Lights with very low lows...how low is to low ?

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Boaz
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Lights with very low lows...how low is to low ?

I have lights that are

#1....  .5 or one half a lumen.

#2 ....  1.5 lumens

#3...    3  lumens

#4..    10 Lumens

 

  1/2 lumen is very low

I  think under 1 lumen is pushing it .Anything lower tan 1 lumen is unusable for lighting while moving/walking

3  is pretty good ....I think  2  lumens is a perfect low low

What do you think ?  What is your desired low lumen level ?

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Edited by: Boaz on 02/21/2013 - 06:46
Kokopelli
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My ITP EOS A3 R5 has a 1.8lm low. I use it to read my daughter bed-time books but I find it quite bright for this job. I could use 1lm easily. I hope to try 0.8lm of 4Sevens Q123 Tactical one day.

Don
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Depends a lot on ambient light. When I'm in a dark forest on a moonless night, 3 lumens is more than enough. That was what I was using to do the pics on the 40 metre beamshot thread. And that was 3 pure flood lumens from a Zebralight H50. I can get around my house at night with a Preon 1 on low which is around 1.5-2 lumens.

 

In a town with streetlights at night anything much under 80 is probably too low.

 

Any output that is low enough for it to be comfortable to look into the emitter is too low to be useful IMO. If I'm going to read I need more that 3 lumens

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Michael_qrt
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For low lows the ambient level is very important as Don pointed out, very little light can go a long way in truly dark places. Also it's not just the number of lumens but the intensity (candelas?), or how concentrated the light is. I just got a zebralight H51w with a low low of 0.18 lumens according to the specs. I was able to take it camping for a night and because of how dark it was (no moon, or city light pollution) and the fact that the light has a reflector to concentrate the beam it was surprisingly useable to walk around the camp with 0.18 lumens. The 2.2 lumen mode seemed like quite a lot of light and the 172 lumen high lit up a huge area. I've gone a bit crazy lately and I also got a H50 Q5 (after the H51) and the hotspot on the H51 at 0.18 lumens is brighter than the low on the H50, which is pure flood at 2.6 lumens. I haven't had the chance to test the H50 out much yet but the low is fine for walking around the house at night.

Of course in a city, even a bit away from streetlights you'd probably be wondering if you even turned it on in either case.

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Yes, ambient light levels are a big factor, but I do think that <1 lumen is still feasible for some situations. As long as the flashlight has several other modes, I think the first one can be ridiculously low, followed by something slightly brighter, followed by a a regular medium mode and then the max.

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tbenedict
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I really like the low low like on the Quark line (0.4 lumen).  When I get up in the middle of the night, this almost seems too bright sometimes.  It is also useful when checking on the kids (or putting them to bed) since it doesn't seem to wake them as bad.  (red LEDs seem good for this too).

I think everyones preferences are different, which probably makes it tough for manufacturers when they only have so many modes to program.

I really want one of those Sunwayman V10A/V20A's since they supposedly go way below their spec'd 1 lumen low.  My budget is the only thing holding me back, but it may cave if they come out with a neutral version.

I could see the uber low being important to tactical/aviation for map, watch, or compass reading to maintain their night vision/concealment.  I know it's handy to set the alarm clock..

okwchin
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Ive seen the quark moonlight low... but its not low enough. And its not as low as the V10R I have. I like the Low on the V10R, its defines low enough, but not too low for me. I do know that mine is lower than most V10R (alums).

 

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Haggai
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I find the iTP A3 R5 low sometimes a little too bright, especially when illuminating very close range stuff (like the inside of a computer, or even reading a book at night). It would've been much better if it was more diffused.

So I guess I'm in the 1-lumen is good camp, and I would love to have a moonlight mode on my EDC.

But I'm okay with the iTP light levels.

okwchin
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I have a maratac AA, and it does seem a little too bright when ambient lights are low, but its not excessively bright, my first gen R5A3 Trustfire comes to mind Wink

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my zebraight h31's low is 5 lumens and the low low is .5 lumens..5 lumens is pretty bright when your eyes are adjusted to the dark and even .5 lumens you can still make out everything around you when its completely dark..it would be good for preserving night vision and reading a map or something..can't say I ever use it though..when i'm in the bush I prefer to try and cook everything around me with my lights Big Smile

scruffy dog
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PALight/safe-light

have a find in the dark glow mode which is always on

 it i enough to navigate to the toilet in the dark

Boaz
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Okwchin curious about your v10 vs a d-10 or ex10 ramping ..

