Unpopular Flashlight Opinion Thread

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zak.wilson
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Potting is a viable solution for USB-rechargeable lights not being waterproof with their flaps open. Fenix, Nitecore, and Armytek offer lights that have USB charging and stay waterproof even with the flap open.

I take an opposing view though: I wish many of the other devices that use USB charging had removable, standard-size batteries I could put in one of my several slot chargers instead. That lets me have the device back in action with a full battery immediately. In theory, I don’t mind a device having both, but using removable, standard-size batteries is far more important to me.

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Lightbringer
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Okay, so the usb socket is potted from behind and is thoroughly waterproof to 50m… what’s to keep crap from getting wedged in there, saltwater or acids corroding the contacts, etc.?

I got enough issues with some knurling trapping crap in the valleys, so imagine a usb socket getting crapped up.

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Well made nickel-gold plated contacts should not immediately be affected by saltwater.

Like other equipment, I would just clean it after use.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
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Some possibly-unpopular opinions:

  • Most of what we do in the flashlight community isn’t about seeing in the dark. For some it’s entertainment, for some it’s fashion, for some it’s work, for some it’s mostly social, etc… but if it was just about illumination, we probably wouldn’t be here.
  • More people should make their own user interfaces. It can be fun and educational, and nothing will ever be as good as something you made yourself.
  • A 1×7135 driver is generally sufficient for most practical purposes. Brighter and more efficient designs are nice, but suffer from seriously diminishing returns.
  • Simple answers are rarely accurate, and accurate answers are rarely simple. Almost nothing is ever truly black-and-white; it’s pretty much all shades of grey… and even that is probably oversimplifying things, because the most topics have complex multidimensional solution spaces. Reality is complicated and nuanced, not simple and gratifying. If a belief fits on a bumper sticker or is satisfying to express, it’s probably not true. So beware of things which feel good to say.
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ToyKeeper wrote:
* Simple answers are rarely accurate, and accurate answers are rarely simple. Almost nothing is ever truly black-and-white; it’s pretty much all shades of grey… and even that is probably oversimplifying things, because the most topics have complex multidimensional solution spaces. Reality is complicated and nuanced, not simple and gratifying. If a belief fits on a bumper sticker or is satisfying to express, it’s probably not true. So beware of things which feel good to say.

You’re right.
Or maybe….
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Some possibly-unpopular opinions:

* … If a belief fits on a bumper sticker or is satisfying to express, it's probably not true. So beware of things which feel good to say.

“Truth” is the result of believen beliefs, with feelings being one of their results.

 

 

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Jack Kellar
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DOC1500 wrote:
Jack Kellar wrote:
X3 wrote:
USB rechargeable flashlight should be mandatory in 2019…
What century is this really ?
Smartphone, laptop, GPS, MP3 player… except for DSLR, what battery-powered gadget is not USB rechargeable today ?

Until there’s a viable solution to the lack of integrity (drop and water resistance, neither of which smartphones, laptops and other such doodads normally have to deal with) inherent to a USB port, I’m perfectly happy with purely off-board recharging.

USB rechargeable batteries are a good start.


You’re planning to go near water don’t take your non waterproof light with you.

And if I don’t plan to go near water but end up going near it anyway? Hasn’t the “electronic hits rain puddle” thing never happened to you? To me it has.

ToyKeeper wrote:

  • Most of what we do in the flashlight community isn’t about seeing in the dark. For some it’s entertainment, for some it’s fashion, for some it’s work, for some it’s mostly social, etc… but if it was just about illumination, we probably wouldn’t be here.

  • More people should make their own user interfaces. It can be fun and educational, and nothing will ever be as good as something you made yourself.
  • A 1×7135 driver is generally sufficient for most practical purposes. Brighter and more efficient designs are nice, but suffer from seriously diminishing returns.

1) That is very very true. The hobby goes way beyond having a portable light source. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to explain it to muggles.

2) I don’t really need to, not after you launched Biscotti Love

3) Honestly, as far as practical purpose goes, I feel a 3* or 4*7135 Nichia S2+ doesn’t quite do it for me. The moonlight at 0.1% is nice, but most of the time I use a torch, the 1% is too low and 10% is too high. Might swap the driver for a 6×7135 from one of my CREE’s, and all should be good in the ‘hood.

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Tjohn wrote:
Andy Xie is an unsung hero. Photons are not a Panacea. (Understated lumens versus innovation and art.) - The market pressures eliminating Sunwayman from the available stock of the most popular flashaholic suppliers in the USA represent a step backwards in many regards. Design and innovation, art and 'understated' conservative output claims have not had long legs. Andy Xie is a production engineer and businessman with rare goals and talents. Fortunately, from the beginning, the security of military purchases has provided income for artistic expression, keeping Andy's Sunwayman in business.

 

What's up with Sunwayman? 

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For people whose needs and tastes vary significantly from the majority, we have a lot of source code available for extensive customization. It can be a little daunting at first, but most people who have tried it found it was significantly easier than they expected.

As I was saying just a few posts ago, more people should make (or at least customize) their own user interfaces. There’s really no other way to get a perfect flashlight, because we all like different things.

