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Thread: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    This might sound dumb to lumen/cool UI chasers but I wish I had bought a lot more lights from the 2013 era. I'd specifically like more keychain lights single mode at 25-30 lumen max, AA pocket lights around 60-80 lumens and 18650 maxing around 600-700 as the standard choices and just 1 or 2 power settings. The last few years doubled these power levels basically for everything, battery power didn't double, and number of power modes sometimes quadrupled in order to spread the gap. While you can dial down power its extra programming circuitry or clicking through modes to put up with. As an industrial user at the moment I am buying up a few fenix e05 AAA, HL23 fenix headlamps, Fenix E12 1x AA which in my opinion are great lights, (still slightly overpowered in my opinion at 85, 130,150 max) but if I don't buy them now they are going to be what double the power and modes by 2020?

  2. #2

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    I agree with some of your points. Especially regarding multi mode lights. I find that I much prefer single mode or only a high/ low combination. On aaa twisties I really dislike having to do multiple on off cycles to get to high.

  3. #3
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Not dumb at all...
    I agree - lumens can be a fool's chase. A never ending search for perfection...
    The real metric is a good tint and beam design. Our eyes adjust to an amazing degree and lower, more pleasant lumens - if you have the patience to get dark-adapted, are the way to go - as long as the beam spread is satisfying. The Prometheus Alpha has these qualities as well as the Olight Baton Mini.

  4. #4

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    I think that improved UIs are going to save the day here. The v.2 ramping UI used in the Emisar lights isn't necessarily what you're looking for yet, but it shows how much better lights can be. V.3 will have a user definable max level, and it's easy enough to see that circuits will exist to let the user fully customize their interface.

    (Already exist, check out Dr. Jones driver)

    Myself, I want to see recessed tail cap forward clicky with electronic side switch. The forward clicky acts as a lockout for the electric side switch, and the side switch can switch on/off as well as switch modes, including locking the light into a tail clicky only mode... So the same light will perform as side switch, tail clicky, or hybrid, as desired.
    I'd do 3 mode groups for kicks: a ramping UI, a 5+ low to high with hybrid memory that branched for tail or side switch, and a single mode only tail switch mode. While we're at it, full tighten tail for momentary only, loosen slightly to ball detente for forward clicky.

    The leds will get more efficient and have better tints, better cri, and the user will be able to dial them back to 20th century single or dual mode lights if they want to.
    Last edited by eh4; 10-12-2017 at 06:28 PM.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  5. #5

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    No, I'm not future proofing, because while I get what you're saying about simple interfaces and appropriate brightness for a given task, using a multi-mode light overwhelmingly at one mode level is not a major hassle to me. So I'm not buying extra's of lights I like now just in case they go out of production.

    However, it sounds like you might get some peace of mind by grabbing a few extra E01's and BLF-348's for yourself.

    Actually, I'm hopeful we might start to see more high quality, regulated lights with simple interfaces, not less. The flashaholics market is basically saturated with cutting edge options. Mainstream America, on the other hand has Maglites, Coasts, cellphone flashes, and a bunch of no-name rubbish. If the companies we know want to make inroads into the mainstream market and grow their business, they need products that follow the K.I.S.S. principle, but offer clearly better quality than the no-name rubbish.

    Consider Lumintop just releasing the Tool AA, with 3 reasonably-spaced modes, predictable output until the battery is mostly drained, and no firefly. I might consider this as a gift light for non-flashaholics, especially if they make a Nichia version.
    Last edited by iamlucky13; 10-12-2017 at 07:15 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    You're not alone MickB.... well kinda...

    If I put a box of my empty LED lights from that era on a scale it would probably weigh 15-20 pounds plus the weight of the box. I saw where things were heading in 2015/16 and stocked up on new old stock at clearance prices.

    Only issue I had was one Amazon seller had swiped a bunch of NOS products from Coast and my purchases from that seller are still in possesion of the United States government somewhere. Oh I got my money back eventually but geez did I have some explaining to do first. lol.
    I bought 19 HP7's with 251 lumen hi/lo only from him, and his local Post Master General started seeing multiple boxes addressed to me.... (10 silver, 9 black)

    One morning I got a phone call..."Uh, sir, could you explain why you've purchased 9 of the same flashlight?"... like they were thinking they were filled with cocaine or something,. They were Christmas presents... at least that's what I told the government anyway. lol. I did give away most of them though, just not at Christmas.

