Making the Perfect EDC light a reality! ? ! ?

Delij

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May 31, 2007
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I'm somewhat of a newbie flashaholic. Bought my first LED light at a gun-show in April (maybe March). It was an Ultrafire C3 and I paid gun show price...about $30 I think. Before I saw them on line for $17 at Dealextreme.

But that extra money was spit in the ocean. I'd be embarrassed (EDIT - anyplace but here) to admit how many lights I've bought since and how many hours I've spent reading CFP. (Dozens of lights and countless hours reading CPF posts).

Now it seems to me that being a newbie doesn't effect the fact that I do a bunch of business in Asia....mostly manufacturing products in China, but also importing goods from Thailand (mostly jewelry) and even Vietnam (mostly art).

I am convinced I can have the 'ultimate' flashlight made to my specs in China fairly inexpensively.

I am also convinced that the very best way to come up with the specs is to have an open discussion with the CPF forum members.

I'd start with the notion of a modular light. One that comes with different tubes for different configurations. Perhaps a C2 and/or 123 body. Also a single or double AA body. Of course I'd need some kind of regulator that would work with different inputs. (or not?). I need to get my partner in one of my ventures involved. He's an electrical engineer.

A non sealed (glued) head that would allow a change of LEDs as they develop. Why need a new light just to get a new LED?

Possible? I believe so, but I'm open to opinions.

Interface....again open to opinions. Obviously an infinite (Titan) type rheostat of some kind with a memory.....maybe a memory that can be used or bypassed.

Construction along the quality of a Surefire or Inova or Novatec.

Size adjustable from something like a Fenix PD and up depending on battery tubes used (remember...a battery extension for an Ultrafire is less than $5 and about $2 if purchased with the light, and it has threads on both ends. Alumunium seems cheap ...of course with better anodizing and knurling I'd expect it to cost more, but so what....how much more could it be when the basic item sells retail for $2???

Now I have seen plenty of threads on CPF where peope describe their 'ideal" light. Difference here is I really believe I can make it happen.

What I want is input....give me your ideas and I'll challenge myself to come up with the ideal combination of features. Aluminum? Stainless? Titanium (seems cost inefficient, but who knows?) - I don't want to build a piece of jewelry like the Lummi...I want a versatile true rought and tumble indestructable EDC light.

How to finance this? Well, Surefire has a name of great recognition, so they were able to sell out their Titan before it existed. But this new "Defender"....we'll have sent about $30,000 to someone in China with no known product.

Me, I wouldn't be comfortable taking money on the come. What I would be comfortable with would be an indication of interest. I can get to and back from China and have a design for I believe $5000 or so....money I'd spend out of my own pocket.

But I'd do it if i had a list of people that would give me an indication of interest. I'd then do what was done with the Defender...have a few prototypes made and send them to CPF members for reviews. At THAT POINT I would then accept advanced payments and have the lights made and shipped (after making sure they withstood some kind of torture test).

And unlike someone in China where we have no recourse, if I were to 'scam' anyone here, I'd risk jail. I have no reason to take such a risk. I don't need the money and I certainly don't need the legal hassles. If I can't deliver, no one loses a cent.

Price? What's fair? I honestly don't know. But I'm imagining a light that will not be obsolete every time a new emitter hits the market. I imagine a proprietary system of "plug and play' for the newer emitters (size permitting....maybe an occasional more radical change, but still, modular..not requiring a new light every few months.

What's in this for me? The fun of a new product to manufacture and import....for me jewelry and women's handbags don't do anything to get my blood flowing...just pays the bills.

For CPF flashaholics...what's in it for you? Well, that too can be discussed. My first inclination is to have say (not carved in stone) the first 1000 or 500 or whatever people to have a lifetime of upgrades at a substantial discount (at least 50%)...

Or, depending on the initial cost of the light, perhaps free upgrades as new LEDs are released (assuming they can fit in the existing board). Maybe for 2 years, maybe longer.....how much does a new emitter really cost? Looks like not a lot.

Again, a "plug and play' design with no soldering, etc....the modular light even I could upgrade. And of course with a design that would remain waterproof even though the lens, reflector and emitter are user accessible....which with a proper design of threading and O-rings seems not unreasonable.

