Recommend me a Sub Lumen Light for Checking on my Kids Nasal Canula


Newly Enlightened
Jul 30, 2013
I am looking for a sub lumen light. My son is on oxygen and wears a nasal canula. When he sleeps it will sometimes come out of his nose and I need to put it back. I am looking for a very dim flashlight that I can hold a few inches from his face and see if the canula is in his nose, but not wake him up.

I have tried my Fenix E05 bouncing off the ceiling and it is too bright if he is on his back, and if he is on his stomach his nose is in the shadow and I can't see.

I already have different battery formats and chargers so I am open to anything. I use it for about 5-6 times a night for 30 seconds at a time.

Complete overkill, but I have looked at Zebralights for awhile and the SC5w MK II and the SC63w both are tempting as I can obviously use them for other purposes after he hopefully outgrows this. But if there is a cheap flashlight with a couple sub lumen outputs that would be great. My guess is I need around .25 lumens or less.


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

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
__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! :)

____I don't know yet
____Up to $25.
____Up to $50.
__X__Up to $100.
____Up to $200.
____Up to $300.
____Essentially unlimited.

3) Format:

____I am not sure, please help me decide.
__X__I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
____I want a self-contained headlamp.
____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
____I want a lantern/area light.
____I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
____Other ____________________________________________

4) Size:

____MICRO - Keychain size.
____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
__X__I don’t know/I don't care.

5) Emitter/Light source:

__X__LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
____I don't know.

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).

7) What power source do you want to use?

____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
__X__I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
__X__I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
____I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
__X__I don't care

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).

I would like a sub lumen light.
____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
____I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
____I want search and rescue type illumination (800+ 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.

____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
____Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
____Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
__X__Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
____150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

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).

Don't care on runtime as any flashlight will provide long runtime at sub lumen.
____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).

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

____Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
__X__Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don’t know.

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

__X__Any size switch will do.
____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
____I don't care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________________.

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

____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
__X__I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
__?__I want a programmable light.
____I want a selector ring.
____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
____I don’t care.
____I don’t know.


____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s higher end flashlights).
____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
__X__I don’t care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance
____None needed
__X__IPX4 (Splash resistant)
____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

16) Storage conditions
__X__In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
____Other_________________________________________ ____

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

____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
____Pocket/belt clip
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


Flashlight Enthusiast
Nov 27, 2013
On The Black Pearl
Astrolux A01. I like the Nichia 219B. Nice warm light. With your budget, you can buy a 8 or 9 of them lol. Get some eneloop Pro AAA's and a charger. You will have light for ever. lol I keep one buy our baby crib to check on the little monster at night. Wife loves it so much, I had to get her one for her key chain.

FWIW: You want a light that has what is called Moon Light mode. Good luck.
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Flashlight Enthusiast
Oct 11, 2016
My first thought is something you might already have in a drawer, forgotten about due to its low power: the old Maglite Solitaire incandescent. It's barely 2 lumens on a fresh battery, and a very warm, non-distracting 2 lumens at that. I've used mine to check on my sleeping son before. I put a piece of translucent Scotch tape on the lens to diffuse the beam into a softer pattern.

There were some quality changes to the Astrolux a while back that might be a concern - the main one relates to the mode control. Normally you advance to brighter modes by turning it off and back on quickly, but if you wait a few seconds, it will come on in low mode. With the change, it now comes on in the next mode. So if you check on him, then decide to go back and look again, it might come on in a brighter mode. For a couple dollars more, the Manker E01 is the same light the Astrolux used to be.

The best part about both those lights to me is the high color rendering index (CRI) of the Nichia 219 LED that they use. This helps ensure skin tones look more accurate, for example, without the yellowish-green tint that tends to be present in many other LED's.

If all you're doing is checking the cannula, CRI probably doesn't much matters, and there's quite a few more options available, but I'm one of quite a few users here who prefers high CRI lights in general if they're available.

If you decide decide to spring for a Zebralight, the SC5c Mark II is also a high CRI variant. Or for something in between, the L3 Illumination L11c is a reasonably priced AA light with the option of a high CRI emitter. You will need to make sure to get the 4 mode version. The EagleTac D25A can also be found with high CRI Nichia.

Some of these have twist head interfaces (twist clockwise to turn on, counterclockwise off). The Zebralight has an electronic button which should be fairly quiet. The L11C has a "reverse clicky" switch, and you have to fully click it to turn on.

If you don't like the clicking noise, but do like a rear switch interface instead of a twist head, then a "forward clicky" is the way to go - you can hold the button half-pressed to turn the light on and to cycle through modes. The Thrunite Ti5 has this interface and comes on in moonlight mode. High CRI is not available though.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Nov 19, 2012
Tallahassee, FL.
I'd recommend the new Zebralight SC5c MKII or SC5w MKII. Or even wait for the new SC53c/w that's says it's releasing this month. It'll be a little smaller, cheaper, but a lower max mode.

With these you can reprogram all modes. This will allow you to program multiple moon/low modes. I use the SC5c MKII to check on my daughter. All six modes of G7 are set at 1 lumen or less so my wife has no problem blinding herself or waking up our daughter.


Aug 18, 2011
New Jersey
I'd recommend foursevens QTL currently $19 on ebay. Got one recently and like it a lot. You can program one or both of the modes to moonlight, which is 0.2 lumen per 47s.
High quality light at a dirt cheap price. And it suits your need.

PS. I have recommended this light to a few people in the last two weeks. Every time I go to ebay to check it is still available. Couldn't resist any more and just ordered a second one for myself. :oops:
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Flashlight Enthusiast
Nov 12, 2004
The Manker E02 has a user adjustable low level, Nichia 219 emitter option for high CRI and can be started in low or whatever mode was remembered after the last usage.