SIDE SWITCH POPULARITY?

markr6

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And forget about "all you have to do is..." (some additional operation like locking it out to prevent accidental activation), which defeats the quick & easy ui in the first place. Might as well just be a pure twist then.

+1! I love this! I HATE having to lock out my EA4w, just to keep it from killing batteries sitting on the counter. Makes me reach for another light 95% of the time.
 

T45

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My first side switch EDC light was a Sunwayman C10R. I liked the compact size. The Sunwayman machining and style is always excellent. I have a number of their lights now. The UI for the C10R took a bit to get used to, but It did have a momentary function, with 3 possible configurations, low/medium/high. A few times I did find it turned on in my pocket. Since the light was nearly symmetrical, I usually turned it over 2 or 3 times before I found that button. About 3 months after purchase, it just stopped working. I had all ready bought a second, but have declined to take it out of its packaging.

Probably one reason Zebra Lights work so well with their side switches is because the light has that scalloped area for the switch, making finding the switch by touch that much easier.
 

markr6

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Probably one reason Zebra Lights work so well with their side switches is because the light has that scalloped area for the switch, making finding the switch by touch that much easier.

I do like that on the SC52w. Sometimes I wish the SC600 wasn't so deeply recessed which makes it harder to operate. But maybe that's just my fat, lazy American thumb!
 

CarpentryHero

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Every now and then I get nostalgic and just want side switches. ( almost half the time, I carry one )
i like using my thumb on a side switch light. Feels right, especially with the new digital switches, it's comfortable
 

Scooby214

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How long of a press to turn on btw? Anyone ever accidentally activate an e35 in their pocket?

That's my only concern, especially with side buttons, along with as stated finding it quickly & failure etc. vs. my edc ui of choice anyway. They just don't make too many of those any more. And forget about "all you have to do is..." (some additional operation like locking it out to prevent accidental activation), which defeats the quick & easy ui in the first place. Might as well just be a pure twist then.
I have had my E35 accidentally activate in my jeans pocket. I don't wear jeans too often, so it's usually not a concern. Both of my E35s take about a one second press to turn on or off.
 

leon2245

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Well that's a couple of you, and that's how I carry it too. I manage to accidentally activate shrouded clickies, but that one still surprises me with such a long press. Thanks for the feedback.
 

SCEMan

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For me it boils down to this:

For use as a walking light = side switch (EA4, EC25 UI is perfect)
For carry or bump in the night = tail cap (6P style)
 

Wobbles

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I prefer tailcap switch for lights up to 16850 size lights, as anything smaller, the hands feel cramped pressing the side clicky.
 

edpmis02

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I have a PD32 UE, It is a nice forward clicky for on/off, but one must turn it on, change hand positions, find and the hold the side switch to active strobe. (not a strobe fan) but it seems like a tactic-cool feature and not useful.

I really like the classic MagLite LED 2D interface even though the light itself is limited (but fine for the $14.95 I paid for it). I keep it in the car for quick and easy house number illumination.

I talked myself out of a Fenix E50 that I saw on sale last winter. Wish it had the side switch momentary on/off like the Mag. Cant get past the 1 second press to turn on.
 
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markr6

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I have a PD32 UE, It is a nice forward clicky for on/off, but one must turn it on, change hand positions, find and the hold the side switch to active strobe. (not a strobe fan) but it seems like a tactic-cool feature and not useful.

I often hold mine overhand clicking tailcap with thumb and my pinky finger lines up perfectly to switch modes. OK, but not great, so I often reach for another light instead.
 

beamis

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I am curious why side switches are not more popular.

I didn't know I didn't like side switches until I got my Zebralight SC52. I don't like them because taking a light out of your pocket and hitting the tail switch is one seamless move, but now I have to fumble with the light to get it to line up with my thumb. It's much more awkward for me than a tail switch.
 

