My thoughts on the moonlight mode

bridgman

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OK, I'm seeing signs of convergence here...

#1 - correlation between usefulness of moonlight mode and degree of light pollution - when I lived in the city the idea of needing a flashlight to get around inside at night never occurred to me; if anything it was too bright. For a while you could still get blessed darkness out in the suburbs, but some primate convinced people that they couldn't be safe unless they had security lights blazing around their houses all night and I had to move again.

#2 - having moonlight come on first if you aren't in a situation where you are likely to use it is undesirable
 

bykfixer

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The thought of having a moonlight option satisfies most users needs.
The best part of moonlight are the posts where the strongest defenders show up to defend the merits of .002 lumens.
I sleep in tactical sunglasses so that I stay ready to deploy my 5,000 lumens nightstand single mode high only tactical flashlight at all times.
I remember reading posts "0.02 lumens is way to bright" or some such verbage. My brain likes the beam from an incan light, be it 0.6, 6.0 or 60.0 lumens.

600 from an incan beam at a 2am nature call freaks me out, for 2 reasons. The first is the lifespan of the bulb that if you can find one is likely very short :poof:. The second is the batteries that can make said light bulb do 600 lumens MIGHT EXPLODE due to thermal runaway. :eek:
 

kerneldrop

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600 from an incan beam at a 2am nature call freaks me out, for 2 reasons. The first is the lifespan of the bulb that if you can find one is likely very short :poof:. The second is the batteries that can make said light bulb do 600 lumens MIGHT EXPLODE due to thermal runaway. :eek:

These are risks that us hard users take every day.

Now I want a Jetbeam RRT01. I wish the low was sub lumen though.
 

thermal guy

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Moonlight mode is good for two scenarios. Looking for stuff in a pitch dark movie theater and if you ever get stuck in a cave for 2 weeks. Only one is a real possibility😁
 

bykfixer

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These are risks that us hard users take every day.

Now I want a Jetbeam RRT01. I wish the low was sub lumen though.
I have the older version that starts out so dim you can hardly see the LED glow. It came with a red filter. The combo is popular with astronomers. It was a gift so it spends most of its life on a shelf with other lights that have sentimental value.
 

Stress_Test

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Thought I'd weigh in with some "real-world" use instead of what-if-lost-in-a-cave scenarios....

About 10 years ago (I think it was), my area had all power knocked out for about 5 days straight. This wasn't one of those fun one-night outages where you go out and play around then it's over by the morning. This was more like, people fighting and stabbing each other in line at the gas station trying to get fuel for their generators and vehicles. Serious stuff.

I used a couple of my Quarks on moonlight mode inside. I'd have one that I'd leave running while I slept; it was placed next to my glasses and firearm. In case of a midnight emergency, I'd need those items RIGHT THEN and not have to fumble around in total darkness. (and there were a few break-ins and shootings, by the way; order goes down fast after a few days with no utility services and no end in sight).

Using moonlight mode inside let me keep my night vision so I could look out the window and still see outside by starlight. There was absolutely NO NEED to light up the entire interior like daylight. That may be fun for those brief localized outages, but in this scenario it would've just been foolish. Attracts attention from outside, blinds you to what's happening out there, wastes battery power. (and before anyone says "just use your light to see outside".... that only lets you see what you're actually lighting up right at the moment, it's too easy to get tunnel-vision and you miss anything happening on the periphery. Time and place for that, but not always the go-to answer)

So yeah, a moonlight mode may not be very interesting to play with, but it does have some serious purposes sometimes.
 

Megalamuffin

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Moonlight is great to have as an option and I’ve come to appreciate it, but it depends on the light. It’s perfect on something like a zebra with all its modes and mode groups, but I don’t want moonlight on a two or three mode light because I don’t need such low modes very frequently.

Moonlight is nice when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to crawl out of your tent for a bathroom break and don’t want to blind your sleepy eyes. Other similar situations also apply.
 
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orbital

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These are risks that us hard users take every day.

Now I want a Jetbeam RRT01. I wish the low was sub lumen though.
+
The lowest dial setting on the RRT01 is so low, it's hard to tell if it's on or off looking strait at it,, it is way lower than a 'moon mode'.
You cannot get a lower low in any light.

Is that super functional, well no, but it's having the option in a great package.
 
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3_gun

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Moonlight (<1L) is seldom used but I do used it & have taken the light because it has a ML level. 5L - 10L levels are great when you just need to move around in an area you know well or well enough. A bigger issue for me is the UI. I love a UI that lets me set a fixed ON at about 60L & then has a shortcut from off to <10L & 200L<. These presets cover 99% of my needs from a light when starting from off. I've used moonlight most often as a marking light so I don't get stepped on or a heads up nightlight where my glasses, gun & light(s) are in less familiar surroundings. Not having a ML is not a deal breaker, having a crappy UI is
 

Toulouse42

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Interestingly moonlight mode is the only one that I use every day (.01 lumens claimed). Only for a minute or so but still, every day. But this is CPF so I have (way) more than one flashlight. The one with MM tops out at 200 lumens or so and covers most of my needs. I also have a second one on my nightstand with 500 lumens plus easy access to 1000 lumens or more. We have no street lighting for miles so dark really is dark here.
 

desert.snake

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i like to look at embers, low mode in 0.1 and less is very similar
1660036031015.png


there were also neon bulbs for nightlights, they also shone quite weakly
1660036214288.png

1660036634256.png
 

this_is_nascar

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I've had a light with a moonlight mode, one of these 0.2L modes and I constantly switched to the next low mode, which was probably 10-15 lumens. It was so totally dim as to be useless just about 99% of the time. Every time I used it, I said to myself, damn, this sucks, I need more light to get things done quicker (like unpacking at a camp site or setting up a tent).