OK...well that's the start. I know the electrical engineers here I would have do the initial design. (as I mentioned, one is a partner in a factoring business that has nothing to do with anything electrical, but he's got the credentials)...it's the saving in cost of the actual manufacture in China that brings China into the equation. Can i do the whole process here? I don't know but I will certainly explore the possibility. But I don't want to have Surefire type prices (maybe i can make a deal with Mag? LOL - hey, ya never know).

One last word. My original thought was to make each of the first "X" number of buyers a shareholder who would profit by dividends since it would be their money that is (or may be...depending how this is structured) really "venture capital" used to develop this "ultimate light'. In fact I even mentioned that we who sent our Pay pal funds to buy the "Defender" should be shareholders.

Two problems....one, trying to be a shareholder in a Chinese company....that's a BIG "LOL" - (BTW, when we tried to import Chinese pickup trucks the assorted ministers had their hands out for bribes in the range of millions of dollars.....often just to buy an introduction to the next guy up the governmental ladder...the minister of this or that.

. For all their capitalism, China is still a communist country and is going through the growing pains of becoming westernized. Right now they are in the bribery and corruption phase we experience during our railroad boom in the 19th century....they didn't call the "ROBBER" Barons that for nothing.

Second problem is to make buyers shareholders here opens a whole complex world of SEC filings, possible endless lawsuits, etc (I was a Wall Street guy from 1984 until 2005, so I know the headaches that are part and parcel of trying to make something seemingly simple into an offering....even when it is small enough to not require the more complicated compliance of issuing stock. But the headaches of having to deal with even just 500 or 1000 "investors" is more than I am willing to deal with at this point. I just want to have fun and produce the "perfect' EDC light.....maybe call it the CFP or something like that (again, suggestions welcome).

Can this be done? IMO, definitely. Will it be done? I can only hope so. The big issue being of course what the interest is here.

And of course the cost. Would this be a $50 light or a $200 light? I can't know at this point obviously, but my main concern is it would be worth every penny it costs. ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO WHAT IS NOW AVAILABLE!!!!!!


And that would depend on what it is. And in turn, that would depend on what all of us decide it should be.

So? Opinions? Input? Enthusiasm? Skepticism?

(BTW, if this post/thread is in the wrong place, i hope the moderators will let me know and move it (or if it has to be removed entirely, please let me know why and what I can do to re-instate it if i have violated any of the CFP rules).

Thanks all and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I am moving in the morning so I hope the cable guys show up as scheduled so I'll have internet access. If I'm MIA for 24 hours or so after tonight (and I'm pretty beat now...movers and stress today...takes it out of an old guy like me)....well, that will be why. But please don't let my possilbe one day disappearance from this thread interfere with any contributing ideas. I like new ventures and though this one seems doubtful (probably impossible) to be a profitable one, that' OK....I've been semi-retired for a few years and what I do now I do for the challenge, not the profit.

Peace,
D.
 
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xiaowenzu

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Sep 9, 2006
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My perfect EDC would be something like the Surefire Titan. A smooth twist of the bezel from 0.1 Lumens to 1000 Lumens! I'd expect Surefire to make something like that in the future. :thumbsup:
 

Muppet

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Mar 1, 2004
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I'd like to see a 5mm LED *in the tailcap* so that you have a hundred-hour option with your light. I'd also like to see the total size of the light minimized - maybe half an inch larger than the batteries required. I'm kinda thinking that 4" for a 1xAA battery (2" long) is a bit large.

I think there's some room for new approaches to heatsinking as well - maybe a removable "star" heatsink that you can screw on to the head (obviously some tactical applications there too) if you're planning on running the light a lot.

Anyway, I think this is a great idea. Good luck!
 

p1fiend

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Jul 3, 2006
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Holy Christmas, that there is a long post!

I'm just gonna pull up a chair and :popcorn: while reading it.

I've caught myself several times daydreaming up my own line of lights and thinking of how to mfg. and market them. I think it would be neat to take a chance if I was significantly more wealthy, but alas...
 

MikeLip

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The perfect EDC light is going to be a moving target of course, and mean different things to different people. Some don't mind a fairly large light, some what it small as possible. But I'll take a stab at it.

