Which switch type do you guys like for quick on/off bursts of light?

33 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

mac4lou
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/24/2015 - 10:50
Posts: 22
Location: Greenville, SC
Which switch type do you guys like for quick on/off bursts of light?

I work in a well-lit factory type of setting that has large machines I’m responsible for inspecting.
Although it’s well-lit, there are many places I need a light to inspect on the underside that is either in the shadows or very recessed. I’ve used a lot of AA Maglites but started using a Streamlight Stylus Pro 2xAAA with a tail-cap switch that works great and works well as a momentary switch.

Fast forward to this week and I finally picked up some CR123’s to use in my old Fenix PD10 and realized that I prefer a twist switch when I just need a quick burst of light to inspect and move on. Like I said, it’s a great light but a little smaller than I’d like (20mm x 73mm).

I started looking at new lights and see a bunch of new ones with the side switches which would probably work well too so my questions to you are…
1) For quick bursts of light, which type of switch do you guys prefer?
and
2) Is there a battery type that is better for that type of use?

My stylus pro would last forever (2 x AAA) vs my PD10 (1 x CR123) which lasted about 4 or 5 days.

3) Any recommendation for a light about the size of PD10 (20mm x 73mm) up to 100mm or so would be great if it could stay at the same diameter and about 185 lumens.

Thanks for any help. and sorry for the essay.

bugsy36
bugsy36's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/11/2014 - 18:15
Posts: 2475
Location: Florida USA

 

I have found that for the very same purpose I like forward clicky switches.

It's the simple things that we take for granted that cost us the most

Ευκαιρία λέει πιάσε με από το μέτωπο γιατί μόλις έχω περάσει δεν θα με πιάσειs

KawiBoy1428
KawiBoy1428's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
Joined: 04/11/2014 - 18:05
Posts: 4274
Location: The Motor City

bugsy36 wrote:

 

I have found that for the very same purpose I like forward clicky switches.


+1 Affirmative Wink

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

mac4lou
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/24/2015 - 10:50
Posts: 22
Location: Greenville, SC
bugsy36 wrote:

 

I have found that for the very same purpose I like forward clicky switches.

KawiBoy1428 wrote:
bugsy36 wrote:

 

I have found that for the very same purpose I like forward clicky switches.

+1 Affirmative Wink

Thanks.
Although my penlight is easy to carry in my shirt pocket, I prefer front pants pocket, and I think that’s another reason I like the switch towards the front.

knifeknut
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 12 months ago
Joined: 12/31/2014 - 20:27
Posts: 12
Location: Marquette, Michigan

I don’t have any 18650’s so I run my Ultrafire S5 on 2 cr123’s and its crazy bright. I only really use it in short bursts because it gets pretty warm and I don’t want to burn it out since I’m not sure how many volts it can really handle but it seems to fit your specs. It is a reverse clicky though. If you really like the Stylus Pro, you might want to upgrade to the Protac 2aaa. 80 lumens vs 65 and it adds strobe and a 10 lumen low mode.

dangerous
dangerous's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/17/2014 - 04:54
Posts: 962
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

I prefer forward switches as well. Most budget lights that don’t have an electronic switch use reverse, but I wish they’d use forward by default.

BLF

keltex78
keltex78's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 03/18/2011 - 10:15
Posts: 3705
Location: Texas

Old-School but the Romisen RC-G2 is a surprisingly good little single-mode light with a forward-clicky switch:

http://www.dx.com/p/romisen-mxdl-rc-g2-cree-flashlight-gray-1xaa-3609#specification

Easily pocketable, tight beam due to the relatively large diameter reflector. Runs well from Alkaline and AA NiMh.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 27 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 4845
Location: California
dangerous wrote:
I prefer forward switches as well. Most budget lights that don’t have an electronic switch use reverse, but I wish they’d use forward by default.

Forward clickies have 2 disadvantages compared to reverse clickies:

  • they’re much more likely to turn on accidentally especially when used for pocket EDC. Even a partial press of the button will turn the light on.
  • they’re not very good for multi-mode lights. The advantage of a forward clicky is you can do a half press to get instant light. This interface works great in single-mode lights, but falls flat in multimode lights where half-presses are likely to accidentally swap brightness levels.

