The future of flashaholics

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beggindog
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The future of flashaholics

So, I was marveling at the progress made in LED lights. We can probably all agree that they’ll have more output in the smaller (EDC) lights. We’ve got usb charging and power banks, what else would you knowing folks like to see in flashlights? Phones? GPS? What else? Thanks

t ouellette

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Batteries and heat … thats the limiting factor Wink

Everything else is just marginal gains or extra features

BurningPlayd0h
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Better tint and color rendering, more UI innovation such as dual-button interfaces or rotary control rings.

Physical button covers/safeties. Firearms and all sorts of other devices have them, why don’t flashlights that can burn you? Would be much faster and simpler than tailcap and electronic lockouts.

Integrating both flood and throw emitters/optics into a single light. Lots of larger lights doing this already but with tint-ramping UIs I think it’s time to see it in smaller lights now that a good method of operation exists.

tempo
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So far Imalent has been making the most innovative lights

Sari33
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These are rights points to avoid to spent too much.
As for consumer electronics power and quality increase
and when market is saturated price go down.
Look at lights on sale now compared with lights of 5 years ago…
just be patient

beggindog
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Not so long ago Imalent was like Sofirn

t ouellette

BurningPlayd0h
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tempo wrote:

So far Imalent has been making the most innovative lights

Is slapping more and more emitters and batteries into bigger and bigger hosts really innovation? Seems to me we have Cree to thank for the much higher max output and efficiency emitters rather than Imalent for mounting a bunch of them in a host the type of which has been around for years.

ZEUSFL
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tempo wrote:

So far Imalent has been making the most innovative lights

 

Maybe the most powerful, but not innovative. The UI sucks. 

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

ZEUSFL
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I guess the next substitute for the MS18 or R90TS will have SBT-90 Gen 2 emitters. 

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

spudley112
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Longer and longer run time.

Roll out solar charging panels integrated into the light.

panels

Flying Luminosity
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spudley112 wrote:
Longer and longer run time.

Roll out solar charging panels integrated into the light.

panels

Or motion-charged batteries. And I bet some of that heat generated by high-powered emitters could also be recycled back into useful energy.

Majoroverkill
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Thermal temperature control using more or different materials. Maybe a ceramic infused aluminum, carbon fiber, the tiles used for the space shuttle nose piece lol. In 5 years we will have liquid nitrogen running threw 1mm tubes inside the head with a micro pump that circulates when the temp setting is reached. The tech is there but the cost I could only imagine. I come from the Eveready 2 D cell tin roof looking flashlight era and the 6V Cell big flashlight lol. Then it was Maglite. Flashlight Technology is off the charts! I am truly amazed just how much power we have in such small packages, truly phenomenal. So Better thermal dynamics and longer run times.

Doug S.

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WiFi of course

siletto
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That is exactly what I was thinking about some days ago.
I am not an avid modder or reviewer, compared to the Big5 of this forum, but back when I registered, around 2013, there were very nice, but as much expensive huge electron(gas) hog flashlights , and there were the rest, with not much modes, silly drivers and ordinary T6 LED. Everyone was modding them.
An emitter swap, gas dedoming or driver resistor mod, 7135 stacking was the craze here(as far as I can remember). ATTINY reflash was nice either. Everyone tried to do throw with as small die size as possible, soldering together copper chunks for heat storage and direct drive mods.

Now you can buy quite fancy lights with various ramping drivers, FET drivers instead of direct drive. Spare parts are almost nonexistent. Dedoming is almost impossible and/or useless now.
Basically everything that has been made with expertise and trials and errors now comes from factory at bargain prices.
It is very nice for the user, but true budget modding threads are almost nonexistent now.

It might by my opinion only, but I think the past 3-5 years were better and more exciting with real challanges. Now it is just funds and waiting for shipping, IMHO:

Agro
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  • there’s still quite a bit to improve w.r.t. efficiency and thermals
  • brands like BLF, Emisar, Astrolux, Haikelite, Nightwatch offer nice mid to mid-high end lights with great value. But if you want just a notch up in quality – price is up through the roof. I wish somebody will tap this potential
  • LEP is very immature and there’s a lot of potential in this space
  • optics – there’s quite a lot going on in this area but still too little
    • Fenix E16 introduced very flat optics – there’s space for way more lights like that
    • TIR zoomies are getting frequent but in cheap lights. A few better ones exist but again there’s room for improvements
    • We’ve waited for long to see more Wavien Collared lights. I believe the first independent collared light from China appeared this year.
  • saabluster is back – I don’t know what he will come up with but I expect some innovation. Smile
  • poorly done powerbanks are plentiful but good are rare
    • very few lights have a single Type C port. The most common construction is to have separate ports for charging and discharging.
    • there’s nothing with seriously high discharge rate, I’ve seen no more than 2A. Come on, 5V/5A is not special for good cells. Something like Molicel M50A should easily deliver 10V/5A despite being a high-capacity (rather than high-discharge) cell.
  • phone control is likely to become more common
RapidLux
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Bluetooth, making it possible to connect 100s of flashlights in crazy light shows.

