Extreme distance flashlights, what their use?

RCRVRP

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I seem some here talking about lights they like that are advertised as shining to 1200, 1500, even 2500 yards.

I would say that about 100 or 200 yards or so would be as far as I could identify what the light is illuminating.
2500 yards is about 1.5 miles.
Other than signalling to a rescue team what would the use be for a light that shines so far?
 

iacchus

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I seem some here talking about lights they like that are advertised as shining to 1200, 1500, even 2500 yards.

I would say that about 100 or 200 yards or so would be as far as I could identify what the light is illuminating.
2500 yards is about 1.5 miles.
Other than signalling to a rescue team what would the use be for a light that shines so far?
Weapon lights are often used in combination with high powered scopes.
The effective range is then no longer limited by the unaided eye.
 

PaladinNO

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Having played a bit with my Fenix TK30 (LEP, rated throw distance of 1200 meters (3937 feet)), my opinion was very quickly that this is completely pointless for any serious use, such as search and rescue, without a second person with a binocular or a spotting scope. Or having the light attached to a scope, with a second person on a radio to coordinate with rescue personell.

I tried my TK30 during a late-night walk light, and there was no way I could hold the light sufficiently steady in my hand while moving to benefit in any way from an LEP. At a useful distance for illumination, beam point was shaking so much I quickly felt a headache coming on. And shining far enough away for that to not be an issue, say, 50-100 meters, it would take me so long to get there that knowing was at that distance was pointless.
Considering I barely had any light at all shining close enough to where I needed it.

So I agree. For any single-person use, stationary emergency signaling would be the only purpose that I can think of.
...Still, I am really glad I bought the TK30. Not all lights are supposed to make sense. ^^

That said, I would REALLY like to have this technology as headlights on my car. And I know that exists, though that may be a different technology from Laser Excited Phosphor (LEP).
 
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RCRVRP

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"Not all lights are supposed to make sense."

I understand, some people will buy things just because its " the biggest"or "best" or to impress others.

A 150 mph car to drive on a 70 mph highway or a $100,000 diamond no one but a jeweler can tell from a cubic zerconia that costs $1000.

Or just because they want it.

Not criticizing just wondering.
 

bykfixer

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Search and rescue teams can use all the help they can get.

Yeah some do it just because, but you take a situation where a rescue effort takes place from one mountain side to the other (500m+) a light that can shine 1000 meters could save lives since rescue personnel can spread out farther apart. Same with boat search and rescue.
 

RCRVRP

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Search and rescue teams can use all the help they can get.

Yeah some do it just because, but you take a situation where a rescue effort takes place from one mountain side to the other (500m+) a light that can shine 1000 meters could save lives since rescue personnel can spread out farther apart. Same with boat search and rescue.
I wonder how many of the expensive extreme throw flashlights get taken on mountain hikes? Owned by people who never got closer to a mountain hike than reading National Geographic or did they leave the light home because they don't want to take a chance on losing it? :)
 
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divine

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Back in the day they would say that you need a LOT of light (10,000 lumens, 20,000 lumens) to impress someone with a floody light.

I feel like a 200 lumen thrower (like that Dereelight DBS with a 20 year old XR-E) is more impressive than a 2,000 lumen light that only reaches 30 feet.

I do like having some nice throwers because some of my lights are pretty useless when I want to see something 100 feet or 200 feet away. I also like to have a little bit of a floody light with a smooth reflector to attempt to have a balance between throw and flood.
 

letschat7

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I wonder how many of the expensive extreme throw flashlights get taken on mountain hikes? Owned by people who never got closer to a mountain hike than reading National Geographic or did they leave the light home because they don't want to take a chance on losing it? :)
I take my Lupine Betty 5400 lumen flashlight out from time to time and my Led Lenser X21R out as often as I can. I've went hiking once with a Silva Spectra and bike with it at nighttime.

They are all under warranty so reason to not use them. Only some old or rare lights I baby. In five years these will all be out of date and I'll be using something better hopefully.
 

RCRVRP

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To light something up at 200 yards well enough to see details, you need at least 600M of ANSI FL1 rated throw and 800M plus would be preferable.

Could you explain what that means to a guy like me who doesn't know flashlight talk?
 

xxo

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FL1 throw is only 0.25 lux, which is only little more than typical full moon light. At 200Y you won't notice such a small increase in brightness. for comparison Civil twilight is about 3.2 lux which is the amount of light needed to fly without instruments. A well lit room is about 500 to 1000 lux and full noon sunlight is about 120,000 lux.