D-10 sp is 2,5

ex10 sp is 3

 ramping ex 10 is 1.5 

 q5 eos a3 itp is about 3 lumens(With terrible PWM).

 the zebra h31 is .5 or 1/2 a lumen and 5 L on the second low 

 Zebralight H501 flood is the lowest thing on the planet on low low it's like 1/4 lumen and on the upper low 2 lumen all flood so it just seems lower than that

 the N-light b3 AAA 2 mode low is 5. all flood so it sems low too

Eastward low about 8

coast mini tac 10lumens

 nitecore ezAA 10 lumens  on low

The flood makes a huge visual difference .. looks much brighter than it really is .If you ceiling bounce or flood a small room you can tell numbers are the same

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okwchin
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Ill try to get a pic of Lows

With my phone camera...!!! FAIL

 Picture taken under a table with a big torch providing Under table top bounce.. (edit, the bottom of the table is a brown surface, coupled with the pink/brown tint of the SST-50 neutral, the camera has adjusted its white balance, so the tints are more blue than they really are.

BTW, the Tritium is reflecting light, its not really glowing that bright.

 

5 torches.  ---  Maratac AA SS,   LF5XT,   D10 with Q4 5A tint, D10 with R4 4B tint, V10R with R4 4B tint, yellow 1.55x5mm trit.  ---

 

Brighter exposure with reduced ambient light to show that the V10R is actually on, and how it compares to tritium. Tints are Less blue here. Compared to daylight, the XP-G R4 4C tint is close to daylight.   These tints appear closest to what they really are like in-terms of hue. But not in saturation.

Here the light from the tritium is primarily from its own glow

 

EDIT. I think we need another picture of the V10R... You can only see if your brightness on the screen is set really high, or if you own a TN LCD panel (95% of lcd panels) try standing up higher than your screen to see the V10R beamshot

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We provide We provide Laptop Battery,Laptop AC Adapter, http://www

Boaz
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Camera makes the tints look horrible      the lights are nice .. tints  blah 

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okwchin
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Yah, lack of control in phone cameras is great for General users, but not good for reference shots especially in difficult environments (under table bounce of light off a dark brown surface Wink

 

Lights - Maratac AA SS XR-E Q5 Cool, LF5XT (some neutral XR-E 5A tint or something), D10 (XR-E Q4 5A tint), D10 (XP-G 4B tint), V10R (XP-G 4B tint), EX10 GDP cool

Love how you can see the PWM on the maratac. The vertical scan of the camera when its taking the picture vs the frequency of the PWM

 

Officially the Maratac is the brightest of the lows I have, followed by the LF5XT. The narrow spill and wide SMOOTH hotspot of the LF5XT makes it appear brighter in this picture than the maratac, but is actually slightly dimmer for total output. The Nitecore D10s come next, followed by the EX10 GDP, and then far below that for brightness is the V10R.

I dont have a SP nitecore, but that usually is about double the low of the nitecore ramping that I have, more like the maratac level.

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

tbenedict
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okwchin, is that a V10R or V10A?  I didn't think the the V10R with the set points went that low (other than the titanium vs that seems more like the V10A).  I may be completely nuts, really craving one of these magnetic continous rings.

okwchin
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V10R.    .    .The V10A is the same torch.

 

Maybe your thinking of the  M series - the M10R and M10A. which as the same low as the nitecores.

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

srfreddy
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Same head, just that early V10R's aluminum's had misaligned magnets that limited the low to one lumen. Too low for me is off. I have an infinite runtime maglite that currently puts out .2 lumens or so, I'd say. It draws .2 ma right now.....

okwchin
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Mines an early V10R - it has a lower low than current models. The difference is not magnet alignment, the mechanical alignment is handled by the same aluminium part in both torches. The problem is fundamentally based on the circuit, primarily a software issue with the ramping behaviour (rate was too fast/range not big enough). 

 

Just compared the V10R against the lowest mode on a Novatac 120P. The 120P is meant to have a low of 0.08 lumens!!

 

Interms of Usability, LOW lows are useful if the UI can back it up IMO. 

The novatac low is a very usable low, I can find my way around the house very well, and not lose my night adapted vision, and I dont feel that I need to cover the head of the torch. To me it's about right for a UI with 4 modes.

The V10R has an AWESOME low, but what matters is the variable ring makes it SUPER easy to control the brightness, so its really easy to just tweak it up or down fractions of a lumen to suit the situation (such as looking very close, to the wall at the end of the room). For this reason, it feels very functional, and is Never a hinderance, theres never the feeling that its too low because its easy to adjust.

