Sub-Lumen "Moonlight" Mode Poll

What do you think of sub-Lumen "moonlight" modes?

  • Haven't Used It - Would like to try it

    Votes: 38 7.4%
  • Haven't Used It - Not really interested

    Votes: 25 4.9%
  • Used It - Love it, A top priority for my lights

    Votes: 207 40.4%
  • Used It - Desirable, a "pro" feature

    Votes: 168 32.8%
  • Used It - Neutral, I can take it or leave it

    Votes: 48 9.4%
  • Used It - Undesirable, a "con" feature

    Votes: 13 2.5%
  • Used It - Hate it, it's a wasted mode slot to cycle through

    Votes: 13 2.5%

  • Total voters
    512

Girryn

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Sep 24, 2008
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34
It has a few uses but is over hyped. Most of the time 1 lumen will work just as well with negligible impact on night vision.
 

ShroominDave

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Jul 1, 2013
Messages
6
I have a quark pro QP2L-X and QP2A-X both of which run down to 0.3 lumens. In the house I find I use this mode most often late at night navigating the house or tailstanding on the bathroom counter when nature calls. I was really surprised that I would find that low of an output useful but I now feel I would not want to have an EDC without a sub1 lumen level. Sometimes the .3 is actually more light than I would like to have - go figure :huh:
 

kaichu dento

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Apr 5, 2008
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現在の世界
It has a few uses but is over hyped. Most of the time 1 lumen will work just as well with negligible impact on night vision.
If you live in the city, constantly surrounded by light pollution you could have this opinion, but if you were a guide outside at night with cameras pointed at the aurora you'd change your tune immediately.

The .08 lumen on my HDS Clicky is far too bright to be used without caution when the cameras are set for long slow exposures and 1 lumen is even more problematic.
 

sticktodrum

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Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
345
I may have said this before, but sub-lumen modes work well in theaters. Every Broadway show my wife and I go to, we end up reading the program or finding something we've dropped with the help of the lower modes. People who use their cell phone screens to light things up just throw ugly light everywhere, and I like to not spoil the environment for the folks around.
 

david57strat

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Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
485
My recently-acquired Olight S20 has sub-lumen output directly accessible, by pressing and holding the power button. I've actually found this very useful - not essenial, but very useful; so I have to change my vote. I used to believe that it was a useless feature to have unless you lived out in the woods, or something; but I was wrong. So now, that's three lights I own with sb-lumen capabilities:

ThruNite T10 (.09 lumens)
SolarForce L2N with custom Erik Kress XM-L 7C drop-in (.02 lumens)
Olight S20 (.5 lumens)

Looks like the S20 may end up replacing my Fenix PD22, as one of my EDC lights :)
 
Last edited:

reppans

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Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
4,873
OP here.

I just wanted to post a side-by-side pix of a sample of my current sub-lumen light collection and the approximate light meter readings I get from each (Specifiction/My Reading). I have to say that with 3 out my 4 latest purchases, the moonlight mode spec was off by a mile and quite disappointing to me. I think many others are coming across the same as indicated in this post.

Recently received my first with sub-lumen modes and it's just as useless as I suspected it would be. The light coming into the windows from street lamps and other security lighting overpowers even the brightest of the sub-lumen modes.

Perhaps some companies cannot accurately measure the dim modes, and perhaps sub-lumen levels are just subject to extreme sample variations, but I own multiple copies of a few different sub-lumen lights and I find them to be very consistent.

I appreciate some of us prefer bright ML modes, and some prefer dim ML modes, but I don't like lotteries - manufacturers, please try and get your specs, and/or your quality control, right.

(Also posted this comparison pix in the OP, and requesting any noobs to vote in the poll.)


10382792495_d7a2fee1c2_c.jpg
 

moozooh

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Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
496
Man, I sure love my eyes for not noticing the exacerbated color hues that a photo camera captures so easily. That SC52 green... :D
 

reppans

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Mar 25, 2007
Messages
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Nah... must be that current controlled tint shift phenomena at super low levels ;-)
 

smokinbasser

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Sep 19, 2003
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East Texas
I have noticed that quite a few of my older LED sources are by todays standards/levels much more towards the moonlight level than state of the art versions when acquired.
 

RGB_LED

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Jun 17, 2006
Messages
995
Location
North of 43
I have a few lights with a moonlight mode or level, I even programmed my HDS U60 a few years ago to the lowest level where it remains to this day. But, as stated by a few others, I have to admit that my eyes are not as good as they once were. So, while a low-low is very useful to navigate around my home with dark-adjusted eyes or during camping trips, moonlight is, sadly, not very useful for me.
 

Woods Walker

The Wood is cut, The Bacon is cooked, Now it’s tim
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
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5,434
Location
New England woods.
When I first heard the idea I thought it was a joke but after using a sub lumen mode found it rather useful.
 

