NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY – Day of Winter Solstice

National Flashlight Day | Day of Winter Solstice
(Last Updated On: December 19, 2022)


National Flashlight Day, on the same day as Winter Solstice, reminds us to turn on some lights during the shortest day of the year.


Around 1899 the invention of the dry cell and miniature incandescent electric light bulbs made the first battery-powered flashlights possible.

Today the flashlights that we use are mostly incandescent lamps or light-emitting diodes and run on disposable or rechargeable batteries. Some are powered by the user turning a crank or shaking the lamp, and some have solar panels to recharge a battery.

In addition to the well-known, general-purpose hand-held flashlight, other forms have been adapted for particular uses. Head or helmet-mounted flashlights designed for miners and campers leave the hands free. Special flashlights provide light underwater and in flammable atmospheres.

January 10, 1899 – British Inventor David Misell obtained U.S. Patent No. 617,592, assigned to American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company. This electric device designed by Misell was powered by “D” batteries laid front to back in a paper tube with the light bulb and a rough brass reflector at the end. The company donated some of these devices to the New York City police, who responded well to them.


Grab a flashlight for the shortest day of the year. Depending on where you live, some parts of the Northern Hemisphere experience darkness long before the solstice. We’re looking at you Barrow, Alaska. Another place that could use a few flashlights is Tromso, Norway. Like Barrow, they also experience no sunlight from November to January. This time of no sunlight is called the Polar Night. All of Greenland receives 3-4 hours of sunlight during that same period, too.

While all of the Northern Hemisphere sees shorter days, the more northern locations feel the larger impact. Many people will supplement their sunlight with special lights. Getting sufficient exercise and staying active help to ward off doldrums. Communities organize festivals and activities to bring people together, too. A sense of community is vital to staying connected during the winter months. So, bring your flashlight during National Flashlight Day and celebrate the Winter Solstice! Longer days are ahead. 

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National Day Calendar keeps shining a beam of light into the history of this bright idea. 

December 21, 2021
Check back in 2031 for a date change. 

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