Where do you think we'll top out with this lumen thing?

Wurkkos

search_and_rescue

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Yes, Sir. I would recommend the Streamlight 4AA Lux flashlight to anyone needing an actual tool. Several years back my wife’s car door had issues. At night in a large CVS pkg lot. I showed up with my Surefire M6LT and it was way too bright to look at what was wrong with her car door.

However, the Wonderful policeman drove up to us (I guess the only good thing about my 900 lumens was it signaled to a passing policeman). You know what flashlight he used AND figured out and fixed my wife’s problem car door? He was using a 99 cent 9 LED clicky light! It was exactly the amount of light needed!
 

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DaveTheDude

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As a technical exercise I doubt we will ever see an end of the hunt for more lumens....
Two thousand lumens will clearly light distances well beyond what we can see in any detail. Yes there are cases where that kind of light is very much needed but those situations are specialize & uncommon for most in daily life.
I'd like to expand on a point 3-guns made in passing (quoted above).

Engineers can develop lights that will blind you if misused. I'm of the opinion that it is the human visual system that will ultimately set practical limits on lumen output in commercially available lights, mostly because folks won't spend money on lights that don't meet their needs. (This last bit will not apply to CPF members. 😁)

A light that can deliver 1000 lumens as measured at a target a mile distant does not mean that your visual acuity is sharp enough to see the thing being illuminated. You may be able to detect the object's presence at that distance, but your vision isn't naturally sharp enough to make out the details. (If your purpose however is to deliver HE rounds downrange, please disregard this comment.)

I suspect that the commercial market will arrive at a general consensus as to a practical limits on lumens. At that point I predict the focus will be on making these high-power lights into small pocket rockets, and on improving battery performance.

As for CPF members, there will always be enthusiasts who will appreciate exotic materials, and the highest possible grade of emitter and electronics, to support customer products and producers.

My 2¢.
 

Olumin

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"...that famous Texas part of Hamburg"
It depends on application oc. Everyday portable indoor/urban illumination = 5 - 500 lm 99% of time. Outdoor illumination = <1000 lm. Search & rescue / military / Defensive >1000 lm. Of cause there are exceptions but thats the rule. I would not want a search- or defensive light will less then 1000 lumens. Brighter will always be required for specialized applications, but for general portable lighting, we have reached peak practical brightness years ago. Modern lights can maintain over 1000 lumen quite effectively, even on a single cell. When choosing the correct beam profile for the task required, this level of light will almost always suffice (i.e. not using flood light to spot things in the distance, not using thrower for lighting up a warehouse).

Practical maximum lumäns for sustained brightness on 2x cr123 or single 18650 = 500lm. Above that high drain 21700 up to 1000lm. Anything brighter = multi cell, huge, heat sinking, active cooling for only little increase in runtime on high lumen modes. HID will not need cooling but is less energy efficient and power throwers are still big, good for professional usage & military. LEP = maximum throw but no usable spill = very limited use case.
 
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