Tech9

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Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
1
I also didn't think that a moonlight mode would be useful, but just love it for stuff like not waking up others at night, not ruining night vision, poking around inside a bag, and not bothering others in dark but crowded places.
 

Mr. Tone

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Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
2,351
Location
Illinois
I just got a Zebralight SC600w MKII today. It has the lowest mode of any light I have had and I am excited to try them out. I have a couple of nice lights with moonlight mode to compare the Zebralight to. I have a Thrunite Neutron 1A with neutral white XM-L and also a Solarforce host with a International Outdoor 4 mode P60 drop-in with a neutral white XM-L2. The Thrunite and the P60 setup are almost the same on the output of their moon modes and I use them every night. In my comparison the Zebralight's brightest moon mode is just a little brighter than either of the other two. However, the lowest and middle moonlight modes on the Zebralight are noticeably lower. The lowest one on the Zebralight is so low that you can't even see it when you shine one of my other moon modes on it!
 

PCC

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Oct 28, 2007
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Sitting' on the dock o' The Bay...
I have two lights that will do crazy low lows. So low that you can stare right at the emitter with night adapted eyesight and not hurt it. You can then go even lower than that. When lumens drop below about 0.0005 it becomes unusable to me. The RRT-01, with its magnetic control ring, has far better control of ultra low output than the Quantum DD.
 

Etsu

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
783
My lowest low-low light (even lower than a ZL SC52) is an astronomy flashlight I bought many, many years ago (when LEDs were just coming out for special-order flashlights). It has dual red/white LEDs, with an adjustable dimmer. I can crank it down so the LEDs are barely lit. The red mode is much dimmer than the white, but even the white goes down very very low. Max mode is probably around 2 lumens for the white (no idea for the red, but obviously less since we don't perceive red as well). Minimum I have no idea, but has to be less than 0.001 lumens.
 

Mr. Tone

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Illinois
I got to try out my SC600w MKII moonlight modes last night. The middle one is the ticket for me. The middle one seems about 1/2 to 3/4 as bright as the moonlight mode on my Thrunite Neutron.
 

Poppy

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Dec 20, 2012
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Northern New Jersey
OP here.

I just wanted to post a side-by-side pix of a sample of my current sub-lumen light collection and the approximate light meter readings I get from each (Specifiction/My Reading). I have to say that with 3 out my 4 latest purchases, the moonlight mode spec was off by a mile and quite disappointing to me. I think many others are coming across the same as indicated in this post.



Perhaps some companies cannot accurately measure the dim modes, and perhaps sub-lumen levels are just subject to extreme sample variations, but I own multiple copies of a few different sub-lumen lights and I find them to be very consistent.

I appreciate some of us prefer bright ML modes, and some prefer dim ML modes, but I don't like lotteries - manufacturers, please try and get your specs, and/or your quality control, right.

(Also posted this comparison pix in the OP, and requesting any noobs to vote in the poll.)


10382792495_d7a2fee1c2_c.jpg

Wow!
The specs for that SC52 are really off compared to the other lights, and that ugly green/blue tint are the ones that I see on those dollar store leds. I'm really surprised. I don't have one, but isn't the SC52 a highly regarded light?
 

Etsu

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
783
Wow!
The specs for that SC52 are really off compared to the other lights, and that ugly green/blue tint are the ones that I see on those dollar store leds. I'm really surprised. I don't have one, but isn't the SC52 a highly regarded light?

Yes, the SC52 is highly regarded for the cool user interface it has, and small size. But, it's definitely the greenest of all my lights. It's not highly regarded for its tint! If you're hyper-sensitive to green tints, stay away. It doesn't bother me, though. It's only noticeable when doing white-wall tests. For normal use, it looks fine.
 

Etsu

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
783
Okay, here's my moonlights. Camera settings: ISO 200, F/8, 2 second exposure. White balance: daylight.
Note that I had to overexpose a bit, in order for the dimmest setting of the SC52 to show up. This makes the SC52 highest moonlight look almost as bright as the Quarks. In reality, it looks less than half as bright as the Quarks. Aside from that, the rest of the moonlights look pretty much the way it shows up here.

h5i0.jpg
 

reppans

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Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
4,873
Note that I had to overexpose a bit, in order for the dimmest setting of the SC52 to show up. This makes the SC52 highest moonlight look almost as bright as the Quarks. In reality, it looks less than half as bright as the Quarks.

h5i0.jpg

Great comparison shot... Could you possibly underexpose it (and/or flip an overhead light on) so there's some detail in the hotspots of the all the "brighter" lights (yeah you'll probably lose L2B&C). One shot overexposed for spill and one underexposed for hotspot makes a huge difference in being able to discern the brightness differences.

Also agree that the SC52 "appears" about half as bright as the Quarks, but due the logarithmic perception thing, that means ~ 1/3 to 1/4 the lumen output, which is about what I measure it to be. If you are using a DSLR, you can use it to meter the lumen outputs as well - just calibrate to, and meter for, shutter speed.
 
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