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What Are Other Names for Searchlight?


December 28, 2023

Another name for a searchlight is a spotlight. A searchlight (or spotlight) is an apparatus that combines an extremely bright source (traditionally a carbon arc lamp) with a mirrored parabolic reflector to project a powerful beam of light of approximately parallel rays in a particular direction. It is usually constructed so that it can be swiveled about.

LED Search Light Application
LED Search Light lighthouse lighting

Other names for searchlight

Searchlight Common synonyms 

Spotlight: This is the most common synonym for searchlight, especially in theatrical or entertainment contexts.

Floodlight: This term is used when the light source is more diffuse and broad, rather than a narrow beam.

Beacon: This refers to a searchlight that's used as a signal or guiding light, often stationary and mounted on a tower.

Searchlight Less common options

Light torch: This is a more old-fashioned term, especially for handheld searchlights.

Limelight: This refers to a brightly focused light used in theater or performance settings.

Searchbeam: This emphasizes the narrow, focused beam of the light.

Arc light: This term, although outdated, refers specifically to searchlights that use carbon arc lamps as the light source.

The development history of searchlight

A searchlight is a lamp that emits a powerful spotlight beam to illuminate a distant target. The history of the searchlight dates back to the mid-19th century, when carbon arc lamps were first used to produce a powerful beam of light.

In 1851, French inventor Claude Pouillet invented a searchlight that used a carbon arc lamp. The beam of this searchlight could reach a distance of 1 kilometre.

In 1879, American inventor Thomas Edison invented the incandescent lamp. Incandescent lamps are brighter and longer lasting than carbon arc lamps, so they quickly replaced carbon arc lamps as the light source for searchlights.

In the early 20th century, searchlights began to be used for military purposes. During World War I, searchlights were used to illuminate enemy targets and direct artillery fire.

During World War II, searchlight technology was further developed. Searchlights that used rotating lenses to focus the beam and searchlights that used electric motors to control the direction of the beam appeared.

After the war, searchlights began to be used in civilian applications. They were used to illuminate stadiums, concert venues and other large event venues.

Modern searchlights are more technologically advanced, using brighter, longer-lasting light sources and more precise control systems. They are used in a wide range of military, civilian and recreational applications.

Development stages of searchlights

search light boat

Mid-19th century: the emergence of carbon arc lamp search lights

Early 20th century: the popularity of incandescent searchlights

World War I: military applications of searchlights

World War II: advances in searchlight technology

Post-war: civilian applications of searchlights

The development of searchlights has had a major impact on society. They were used in the military to illuminate enemy targets and guide artillery fire, and in civilian applications to light up large event venues, bringing convenience to people's lives.


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About the author

TUBU is an expert in LED light research with more than 10 years of experience in this field. We hope that through our TUBU research, LED lighting technology will become more popular and bring greater convenience and comfort to people's lives.

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