When was the last time you actually needed to use a flash light for 7 or more hours

bykfixer

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At work a few years back when the sun went down at 5, a waterline 3 feet from traffic was spraying 50 feet in the air while the outside temp was in the 20's. At 11pm the water was off. At 1am the pipe was fixed and water was back on. At 3 am the hole next to the road was filled back in.

A 3D Maglite got it done.

Another time was a waterline tie in from 7pm to 1am where the contractor used my Streamlight ProTac HL4 on 600 lumen medium the whole time.
 

Stress_Test

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I'm glad the OP started a thread like this. I kept thinking of starting a similar discussion.

We (many of us) like to think about how many hours of potential run-time we have at our disposal. With modern LED lights, the answer is usually "a lot".

But I also began to wonder how often we ever need hours and hours of runtime unexpectedly. Key point, unexpected need.

I'd say it breaks down into two separate scenarios. Scenario #1 is either at home where you have a stash already planned for long outages; or, like Mr. Fixer's post where there's a good chance of having to work through the night in the dark. Hopefully any person anticipating this will plan ahead with a stash of long-running lights/batts for that purpose.

Scenario #2 is where you're caught off-guard with just your EDC equipment, and you don't have access to your big stash that would be used if you'd seen it coming.

So for me, case #1 was when all the power in the state was out for about 1 week due to a massive storm front and tornadoes that took the entire grid offline. I was at home (fortunately) and so had access to all my stash. I didn't really need much at all. I kept the lighting pretty dim at night, so that I could see what was happening outside if I needed to (security). Didn't stay up all night, so maybe a few hours use after dark each day. I did however leave a Quark running on moonlight mode all night as a night-light so I could see if I woke up in the dark.

Case #2 was when I was at someone else's house and parked my car off the driveway in the grass (crowded driveway). It was after dark when I got ready to leave, and I didn't consider that all the rain at the time had left the ground soft. Tried to back up the car off the grass and it promptly dug itself in. Crap.

Lights come out to illuminate the scene for work. Since I was in my car, I had my backpack with some extra lights. Used a Quark Turbo-X neutral, Quark tactical neutral, and something else I can't remember now. Those two Quarks were laying in the muddy ground or used in my muddy hand a lot, but they came through fine.

It was perhaps 2 hours or so of assessing, planning, cursing, trying, failing, and trying again before I got the car back on the pavement. Had to finagle a floor jack under the car, keep the jack from burying itself, lever the car up a little bit so the jack could fit, lift the car, cram wood chunks and rocks under the rear wheels, which gave enough grip for the car to get up and out of the mud and get rolling.
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So, maybe 2 or 3 hour ballpark for unexpected use of EDC lights with no access to any additional stash. The Turbo-X was on the ~60 lm mode (6-7 hour burn), the Tactical was on high (4-5 hours). Wish I could remember what the 3rd light was.

Anyway, I had plenty enough runtime to do the job. If any light had cratered unexpectedly, I had backup batteries and a couple more lights available to use if needed (in the backpack).

If I had to guess, I'd think that most other people's Case #2 situations were about the same; maybe 2 or 3 hours required at most. Anything longer than that, and the poo may have really hit the fan. That's why I like to have EDC lights that can run bright or long and dim if the unexpected need arises.
 

DRW

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Searching all night for a toddler lost in the woods. Our stream lights needed to be replaced a couple of times as I recall.

Another time I was backup to a canine unit tracking armed robbery suspects through the woods.

Since then, there were couple times where tracking and recovering a deer went well past midnight.
 

idleprocess

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Outside of household projects I've had all of one situation where I've needed more than seven minutes of continuous runtime in the last ~year and few where I've needed that much runtime in a single day. The benefit to longer runtimes is generally a longer battery swap interval although I'm not going to say no to the long runtimes that more-efficient LEDs and drivers allow on low modes.
 

Olumin

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Well, here we dont tend to get power outages (in fact I cant even remember the last one) & Im not in the military or a LEO or really not a outdoorsy/adventury type-a guy at all, so the answer is no. Most Ive needed was maybe up to an hour with a headlamp while I was working on something. Also up to an hour on my night walks, although I tend to switch between a M61W & the Hound Dog, so not a whole hour with a single light.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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January last year. This was just before my movement disorder got too bad to hike anymore. My gastroenterologist told me I needed to hike about 30 miles a week to get my weight down or my diaphragmatic hernia would get bad enough to block my airway and require surgery to fix. Anyway, I was already having trouble breathing thinking that was the cause. It wasn't. It was a degenerative disk disease pressing a vertebrae into my windpipe. I was hiking up Black Mountain near Ramona, CA about twice a week as if my life depended on it. There were still some Covid restrictions in place so authorities wanted people to wear a mask while hiking. Now I could barely breathe and the trail was over 14 miles long round trip with 3200 feet of elevation gain. I hiked at night to avoid people during the risk of Covid so I didn't have to wear a mask. So that was 7-8 hours in the dark each hike including a 30 minute break at the top. My best time was under 6 hours excluding the break, but that was before the movement disorder started getting bad. If you want a challenge hiking, try dealing with a movement disorder. Use trekking poles to stop falls when your legs give out and the movement disorder uses your arm to smack your leg repeatedly with a trekking pole. Put the pole away and just use that arm to hold a flashlight, and you get sick from the beam of light moving everywhere. I miss being able to hike 7+ hours in the dark using my good lights, but it's no longer safe for me to do. Nitecore HC60 v2 headlight and Nitecore E4K were my main lights for the hike with lots of spare batteries. The trail is a 12-15 foot wide dirt road shared with Jeeps and motorcycles. You need a wide bright flood beam to be seen so you don't get run over or turned around and lost. That trail requires a lot of light for a long duration that tests the limits of current flashlights. It was a fun testing ground for my lights close to home. I'm going to miss it.
 

