Interest collect for a new Sofirn design: tube style18650, magnetic ring control, USB-C charging, 500 lm max (AKA grandma light)

469 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17217
Location: Amsterdam
Interest collect for a new Sofirn design: tube style18650, magnetic ring control, USB-C charging, 500 lm max (AKA grandma light)

I have been bothering Barry for half a year over this and he and Sofirn finally gave it a go, they will start with the design after the chinese new year, so somewhere February. If all goes well, maybe it will be ready before 2021? But of course as always it is ready when it is ready. The requirement from Sofirn for BLF to do this grandma light is a shown interest for 1000 units.

Some history :
Since the start of BLF every now and then the question comes up what light to give to non-flashoholic people. The answer has long been, to give them the simple AA-based cheapy that is for sale anywhere for a few dollars. Because they can not take care of li-ion cells (they will drain them to death), even a 3-mode user interface is too complicated, they will loose the light so it must be cheap. Etc.

This june the question came up once more in the thread “grandma needs a light”, in which Maverick1947 asked for a flashoholic-worthy light for his grandmother. Since we have USB charging nowadays even in cheap flashlights, the li-ion cell is not a problem anymore to give away, so there are a few ok options now. He bought a Sofirn SC31, which is a good “muggle-friendly” flashlight that will never overheat and has micro-USB charging. The user interface however is still not simple enough for non-flashoholics, and who wants to give away a flashlight with an ugly XP-G3 led?

So, together with Sofirn, and having listened to input from BLF, I hope a new design can be made, with the SC31 as starting point. It will be a flashlight that is interesting enough for flashlight enthousiasts, but can also be useful and given away to almost any non-flashoholic. The specifications will hopefully be as follows:

Specifications
*price under 20 dollar shipped (maybe 18 dollar without/22 dollar with battery option)
*size not larger than the Sofirn SC31, so upper limit 12cm long. (the Zanflare F1 is also a muggle-friendly light but really too bulky IMO)
*this light should be a no-manual flashlight: a short manual will be there, but even without it all operations should be easy to figure out, also by an un-experienced user.
*operation will be a magnetic control ring with off-low10lumen-med100lumen-high500lumen, nothing else (and so not infinitely variable). No other or hidden modes or options. The magnetic ring is at the core of what this flashlight must be.
*Parasitic drain when ring is in off-position must be ultra-low ( <10 microA), so when left in a drawer for a year it should still work
*battery can be charged via a USB-C port, maybe in the threads (well-marked), or else behind a conventional rubber flap. Also USB-C charging is a hard requirement.
*maximum output 500 lumen, thermal control/stepdowns not needed
*Barry/Sofirn wants to go for a TIR optic, not my personal preference but I understand that may be very fitting for this light.
*led maybe Samsung LH351D 5000K 90 CRI.
*first dim and finally shut off at low voltage.

So this will not be a performer in the flashoholics way, but certainly a performer in usefulness! I hope that I did not forget features, I will edit the OP if needed.

Edit: while this thread is up on BLF, people have pointed out some desirable features for this light that I think are valuable without undermining the above specifications of which costs is probably the most important one, so here is the resulting “wishlist”, that is not garanteed to happen but that I will discuss with Sofirn:

Wishlist.
*infinite variable control ring instead of discrete modes
*contrasting colour of the control ring, no ano or different ano, maybe SS for sturdiness.
*small battery indicator/charge led near USB port
*charging works with ring in off-position
*anti-roll measure
*well detented off-position
*fits long protected cells
*ring positions well-marked
*USB-C to USB-C charging works
*18350 tube option for who want it more pocketfriendly
*smooth bezel but with a few small cutouts to see light when bezel-standing
*USB-C socket must be quality, resistent to some abuse
*charging to 4.1V instead of 4.2v, to preserve batteries when constantly connected to a charger.
*option for brighter colours than just black
*USB-port must not be hidden, and easy to spot

I’m not sure yet how I will maintain the interest list, I will at least start it here in the OP, like I did with other projects, but, if it is succesful, adding manually a 1000 names over the coming months by editing the OP will be quite an effort (and I am absolutely the worse with computers so have no clever solutions).

Please comment in this thread if you would like to be in the interest list for a light of the above specifications, and for how many. No obligations, but I would appreciate it if the interest is serious.

The german forum TLF is also checking interest, their current list total is 153.

