Why are flashlight manufacturers [REDACTED][lying] about their products?

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L4M4
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Why are flashlight manufacturers [REDACTED][lying] about their products?

Hi!

In the newest Mailbag, Dave gets a Lumintop TD16 – the manufacturer claims, that this light will run on 1000 Lumens for 2.2 hours.

2.2 hours – or 2:12 means, that Lumintop has suddenly invented a 18650 battery that has over 6000mAh capacity.
Since there is no 18650 over 3600mAh at the moment – they just simply lie.
On a flashlight that costs ~100€.

I just wrote them that question and will post the answer here.
Since they don’t write anything about dimming because of heat or a Turbo-Timer, they just lie to customers who have no idea about this whole stuff.

Edited because it’s not just Lumintop that lies about the Lumens&Runtimes

Edited by: sb56637 on 07/30/2016 - 15:58
everydaysurvivalgear
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Hey mate if it is ANSI rated run time they are aloud contentious step down to get a total rating for high mode?

patmurris
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Same for the Prince: 2h 30m runtime on high @ 1000 lumen on one 18650…

DavidEF
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Maybe they’re just Keeping up with the Joneses

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jescereal
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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
Hey mate if it is ANSI rated run time they are aloud contentious step down to get a total rating for high mode?

Bingo! It’s as long as the light runs until it’s 10% of its output. It’s not how long it lasts only in Turbo mode.

Check out slide 22: http://www.streamlight.com/documents/ansi/ansi-pres.pdf

sp5it
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Most of the manufacturers lie in their specs.
That’s why we have internet forums. To read, share and make good choices.
Mike

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin

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bugsy
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This is not a lie. It is saying that it will run for that amount of time in the high mode that starts at 1000 lumens. It is not saying it will run at 1000 lumens for that amount of time. It is almost universal at this point for manufacturers to have stepdowns for their highest mode and they advertise the runtime that you will get in the highest mode taking into account the ANSI output (after 30 seconds).

I am 100% for calling manufacturers out on their bs, but you have not provided an example of bs.

L4M4
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Well, if I read “1000 Lumens – 2.2hours” – I assume that this thing will run at 1000 Lumens at 2.2hours.
Also, they mention “ansi” nowhere I have to assume that they don’t use this standart

It wouldn’t be a problem if this thing wouldn’t cost a friggin 100€.
If I buy a 5€ China light with 2000 Lumens (wink) out of a fake XP-E, I don’t expect premium quality from it – but at 100€?
I could buy 2 L6 or 5-6 C8 / S-Line Convoys for that money.
I just simply don’t expect to be cheated in such a way from a premium manufacturer.

freeme
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I doubt any single 18650 flashlight is able to deliver continuous 1000lm for up to 1hr too.

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alfas
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bugsy wrote:
This is not a lie. It is saying that it will run for that amount of time in the high mode that starts at 1000 lumens. It is not saying it will run at 1000 lumens for that amount of time.

 

For me this ad posted above clearly says so:

I agree that they could mean what you described. Informed people will know that. But the ad aims also uninformed people, and it clearly says 2.5h@1000 lumens, or 11h@170 lumens or 65h@25 lumens... Sad

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L4M4 wrote:
Well, if I read “1000 Lumens – 2.2hours” – I assume that this thing will run at 1000 Lumens at 2.2hours.
Also, they mention “ansi” nowhere I have to assume that they don’t use this standart

It wouldn’t be a problem if this thing wouldn’t cost a friggin 100€.
If I buy a 5€ China light with 2000 Lumens (wink) out of a fake XP-E, I don’t expect premium quality from it – but at 100€?
I could buy 2 L6 or 5-6 C8 / S-Line Convoys for that money.
I just simply don’t expect to be cheated in such a way from a premium manufacturer.

But its not only them i have light from these manufactures that also state the same.
Nitecore
Jetbeam
Xtar
Olight
Led lenser
It doesn’t make it okay but it is what it is. The ANSI testing is a joke for the most part.

everydaysurvivalgear
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alfas wrote:

bugsy wrote:
This is not a lie. It is saying that it will run for that amount of time in the high mode that starts at 1000 lumens. It is not saying it will run at 1000 lumens for that amount of time.

 


For me the this ad posted above clearly says so:



I agree that they could mean what you describled, informed people will know that. But the ad aims also uninformed people, and it clearly says 2.5h@1000 lumens, or 11h@170 lumens or 65h@25 lumens… Sad

I would say the two lower modes are achievable with one 18650 without step down?

T.H.Cone
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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
Hey mate if it is ANSI rated run time they are aloud contentious step down to get a total rating for high mode?

jescereal wrote:
Bingo! It’s as long as the light runs until it’s 10% of its output. It’s not how long it lasts only in Turbo mode.

bugsy wrote:
This is not a lie. It is saying that it will run for that amount of time in the high mode that starts at 1000 lumens. It is not saying it will run at 1000 lumens for that amount of time. It is almost universal at this point for manufacturers to have stepdowns for their highest mode and they advertise the runtime that you will get in the highest mode taking into account the ANSI output (after 30 seconds).

