Looking for a flashlight with lowest mode

archimedes

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Thanks much for that info, quite useful, and especially the photo.

The stability at extreme-low output is impressive indeed.
 

benedictine

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I'm thinking about getting an Armytek Prime C2 Pro in the near future as another EDC option.

Lowest firefly mode is 0.15lm according to the manual with secondary firefly of 1.7lm.

Shouldn't be that bright in dead darkness given it uses TIR optics rather than a reflector system.
 

jon_slider

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Shouldn't be that bright in dead darkness given it uses TIR optics rather than a reflector system.

you make a good point, and I agree that a light with a diffused beam or large hotspot, may not be as bright, in the center, and on the target, as a light with a small, focused hotspot.

lumens measurements are for all the light coming out of the head, they do not take into account the size of the beam, nor the size of the hotspot.

That is why HDS users think their lights are brighter than lights with more lumens. The small hotspot is brighter, on a small area, than lights with more lumens, spread out onto larger areas. HDS are not actually brighter, they are just more focused to a smaller target.

I like a small hotspot for some applications, when I need throw. I prefer a floody beam for close work. Both have their place and strong points.

I have not tried an Armytek, I hope you enjoy it.
 

benedictine

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you make a good point, and I agree that a light with a diffused beam or large hotspot, may not be as bright, in the center, and on the target, as a light with a small, focused hotspot.

lumens measurements are for all the light coming out of the head, they do not take into account the size of the beam, nor the size of the hotspot.

That is why HDS users think their lights are brighter than lights with more lumens. The small hotspot is brighter, on a small area, than lights with more lumens, spread out onto larger areas. HDS are not actually brighter, they are just more focused to a smaller target.

I like a small hotspot for some applications, when I need throw. I prefer a floody beam for close work. Both have their place and strong points.

I have not tried an Armytek, I hope you enjoy it.

I'm finding now that I have entered the rabbit hole of being a flashaholic that I really don't need throw for most general applications.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers to my mind are setting up their lights with SMO reflectors and targeting increased throw along with high momentary lumen output.

I'm starting to see the point made by Elzetta that for most general applications (with the exception of hunting IMHO), OP and TIR is likely to be a better option along with a LED that runs consistently bright with a lower OTF lumen level rather than spiking High initially. only for it to then keep dropping.
 

jon_slider

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I'm finding now that I have entered the rabbit hole of being a flashaholic that I really don't need throw for most general applications.

all good points and I agree
specifically for lowest light levels,
the driver and UI, matters more than the beam or the LED

The OP went with a Jetbeam RRT-0 with infinitely variable magnetic rotary,
I have the RRT-01 with the same interface.

My Jetbeam rotary has the lowest lows of any light I have owned, but it is not programmable. It is infinitely variable, every time, and I cant set it to always go to any one specific lumen level.

From the photo of the Spy 007 that Data posted, I would say it also can be programmed to go as low as the Jetbeam Rotaries, and as archimedes pointed out, the mode is stable, once it is programmed in place, it stays that way and is repeatable.

The 007 uses a programmable interface, addressed through a 7 mode dial, to set the lumen level of each position on the dial. It is not infinitely variable, but is infinitely programmable. And once it is setup to produce a minimum level, it can be used repeatedly and consistently.. Kind of like having a choice of 7 different lumen levels, one of which can be so low, that most people would not understand.. ;-)

It is also possible that the Spy 007 uses less power than the RRT-01, I dont know that for a fact, but it would not suprise me.

Efficient low mode is not an RRT-01 strong point. It might only run for 5 days on a low setting. It is not the best choice for a light that is going to be left running for days on end.. But, who does that, anyway?;-)
 
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Pinz-710M

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My zebra h502d, at its low of 0,01 lm it perfect for map reading in total darkness without losing nightvision or being seen easely. The flood beam also helps with that by giving it a nice even glow. And you can leave it on for months at a single charge, and use the lowes mode as a beacon to find the light in your bag or tent.
 

AVService

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I'm finding now that I have entered the rabbit hole of being a flashaholic that I really don't need throw for most general applications.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers to my mind are setting up their lights with SMO reflectors and targeting increased throw along with high momentary lumen output.

I'm starting to see the point made by Elzetta that for most general applications (with the exception of hunting IMHO), OP and TIR is likely to be a better option along with a LED that runs consistently bright with a lower OTF lumen level rather than spiking High initially. only for it to then keep dropping.
There are also manufacturers like ZL that offer a pretty wide selection of lower modes and also offer more floody beams in general along with wider selection of tint too.
So I also mainly require a more close in light and at lower levels for close work that may need a light to run for hours on end and I EDC ZL while carrying something more geared for throw as a second light.

It does seem in the main marketplace that being able to offer max. lumen output is all they see the user as being interested in.
It also seems clear to me that unless someone shows them otherwise most casual users never give a moments thought to anything else anyway.

It always amazes me how many people around me while I work can not comprehend how little light that I prefer in general for the long haul.

It is actually a little like Audio for the masses really.
It is easy to make a system play loudly but a lot tougher to maintain decent resolution at low levels where a lot more people listen a lot of the time.
But few demo audio at low levels too.
 

benedictine

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There are also manufacturers like ZL that offer a pretty wide selection of lower modes and also offer more floody beams in general along with wider selection of tint too.
So I also mainly require a more close in light and at lower levels for close work that may need a light to run for hours on end and I EDC ZL while carrying something more geared for throw as a second light.

It does seem in the main marketplace that being able to offer max. lumen output is all they see the user as being interested in.
It also seems clear to me that unless someone shows them otherwise most casual users never give a moments thought to anything else anyway.