For me a great EDC light would be;

Small. I carry an L1, which is at the large end of the spectrum for EDC. If I didn't habitually wear jeans, it might be too big. Something the size of a Peak Glacier Bay would be good. A smaller battery might be acceptable, but the Glacier Bay is *tiny* even with a CR123.

Simple. I like the L1 better than my (now sold) Novatac 85P because it's simple. I like having levels, but don't want to go through gyrations to get to them. Surefire does this right, no one else seems to. The L1, U2 and Titan are examples of levels without complexity. Olight does a good job of this as well. Olight adds unnecessary complications (imho), but they are hidden and out of the way of normal operation. Elegantly done.

Moderate price. Again, the L1. For an EDC pocket light, it's at the limit of what I'd pay.

Upgradable. Well, that would require centralizing the electronics because every new emitter is going to have to be fed differently. You can put the smarts in either the tailcap or the head, but PCB real estate is always at a premium (I've learned that over the years as an engineer - there is NEVER enough room to do everything you want) and the head might be better since there is more room there.

Changing the emitter and circuit board should be a matter of a couple of screws. The emitter is going to run warm and you will need a heat path to the case. Making it easily replaceable and maintaining good heat flow is going to be a trick. Not insurmountable, but careful design with an eye to the all-thumbs type will pay dividends.

Good luck! I have worked with Chinese electronics manufacturers. Getting things right is possible, but can be an adventure. You might want to prototype it onshore, or find a manufacturer that can do short runs here and transition to offshore manufacture as your numbers rise. There are quite a few of them. You have the treat of offshoring both electronic and mechanical fabrication. Never a simple task.
 

SafetyBob

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Here is my two cents:

Option 1: I would like to have a small light, EDC type that would be a bright one LED setup and like you indicate (and with an EE type with you) figure on the following tube setups.... AA (NiMH, Lithium throwaways, Lithium rechargeables) and CR123 (again Lithium throways, and rechargeables too). Figure one, two and three battery setups. Should be able to keep small. As much as I would like some optional monster head, I probably shouldn't be consider first, unless everyone else here says, yes.

Option 2: Here you could really make some all of us here some money (or save it!!) Heads should include one, three, and four LED's. Maybe an option for those wild crazy HIDs too. I will let others speak though. With just interchangeable LED heads (which would be so cool), you could have bodies made so those 6, 8,9,12 and so on AA setups could be made along with the numerous Li-Ion rechargeables that everyone really likes. I am sure you will agree that having a [email protected] moddified so it handles those nice AA setups seems really like the way to go. What a pain to find someone who does that, then wait for it to be complete.

I don't think anyone here would mind a generic aluminum flashlight arleady manufactured to those dimensions, and I think that the market for those beautiful bored out [email protected] actually might go up because more of us will look at those as what they are, beautiful works of art and technology.

That's why I maybe say a couple of HID setups would be good. Say a 2.5 inch and 3 or 4 inch head that would burn holes through the night a half mile or so away!! And of course the same battery options could be combined, AA, C, D, and all the rechargeables.

Perhaps tubes could be dimensioned (for the big ones) with interchangeable ends (with clicky of course). Start with the bored out size for multiple AA's, then add the tube on for 2,3,4,5 or 6 C, or D's. Then with the option for two or three of the rechargeable setups.

Electronics, your EE should be able to figure out alot of this. There may have to be two or three options here for the different battery setups. I think most people would like to keep the size around 1.5 to 3 D. 1.5 is cool, and 3D can put some power down for lighting, I can 4D, but larger starts getting out of hand for most of us. If you EE could design the electronics to handle the 1.5VDC or 1.2VDC of the single AA all the way up to 12VDC of 4 CR123's or multiple AA's and rechargeable stuff in one setup, he/you would have a hell of a seller for ALL of us here. There are so many different electronic packages I is darn confusing (as I am sure you have realized too).

PM me if you want to chat more about this. I think it is a very positive step and would help more of us increase our flashlight collection even more!! Think of the flashlight case we could all have customized. Multiple heads, bodies, and power options.

