Lumens or runtime?

bykfixer

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Back in 019 Maglite updated the classic 2D light. Same mechanical switch (more or less) as the 1980 version. Same reflector (more or less) etc. It tosses out a bit over 200 lumens the same way the 1980 one did. The 1980 one appeared way brighter than most flashlights of the era. The 019 one appears way way brighter. And it has a stated 17 hour runtime. I figure around 6-8 hour good n bright runtime.

It has a low said to be 30% of high. Yet the main difference on low is spill is reduced. The light still throws almost like it's on high. The stated run time for that mode is 127 hours.

One could adapt eneloops and get a ridiculous runtime from a pair of double a batteries running it on the low mode.
 

vicv

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Just about any modern light. Especially ones that are rated at less than 500L. Any single 18650 light. A convoy s2+ is quite nice with the biscotti firmware. Get an sst-20 4k 95cri at 1.4A

A maglite xl200 is nice too
 

3_gun

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Sadly what many are missing is the advertised lumens & run times the manufacturers post are not accurate. Not to pick on Fenix (I have 6) the PD36 Tac claims 3000L but 3rd party testing has it at 2590/start & 2079/30sec. It's down to under 1000L by the 2min mark. So most of the claimed run time of 1.5hrs is below 1000L.

Even the claimed 350L medium tested at 300L and held that to just past 8hrs. Much better than the high & turbo but still off from claimed. Most manufacturers claim run times to the LVP kicking in no matter how much temperature regulation has dimmed the light.

Truth is 3000 & 2590 to the VAST majority of us are going to look the same. Worse 2500 of 6500k would most likely look brighter than 3000 at 4000k to the same majority. And to almost the same majority, run times in daily use are closer to 10/15sec to see where in the backyard the noise came from or to check on the dog; so the manufacturers never really get called out on BS numbers.

Fenix is not even close to being the worst about this; to their credit many of their graphs show sharp drops in lumens from start up but it's easy to misread scaling of graphs on the back of the box.

Before I trust a light I test it. I don't have fancy equipment but I do have a camera I can manually set, a watch and time to run a fully charged battery down from a set out put. A series of pics every 15min to compare lets me know what I can expect from the light I own.
 

richbuff

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I have no choice but to recharge often. Max lumens per unit time is what I need.

Sometimes, I feel depressed about my spirit having been cast down to the hostile surface of this one-star planet, without my asking God first, and without God asking me first. I have found that a brief burst of maximum light from what is currently the smallest size flashlight per power makes it all ok/fine for a while, until the next time I feel the need to repeat.
 

vicv

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Back to normal scheduled programming.....

I found a fun set up last night but it's not exactly efficient use of battery space.
A 3D maglite with 3 cell krypton bulb. I've got a 3S AA to D adapter, a 2P adaptor with a single nimh, and a 2P adapter with a dummy cell. So 4.8V for a 3 cell bulb using 4x AA in that huge light! But it's a nice balanced light and puts out a nice throwy ~50 lumen beam of nice white light. So it doesn't have small size, high output, or high runtime. But still works a charm. I enjoyed carrying it for 45 mins or so last night
 

Burgess

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Glad to see I'm not the ONLY one
who values Runtime (on low or medium lumens)
over "Ruin Yer' Night Vision" HIGH modes !
 

M.C-ACTUAL

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A 21700 light at 400L in 4-4500k for REAL 8hrs run with a throw to around 50yds w/a simplified Anduril UI

To date nothing falls into this category, I have a couple that do well meeting some of the goals but none hit'em all. The outline is more of a GP light that can fit a pocket rather than a EDC. Size wise an 18650 is about as much as most/many want to carry as an EDC. I'd be willing to go to a 26650 if it was sized right but to date most of those are over 6" long w/heads 1.5" & larger which pretty much keeps it in the house.

The Quark has OK specs as an EDC but a few things would keep me from buying it. One is the odd battery size & the warning NOT to use 2x123a in its place. Next is the major gap in light spacing. And lastly the minor difference in turbo & high run times tells me turbo actually spends most of its time much closer to 400 or less. The battery & spacing are much more important.