Through trial and error, I figured out that the best low mode for me is 5 lumens. That's what you get with Malkoff MDC-2AA. And it's perfect. And it comes on on low - exactly what I wanted.

5 lumens is minimum that I need to get things done. Without poking myself in the eye with a tree branch if I am navigating in the dark woods, or something. You can navigate with a moonlight mode but it's much slower with a higher risk of something going sideways.

I think the only reasons for super low moonlight modes are:

1) You are stuck in a cave somewhere and want runtime for the next 50 days. 0.2 lumens for 50 days is much better than 30 lumens for 12 hours.

2) You are in some tactical situation and need least light you can read a map with, or so far behind enemy lines that there won't be any resupply for weeks and you want to maximize your runtime. Or you are in Ukraine and afraid of sniper fire as you are sitting in the trenches.

You can read a map with 0.2L but that's about all. I tried navigating with 0.2L, in the woods and it's so slow and dangerous, can be done, but you are just that much more effective if you bump up the lumens to the next low, like 3-5 lumens.

short of something that extreme, moonlight is useless.

Granted, it's nice to have moonlight and not use it, but most moonlight lights start in moonlight, unless you reprogram them, which is a pain and just why even bother.

I gave my monlight mode light to my son, he is in a boarding school and he reads books in bed, under a blanket as not to be detected, after lights-out and he wanted least noticeable light with best runtime, seems to work well for him.

I'd rather carry a light that's capable of the super dim mode and hardly ever need it, than have a light without it and find myself needing it.

Thus, my SC64w-Hi, as my main EDC.
 

kerneldrop

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+
The lowest dial setting on the RRT01 is so low, it's hard to tell if it's on or off looking strait at it,, it is way lower than a 'moon mode'.
You cannot get a lower low in any light.

Is that the newer RRT01 or the older one?
It’s like the blue collar boujee HDS Rotary.
 

orbital

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Is that the newer RRT01 or the older one?
It’s like the blue collar boujee HDS Rotary.
+

Newer

First I got the Nichia unit, liked it so much as a light, got the XP-L unit.
Mentioned this in another thread maybe a year ago,, if I could only have one light....(y)
I run them both on 18500

would love to see Jetbeam do that same light w/ an optic leaning toward throw.
 

Flynn's Arcade

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I really like moonlight and low lows, I just don't need them 95% of the time. But when I do, there is thankfully a veritable smorgasbord of options. I'm grateful for all of the user interfaces and battery options that exist. There is something for so many wants and needs.

IMG_20220809_144833041.jpg
 

Poppy

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Thought I'd weigh in with some "real-world" use instead of what-if-lost-in-a-cave scenarios....

About 10 years ago (I think it was), my area had all power knocked out for about 5 days straight. This wasn't one of those fun one-night outages where you go out and play around then it's over by the morning. This was more like, people fighting and stabbing each other in line at the gas station trying to get fuel for their generators and vehicles. Serious stuff.

I used a couple of my Quarks on moonlight mode inside. I'd have one that I'd leave running while I slept; it was placed next to my glasses and firearm. In case of a midnight emergency, I'd need those items RIGHT THEN and not have to fumble around in total darkness. (and there were a few break-ins and shootings, by the way; order goes down fast after a few days with no utility services and no end in sight).

Using moonlight mode inside let me keep my night vision so I could look out the window and still see outside by starlight. There was absolutely NO NEED to light up the entire interior like daylight. That may be fun for those brief localized outages, but in this scenario it would've just been foolish. Attracts attention from outside, blinds you to what's happening out there, wastes battery power. (and before anyone says "just use your light to see outside".... that only lets you see what you're actually lighting up right at the moment, it's too easy to get tunnel-vision and you miss anything happening on the periphery. Time and place for that, but not always the go-to answer)

So yeah, a moonlight mode may not be very interesting to play with, but it does have some serious purposes sometimes.
The late Sub_Umbra's thread An Emergency Water Epiphany goes into some detail. His post history is worth looking over - at some point he detailed living through Katrina sheltering in place.
Sub_Umbra's thread is certainly worth the read.
He too was a proponent for using low lumens, and IIRC green during an extended outage where pillagers are scourging the village.
 

Stress_Test

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In fairness, I should mention that my go-to EDC light (whichever it is at the time) is never one that starts with a very low or moon mode.

On my original Quarks, I prefer the Tactical interface for my go-to light. BUT, my backup light is a Quark with the Pro interface (moon-low-med...etc). It stays in my pocket "just in case". I typically never actually use it but it's nice to know the option is there.

And in a pinch, that particular backup light can still serve as a two-mode light by tightening the head to get max or strobe operation without having to click through a bunch of other levels.

My bedside non-emergency light though is a Quark pro, because then I know it's starting off very low and I don't blast myself accidentally the way that kept happening with some mode-memory lights.

All that to say yes, a sub-lumen mode may be a fairly niche use, but it does have its uses.
 

Repsol600rr

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I have a little aaa thrunite ti twisty. Comes on first in a pretty low Moonlight and then the next is like 12 lumens or something. It's annoying to carry because of that a and "every DAY carry" light because it's an obstacle to get to a mode useful when other light sources are around. But at night in my bedroom thay first twist getting a low moonlight is quite handy. If moonlight is in the light im carrying I like it set as press and hold to Moonlight and one click to a usable medium. 1 click gets me my most used day mode, 1 hold gets me my most used night mode. That's how I run my zebralights and that's how olights and olight ui copies work. That's my favorite combo in a utility light.
 
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