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Thread: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    Consider relaxing in the (total) dark for 45 minutes or so, then ever so gently use the magic of low light to quietly awaken your eyes. Possibly start on your lowest setting with it shining on the ground behind your back. A soft touch and a thoughtful mind will let you see like never before. This time of year is excellent for this.
    The way you're describing it makes it seem almost meditative, now I've definitely gotta give it a try.

  2. #62

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Imagine waking in the dark 2 hours before dawn, as I just have serendipitously. Do you really just turn on your brightest installed indoor lighting or grab a flashlight and blast 600+ lumens? I know how common it is that many just don't think about light levels, go from sleepy eyes used to total dark to complete brightness, but even they will squint in pain for 10 minutes as their eyes adjust. I try to remind others that bright lights in the evening affect circadian rhythms, and the reason they're not falling asleep is that they pay no attention to light levels or what kind of light they allow to strike their eyes, such as the blue light of their LED panel TV or tablet, but even a bright nightstand lamp will mess up sleep rhythms.

    My sleep cycle is off a little (though I sleep fine) because I fell asleep too early because I was too tired in the evening because I woke too early yesterday. It is a vicious cycle. LOL But I love the dawn, and I prefer to use low light levels, and slowly increasing them, until sunrise finally takes my dark adapted vision and completely wakes up my eyes. I'll generally put on the sunglasses at sunrise.

    But enough about me. I want to hear about what light levels lumen junkies grab when they woke up in the dark.

  3. #63
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    interesting! I thought i`d try my SP40 at 5 Lumen (it`s a lovely 3000k light), and it was too bright for the middle of the night just-woke-up eyes, I was really surprised that 5 lumen was too much. So I`ll be sticking with my Manker E02II instead, I don`t know what lumen level I use, but it`s way less than 5! LOL

  4. #64

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Yes, 5Lm of even warm white is too bright. 3V of 3Lm incan on an underpowered Tad Customs lamp expecting 4.2V is just about my limit in that scenario, or maybe as high as an underpowered MN02 on 4.2V a few minutes later. Sometimes, when my eyes are particularly sensitive, I grab my Vinh mod with a 630nm Cree XP-E R2, which is in a ThruNite TiS, so I get 0.04Lm firefly in red (probably less than 0.04Lm), and my tired eyes can even handle the medium mode at 12Lm (who knows what it actually is, but it was 12Lm when in white). Bright red does bother some people's eyes, but I find I can tolerate a lot of it, though I will squint at the 120Lm high mode ceiling bounced.

    What I find amazing about well dark adapted eyes is how even the 0.08Lm firefly on this SC5c II ceiling bounced lights up the whole room! Though I have an SC62c with 0.01Lm, it is not near me when I wake up, but up on the shelf. I expect I will sometimes carry the soon to arrive SC53c, and it will be near me upon waking at times, so I'm anxious to see what 0.01Lm is like when my eyes are fully dark adapted.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    My EDC is and always will be a gen6 Surefire L1. The UI is perfect. I adjust the tailcap so it will just hit high if I mash the button all the way down. It's bright enough for tactical usage, and the low is perfect for everything else. It's got that greenish older Surefire led tint and a slightly ringy beam from the optic, BUT it is more than the sum of it's parts, it's not just the specs on paper. It is bombproof and I have complete faith in it, which is worth a lot.
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  6. #66

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    My night time carry inside the house is a Thrunite Archer 1A. The low of 0.1 lumens is great for bathroom trips and it means that I don't wake my wife when I go to bed. In fact 0.1 lumens is a little much for my night adapted vision. If needed it will go up to 200 lumens which is fine for most circumstances.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    First time post, however I have been reading this forum for a couple of years.

    I agree with most all of the responses above however i didnt see anyone mention access to batteries. I do quality control at a steel foundry and use my edc most ofthe day. As others have said at close range more than 100 is too bright, also something small like my e12 can be carried in a front pocket comfortably all day. However one of the biggest advantages is batteries, the company keeps a supply of standard batteries on had, so if mine dies I can grab another one. I do keep a higher output light in the truck just incase the e12 fails, or for the handful of times I forgot to grab it in the morning.

