Light for an usher in a theater?

alanmalk

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Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
15
Location
Arvada, Colorado
My wife works as a volunteer in a local theater and needs a light that won't bother other patrons or the actors on stage.

The specific requirements:
Small and light, say 2.5 inches long and 2 oz.
Tight beam with minimum of spill - just needs to illuminate one step or a seat at a time.
Simple UI so no accidental strobe or thousand lumen blasts. Thinking a memory - last setting - is the ticket.
Primary output should be around 25 lumens, + or -. Objects to illuminate will be about 8-12 feet away.
Switch should be easy to operate - not worried about accidental turn-on.
Primary cell or rechargeable. If primary then CR123a, single AA, maybe two AAAs. If rechargeable then USB-C would be nice.
Right angle head?? I have a Spark headlight that almost fits the bill but they are no longer made and I would hate to give it up.

I have researched with out success - impossible?
 

LEDphile

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Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
319
It's a bit heavy and not cheap, but if you're ok putting something together from parts, a Malkoff single AA body, Malkoff VME head, and an M31LL or M31LLL drop-in from Illumn would work well in this environment.

The Foursevens Preon family is also worth a look, as is the Streamlight Microstream
 

Dave_H

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Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,392
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
Speaking generally, there are lots of small 2AAA penlights (but longer than 2.5") sometimes called "inspection lights", and also compact 1AA and 1AAA lights in the sub-100 lumen class, without the annoying flash "feature". All should work fine on primary or NiMH. Some may have high/low, but generally no memory at the low-cost end. Soft-press would be handy.

Most small lights of this type are high CCT, warm is less common. Packaging may or may not tell. Good if light has "demo" mode in the package.

Not really recommending brands/models/dealers, however check out regular HW stores, such as Home Depot. Coast G22 (1AAA) looks good but I don't have one yet to report on.

Dave
 

Dave_H

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Nov 3, 2009
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1,392
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Ottawa Ont. Canada
Also wondering if there is any value to using "red" for non-distraction, readability (-ve?), and "night-vision" in a dark theatre environment? Do any other colours e.g. green figure into this?

I notice a couple of my cheap penlights have an "angry-blue" spot at the beam centre, best to avoid if only for distraction.

Dave
 

letschat7

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Joined
Dec 7, 2022
Messages
2,605
Location
West Virginia, North America
Maybe a pilot light would be great for this. I always wondered what lights they used in theatres which seemed to be 2/3 D cell lights with a dim bulb in the 90s.

Nowadays I don't watch American films. They want to much for films that aren't entertaining. 25$ for a Blue Ray or $15 or more to go to theatres is simply too much.
 

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TPA

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Aug 26, 2005
Messages
441
Location
Florida
For this application I prefer something with a momentary on switch. At the very least, ONLY an ON/OFF button with no additional modes to cycle through.

Back in the day I used an Eternalight Derringer. These days I'd just use an SC31Pro 4,000K light set to momentary mode.
 

alanmalk

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
15
Location
Arvada, Colorado
Thanks for the replies. I will investigate the lights that meet the "small, 2.5 inch, 2 oz, maximum".
Red is not in the running since the patrons are coming in without any dark adaption - half blind.
LEP is not in the running since stairs and chairs are only a few feet away to a dozen feet away on average. Need a bit of cone and a bit of side light spill.
Warm would be great but hard to find. Not making this a high priority.
Incandescent is too power hungry.
The live actors on stage should not be able to see the source (head of the flashlight). In other words, the led should be well inset.
Momentary switches are not really ideal, too much going on in a short time to be able to worry about keeping the button pressed.
Simple ON/OFF would be perfect. That's why memory might be useful.
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,410
Location
NYC
Another good idea for this application:
2AA incandescent Maglite with a Terralux (or similar) aftermarket tailcap switch attached. You get a warm tint by default. And, highly doubt any of the actors on-stage will be bothered by the output.
 
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