The D10 doesnt have as low a low. A little too bright for night adapted close reading, but otherwise a very nice general purpose low. The key here is that the ramping interface is too fast (not very controllable) so its not possible to adjust to a slightly higher level, you end up jumping to a 10 lumen level all the time, so the minimum level of about 0.7 lumens (referenced to 120P) is a very practical low. Any lower would be nice, but would start to borderline annoying.

The Maratac has the highest low level of all the torches in my pics, I do feel it could be lower, but its not something thats really annoying, its still a functional low level. As a Twisty with only 3 modes, Its a brightness level that is understandable and acceptable. Referenced to the 120P, its about 10+ lumens. 

 

So I guess it all comes down to the UI. Low Low Lows are really nice like in the V10R, but in a torch with just 3 modes, its not practical to always have that low a low. From my experiences, I would call an ideal low for most torches to be in the 0.3-1.0 lumen range to suit my needs. If the UI supports it, I would happily accept a lower low.

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

tbenedict
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That's exactly why I want a V10A or V20A, for more precise adjustment in the low range with a rediculous low low.  That and being able to set it to low before turning it on, really trips my trigger.  The cost and tint are my only hold backs.

Boaz
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Ok well this is all nice talking 100 lights  let get  to budget lights .. what lights  have a real usable low without PWM and are under 25 $ How about that for making life tough ?? birthday candle aside ..wooden match notwithstanding .

What about the Akoray  programable  What are the odds of anything not having horrible pwm which bothers me to no end ..making my baby ITP virtually unusable  or the edit 16340 baby zoom ..same thing pwm pwm pwm .

what cheap lights are there with low lows ??(and no nasty pwm).???

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tbenedict
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Solitaire? Laughing 

That is a good question, and certainly more affordable.

srfreddy
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Like I said, the infinity mag. Two alkies, with a strip of tape connecting them (for protection against leaks), a mini-mag, and a 5mm LED. Bore out the reflector, and use that, or do what I did, use a Minimag Rebel head, and some scotch tape to fix up the threads (the Rebel head has a larger internal width), and sand the entire dome off the LED. That way, the reflector focuses the LED well, into a traditional flashlight beam. I'm probably gonna switch to the normal head once I get my hands on some Nichia GS, for some halfway decent CRI. Infinite runtime FTW! Well, maybe a year or so straight... if they don't leak first. 

newbie74
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I must confess - for a while I obsessed with a low low flashlight. Ultrafire's UF-H2b was too high for me. Then I found the perfect flashlight - my cell. But even the cell was too bright.

So, if someone want a really low Android flashlight, there is an app called Screen Filter that will dim your screen to nothing (literally, so beware). It is a bit more expensive, but I already needed  a smartphone (and I believe several of you have a similar phone) for daytime stuff.

So my flashlight line up is:

Phone - Fauxton - UF-H2b - Skyray S-R5

This solves every need I have... But after seeing this post I want a V10A....

Boaz
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Well i need to ammend that thought and say budget and  really good low low with no pwm and a decent high as well .. we can sit around and talk about very expensive lights that do it and  cheap garbage that does a low low low but it has to be a flashlight too not a joule thief .. it needs to turn  around and do at least 100  lumens too .

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tbenedict
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I'm with you Boaz, hope our prayers are answered soon.  I am surprised there aren't more options based on a potentiometer(sp).  I know these are fairly cheap, they must be hard to implement.

srfreddy
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Its impossible to use a pot. in a light-they only take a very small amount of power. All the "infinite" output lights use 8 byte microprocessor controllers, so 256 modes, or something less. 

tbenedict
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Your probably right, I thought I had heard a T1A used that approach, and knowing the part in general is fairly cheap...

srfreddy
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The T1A puts out like 70 measly lumens of blue-green, donut holed light.... 

okwchin
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If we can put the pot into the torch, I Know you can use the $3 single mode drivers based on the AX2002 or the PT4105 chip and have a low LOWER than the V10R picture above, and the PERFECT ramping rate (TRUE visually linear ramp) to 100% (700 or 1000mA). I currently run that setup in a battery pack and its seriously awesome. I have been thinking of how to implement this into a torch though, and it always ends up not being possible, or just plain ugly. 

(btw i consider sticking a knob out of the torch (like they do for mags) ugly. I want something where you twist the head and it ramps brightness. Ive considered the "hotpots" - membrane based pots from sparkfun for example, but they cost as much as the torch :/

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

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