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Thread: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

  1. #1

    Default Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Appreciate your help and any thoughts out there on an EDC flashlight with the following:

    Key Features: variable brightness Ė infinite variable preferred or multiple brightness settings that allow me to go from not waking the kids (super low) to working light when attempting camping tasks (bright, but not zombie mode). High CRI preferred.
    Size: pocket friendly
    Batteries: either CR123, AA, or AAA
    Emitter: LED, I donít need crazy high lumens, I am looking for something for night time tasks whether is reading a map or working on the car, and can be used to take decent photos (my old EDC light profile blew out any attempt to take pictures of checks with my mobile deposit banking app Ė my phone light was even worse).
    Flood/Throw: prefer flood performance rather than long throw
    User Interface: control ring for light level and clicky on/off is what I had in mind but open to ideas!
    Manufacturer: prefer a light that will survive the rigors of an EDC, wonít break the first time it is knocked off a table

    Thank you for your thoughts!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    I'd look for a Sunwayman V11R. It's pretty much exactly what you are describing.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    They arenít infinite brightness or a control ring style but I would think one of Zebralights 1xAA offerings would suit your needs well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Why not look into the Peak lineup of lights? They're infinitely variable, although not with a clicky on and off.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by LRJ88 View Post
    Why not look into the Peak lineup of lights? They're infinitely variable, although not with a clicky on and off.
    Only on paper though in reality

  6. #6

    Default Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Also I am not sure why there is anything different in relation to close work in any way?

    The level of output is just one part of the beam and a clicky and variable output light that are otherwise the same should be the same there too?

    And if course the HDS Rotary and Clicky are examples of this too!
    Last edited by AVService; 04-14-2019 at 12:34 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    I highly recommend an HDS Rotary, which is probably one of the best know for control ring. It is not infinite levels, but 24 levels make it close. You can get it with a HI CRI emitter. It is rather expensive, but I didnít see a budget listed.

    If you want something less expensive or slightly smaller, I recommend the Jetbeam RRT01. They just came out with a new version and you can get one from SkyLumen with a HI CRI emitter installed.
    Last edited by Sos24; 04-14-2019 at 12:46 PM.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    +1 for a Zebralight, over the HDS or Sunwayman, because the Zebralight can go much higher and lower than those lights. Once you try 0.1 lumens, you'll find it's what you use the light for ~50% of the time.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    I would say HDS rotary but not sure of your budget. There a little on the pricey side but if you can afford one there hard to beat.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Gentlemen -- this is fantastic. I have looked into a couple of these lights, but wanted to hear your honest thoughts given your experience and bigger view of choices or brands I had never heard of.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Dan View Post
    I'd look for a Sunwayman V11R. It's pretty much exactly what you are describing.
    The Sunwayman V11R sounds like it packs in all the features for a decent price -- unfortunately it looks like they no longer are produced? I guess that is where the second hand market steps in?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    LRJ88 - I was almost ready to click buy on the Peak Eiger with the High CRI LED. Some the reviews on its Quantum Tunneling Composite however gave me second thoughts long enough to reach out to you all. It seems like a love/hate relationship that people have getting it tuned to the brightness they desire and can jump around a little? That being said, I really like what I see as far as size and features.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    +1 for a Zebralight, over the HDS or Sunwayman, because the Zebralight can go much higher and lower than those lights. Once you try 0.1 lumens, you'll find it's what you use the light for ~50% of the time.
    FSUwelder1212 and StarHalo -- I will look into the Zebralights. I know next to nothing about their lineup, and will dig in. Have you had any problems/concerns with the clicky interface (sorry if I am using the wrong term)? I like the idea of a control ring over having to cycle through output levels if I want to increase or decrease brightness slightly, but maybe that is more in my head than it is in practice?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sos24 View Post
    I highly recommend an HDS Rotary, which is probably one of the best know for control ring. It is not infinite levels, but 24 levels make it close. You can get it with a HI CRI emitter. It is rather expensive, but I didnít see a budget listed.

    If you want something less expensive or slightly smaller, I recommend the Jetbeam RRT01. They just came out with a new version and you can get one from SkyLumen with a HI CRI emitter installed.
    SoS24, AVService and Thermal Guy - Glad to hear you say that about the HDS Rotary. I had the opportunity to borrow a friends HDS Rotary and while initially hesitant, I have to say it is at the top of my list. I know they are pricey, but I would rather spend the money on one good light that I love than a drawer full I can live without. Really liking these!

    SoS24 -- I will look into the Jetbeam RRT01, great pointer, I did not realize they offered a HI CRI option!
    Last edited by MTRun!; 04-15-2019 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Typo

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by MTRun! View Post
    FSUwelder1212 and StarHalo -- I will look into the Zebralights. I know next to nothing about their lineup, and will dig in. Have you had any problems/concerns with the clicky interface (sorry if I am using the wrong term)? I like the idea of a control ring over having to cycle through output levels if I want to increase or decrease brightness slightly, but maybe that is more in my head than it is in practice?
    I've found that when I enter a situation where I need my flashlight, I already have an output mode in mind before I turn on the light; entering a dark garage I already know for example, I know it's a scenario where the output of an old school basic light would be about right, ~60 lumens, that's what the middle mode of my Zebralight is set to - I'm in there in the instant of a double-click. There's no taking a moment to tinker with a control ring to try to figure out where I am on an output scale or what might feel about right, no second hand needed, the flashlight is already on at the correct level the moment I've put my hand on it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    I've found that when I enter a situation where I need my flashlight, I already have an output mode in mind before I turn on the light; entering a dark garage I already know for example, I know it's a scenario where the output of an old school basic light would be about right, ~60 lumens, that's what the middle mode of my Zebralight is set to - I'm in there in the instant of a double-click. There's no taking a moment to tinker with a control ring to try to figure out where I am on an output scale or what might feel about right, no second hand needed, the flashlight is already on at the correct level the moment I've put my hand on it.
    I don't disagree and also EDC a ZL always but......