  8. #68
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerToo View Post
    First time post, however I have been reading this forum for a couple of years.
    Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerToo View Post
    I agree with most all of the responses above however i didnt see anyone mention access to batteries. I do quality control at a steel foundry and use my edc most ofthe day. As others have said at close range more than 100 is too bright, also something small like my e12 can be carried in a front pocket comfortably all day. However one of the biggest advantages is batteries, the company keeps a supply of standard batteries on had, so if mine dies I can grab another one. I do keep a higher output light in the truck just incase the e12 fails, or for the handful of times I forgot to grab it in the morning.
    This was perhaps more relevant in decades past than it is today with Low Self-Discharge NiMH (i.e. eneloops) displacing alkaline cells and Li-Ions displacing 3V lithium primary cells. In your situation I can understand the company not wanting to deal with the logistics of rechargeable cells in what can be a dirty environment for a small operational savings, but for the average person the cost savings are fairly prompt with but a handful of uses and eliminates the risk of alkaline cells leaking and damaging a light.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  9. #69

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    I agree with ip. If your company is giving you free alkaleaks then they really aren't totally free as they aren't free of RISK. If they are however giving away free lithium primaries that is another thing either CR123s or Energizer lithium batteries may be an incentive to invest in a light capable of being powered by them. If the company allows most lights to be used (no restrictions based upon chemicals etc safety) then a person can use rechargeables especially lithium ion based lights. At low to moderate levels a lithium ion based light can last all day on a single charge and at lower levels an 18650 light can possibly last all week even negating the need to swap batteries daily. Lights that take alkaleaks either require multiple batteries or have limited output and runtime that could force you to change batteries daily and IMO would be a hassle at them. Unless you invest in a throwaway light alkaleakage is a huge problem as it can pop up without notice perhaps even over the weekend a battery could suddenly leak on you unawares and cause grief and a loss of time and use of a light till it is addressed.
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  10. #70
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    If your company is giving you free alkaleaks then they really aren't totally free as they aren't free of RISK.
    If they're cycling through cells on a ~daily to ~weekly basis, I suspect alkaline cells will be fine given the brief periods of time they're going to spend in the flashlight. It's periods of extended storage that causes the leakage in my experience.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  11. #71

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Ironically, me, lover of low lumens, thinks RogerToo () needs a brighter light if he is using his flashlight during the day, even if indoors or in some gargantuan dimly-lit foundry. The brightest light I know of that uses standard AA primary cells is the Zebralight SC5w II (550Lm ), and of course it has 12 brightness mode levels (going all the way down to 0.09Lm). In addition of the half-programmable G5 mode group, it includes two easily accessible fully programmable mode groups, G6 & G7, for near ideal customization.

    Having just test driven the ZL SC53c all night long... this is a low lumen junky's dream (including 3.5 Lm/1.0 Lm/0.26 Lm/0.06 Lm/0.01 Lm). Please do not comment (again and again) about the lack of 14500 support, we know, we know, you are dissatisfied and don't want it. But for low lumens and standard AA primary or secondary cells, just... wow.
    Last edited by chillinn; 09-16-2020 at 07:14 AM.

  12. #72
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    Please do not comment (again and again) about the lack of 14500 support, we know, we know, you are dissatisfied and don't want it. But for low lumens and standard AA primary or secondary cells, just... wow.
    Doesn't look to be driven hard enough to justify 14500 support for any reason other than diversity of fuels.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  13. #73
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    The company will only provide very cheap lights and very cheap batteries, so for the dirty work place as well as the possibility of someone "borrowing" my personal light, I'd rather lose a 30.00 light over a 100.00 light. Also the parts that I inspect are steel and very often machined so glare is a major factor. That said I have found that 90% of the time 100 lumens or less is plenty of light. Even around my house 1.5 acres. As said I do keep a PD36R in the truck and a PD35 on the night stand for times that I do need more, but do not consider that EDC as its in the truck and not my pocket daily.

  14. #74

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    Doesn't look to be driven hard enough to justify 14500 support for any reason other than diversity of fuels.
    I have come to the personal conclusion, especially because ZL modes are current regulated, that it is a thin excuse for diversity of cells, and the real reason for the whine is 14500 are just cool as hell, which makes lack of 14500 support a valid complaint, I think. But SC53c is for 285Lm and below. 14500 support could conceivably make an extra turbo mode 600+ lumens, but plenty of other 14500 light options are available, and I don't know any model that does what SC53c does well. I read in the SC53c/w thread, Zebralight's constraint was memory, that the programmable modes take up memory, and something had to give.