    But I stockpiled Pelicans, Streamlights, SureFire's, Elzettas and Malkoffs. A few LED Lenser P7 knock off were bought before I received a genuine one. And the fakes were pretty good... in better packaging... padded gift boxes with better lanyards and top shelf batteries (which are probably fakes as well)

    Stock piling LED lights ceased when I discovered PK Design Lab stuff, then started accumulating vintage flashlights instead. Later I stockpiled Pentagons after finding a small cache.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-12-2017 at 07:58 PM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  7. #7
    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Sometimes I am nagged by the fear that the P60 drop in era will come to an end. I can imagine my future self pining for today's current options.
    Fully potted or bust...

  8. #8

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    One off 3d printing and reductive milling will make custom production standard.
    AI assisted circuit design will be there right alongside with the regular old custom, run of one manufacturing.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    There are still a lot of single or few mode lights out there of moderate power. Streamlight has the Microstream and several versions of the Stylus Pro, the ProTac EMS (AA, 3.5/10/50 lumens), and several other ProTac AA lights. Nitecore has the EA11 (AA-200 lumens max/14500 - 900 lumens max) and several other single AA lights, the MT06/MT06MD AAA penlights, the EA41 4xAA light for a little more output, and several other single AA lights. Lumintop has the various Tools and the Worms, Nitecore also has the Tip and Tube keychain lights. Those are the ones I can speak to, I know there are a lot of others out there from the other brands.

    For a while I was always stepping up: TM11 to EA8 to TM16 to TM16GT, with an EA45S snuck off to the side. After I got my EA11 and my P30 the others are all going to our favorite auction site after I get moved to my new apartment. I've still got my G2 and 6P standing by as well.
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    I am glad I purchased some lower output lights from a few years ago. I use beacon mode when riding my bike. Most beacon modes on lights flash at maximum. 500 lumens is more than enough. I am afraid a 2000 lumen flash will cause a car - bike accident due to blinding a driver. I find other bike riders with extreme bright beacon and strobe lights annoying myself.

  11. #11

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    The only mode of output that has doubled in the past four years is the high(est) one. Lows and mids stayed where they were. If you're mainly using those, hardly anything changes for you, although I guess it's a problem if you have an extra mode you have to work around somehow. But with e.g. the recent ZebraLight UI you can turn the high modes off entirely and still have a perfectly capable and very efficient light.

    The beacon/strobe mode argument is very valid though. I'm extremely wary of using my ~1000lm light in 4Hz strobe even in full daylight when I'm cycling with it. I wish there was a way to configure it for quarter brightness or something.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Instead of settling for inferior LED from years ago, I think good driver software is the answer to the complaints of "too many modes", "I don't need high modes," "not enough low modes," etc. For example, the M43 (not exactly new anymore) has three programmable modes of any power; the newer Zebralights have three programmable modes of any power including a couple sub-lumen; the next update to the D4 and D1 are reported to have a programmable max level; Vinh's newer drivers have several single-level and 2-level options, and a couple options that only go to 30 percent max power; most of the drivers on mtn electronics have programmable levels, single level mode groups, and many low power options.

    Perfect example: my non-flashaholic wife uses a Vinh light that I set up as 2 mode with a very low max temp thermal regulation setting. She loves it as a bedside light, and I giggle to myself at the pleasing color temp, throw, and craftsmanship packed into that little beauty.

    So, while nostalgia means that I'll hang on to my favorite older lights, the performance and programmability of good, newer lights will keep getting me excited about advancements in efficiency, tint, and CRI.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by moozooh View Post
    I'm extremely wary of using my ~1000lm light in 4Hz strobe even in full daylight when I'm cycling with it. I wish there was a way to configure it for quarter brightness or something.
    Amen to that! I just got a driver from MTN electronics with Dr. Jones software that allows programming the bike flasher mode to different power levels. I haven't built it into a light yet, but I'm excited for it, and hope more folks add this feature.