    The whole point of the Control Ring lights for me is that it is not even the slightest trouble in any way to just dial up the level I want at any and all times and for me this is exactly the value they present.
    Further the ones with a switch on them too make this an even more simple proposition as I can preset the ring before turning them on.
    I do not find it anything but intuitive to know about what output level any position of the ring will give me and I would guess that anyone who owns one will quickly adapt to the ring and what it gets them too.

    Unless we are talking about the Peak where the mashing of the QTC is anything but predictable in my experience at least.

    Having said this I still carry a ZL at all times as they can be so easily programmed to my routines just as you suggest especially the ones with the newer interface where I really can have it just the way I want it!
    And I do!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    I don't disagree and also EDC a ZL always but......

    The whole point of the Control Ring lights for me is that it is not even the slightest trouble in any way to just dial up the level I want at any and all times and for me this is exactly the value they present.
    Further the ones with a switch on them too make this an even more simple proposition as I can preset the ring before turning them on.
    I do not find it anything but intuitive to know about what output level any position of the ring will give me and I would guess that anyone who owns one will quickly adapt to the ring and what it gets them too.

    Unless we are talking about the Peak where the mashing of the QTC is anything but predictable in my experience at least.

    Having said this I still carry a ZL at all times as they can be so easily programmed to my routines just as you suggest especially the ones with the newer interface where I really can have it just the way I want it!
    And I do!
    Great info, I will just have to save up for them all and try them out right?... JetBeam RRT01, HDS Rotary and Zebralights all sound like they could fit the bill. Thank you all!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    My brief thoughts on most of the above, which I have used, save the ZL (as I currently have my first of those incoming) ...

    SWM - smooth output control, but doesn't feel like the most durable choice

    JB - good output control, seems solidly built, but mine has a tint that I find too "cool" (blue)

    Peak - in my experience, the simplest and most hardy of all these (fully potted) but nowhere near the level of fine output control of the others

    HDS - very large, very expensive, very programmable, very nice, many "limited runs" and options have been available

    (ZL - looking forward to trying these out, later this week .... )
    Last edited by archimedes; 04-15-2019 at 10:55 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    And just for completeness of discussion, the (discontinued) SureFire T1A Titan might be another option, if you could find new-old-stock or secondhand.

    Most of these did have emitters which were pretty blue in tint, however, as does mine.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    And just for completeness of discussion, the (discontinued) SureFire T1A Titan might be another option, if you could find new-old-stock or secondhand.

    Most of these did have emitters which were pretty blue in tint, however, as does mine.
    Maybe my most frequently used lights too and of course I forgot to say so?!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    And just for completeness of discussion, the (discontinued) SureFire T1A Titan might be another option, if you could find new-old-stock or secondhand.

    Most of these did have emitters which were pretty blue in tint, however, as does mine.
    Good addition. I can't believe they stopped making these.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by MTRun! View Post
    Good addition. I can't believe they stopped making these.
    They were crazy expensive really and the tint was all over the place too.
    I have 2 of them that I got on sale at the end and they are similar except for tint,it is so different that you can't believe that they are the same light really!

    On the practical side though they are the best,smoothest and reliably and repeatably lowest level light that I have and use every night too.
    I think I have changed the battery maybe twice in the main one in 5 years too?!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    They were crazy expensive really and the tint was all over the place too.
    I have 2 of them that I got on sale at the end and they are similar except for tint,it is so different that you can't believe that they are the same light really!

    On the practical side though they are the best,smoothest and reliably and repeatably lowest level light that I have and use every night too.
    I think I have changed the battery maybe twice in the main one in 5 years too?!
    Crazy to hear about the color difference in the T1A. It lends credence to what Henry wrote about LED variation in the LED flashlight white paper another user posted recently in reference to the benefits of HDS lights like the rotary.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    Quote Originally Posted by MTRun! View Post
    LRJ88 - I was almost ready to click buy on the Peak Eiger with the High CRI LED. Some the reviews on its Quantum Tunneling Composite however gave me second thoughts long enough to reach out to you all. It seems like a love/hate relationship that people have getting it tuned to the brightness they desire and can jump around a little? That being said, I really like what I see as far as size and features.
    It really is a polarizing system, i love it and now i'm able to easily dial them in and i'm very comfortable they won't accidentally come on, others have massive issues and can't dial them in if their life depended on it. I'd lend you one of mine if you lived in Sweden and promised to give it back, i love them and they're my second favourite flashlight to use now after my tactician.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Variable brightness EDC -- Good for close tasks?

    If I haven't missed the bus, I'd also vote for the HDS Rotary. It can take a beating and will last for many, many years. Some find it large for a 1xCR123 light (it is, actually), but I have fairly large hands and I find smaller lights difficult to wield, especially in an outdoor setting when my hands might be wet. Many people, including me, also find that their hands swell when walking or exercising. For me, this detracts from the fine motor skills needed to operate little, finger tip sized buttons. Just something to consider, as your use case included camping, etc.
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