definitely helps make everything clearer in the dark, but sometimes more shine just doesn’t mean more utility. We do have to give credit that thanks to the ridiculous lumen specs, it is able to light up nearly a whole room with one flash rather than just the general direction the light is facing.
While the Torch is advertised as a flashlight, I would consider it more like a spotlight than anything else. The user manual suggests for a prolonged used of no more than three minutes each session, just enough to… well, I guess look around your garage if you’re just checking for ghosts. Using the Torch for longer than the suggested time could apparently result in operational issues due to the excessive heat conducted by the bulb. Our best bet is to picture in your mind where exactly you need to look, aim, and flash, before turning the Torch off and retreating to your artificial lighting indoors.
There have been several videos around the Web that shows just how hot the Torch can get. For example, it’ll light up newspapers in seconds, and melt a plastic cup or a pager in minutes. It’ll even light your cigarette.
Despite not personally attempting the same, I don’t discount the Torch’s ability to cook my next meal. I turned it on for about a minute and by the time I turned it off, you can feel an aura of heat if you hovered your hand over the front glass. If you had left it on for more than the suggested three minutes, there’s a good chance you can burn yourself or other items if you store it back next to other things.
While the purpose of a flashlight isn’t to burn or cook things, if the Torch is so good at heating up so quickly, Wicked Lasers should consider billing it the world’s fastest portable, fireless stove or something of the like. Because honestly, three minutes of use at a time seems hardly realistic for a “flashlight.” We’re not even sure what to make of Wicked Lasers’ advertisement, stating that the product is “this is the perfect accessory for the outdoor enthusiast.” Perhaps for those who like grilling fresh caught fish on a small lamp? Needless to say, this isn’t the kind of flashlight you hold under your face to tell scary stories at a campfire, unless you want to be the scary story.
Even though we can hardly consider the Torch as a real flashlight, it does make for a good spotlight or a wicked item for those who like to play with fire. We can see how instant flashes of brightness can be helpful if you leave it in a basement, garage, or attic to help with quick looks. However, don’t expect to replace your ordinary flashlight with the Torch during hurricanes, especially if it’s going to last you for five minutes before running out of power. This is also not the most ideal ‘flashlight’ to take on hiking trips since it is so heavy.
Although it is fun to see what the Torch is capable of, we should note this thing is not a kid’s toy. Be extra careful not to leave it where children can get their hands on the item. Not only will you run the risk of people accidentally blinding themselves, they might be left with a first degree burn to boot.
The Torch is available through Wicked Lasers for $180.