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

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Jerommel
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I’ve had 2 lights with magnetic ring switching and i didn’t like it at all.
Tended to need 2 hands for turning it on.
They were not the best examples of ring twist switch lights though, so maybe i’m biassed.

toddcshoe
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FINALLY!!!!!!!!

A sensible and well built flashlight for the masses. No crazy UI’s, no ridiculous blinkies, it won’t set puppies on fire and you can give it to anyone. I am wickedly pleased to hear this voice of reason. Don’t hide any modes anywhere. The more you try to hide the more complicated it becomes. We all have lights that are overly complicated and too bright for their own good.

This is the single best post of 2019. Why? It’s reasonable and logical, both seem to get lost in a sea of hot rods and overpriced lights. djozz, I salute you sir. Put me down for half a dozen.

Don’t you or Sofirn bend on the shear simplicity of such a light. TIR would be sufficient for most but, it would be nice if you could swap in a OP or pebbled TIR if you so choose. Still not a deal breaker.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

djozz
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@hank, My Jetbeam RRT01 has a hidden strobe by two fast rotary twists to max, and while fiddling with the light it unwantedly comes on (no problem for me, I know what happens). And fiddling is something that non-flashoholics are far better at than we. I want this light to have no surprises for the users.

@jerommel, the 10 lumen lowest mode is easy to see, well above firefly, a good reading level.
I have no objection to infinitely variable but for this (budget) light it is a luxury I think. But once the design starts (in case we ever reach 1000) I will ask if it can be done without adding costs. I know that Sofirn makes stepped magnetic drivers, I do not know about infinitely variable.
About a slider: since this light must appeal to flashoholics too, not just arthritic eldery people Innocent , IMO a magnetic ring is a much nicer choice and easy enough for almost everyone.
Btw, I still must send you the Luminus Cube leds Facepalm

@MtnDon, I will ask for the resistors, that seems not like it is making anything more expensive. The USB port behind a flap may prove easiest and cheapest in the end for Sofirn anyway, but I still hope for a less ugly and robust solution.

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In for two. The details of final design are less important to me than the fact it is made with “grandma” in mind… you guys and Sofirn will do your best with that. BTW, the waterproof ness is not mentioned in the specs. Looking forward to a great “gift light.”

Wieselflinkpro
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Interested

djozz
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The waterproofness is not mentioned but since all our flashlights and all Sofirn flashlight have that I think it is not needed to mention. It is mentioned that this light is based on the SC31 which is waterproof.

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Is it possible to use an almost stepless dimming as on an Imalent headlamp?

Lightbringer
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Jerommel wrote:
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.

If the thumbwheel/ring/whatever were oversized, either heavily-knurled or at least knobby, and ideally a contrasting color from the body, then it should work for gramma.

Jerommel wrote:
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…

Yep. That’s why I gave my gf my ’10A, as it’s one of the older/original ones that goes l/m/h and 2click for strobe, vs my ’10B which is f/l/m and 2click for h and 3click for strobe. There were times I had to look and see if it were off or just in firefly mode, so didn’t want to burden her with always having to check it.

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Jerommel
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djozz wrote:

@jerommel, the 10 lumen lowest mode is easy to see, well above firefly, a good reading level.
I have no objection to infinitely variable but for this (budget) light it is a luxury I think. But once the design starts (in case we ever reach 1000) I will ask if it can be done without adding costs. I know that Sofirn makes stepped magnetic drivers, I do not know about infinitely variable.
About a slider: since this light must appeal to flashoholics too, not just arthritic eldery people Innocent , IMO a magnetic ring is a much nicer choice
But why?
I think there are definitely nicer twisty ring lights on the market than there are slider lights on the market, and the slider travel is often quite short (maybe a limitation of the 1 single hall sensor they use?)
Quote:
and easy enough for almost everyone.
My limited experience with twisty rings (2 lights i took apart long ago, one i actually threw in the trash, which i never do otherwise) was not positive.
With one of them i needed 2 hands, and the sideways movement of the thumb is less natural and less powerful than the forward / backward movement, but i can only guess that’s also the case with arthritic hands (i’m not that old yet, so i don’t know..).
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Btw, I still must send you the Luminus Cube leds Facepalm

Thumbs Up
I’ll send you something in return when i get them. Smile
djozz
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Wieselflinkpro wrote:
Is it possible to use an almost stepless dimming as on an Imalent headlamp?

I have no idea if Sofirn has expertise in this. The specifications in the OP are a combination of specs that all can be found in one or more Sofirn lights, which in my expectation helps in the speed and costs of this project. But asking does not hurt, it may just be no problem to do the infinite variable or this type of dimming.
Jerommel
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Lightbringer wrote:
Jerommel wrote:
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.

If the thumbwheel/ring/whatever were oversized, either heavily-knurled or at least knobby, and ideally a contrasting color from the body, then it should work for gramma.