To get to the civil twilight level, you need to divide the FL1 beam distance by 3.6 and something will be as bright as twilight at that distance.
 

Fuzzywuzzies

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FL1 throw is only 0.25 lux, which is only little more than typical full moon light. At 200Y you won't notice such a small increase in brightness. for comparison Civil twilight is about 3.2 lux which is the amount of light needed to fly without instruments. A well lit room is about 500 to 1000 lux and full noon sunlight is about 120,000 lux.

To get to the civil twilight level, you need to divide the FL1 beam distance by 3.6 and something will be as bright as twilight at that distance.

Most useful comment I've read on the internet in a long time. Thank you, @xxo !

There are applications for extreme long range lighting systems, but none are handheld, that I can bring to mind…
 
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My rural North Carolina brother uses his high lux LED thrower to see what is on the edge of the pasture at a distance of about 1200 feet (400 meters) that's spooking the horses. It also helps his German Shepherds get to the fenceline where the commotion is occurring in relative safety ("...The better to see you with my dear..." said the wolf to Red Riding Hood.) Finally, it helps discourage whatever it is in the woods located about 50 feet past the fenceline to leave while the gittin' is still good.

(He recently upgraded his kit however I don't know the brand or model of his new light, but since the point of this thread is the use to which said thrower is put and not the light itself, I'll simply note that he reports it illuminates the far side of the pasture nicely.)
 

PaladinNO

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"Not all lights are supposed to make sense."

I understand, some people will buy things just because its " the biggest"or "best" or to impress others.

Not criticizing just wondering.
I guess this one was directed at me?

The reason why I bought an LEP light at all was not because I needed one, it was because I wanted to see what the "white laser" technology was all about. And I got my Fenix TK30 for about $130, so it was a good deal. And even if I don't have a usecase for it, at least not at the moment, it was worth it to me to get one to test it. :)

I cannot speak for other people here, but I personally don't buy "over the top" lights to impress anyone. I buy them either because I need them for something specific (which is 95 % of my 50+ lights), or because I think it look cool (like my beloved "hulk club" 12x 18650 Fenix TK76). And I get the sense it is the same way for everyone here on this forum.

The "biggest" or "best" are rarely terms I see used around here. From what I can tell, most people here - myself included - buy more powerful lights to upgrade or replace whatever they have used prior because they need it. But sometimes, there comes along a light, usually from its quirky, wacky, or just outright stupid design, that automatically makes it a must-have, just for fun. But even then I can't say I often see such a light used as bragging rights in any way, at least not here.

Flashlights, just like jewelry or watches, can be objectively aesthetically pleasing to look at, with the actual performance coming as a secondary feature. Copper or titanium lights comes to mind as examples.
 

scalpel_ninja

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…But sometimes, there comes along a light, usually from its quirky, wacky, or just outright stupid design, that automatically makes it a must-have, just for fun. But even then I can't say I often see such a light used as bragging rights in any way, at least not here.

Flashlights, just like jewelry or watches, can be objectively aesthetically pleasing to look at, with the actual performance coming as a secondary feature. Copper or titanium lights comes to mind as examples.

You're talking about me aren't you? 😁

IMG_2766.jpeg
 

scalpel_ninja

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Could you explain what that means to a guy like me who doesn't know flashlight talk?

I'm not an expert at this, so anyone who spots an error, please correct me.

ANSI FL1 rating is a standard measurement to give meaningful ratings on how a flashlight performs. It includes lumens, candela (beam intensity), and beam distance.

Lumens tell us how much light is being produced, but not how intense it is. For example, a bare LED can output 1000 lumens, but without anything to focus it, it could light a room, but won't be able to light up anything more than 10-20 meters away. Now if that LED was placed behind a reflector for focus, the same amount of light can be useful at a longer distance.

I think if it like a garden hose set on "stream" versus "spray." Output is constant, different delivery pattern.

Beam distance does provide an estimate of how far a light can throw photons. As mentioned, to see something at 200 yards, there is a minimum FL1 beam distance rating needed, but extra would be better to account for things such as variations in cell voltage, manufacturing quality, ambient conditions, etc.

This article further explains the real world application of the FL1 rating.

This graphic pulled from this article might further illuminate 😏 the subject.

1715089417335.jpeg
 
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