I've been a flashaholic for years and I still don't get the obsession with ultra low modes.

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Rusty Joe
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For me, a good moonlight mode is a tent/dark room-handy feature only--with the off-hand assurance that should I ever be trapped in a cave, I'd have a life-saving amount of run-time. Also, the ability to gaze into the emitter is kind of like a spiritual experience at times. That little part of me that could be called a doomsday prepper is made happy by the moonlight mode. And that's really all I can say about the subject. 

reppans
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I’m a camper and can use my lights for many hours at a time, mostly for close task work, in dark environments. I’m a low lumen snob and use 0.3 / 3 lumens (not ZL lumens) about 45/45% of the time. I almost exclusively buy sub-/low-lumen lights and am a big believer in “the more light you use, the more you need.”

The human eye has an incredible dynamic range – at the beach, I can shine 500 lumens into the palm of my hand and barely see it, yet a “bright” 0.3 moonlight mode can be searingly painful when I first wake from sleep. Both can be used for my close task work – the difference is the time it takes for my eyes to adjust, and ~500 battery changes. Due to the logarithmic way we perceive light, if increasing brightness is subject to the laws of diminishing returns, then reducing brightness is subject to increasing gains.

I sometimes stealth camp (?trespass?) and as someone mentioned above, I prefer to see without being seen… and that includes attracting bugs.

It gets scary outdoors at night so I want all my senses at 100%, and as others mention above, the more light you use, the less night vision you retain. The brighter your ~70 degree cone of light is, the darker the other ~200 degrees of your peripheral vision becomes. For me, using a bright mode outside is like listening to loud music with headphones on – sure the music sounds great, but you won’t have a clue what else is going on around you.

I also find high contrast really annoying for extended use. My eyes try to adjust to the overall scene, so a relatively small high-lux beam/hotspot against a large dark background drives my eyes’ auto exposure crazy. It’s like trying to read with thrower flashlight (whatever lumens), or watching TV and smartphone surfing in the pitch black without lowering screen brightness.

All that said, I’m not a fan firefly/starlight modes (~0.10 lms or less, incl. “0.34” Zebra-lumens). While they’re about perfect for navigating mid-night bathroom runs, they’re are not enough (for me) for extended reading and general close task work. I prefer the “brighter” moonlight modes in the 0.2-0.4 range (Quarks) and will bury the bezel in my fist, using my pinky as an aperture control, for the few moments I need really dim.

hank
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The older you get, the less you’re able to see at low light levels.

So as you get older, moonlight mode (and moonlight) will seem less and less useful to you.

This is a good review: http://www.journalofvision.org/content/9/7/18.full

Shorter: brightness is one thing, contrast is something different.
As we age we lose the ability to see low light levels and low contrast subjects.

Contrast is not just light and shadow — it’s also texture: compare the texture in a brick wall versus a window screen — fine textures are seen better by younger people.

That’s one reason older people need to be closer to a highway sign to read it than younger people, even when they both have “20/20” vision — loss of ability to discriminate fine texture.

And the loss is happening both in the eye and in the brain structure, with increasing age.

So if you don’t understand moonlight mode now, don’t worry.
In a few more years, you won’t even notice it’s there.

BLightSam
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Wondering why people don’t adapt pen lights as moon light?

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I’m photosensitive and nocturnal, so most of the time I only want moon or a single-digit low mode. Anything else is usually too bright.

89 300ce
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I’m a camper and wouldn’t do without ML. In fact I like the 2 ML modes in the Tiara Pro. ML1 I leave on all the time like a night light hanging from the tent ceiling (or a motel room nightstand) and ML2 is for navigating in the middle of the night. In the evening after sitting around a fire these modes are useless but at 3am they work great.
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I bet I use moonlight mode three or four times as much as the highest modes on my lights. Lots of tasks require a small amount of light, like bathroom trips, finding my sleeping pills or getting something out of my pack at night. The times I actually NEED 1000 lumens are rare. Sure it’s fun to light up a whole yard or a tree at the end of the block but most of the time it’s not something I really needed to do.

