Multi-Mode Incan Lights?

Olumin

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Were (or are) there any dual- or multi-mode incandescent flashlights being sold? Most Incans are a single mode, on/off type of deal, but I’m curious whether or not any multi-mode lights were being made. I would be strongly interested in such a light of it were to exist. I’m talking about Incan only here, so stuff like the A2 doesn’t count, as the "low mode" utilizes LED emitters. Im sure someone nowadays can make a custom one, but I would like to know if any were ever produced in series. Whether the light uses one or multiple bulbs doesn’t matter here.

Im sure many of you are a lot more knowledgeable about this than I am and can help me out. Thanks in advance.
 

Daniel_sk

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I am not an expert on incans, but I think the problems is that bulbs are designed for specific voltage and output. Under-driving a bulb below spec will produce a beam which will have a very warm color and inefficient output/power ratio. Unless you are talking about multi-mode incans that have for example 2 different bulbs. Surefire 10X Dominator was a rechargeable flashlight with two different bulbs, one produced 60 lumens for 3 hours and the other one 500 lumens for 20 minutes.
 

archimedes

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There have been a variety of "PWM" switches available at times, for the function you describe.

Generally, their switching rate was rather slow (relatively speaking) since the filament takes significantly more time to heat and cool than does (say) an LED emitter to cycle on / off.

Of course, there also were (and are) flashlight hosts than can "change output" simply by swapping out different batteries and lamps, but I doubt that is what you meant.
 
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sgt253

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I have not come across a light that was mass produced as you describe. Doesn't mean that they didn't/don't exist, I just don't know of them. Don Keller produced a light for Snap On that was a prototype for a multi level light. I believe Bykfixer here on CPF has one. There have been tail switches that have controlled the brightness of the incandescent lamp on certain makes/models. I have one for an old Streamlight Sl-20 and Sl-35 incandescent. It dims the light and also flashes the light via pulse width modulation via the tailcap. I believe there has been a third party switch to fit the Surefire E series lights, I don't recall its name. I believe there was one by G&P (G&P AI) that was pretty so so and fit the Surefire 6P series. I hope this helps.


(Archimedes beat me to the punch as i was typing. Says something about my typing...lol)
 

archimedes

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Olumin

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I am not an expert on incans, but I think the problems is that bulbs are designed for specific voltage and output. Under-driving a bulb below spec will produce a beam which will have a very warm color and inefficient output/power ratio. Unless you are talking about multi-mode incans that have for example 2 different bulbs. Surefire 10X Dominator was a rechargeable flashlight with two different bulbs, one produced 60 lumens for 3 hours and the other one 500 lumens for 20 minutes.

Yea, thats what I feared. It should be doable by simply using 2 separate bulbs, as you mentioned. Does anyone know of any other Dual-bulb lights?
 

bykfixer

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That's what was so cool about the SureFire A2. Legit high and low output. That and a regulated incandecent high output.

Like others said, some lights used pwm and dimmer switches or a side by side bulb setup to achieve two outputs way back when SureFire founder Dr John Matthews was being invented. The ones that used dimmers were disappointing in that the light was that of a bulb fired by nearly dead batteries so its orange glow was less than ideal.
Some say reducing incoming voltage to the bulb murdered the bulb lifespan due to lack of gas burn off rate, which in itself aided in preserving the life of the filament by somehow causing burned tungstun to reattach itself back to the filament when properly fired (or something along those lines).
 

ma tumba

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I would say that the natural drop of cct goes very nicely with the drop of output. Actually I miss this feature in LED lights very much
 

fivemega

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Streamlight also had a variable brightness tail cap for full size flashlights.

Surefire 10X had dual bulb system.

Light Saver mentioned above was 3 level aftermarket tail cap for $urefire E series.
 

Katherine Alicia

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I`v never seen a comercial one, but they`re quite easy to make, I built one a while back just for the fun of it and it does work, though it`s only got High, Low and Strobe, but being an E10 MES socket I can try all sorts of different bulbs and LED drop-ins as well. it takes 2x `C` cells, though it now takes a 21700 as well.

it`s really easy to do, so if you want me to post the details I`d be happy to :)
 

GaGa-Sama

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Some cars use dual filament bulbs for high and low beam in the same bulb. I wonder if there is one small enough to be shoehorned into a large thrower host? Just a thought.
 

Olumin

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Thanks to all of you. Many of you recommend an after-marked solution in form of specialized tailcaps/switches, but I was hoping for more of an off-the-shelf solution. After reading some of your replies here I honestly don’t think that a single-bulb multi mode setup is ideal, do to either bad tint or shortened lifespan of the filament. A dual bulb setup would be preferable, I think.

Yellow mentioned the 9N/9AN, which seems interesting. There might be one available, however the battery is stated as being defect. Is it possible to replace it, or substitute it for more conventional CR123s or Li-ions?
 

Kestrel

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If I ever wanted a dual-mode incan, it would have been the SureFire M6 using an MN15 lamp assembly for 'Low' and one of the mega-draw bulbs for high.
That model had a relatively easy adaption for rechargeable LiIons as well.

Edit: Or a three-cell Surefire body w/ P90 vs P91's - and perhaps even using an R30 w/ 2xAA for a 'low'.
 
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bykfixer

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I forgot about the Pelican Big D that had a high bulb and a low bulb. That was the light folks got bulbs for Roar of the Pelican builds.
 

ma tumba

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I wonder if an A2 ring (stock or modded) could use incand bulbs instead of the LEDs? Why not, as there is no regulation
 

ma tumba

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I think this is possible when using 6V of 7.2V T1 3/4 bulbs with wire ends to directly replace the LEDs. The only thing you have to do extra is bypassing those resistors.

Found this: Barthelme Micro Bulb T1 3/4 6.3V 1.26W 906320

Should be ~30lm per bulb or ~90lm per ring. Always wanted a bright flood option in an A2!

I have at least 3 stock rings collecting dust, will need to sacrifice one of them for the test.

Actually, a single 30lm bulb is also interesting option for an asymmetric low walking light beam
 
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