ZEUSFL
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RapidLux wrote:
Bluetooth, making it possible to connect 100s of flashlights in crazy light shows.

 

Good idea. Or even utilizing this to transmit the light telemetry, in realtime, voltage, temperature, amps to be able to analyze this in your cellphone. Even firmware upgrades over the wifi.

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

toddcshoe
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I imagine batteries in just a few years will be 3 times the cells they are now. Not necessarily in price, more of what they are. Right now we have really only two options, regardless of cell size. We have high discharge low capacity or, low discharge and high capacity. Those with salaries that depend on battery innovation, I reckon all cells in general will continue to improve. I just think the rate of innovation will ramp up now with a higher and higher demand for longer run time cells. Electric car companies I’m sure are working around the clock on it. Electric cars still have that whole range problem thing and are only good for certain people, in certain areas. It’s imperative that they push batteries to a new level. Which in turn will directly affect the cells us flashlight folks buy.

I’m sure in China they will continue to crank out lights as fast as they can sell them. The companies that listen to us here on BLF and other places will continue to build nice lights and subsequently releaste another 9 versions with different material and color options.

UI’s are up to the folks who program it. Some will suck and some won’t. BurningP mentioned something about safety type options on lights. Wonderful idea. Electronic lockout and tail cap lockout takes too damn long when you need it fast. I highly doubt it would be problematic to design something like that.

I’d like to see a stop to the lumen war in pocket lights. I’d like to see more attention paid to great tints, beams and useful features. No I don’t want my flashlight connected to my phone or any other device in my home. I don’t want my light to play music, read me the news or otherwise bother me with useless nonsense.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

spudley112
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I think it is just a matter of time before they take some of the current technology we have and integrate it into a light that you can wear on your head…leaving your hands free. Imagine some type of elastic strap that held a light securely on the forehead and a system by which you could point the light where you want it.

Just kidding

Personally, I think we should be seeing a lot more of the LEP type technology expand.

Speaking of safety: Several years ago there was a revolver grip you could buy to put on your gun that rendered it unable to shoot without a magnetic ring that the owner would wear. That tech is coming back and Mossberg is integrating it into some of their firearms. High power lights could use some of that.

ZEUSFL
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Can you imagine a Light with voice activation? Just telling "turbo" or "dime 1" "dime 2" for low medium ect... 

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

crazy.about.lights
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toddcshoe wrote:

I’d like to see a stop to the lumen war in pocket lights. I’d like to see more attention paid to great tints, beams and useful features. No I don’t want my flashlight connected to my phone or any other device in my home. I don’t want my light to play music, read me the news or otherwise bother me with useless nonsense.

+1

Gabe

spudley112
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ZEUSFL wrote:

Can you imagine a Light with voice activation? Just telling “turbo” or “dime 1” “dime 2” for low medium ect… 

I want my turbo activation word to be “Muad’Dib”

spudley112
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Agreed toddcshoe. I am after features to do with light…not other crap that is going to drain the battery. I am into hypermiling battery life.

toddcshoe
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Better tint and color rendering, more UI innovation such as dual-button interfaces or rotary control rings.

Physical button covers/safeties. Firearms and all sorts of other devices have them, why don’t flashlights that can burn you? Would be much faster and simpler than tailcap and electronic lockouts.

Maybe a grip safety like 1911’s have. A safety that we have to turn off but is easily and quickly accomplished. Grip safety on a 1911 is just one of the safety’s but it is in a place that we have to purposely grip to fire that weapon.

Could an inductive switch be used that monitors the impedance or other parameters and be able to tell when we grip it. That would be cool, the light couldn’t come on at all until held by a human hand.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

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With LEDs now available for 95-98 CRI we’re getting pretty close to optimal in one of my favorite aspects.

There is nothing in the pipeline regarding any radically new battery technology, so don’t hold your breath for that.

What’s left (regarding what I think really matters) is heat management. Why are there so few new lights with active cooling? Being able to maintain really high output for more than seconds should be #1 in development priorities.

BurningPlayd0h
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siletto wrote:
Dedoming is almost impossible and/or useless now.

Strongly disagree, dedoming the LH351D makes the tint (and IMO temp too) much better and gives a throwier profile that many are looking for. SST-40 and XHP50B gain quite a bit of throw from dedoming too AFAIK. All three are very easy to slice. I am very glad to be seeing far more stock domeless emitters though.

toddcshoe wrote:
I imagine batteries in just a few years will be 3 times the cells they are now. Not necessarily in price, more of what they are. Right now we have really only two options, regardless of cell size. We have high discharge low capacity or, low discharge and high capacity. Those with salaries that depend on battery innovation, I reckon all cells in general will continue to improve. I just think the rate of innovation will ramp up now with a higher and higher demand for longer run time cells. Electric car companies I’m sure are working around the clock on it. Electric cars still have that whole range problem thing and are only good for certain people, in certain areas. It’s imperative that they push batteries to a new level. Which in turn will directly affect the cells us flashlight folks buy.

