What do you think is the next step in flashlights?

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kevjet62
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What do you think is the next step in flashlights?

When I first was interested in flashlights the Jacob A60 was the talk of the town (kind of).

If my memory serves, back then there weren’t open source firmwares, electronic switches, or even any community designed lights (i think?) and now they’re a popular (and great) part of the community.

That got me thinking, flashlights will always be simple but somehow there was a lot of innovation throughout the years, what is something you anticipate will happen to flashlights in the future?

Edited by: kevjet62 on 02/14/2020 - 06:39
vresto
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i personally hope usb port everywhere:)neutral white even available….for me:)

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Colonel Light
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I suspect optics will be more common. They were pretty fringe in the XR-E era but now they are taken more seriously as an alternative to a reflector.

I think larger die sizes will become the norm, efficiency improvement might only be incremental from now on so the XHP50 and 70 (or larger) could take over from the XM-L.

Cree will have more and more competition. Samsung and LG seem to have limited production of LEDs compared to Cree but perhaps that could change.

FW3A, Wildtrail D80v2 (XHP50.2), Convoy S2 CW/NW/UV, 4Sevens 18650/AA/123A/AAA, Zebralight H60, TIP CRI, LF5XT,

djozz
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For throw I expect the Laserlight SMD will appear in flashlights, the newest version puts out 1000 lumen and will provide extreme throw, even more than the current generation White Laser flashlights.

Photonica
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All the R&D money flowing into LEDs is for light bulbs (CRI & efficiency, lower costs) and automobile use (CRI, Color, projection, performance). Expect to see better LEDs, drivers, and optics moving into the flashlight realm.

LEP prices will drop. They’ll still be a specialty emitter though.

Smarter flashlights will become more common, but not the default. Better thermal control, auto-dimming, better user interfaces. Features like Intellibeam or Olight’s auto-dimming will move into midprice flashlights. Because of Patent issues, they’ll be implemented differently.

More Photons!

Andrew_Debbie
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Multi-function bluetooth flashlights are inevitable. After all everyone needs a light that can be switched on or off with an app.

Edit: Google search:

Looks like someone has already done it (yikes)

https://www.amazon.com/Avido-Bluetooth-Flashlight-Multifunctional-Handle...

4492011
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djozz wrote:
For throw I expect the Laserlight SMD will appear in flashlights, the newest version puts out 1000 lumen and will provide extreme throw, even more than the current generation White Laser flashlights.

I agree.

flightless22
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Something like Scratch to build/modify our own firmware, we could update via usb connection. It’d make it easier for the rest of.

texas shooter
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Hopefully going away from USB ports. Instead going into the weatherproof magnetic charger direction. Better tir optics.

samgalax
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Gps locator to find it when you loose it. Could be very nice specially for expensive flashlights… (It will not work inside a house or inside a cave.. But will work in the desert or maybe the forest with not much trees… I think…)

Or bluetooth locator… It will be good for close range..

Or a combination of both… Gps for outdoors and bluetooth for indoors

Please SUBSCRIBE to my youtube channel (flashlights, electronic gadgets and various stuff..)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCF3RcoQ3Ff05Cr4-Gg5qAw

I am a beginner. So please help me to make the channel "grow up"

Thanks!!

hank
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You pull it out of its belt holster, point it at something in the dark, and click the ranging switch.
The flashlight acquires its target, spins up its rotors and flies over to illuminate whatever that thing is.
You click the optional marker button and the flashlight discharges a load of phosphorescent dust, permanently making the target glow in the dark.

smithd1
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+1 for optics.

I also believe battery tech will have more of an impact than anything else.

Not necessarily smaller, but more output for longer periods.

YogibearAl
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One can dream, Smile Really combination of battery and flashlight technology.

Increased battery life, much faster charging without shortening life of battery (some graphene batteries look promissing). Full charge in 10 minutes or less (4000mAh).

LCD screen showing voltage/current, Wifi smart video enabled flashlights with TF card slot as backup (catch the action). Also for tracking battery/flashlight performance data. GPS. Full data acquisition with mobile phone sync.

Matrix LED/laser allows user selectable flood/throw using redirectable LED and tiny mirror reflectors. No more loss of lumens with push/pull style lenses.

Quiet – liquid/peltier cooling – for fanless heat dissipation active cooling – longer turbo run times.

richbuff
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I hope that the next continuous short and long term steps in flashlight development  are enhanced battery technology, enhanced emitter technology, etc, all combining to cause continued significant increase in performance/size ratio.

Phil 1: 21-24

Valynor
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I think flashlights with small OLED displays showing lots of useful data will be more common in the future.

Majoroverkill
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Better cooling for higher lumen run times.

Doug S.

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Andrew_Debbie wrote:
Multi-function bluetooth flashlights are inevitable. After all everyone needs a light that can be switched on or off with an app.

“Siri, turn on my flashlight…”

“Alexa, switch to turbo.”

Facepalm

It’s already getting to the point people won’t know what a wall-switch is for their room-lights, now they’ll be able to use an app to do that for their flashlights??

In the War With The Machines, I’ll bet The Machines won’t even have to fire a shot, because the Eloi will be totally indolent and dependent on apps to do everything.

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Lightbringer
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I’d be happy with a UI that doesn’t include blinkies.

Radical idea, I know…

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MoreLumens
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Yep still hating when I click and try to get into next mode but whoop-di-doo time for strobo.

