Quest for a apparent non-existing EDC flashligt

Obi-Wahn

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 4, 2023
Messages
3
Location
Vienna
Hi there!

I've searched far in the net but there are soo many choices, the most sensible thing - I thought - would be asking in an forum for advice since I can't seem to find the "right" light for me.

First the checklist, I'll write something in detail below what my heart desires:

==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

_X__This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).


2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

_X__Up to $150.

3) Format:

_X__I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).


4) Size:

_X__SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).


5) Emitter/Light source:

_X__LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)


6) Manufacturer:

_X__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
_X__I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
_X__I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a "host" or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a "drop-in" emitter from another source).

[A.K.A. I don't care]


7) What power source do you want to use?

_X__I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).


7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option

_X__I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")


8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is not a happy experience).

_X__I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).

____SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.


9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

_X__Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
_X__Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.

[gravitating towards wide, but don't know for sure]


9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)

_X__30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)


10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output).

_X__90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)


11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

_X__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).


12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

_X__Any size switch will do.
_X__I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling). [NOT SURE]
_X__I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
_X__I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today's high end lights).


13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

_X__I want a selector ring.
_X__I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")


14)Material/Finish/Coating

_X__Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today's higher end flashlights).


15) Water resistance

_X__IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
_X__IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours) [would be nice but optional]


16) Storage conditions

_X__Other_: On Person (Dusty environment, hot/moist in summer)


17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.

_X__Dedicated R/G/B secondary [AND TERTIARY] LEDs.
_X__Pocket/belt clip


=============================================================


Right, so that out of the way, let me tell you what I want in detail:

I'm looking for an EDC flashlight, ideally around 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter MAX, with a rechargeable Li-Ion cell, a bright main led (neutral white, maybe 4000-5000K), a secondary red led (for NV) and a tertiary UV led (e.g. for checking banknotes, bodily fluids, etc.).

I'll probably use the main led the most (70%) and, realisticly, I think HIGH should be 1000-1200 lm, MED around 300 lm (probably mostly used), LOW say 30 lm. STROBE could output up to 2000-3000 lm but that would depend on the LED.
The mode-selector should be a ring selector (HIGH - MED - LOW - UV - RED) and the tail button should be primarily for On/Off (with momentary) but with a say "3 clicks enable strobe on max output"-mode.

Extra gimmick would be to unscrew the head or tailcap to reveal an USB-C charging port (cell), an USB-A fast-charging port (power bank) and maybe a small button with 4-5 small leds for charging state (kinda asking for a lot but throwing it out there).

Cell-wise I would be of course in for a small one like a 18350 but with the small capacity, any powerbank functionality (if possible) would be kinda obsolete, so for that feature, I'd go with a 18650 or even 21700 cell (even if it would extend the length up to 5.5 - 6 inches). If the powerbank/charging-feature is out of reach, an 18350 should suffice. (so far I'm using a light (150 lm) with a single AA-alkaline which lasts for 1-4 months)

IPX7 would suffice, but it wouldn't hurt if it supports IPX8.
The body should be made of aluminium (since titanium would certainly blow the budget), either hard anodized or cerakoted.

Things I don't like / can't stand: rubber covers for ports, click 17 times trough a menu whilst transmitting the national anthem in morse code to get to your desired lightmode.


So far I haven't found the right torch for me (for kinda obvious reasons if you ask me :p ) but I'm willing to either order a custom light or mod one myself. Heck, I'm not even deterred if I'd had to turn my own casing if it would be within my capabilities and if I'd be able to source some plans / disassembly manuals to design my own piece.

So far, I'm looking for a product recommendation or a recommendation for parts to make my own torch.

If it would come to manufacturing, my skillset contains lathe and mill work (manual / dro), soldering (manual / hot air) and programming (but I haven't programmed a flashlight so far, so instructions / tips where to find them would be appreciated).

Thank you in advance
Andy
 

RAH

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 13, 2002
Messages
56
Location
New Hampshire
Maybe a Wurkkos WK40? It has the colors you want (built-in), comes with a short tube to use an 18350, or a regular tube for 21700 or 18650. Only wrinkles are that it has a rubber cover over the charging port (I agree that they are awful), and it is 1.25" at the head (to accommodate the multiple LEDs). It is on closeout now for about $20:
 

Obi-Wahn

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 4, 2023
Messages
3
Location
Vienna
Maybe a Wurkkos WK40? It has the colors you want (built-in), comes with a short tube to use an 18350, or a regular tube for 21700 or 18650. Only wrinkles are that it has a rubber cover over the charging port (I agree that they are awful), and it is 1.25" at the head (to accommodate the multiple LEDs). It is on closeout now for about $20:
Thanks for the Link. Tempting, specially for the price, but unfortunately not only the rubber cover but also that UI (from what I could see in the video) sucks.
It gives me hope though, there are more multi-channel lights....
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
855
Location
Columbus, Ohio
I suspect that you'll be better off if you either build your own light to spec, or commission someone like SkyLumen to build something for you. He upgraded several lights for me, customizing a favorite light with hand-selected emitters and circuits to my taste. The only hiccup I see with your custom specifications (aside from the obvious cost implications) is the heat sink issue that will likely arise when operating at high output in a small light. Not an insurmountable problem, but something to be aware of.
 

Obi-Wahn

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 4, 2023
Messages
3
Location
Vienna
Right, so thanks for your answers, looks like I'll try diving in head-first.

I've ordered a Convoy S21A for now because it is cheap, fits my dimentions and I've got to hold it in my hands to figure stuff out. It also uses a 21700, so a powerbank would be an option.

Gotta read into driver and mcpcb and programming and such but frankly it got me kinda confused ATM.

Anyway, I'm toying around with some ideas but I've gotta wait until it arrives.
 
Top