All the guys here that have access to metal working equipment have made other manufacturers stuff work for them. If we could have a standard, highly modifyable flashlight made for us with all the options already there, I think it would be very helpful. Different colors, maybe. Machined and ready for us to alodine, or powder coat them? Could sound good to me.

Let's keep talking about this. I am in for this all the way!!

Bob E.
 

Sir Lightalot

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wow... well some people don't seem to like the infinitely variable flashlights (too many choices i guess) but i could care less. the perfect EDC for me would be this:
-1AA because is low profile and with nowadays' batteries runtime isn't too horrific
-a Q5 or rebel led driven at up to 1A or so, at the cost of run time
-if not variable, then 2-4 modes like high>med>low with mode memory but please no SOS and if you really want strobe, make it accessible some other way
-optional OP reflector
-good grip but not to bumpy so it fits really nice in your pocket, maybe you could make some small parts rubber?
-rear, slightly recessed clicky switch so it can stand up but its not too important
-focusing would be nice but probably not practicle to make and useless for a light this small...
a lanyard is ok if the hole for it is recessed into the tail cap but no belt clip cause its just annoying
-some nice colors options like red or chrome (maybe) anything but black, so its visible
-as for upgradability, maybe you could have some kind of drop-in bulb upgrade as you'll probably need a new reflector if bulb size changes otherwise a solder-less bulb replacement sound good to me

well i cant think of anything else...
 

LG&M

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Interested .:popcorn:
I only have one suggestion at this time. make it so we could use different batteries AAA /AA/ CR123
I think you will be doing great if you can find something 30% of the people here can agree on.
 

KevinL

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The most obvious issue with all of this is that it is going to have to be modularized. That means potentially different LEDs, LED converters, and so on. This tends to drive costs up.

Similar modular systems have been created, but they tend to be by small-volume manufacturers or modders and as such cost a premium. I priced one of these systems recently and I found that I could actually commission someone to do it my way, AND save money into the bargain, while not losing that modularity!

I agree with you that it is time to return to more affordable lights. I started out as a flashaholic almost 4 years ago (join date on CPF is later, because I lurked for so long), I watched the price of lights rise into the stratospheric range. Exotic materials, exotic machining: again I reiterate, less of what I don't need, more of what I DO need. Sure a Ti light (and not just speaking about the Titan, many others) is pretty - and I'd never carry it for fear of losing or damaging it. And all that fancy machine work? After a point it really becomes showing off.

Anyway, back to the point. A rheostat system is IMO the best way to go. Multi-click lights annoy me and always have, always will. I'm sort of disappointed in the Nitecore as it requires you to twist the head to make/break a circuit rather than using a rotary interface. Maybe I expected too much, but otherwise, it still looks like a good light and I'm still keen to receive one.

Since the LED controller/driver will have to be linked to the rheostat, I recommend you keep it the same for all LEDs. I suppose it could be made to work like the Taskled.com Fatman driver "Bring your own potentiometer" with a suitable electrical interface, but again that increases the complexity of the light.

If we're only going to use one converter then it needs to be a buck/boost topology running the gamut of options from 1.2V (NiMH AA) to 4.2V peak for Li-ion support. You're limited to 1 lithium ion cell, but with modular battery tubes (18650, even), and multiple brightness options, that'd be sufficient.


The problem is the HUGE, dizzying array of choices available and the fact that every flashaholic wants something different.

Reflector - 4 choices
17mm
20mm
25mm
Turbohead / big [email protected] reflector

Battery pack (only counting physical options. Rechargeable options supported if they will fit into those physical options.) - 6 choices
AAA
AA
CR2
CR123
18500 / 17500
18650 / 17670

Main power switch - 2 choices
Twist-on
Click-on


You're already looking at building an entire system here, with at least 12 components, and that's considering you lock it to one converter and one user interface. The UI presents another huge problem - millions of user interfaces out there. Do people want strobe, SOS, ability-to-signal-aliens-on-mars, blah blah.. while I am perfectly content with one dial and the ability to remember the mode the dial was in and start up at that power (just like the U2), others are not.

USB programmability and ability to turn these features on and off (a bit like the Canon 1D-series Personal Functions - link up to computer and toggle 'em) would be a help, but again, complexity. Sticking a USB microcontroller into this light.. IMO that is approaching the realm of the crazy.

