For EDC lights, do you like tail switches or side switches?

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raccoon city
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For EDC lights, do you like tail switches or side switches?
Tail switches
43% (48 votes)
Side switches
31% (35 votes)
Both
22% (25 votes)
None of the above
4% (4 votes)
Total votes: 112
raccoon city
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I only like tail switches because my lights live in my pocket and side switches tend to turn on in my pocket.

I believe I am in the minority, however.

Leif
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My favourite are rotary switches, then side switches with + and -, a rarity, then normal side switches. Least favourite are twisties.

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Firelight2
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Side switch is my preference.

But the switch has to be done well so that it won’t turn on in the pocket. Typically this means a stiffer smaller switch. And the switch must be flush with the body or recessed like in a Zebralight. Protruding soft-touch switches do not work well.

Side-mounted rotary switch with no button like in the Jetbeam RRT-01 are also great, but tend to take a lot of space in the light.

Tail switches are ok, but I find them less convenient due to the way I like to hold my EDC.

Lightbringer
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Depends on the light. For me it’s a rare light that has a decent clip, so those are the only ones I’d tolerate with a sideswitch. Bouncing around in a pocket, then, means a tailswitch or twisty. Axial symmetry makes it easy to find the switch.

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Macka17
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Side switches. followed (with small torches) by twisty’s.
Tail are a loong way down the list.

IN pocket. Twisty’s. on Belt/in pouch, Side.

Sirius9
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Best option for me is tail switch for ON/OFF and side switch for mode changing,
ideal option would be tail switch + 2 side switches for mode up/down (I don’t like mode circling)
Just 2 side switches work for me also, like Nitecore EC21.

 

raccoon city
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Sirius9 wrote:

Best option for me is tail switch for ON/OFF and side switch for mode changing,
ideal option would be tail switch + 2 side switches for mode up/down (I don’t like mode circling)

This works for me!  :BEER:

BOO5TED
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Tail switch all day everyday.

Random Dan
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So far the best UI that I have found is the HDS rotary’s combination of rear switch and rotary dial.

I don’t mind the side switch on my Zebralights and Emisars but I definitely prefer tail mounted when possible. That’s for smaller lights though; I don’t think a tail switch would work well on something like a GT.

zak.wilson
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I like e-switches with good UIs. I care more about that than where they’re located, but it’s rare for that to be on the tail. Of course, now I have an FW3A.

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Boaz
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Depends on the size of the light .Small lights I've always thought side switches felt odd .Larger heavier lights almost have to have a side switch because of the balance  and tail clicking a bigger heavier light becomes a strange two handed manipulation.

 so the answer is ....Both .

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raccoon city
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zak.wilson wrote:

I like e-switches with good UIs. I care more about that than where they're located, but it's rare for that to be on the tail. Of course, now I have an FW3A.

I think that my FW3A is my first e-switch.

It's amazingly good!

agent80
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Side switch is good but it should not accidentally turn on.

cabfrank
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I like tail.

raccoon city
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cabfrank wrote:

I like tail.

When people ask me, "heads or tails", I reply "I'll take a little of both!"

Lightbringer
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cabfrank wrote:
I like tail.

Hey, who doesn’t?

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Smile Wink

passive101
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I use my EDC as a tactical light as well when necessary. Tail switch is essential. Also doesn’t get pushed by accident which is nice. I like dude stitches that change brightness.

RelakS
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Most of my lights have tail switches. The reverse clicky is fine. Sometimes it is not too comfortable to reach the switch.

I have an L6 … not exactly EDC, but I like its side button. It is a shame, that the on/off button is in its tail.

Some of my AAA lights have twisty head “switch”. Not as bad as I thought before I got the first one, but more-or-less convenient. If there were a switch around the place where you grab the head to twist, it would be very convenient.

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Fact1:
Side switches tend to be e-switches
Fact2:
Tail switches tend to be clicky switches
Fact3:
Clicky switches tend to have long travel
Fact4:
e-switches tend to have short travel

I think none of these rules is universal. F.e. long travel e-switches exist.

I have a feeling that some anwers refer to the direct effects of location while others to what does location typically means (but doesn’t have to).

For my primary EDC I tend to prefer physical UI that doesn’t force me to seek the switch. So tail switch or twisty or otherwise easy to find (Tini side switch was great in this regard).
For the secondary EDC lights I prefer whatever is most compact. So usually side switch.

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Side – only because it makes the light smaller.
I don’t have problems with pocket-activate.
I’ve had several side switch lights.

