We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Searchlights?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Searchlights are powerful lighting equipment that make use of a series of reflectors to create a beam of light that can be precisely trained in a given direction. Developed in the late 19th century, the search light has been utilized in military operations, recovery projects, and even in advertising and entertainment endeavors. Once available only in stationary models, search lights of today are constructed with a series of swivel mechanisms that help to make the device ideal for a wide range of applications.

The secret to searchlights is the powerful beam of light that is emitted by the device. Created by the arrangement of reflectors and combined with a power source, the light is a series of parallel rays that are focused in a common direction. The overall result is a large and united body of light that can be utilized to illuminate a precise area.

Searchlights were first developed for wartime use during the closing years of the 19th century. The initial application is thought to be for spotting small torpedo boats that could menace a larger battleship and often get away undetected. Over time, searchlights became standard equipment on just about every type of seafaring vessel, as the device made it possible to locate and identify all sorts of objects in the dark. As a bonus, the searchlights could also function as powerful beacons for boats traveling through fog. The use of the searchlights in this fashion proved to cut down on the number of boat collisions significantly.

In addition to use in combat and as a safety measure in the water, searchlights also came into common use on land as well. Smaller portable searchlights began to be used for advertising, as well as a means of creating a temporary landmark for a special event. After the invention of the motion picture, searchlights came to be a common staple of the premiere. Several powerful lights would swivel in upward directions, adding even more excitement to the event. For many years, searchlights have been used as an added element for all sorts of public events, such as awards shows, store openings, and large scale holiday celebrations.

One common application of searchlights today is with local law enforcement. A portable searchlight is often part of the standard equipment in any police cruiser, while larger models are often used when there is a need to scan a large area of land in relation to a search. The searchlights may be used at ground level, or attached to helicopters or small planes as part of an aerial search of the terrain.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including About Mechanics, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon335536 — On May 21, 2013

Do searchlights use convex or concave lenses?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.