BurningPlayd0h
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Adhara wrote:
BurningPlayd0h wrote:
robertsig wrote:

I’m not a fan of NarsilM, Andruil or any fancy firmware.  I prefer simple and non-programmable.   I really hate that every flashlight I own has a different manual of arms.

Just because something has options doesn’t mean you need to use them.

If it can’t retain the functionality that is useful in a light, and can be accidentally reprogrammed by a neophyte or other random clicking, it’s crap for any actual important use AFAIC. “Muggle mode” is a cheap excuse for an actual programming lockout (where a light can be programmed how you want, then locked so no amount of plausible actions will accidentally change that programming).

You’re implying the UI on every light has the “muggle mode” of Anduril (a UI specifically designed for enthusiasts). That is not the case. There are a number of highly customizable tail and side switch UIs where accessing the settings mode takes a great deal of effort.

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The state of the industry is just sorry. It’s easy to make outstanding lights beause most makers don’t even try.
To illustrate that: several months ago we had a launch of a light that:

  • did literally nothing innovative
  • screwed up basic stuff so badly that lights would self-destruct

Yet it generated a lot of enthusiasm and many positive reviews. Because it’s the only light in its size-led count class and once you right the wrongs yourself it actually works well.

When I count innovative flashlights that came out this year – nothing comes to my mind. I’ve seen a hint that one party tried to implement an obvious thing which should have been a standard for several years already. As of now it’s innovative and may come out this year.

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"Unpopular Flashlight Opinion Thread"  OK?.

Practically Speaking: ...

The next mode Memory is dumb.  It's awkward, "Excuse me while I cycle my light back to moonlight mode.  I'm sorry about killing the "mood/moment".  Resetting to a particular mode takes time.  Time you won't spend if you are in a hurry.  Somebody please give me a scenario when this memory function would be of any use.  Except for the following or anything just like it:  

A dark night (duh!!) walking through a public space known to harbor muggers, terrorists, rapists, robbers, and other undesirables.  You set your trusty 1200 lumen retina burner to come up on strobe on the next click.  You place it in your off hand at the ready next to your hip.  You may or may not utilize a less bright light in your primary hand.

 

Except for some pretty unusual sets of circumstances the next mode memory usefulness does not offset it's inconveniences.  It should be replaced by instant/quick access to turbo/strobe in all cases.

 

 

 

"This too shall pass." -- Ancient Persian saying

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MyRants wrote:
“Unpopular Flashlight Opinion Thread”  OK?.

next mode Memory is dumb

Oh, you’re in good company here… almost no one likes that. It’s mostly only used on cheap generic drivers, and the person who wrote the code likely had no idea what they were doing. It probably only exists because it’s easier to implement than a better interface.

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ToyKeeper][quote=MyRants wrote:
... "Oh, you're in good company here... almost no one likes that."

Well good.  Thank you for that.  I had seen plenty of gripes about unavoidable strobe modes but nothing about next mode memory.  I was beginning to think there might be something about it that was practical and I didn't understand.  Then I got one of those cheap generic drivers (UltraFire  UF-A3).  Honest, it was a very inexpensive impulse purchase.  I just wanted something to plug the AA/14500 hole in my lineup.  This one also has the dreaded high-low-strobe firing order.  I now have some better samples coming.  Looks like my granddaughter will get another flashlight.  cool

"This too shall pass." -- Ancient Persian saying

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MyRants wrote:

“Unpopular Flashlight Opinion Thread”  OK?.


Practically Speaking: …


The next mode Memory is dumb.  It’s awkward, “Excuse me while I cycle my light back to moonlight mode.  I’m sorry about killing the “mood/moment”.  Resetting to a particular mode takes time.  Time you won’t spend if you are in a hurry.  Somebody please give me a scenario when this memory function would be of any use.  Except for the following or anything just like it:  


A dark night (duh!!) walking through a public space known to harbor muggers, terrorists, rapists, robbers, and other undesirables.  You set your trusty 1200 lumen retina burner to come up on strobe on the next click.  You place it in your off hand at the ready next to your hip.  You may or may not utilize a less bright light in your primary hand.


 


Except for some pretty unusual sets of circumstances the next mode memory usefulness does not offset it’s inconveniences.  It should be replaced by instant/quick access to turbo/strobe in all cases.


 


 


 


Cheater! Popular opinions don’t count! Big Smile

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MyRants wrote:
I had seen plenty of gripes about unavoidable strobe modes but nothing about next mode memory.

Doesn’t even need anything said about it, is all. Kinda like whether/not you’d want Hitler for a next-door neighbor… does it really warrant mentioning at all?

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I was thinking maybe I should get a Wuben TO50R instead of modding my other lights but I believe it has this “next mode memory”. So, I likely won’t buy this “premium” light because of the UI.

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I had a Streamlight flashlight that had a center emitter with 3 mules surrounding the reflector. No matter what it turned on Low flood, then High on the center, then back to low flood on the 3 mules. Not even mode memory, just the same dumb cycle through the emitters with one of the modes twice! The Twin Task I think it was. And it was issued from the military! Let me use this flashlight that I cant momentary on, and everytime I use it Im either blinking away trying to turn it off or stuffing it against clothing and having to peek to see if Im in the right mode or turned off!