I am 100% for calling manufacturers out on their bs, but you have not provided an example of bs.


I understand what you fellows are saying and, yes, you are correct. It is also true that all manufactures do this.

However, I think the point L4M4 was trying to make was that it is a little disingenuous. Manufactures know that flashlight forum members understand all the nuances and, but to a lay person, they are going to look at those numbers and simply assume it means max out put for the stated time. It’s marketing, plain and simple.

No manufacture wants to be the wrist company to say, “1300 lumens for 3.7 hours, but don’t get too excited because while that lumen number is accurate, the run time includes the step-down at 90 seconds and all the time it takes for the light to continuously dim from there this it goes completely out”.

That’s not going to sell flashlights, right? Even if a company were willing to be 100% transparent and proactive in educating consumers, they’d still have to compete with the guy who is selling 10,000 lumen lights that are actually 100 lumen lights on Ebay because that guy just says, “10K lumens for infinity”.

A similar thing happens when you watch a food supplement commercial, then right at the end, they say really fast, “Claims not tested by the FDA”. Most people don’t actually “hear” that part, do they?

Anyway, being an educated consumer is, as it always has been, the best defense.

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.

scs
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L4M4,

I’m just as dissatisfied as you are with how manufacturers typically advertised runtimes.
Seeing your post count though, I’m assuming you’ve been around lights for quite some time, and I’m surprised that you’re surprised by your finding and vexed enough to contact Lumintop about it.

Of all the manufacturers, I think Fenix is actually MORE misleading than the rest, because they advertise Turbo or Max mode runtimes while also claiming “Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness.” I don’t blame anyone for interpreting that to mean constant brightness for the duration of the advertised runtime at the advertised max output, which a lot more often than not is definitely not the case.

L4M4
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That’s because I don’t usually buy premium lights or care about the runtime.
I mod lights and don’t really use any of my lights regular, just to find stuff in my flat or something – so runtime is absolutely uninterestingly.

I am very interested in the answer from Lumintop – if there will be one.

I am just a bit shocked how they are clearly lying to the customer and just don’t give a f*ck about it.
And if every “big” manufacturer does this, it’s even worse.

ANSI Lumens… so the time for “high” or 1000 Lumens is for how long the light runs on high until it drops from 1000 to 100 lumens – that’s farcical.

sidecross
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L4M4 wrote:
I assume that this thing will run at 1000 Lumens at 2.2hours.

All advertising and marketing operate using ‘assumption’ as a tool to cloud certain realities while profiling others to assume.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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cone wrote:

Manufactures know that flashlight forum members understand all the nuances and, but to a lay person, they are going to look at those numbers and simply assume it means max out put for the stated time. It’s marketing, plain and simple.

No manufacture wants to be the wrist company to say, “1300 lumens for 3.7 hours, but don’t get too excited because while that lumen number is accurate, the run time includes the step-down at 90 seconds and all the time it takes for the light to continuously dim from there this it goes completely out”.

I should market my camera flash as a million lumen flashlight. Hey, it really does output 1,000,000 lumens. It just steps-down really fast.

will34
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Think about it:

There isn’t ANY 1×18650 high power flashlight in the world that can run on turbo for more than a few minutes without severely overheating, at which point it must either step down or shut off.

If the light shuts off before reaching battery depletion it wouldn’t be called “runtime”.

If they didn’t allowed stepdown the Nitecore EC4 would be the longest running flashlight, most other lights not reaching even 5 minutes. And a FET based driver would have a runtime of 1 second, since the output drops soon as you turn it on.

Simply put there is no other way of measuring runtime, and the ANSI standard is the most applicable one. The best solution to this is to force manufacturers to include a runtime chart in the specs.

sidecross
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will34 wrote:
Think about it:

There isn’t ANY 1×18650 high power flashlight in the world that can run on turbo for more than a few minutes without severely overheating, at which point it must either step down or shut off.

If the light shuts off before reaching battery depletion it wouldn’t be called “runtime”.

If they didn’t allowed stepdown the Nitecore EC4 would be the longest running flashlight, most other lights not reaching even 5 minutes. And a FET based driver would have a runtime of 1 second, since the output drops soon as you turn it on.

Simply put there is no other way of measuring runtime, and the ANSI standard is the most applicable one. The best solution to this is to force manufacturers to include a runtime chart in the specs.

+1

The lithium battery was a work in progress in the 1970’s and not a fulfilled product until 1980. The general public has little qualified information on these batteries, and is a reason for misinformation as well as deception.

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WalkIntoTheLight
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will34 wrote:
Simply put there is no other way of measuring runtime, and the ANSI standard is the most applicable one. The best solution to this is to force manufacturers to include a runtime chart in the specs.

You could specify run time in a unit like lumen*hours, but a runtime chart is a lot more clear and provides more information on the output curve. Frankly, I do think manufactures are using the ANSI standard to deliberately deceive the buyer. Just because everyone does it, doesn’t make it right.

scs
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…so a bit unfair to single out Lumintop.