It always amazes me how many people around me while I work can not comprehend how little light that I prefer in general for the long haul.

It is actually a little like Audio for the masses really.
It is easy to make a system play loudly but a lot tougher to maintain decent resolution at low levels where a lot more people listen a lot of the time.
But few demo audio at low levels too.

ZL is interesting to me. Along with that Armytek EDC light I'm eyeing off.

After repeated wake ups in the middle of the night to get medication for my toddler, I'm finding that even a 1 lumen moonlight/firefly mode is still too bright to retain my night vision.

Funny you mention the comparison with audio. I was having a similar conversation on audio mastering with a colleague at work over lunch today. These days it seems almost everything is mastered such that upon critical listening, there is no dynamic depth to recordings (save for classical and jazz releases IMHO). It's a fairly apt comparison to high momentary lumen levels with stepdowns in a lot of flashlights vs those that have more consistent lumen levels over extended periods of use.
 

AVService

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ZL is interesting to me. Along with that Armytek EDC light I'm eyeing off.

After repeated wake ups in the middle of the night to get medication for my toddler, I'm finding that even a 1 lumen moonlight/firefly mode is still too bright to retain my night vision.

Funny you mention the comparison with audio. I was having a similar conversation on audio mastering with a colleague at work over lunch today. These days it seems almost everything is mastered such that upon critical listening, there is no dynamic depth to recordings (save for classical and jazz releases IMHO). It's a fairly apt comparison to high momentary lumen levels with stepdowns in a lot of flashlights vs those that have more consistent lumen levels over extended periods of use.
I don't want to Hijack the thread with this but you are sure Preaching to the Choir about that one.
Compression is Compression and some of us are annoyed by it while the masses are oblivious.
This is one of the things that keeps me in Business honestly.

So having a range of lighting options that is useful in many situations is really my most sought after parameter along with passable color rendering which again like the Audio analogy is impossible to ignore once realized for a lot of us.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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ZL is interesting to me. Along with that Armytek EDC light I'm eyeing off.

After repeated wake ups in the middle of the night to get medication for my toddler, I'm finding that even a 1 lumen moonlight/firefly mode is still too bright to retain my night vision.

Yeah, 1 lumen is too bright for middle-of-the-night, unless your house is already fairly bright with streetlights or something.

With Zebralights, I find their 0.06 lumen mode to be just right for maintaining night vision, when used for general room illumination or ceiling-bounce in a small room (like a bathroom). I'll bump that up to their 0.25 lumen setting if I want to see a bit better and don't mind sacrificing a small amount of dark adaptation.

Personally, I find their 0.01 lumen setting just too dim for my use (I think it's much dimmer in reality than 0.01 lumens). I don't think they offer it on their new lights, anyway. But, I can maybe see its use for map-reading up close, if you don't want to give away your position at all.
 

lampeDépêche

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Personally, I find their 0.01 lumen setting just too dim for my use (I think it's much dimmer in reality than 0.01 lumens). I don't think they offer it on their new lights, anyway. But, I can maybe see its use for map-reading up close, if you don't want to give away your position at all.

Two thoughts on this:
1) I use my dimmest ZL -- an old H51 -- on its dimmest setting, as a navigation light in my bedroom. Granted, you cannot use it to see anything. But having it next to my bed allows me to find my bed, and not bruise my shins, no matter how dark the room is. It's a bit like a runway landing-light: you cannot see it from most of the room, but when I get the light-cone lined up with my eyeball, I can tell exactly how far ahead of me the bed is, and where the edges of the bed are. Then I am on the glide-path for sleep!

And on that mode, I get something like a month of constant-on from an Eneloop. I don't even think about it from day to day -- just leave it on for weeks, and then change the battery when it goes out.

2) There's a fair bit of variation in output in the lowest-low end of the ZLs. I have several entries in the H51 - H52 - H53 series, and the lowest lows differ by a greater amount than the published figures would suggest. I think there is something about the very low current regulation that makes it more susceptible to variation between one unit and another.

3) So I agree with your suspicion that *your* units 0.01 setting is probably dimmer than that. But someone else's unit may not be.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Two thoughts on this:
1) I use my dimmest ZL -- an old H51 -- on its dimmest setting, as a navigation light in my bedroom. Granted, you cannot use it to see anything. But having it next to my bed allows me to find my bed, and not bruise my shins, no matter how dark the room is. It's a bit like a runway landing-light: you cannot see it from most of the room, but when I get the light-cone lined up with my eyeball, I can tell exactly how far ahead of me the bed is, and where the edges of the bed are. Then I am on the glide-path for sleep!

And on that mode, I get something like a month of constant-on from an Eneloop. I don't even think about it from day to day -- just leave it on for weeks, and then change the battery when it goes out.

2) There's a fair bit of variation in output in the lowest-low end of the ZLs. I have several entries in the H51 - H52 - H53 series, and the lowest lows differ by a greater amount than the published figures would suggest. I think there is something about the very low current regulation that makes it more susceptible to variation between one unit and another.

3) So I agree with your suspicion that *your* units 0.01 setting is probably dimmer than that. But someone else's unit may not be.

I have a SC52 and a SC52w, and they're both around the same level for their moonlight modes. But I think we're in agreement about the level. I agree that it's enough to see so that I don't bump into large stuff, especially if it's a very dark (moonless) night. I just prefer to see a bit more, so I like one (or two) levels brighter.

BTW, the brightest moonlight mode on those lights lasts for 12 days on a regular Eneloop. I tested both my lights. So, yes, the dimmest mode must last a lot longer.
 

eff

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You can get as low as 0.08 lumen with a Zebralight sc5 or sc5c
 
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