A flash EEPROM dictating UI would be possible but take up significant space relative to the small size of the light.


Upgrading the LED would be the easiest part of all.. simply stick the LED on a copper or aluminium disk that screws into the housing and has + and - connections. Release new 'light engines' as necessary. This is the cheapest part of the equation and I don't understand why other manufacturers have to make it so expensive. It's just a copper/alu disk! Or it could be a MCPCB that screws in. You could even have wires that solder to the MCPCB, it would still be a simple enough upgrade for most of CPF. Soldering to a MCPCB is one of the easiest soldering tasks to accomplish because they are already pre-tinned and so forgiving to work with.
 

Zenster

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Here's a couple Lumens more worth of opinions;

1. The specific choice of LED is almost inconsequential because it's a given that you'll want to use the "latest and greatest" which is a moving target. No matter what you choose, there will be a newer improved version within 6 months after you introduce it.
So your intent to allow easy upgradeability is the key, but it's not likely that you will be able to do that with just the LED itself because different LED's may require different electronics to drive them. That means that upgradeability should be thought of as more of a "pill" concept rather than just the LED.
Another notion of upgradeability is that IF you can sell this "perfect" EDC light for under $50, then upgradeability is moot in my opinion. If I have to choose between a new one at $50 or an upgrade pill at, say, $35, I'd just go buy the new improved one and give the old one to a friend who needs a decent light.
But if your light comes out at over $100, then upgradeability would probably be a very important selling point.

2. My perfect EDC right now is the Fenix L2D which offers plenty of light, and I like the multiple setting choices. Plus, it can be converted to be a single AA light in a much smaller package which adds to it's versatility.
It's lights like the L2D that will be your target for competition.
I specifically mention the L2D because I bought it over the P3D for the sole reason that the L2D uses AA batteries which are available at ANY store at ANY time. If push came to shove and I need batteries like, right NOW, I can always grab a couple of AA's out of wall clocks and carry on.
It will not be any time soon that CR123's are as common place as AA's, at least not in the next 10 to 20 years.

3. While probably an engineering nightmare because of the size and voltage differences, it would be incredible if you made something that would run on ANYTHING from 2-AA's, 2-CR123's, and any of the AA or CR123 rechargeables AND the 18650's or slightly smaller derivatives.
Simply put, a light that allowed almost any way to power it would be an ultimate "survival" tool where the more desireable and more powerful batteries could be used most of the time, but plain old AA alkalines could be stuck in and be able to work just as well when needed.

That's all I got.
 

IanH83

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I think you'll find it impossible to make this perfect light, all these names, fenix, surefire and the other 50 have a large selection of different lights for a reason, 95% of their market want one torch, unlike us fools who want 25.

If you want to know what kind of light I would like to see you make (and I would buy one) it's simple: as many lumens as possible with a cree L1 type of beam. Runs on 1 or 2 AAs (2 different body options) A clicky on the tail which will last at least 20 years and give me the option of either... lets say... off or on. No variable brightness, no strobe and certainly no freakin USB interface. Make the window out of nice thick pyrex, make it waterproof, make it tough.

All these torch manufacturers we give all our money to have lots of experience, if you want a successful light, I say make it as simple as possible.

I like the upgradeable LED idea, if you could make it the way I suggested with drop in replacement LEDs which could give you the option of upgrading easily when technology advances then I think it would be very successful, at least here.
 
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carrot

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I've already got the perfect EDC light. :) But I'm thinking despite it being perfect, there are a few things that I would really like to see in an "ultimate EDC."

I'm thinking if you want to make the ultimate EDC, it should have a momentary clickie and a Titan-like interface. You can dial up the power from off, or hit the momentary clickie and instantly have some preset "high" brightness where you get 2-3 hours of runtime but plenty of light. If you've already got the light on (ie, not in the twisted off position) you can press the momentary clickie for "turbo" to get the absolute highest output (say, 30-40 minute runtime on turbo). Such an interface should satisfy almost everyone? (Realists anyway.) Forget focusing, because such an ability will interfere with the Titan-like interface.

