Do you like infinite variable output or preset modes?

Do you prefer Infinite Variable or Preset Modes?

  • Infinite Variable

    Votes: 35 49.3%
  • Preset Modes

    Votes: 36 50.7%

  • Total voters
    71

dealgrabber2002

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Nov 9, 2007
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POLL ADDED: Do you like infinite variable output or preset modes?

At first I thought I would like infinite variable output so I purchased the D10. Then I found out I like to know how much runtime on each mode. That's pretty hard to determine on an infinite variable output light. It might look like 20 lumen but it could be 30 lumen because IIRC our eyes can't really tell the difference, but that actually reduces the runtime. So I sold it. I am now only getting preset mode because I know how much runtime I can get per battery on each mode; plus or minus some. THANKS SELFBUILT. It's the comfort of knowing.

Does any one have the condition I have?

- OR -

If you still love infinite variable output, let me know how you determine runtime assuming you don't carry spare because quite frankly I don't carry spares. My job does not require me to carry a light or spares, I just like flashlights. If your method actually works, I might change my view and get another D10.

Edit: Poll added.
 
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Burgess

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Apr 10, 2006
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USA
I feel the same way as you.

Always wanna' know How Long it'll run at "this" level.

:thumbsup:
 

bansuri

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Mar 28, 2009
Messages
885
I was on the fence regarding variable, since I got my HDS Rotary I'm sold on it. Fortunately it allows preset or variable if I had to be mindful of runtimes. It can switch between a preset and the rotary knob so I could check if I was near a level that I knew the runtime for.
The Rotary makes it easy to dial in the least amount of light required for the task so my battery life is pretty good.
 

rickypanecatyl

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Nov 2, 2009
Messages
910
I prefer well positioned presets. There is no such thing as infinitely variable. I find "IV" often means lots and lots of choices that look about the same in a range I wasn't interested in! :)

In addition to knowing the run time what good presets do is make your pupils do the fine tuning and are pupils are closer to infinitely variable.

I understand modes being close together for the sake of more runtime at a similar output. When it comes to how many lumens is too little or too much for a particular task though I 've found multiples of 5-10X pretty good. IE if 70 lumens is too bright to read a book (and it is!) then 10 wont be too little for me. If 10 is too bright and hurting your eyes 1.5 wont be too little.
Having presets makes my eyes do the work ... and they do a better job than most IV UIs
 

jh333233

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Oct 5, 2010
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Hong Kong
I prefer IV, my point is
-Do not have to cycle between modes to desired one
-Able to adjust the level while the lights are off
-Limited number of preset modes, sometime you need the 1 in between 2 preset modes
-Improved utilize of forward clicky, no accidental mode change
-Simpler UI than preset modes, dont have to memorize the order of levels
-Looks cooler, while others are using preset
-Smoother operation
 

Tesla

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Nov 24, 2001
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302
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Garland, Tx.
Agree w/jh333233 on all counts.....no need to "program" a light level. I'm not all that concerned about battery usage. That's what they're for. That's like worrying about ammo usage in your gun...that's what you got it for...:)
 

derfyled

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Jul 29, 2006
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I often find myself using more light that I really need with IV. It seems like I adapt my needs to the preset selected when I use a fixed preset light, while I always put a lot more light than what I really need with the IV, like I do with a dimmer in my house lightning. Do you always set the minimum level needed in your living room? Not me... Also, the runtime is my main concern with IV, I don't know what values I'm using.
 

BadBulb4U

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Sep 21, 2009
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Delaware, USA
I'm starting to lean toward an infinite variable output flashlight. My first such light was a Sunwayman V10R Ti and it just amazed me. I have a few single cell CR123A non-variable flashlights and I do like them, but you are stuck with whatever presets they have. I always thought that I was wasting battery power cycling thru different setting. There is no such waste using my V10R Ti. I can also adjust the light to the situtation and that saves battery life. I rarely time my flashlight usage. If I leave the house on foot, I will have a 2 cell CR123A (or 18650) flashlight and a single cell CR123A in my pocket and a AAA Fenix LD01 (never swapped out) on my keychain. Any vechicle I drive or pedal has spare batteries and several flashlights. (Here is an idea, we need small timers on our lights for the battery). When I walk the dog at night, there are areas that are pitch black, unless the moon is out, and there are areas where there is a streetlight or porchlight. I can easily change the output of the light for the current condition, this allows me to conserve the battery. If I want to get a good look at something, I can blast it without the head twists or switch pushing, which is helpful when one hand is holding the dog's leash. I bought a Sunwayman V20C after liking the V10R Ti so much, because I wanted a high output 2 cell or 18650 cell flashlight with variable output. There may be other flashlights that I would like just as much as the V20C, but I think Sunwayman has aquired a new loyal customer. I just love the butter smooth variable switch. In fact, a Sunwayman V10R (the aluminum model) is on its way to me right now. Don't get me wrong, I will still buy lights without a variable switch, but they will have to be special in some way. :thumbsup:
 

geckoblink

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Jul 10, 2010
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At first I thought I would like infinite variable output so I purchased the D10. Then I found out I like to know how much runtime on each mode. That's pretty hard to determine on an infinite variable output light. I might look like 20 lumen but it could be 30 lumen because IIRC our eyes can't really tell the difference, but that actually reduces the runtime. So I sold it. I am now only getting preset mode because I know how much runtime I can get per battery on each mode; plus or minus some. THANKS SELFBUILT. It's the comfort of knowing.