  14. #14

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    When I first joined a hot rod forum I had recently discovered an engineering marvel that 15 years later was still the benchmark most car makers still tried to achieve. Well the masses at the forum were all into zipettee-dd-dah mods galore by aftermarket companies using gimmicks and glitter as their pitch. Being the oldest member there my views were largely squashed by crowd noise or just dismissed as ignorance.

    I quietly set about building on the engineering marvels using stock parts and pieces slightly modified to acquire that little bit of extra while maintaining a maintenance free objective. No over the top nonsense that breaks easily, but extra zoom with durability in mind.
    Some 3 years later after spending 10's of thousands of dollars on the latest, greatest stuff the voices that had long scoffed at my ideas began quietly asking what was my secret. I just smiled and said "factory upgrades".

    When I arrived here it was similar. I had just discovered the engineering marvel of a 325 lumen LED. Like my 1990's car I set about learning all I could, acquiring lots of stuff on the clearance rack and enjoying said marvel(s) while quietly going about obtaining "factory upgrade" type modifications by some really smart people who are already doing pretty much what I woulda done in time. I don't have to spend a bunch of dough on tools, hours performing R&D nor placing my investment into a money pit only to get back pennies on the dollar. Others have already so I just drop by the WTS section and browse for things I'd like to add.

    It's also been a pleasure to meet some of the players along the way. And like the car forum I've made a few friends along the way.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  15. #15
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    @mickb, you are not alone... these are mine...

    simple and not blinding... I initially thought the E05 may not live beyond 2 years on my keychain, so I haul up as many as I could without raising suspicious to my better half, but my first E05 lasted 4+ years, and my second E05 is showing no sign of retiring either. I think I still have a few new-in-box stashed somewhere...

    and then there comes a Fenix E10, a single AA single mode neutral white light that simply refuse to die, even after I overdrive it by feeding it 14500 for about a year, the light still lights up albeit lower than the standard brightness (60 lumens)... like E05, I took the concept of backup of a backup of a backup of a backup for a spin...

    I stashed them to some BOBs and GHBs and places I could not remember anymore...


    wholeheartedly agree that 30-80 lumens range is plentiful for daily use.

    changing sigline ...

  16. #16

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Just buy HDS and you have nothing to worry about
    White wall hunting is not a very good indicator of a flashlight’s potential, not sure where it got it’s popularity. - DB Customs

  17. #17
    Flashaholic arKmm's Avatar
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    I kept trying to get more and more brightness and then came to the realisation that the only difference between a 800 and 2000 lumen torch is the run-times! The negligible perceivable brightness change isn't worth it for the extra heat, shorter usage times, increased step-downs, and higher price.

    I now chase a good tint and profile, good form factor, and UI over anything else. As such, I'm about to swap out a custom 3000lm Maglite for a 800lm Streamlight.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Interesting thread, and a justified question. I actually have thought in this way. I don't like the race for lumens with ultra high brightness levels requiring step down, and unprotected high drain cells to reach the brightness at all.
    Not all brands follow this trend, however. Malkoff Devices is a trustworthy manufacturer when it comes to fair specifications. Nothing exaggerated, just simple usefulness. I think Armytek is fair as well. Yes; the newest models of Armytek have a turbo2 level which I consider as overpowered(requires unprotected cell and will be too hot for continious run) but you can program it to turbo1 which is not. And you can't change the turbo level by mistake. Armytek has several brightness modes but you can use the light as a single or two mode light.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    It's time to blow the dust off Archimedes' Graph...


    P

  20. #20
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    It's time to blow the dust off Archimedes' Graph....
    I have an Arc AAA (Yuji mod) incoming tomorrow
    ... is the archimedes peak

  21. #21
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Buy a malkoff md-2 with hi/lo ring and the drop in you want. I like the LL and LLL version of malkoff dropins. Not too bright, and long runtime. Ony two modes, high will be as dim/bright as you want depending on how many L's you choose. And you got a lo mode if you untwist the head 1/4 turn. It's oldscool, and it just works.... forever.