Fireclaw18

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I didn't know I didn't like side switches until I got my Zebralight SC52. I don't like them because taking a light out of your pocket and hitting the tail switch is one seamless move, but now I have to fumble with the light to get it to line up with my thumb. It's much more awkward for me than a tail switch.

Sometimes it depends on the light.

My Eagletac D25C has the problem that the head of the light feels very similar to the tail. It doesn't widen out at all. If I just reached in and pressed on the end to click the button, half the time I'd probably end up pressing on the lens. That wouldn't turn on the light and might get fingerprints on my lens.

To avoid this I have to feel for the keychain slot on the tailcap to make sure I'm holding the correct end of the light before pulling it from my pocket. This takes additional time ... more time than it takes me to find the button on a side switch light with a well-recessed sideswitch, such as the Spark SF3, Zebralight SC80, or Zebralight SC52.
 

Etsu

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Sometimes it depends on the light.

My Eagletac D25C has the problem that the head of the light feels very similar to the tail. It doesn't widen out at all. If I just reached in and pressed on the end to click the button, half the time I'd probably end up pressing on the lens. That wouldn't turn on the light and might get fingerprints on my lens.

Yes, I have the same issue with my Quark QP2A-X. It's flat on both ends due to the reverse clicky (the forward clicky of the tac version doesn't have this issue), so it's a crap-shoot at which end I press first. Still, I find it quicker than searching for a side-switch. A fingerprint won't noticeably affect the beam or light at all. If I use the clip, there's no issue because I know which way it is oriented.
 

twl

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Please don't take this the wrong way, anyone.
But I think that the side switch feature and the AA battery type are intended to draw newbies in from the general consumer market, who don't really understand what the more advanced flashlight configurations are.
Most of the basic low priced consumer flashlights are AA side switch types, and that's what the mass market has become accustomed to.
So, some of these Chinese flashlight makers that we are familiar with are using these features and battery types to appeal to the broader market of people who don't know any different.
 

Monocrom

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Side switches work better on some flashlight designs than others.
 

Fireclaw18

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Side switches work better on some flashlight designs than others.

Agreed.

For EDC pocket carry:
(1) Deeply recessed sideswithes - I find that the sides witches that work the best are ones that are in deeply recessed pockets. That way the flashlight head acts as a funnel for your thumb making finding the switch almost effortless. And because the button is recessed, its much less likely to accidentally turn on in your pocket. Examples: Zebralight SC80, Zebralight SC52, Spark SF3, Spark SF5

(2) Sideswitches that are flush with the head of light
- The switch is much harder to find than with recessed or raised switches. It may be necessary to rotate the light in your pocket until you get your thumb on the switch. Use of a pocket clip to help you orient it can be helpful, but adds unnecessary weight. Examples: XTar WK41 and XTar WK42

(3) Raised sideswitches - the switch is easy to find because it sticks out above the light, though not as easy to find as a recessed switch due to the lack of a funnel. The downside is this kind of switch is much more likely to accidentally turn on in your pocket. Unless the switch is very small tailcap lockout may be necessary. Examples: Fenix PD12, Zebralight SC51, Olight S10

In larger lights:
In larger lights, the use of a sideswitch can make the light much more comfortable. You can hold the light in a secure handshake grip while operating it, and your hand is much closer to the light's center of gravity, making for a much more secure hold than in a tailcap light. My biggest LED light is a Convoy M1, which is a 1x18650 light about 50% larger than a Zebralight SC600. It feels very insecure in the hand with its tailcap switch, because the large heavy head is at the opposite end from where the hand grips it. A sideswitch would have been much more comfortable.
 
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ven

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I have several side switch lights,personally i find them more user friendly but this is subject to use but in general mode switching for me is better.Also a contributing factor is how you mainly hold a light,if near head then rear switch for me,if lower arm then side.Just personal preferences so not right or wrong.

My p25 has both,providing your using same mode(memory) then the rear can just be used for on/off,if held low then side switch comes into play for me.So best of both worlds..........
 
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