I'd like/hope my "goal" light would have spacing of 400, 150, 50 & ML or with the UI be programmable to similar out puts
I am running the 16650 quark, I’m not sure if that was what you were referring to but I think it has decent runtime and I’m always surprised how much I use it and how little I need to charge it. I run KeepPower 16650’s and the 4 7 provided which is rated at 2200 mAh at 3.7V.

I have my settings set from low-med-high. More of an all purpose light, and I have no problem cycling to the 700+ lumens if needed. But sometimes I find myself wanting just a bit more lumens, probably 900-1000, I know the difference is probably minimal, but if the quark had that output and instant access to turbo, it would be pronounced king by me! This light already has a fantastic, durable and very rigid pocket clip, can tailstand, and the perfect size to be worn all day and not get in the way.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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My Nitecore MH10 v.2 puts out 300 lumens for 8 hours. That’s about the best non exaggerated level I’ve seen. A 25% increase is asking a lot (400 lumens for 8 hours) If someone advertised that, I’d be wondering if their light stepped down during that time.
 

fuyume

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Sadly what many are missing is the advertised lumens & run times the manufacturers post are not accurate. Not to pick on Fenix (I have 6) the PD36 Tac claims 3000L but 3rd party testing has it at 2590/start & 2079/30sec. It's down to under 1000L by the 2min mark. So most of the claimed run time of 1.5hrs is below 1000L.

Even the claimed 350L medium tested at 300L and held that to just past 8hrs. Much better than the high & turbo but still off from claimed. Most manufacturers claim run times to the LVP kicking in no matter how much temperature regulation has dimmed the light.

Truth is 3000 & 2590 to the VAST majority of us are going to look the same. Worse 2500 of 6500k would most likely look brighter than 3000 at 4000k to the same majority. And to almost the same majority, run times in daily use are closer to 10/15sec to see where in the backyard the noise came from or to check on the dog; so the manufacturers never really get called out on BS numbers.

Fenix is not even close to being the worst about this; to their credit many of their graphs show sharp drops in lumens from start up but it's easy to misread scaling of graphs on the back of the box.

Before I trust a light I test it. I don't have fancy equipment but I do have a camera I can manually set, a watch and time to run a fully charged battery down from a set out put. A series of pics every 15min to compare lets me know what I can expect from the light I own.


Fenix is quite frank about their brightness levels and runtimes. Yes, the chart could be presented in a more accurate fashion, but I reserve the right to question the competency of "third party testing", too. The reviews at 1lumen and Zeroair diverge wildly in their results.

PD36TAC-flashlight-runtime-900x675.png
 
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3_gun

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Again not picking on Fenix as I am a fan & repeat buyer (10 E01,8 as gifts). Many of our HS grads can't balance a checkbook, they for sure aren't going to convert lumens by % or consider scale difference in the run time chart.

As for 3rd party testing, it's just another reference point because I know from experience there are major "holes" in QC of mass produced lights & most other consumer items. It's even an issue with guys like SureFire. After I got my L2 a coworker bought from the same shop, a light with a serial # less than 100 different than mine and man was there a difference in color and perceived brightness. I'm sure it was within "specs" and both worked great but how many times do you get to see lights at that price point side by side? Even today the lights we use so often are such a small % of market share that even random board members probably have little overlap in commonly owned light models. Then add that I would bet $$ a normal advanced user like most of this board couldn't tell 1000L from 800 or 1200L in a non side by side test, that's a +/- of 20%. And don't even start comparing lights with different K values in brightness.

As for run times, I don't have testing gear but I do have a camera with manual settings and the time to take a picture of a full charged light pattern at a single setting every 15min for 4 or 5 hours. Scientific? No but I can see changes in the pics side by side that would never be noticeable in real life use.

Basic conclusion .. NEVER expect more than about 65-70% of the run time (non turbo & high) to be at the claimed out put. NEVER expect to notice a difference of less than 20% in claimed to real out put w/o doing side by side or time lapse testing AND even then it's not going to make much difference in how well the light works in MOST real world use.

I am not normal. I value the ability to start from OFF into a ML or low / memory / high levels WAY more than a turbo/high of over 400L. Same with run times, I'd much rather have a 1000L max light with a 60hr/60L range than a 2000L model with a 15hr/60L rating. I'd rather have a even flood of 50yds or less, than a throw of over 100yds.