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adnj
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If you are in a location with any artificial Street lighting, you probably won’t appreciate nor ever use a sub-lumen light. In the mountains and on the ocean, moonlight mode is all you need to see clearly for 30 or more feet. Comes in handy for reading, fishing, eating, and prepping up close at night, also.

And although I keychain carry a Fenix AAA light, an multi mode light loaded with an 18650 gives you a lot to work with. I carry two multimode lights when I am out rather than bother with a AAA. You can always just cup your hand over the front of the bright light, also

bibihang
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I am not sure if anyone else has brought this up before.

I find that 0.1 lumens in a big SMO reflector (like Acebeam K50 or T08) can be quite useful, as the big reflector can turn the little lumens into a ‘more useful’ hotspot which can still illuminate things in many situations. While I don’t know exactly how much lumens does my former K50 put out on ML mode, it can still ‘throw’ about 1 meter in a completely dark room and my eyes weren’t adjusted to darkness yet.

Lumens indicates the ‘brightness’ of a particular light source, and the way you direct the light is important. If a large reflector/lens is used to focus it then it is a different story to me.

Mike C
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Speedsix wrote:
I’ve never understood why people want a .03 lumen mode on their full sized flashlight or worse yet, their headlamp.

If you are in a tent with someone else who is sleeping but you want to read, what is better than a headlamp with moonlight mode?

What I find amazing is how short sighted some people are. When something is of no use to them they simply cannot grasp the concept of it being useful for someone else.

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I think high powered flash lights are fun, my brightest is a K40M. But several thousands of lumens is seldom useful, just fun. At the most a few hundred lumens is enough, along with good runtime. Or very low output to preserve my night vision.

I think very high output often makes you see less. You see what you shine the light at fine, but you can't see anything else around you. Unless you use a diffuser or bounce the light in the ceiling.

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BLightSam wrote:
“Wow” light is for me. “Wimpy” light is for the wimps.

Best post ever. Hehe

Speedsix
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I can see the use of these ultra low mode but I don’t use them enough to justify a dedicated mode on my main light. I’m sure if I daily needed a ML mode, I would look for a light that had one but that seems like a very specialized task and shouldn’t be a main mode. Hidden mode like most strobes are? Fine.

So what I propose is all strobes and firefly modes be forever banished to hidden mode territory. Bury them all deep where we don’t have to cycle through them to get to our real light. No normal person carries a 18650 flashlight to have .003 lumen that he could get from the smallest, cheapest, crappyiest light ever. I didn’t become a flashaholic to have weak wimpy light that nobody can see anything with.

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Speedsix wrote:
No normal person carries a 18650 flashlight to have .003 lumen that he could get from the smallest, cheapest, crappyiest light ever.
+1
Quote:
I didn’t become a flashaholic to have weak wimpy light that nobody can see anything with.
AFAIK, no GB flashlights bragged about having a moonlight. But some even bragged about “Wow” like this GB A6 with “OVER 5A!” in the subject line.
Adoby
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Speedsix wrote:
No normal person carries a 18650 flashlight to have .003 lumen that he could get from the smallest, cheapest, crappyiest light ever. I didn't become a flashaholic to have weak wimpy light that nobody can see anything with.

You are quite right. For that I carry a small trit light source. It is enough to avoid bumping in to furniture and walls in otherwise complete darkness.

However, I carry an 18650 Olight S20L2 baton with 600 hours runtime on 0.5 lumens.

And the coming A6 GB seems to have a nice moonlight. Very nice...

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Speedsix wrote:
No normal person carries a 18650 flashlight to have .003 lumen that he could get from the smallest, cheapest, crappyiest light ever.

See, that’s just not true! I don’t know what the real numbers are, but here’s an example to get close. Let’s say you have a 20mA LED light. I can’t think of any LED’s rated lower than that, but maybe I’m wrong. If you say it uses 3.0V, then you have 3.0 × 0.02 = 0.06 watt. At a low rating (cheapie remember?) of 80 lumens per watt, you would have 4.8 lumens coming out of that flashlight! I think most of us agree that doesn’t qualify as “moonlight” mode. And, it is definitely a lot more than 0.003 lumen by a long shot!