Jerommel wrote:
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…

Yep. That’s why I gave my gf my ’10A, as it’s one of the older/original ones that goes l/m/h and 2click for strobe, vs my ’10B which is f/l/m and 2click for h and 3click for strobe. There were times I had to look and see if it were off or just in firefly mode, so didn’t want to burden her with always having to check it.


It seems i have what you describe as ’10B (wasn’t that the colored body version?)
I quite dislike the light for that firefly mode, actually.
Just like the Astrolux A01…
And the jump to the next mode is huge too…
Lightbringer
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toddcshoe wrote:
A sensible and well built flashlight for the masses. No crazy UI’s, no ridiculous blinkies, it won’t set puppies on fire and you can give it to anyone. I am wickedly pleased to hear this voice of reason. Don’t hide any modes anywhere. The more you try to hide the more complicated it becomes. We all have lights that are overly complicated and too bright for their own good.

May the Dark Purple Lord B’harni (pbuh!) forgive me for saying so, but strangely enough the eee-vil Tac-Light you see on teevee comes close. It’s got a tailswitch driver, a nice big fat (yet slightly recessed) soft-touch tailswitch, and it just has one simple main cycle with no multiclicks nor holds nor anything of the kind. It has h/m/l/strobe/SOS/off.

Trade those modes for just l/h/off or l/m/h/off, but keep the tail-driver, and you can have a winner. Easy to actuate even for arthritic fingers, nothing complex about it, just chop off the head and put the appropriate TIR or whatever you want.

I got a 4×AAA LuxPro that comes close. Same tailswitch driver (uncapping and shorting makes it just come on high) can be used with the same feather-touch switch-button.

There are 20mm stars that have 1- or 2 7135s already mounted (or at least pads to do so), to make it simple-stoopit to fire up the LED while limiting current. Regulated, and no ballast resistor needed nor wanted.

(I keep on getting “please try again…” pages from FT, but try this: https://www.fasttech.com/product/1133803-universal-star-base-plates-with... .)

So… dunno how emotionally attached everyone might be to magswitches, but there are alternatives for gramma-lights.

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JamesB
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I’m in, this type of light is much needed Thumbs Up

Chatika vas Paus
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I’m in!
I’m a tir guy so that’s a big plus for me.
But I would prefer (and not only me) 4000k instead of 5000k.
And smooth brightening like RRT01 instead of 3 modes.
And maybe the 21700 version?

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Lightbringer wrote:
Yep. That’s why I gave my gf my ’10A, as it’s one of the older/original ones that goes l/m/h and 2click for strobe, vs my ’10B which is f/l/m and 2click for h and 3click for strobe. There were times I had to look and see if it were off or just in firefly mode, so didn’t want to burden her with always having to check it.
Jerommel wrote:
It seems i have what you describe as ’10B (wasn’t that the colored body version?) I quite dislike the light for that firefly mode, actually.

That’s the whole SP10 saga. There was the original ’10A as I described, then the newer ’10B also as I described. But then the black ‘B became the new ‘A, while the same new red/blue ‘Bs stayed ‘Bs.

And then there were newer UIs in ‘As or ‘Bs or whatever, then the ‘S, and other variants which still make my head hurt just thinking about it.

I got enough SP10s that I really didn’t need to buy any more, so that keeps my brain from exploding.

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Jerommel
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Lightbringer wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Yep. That’s why I gave my gf my ’10A, as it’s one of the older/original ones that goes l/m/h and 2click for strobe, vs my ’10B which is f/l/m and 2click for h and 3click for strobe. There were times I had to look and see if it were off or just in firefly mode, so didn’t want to burden her with always having to check it.
Jerommel wrote:
It seems i have what you describe as ’10B (wasn’t that the colored body version?) I quite dislike the light for that firefly mode, actually.

That’s the whole SP10 saga. There was the original ’10A as I described, then the newer ’10B also as I described. But then the black ‘B became the new ‘A, while the same new red/blue ‘Bs stayed ‘Bs.

And then there were newer UIs in ‘As or ‘Bs or whatever, then the ‘S, and other variants which still make my head hurt just thinking about it.

I got enough SP10s that I really didn’t need to buy any more, so that keeps my brain from exploding.


Haha LOL
….so how about the separate SP10 driver they sell?
Any idea what that does?

(sorry, i shouldn’t derail this thread like this..)

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One of my often used and “can you lend me a flashlight” is my Nitecore SRT6. I really like it’s easy UI, forward clicky at the tail and the rest is done by the magnetic ring.
I think everybody who has Electronic dimmers at home will understand that.
What I do not completly like about it, are the blinkies, hidden behind their detents and that you can turn it off completly via that dial.
In my eyes on/off by a forward clicky and infinite ramping starting at moonlight would be perfect.
I simply do Not know anybody needing blinkies.
And from what I’m used to by my Dad, let that blinkies be hidden in the very last closet in the very last corner. They will find them!

Hit the switch – light
Turn the magnetic ring – more or less light.
Not much to explain.

But let’s see what this one will become.