Output should be in the form of a beam with a strong hotspot and a very nice, smooth transition to flood. This makes the spill appear less dim (because you then don't have a bright hotspot and a dim flood, but a nice transition) and hence easier on the eyes when actually being used (yes, I've tested this!). For reference, out of my lights, the McLux PD-S and Surefire P-61 beams display this characteristic very well.

As far as size and shape, the light should under an inch in diameter, with aggressive and deep knurling. Make it aggressive like Surefire's or deep and ridged like the current McGizmo offerings. The design needs to be elegant but easily gripped under adverse weather conditions. The clip needs to be tough, springy, and mounted so the light is bezel down, riding as low as possible. Titanium is preferable. More than 1/4" of the light showing out of the pocket is unacceptable and makes the light susceptible to falling out, especially at shorter battery tube lengths. Offer multiple battery tube options, with 1xAA and 1x123 being standard package offerings, but introduce 2xAA, 3xAA, 2x123 and 1x18650 in the long term. To prevent the most common damage a light receives, the front must have a scalloped (not crenellated) bezel ring of either stainless or titanium, and the back must have a ring as well, similar to the older Inovas. The tactical/momentary clickie needs to have a nice, soft and user-replaceable rubber boot akin to those of Surefire's. Forget glass or polycarbonate for the lens. You want optical quality, AR-coated sapphire windows. Mill a few spots (3 is a good number) along the circumference of the light for tritium inserts.

Electronics -- I would hand over this part to Dat2Zip, who makes excellent products. The light should run at the specified brightness until the battery cannot handle it and then gracefully dim down, gently so you are never left completely without light. The circuits should be potted in some form of epoxy to prevent moisture and shock damage. Input voltage, ideally would be as low as 1.2v (for alkaline batteries) and as high as 4.2v (for lithium ion batteries). You could really go out of your way and support up to 9v to allow for up to three lithium primaries or two lithium-ion rechargeables, but for most users, this is excessive. For the longevity freaks, make sure to use a Cree XR-E. No other LED is acceptable today if you are looking for the very best. Seoul P4's can tint-shift if driven too hard and Luxeon Rebels... let's just say they vary too much in tint to be considered seriously in our picky market of CPFers. Consider making it possible for modders to upgrade the LEDs themselves, but if it compromises the stability of the design, forget it.

If you follow every spec and detail that I mention, I expect such a light should cost $200, maybe less, if China manufactured like you said. I would shoot for bringing the price down to under $150. Forget satisfying everyone, if you aim to be too budget you will satisfy a much smaller portion. People are, and have demonstrated that they are willing to shell out the C-note for a light that meets their needs.
 

Calina

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When I read your post I thought "Woah, I'll certainly have something to say, I could contribute with my grain of salt or my photon of wisdom".

Then I read the thread...

So many opinions already and most, excellent. It seems that the perfect light doesn't exist. It is something so different to so many people. So my photon of wisdom ends in this pitiful post. No photon at all, total darkness. What a shame! :mecry:
evilgrin07.gif
 

coral_seas

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Oct 19, 2007
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This is a great idea Delij! I am very interested.
What counts most for me are two things:
1. Quality: I do not want another cheap china product, that has 1000 features but is defective after a short while. I am willing to pay more for an excellent workmanship and a lifetime durability.
2. Ease of use: I want a flashlight that does not need an operation manual. My wife shall be able to switch it on to the brightness level, she actually requires, without any explanation how to operate it.

I doubt that this would be possible. But if there is a way, then count on me.
 
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Sgt. LED

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Stainless fully checkered body no worry about finish toughness or cost of finish application! - P60 module type for easy upgrade - Titan interface. Batt tubes in 1xAA 1x123 and 1x18650. How easy is that?
100 bucks or so sounds great.
 
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Delij

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hey guys....thanks for the input.

lots of great ideas. it seems the most interest is in an indestructible (read ''quality built" light that can easily be upgraded with very little expense (and we know how cheap even the latest and greatest LEDs are, even at the retail level).

My point about having several bodies in a kit to accommodate different cells also seems well accepted. And other than issues with electronic circuitry, again not something that should add significantly to overall cost. I believe the finishing (anodizing and knurling) would cost more than the threaded tubes themselves, but I think I have a way around that (or at least I hope I do).