I’m sure in China they will continue to crank out lights as fast as they can sell them. The companies that listen to us here on BLF and other places will continue to build nice lights and subsequently releaste another 9 versions with different material and color options.

I’d like to see a stop to the lumen war in pocket lights. I’d like to see more attention paid to great tints, beams and useful features. No I don’t want my flashlight connected to my phone or any other device in my home. I don’t want my light to play music, read me the news or otherwise bother me with useless nonsense.

I doubt we’ll see battery improvements anywhere near that in flashlight-size cells anytime soon. Lots of R&D has already gone into li-ion tech for mobile electronics over the last 20 years, and there are physical limits to the energy density.

Agree 1000% with tint/CRI/beam over raw output. It’ll be a while till the less “enthusiast” market catches up (Olight, Klarus, etc) but LED manufacturers are REALLY advancing in this area due to demand for retail and grocery stores, etc.

toddcshoe wrote:

UI’s are up to the folks who program it. Some will suck and some won’t. BurningP mentioned something about safety type options on lights. Wonderful idea. Electronic lockout and tail cap lockout takes too damn long when you need it fast. I highly doubt it would be problematic to design something like that.

Maybe a grip safety like 1911’s have. A safety that we have to turn off but is easily and quickly accomplished. Grip safety on a 1911 is just one of the safety’s but it is in a place that we have to purposely grip to fire that weapon.

Could an inductive switch be used that monitors the impedance or other parameters and be able to tell when we grip it. That would be cool, the light couldn’t come on at all until held by a human hand.

The problem I see with that is it could limit how you hold the light, I use some really funky grips with my side switch lights and I could see that being a problem. Maybe it would have a “time limit” where you could activate the light within X seconds of pressing the safety?

I think something like one of these:

would be easy to design, especially for bigger lights where size/profile of the cover isn’t an issue. Would be a simple matter to make them easily removable too for people that don’t want them.

Macka17
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Really.

Battery size ans capacity. Are the only real improvements left.
Everything else. Unless there’s a real breakthrough anywhere.
are all just incremental little twitches here and there.
I go from the Astrolux AO1 and a coupla $2.50 Pencil lights. up to
The Convoy L2/L6 and a SkyRay King 9 x LED.
With a few in between.

Apart from the massive spreaders and throwers.
There’s nothing really that does anything different.
and are more the specialist ranges.

Convoy. Astrolux. Sofurn, and a coupla others.
Quality and reliability is virtually as good as any on the market.
Regardless of price.
They all give warranty nowadays.

I’ve kept around 20/22. All the others.
I’ve either binned or gave away.
Those I kept.
MORE than cover the usage of 97% of people’s needs.
With multiples of each range.

Here in Aust. Torches are NOT a usual collectors item.
Most just look at me when I mention them.

WHAT?????????.

Even knives are the same.
They more into the Kitchen blades here “King of Knives”
stock is. 99.1% Kitchen. Remainder work/pocket/sheath.

Plus the few hunters nowadays.

Lightbringer
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spudley112 wrote:
ZEUSFL wrote:

Can you imagine a Light with voice activation? Just telling “turbo” or “dime 1” “dime 2” for low medium ect… 

I want my turbo activation word to be “Muad’Dib”

That would be funny!

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Majoroverkill
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Why the flashlight industry and the off road lighting industry have not collided yet is beyond me. I am always on the look out for smaller much brighter off road lights without paying for Rigid or Baja Designs prices. Could you imagine the internals from the Imalent MS18W in a light bar that was only 18’‘ long. How hard would it be to design a driver for a 12V vehicle system? 18 to 20 XHP emitters with an Anduril UI and a plug and play switch cord. You could have a flashlights UI ability combined with the light bars cooling capability. 100K?, 300K? of lighting all in a small package made by Astrolux or Sofirn. Or what about a remote magnetic search light with mad power and stable cooling. I’d pay 500+ for a budget 12V light bar that blew everything on the market away. I am currently working on a 6 100W emitter 12V to 32V drivers from Amazon and 6 parabolic reflectors from Stratusleds that are 114mm wide, I think its 63 dollars for three reflectors now. The output from each emitter is over 13000 lumens at around 29.5 volts. It’s been a year long gathering supplies and materials and when said and done should cost me 700 to 800 dollars. I figure for longevity to turn down the volts till I hit 12000 on each emitter with a total of 72,000 lumens of light. Way more then any light bar on the market that I know of. I was playing around and hooked one up to my Yetti 1000 while holding it against my workroom window and was shocked just how much light came from one emitter and parabolic reflector. I saw a You Tube Video of Stratusleds with something like 18 of there lights on top of a truck and the light output and range was just jaw dropping amazing so I decided to try and build a light bar with 6 0f then. I still cant figure out what to do for the housing but I’ll get there eventually.

Doug S.

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Glycol or ammonia cooling radiators.

BurningPlayd0h
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peabody wrote:
Glycol or ammonia cooling radiators.

I always have a bottle of isopropyl/rubbing alcohol on hand at work and spray it on my lights when using them long enough to heat them up lol, for evaporative cooling it cant’ be beat!

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