Now, I’m not one to use a 0.003 lumen moonlight. But, as others have said, moonlight mode of just under a lumen is plenty of light for seeing in the dark without ruining your night vision, while also taking care not to disturb others who don’t want to be awake at that time. I use my moonlight mode every morning when I get up, so I don’t disturb my wife who is not ready for bright lights yet. I actually very rarely have any use for a very bright flashlight. I just like bright lights, so I have them.

I’ll give you this: I don’t have a problem with making moonlight mode semi-hidden. In my Olight S20-L2, you can always get to moonlight from off. But, if you happen to be cycling through modes, moonlight isn’t part of the normal cycle. I think that’s a decent way to do it. In fact, the Olight UI seems to me to be almost perfect. The only thing I would change is the return from lock-out. The Olight always unlocks into moon mode. I’d rather it unlock into the last used mode instead.

I think your posts on this topic are bordering on divisive. You have a right to your preference for more light, but why are you being so abrasive about other people wanting a lower mode? Why do you feel like you have to insult people for wanting a moonlight mode, and insist that it isn’t really useful, even after being told by so many that it is very useful? Did someone abuse you with a moonlight mode in your youth? :_(

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hank
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> the BLF X6 group

moon was an option for a while, before it wasn’t: http://budgetlightforum.com/search?q_as=BLF%20×6%20moon%20mode

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ryansoh3 wrote:

Firefly or moonlight modes are great when it’s pitch black and you only need 0.1 lumens to go across a room without bumping into something or stubbing your toe. Anything brighter (>10 lumens) will be painfully bright when your eyes are adjusted to the darkness and may annoy others if anyone else is near.

Sorry but is total and utter nonsense.
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
ryansoh3 wrote:

Firefly or moonlight modes are great when it’s pitch black and you only need 0.1 lumens to go across a room without bumping into something or stubbing your toe. Anything brighter (>10 lumens) will be painfully bright when your eyes are adjusted to the darkness and may annoy others if anyone else is near.

Sorry but is total and utter nonsense.

Sorry, but is total and utter nonsense. Silly I don’t see anything ryansoh3 said that is nonsense, so therefore your post is nonsense. Wink

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Martini wrote:
I bet I use moonlight mode three or four times as much as the highest modes on my lights. Lots of tasks require a small amount of light, like bathroom trips, finding my sleeping pills or getting something out of my pack at night. The times I actually NEED 1000 lumens are rare. Sure it’s fun to light up a whole yard or a tree at the end of the block but most of the time it’s not something I really needed to do.

You do realise that there are many light outputs between 1000 lumens and moonlight????

Seriously, why must these conversations always end up being polarised comparisons.

hank
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> Sorry but is …

I recall a color-blind man who believed “red” and “green” pigments are wasted, because both of them look brown to him.

You can’t see it, therefore it doesn’t exist?

Well, I usually applaud the empirical “show me” approach.

But it has its limitations.

I used to be able to hear 20,000 cycles per second in music.
Now, after retirement age, I’ve lost the upper end of that.

And I can’t see nearly as well in the dark as i used to.
I can’t get around by starlight alone, I need some moon in the sky, or a little help.

When I get older, I’ll be able to see (and hear) less.

That doesn’t change the value of high frequency sound, or low level light, for young people with better perceptions.

I’m not the measure of all things for all people.

What I can’t see — says what my limitations are.

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89 300ce wrote:
I’m a camper and wouldn’t do without ML.
Have you heard of camp fires? Is that too bright for you?
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Speedsix wrote:
I can see the use of these ultra low mode but I don’t use them enough to justify a dedicated mode on my main light. I’m sure if I daily needed a ML mode, I would look for a light that had one but that seems like a very specialized task and shouldn’t be a main mode. Hidden mode like most strobes are? Fine.

So what I propose is all strobes and firefly modes be forever banished to hidden mode territory. Bury them all deep where we don’t have to cycle through them to get to our real light. No normal person carries a 18650 flashlight to have .003 lumen that he could get from the smallest, cheapest, crappyiest light ever. I didn’t become a flashaholic to have weak wimpy light that nobody can see anything with.

