Lumen creep

Wurkkos

3_gun

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As I have added better batteries & lights to my "collection" I've noticed I've started using higher light levels over time. Part of it is the lights I had been using left something to be desired in max levels & really lacked run time. My regular "sales" light was my EDC, a LD12/17. With 14500 cells the 320L beam was bright enough but I often found myself with eneloop or Duracell rechargeables & a 150L max by the end of a busy day. (If you check my run time posts with the LD & different batteries you'll see that 4 or 5 batteries in a day happened often when using Max/L)

Now I've switched over to 18650 & 21700 lights that will give me a full day of use at 200-500L light on one battery. Problem is those lights have a Max/L level(s) of 3k-4.6k/L & I find myself using them A LOT more than I expected. I've gotten lazy. Instead of walking around with my 300L light searching the rafters in old barns/ garages & basements I just hit turbo & stand in one place. It doesn't take long to get a "lay of the land" & most of my use is still 100-300L levels but I find myself using 300-500L more & more.

I guess this shouldn't be a surprise as most of the rooms in my house have 75 or 100w bulbs & often more than 1 light fixture. Figuring that 1k/L is about the same as a 75w bulb in lumen levels it shouldn't be a surprise that I find myself trying to bring the light levels in these dim spaces up to what seems to me to be "normal" levels in my searches. My last garage had a lot of building materials in the rafters that with the glare from outside + the placement of the interior lights I doubt that few if anyone other than me noticed.

Six months ago I thought 1000L was more than enough (& most of the time it is)but I find myself with lights in the over 3k/L levels at just about every sale now. Just a bit of creep from 320 from my LD12
 

Olumin

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I never really had any super high output lights so I guess im not spoiled yet. I carry a 80lm m61wll and thats what I use 95% of the time. That or the super low levels on a AA zebralight. My brightest continuous output flashlight is a neutral hound dog & a modded 3c maglite lol. I dont count turbo modes.
 

Poppy

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<SNIP>
Now I've switched over to 18650 & 21700 lights that will give me a full day of use at 200-500L light on one battery.<SNIP>

Six months ago I thought 1000L was more than enough (& most of the time it is)but I find myself with lights in the over 3k/L levels at just about every sale now. Just a bit of creep from 320 from my LD12
I think that most lights are in the 1000 lumen max area. Yeah some will have a higher turbo mode, that drops down due to heat. The 1000 lumen output makes for a sufficient amount of light for most near range tasks, allows decent run-times, and doesn't require a huge heat sink, which makes for a more pocketable light.

I think that right now you are participating in the lumen race, a bit, but in time you'll settle down to lights in the 1000 lumen area, and use less than that, so that you have a longer run time.

Enjoy the journey :)
 

KITROBASKIN

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I'm not sure Poppy. It is so easy to use these high lumen torches during the daytime in covered places just briefly to get a good picture of the area. Eyes are stopped down from the sun and a lot of artificial light is helpful, knowing that leaving it on too long will heat up and the light level goes down.
 

scout24

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See the "Archimedes Peak" here on CPF. 😁 I like it, as it leaves a lot of fantastic lights that aren't new and shiny with the latest emitters or UI for me ar great prices. 500 lumens for ANY amount of time was wizardry not long ago in an edc sized light, and the usefulness of that amount of light hasn't changed. Lumens seem to be like Ron White's "Drunk in Public" skit- I didn't know how many it was going to take, but I know how many they were going to use! Or horsepower: If you've got a lot underfoot, it's oh so tempting to use them...

All due credit to member and fellow Moderator Archimedes, this image is from his sig line. As time here increases, lumen chasing decreases. Equal portions truth and well meaning tongue-in-cheek ribbing. 😉
Screenshot_20211025-132142_Chrome.jpg
 
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vicv

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When 200 lumens lights everything needed, I'm not sure what multi thousand does besides ruin peripheral and night vision.
With my favorite light which is around 200L, I can see clear across my properly (about 200 yards), and it's a wide area. More lumens just fills in the area brightness. Which I'm not looking at. I'm looking at there the spot is. So if anything lumens creep down.
Now if I take it to be a different meaning, I guess I'm a lumen creep as during my walks I can inadvertently shine my light on someone's window.
 

3_gun

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Run times not lumens was the main reason for me shopping for a new light. With the old light (mainly a LD12) using max (150 or 320) had me swapping batteries a couple of times a day or more.

My run times at the 3k-4.6k/L levels seldom add up to more than a couple of minutes over the Thurs-Sunday sale time frame. It's the realization that my old max light level (320/150) is a lot more often the floor of my current usage. I find myself with my E35v3 at 450 & my E70 at 650 levels often. Both will hold a 1k/L level (or close) for a couple of minutes if needed but that seldom happens. I've never needed to swap batteries (both use 21700) but I have needed to recharge them before the next days adventure.