Agro
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4492011 wrote:
djozz wrote:
For throw I expect the Laserlight SMD will appear in flashlights, the newest version puts out 1000 lumen and will provide extreme throw, even more than the current generation White Laser flashlights.

I agree.


I agree.
These will be good for zoomies as well.
GDF
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Compact lights will push out sustainable 2000+ lumens without getting warm due to super efficient LEDs and battery tech that keeps it going for hours.

We’ll have lights with adjustable color temp so you can set it to anything between 2700K-6500K. CRI will be 90+ at all temps.

Advanced optics will allow you to choose between flood or throw with no loss in lumens and still have a high IP rating.

Lights with internal selectable filters that can be changed instantly.

LEDicrous
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Wish list for future modern light:

1) USB-C socket. I know it’s more expensive than micro-USB. But I am very willing to pay the extra $0.50

2) Flashable firmware. This would allow the user to keep the light updated with better firmware without changing the hardware. Similar to flashing custom ROMs on an Android phone.

3) Configurable firmware via a computer. Kind of extension of item #2. If the firmware is user-flashable, why not make it configurable? Either via a config file or a more advanced UI with checkbox.

LEDicrous
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Another idea: Add more physical buttons for non-expert users:

  • An On-Off switch, which has ONLY the function ON or OFF. Ideally designed in such a way which prevent accidental turning on. The light is turned on at the last used mode.
  • An Up-Down switch: for scrolling through various modes. Designed to change lighting mode only when the user needs.
YogibearAl
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LEDicrous wrote:
Wish list for future modern light:

1) USB-C socket. I know it’s more expensive than micro-USB. But I am very willing to pay the extra $0.50

2) Flashable firmware. This would allow the user to keep the light updated with better firmware without changing the hardware. Similar to flashing custom ROMs on an Android phone.

3) Configurable firmware via a computer. Kind of extension of item #2. If the firmware is user-flashable, why not make it configurable? Either via a config file or a more advanced UI with checkbox.

Better yet. Make the firmware flashable through the USB-c port. So usb-c supports both charging and data. USB-c to USB-c support.

anonymous_user
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LEDicrous wrote:
Another idea: Add more physical buttons for non-expert users:
  • An On-Off switch, which has ONLY the function ON or OFF. Ideally designed in such a way which prevent accidental turning on. The light is turned on at the last used mode.
  • An Up-Down switch: for scrolling through various modes. Designed to change lighting mode only when the user needs.

Some flashlights do have a dual switch design. Take the TN12 for example. Tail button for on/off and the side button for changing modes. Another flashlight that may appeal to you is the Nitecore MT10C.
LEDicrous
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YogibearAl][quote=LEDicrous wrote:
Better yet. Make the firmware flashable through the USB-c port. So usb-c supports both charging and data. USB-c to USB-c support.

Obviously, this has to be through USB-C. Otherwise this would not be user-friendly.

hank
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I’m betting on flashlights and weapons lights with built in face recognition tied to police or homeland databases.
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/01/modern_mass_sur.html

Quote:
Focusing on one particular identification method misconstrues the nature of the surveillance society we’re in the process of building. Ubiquitous mass surveillance is increasingly the norm. In countries like China, a surveillance infrastructure is being built by the government for social control. In countries like the United States, it’s being built by corporations in order to influence our buying behavior, and is incidentally used by the government.

In all cases, modern mass surveillance has three broad components: identification, correlation and discrimination. Let’s take them in turn….

adirondackdestroyer
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I would think the next step is either better battery technology, or better LED efficiency so the high settings can run for much longer.

Johnv
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Control the personal preferences with an phone-app, then send this profile to the flashlight with Bluetooth.

dorpmuller
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LEDicrous wrote:
Wish list for future modern light: 1) USB-C socket. I know it's more expensive than micro-USB. But I am very willing to pay the extra $0.50 2) Flashable firmware. This would allow the user to keep the light updated with better firmware without changing the hardware. Similar to flashing custom ROMs on an Android phone. 3) Configurable firmware via a computer. Kind of extension of item #2. If the firmware is user-flashable, why not make it configurable? Either via a config file or a more advanced UI with checkbox.

Custom firmware PC program that has a GUI for those of us that need step by step. And a connection to the flashlight that is standardized and where you don't have to be a contortionist. 

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

andychrist
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dorpmuller wrote:

Custom firmware PC program that has a GUI for those of us that need step by step. And a connection to the flashlight that is standardized and where you don’t have to be a contortionist. 

Amen to that! Love to have it run in a smartphone/tablet app.

Doubt this will ever happen but until LED tints in flashlights all become adjustable like Philips Hue bulbs, wish manufacturers would socket rather than solder the stars for easy swapping. 3V and 6V emitters could have different sized sockets to prevent muggles like me from blowing it.

Would like to see more modular design in other areas as well. Drop-in optics to replace reflectors, and a range of diffusing lenses to fit inside any bezel.

And of course, as an avid cyclist, would appreciate bicycle friendly accessories such as handlebar mounts available for every diameter of flashlight body (ones I cobbled together myself probably weigh as much as the whole flashlight, D’oh!) Slide-on aluminum reflectorized hoods that fit around the bezel another wish of mine, am sure the manufacturers could easily come up with sturdier and more attractive ones than the crap I devised. And yeah, I know some flashlight manufacturers already have self-contained bike friendly options but none have all that much battery capacity and adding external USB power banks kinda defeats their original intent.

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