The Mode Memory Management Problem

Duster1671

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Oct 16, 2017
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207
Consider your classic multi-mode interface with memory. Perform some action to cycle through modes and the light always comes on in the last mode used. That's great because it lets you pick which mode you want to be the default. Some people like when a light comes on in low. Other people prefer different a level. This is a versatile interface that lets you pick.

The problem is that you have to pick. And pick. And pick. If you use any of the other modes, there's a "cleanup" task that needs to be done before turning the light off, which is switching back to your preferred default mode. Because of human factors, sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.

So in practice, a multi-mode light with memory doesn't come on at my preferred level, it comes on at an unknown, seemingly random level. For that reason, I consider the multi-mode interface without memory to be the superior interface (e.g. Malkoff, Reylight, etc.).

What are your thoughts?
 

3oni

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I can live with it if I get direct access to moonlight and high, but generally I'm with you. I don't want to have to think about, or be wrong about, the mode in which my light will come on.

This has sent me to Malkoff and Elzetta, and I'm digging it. :)
 

3_gun

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Jun 27, 2021
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395
Memory mode all day all night all nice. Lack of said mode is VERY close to being a deal breaker. Course not all memories reset, which is why I use my IF25a's so much. Memory is set at 125L or maybe a better word is not reset when you turn the light off. You use memory mode to set the level then turn memory reset off, leaving it where you want it to be. I'm really thinking about getting rid of any light that doesn't use an Anduril UI.

Don't fear the UI, fear the AI
 

fuyume

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Jun 25, 2021
Messages
208
Consider your classic multi-mode interface with memory. Perform some action to cycle through modes and the light always comes on in the last mode used. That's great because it lets you pick which mode you want to be the default. Some people like when a light comes on in low. Other people prefer different a level. This is a versatile interface that lets you pick.

The problem is that you have to pick. And pick. And pick. If you use any of the other modes, there's a "cleanup" task that needs to be done before turning the light off, which is switching back to your preferred default mode. Because of human factors, sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.

So in practice, a multi-mode light with memory doesn't come on at my preferred level, it comes on at an unknown, seemingly random level. For that reason, I consider the multi-mode interface without memory to be the superior interface (e.g. Malkoff, Reylight, etc.).

What are your thoughts?

It depends on the application. With my PD36 TAC, they way I use it primarily as a bicycle headlamp, it‘s not an issue that it retains the memory, because in that usage, I’m not likely to be troubled by having to briefly cycle through the modes. But ideally, a purpose-built bicycle headlamp should have ways to step down as well as step up through the brightness modes. I decided to buy a light that could be used for more than one purpose, even though I will primarily use it for one purpose for which it was not purposely designed, and I am willing to live with the compromise.

On the whole, I prefer for a utility light to always come on in the lowest mode and not retain any memory. That’s how my E12 v2.0 works, and that’s how my Leatherman Serac S3 works.

For a tactical light, my opinion is they should only ever have one mode, and my PD36 TAC can be mechanically locked into Tactical Mode to do more or less just that (you can also access Strobe mode by holding the switch down, which is acceptable to me).
 

gottawearshades

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Sep 3, 2007
Messages
978
I agree, and I have gotten rid of some lights and I'm selective about what I buy now, because I don't need to think about hard about the operating system before I use it. Basically I stick with those I use all the time so I know them: HDS, Zebras, Anduril.

My two cents: Personally I prefer mode memory because I tend to turn the light on and off a lot. I'm fine with Malkoff's three-speed without memory, but more than that I prefer memory.
 

Duster1671

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Oct 16, 2017
Messages
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The Zebralight interface quickly devolves into chaos too. It's actually much worse in this regard than a simple L-M-H with memory.

When I turn on a ZL, it can be in any one of 23 ​states:

L1/M1/H1
L1/M1/H2
L1/M2/H1
L1/M2/H2
L2/M1/H1
L2/M1/H2
L2/M2/H1
L2/M2/H2

Sure, you can shortcut to any of the three mode groups, but you never know which sub-mode you're going to get. That's not a very friendly UI.
 

gottawearshades

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Sep 3, 2007
Messages
978
The Zebralight interface quickly devolves into chaos too. It's actually much worse in this regard than a simple L-M-H with memory.

When I turn on a ZL, it can be in any one of 23 ​states:

L1/M1/H1
L1/M1/H2
L1/M2/H1
L1/M2/H2
L2/M1/H1
L2/M1/H2
L2/M2/H1
L2/M2/H2

Sure, you can shortcut to any of the three mode groups, but you never know which sub-mode you're going to get. That's not a very friendly UI.
Yes, but like I said, it's a chaos I already know. This old dog will not be learning many new tricks.
 