I did run my 18650 light (Klarus ST10) dry in a days use which is why I have those 21700 lights now. The Klarus & LD12 still get use as EDC lights
 

thermal guy

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I find it’s more about beam pattern then it is output That attracts me to a light.
 

3_gun

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I find it’s more about beam pattern then it is output That attracts me to a light.
For my use I look for a lot of flood, 99.5% of what I do is at less than 25 yards. It's one of the reasons the Acebeam E70 gets so much use. I know they claim a 240m throw on turbo but for the brightness I'm looking for it's really closer to 100m of useful light.

I do admit that a flood pattern does "soften" the lumen levels as seen, just as the color/temp will. I have two IF25a lights, a 4k & 6.5k temp and the 6.5k looks brighter at every level. But again for my use the better color from the 4k light out weights the brightness of the 6.5k light at the same light levels. So I just ramp up the 4k & get the best of both. As a guess I'd say I need 550L of 4k to equal 400L of 6.5k light, as a guess
 

DaveTheDude

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Awhile back I worked on a wireless communications installation project at a naval shipyard. The requirements included signal coverage in open warehouse spaces, and in tight machinery spaces (with waaay too much metal for easy signal delivery). The light that got the most use in the somewhat cavernous warehouse areas was a 2500 lumen JetBeam 26650; it was almost always used at the highest output level. The machinery spaces were well served with an Eagtac D25LC2, fitted with an Osram emitter. The JetBeam delivered a floody beam that lit up the entire area. The Eagtac delivered a tightly focused beam. Both served their purpose.

I wouldn't be overly concerned with lumen creep. In my experience we use the output level appropriate to the task. Personally I'm grateful that I now have more choices, and can more easily match the light to the mission.
 

LRJ88

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From my admittedly limited experience compared to some people here, lumen output isn't as important to me as candela per task, if i'm doing something where i need a focused light in a nearby area 100 lumen can either be more than enough or completely useless depending on the amount that actually gets to the area in question.

As an example, i can run my Emisar D4V2 on 2,000 lumen and have enough light to see what i need 30 meters away, or i can use my Fenix PD35 v2.0 and light it up using the claimed 50 lumen mode. At the same time i can use the Emisar D4V2 and aboutish 50 lumen on something 20 cm away and it's fine, while the Fenix PD35 can make some areas way too bright and others not bright enough at all using those same 50 lumens, simply because of the thrower/flood setups.
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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I live in a very well-lit city, in an apartment complex with plenty of outside lighting, and work in a library that is IMO severely over-illuminated. I've had lights that go above 1000L, but never really needed more than 400, and even then this is rare. My normal usage is consistently below 50L, usually 20-ish.
 

Jim 1965

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I never really had any super high output lights so I guess im not spoiled yet. I carry a 80lm m61wll and thats what I use 95% of the time. That or the super low levels on a AA zebralight. My brightest continuous output flashlight is a neutral hound dog & a modded 3c maglite lol. I dont count turbo modes.
Hi I enjoyed your post. Out of curiosity, why don't you carry a light with more lumens.
I never really had any super high output lights so I guess im not spoiled yet. I carry a 80lm m61wll and thats what I use 95% of the time. That or the super low levels on a AA zebralight. My brightest continuous output flashlight is a neutral hound dog & a modded 3c maglite lol. I dont count turbo modes.
Hi I enjoyed your post. Out of curiosity, why don't you carry a light with more lumens, considering the larger number of lights to choose from. Any thanks for your time.
 

Olumin

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Hi I enjoyed your post. Out of curiosity, why don't you carry a light with more lumens, considering the larger number of lights to choose from. Any thanks for your time.
Because I have no use for it. Im a watchmaker by profession in a well lit shop & do go out at night much. 80lm is plenty of light & the simple On/off is very convenient/intuitive. When I need a bright light I carry either MD2 or now Hound Dog. Most of the smaller lights with turbo modes dont sustain that output & that type of flashlight just isnt for me. Nowadays there are some really great 1x21700 lights out there that can sustain 1000+ lumen for over 1 hour but If I need something bright I dont mind it being bigger for better runtime & throw & better ergos.