Flashlightmaster2021

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At work a few years back when the sun went down at 5, a waterline 3 feet from traffic was spraying 50 feet in the air while the outside temp was in the 20's. At 11pm the water was off. At 1am the pipe was fixed and water was back on. At 3 am the hole next to the road was filled back in.

A 3D Maglite got it done.

Another time was a waterline tie in from 7pm to 1am where the contractor used my Streamlight ProTac HL4 on 600 lumen medium the whole time.
Nice im sure you were glad you had your flashlight
 

Hooked on Fenix

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At work a few years back when the sun went down at 5, a waterline 3 feet from traffic was spraying 50 feet in the air while the outside temp was in the 20's. At 11pm the water was off. At 1am the pipe was fixed and water was back on. At 3 am the hole next to the road was filled back in.

A 3D Maglite got it done.

Another time was a waterline tie in from 7pm to 1am where the contractor used my Streamlight ProTac HL4 on 600 lumen medium the whole time.
There's nothing quite as challenging as potholing in the dark. It's like finding a needle in a haystack, underground, in the dark, with cars trying to run you over, and everyone telling you to hurry up.
 

Rat

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Last week I was fishing and prawning for 8.5hrs with a prawn touch and head touch got six nice sizes Tailor (chops) and 14kg of prawns . Going prawning again soon as I got to fill the freezer up before the season is over in April.
PS: You guys in the US call them shrimp.
 

knucklegary

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Last week I was fishing and prawning for 8.5hrs with a prawn touch and head touch got six nice sizes Tailor (chops) and 14kg of prawns . Going prawning again soon as I got to fill the freezer up before the season is over in April.
PS: You guys in the US call them shrimp.
What does a prawn (flood?) torch look like ?
We call the little guys shrimps, and bigger ones prawns (-:
 

3_gun

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Run times are why I started down the road searching for a new light because I was using 4 or more AA eneloop batteries a day two or three times a week. Even now I've killed a 18650 battery in a day, falling back to a back-up light a couple of times in the last 6 months. I haven't drained a 21700 indoors yet but have once outdoors. I try & keep my output to less than 300L on any longer runs mainly to avoid step downs due to temp issues with my smaller EDC sized lights. Still I've gotten down to 3.0v a couple times when putting the battery onto the charger. I don't like getting that low even with a 2nd fully charged light on hand. I may not be hitting 7 hours but I am getting near LVP kicking in at times.
 

ampdude

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That's a very good question. I think the longest I have ever used a flashlight was 4-5 hours when I was in the military working on my tank.

Yea, I know how dark it gets in there. In the military I was always using flashlights for idiots or handing out cheap ones for idiots. Or using them for them. Or using them just for myself so I could see things. The longest time I ever used flashlights was working security overnight, non-military going through many government buildings that were often pitch black. Probably 8 hours total on a bad night. It's how I learned that Surefire A2 incans worked just fine on two RCR123A's and two IMR123's.. But my favorite light was the C3 with two 17500's with a P90. Saved me a lot of money.
 

ilikeguns40

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If a headlamp counts as a flashlight then I use mine at least 6 hours a day a couple times during the week for my job. Regular pocket flashlight maybe max is about 5-10 minutes constant but it's rare.
 

timbo114

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Had a recent 40 hour neighborhood blackout.
I had lights tail standing in living room, kitchen, both bathrooms and basement.
 

knucklegary

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We were out of power for nearly 2 days after a series of gale wind storms..
No hay problema.. Petzl headlamps, ml25lt in three rooms, they got a good workout without issue.
An old Webber BBQ cooked up a couple defrosted chickens.. My indoor wood stove heated water and made coffee.
Can't speak for my wife, and her hair dryer, but I was a happy camper.
 

WDR65

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Probably Hurricane Florence in 2018. Even then it was usually Streamlight Siege D cell lanterns more than flashlights or headlamps. After a few days we had to get more conservative though as we couldn't get out and we used D batteries in our fans to help sleep at night as well. I definitely left a Fenix CL09 on in the bathroom for 8-10 hour stretches though on the green setting.

Today I have 18650 and 21700 lanterns with plenty of spares plus a quiet compact generator to run fans and the fridge/freezers at night instead of my larger ones.
 
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