Zebralights, when not limited by their PID, do have the circuitry to sustain almost flat max output, but at the cost of much shorter runtime, approx 1/4 of that advertised. ZL doesn’t tell you that explicitly, only that the advertised runtime is with PID in effect and actual runtime will vary depending on usage. That’s true, just not the whole truth.

Some AT lights supposedly have pretty solid runtimes equal to or even exceeding specs.

Not sure about Manker.

Aside from them, most if not all the other manufacturers do not use a buck+boost circuit for their 3-4V 1×18650 lights.

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Yeah… this just ain’t Lumintop. May as well call out Nitecore too.

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All of them lies. From runtime to distance. That why i refer to reviews of “real” person, not the description on the box. Specially the beamshot part.

FL Newbie

scs
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Nitecore, Fenix, Olight, the whole works. But, of course, that wouldn’t sit right with a lot of their fans.

We can have substantial influence over the direction the industry is heading.
It is to our eventual benefit to inform and convince others to be more discerning and more demanding consumers of flashlights.

If you’re more the place-the-blame type, think of it this way: those idiots and/or assholes who keep buying less than stellar lights are the reason manufacturers keep making them instead of really good ones you want to buy.

sidecross
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scs wrote:
We can have substantial influence over the direction the industry is heading. It is to our eventual benefit to inform and convince others to be more discerning and more demanding consumers of flashlights.

+1

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

bugsy
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Olight and Acebeam have been a little more upfront than others about their stepdowns with some of their lights, but not all.

KeepingItLight
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I do not know the precise history, but I read somewhere that Maglite (and other manufacturers of flashlights that use alkaline batteries) lobbied for the 10% limit in the ANSI FL 1 runtime standard. As one of the largest flashlight makers in the world, its input carried a lot of weight.

Given the typical runtime curve for a Maglite running in its highest mode, you can understand why it wanted the 10% cutoff. Robin Wang actually violated the warranty requirements by using NiMH batteries in the following test of the Maglite ML300LX. The instructions for this flashlight clearly state "Alkaline batteries only." The red lines in the chart below are the alkaline curves.



Runtime chart

In the case of the Maglite above, the 10% threshold results in a runtime of around 15 hours. Using a 50% limit produces a more useful runtime estimate of about 3 hours.

 

Flashlight reviewer Selfbuilt uses a 50% cutoff in his flashlight tests. I wish the ANSI FL 1 standard used the same cutoff. In my opinion, that is a more realistic value, typical of how I use a flashlight. When I need 1000 lumens, for instance, I can usually get by with 500. But 100 lumens, for a job that demands 1000, won't cut it.

 

I must be jaded by all this. Having researched the ANSI FL 1 ratings more than a year ago, I find the claims by Lumintop and others to be plausible given the way the FL 1 standard works.

 

I do not blame Lumintop here. I think FL 1 is the problem.

WalkIntoTheLight
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KeepingItLight wrote:

I do not know the precise history, but I read somewhere that Maglite (and other manufacturers of flashlights that use alkaline batteries) lobbied for the 10% limit in the ANSI FL 1 runtime standard. As one of the largest flashlight makers in the world, its input carried a lot of weight.

Given the typical runtime curve for a Maglite running in its highest mode, you can understand why it wanted the 10% cutoff. Robin Wang actually violated the warranty requirements by using NiMH batteries in the following test of the Maglite ML300LX. The instructions for this flashlight clearly state “Alkaline batteries only.” The red lines in the chart below are the alkaline curves.

Pretty sad when crap batteries in a crap flashlight abuses the FL-1 standard so much it actually makes the light look good. Pure evil, IMO.

sidecross
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KeepingItLight wrote:
When I need 1000 lumens, for instance, I can usually get by with 500. But 100 lumens, for a job that demands 1000, won’t cut it.

I do not choose which flashlight to use by what its highest output is; as a general rule I take the highest output and divide it by half to be a more useful indication of its feasible use.

Until factors of controlling heat and battery chemistries bottlenecks, mid range light specifications are my key interest.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

breinrules
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When i see runtime and lumen comparison, led lenser always get bashed and fenix/zebralight are so called gods.

By the way, 1000 lumen for 2.2 hours is possible by using pwm
That is not noticeable by eye.

KeepingItLight
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sidecross wrote:
KeepingItLight wrote:
When I need 1000 lumens, for instance, I can usually get by with 500. But 100 lumens, for a job that demands 1000, won’t cut it.

I do not choose which flashlight to use by what its highest output is; as a general rule I take the highest output and divide it by half to be a more useful indication of its feasible use.

Until factors of controlling heat and battery chemistries bottlenecks, mid range light specifications are my key interest.

I totally agree! I rate my flashlights according the output levels they can sustain. Often that means somewhere around half of max.

In the post above, I did not mean to suggest otherwise. I was trying only to use Maglite as an example of how inflated runtime claims can be made for a flashlight under the ANSI FL 1 standard.

In a perfect world, runtime charts would be published by flashlight makers in lieu of—or in addition to—FL 1 runtimes. Since that won’t happen soon, I am in debt to the wonderful members of BLF who give honest reviews of these products.

Thank you, guys!

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