  22. #22

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I have an Arc AAA (Yuji mod) incoming tomorrow
    Good score
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  23. #23

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    It's time to blow the dust off Archimedes' Graph...
    P
    I haven't seen so much genius condensed into such a simple image in a long time
    White wall hunting is not a very good indicator of a flashlight’s potential, not sure where it got it’s popularity. - DB Customs

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Bluetooth interface with app that allows you to set number of modes and outputs; A copy for yourself with 500-60 lumens, a copy for grandpa that's single mode 100 lumens, a copy for power outages that's 100-25-0.1 lumens, and it's all copies of the same light..

  25. #25

    Cool Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Of all my lights, my 95+CRI Yuji modded Maglite 2AAA single mode twisty gets the most use....and it is less than 10L...cost to me was less than $8.

    All the rest of my lights (except the TN4A HI) are 250L max or less.
    Last edited by LeanBurn; 10-13-2017 at 12:47 PM.
    THRUNITE Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+HighCRI modded Mini-Mag2AAA
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    I understand what you are saying mick. In real use (for me that is a week camping at Acadia NP every year), I tend to use moderately powered lights more, for example, surefire G2X, Elzetta bravo with M60, old faithful fenix LD20... and am comfortable to let the family to use them freely. All those "family-friendly" lights are less than 400 lumens.

    Anything more than 1000 lumens (for example ZL SC600 III HI) I keep to myself, afraid of blinding someone or overheating when untended. They are sure fun to play with, but not practical.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    I have found that if I find a light I like it is in my interest to buy multiple units. It isn't so much to protect against "too much" power but because the designs and UIs seem to change over time and other times lights are just discontinued altogether.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  28. #28
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Just come in from shining the x65vn, 10,500lm and 600kcd+ outside with the boss. She loves it, loves the 5000k " like daylight" beam...............So i enjoy my lumens and nothing will change there. However, this weeks flavour of the month kicks out a whopping 320lm max in 5000k luxeon T flavour. The light is the sc62d, really enjoying it on the H2 setting(H1 is 320, H2 is 145lm iirc) for a do it all output. It ended up in my jacket this morning(you know those subconscious things you do, already having another ZL in my inside pocket). So i used it today as my work light on the compressors.


    Quite a few of my light i can program, one is in the body of a z2 and has a quad 218b 4000k with the h17f driver(dr jones). This has many options, 2 mode groups of up to 7 levels each, all pre set to what level you want out of 24!. I simply have it set to a 1 mode, guess around 300lm ish for again, a do it all level(i like simplicity..............).

    As mentioned, the driver made by Tom and tweaked by toykeeper is today one of the best imho. Ramping UI, instant low/high and pre-set 350ma level(works out around 140 useful lumens). Bat check for voltage readout, parameter settings for driver temp..............goes on inc tactical mode which is like a max/momentary(press hold for light, release and it goes off).

    So even today with crazy 30s outputs, some can be tweaked or used with ease at more sustainable levels without burning retinas or anything within 100ft. Yes output gives me all this time on, but when its time to use for specific applications, i can dial in the output required. This is anywhere between 25 and 300lm in general, most uses i would put between 100 -200lm. Having 1 or 2 lights myself its still hard to (ok impossible) to have 1 light that works for all my applications. So i have several, different fuels(from 10180 to 26650), different forms, different colour temps and tints. Different LED's, beams be it orange peel,smooth reflectors ,optics be it clear, narrow and frosted etc etc. Then UI, be it rotary,infinite, side switch, rear forward,reverse clicky, multi mode along with single..............you get the picture. Lots of variety which is not always the most user friendly way to go, but keeps my interest constant.

    Variety is the spice of light!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    I have found that if I find a light I like it is in my interest to buy multiple units. It isn't so much to protect against "too much" power but because the designs and UIs seem to change over time and other times lights are just discontinued altogether.
    I sorta wish I'd gotten a few LF2XT when they were $60 new ... a couple dozen of those would've probably been sufficient
    ... is the archimedes peak

  30. #30

    Default Re: is anyone future proofing against 'too-powerful' lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I sorta wish I'd gotten a few LF2XT when they were $60 new ... a couple dozen of those would've probably been sufficient
    A couple hundred of those would've probably been sufficient to live a luxuries lifestyle now with the going rates
    White wall hunting is not a very good indicator of a flashlight’s potential, not sure where it got it’s popularity. - DB Customs

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