Does any one have the condition I have?
Unless you test your unit yourself, you'll never really know until you need it . . . :devil:

(Seriously, though, thanks, Selfbuilt. (Check out them commas!))



dealgrabber2002 said:
If you still love infinite variable output, let me know how you determine runtime assuming you don't carry spare because quite frankly I don't carry spares. My job does not require me to carry a light or spares, I just like flashlights. If your method actually works, I might change my view and get another D10.
I test runtime on lowest and highest output. The lowest output runtime is the most important to know, but with those two data points you can guess at runtime for anything inbetween. Typically if you're concerned with runtime you use the lowest setting. Checking around the house, poking around the garage, or heading to the bathroom don't require 1000 lumens.





(Edit: I would add that unless you run your batteries all the way down in one session, you're going to end up guessing the runtime anyway. There is zero chance I can accurately tracking runtime usage across multiple lights over multiple days. And what if I use a light on high for ten minutes and low for fifteen? What's the remaining juice at?)
 
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dealgrabber2002

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Also, the runtime is my main concern with IV, I don't know what values I'm using.

Exactly my thought.

I know there are lights that you can program, but you really don't know what lumen it's on when you stopped and set it. Sure you can eyeball it, but runtime differ from 10-15 lumen and our eyeball can't tell them apart. At least preset was set by the manufacturer with let us know how many lumen and the runtime for that setting.

Some said but what if you need a brightness that is between 1st mode (10 lumen) and 2nd mode (30 lumen), but what can a 15 lumen do that a 10 lumen cannot and what can a 20-25 lumen do that a 30 lumen cannot?

Phew Burgess... I thought I was alone!
 

jh333233

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Just wonder why must you know the output and the runtime,
lumen is just a number and runtime just varies as different batteries
even though the light may be rated at XX lumens for YY minutes
We wont even know how this relationship comes,
Which brand of battery? Capacity? Temperature? New battery? Calculation method?
Afterall, the runtime isnt really a problem unless you are really short on battery
Trust yourself rather than the manufacter
Comfortable to eyes is FAR more important than messing with lumen
 

Serial Chiller

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Jul 3, 2009
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When battery life is crucial, what more can I do than dimming down the light to the lowest acceptable level? The batteries are empty, whenever the light goes off. Even with preset modes there is absolutely no excact estimation of the remaining runtime, without bringing a notepad, a stopwatch and a calculator. Sure, you can't tell the difference between 120 and 150 Lumens. But can you tell the difference between 120 and 150 minutes? In a real-life situation, all you can say is that the light will be on for a longer time if you use a lower setting. That's it.

With an IV light I can always choose the right setting. Just take a 500lm XM-L light. If you want to keep the UI simple, more than 3-4 settings are probably too much. If you take 5lm for the lower end and 500lm for maximum, you have 1-2 modes left to divide this 495lm-gap. That is not enough. There are plenty of situations, where 5lm is too little but 100lm is a waste of energy.

The biggest problem I see with IV lights that use an adjustment-ring, is the high power consumption on lower levels, that is drasticly reducing the runtime.
 

duro

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Jul 12, 2011
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All lights should have about 4 variable user preset modes. That would be totally awsome.
 

RCantor

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Mar 11, 2011
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KC, MO
To me the whole point of IV is to dial down the lumens to the minimum you need. Then you benefit from longer runtimes than if you had just the factory presets. I don't know of any lights that offer 30 and 10 Lm. Mine typically go 600/200/50. Maybe that's why we feel differently about IV. :)
 

regulator

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Jul 22, 2006
Messages
1,221
I like both. But I agree that I like knowing the runtime I can expect at a certain level. If a light has 4 good levels and has an efficient driver - that is more important to me than variable level.

I have a Nitecore IFE2 with infinite control ring and it is great to adjust to exactly the light you need. But at times it bugs me not knowing how much power it is using that I would know with a fixed level light.

Btw There is a big difference in the usability between infinitely variable lights and lights with a control ring for output adjustment. I have a D10 and it is no where near as friendly to use as a variable control ring light like the IFE2.
 
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