The BLF list:
1 jacktheclipper
2 DrDevil
3 Balazs
4 Balazs
5 Kame Sennin
6 Kame Sennin
7 crz6662
8 grzly
9 Photonica
10 Yokiamy
11 manithree
12 gregor
13 AguassissiM
14 cabfrank
15 cabfrank
16 cabfrank
17 man of light
18 Muto
19 Muto
20 Pöbel
21 Pöbel
22 FrankFlash
23 MtnDon
24 MtnDon
25 toddcshoe
26 toddcshoe
27 toddcshoe
28 toddcshoe
29 toddcshoe
30 toddcshoe
31 Helios azimuth
32 Helios azimuth
33 Wieselflinkpro
34 JamesB
35 Chatika vas Paus
36 gisewhcs
37 matik42
38 Th558
39 Dralf
40 Dralf
41 Dralf
42 MascaratumB
43 MascaratumB
44 RobertB
45 RobertB
46 pc_light
47 shirnask
48 trakcon
49 Yacob29
50 Yacob29
51 balinzwerg
52 1stein
53 JaredM
54 JaredM
55 JaredM
56 JaredM
57 SwissFlashy
58 leo l.
59 leo l.
60 Kafuzke
61 Klotski
62 Klotski
63 qandeel
64 qandeel
65 qandeel
66 wunderhe
67 Henk4U2
68 thijsco19
69 Noctiluco
70 Noctiluco
71 Jerommel
72 richnpc
73 gravelmonkey
74 gravelmonkey
75 Kindle
76 Kindle
77 Moloflashy
78 Moloflashy
79 Firelight2
80 Tally-ho
81 Tally-ho
82 Bastarrdo
83 id30209
84 Nagonka
85 Nagonka
86 Nagonka
87 casi29061965
88 casi29061965
89 casi29061965
90 ikaruz_500
91 ikaruz_500
92 anonymous_user
93 ChibiM
94 Skuzapo
95 XXX-Man
96 takumi86
97 wapd2
98 wapd2
99 Unloco
100 t-soung
101 djozz
102 djozz
103 djozz
104 Anthon
105 blueb8llz
106 blueb8llz
107 blueb8llz
108 blueb8llz
109 blueb8llz
110 Fubarge
111 fourbyfive
112 fourbyfive
113 netprince
114 netprince
115 netprince
116 flightless22
117 flightless22
118 drillbit
119 amaretto
120 Gerrit
121 christoph
122 christoph
123 bobkido
124 bobkido
125 f0xx
126 Funtastic
127 b4d17
128 eicca
129 moderator007
130 Big_Sam
131 Big_Sam
132 SKV89
133 SKV89
134 SKV89
135 SKV89
135 SKV89
137 oto
138 MRsDNF
139 fluke
140 zipelgas
141 legan710
142 mr_magoo
143 mr_magoo
144 mr_magoo
145 Slayer1
146 d_t_a
147 d_t_a
148 Ironhorse
149 delete
150 2Ace
151 2Ace
152 aswang
153 aswang
154 zak.wilson
155 Neilrazer
156 Myke
157 LightObsession
158 LightObsession
159 lumiere
160 lumiere
161 lumiere
162 lumiere
163 lumiere
164 tomas_f
165 Aardvark
166 Aardvark
167 gottawearshades
168 gottawearshades
169 woodyt
170 woodyt
171 noetik
172 Chinaheart
173 Nicolicous
174 Nicolicous
175 drewski
176 robbobus
177 Agro
178 Zeige
179 YogibearAl
180 sbslider
181 BillyBobJoe
182 litenutz
183 08CivicSi
184 08CivicSi
185 Lagittaja
186 Lagittaja
187 Lagittaja
188 Neilrazer
189 adirondackdestroyer
190 adirondackdestroyer
191 psmbfuer
192 psmbfuer
193 m0nk33
194 264
195 264
196 christoph
197 TanteElfriede
198 TanteElfriede
199 korkfoto
200 korkfoto
201 korkfoto
202 korkfoto
203 rost333
204 rost333
205 ControlTheController
206 wolfstyle
207 wolfstyle
208 Nooner
209 liquidretro
210 jeff51
211 DeusLight
212 Asian8640
213 gman7228
214 gman7228
215 gman7228
216 abneustadt
217 abneustadt
218 abneustadt
219 abneustadt
220 figment
221 figment
222 Airtrade
223 Airtrade
224 Airtrade
225 prototype3a
226 prototype3a
227 slmjim
228 JoeH12.81
229 JoeH12.81
230 cm02WS6
231 gottobegeek
233 polarweis
234 hodor
235 justanotherguy
236 justanotherguy
237 justanotherguy
238 justanotherguy
239 sandanbob
240 Lipfit2000
241 Lipfit2000
242 Lipfit2000
243 Lipfit2000
244 Chinaheart
245 Chinaheart
246 Andmiller
247 Andmiller
248 el_duderino
249 el_duderino
250 el_duderino
251 regaia
252 regaia
253 Rxich
254 OldSkol
255 lensmanmark
256 lensmanmark
257 lensmanmark
258 lensmanmark
259 MyRants
260 MyRants
261 MyRants
262 MyRants
263 fourbyfive
264 fourbyfive
265 ThirdHandChain
266 dodo
267 cloggy
268 cloggy
269 dotBLF
270 dotBLF
271 dotBLF
272 Nooner
273 Nooner
274 jkbam
275 Couchmaster
276 Couchmaster
277 Couchmaster
278 VictorB
279 VictorB
280 asdqqq
281 bonC
282 bonC
283 slowtechstef
284 slowtechstef
285