Im really looking forward to the 2x21700 body for the HD and am still looking for a 4x21700 sustained 4000-5000lm single emitter searchlight w. carry handle. Thats about it for bright flashlights.
 

likethevegetable

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Depending on the use, more lumens just aren't needed..when out in the woods, I bring my ZebraLight H53Fc only, as I prefer the lighter weight on my head. Note that I don't anticipate hiking in the dark, and one L91 cell lasts a few trips (still pack a backup). When doing work around the house/yard, sometimes the boost in lumens is needed to beat the background light, so I use my H600Fc. I've thought about the SC700d, but when going for walks around the neighborhood, my SC64w HI is often plentiful, but sometimes I wish I had a thrower with me as well, not more lumens.
 

ledbetter

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Lumens bump. With so much ambient light at night around any metropolis, I‘m reaching for cooler, higher lumen lights than I used to or that I prefer but I’m just trying to keep up with the lumens race. And driving at night with shades because of all the idiots with blue leds on high beam is another story. And even in household fixtures, I’m loving the warm, hi cri, super bright bulbs available that are 150w +. I still love moonlight modes, but it seems I have to escape somewhere to use them.
 

Candlestick

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I went to 18650 back in 2016 in order to have more runtime, not more brightness per say.

I was surprised, I recently got a h604c zebralight. Wide flood 18650 high CRI.

I look at the modes and runtimes and I always care most about a long running medium mode. I just figured the ~150 lumen mode would be my go to mode most of the time. ~12 hours of runtime.

Its a great output in this form factor but while out walking the dog at night I found 25 lumens (~60 hours) much more comfortable on my eyes.

I do like having the 1600 turbo mode but I never need it for more than a minute or two just looking around or trying to find something I dropped.

I would still use the higher modes when I feel like I need more light.

But I mostly use lower modes. In fact I reprogrammed the output levels to be lower than default where low is .1/1 lumen. Medium is 3/25, high 150/1600.

I know I have months on low and days on medium.

Using high all the time for everything seems crazy to me. Not just from a battery conservation standpoint. 1600 lumens is painful close up or at night.

Its nice because if I use my headlamp for one hour every day I only have to swap batteries once a month at most.

I’d rather have a light limited to 200 lumens but able to run 6+ hours on high than a 3000 lumen light that sets stuff on fire and kills the battery in 15 minutes if accidentally left on.

If I need more light I need more throw and if I need more throw I need a dedicated thrower.
 
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fuyume

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It wasn't that many years ago that the brightest tactical flashlights were running on 2xCR123A batteries and delivering a maximum of about 350 lumens. What got me to drop money on my Fenix PD36 TAC (1x21700) this year was not the fact that it has 1000, 2000, and 3000 lumen modes, none of which can sustain that level of brightness for very long, but the fact that it will put out 350 lumens for a solid 10 hours before dimming, or 150 lumens for over 18 hours. Judging from their chart, I think the 1000 lumen mode after 30 min drops to about 750 lumens and at about 2.5 hours drops to about 600 lumens before dying a little over 3 hours.

In fact, with as much as I use my PD36 TAC, I have yet to recharge it, 6 weeks after I got it. I use it a few times a week as my bicycle headlamp, for shopping trips at night, generally in 150 lumen mode.
 

3_gun

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What got me to drop money on my Fenix PD36 TAC (1x21700) this year was not the fact that it has 1000, 2000, and 3000 lumen modes, none of which can sustain that level of brightness for very long, but the fact that it will put out 350 lumens for a solid 10 hours before dimming, or 150 lumens for over 18 hours.
DO NOT TRUST/BELIEVE THOSE CLAIMS. The FL1 standard allows run time claimed to include dimming to 10% of the light level at start. And that assumes that your light & battery match the test unit.

My Acebeam E70 runs at the 650L level LONGER & BRIGHTER on a 3000mah battery than it does on a 5000mah battery. At the 180L level the 5000mah battery runs longer, as you would expect

My guess from actually timing run times is you will get 7.5 - 8.5hrs at best of real or close enough to real 350L time. The rest will be at lower levels until you reach 35L. My Fenix E35v3 claims 7hrs @ 450L. It did a hard step down to 150L after 5 1/4hrs & even before that point there had been some dimming but nothing to alarming.

My search for a new light(s) was started/based on the need for much better run times than I was getting with an AA/14500 format light. (LD12-17) The lumen creep started when the 18650 lights I'd bought gave me good run times at the 2-300L levels I thought I'd be using BUT I quickly found myself using 4-600L levels, levels I had not had available before. Lights with 21700 batteries quickly became the norm

I often use my lights in areas with no or poor lighting, searching for things that I don't have an idea of where they are or even what they are at times. The difference between 200L & 600L is the difference between moving boxes/clutter to find the item that's caught my eye on the wall/shelf is to rusted/abused to be worthwhile or seeing that from where I was standing.

In just one sale last week I ran the E35 for over [email protected] Run times & lumen level that I've never needed at home where I know what & where things (mostly) are to be found.
 
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