Tail – not preferred but then again my 2nd favorite UI (behind Anduril) is the BLF A6, which is a tail switch.
The advantage to tail switch is, you know where it is.
(though it’s not a big problem with side switch either – you can have the clip ‘point to the button’ so you can find it).

I have one light with both and I hate it – a Thorfire ramping light.
On off is via the tail, modes are done with the side switch.

I was kind of annoyed with the FW3A for having a tail switch.
It works well, but it has that inner conduction tube (seems trouble prone), which you would think could power a lighted button, too, but it doesn’t.
I would rather have a side switch and a shorter light, but that’s just me.

wle

kanton
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I want both. That’s why I went for an M2R. Which I now don’t carry anymore because it’s too big for me. I only use tail switch for full brightness. Not switching levels no BS memory function. Full brightness.

Really wish Olight would start selling the M1R they have already shown, because I simply don’t need an 18650 or bigger as a pocket light. If I have to choose I would go for tail switch – which is why I bought the FW3A – I will put that in momentary mode and carry it like that.

PBWilson
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I prefer a side switch, but I tend to carry my Zebralight more than my Emisar because it’s never accidentally turned on in my pocket.

Tail switches are fine too, but it often means a longer light which means it rides in my bag or jacket pocket.

I don’t care for twisty lights (I’ve only got one AA model and it’s not particularly easy to use one handed.)

I really don’t like a dual switch light. One on the tail and one on the side makes me have to adjust my grip and I don’t see the benefit of it. It’s keeping me from buying a Sofirn C8F.

Scientist
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I like side switches too. I carry a Sofirn SP32Av2 with 18350 tube and find that it does occasionally turn on in my pocket. Have to do something about that. Put a collar on it or something.

PBWilson wrote:

I really don’t like a dual switch light. One on the tail and one on the side makes me have to adjust my grip and I don’t see the benefit of it. It’s keeping me from buying a Sofirn C8F.

I felt the same way but just got the new C8F. The nice thing about it is you can turn the tail switch on and just leave it that way all the time but use the side switch to turn it on or off and adjust things. Then if you are throwing it in a bag or something turn off the tail switch. Or if you prefer the tail switch, just set the brightness you like with the side switch and use the tail switch to turn on and off like a single mode light. Side switch is always available to change brightness. And the ramping on this thing is much improved, goes from real moon to turbo nicely. They are learning from working with Anduril.
Ig
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Tail switch for small EDC light. Low chance for accidentally activation and I always know where is the button.

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Tail switch

 

 

 

Jack Kellar
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Tail switch fan club, represent!

The main reason why I prefer these is shadow profile – I don’t care for dark spots in my field of view when I’m using a light, so I always reverse grip the one I’m using, even twisties and side-switches. And the only side switch lights I have are a M@g-lite 2D (garbage, stays forgotten on the sewing machine’s desk) and an Olight S2 (lovely aside from being cool white and more short-ranged than a sawed-off).

I do agree that they all have their places and ergonomics, though. The L6 having a tail on/off is just silly, twisties aren’t good for very detailed UIs, and it’s hard to imagine any kind of switch on a tiny peanut 10180 keychain light.

RelakS
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Jack Kellar wrote:
and it’s hard to imagine any kind of switch on a tiny peanut 10810 keychain light.

You mean 10180, don’t you? Big Smile

Jack Kellar
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RelakS wrote:
Jack Kellar wrote:
and it’s hard to imagine any kind of switch on a tiny peanut 10810 keychain light.

You mean 10180, don’t you? Big Smile


fiiiiix’d
Big Smile lol

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I voted tail switch because I wear gloves whenever I’m out and about, so my lights must have switches I can find by touch with gloves on.

My belt EDC is a Convoy S2+ with 4000K 95 CRI SST20 and 8×7135 Biscotti driver. Practically perfect Smile

There are a few lights that have side switches prominent enough for use whilst wearing gloves – my Convoy BD01, BD06 and L4 lights come to mind – but they are very much the exception.

My Convoy L4 (with extension tube attached, I like long lights) is actually my backpack EDC. It has HML mode sequence with memory, which is about the worst option in my view, but it sits nicely in hand, has lots of runtime, the beam is good and the switches are just right (mechanical tail switch for power, electronic side switch for mode), so I willingly tolerate the imperfections. If it were LMH with no memory, it would be better still; adding high CRI to that would make it pretty well perfect.

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