Edited by: djozz on 04/04/2020 - 09:33
djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17217
Location: Amsterdam

Reserved for some or no reason.

jacktheclipper
jacktheclipper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 10/31/2010 - 21:18
Posts: 4886
Location: Florida , U.S.A.

I’m in for one .

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17217
Location: Amsterdam

Jack, you’re added! Cool

jacktheclipper
jacktheclipper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 10/31/2010 - 21:18
Posts: 4886
Location: Florida , U.S.A.

So this light will be great for my wife
And because she’s the love of my life
If it works as it should
Staying simple is good
Complicated UIs have caused strife

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9371
Location: Berkeley, California

Please include an easily accessible hidden strobe, for people in crosswalks to use.
I give the SF13 (2xAA) light to elderly friends and that feature to get car drivers’ attention is most welcome.

An option with a true amber LED would also be welcomed —- first because it won’t interfere with sleep, which is a common elderly problem.
And second because it will enhance the caution strobe light feature to get drivers’ attention.

DrDevil
DrDevil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 08/18/2015 - 08:46
Posts: 177
Location: Germany

That sounds quite interesting Cool

Over on TLF there will be for sure a demand for such a light Thumbs Up
And the magnetic control ring makes it quite interesting for Flashies too Innocent

I´m in Smile

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 58 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 12528
Location: nyc

Anyone remember that plain-jane xiomi light?

https://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_1192375.html

Go with it…

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

Balazs
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 10/11/2018 - 08:40
Posts: 23
Location: Hungary

I’m in for at least 2.

Thanks!

Kame Sennin
Kame Sennin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/24/2018 - 14:38
Posts: 347
Location: France

Am i a grand'Ma ?

I would love if the infinite graduation from 0% could be available but add me for at least two anyway Smile

Please no glued or press fit parts

crz6662
crz6662's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 06/13/2016 - 11:11
Posts: 323
Location: PGH,PA.

I’d be in for 1.

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 58 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 12528
Location: nyc

Actually, what I’d suggest is that if this is for granma and her arthritic hands to use, a magnetic slider like that on the DV-S9 would be better than a twisty ring, no? She’d be more likely to find the slider easily, vs trying to twist off the head to make it turn on (in which case, glue might be a Good Thing).

And don’t forget that magnetic anything uses Hall-effect sensors which typically draw o(10mA) even when the light’s “off”, meaning it’ll have about 2wks before it drains the cell dry.

And for granma, to avoid constant recharging, there’s nothing wrong with a singly clicky and a off/low/high/… main sequence. Or even a simple off/on UI like old-timey lights had.

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

Noctiluco
Noctiluco's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 11/29/2013 - 18:13
Posts: 258
Location: Spain

I have a lot of magnetic ring lights and I prefer infinitely variable to a predefinied steps; so I think is important a rear switch, forward, to avoid parasitic drain and offer momentary on; in the actual parameters, I Will not take It… Crying

grzly
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/13/2018 - 18:05
Posts: 6

Definitely interested!

