Best light for an elderly lady's purse?

Hellbore

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I'm curious what you think would be the ideal light for an elderly lady to keep in her purse.

In this case, the elderly lady is my Mom!

So far I know she likes 1xAA sized clickie lights. A long time ago I gave her a cheap DX 1xaa light modded with a Cree LED in it, and she likes it a lot, but I want to get her something higher-quality to carry in her purse.

She loves her Cree Elly but it's old and dim by today's standards, and it was a cheap light to begin with, and the build quality is questionable, the plastic lens has gotten foggy, the reflector is cracked, tailcap boot worn out, etc. I want something better quality for her this time!

I also know she likes a fairly floody light more than a focused thrower. Her most typical flashlight use cases are either seeing things at relatively close range (for example, reading a novel in the dark in bed), or just using the light to see where she is walking at night.

I tried to give her a Maratac AA Stainless. She thought it was beautiful, but couldn't figure out how to turn it on. I showed her how to operate the twisty, but she really struggled with it, and said it would take a lot of practice for her to get used to. The multiple modes confused her a little. She had a stroke a few years ago so she isn't very coordinated in her hands, so it just seems like a twisty is too hard to deal with for her.

Also, the Maratac was actually a little too slippery for her to hold onto securely with its polished finished (I didn't expect this problem!) Her grip is not very strong.

I would love for her to have a light with at least 2 modes (a nice low that lasts a long time and a high for really lighting things up), but I worry whether she would like dealing with different settings. The light would have to have a pretty simple user interface. I suppose clicking the tailcap switch to change modes might be OK but something even easier would be better, if such a thing exists.

So, imagine an elderly lady with arthritis in her hands, left hand very uncoordinated from a stroke, and with poor eyesight. That is the target user!

In my opinion, what would be nice would be a small-ish, 1xAA light with a clickie switch, and some kind of selector ring or switch to change brightness between Low and High. Ideally this would NOT be a loosen / tighten the head situation, like the Quark Turbo or EagleTac T20C2, because she gets confused and unscrews the head too far! I tried to explain the UI of my Quark Turbo to her, and trying to use it, she ended up unscrewing the head until it fell off...

Ideally the mode selection would have tactile feedback and be simple, for example a selector ring you could turn to low or high, but would only turn so far in either direction, and click into place on each setting. But this is just a pipe dream, I doubt such a light exists... or does it?

I can't stress enough that the light must be simple to use! My Mom is a smart lady but in her old age she doesn't learn very quickly (she never can remember how to turn the TV on with the complicated remote, no matter how many times I show her!) I have learned in the past from other gadgety-gifts I have given her, that if it's too complicated, she just gets frustrated and puts it in a drawer never to be used again! If selecting low and high modes can't be simple and easy to do with feeble, arthritic, uncoordinated hands, then maybe a 1 mode light would just be better.

I'd love to hear your suggestions if you have any good ideas! :popcorn:
 
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choombak

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Get her a light with the side-clickie, the Proton Pro, or Zebralight SC50. For feeble hands, and arthritic hands, the side-clickie is relatively easy to operate, since the thumb delivers the pressure. Both lights have variable brightness. I won't recommend a twistie, since the torque required to twist may not be very feasible if you have arthritis.

I am sure others will also give you good options. Let us know which one do you finally get.
 

mcnair55

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I would opt for a middle of the road Microstream AAA cell but looks big enough to be AA.Has one level only but is bright on Lithium to notice the difference from Eneloop.Simple push click on/off switch.

Perhaps the Photon Rex may be also nice for her, simple to use and could be worn around her neck.

When I get my mother items I have to do the same sort of thing and keep it simple like her mobile phone,no bells and whistles just as simple as I could find.

Good luck and I know exactly how it is for you.:twothumbs
 

GunnarGG

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Some thoughts...

As choombak was in to I think a sideclicky would be the best, at least to my mother. I myself love the UI of the Zebralight but I know that my mother and a lot of other people not in to lights would go wrong with the different clicks you have to do to get the right level.

But it seems that your mother have tried tailcap clickies and like them, so then there are other options.

A single level would be the easiest. Many programmable lights could be considered single level if you just don't twist the head, like Quark tactical.
The new Fenix E10 seems like a good single level light for "ordinary people":

The Jetbeam RRT-0 (wich I don't have myself) is tail clicky on/off and a selector ring. It is more than 2 levels but she can go between min and max or stop somewhere in between.

Sounds like almost what you are asking for...