I think most lights these days use reverse clickies because of the multi-mode thing. I only have one light that came with multiple modes and a forward clicky, and it feels somewhat awkward.

adnj
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 08/12/2012 - 22:04
Posts: 480

I prefer the forward switch. I also prefer multiple modes change by head twist or magnetic ring.

I own and prefer the:
Microstream Stylus/Stylus Pro
Foursevens Quark Tactical – twist the head to select between two modes.
Foursevens Maelstrom – twist the head to select between four modes
Eagletac – uses something similar to the Foursevens Maelstrom interface.
Sunwayman M and V series – nice single CR123 cell with magnetic control

I have a PD10 and you should be getting much more life out of one battery.

Bort
Bort's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 8531
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

Side switches

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

Chicken Drumstick
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

Firelight2 wrote:

Forward clickies have 2 disadvantages compared to reverse clickies:
  • they’re much more likely to turn on accidentally especially when used for pocket EDC. Even a partial press of the button will turn the light on.

But it’s only momentary. I agree it depends on the exact switch in question, but if the switch is being pressed, then it’s equal chance, forward or reverse clicky.

Firelight2 wrote:

  • they’re not very good for multi-mode lights. The advantage of a forward clicky is you can do a half press to get instant light. This interface works great in single-mode lights, but falls flat in multimode lights where half-presses are likely to accidentally swap brightness levels.

Sorry don’t agree at all with this.

I do agree momentary is nicer on lights that only use the button to turn on/off rather than mode switch.

But having momentary is an “extra” feature and causes no downside. A half press of a reverse clicky is just as likely to change modes.

Chicken Drumstick
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

mac4lou wrote:

Thanks.
Although my penlight is easy to carry in my shirt pocket, I prefer front pants pocket, and I think that’s another reason I like the switch towards the front.

Not sure I follow. “switch towards the front”???
Chicken Drumstick
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

mac4lou wrote:
started using a Streamlight Stylus Pro 2xAAA with a tail-cap switch that works great and works well as a momentary switch.

This is why I don’t understand you comment I quoted above, the tail cap switch is not near the front.

I have a AAAA Stylus Pro, don’t know if the AAA is the same. You can either push the switch for momentary, but if you want constant on you have to twist the light.

Quite a rare UI, but being single mode it works quite well I agree.

mac4lou]
I started looking at new lights and see a bunch of new ones with the side switches which would probably work well too so my questions to you are…
Most modern side switch lights use an electronic switch, i.e. it isn't a physical connection in the circuit. It's a bit like pressing a button on your keyboard, and different press types do different things.

Some have what they call a momentary feature, although most are clunky to use or require you to spend more time faffing making it momentary, than it would be just to turn it on or off.

Electronic switches are great, but personally I don't think they are the solution here. As some require a press and hold to activate or turn off or mode change.

Very clever and versatile as they allow a single switch to do many functions, down side is it's often slower or require more actions to achieve simple things.

[quote=mac4lou

wrote:

1) For quick bursts of light, which type of switch do you guys prefer?

Depends exactly what you mean by this. I like something with momentary, i.e. you part push the switch and it lights ups, let go and it goes off.

This is commonly known as a forward clicky. The Stylus isn’t really a clicky as it never “clicks” and the push part of the switch doesn’t offer constant on.

Forward clickies can be located anywhere, although these days most commonly located in the tail cap.

mac4lou wrote:

and
2) Is there a battery type that is better for that type of use?

My stylus pro would last forever (2 x AAA) vs my PD10 (1 x CR123) which lasted about 4 or 5 days.


I think part of this must be output related. The PD10 probably puts out a fair chunk more light and a single CR123a doesn’t hold the most capacity.

It’s then a balance of output vs battery size to = good runtime.

mac4lou
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/24/2015 - 10:50
Posts: 22
Location: Greenville, SC

Sorry about that, not the clearest I know.

I liked the tail-cap switch of the Stylus Pro until I tried the twisty of the pd10…The twisty switch just seems like it’s perfectly placed when I pull the light out of my pant pocket.
And for this reason I was thinking that a forward-placed switch would be just as handy, as long as it also works as a momentary too.