Photonica
Photonica's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 46 min ago
Joined: 09/20/2019 - 10:10
Posts: 347
Location: Midwest USA

In for 1. If it’s easily modifiable 2-3. I’m guessing it will not be, since the magnetic input control will be tied to the driver firmware. I’m sure it’s a light I will recommend often. Most “1000 lumen” lights are 400-600 lumens on high, so this one is just missing Turbo and Strobe.

More Photons!

Yokiamy
Yokiamy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 10/18/2016 - 15:47
Posts: 2667
Location: Netherlands

Interested !

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 3642
Location: The Land of Enchantment

djozz wrote:
The magnetic ring is at the core of what this flashlight must be.

interesting

my magnetic ring lights are infinitely variable

some of them have detentes to simulate mode steps, but removing the detente ball bearing, creates an infinitely variable dial, and with heavy grease the dial does not rotate in my pocket.

.

hank wrote:
Please include an easily accessible hidden strobe, for people in crosswalks to use.

agreed!
I suggest a detente at off, then dial left to a detente at strobe.
dialing right would be infinitely variable, but can have 3 detentes (removable), to limit grandma to 3 modes.
djozz wrote:
operation will be a magnetic control ring with off-low10lumen-med100lumen-high500lumen, nothing else (and so not infinitely variable).

not interesting
there is no need for a magnetic ring if there are just going to be 3 modes, even if they are accessed by a dial switch.

I suggest you look at the Nitecore SRT series for sophisticated control ring setup ideas… there are separate detentes for strobe and off, plus it has an infinitely variable segment of the dial. (ignore the multicolored LED settings)

manithree
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 01:08
Posts: 481
Location: Orem, UT, USA

If the parasitic drain is really low, I would be in for one. I just ordered an Astrolux EC01 for my mom. I’ll probably put it in muggle mode before I give it to her.

She used to keep a utilitech 4xAAA on her kitchen counter for emergencies, but it stopped working (the battery carrier has a bad connection). The EC01 is a little smaller, and much better. She still likes her Convoy BD, though.

gregor
gregor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
Joined: 01/09/2015 - 16:35
Posts: 609
Location: Slovenia

Interested !

AguassissiM
AguassissiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 12/04/2018 - 19:20
Posts: 206
Location: Canada

Put me down for one djozz, perhaps few more at a later date.

***Rofis MR70*TurnRaise*Catapult V6*BLF Q8*BLF Mini*BLF Micro*Haikelite MT09R* Convoy C8*BLF D80v2 SST40*MatemincoX6S*AstroluxFT03-xhp50.2*AstroluxFT03-sst40*BLF-LT1*AstroluxFT03S-SBT90.2***

cabfrank
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 11/19/2010 - 17:25
Posts: 3100
Location: healdsburg, california usa earth

I would be interested for two or three people I know. These would make great Christmas presents, maybe next year. A magnetic ring would not be mandatory, as long as the UI was super simple, but absolutely no strobes on this one. A lighted LED switch, or some sort of indicator, not bright, would be a great addition. Just thoughts at this point.

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17217
Location: Amsterdam

Thanks all for the interest and the suggestions sofar.

Being the starter of this thread and the contact with Sofirn, combined with my idea that I have gained some knowledge about flashlights over the years Innocent , I reserve the right to acknowledge or ignore suggestions for this light, but I will try to tell my reasons.

@Jack, Beer for the poetry

@hank, no strobes, they may be useful for some, but annoying or rightout confusing for most. And this light must be ultimate simple and predictable. A warmer than 5000K led would be a nice option, but that can with no problem be discussed at the end of the process. I doubt that amber will be an option, but some of us are able to swap it in Smile . Btw, this light has the working title “grandma light” but is not aimed specifically at eldery people, I think that all sorts of people will find it handy.

@Lightbringer: one aspect that makes this light different from the Xiaomi light is that it must attract flashoholics too, the Xiaomi light having no waterproofing is a straight no-go for a flashaholic, and I also think it must simply be suitable for outdoors. (the Xiaomi light is ugly too, but that is an opinion of course).
About the magnetic ring: Sofirn is familiar with them, it is in a couple of diving lights, so it is easy to ask for that. Personally I find it more elegant than a slider too, and I find the type that Sofirn use very light to operate (but I have no arthritis yet). My DF10 with the ring in off-position uses 77 micro-amps, emptying a battery in 4 years.