This is ANOTHER post that is a perfect example of what Mike C said in post #41……..What I find amazing is how short sighted some people are. When something is of no use to them they simply cannot grasp the concept of it being useful for someone else.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is coming from a guy who has 15 modded throwers staring with one that fits in the palm of my hand[75Kcd] to the TK75vn KT[3300 LUMENS/341Kcd and the TK61vn V4- 750Kcd!!!

Just because you do not like ML or strobe,,,doesn’t mean it isn’t useful to others! I already posted how important STROBE is to someone walking a Dog on Hilly and curvy roads,,,,,,,,,,I am one of them! Wink

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Adoby
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Those who dislike moonlight modes can buy flashlights without moonlight modes, or simply refrain from using them.

Those who like moonlight modes can buy flashlights with moonlight modes, and use them as much as they like.

What was the problem again?

Do we really need a fatwa or a holy crusade for or against?

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Adoby wrote:

Those who dislike moonlight modes can buy flashlights without moonlight modes, or simply refrain from using them.

Those who like moonlight modes can buy flashlights with moonlight modes, and use them as much as they like.

What was the problem again?

Do we really need a fatwa or a holy crusade for or against?

This^^
Plus, others who really care enough can learn to flash your own firmwares so everything is exactly how you want it. It’s intimidating at first, but in the end very simple.

I don’t buy flashlights anymore, I buy hosts.

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Adoby wrote:

What was the problem again?

The problem is, as it has always been.  People. Some just like to cause trouble. Some like to see problems develop and arguments come up. Some live to see others get upset or cause controversy. Here, in a bar, in a home, at work, on the street, on the phone, in a war, there's always someone to stir the pot and others to jump in and add to it.  That's all it is and it's a waste of time as always.

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Old-Lumens wrote:

Adoby wrote:

What was the problem again?

The problem is, as it has always been.  People. Some just like to cause trouble. Some like to see problems develop and arguments come up. Some live to see others get upset or cause controversy. Here, in a bar, in a home, at work, on the street, on the phone, in a war, there’s always someone to stir the pot and others to jump in and add to it.  That’s all it is and it’s a waste of time as always.

AGREED,Very well said “OL”.

We can’t change anyone but ourselves,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nothing more needs to be said, it would be a waste of time and energy! :bigsmile:

Solitude breeds contemplation which creates clarity. 

Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. 

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DavidEF wrote:
the Olight UI seems to me to be almost perfect. The only thing I would change is the return from lock-out. The Olight always unlocks into moon mode. I’d rather it unlock into the last used mode instead.

In case it might help, the Baton.c firmware unlocks to the last-used mode instead of moon.

DavidEF wrote:
I think your posts on this topic are bordering on divisive. You have a right to your preference for more light, but why are you being so abrasive about other people wanting a lower mode? Why do you feel like you have to insult people for wanting a moonlight mode, and insist that it isn’t really useful, even after being told by so many that it is very useful?

This bothers me too. As O-L said, it’s a people problem and some people like to cause controversy. That’s how things have always been, but the internet has a knack for amplifying this sort of thing from a nuisance to a danger. Fortunately BLF is pretty resistant to drama, but it’s still worth a bit of conscious effort on our parts to try not to weaponize the conversation so our friendly admin doesn’t have to get involved.
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For my practical use, just 1 floody lumen makes a good low. At the other end 500 Lumen is about as bright as I ever need. I don’t work in a coal mine or find I need to light things up more than 200 feet away or compete with the sun , so this range has me covered for 99.99%.

Furthermore…. all lights brighter than about 1000 Lumen should be banned or restricted to special permit use only. There is just no reason why common civilians should be allowed to use so much light. Someone could be temporarily blinded and it’s just gross light pollution. Too much attention is paid to these big bright monsters here.

And for those that think they can get around with these sub-lumen modes, they should be required to wear a helmet. It’s just too dangerous to be stumbling around in the dark this way. Someone could get hurt.

That works for me. Now I’m taking my toys and going home. Flat Stare

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You don’t spend enough time in total darkness. Waking from total sleep with no light source. That’s when sublumen modes rule.

Or being subtle in public, or a meeting, or in the car on a road trip….. etc…

Buy what works for you.

I like copper

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