How many lumens do I need?

parkerdude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
13
Hi All,

So I’m just learnin’, so please help me out...

I’m trying to figure out just how bright a P60 style led drop-in can be for continuous use.

I want to use this light on a weapon.

So I’ve learned, my SolarForce L2 body, w/320 lumen 3 mode drop-in, will only run on high for 50 - 55 minutes, 1X 18650. It gets hotter than crap, and then just shuts off, (body measured 115°F).

I’m guessing some sort of thermal protection.

So if I wanted a weapon light that didn’t turn itself off until the battery was depleted, how many, (or how few), lumens should I look for in a single mode led drop-in?

Anybody know?

Thanks Guys.

later,
 

GeoBruin

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 20, 2010
Messages
1,170
I don't know where your drop-in came from but it likely does not have thermal protection built in. Your drop is in regulated meaning it will only function while the forward voltage exceeds a certain threshold. Once the battery drops below that voltage, it drops out of regulation. Some lights will continue to function once they drop out of regulation but others will shut down to prevent over discharging the batteries (which can result in damage to the cell or light). Another scenario is that you are using a protected battery which has a low voltage cutoff circuit and will shut down once it drops below a certain voltage.

50 - 55 minutes on high is a relatively reasonable run time for light running on one 18650. If you want to get too much more than that, you might consider a lower output drop in. A Malkoff M61L will make 170 lumens for 5 hours. A Malkoff M61LL will make 100 lumens for ten hours. Alternatively, you could get a multi-mode drop in and run it on medium or low for extended runtime so you still have the High if you need it.
 

dirtech

Enlightened
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Apr 17, 2009
Messages
451
Location
Pocatello
For weapon light indoors usage a one mode in the 150 lumen range seems ample. Beam profile should be a consideration. I have an older tlr2 that's prolly 100 lumens and that is about enough for indoor illumination without light splashing back and blinding me. Its plenty blinding still if hit in the face with it. Also it has a wide spot with generous spill compared to my more throwy lights.

Outdoor use? Never used one outdoor.
 

cratz2

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Apr 6, 2003
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3,947
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Central IN
Most 3 mode XML drop-ins will offer PLENTY of light on the medium setting. The Thru-Nite 3 mode XM-L is about 200 lumens and I'd think it would serve about 95% as well as the same drop-in on max.

For a weapon light, I'd always want a maximum flood light... never know when another bad guy might be off to the side... The wider the hotspot, the more like you'd pick that up in such a scenario. Throw is great for playing around and impressing friends, but at shotgun-type distances, I'd doubt there'd be much effective difference going from an XM-L to an XP-G. Maybe at AR-distances.

That's my take anyway...
 

cratz2

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Apr 6, 2003
Messages
3,947
Location
Central IN
Or if you definitely want a single mode light, I'd get something semi-custom... maybe one of the 'not super crazy bright' Malkoff offerings.
 

parkerdude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
13
Thanks everyone,

I knew there would be several thoughts and ideas that would help.
 
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