Chicken Drumstick
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

right Smile

So I take it you tend to use two hands to turn it on, being a twisty then?

Afraid I don’t know of anything compact with a side switch that allows momentary.

I think FourSevens have got a rifle bolt style switch that looks like it might be interesting, but you don’t half have to pay a big premium.

http://www.foursevens.com/products/BLR2-AF

Old-Lumens
Old-Lumens's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/04/2011 - 11:39
Posts: 7478
Location: Tyler, TX, USA

There are quite a few AA style twisty lights out there. I find that most of them can be turned on/off with one hand, if the threads have been greased. Most of them are single AA or 14500. Not many side switch lights of that size that are any good or dependable. 

If you only ever want a "burst of light", then you can make any clicky switch into a momentary one. It takes a little bit of tear down, but not much in the way of knowledge or tools.

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

My YouTube Flashlight Video Channel

The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

Bort wrote:
Side switches

 

this, reading this thread I'm not sure the OP knows the difference between side switch/forward clicky/reverse clicky.

 

Reverse clickys are the only way to go with a multI mode light. Forward clickys are sort of hard to use. It is nice that you can get momentary on with forward clickys, but it's really not that hard to click on/click off and the ease of mode switching and not get confused when switching modes with reverse Clickys make them way more user friendly.  

 

Side switches are pretty nice too but I don't like that you have to turn the light on in the rear then switch hand positions to change modes. working in a well lit area with shadows that need lit up having the light start on high is what you need, I am in that situation during the daytime but at night it really sucks when the light fires in high and ruins your "night vision" for a couple seconds. For me it's just as easy to have a no memory light with reverse clicky that starts on low with a full press and a half click or two later if I chose I can use high mode. 

 

working on machinery (like I do sometimes) you really want a brighter light, go for a 1,000 lumen light, try a cheap 18650 straight tube light and see if you like it just go for a smaller one like the convoy S lights...nothing less than 1,000 lumens will be good enough after you do, well worth it And only slightly bigger than your 20x100mm specs. Like I said the trade off in lumen output easily worth it!

mrmatt
mrmatt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 10 hours ago
Joined: 01/16/2013 - 11:29
Posts: 176
Location: Kentucky, USA

All the side switch lights I know of have an electronic switch, but one of these might work for you. Here are a few of the AA variety that only have a side switch. There are several more that have a tail switch for on/off and a side for changing modes, but I did not include those:

Solarstorm SC01
Xtar WK41
Thrunite Neutron 2A V2
Sunwayman C15A
Olight S15
Zebralight SC52

One problem with an electronic switch is that it requires a small amount of current at all times, so if just left by itself for a long time they will drain a battery. One way around that is by ‘locking out’ the battery when not in use, if the threads of a flashlight are anodized then 1/8 turn of the head or tailcap will break the connection to the battery.

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 27 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 4845
Location: California

Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Firelight2 wrote:

Forward clickies have 2 disadvantages compared to reverse clickies:
  • they’re much more likely to turn on accidentally especially when used for pocket EDC. Even a partial press of the button will turn the light on.

But it’s only momentary. I agree it depends on the exact switch in question, but if the switch is being pressed, then it’s equal chance, forward or reverse clicky.

Firelight2 wrote:

  • they’re not very good for multi-mode lights. The advantage of a forward clicky is you can do a half press to get instant light. This interface works great in single-mode lights, but falls flat in multimode lights where half-presses are likely to accidentally swap brightness levels.

Sorry don’t agree at all with this.

I do agree momentary is nicer on lights that only use the button to turn on/off rather than mode switch.

But having momentary is an “extra” feature and causes no downside. A half press of a reverse clicky is just as likely to change modes.

I guess I think of a forward clicky as being used for quick bursts of light. What you’d use if you wanted to do a message in morse code for instance. This wouldn’t work well with a multi-mode light because the fast clicks would cause constant undesired mode changes.

Sure you’d get those mode changes with a reverse clicky too. Reverse clickies with multimodes are no better for that application than the forward clicky.
.
.
Regarding accidental pocket activation:

Reverse clickies are safer. If you light shifts around in your pocket and the button partially depresses it won’t turn on. Instead the button has to fully click before you get power. In contrast, with a forward clicky even a partial press will turn the light on. And depending on what else you have in your pocket and what position your leg is in, the button might stay in half-press for an extended period.