Lurking flashaholic, Ive bought all my flashlights through lurking here, BLF A6, Sofirn C8F, Soforn Q8, Emisar D4, and a few not so budget lights but I mod them all the same! Been waiting for the FW3A to come out for years now.......

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Jack Kellar wrote:
MyRants wrote:

 

Cheater! Popular opinions don't count! :D

oops

It's not my fault.  I didn't know.

 

"This too shall pass." -- Ancient Persian saying

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prototype3a wrote:
I was thinking maybe I should get a Wuben TO50R instead of modding my other lights but I believe it has this “next mode memory”. So, I likely won’t buy this “premium” light because of the UI.

This is the UI for the TO50R:

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The next mode UI. Holy Cow!

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Jack Kellar wrote:
#9: The faster-tempo first batch Biscotti drivers are my favourite. Mode select on the “correct” ones is painfully slow.

I agree the faster UI is nicer. I don’t like dumbing things down by making them slow or replacing interesting modes with boring ones. That’s what the client wanted though, so that’s what I made. I did try to convince him not to bother with SOS though. I mean, has anyone here ever actually used SOS mode for something where another mode wouldn’t work?

lionheart_2281 wrote:
The FW3A isn’t going to live up to the hype

It really shouldn’t have much hype. It’s not an exciting flashlight. It doesn’t have fancy aux LEDs or dramatic body styling or massive turbo lumens or throw. It’s not going to win any beauty shelf contests. It’s meant to be utilitarian and somewhat boring. And that’s why I use it so much.

It really shouldn’t be taking so long to produce though. It’s honestly pretty ridiculous.

Jack Kellar wrote:
#17: Long power outages suck.

So do short ones. I don’t like having my computer forcefully shut off. It’s seriously disruptive, and carries a high risk of permanent damage. That’s how my last one died.

OTOH, pro tip: While power outages can be a fun excuse to use flashlights, no excuse is necessary. Enjoying torches only during power outages is like showering only when it rains.

Tally-ho wrote:
I would eat fried grasshoppers to have an FW3A with the HDS EDC clicky firmware.

I’m not really familiar with that, but it may be possible. It looks like there are three different HDS clicky UIs. All three sound like they would be simple to implement in FSM. Which one are you referring to?

Jack Kellar
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Jack Kellar wrote:
#9: The faster-tempo first batch Biscotti drivers are my favourite. Mode select on the “correct” ones is painfully slow.

I agree the faster UI is nicer. I don’t like dumbing things down by making them slow or replacing interesting modes with boring ones. That’s what the client wanted though, so that’s what I made. I did try to convince him not to bother with SOS though. I mean, has anyone here ever actually used SOS mode for something where another mode wouldn’t work?

Aye, I remember you mentioning that in the Biscotti launch thread. Them’s the breaks. [shrug]

Honestly, if I ever needed SOS, I’d put my torch on strobe and wave it around maniacally – guaranteed to call the eye of a passerby very quickly.

ToyKeeper wrote:
Jack Kellar wrote:
#17: Long power outages suck.

So do short ones. I don’t like having my computer forcefully shut off. It’s seriously disruptive, and carries a high risk of permanent damage. That’s how my last one died.

Yeah, I can see that happening if you work out of a computer, especially at home. Me, I don’t use my PC much anymore aside from a few short hours of video games to stave off sleep, and I’m so detached from my workplace I really couldn’t care less if my workstation fries up forever. Ain’t like I’m doing more than “face, badge, face, badge” anyway.

ToyKeeper wrote:
OTOH, pro tip: While power outages can be a fun excuse to use flashlights, no excuse is necessary. Enjoying torches only during power outages is like showering only when it rains.

When you live with family that gets miffed that you only use your lights instead of the ceiling lamps and complain that it’s too dark, you tend to need excuses Silly

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EDC lights should not be sold if they don’t have a trit slot.

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derfyled wrote:
EDC lights should not be sold if they don’t have a trit slot.

Now THAT is an unpopular opinion (at least for this forum Big Smile )

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I know, so please don’t agree with me Big Smile

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Jack Kellar wrote:

When you live with family that gets miffed that you only use your lights instead of the ceiling lamps and complain that it’s too dark, you tend to need excuses Silly

You just need some brighter lights. One of my latest projects is BRIGHTER than all the lights in the living room combined by a large margin.

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Warm white leds, 3000k, give me the most satisfaction to use, look the brightest outdoors, and are in my go to lights including D4S and GT70. But even knowing this and having tons of CW fingerprint erasers I’m often still tempted by mfg specs on the CW versions, even though after having them they don’t get used. It just shows me that even though I know better, the marketing of more better is still hard to ignore. Yes, I know there are genuine people believe CW is ackchyually much brighter and more efficient. I joke, but to each his own, get whatever you like.

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Black bodied lights are ugly.

Patina is code switch for "too lazy to polish".

"This too shall pass." -- Ancient Persian saying

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