Count me in for one!

matik42
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Interested, depending LED (LH351D will be OK) and price

zak.wilson
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I think there’s a lot to like here, but a small number of fixed modes really seems to be squandering the potential of a magnetic control ring. I’d also be disappointed by a 10 lumen low if it’s technically possible to get it lower. Muggles have dark adaptation too, and the biggest concern is probably leaving it on by accident.

USB-C is a great choice, but a lot of USB-C lighting stuff has implemented USB incorrectly and will not charge using C-to-C. If my aunt plugs it in to her Macbook charger because that is the right plug and it doesn’t work, she’s going to expect it to be charged when she gets back in the evening and potentially have a pretty negative experience if it was important for her to have a working flashlight.

LH351D 5000K is a great choice too. 5000K isn’t everyone’s favorite, but nobody hates it.

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djozz
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I know what can be done with a magnetic control ring, I love my RRT01 for its smooth ramp and ultra-low. But that is not the reason a magnetic ring is used in this light, it is used because it is extremely intuitive and therefore suitable for everybody, without explanation. My Sofirn SD03 has a magnetic ring with 3 discrete modes, just off-low-med-high-off (repeat) and that is superbly useful and needs no explanation.

I think that an infinite ramp ring would not hurt the simplicity of this light, in fact it seems just as simple and intuitive to me, so I will ask Sofirn what they think of it. But if that complicates and hinders the development of this light (or alters the price), I will be just as happy with the discrete low-med-high that already fits the usability requirement of this light perfectly.

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Quote:
just off-low-med-high-off (repeat) and that is superbly useful and needs no explanation.

With engraved markings ( L – M – H or Lo -Med – Hi) it is not only intuitive that is a simple easy to comprhend legend

Th558
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Interested but I would prefer 1000lm max with a 5000K XHP50.2 for it’s higher efficiency. Also would like 21700 or 26650.

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Th558 wrote:
Interested but I would prefer 1000lm max with a 5000K XHP50.2 for it’s higher efficiency. Also would like 21700 or 26650.

You are added Smile

500 lumen max was specifically chosen because that is a pretty good output that still can be sustained well in a tube-style 18650 light without thermal control and stepdowns. I think that fits this type of light and I like to stick to that. In fact the new version of the SC31 that Sofirn sells now is 1000 lumen and I was disappointed by that because it has made the SC31 a bit less muggle-friendly.

A XHP50.2 will at these output levels hardly be more efficient than a LH351D of the same tint and CRI, and will produce a hugely worse beam (that is provided that a TIR can be found that fits it.)

A different battery type can always be a wish, but I do not see the need in this type of light, and I like the the compactness of the 18650 size that it is now, I see that as a quality.

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An XHP50.2 would also have less perceived brightness because it would have substantially less throw. Minmaxing for any single attribute (in this case, efficiency) usually doesn’t produce as good an all-around light. (And no, an LH351D is most certainly not minmaxing for CRI)

I agree a few fixed modes would be fine for the core goal of this light, but stepless would be better for about 90% of use cases if it’s possible to do.

I probably don’t want one of these for myself, but I maintain the buyer’s guide at reddit/r/flashlight, and it would be a strong candidate to go on that list.

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Lightbringer
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Before a team of 100 horses pulls in 100 different directions, it should be determined exactly what the goal is.

Is it a gramma light, suitable for the elderly>

Is it for the muggle?

Does it need to “appeal to flashoholics”?

Must it have a magnetic ring? High CRI? Other?

Blah blah blah.

Eg, #3 seems contradictory vs #1 and #2, so right there that needs to be sorted out first.

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jacktheclipper
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While we look at this light through a loupe
And chime in with our wants as a group
We know some things for sure
There’s no all-purpose cure
And too many chefs spoil the soup

What I do

 

Dralf
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Definitely interested. Probably in with 3 pcs.

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In for at least 2 lights Wink
Thanks for the move djozz!

Merry Xmas to all Blushing

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Interested in several, what ever you come up with.

For elderly mom, grandma, or clueless muggle, a wireless charge station like the Orcatorch WR10 might be cool. I leave my WR10 up at the lake cottage all summer for anyone to use. Pretty intuitive to set it back in it’s cradle when finished using it. No cable to connect, no nothing. It has the added bonus of when the power goes out (which it does too often), the light turns on in low mode, so nobody is wondering around in a pitch dark log cabin looking for a flashlight. Especially my 87yr old mother.

It would certainly add to the cost though.

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Lightbringer wrote:
Before a team of 100 horses pulls in 100 different directions, it should be determined exactly what the goal is.

Is it a gramma light, suitable for the elderly>

Is it for the muggle?

It’s a grandma light. Or grandfather…. grandperson? Therefore it is likely a muggle light; hence the 500 lumens, no step-down needed. A flashaholic may appreciate the light as one he/she can give to any other person with little fear they will mess up. At least that is how I look at it.

I have loaned as simple a light as an S2 with only 4 × 7135’s and the “gramma” was confused by the type of click to turn on-off vs the momentary press needed to change brightness. This person had better luck with a two button/switch setup (Wuben TO10R) except they felt the light was too small.

Sometimes it’s hard to win at all.

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