If / when you get her a light please let us know wich one and how she likes it. I gave my father an ITP A3, I think he just twist it on and off and it works like a single level on the medium mode but he knows tht there are other levels that I think he can work out
 

Hellbore

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Yeah I think my Mom likes tailcap clickies, but I'm not sure, sometimes it looks awkward for her, I have seen her hold the light in one hand and use the other hand to press the switch. That doesn't seem optimal. Is the Photon Pro switch easy to press? What about the Zebralight? I think perhaps she might like a side clickie even better, if she tried one...

The RRT-0 looks awesome to me, kind of pricey but I like the selector ring. I'm unsure whether she could operate the ring easily though, it doesn't look very grippy. It's not as sleek as the Photon pro, i know she would love the shape of the Photon.

Interestingly, I gave my Dad (who is about 10 years older but in far better physical condition) a Maratac Stainless AA, and he loves it. He uses the different brightness modes depending on what he's doing, and has no problem switching modes, even one-handed (the threads are VERY smooth). This might sound funny, but I made him a rubber bite-piece that slips onto the tail of the light, for holding between your teeth. See, back when I used to EDC my Jetbeam C-LE, I constantly found myself in situations where I needed an impromptu light source, and out came the Jetbeam... but often I needed both hands, so I found that more often than not, the light ended up in my mouth! It's funny, my Dad says he used to do the same thing with his mini-Maglites, and my nephew also said he "usually" ends up putting his Inova X03 in his mouth when he's working on his car at night! Funny stuff... Anyway the bite piece was very handy for me so I made one for my Dad and he uses it all the time now too.

So anyway... got a little off-topic there... My Dad loves the small size of the Maratac for pocket-carry, loves the flexibility of 3 brightness levels, loves the simple twisty interface that won't turn on in his pocket, loves the polished stainless steel finish. That same light that has been an excellent EDC for my Dad, didn't work well at all for my Mom. The modes were confusing, the twisting action was too hard to master, the light was too small and slippery and hard to hold onto, etc. etc. The lesson here I guess is that a light that is perfect for one person, may be a very poor choice for someone else! Everyone should carry the light that best fits their own needs :)
 
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GunnarGG

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This is copy/past from Zebralights homepage:
  • From Off
    • Short click turns on the light to High instantly. Click again quickly to cycle from High to Medium and Low.
    • Press and hold to cycle through Low, Medium and High, release to set.
  • When On
    • Short click turns off the light.
    • Press and hold to cycle from Low, Medium to High, release to set. When press and hold, the light always cycle from Low to High regardless which level you are currently in.
    • Double click at any level to toggle and select between the two sub-levels for that mode. Medium and Low sub-level selections are memorized after the light is turned off and through battery changes. Strobe selection is not memorized.
It works very well for those interested but for an old lady - I don't think so.
The switch itself is very easy to use and the light feels good in the hand. I have the SC30w, I guess the SC50 feels just as good, maybe better.

I don't know about the Photon Pro but it seems to be multilevel accessed from one button - could also be a problem. Maybe somebody have some experience.
 

flatline

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Get her a Zebralight SC50 (or SC50w if you think she'd care about the tint). Tell her to hold the button until the light is as bright as she wants it. She'll quickly get used to cycling through the 3 modes.

I don't think I'd bother to explain to her how to program the individual levels by double-clicking. I can't imagine that a non-flashaholic would care about fine tuning the individual modes, so it would probably just confuse her.

If she discovers double-clicking on her own and asks about it, explain it then or explain it to your dad so that he can "fix" the light if she ever accidentally double-clicks and doesn't like the result.

--flatline
 

GunnarGG

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Flatline might be right there. Maytbe even my mother could use a Zebralight that way. I will test her one day. :laughing:

If you go for the Zebralight my vote goes to neutral white (as always) but you, or your mom may think different.

Don't forget tailcap lockout! The switch isn't to hard to press and my light has switched on in the pocket a couple of times. If it is in her bag with other stuff that will happen sooner or later.

Buy the light, if she doesn't like it you can keep it for your self. It's a great light!
 

notsofast

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I suggest that you keep the same type of switch she has been using. Your description of her lends me to think anything new will be confusing and likely not used. Single mode would the biggest hit with her.
 

nbp

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Icon Modus 1. Boom!

Had a chance to play with one of these when I gifted one. Quite nice. Plastic polymer body is very comfortable to hold, but still very durable, large enough for feeble hands but easy to fit in a purse. Two mode tail clicky: low 5 lm, hi 50 lm. Very simple to operate: click on, click off/on to change between modes. It does use a TIR, but I would not classify it as a 'dedicated thrower'. And pretty reasonable price, these can be found around $30.
 