The switch and housing design can correct for these flaws. For instance, the forward clicky in the Coast HP1 is fairly stiff and completely recessed. Chances of accidental pocket activation are almost non-existent. In contrast, the tailcap in the Lenslight mini is rounded with the button protruding. There’s no shroud around the button protecting the forward clicky and only minimal pressure is required for activation. Chances of accidental activation are very high.
.
.
My preferred switch type for quick on-off use:
Personally, if I wanted a light for quick on-off use I’d probably go with an electronic side or tailcap switch. Electronic switches are quiet and usually require less pressure than mechanical switches. They’re also mechanically much simpler and the switch should in theory last much longer. The best choice on the market for a non-tactical pocket light is the Zebralight SC62W.

Or, if I was modding a light, I’d use an electronic switch with DrJones Mokkadrv firmware.

mac4lou
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/24/2015 - 10:50
Posts: 22
Location: Greenville, SC

Chicken Drumstick wrote:
right Smile

*So I take it you tend to use two hands to turn it on, being a twisty then?
*
Afraid I don’t know of anything compact with a side switch that allows momentary.

I think FourSevens have got a rifle bolt style switch that looks like it might be interesting, but you don’t half have to pay a big premium.

http://www.foursevens.com/products/BLR2-AF

I’m able to turn the light on single-handed as I pull it out of my pocket.

zoom zoom wrote:
this, reading this thread I’m not sure the OP knows the difference between side switch/forward clicky/reverse clicky.

This just might be the understatement of the year. Smile
I thought there was only a tail-cap switch, like my Streamlight Stylus Pro, a twisty, like my Fenix PD10, and then a tail-cap type of switch that is mounted to the side, towards the front, like an Olight S10 for example.

zoom zoom wrote:

 

Reverse clickys are the only way to go with a multI mode light. Forward clickys are sort of hard to use. It is nice that you can get momentary on with forward clickys, but it’s really not that hard to click on/click off and the ease of mode switching and not get confused when switching modes with reverse Clickys make them way more user friendly.  

 

Side switches are pretty nice too but I don’t like that you have to turn the light on in the rear then switch hand positions to change modes. working in a well lit area with shadows that need lit up having the light start on high is what you need, I am in that situation during the daytime but at night it really sucks when the light fires in high and ruins your “night vision” for a couple seconds. For me it’s just as easy to have a no memory light with reverse clicky that starts on low with a full press and a half click or two later if I chose I can use high mode. 

 

working on machinery (like I do sometimes) you really want a brighter light, go for a 1,000 lumen light, try a cheap 18650 straight tube light and see if you like it just go for a smaller one like the convoy S lights…nothing less than 1,000 lumens will be good enough after you do, well worth it And only slightly bigger than your 20×100mm specs. Like I said the trade off in lumen output easily worth it!

Appreciate all of the recommendations, I definitely should find a good light among them.

josephdelancey
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
Joined: 12/18/2014 - 01:26
Posts: 2
Location: Walsh, CO 81090

well, forward clicky switches are the simplest and most commonly applied.

T.H.Cone
T.H.Cone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 months 6 hours ago
Joined: 02/03/2012 - 18:58
Posts: 2444
Location: New Jersey

The best switch for quick bursts of light is a tactical switch that requires pressure to remain on. That is, press for on, twist for constant. They are typically found on Surefires and some P60 lights.

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

Sleepingdog01
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 02/07/2015 - 09:28
Posts: 1
Location: Indiana

first, don’t really grasp this forum site so entering question as a reply. my new sk68 kept in car, went to use it and battery corroded entire inside of light. so need a new switch, can i get one or should i just throw light away. light works after cleaning but switch does not. thanks. oh, was original battery, light blue.

jrb

Gj
Gj's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 06/26/2013 - 15:44
Posts: 3066
Location: NY,USA

Sleepingdog01 wrote:
first, don't really grasp this forum site so entering question as a reply. my new sk68 kept in car, went to use it and battery corroded entire inside of light. so need a new switch, can i get one or should i just throw light away. light works after cleaning but switch does not. thanks. oh, was original battery, light blue.

