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Thread: More flashlights should have a forward clicky that is only used for on/off.

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    Enlightened OutGunned321's Avatar
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    Default More flashlights should have a forward clicky that is only used for on/off.

    I am surprised that with so many new flashlights out there that there are relatively few ones that have a forward clicky tailcap that has the singular purpose of on/off.

    With this sort of set up, bezel twisting should be your only way to access other outputs and functions.

    Most manufacturers only offer very few of their product line with this sort of User Interface (UI) as part of their "tactical series". While this sort of UI is ideal in a so called "tactical" situation, I believe it's great for everyday use as well. This UI is perfect for any situation where quick and reliable use would be favored... which is just about any use in my opinion. Yet few companies offer this sort of UI and those that do only offer a few and/or ones with glaring flaws.

    For example, Olight offers a tactical version of their 2xAA Model T25 with a UI like I've described, yet they don't offer a tactical version of there 1xAA Model T15 (thus no EDC version of your larger light). Simalarly, Fenix offers a tactical version of both their 2xAA Model L2D and 1xAA Model L1D that they call the L2T and L1T. However Fenix uses a lower quality and less bright LED in the tactical versions. One would think that a tactical (life and death) situation would call for a higher quality and brighter LED.

    Nitecore came out with the EZ series that allows you to access the differant functions through only twisting the bezel, but then they completely left out the tailcap switch in the process.

    ITP offers a good line of tactical lights, but you can only get them in an "infinitely variable output" UI instead of the much more power efficient "predefined output levels" UI.

    Then you've got companies like EagleTac that have a successful introduction to the market place and don't realize that the best thing that they may have going for them is a UI like I've described. And then they start making newer models that have abandonded that great UI by adding functions that you access through various patterns of pressing on the tailcap. I think it's fine that you want your flashlight to do everything from signal SOS to bake a cake, but please make bezel-twisting the way to access those functions on more of your product line.

    And this sort of UI that I'm talking about is much more useful to a much higher percentage of people than the kinds of UIs that are currently mainstreamed by manufacturers. That seems backwards to me. The UI like I've mentioned is ideal for the tactical user and it's also better for your average non-enthusiast user as well.

    Non-"Tactical" user interfaces are very esoteric and seem to appeal highly to some elitists who like the fact that few others can fully operate their light. I don't mean to offend anyone here, but if you're thinking "You need to be smarter than the flashlight", than you may be one of those elitists. Also, these same user interfaces are clunky and slow even for the enthusiasts who have experience with them. I see YouTube videos of private owners and even company representatives all the time who, while showing how to use these UIs, make mistakes constantly while using the flashlight.

    Bezel twisting for outputs and functions makes for a smooth and streamlined user interface with less chance of user error. Less chance of user error means that you can change outputs and functions faster without messing up. And that's the key here, speed.

    When I want to lower my flashlight output to do something as mundane and routine as light up a keyhole to get into my car or house without blinding myself, I don't want to press left-left-right-right-up-up-down-down-b-a-select-start in order to do so. I just want to open my car or house without making those with me wait out in the cold for any longer than they should. On the other hand, if there is a threat that requires higher light to deal with, then I want to be able to quickly and reliably change to the appropriate output if it isn't already there. That threat doesn't have to be "tactical", it could be a house fire and I need to navigate through smoke and darkness in order to get myself and loved ones out of harms way.

    If there was a "tactical" threat, I don't want my flashlight to start signaling SOS when I meant to simply illuminate and temporarily blind the target by pressing the tailcap. I don't select differant rates of fire on firearms by pressing the trigger in certain sequences and I think the tailcap on a flashlight should have a singular use as well.

    If the UI is smooth and streamlined enough for tactical purposes, than it's naturally going to be simple and easy enough to be used by just about anyone even without an instructional manual. So it can be given as a gift to anyone or placed about for household family use without having to hold a seminar on how to use the thing.

    If you have your non-"tactical" UI and hare happy with it, rock on. I simply want to see more UIs like I've described, that's all. I don't want to push the ball back and forth over which UI is better, I just want to push the ball forward. And I believe the way to do that is to encourage manufacturers to offer "tactical" UIs on more of their product lines in addition to there standard line. Or perhaps to make the "tactical" UI the standard, and to offer the esoteric UIs as well.

    Thanks for your time and consideration.
    Last edited by OutGunned321; 10-15-2009 at 08:12 AM.

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