Flying Turtle

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The Proton Pro switch is easy to press. After turn on press and hold to ramp down. I would be a little concerned about battery changing. It's just a bit fiddly getting the tailcap back on. No problem if you're there to change it.

Geoff
 

tygger

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I just bought four of these single AA clickys from Lighthound to use as loaner lights to non-flashaholics. Don't know anything about them though. Hopefully they have decent runtime. Anyone have info on these?
 
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skyfire

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I recently got a Jetbeam E3S for my mom. the quark Mini AA was too complicated for her to use.

only drawback about the E3S is its weights. but its very simple to use, click for on, loosen head for low, tighten for high. it also has a very smooth body, so the grip issue you might have to consider.
 

rodmeister

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Years ago I bought my 70ish mom an Arc AAA, in red and engraved with her name. She really liked it. In her 80's now, a replacement light would definitely be single mode, perhaps an AA model for easier manipulation.
 

fisk-king

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Romisen rc-g2. Bought one for my dad (in a similar situation) & he loves it.:)

Now my mother who is in way better health, thank God, carries a Gerber Infinity Ultra in her purse w/ a lithium AA. But, I don't think a twisty would benefit the above circumstances.
 
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U

User3451

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Hi Hellbore.
Id have to agree with Fisk-king.
I have bought a few Romisen RC-G2 II Cree Q5 for a couple of women I work with late on a Monday evening. They're very bright, simple to use with a good clicky. They don't have a low mode, however they are very easy to use(one mode).So far there are no complaints. Emma uses hers to read with, she just doesn't point the light directly at the text she's reading.

Another 1xAA light that does have a lower mode is the TerraLUX TLF-1C1AA
It's a clicky that's gives around 100 lumens when switched on but with a soft press of the clicky drops to 50 lumens which is not as low as you would like but will give an increased run time when shes reading.

I know there not 100% to your mums needs but they are easy to hold and fit well in any hand, they also fit in a purse/handbag no problem.
Can I ask will you see your mum regular to change the batteries?
I wish you and your mum well and hope you find what you're looking for.
Andy (new CPF member in the UK)
 

mcnair55

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Hi Hellbore.
Id have to agree with Fisk-king.
I have bought a few Romisen RC-G2 II Cree Q5 for a couple of women I work with late on a Monday evening. They're very bright, simple to use with a good clicky. They don't have a low mode, however they are very easy to use(one mode).So far there are no complaints. Emma uses hers to read with, she just doesn't point the light directly at the text she's reading.

Another 1xAA light that does have a lower mode is the TerraLUX TLF-1C1AA
It's a clicky that's gives around 100 lumens when switched on but with a soft press of the clicky drops to 50 lumens which is not as low as you would like but will give an increased run time when shes reading.

I know there not 100% to your mums needs but they are easy to hold and fit well in any hand, they also fit in a purse/handbag no problem.
Can I ask will you see your mum regular to change the batteries?
I wish you and your mum well and hope you find what you're looking for.
Andy (new CPF member in the UK)

The Terralux is a cracking light and would also get a + from me,will tail stand as well.
 
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Hellbore

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

Personally, if it was me, I like the Photon Pro and the Jetbeam E3S. Battery Junction has the Photon Pro on sale for $39 so I thinkI will pick one up, and either give it to her or keep it for myself.

Hi Hellbore.
Id have to agree with Fisk-king.
I have bought a few Romisen RC-G2 II Cree Q5 for a couple of women I work with late on a Monday evening. They're very bright, simple to use with a good clicky. They don't have a low mode, however they are very easy to use(one mode).So far there are no complaints. Emma uses hers to read with, she just doesn't point the light directly at the text she's reading.

Another 1xAA light that does have a lower mode is the TerraLUX TLF-1C1AA
It's a clicky that's gives around 100 lumens when switched on but with a soft press of the clicky drops to 50 lumens which is not as low as you would like but will give an increased run time when shes reading.

I know there not 100% to your mums needs but they are easy to hold and fit well in any hand, they also fit in a purse/handbag no problem.
Can I ask will you see your mum regular to change the batteries?
I wish you and your mum well and hope you find what you're looking for.
Andy (new CPF member in the UK)

I'll probably see her fairly often, maybe once a week or once every two weeks tops. I'll have to take a look at those Terralux lights, I have heard several people suggest them for non-flashaholics as being just a great all-around light that just works.
 

bjt3833

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I gave my mom a streamlight microstream that she really likes.

About the zebralights there is no way a non flashaholic older woman could make even remotely enough use of that many modes to warrant one.
 
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