  15. #75
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Interesting topic. And it's interesting that while the development because of the lumen race constantly goes towards even brighter lights, at the same time ultralow brightness levels are considered as valuable. Yes, ultralow is also a very relative expression when a multi thousand lumen light can have an "ultralow" of 600lm or so...
    But if we talk about firefly level of a fraction of a lumen that is very useful for some tasks. Here the LED technology has one true advantage compared to incandescents. With the same emitter a range of several thousands times between the lowest and highest level is possible with the same light. Want to read a paper when you sit in the cinema without disturbing the other persons sitting there? No problem. Want to shine up an entire meadow? No problem.
    Also worth to point out that 100lm is the same today as it was earlier. 15 years ago it was considered as very bright in a compact flashlight and very useful. And it's as useful today as it was 15 years ago.
    It's just our reference which changes. I admit that when I have been used to having 500-1000lm when walking at night in the forest I perceive 100lm as dim. If I hear something among the trees it's more scaring with lower brightness...

  16. #76

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    stealth
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  17. #77

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    If they're cycling through cells on a ~daily to ~weekly basis, I suspect alkaline cells will be fine given the brief periods of time they're going to spend in the flashlight. It's periods of extended storage that causes the leakage in my experience.
    I've experienced every kind of leakage including usage leakage. Running alkaleaks hard in something then days later they spew their guts from the stress. I just would not trust them in anything but throwaway or easily accessible contacts in a device.
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  18. #78
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    If they're cycling through cells on a ~daily to ~weekly basis, I suspect alkaline cells will be fine given the brief periods of time they're going to spend in the flashlight. It's periods of extended storage that causes the leakage in my experience.
    That's my view in the topic as well. I have never experienced fresh alkalines leaking during a short time use of a light. It's also easy to regularly inspect the batteries. The possibility to use even alkalines is a main part of the reason I use AA lights. The batteries are available in every small drugstore.

  19. #79
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swedpat View Post
    That's my view in the topic as well. I have never experienced fresh alkalines leaking during a short time use of a light. It's also easy to regularly inspect the batteries. The possibility to use even alkalines is a main part of the reason I use AA lights. The batteries are available in every small drugstore.
    I've never experienced leakage of fresh cells either, always been things I've left sitting around for extended periods and forgot about. I do use eneloops in my good flashlights, just to avoid the problem altogether. Still use alkalines in cheap flashlights and appreciate that I can use them in the good ones in an emergency.

    Wayne

  20. #80
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swedpat View Post
    Interesting topic...It's just our reference which changes. I admit that when I have been used to having 500-1000lm when walking at night in the forest I perceive 100lm as dim. If I hear something among the trees it's more scaring with lower brightness...
    Point well taken. I would submit that dense forest exploring at night is not necessarily best served with just one flashlight. Sure it's nice to have a wide field of view for most applications, but when a noise happens beyond the trees near you, a narrow beam flashlight (thrower) will not reflect back light off of nearby trees, and you will be able to see beyond those nearby trees (high lumens or low).

  21. #81

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Lately I get home from work in the middle of the night so I carry a yuji'd sofirm number to walk around the place when I get home. The half dozen or so lumens is plenty to see by (via tooth hold) at that time of night while I unpack and put stuff away.
    John 3:16

  22. #82

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    Point well taken. I would submit that dense forest exploring at night is not necessarily best served with just one flashlight. Sure it's nice to have a wide field of view for most applications, but when a noise happens beyond the trees near you, a narrow beam flashlight (thrower) will not reflect back light off of nearby trees, and you will be able to see beyond those nearby trees (high lumens or low).
    I like older LED lights in those cases. My 90 something lumen Pentagon L2 or the 100 or so lumen Streamlight TL 2 LED send out a real nice pencil beam while providing enough spill to keep from tripping over tree roots etc. Especially in high humidity where all the spill of a modern light illuminates the millions of water droplets right in front of me. And an old 2 cell incan Maglite is also great at those times.
    Just hold it waste high and it drills a nice bright hole through the air borne condensation without placing a wall of light in your face.
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  23. #83
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    I use every last one of my 3-400 lumens - definitely helpful when looking inside dark spaces in broad daylight

    Also useful when you show up to a place that has no power and you have to be there for a bit

  24. #84

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Low lumen lights for me:

    1- Preserve my night vision.

    2- Might have to loan a light to a non-enthusiast. Don't want them blinding themselves when they invariably look down the emitter as they switch the light on.
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  25. #85
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Low lumen lights for me:

    1- Preserve my night vision.

    2- Might have to loan a light to a non-enthusiast. Don't want them blinding themselves when they invariably look down the emitter as they switch the light on.
    You know I've never even thought of your second reason. That's a great idea, but I'm also paranoid of someone else touching my precious... Haha, I'm gonna start carrying a cheapie low lumen on me now.