MikeKerr

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Nov 4, 2021
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Keep It Simple Stupid. Light should come on the same everytime and having to contend with multi teired memory set up will someday come back to bite you.
regards
 

Repsol600rr

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May 7, 2016
Messages
318
Depends on the situation. Defensive or tactical sure. Edc stuff where I need .32 lumens and my light will only come on at 320 lumens not so much. I use a wowtac w1. It uses one click to last used mode. I click I get some kind of useable light. Is it always exactly where I though it would be the next day or whatever, no but it usually is. Is that an issue, not really. For me anyways. I like 1 click and some light comes out and hold for moonlight. That covers 90+% of my use cases which is really all I hope for in an edc. I used older zebras for years. One click high every time just wasn't the right mix. The new programmable ones are too fiddly for me to really want to mess with when this just works as is. I got tired of fiddling with stuff.
 

Olumin

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I wont buy a light with mode memory lol. Most of my lights are simple on/off or dual mode. I like the zebra UI (except the strobe) but couldnt even handle malkoff MDC UI, I think its dreadful. UI has to be simple and intuitive if I have to think about it its a design faliure in my book. I see that mode chart for anduril & think to myself good grief.
 

lightfooted

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May 6, 2010
Messages
1,008
I like options, the more the better... in general. I too prefer an instant access to Turbo and to Low or Moonlight. Mode memory is usefull for when you're needing light, but not all of it and more than just the least amount possible.
 

3_gun

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Jun 27, 2021
Messages
395
"I wont buy a light with mode memory lol. Most of my lights are simple on/off or dual mode."

The Anduril UI does that, all you need to do is program it that way.

It can also do a lot more which other lights will never be able to do
 

likethevegetable

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Aug 25, 2017
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Canada
ZebraLight is pretty good for this. I know for sure if the light will turn on to L, M, or H based on the programming I set up. What I don't like is I often forget if a double click will inc or dec brightness, particularly in the medium modes (not often an issue with low or high modes though because I'll only use the brightest mode for a little bit, or just leave the light on the lowest at night for example), so in practice it's usually only one of two modes that I'm unsure of. So what I would propose to ZL is that pressing and holding, while the light is on, ramps up (thru each of the sub-modes as well), if you sit on a sub-mode for say 5 seconds, that one is remembered in the group. Click-then hold ramps down.
 
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r.d.hewitt

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Apr 29, 2021
Messages
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The Zebralight interface quickly devolves into chaos too. It's actually much worse in this regard than a simple L-M-H with memory.

When I turn on a ZL, it can be in any one of 23 ​states:

L1/M1/H1
L1/M1/H2
L1/M2/H1
L1/M2/H2
L2/M1/H1
L2/M1/H2
L2/M2/H1
L2/M2/H2

Sure, you can shortcut to any of the three mode groups, but you never know which sub-mode you're going to get. That's not a very friendly UI.
I love ZL but hate their UI. The more complicated the UI the more I dislike it. ZL just so happens to do everything else so well I'm willing to put up with their UI
 

Repsol600rr

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Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
318
I used it for a long time but always wanted click one to be medium not high. When they brought out full programming I thought great. So I got an sc53c and programmed it so that one click was the medium output. And 2 clicks went to high instead. But when you hold to cycle, because the slot the brightness is allocated to doesnt change LMH became LHM. So the only work around for that I found was to have it be one click to medium, wait a touch, then double click to high as the second in the subgroup. But I wasnt really happy with that solution becuase it mean that effectivly the only place I could put high was as a sub mode of medium and not really in its own slot. So I kinda gave up on it. The features work better on my sc64w hi becuause the mode spacing is so much greater and the use case is different where 1 click to high is a good thing. But I don't edc that.
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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Jul 29, 2020
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Where the sun sets fast
I love having mode memory since my lumen usage is so consistent. It would be hard to live without it on a light any bigger than a keychain torch. Heck, I switched Lumintop Tools from the old model with a Nichia for the new one with the LH351D(?) cool white precisely because the new driver has memory!
 

gottawearshades

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Sep 3, 2007
Messages
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I love ZL but hate their UI. The more complicated the UI the more I dislike it. ZL just so happens to do everything else so well I'm willing to put up with their UI
Exactly.
Back when Zebralight came out with new models that allowed all programming, I said to myself, Shades, says I, I will buy the new models, but will not crazy reorganizing the UI, because I was still using a couple older ones, and knew how to use them, and I didn't need to reprogram my brain so I could use my reprogrammed light.
 

Eicca

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Aug 3, 2019
Messages
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This is why magnetic rotary should be more prevalent.
 
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