First response someone said they wanted a Titan type light adjustable from zero to 1000 lumens. Yeah, me too. But at the rate of LED technology, it could be months before we see a 1000 lumen light that runs on 1.2 volts....LOL - But when it comes, I want to just be able to pop it in and go. Simple user friendly plug and play upgrades.

Talked about this briefly last night with my son who just finished his tour of duty as an ELT nuke on a fast attack sub. Those on the crew that didn't spend their money elsewhere owned Surefires. But everyone carried a flashlight. We talked about ways to make a light 'bomb-proof' and waterproof. Seems almost weird to me this isn't common since it seems so easy to do with today's materials. I will get into the concepts in a future post....but very basically, a bit of shock absorbing rubber at the most vulnerable parts (like at the bezel...just have to make it look good while being functional).

So far I get the feeling that a modular 'Kit' light would be appealing. Different bodies for different power cells (and sizes for specific uses).

Electronics that can handle different voltage inputs.....need to get with my electronic engineer for feedback on that.

Potentiometer like the Titan....I'm mystified why this seems to be so unique when we all have them on our walls. Maybe size matters? Hard to believe with today's miniaturization of all things electronic. My mother's hearing aid is so small you can't see it in her ear. But it has a volume control.

Someone talked about making a light that could be transformed into an HID light...that might be out of the realm of possibilities since I'm thinking more in terms of a light that will easily fit in a pocket (if so configured). But again, nothing is impossible, so I'll look into it. (but have serious doubts....my HID headlights were a $700 option on my BMW).

I hope to be able to come up with a preliminary (first draft) outline of what I'm thinking of trying to develop within 5 days to a week.
And from there let you guys give it your "cheers and jeers".

In the meantime, the more input, the better. When I present my first written "prototype" it will be interesting to see what people would think such a light would be fairly priced at....or what they would be willing to pay for such a light. (Again, no "prepayment, just in the name of research...knowing what kind of budget one has to work with is crucial).

Thanks for all the responses so far. The more the better!

Peace,
D.
 

Delij

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
88
Quick question...anyone have any experience with Robar coated steel? If so, impressions as to it's suitability for use on a metal flashlight body?

peace,
D.
 

thiswayup

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
172
You can already buy multi-tube/cell lights. Lumapower sell one and the original Jetbeam II worked this way, which was the reasons mine broke down. This sort of configurability increases sources of point failure and makes QA much harder. It can be done right, but be aware of the risks. Heat dissipation vs weight makes for problems too - a light that is heatsinked for 2xCr123 is over-heavy compared to single AA lights.

As for continuously variable lights, why bother? They basic physics and biology involved make a 5 level 200 lumen light almost as effective at matching light needs, and much lower risk to spec.

I would suggest that the light that is really missing from the current market is:

- 5 level, simple UI

- Excellent regulation; either ultra current controlled or LF style ultra high frequency PWM

- Single AA or 14500 (makes 2AA irrelevant)

- The big one: Tough as a casio g-shock - all components embedded in epoxy or shock protected so that if you drop the light 10m it goes on working. Or if 10m can't be managed, at least 2m. Surefire wimp out on their warranty on a four foot drop. I suspect the only light that does reasonably well here is the Inova X5. Shock protecting a high end LED while heat sinking it will be a challenge. The good thing business wise is that a tough light is an easy sell - just repeat Casio's tactics, humiliate Fenix and SF with public drop tests, etc.

- Good quality grip pattern on tube, tough lens

Zoom optics would be a nice extra - 5 level output and zoom would be superbly usable.

And don't be trapped by current mass produced formats. Look the quad Cree ModMags - consider very short zoom lights with enormous output that can run on eg 6 x AA/14500 side by side.
 

LG&M

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
462
Quick question...anyone have any experience with Robar coated steel? If so, impressions as to it's suitability for use on a metal flashlight body?

peace,
D.
I was thinking the same thing just the other day. I have never used Robar but every thing I have read about it was positive. Robar is only one of this type of finish. some of them come in cool patterns. If they can protect a firearm a flashlight should be no problem.
 
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