  26. #86

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    Dim lights are good for long runtimes. They are useful for late night bathroom breaks without drawing attention (especially outdoors). They are good during natural disasters to avoid detection of looters. During a blackout, the first person seen with a bright light is the first one robbed. Dim lights let you keep the light to yourself on walks. Bright lights draw in a bunch of people to walk annoyingly close in front of you, blocking out light useful to you. Dim lights let you preserve night vision for stargazing, hunting, etc. Low lumen lights tend to be cheap (not multilevel) and lightweight so you can keep some on you as loaners to keep people from taking or losing your good lights. Dim lights are good for kids who like shining lights in people's faces.

  27. #87

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    I just woke at 3:30AM, bleary-eyed, and reprogrammed the 6 levels of my SC53c G6 mode group to 0.01Lm, 0.06Lm, 0.26Lm, 1.0Lm, 3.5Lm & 10.3Lm, H1/H2, L1/L2, M1/M2, respectively, after deciding there was good purpose to this. Mode separation is pretty decent, 1 x6-> 2 x4.33-> 3 x3.85-> 4 x3.5-> 5 x2.94-> 6. Mode 6 is 1030x brighter than mode 1, so that's a little extreme. I might change M1/M2 to 1.0Lm & 3.5Lm, and have a duplicate mode with L2 & M1 for 3.5Lm max, or highest mode 350x brighter than the lowest mode. On second thought, because L2 & M1 will nicely go back and forth on press and hold, if there is to be a duplicate mode, it should be lower in the mode sequence, H2 & L1. Deep thoughts for nearly 5AM.
    Last edited by chillinn; Yesterday at 02:54 AM.

  28. #88
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    When I did mechanic work I used an incan. Never had any trouble seeing that I remember unless batteries got low. I liked doing most of my work at night because in the summer it was cooler and in the winter the wind used to die down. I never really liked using those drop lights.
    Nowadays I help my brother in law. He helps me on my stuff and I help him on his stuff. He has a garage with all kinds of lighting and my flashlights don't see as much use. I really prefer it darker with less light pollution so I can focus on where I'm working. I seem to do better and my thinking is sharper. I enjoy lighting an engine up with an icandescent glow. When I need both hands I usually hold the light in my mouth. That 2d maglite kept gaging me doing that so I had to hold it under my chin or between my lower jaw and shoulder. If a light is too bright it washes out the area I'm looking at, but if it is too dim I can't find stuff or identify what I'm looking at. From my experience I would say that 100 lumens or less is a good range for working on vehicles with a better range being 15 to 50. There are shadows under the hood in the daytime that would require 200+ lumens though and in the past my stock incans were lacking big time.
    Last edited by greenpondmike; Yesterday at 07:33 AM.

  29. #89
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    I know this ain't all about incans though. I also use LEDS because the smaller size makes for a perfect mouth light. I have headlights, but they don't see much use. On top a hightlight can be useful, but under a vehicle...no. A high lumen light is annoying like a drop light if it is all spill-- it puts light everywhere without focusing on the area I'm instrested in and just causing more light pollution overall. A bright hot spot will wash out that area. My e01 on fresh batteries and a LED solitaire are very useful as a mouth light (as long as I don't swallow them). I would like to have an unregulated LED solitaire so I won't have to stop what I'm doing just to change batteries, but I guess even that can be useful because it forces me to take a break and move around better because I do get stiffened up if I stand in one spot too long.
    Hope I'm not just rambling on and on. I'll talk y'alls ears off if you let me lol.
    Last edited by greenpondmike; Yesterday at 08:02 AM.

  30. #90

    Default Re: What are the reasons for carrying low-lumen lights?

    I think 25 -100 lumens of warm tint LED or incan is about perfect for almost all of my usage. I still use a surefife 6P the most of any light. I mostly use these inside the house or in and around vehicles. 15-50 lumens is probably preferred for me in these situations. I don't want to burn my retinas out trying to fish the dog toys out from under the couch. If I'm going out to do something like walk the dog on a wide open trail at night, I grab a bigger light. If I'm in a sketchy area of town at night, I carry an EDCL1-T with 500 lumens. Its all about planning accordingly. There's a light for every task. Thats the best part about this hobby, if you ignore your bank account statements. However, If you're talking about what a lot of people carry or use the most, don't be suprised that they're carrying and using sub 100 lumen lights. They're not trying to go blind finding the screw that just rolled under the refrigerator.

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