I like that there are lights that reach out more than 1/4mi and have brightness levels well over 5000L. I may even get one someday for the SnG of it. What I spend my money on ain't that and I wish makers worked as hard at giving me true 100L for real 100hrs in a pocket sized light as they do lights that will set my pants on fire if they come on in my pocket
 

wweiss

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As in almost everything in life, it is about the situation.
The difference between walking your dog in your own neighborhood and camping in the wilderness of Yellowstone is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
 

bykfixer

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In a different perspective, I replaced lighting in my kitchen over the stove, over the kitchen itself and over the breakfast table recently.

The over the stove now has 150 lumens of 5000k, which is plenty for busting up shadows cast by the overhead light or as an ambient light in the evening. It's tucked under a cabinet so there is a defined border to the light being cast.

The one over the breakfast table is 1000 lumens of 4000k, which is plenty to light up the entire kitchen, dining and part of the living room area. Light comes from a square array of LED's covered by a sort of mushroom head diffuser so it casts light very well in all directions.

The main light replaces a 4 foot dual tube flourescent from the 1970's that might have cast 800 or so lumens, I don't know. It was a comercial kind that also cast a shadow at each end. We went with a dual panel of LED's in frame with a curved diffusing cover over the LED's. It started out as 6000 lumens of 4000k which was way to bright in my view so I turned it down to 2300, it's lowest setting. Still too bright at 4:30am, which is why I installed to 1000 lumen one nearby on a dimmer switch. The 2300 lumens casts enough light throughout the room to cause lighting reflected off cabinets and walls to practically erase any shadows anywhere in the kitchen and dining area. Kinda like it causes light to bend around corners.

This sort of thing can also apply to flashlights where 150 or so lumens can easily light up a given space like a camping tent, 1000 the entire camp site and 6000 the entire campground.

In a camping scenario I'd prefer the 150 to light up a small area for a week rather than the entire campground for an hour.
 

Olumin

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In a different perspective, I replaced lighting in my kitchen over the stove, over the kitchen itself and over the breakfast table recently.

The over the stove now has 150 lumens of 5000k, which is plenty for busting up shadows cast by the overhead light or as an ambient light in the evening. It's tucked under a cabinet so there is a defined border to the light being cast.

The one over the breakfast table is 1000 lumens of 4000k, which is plenty to light up the entire kitchen, dining and part of the living room area. Light comes from a square array of LED's covered by a sort of mushroom head diffuser so it casts light very well in all directions.

The main light replaces a 4 foot dual tube flourescent from the 1970's that might have cast 800 or so lumens, I don't know. It was a comercial kind that also cast a shadow at each end. We went with a dual panel of LED's in frame with a curved diffusing cover over the LED's. It started out as 6000 lumens of 4000k which was way to bright in my view so I turned it down to 2300, it's lowest setting. Still too bright at 4:30am, which is why I installed to 1000 lumen one nearby on a dimmer switch. The 2300 lumens casts enough light throughout the room to cause lighting reflected off cabinets and walls to practically erase any shadows anywhere in the kitchen and dining area. Kinda like it causes light to bend around corners.

This sort of thing can also apply to flashlights where 150 or so lumens can easily light up a given space like a camping tent, 1000 the entire camp site and 6000 the entire campground.

In a camping scenario I'd prefer the 150 to light up a small area for a week rather than the entire campground for an hour.
I still use halogens for the kitchen and they have been there for a decade. The warm incandescent light is perfect for the kitchen and renders colors wonderfully. i cant imagine using even 4000k leds there. In the kitchen especially, with all the food and cooking, light quality is really important. I actually had florescent tubes under the cabinets by default and they failed and broke constantly. and looked horrible of cause. The halogens never failed in all that time.
 

bykfixer

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To me the main kitchen light is now like firing up a giant 2000+ lumen Malkoff M61N.

I quickly noticed "dam I really need to clean that white sink out" lol.

I prefer a cooler light when details matter after getting used to the fairly acurate modern day LED's since my brain now sees incandecent beams as tainted instead accurate like it used to a few years back. So the times I want a lot of light I prefer a cooler tint. If I want light that is pleasing to the eye the incandecent flashlight is the one I prefer.
 

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