@Noctiluco, no tail switch, sorry.

@Photonica, modding the driver will be difficult indeed, but Sofirn lights are not glued in general so swapping leds should be an option.

cabfrank
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 11/19/2010 - 17:25
Posts: 3100
Location: healdsburg, california usa earth

Yes, Jack, cheers. I haven’t read one of you poems in too long.

Gunga
Gunga's picture
Offline
Last seen: 46 min 28 sec ago
Joined: 11/28/2014 - 16:56
Posts: 1893
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Any way to get a lower max so muggles don’t blind themselves. AA battery as possible power source? Or at least extremely robust low voltage protection. The kids will run it down…

man of light
man of light's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 09/20/2019 - 09:23
Posts: 152
Location: 52°23'11.6"N 9°35'32.0"E

Interested!

.. .-.. --- ...- . ..-. .-.. .- ... .... .-.. .. --. .... - ...

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9371
Location: Berkeley, California

I’ll stick with giving away the existing SF13 (2xAA) light.
The only people I know who don’t like the hidden strobe are flashoholics.
In the SF13, the strobe is 2-fast-cicks away, a decently simple UI, liked by my friends among the elderly who need to be noticed in crosswalks.
I’ll go ahead and modify those with amber LEDs, since the board is easily accessible.

Muto
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 4 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2012 - 16:42
Posts: 2461
Location: Southeast, PA

As always in for one and maybe 2 depending on final outcome of specs.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

“You’ll develop like a herd mentality,”
“It’s gonna be herd-developed and that’s gonna happen.”

Yep it already happened

Pöbel
Pöbel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 days ago
Joined: 02/14/2013 - 08:27
Posts: 259
Location: Germany

I want at least two

Jerommel
Jerommel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 13:18
Posts: 6380
Location: the Hague, Netherlands

Lightbringer wrote:
Actually, what I’d suggest is that if this is for granma and her arthritic hands to use, a magnetic slider like that on the DV-S9 would be better than a twisty ring, no? She’d be more likely to find the slider easily, vs trying to twist off the head to make it turn on (in which case, glue might be a Good Thing).

And don’t forget that magnetic anything uses Hall-effect sensors which typically draw o(10mA) even when the light’s “off”, meaning it’ll have about 2wks before it drains the cell dry.

And for granma, to avoid constant recharging, there’s nothing wrong with a singly clicky and a off/low/high/… main sequence. Or even a simple off/on UI like old-timey lights had.


Good points i.m.o.

As others have said, and i’m not a grandma either, it would be very nice to have stepless dimming (and without PWM) by a thumb wheel or slider.

Sure, you could make it click (with ‘detentes’) in 4 positions (OFFLOWMIDHIGH), but if you use only 1 hall sensor, it will probably determine the output level according to the magnetic field it senses anyway, so the positions in between the clicks will be brightness levels in between the 3 ON positions.

It doesn’t have to start at some silly firefly mode, especially for the elderly, which can make you think you have turned it off, like the Sofirn SP10A for example…

The only reason i have never bought a thumb slider diving light is because of the PWM they all seem to have…

But for the user interface it’s far more natural, physically and psychologically and also ‘old fashioned’ to switch the light on and off with your thumb by moving a button forward and backwards.

So i.m.o the ease of use for the elderly (and in fact for anyone) would not be optimal with a twisty ring.

…and that’s my 2 cents…

FrankFlash
FrankFlash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/09/2014 - 11:31
Posts: 12
Location: South Africa

I’m a big fan of flashlights with magnetic control ring. Definitely interested.
Regards Frank

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 1 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 3349
Location: Canuk in NM

IMO, the only drop-dead simple light, which is a no-brainer for anyone to use, is one that is either on or off using a clicky switch.

A rotary switch with three distinct levels of brightness, starting on Low, then Med and then High seems to me, to be the next simplest thing and has the big advantage of three levels. 50 – 200 – 500? Everything else is just confusing if you are not a flashlight freak.

A TIR sounds okay to me as I do not think the intended user base needs a light for throw. They want to find stuff in a dark place, see where they are about to place their feet when walking, etc.

USB charging is a big plus. A C-type port with resistors Smile Behind a rubber flap has the advantage of being visible and may be better for the memory impaired. ? Just a thought?

I can think of two people/places I would use them.

Pages