No guarantee of compatibility since there are so many factories  making clones.

http://www.banggood.com/Mini-LED-Flashlight-Tail-Cap-Tail-Switch-Body-Ac...

Welcome to BLF.

knifeknut
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 12 months ago
Joined: 12/31/2014 - 20:27
Posts: 12
Location: Marquette, Michigan

Don’t throw it away. If the unit itself is fine, you can always buy another one (or more) and keeps this as a backup. If one dies just swap the button to the working light.

T.H.Cone
T.H.Cone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 months 6 hours ago
Joined: 02/03/2012 - 18:58
Posts: 2444
Location: New Jersey
Sleepingdog01 wrote:
first, don’t really grasp this forum site so entering question as a reply. my new sk68 kept in car, went to use it and battery corroded entire inside of light. so need a new switch, can i get one or should i just throw light away. light works after cleaning but switch does not. thanks. oh, was original battery, light blue.

First, welcome to BLF.

Second, to answer your implied question about how to start a thread/ask a question, here’s how to start a new thread. Depending on where you start from, make your way into one of the sub forums; usually done by clicking on “Forum” on the upper left of any page.

Pick whichever one fits your topic/question and click on that.

Now that you are in a specific sub forum, click the “new topic” button in the upper right of that page. Add a title to the “subject line” and say or ask whatever you wish in the “body” box. When you are done, hit “save”.

That’s pretty much it. If you have questions, about this or anything, please ask. Everyone here but me is a friendly and helpful.

Also, you may want to check out this page for other how-to type questions you may have.

Third, you can indeed get a new switch for that light.

Forth, If it was a name brand cell that leaked and you still have it, contact the battery manufacturer and they will, typically, replace the light.

And, finally, Alkaline batteries are crap leaks are common. Do yourself a favor and invest in some Eneloop rechargeable. The cost is modest and the benefits are huge.

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

Macka17
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: 05/08/2017 - 02:31
Posts: 1026
Location: Queensland Australia

Switches.
for on/off and short bursts.
I like the sliding on/off Magnetic switches on Divers lights.
Followed by the clicky side switch. On/Off/Hold.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 2729
Location: atlanta ga

a side mounted forward-clicky would be best

you prob want something not controlled by firmware – delays are annoying

for as little as i use lights like this (which is almost never) – i like the FW3A, because i always have it, it has a mode for that, and it is very useful for all other lighting purposes.

if i had the ideal light for morse code type situations, i still would not carry it since i never do that

i might have it actually, i have a thorfire ramping light that has a side and a tail switch, the tail switch is forward clicky
but i find the UI very tiresome and annoying

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 16188
Location: nyc

Best would be a FC tailswitch, like on the P30 or L2M hosts if you prefer drop-ins (1-mode, N-modes, whatever).

Something like a GTmicro or GTmini with diffusion film would also work in momentary mode (5 clicks to start, untwist/retwist tailcap to go back to regular modes).

Nice score if you can find ‘em, but the Nitefox UT20 has a dual-switch setup, sideswitch for setting the mode, FC tailswitch to let you get momentary bursts in that mode.

Any light, especially throwy ones, you can slap on some diffusion film to make it a flooder and get a nice wiiiiiide area of light in dark dingy cabinets and the like. No need to be blinded by overly-bright hotspots washing out everything else.

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

pennzy
pennzy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 12/10/2017 - 19:45
Posts: 4169
Location: United States , Pa.

Sofirn SP31and Wowtac A1S are 2 with FC tail switches. Set the side switch to your desired level then half press the tail for momentary burst. Make for good rifle/shotgun lights. Mount them within thumbs reach and no need for a remote switch. So far mine have held up to the recoil but I don’t shoot much with them on.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 2729
Location: atlanta ga

i guess forward clicky without much firmware slowing it down

i would say anduril, though it is firmware, it has a mode for that
and it does so many other things it is hard to say no
FW3A is a good vehicle for anduril
small
bright
well made
or the other versions FW1A might be one of them

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

Pages