Unpopular Flashlight Opinion Thread

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Kindle
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X3 wrote:
We need a single emitter 14500 version of the FW3A

I’d be onboard with that.

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djozz wrote:
Unpopular opinion: the FW3A has failed as my favourite EDC. I tried for a week and I’m back to my previous one.

Yup, I don’t have a FW3A but I tried to EDC at work an Emisar D4 that is very similar in size. 6 clicks to lock / unlock is a bit too much, not a problem in itself except when unlocking quickly I ended up clicking 7 times, more often than I would have liked. Unscrewing the tailcap instead is useful since it reset the D4 to 1× 7135 @ 100% but you need both hands and have to wait the end of the 2 flashes to turn it on.
I much prefer the JetBeam RRT01 old version, shorter, slimmer, even if it has a much less capacity. I’m also using a Jetusolis 6500°K and a tool AAA 219B that are also always in my work pant.
Kindle wrote:
X3 wrote:
We need a single emitter 14500 version of the FW3A

I’d be onboard with that.


Considering the popularity of the FW3A, I doubt that a single emitter 14500 FW3A would be unpopular. I don’t see the point to ramp from 10 lumens to 400-500 lumens (max considering the size). 3 or 4 fixed brightness settings are well enough to cover this range of brightness.
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Tally-ho wrote:
djozz wrote:
Unpopular opinion: the FW3A has failed as my favourite EDC. I tried for a week and I’m back to my previous one.

Yup, I don’t have a FW3A but I tried to EDC at work an Emisar D4 that is very similar in size. 6 clicks to lock / unlock is a bit too much, not a problem in itself except when unlocking quickly I ended up clicking 7 times, more often than I would have liked. Unscrewing the tailcap instead is useful since it reset the D4 to 1× 7135 @ 100% but you need both hands and have to wait the end of the 2 flashes to turn it on.
I much prefer the JetBeam RRT01 old version, shorter, slimmer, even if it has a much less capacity. I’m also using a Jetusolis 6500°K and a tool AAA 219B that are also always in my work pant.
Kindle wrote:
X3 wrote:
We need a single emitter 14500 version of the FW3A

I’d be onboard with that.


Considering the popularity of the FW3A, I doubt that a single emitter 14500 FW3A would be unpopular. I don’t see the point to ramp from 10 lumens to 400-500 lumens (max considering the size). 3 or 4 fixed brightness settings are well enough to cover this range of brightness.

Annnnd stepped mode is included in Anduril, isn’t it marvelous ? Silly (plus I could put a SW45 9080 219B in it Innocent )

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Good answers Big Smile

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99% of what the average office-dweller is likely to need a flashlight for could be taken care of with the built-in flashlight app on any modern smartphone. Most people in the flashlight community don’t carry a flashlight because they truly need it, but because they want to. At least I can admit it. Most people here wouldn’t, because they’re so fixated on the idea of these toys being for real practical uses. Sure, you can drive a Lambo to work every day, but that’s not why you bought it. Just be honest with yourself.

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kuzuna wrote:
99% of what the average office-dweller is likely to need a flashlight for could be taken care of with the built-in flashlight app on any modern smartphone. Most people in the flashlight community don’t carry a flashlight because they truly need it, but because they want to. At least I can admit it. Most people here wouldn’t, because they’re so fixated on the idea of these toys being for real practical uses. Sure, you can drive a Lambo to work every day, but that’s not why you bought it. Just be honest with yourself.

While I agree with you (I’m very well self conscious about my addiction, and carry my bright toys just to have an excuse to play with them), you talk like you come from an other well known place that I don’t like at all.
Unpopular opinion doesn’t need to be judgmental.

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My flashlight is way superior over a phone as EDC light. Not because of output, tint and beam, although that is a bonus, but because it is always in the same spot (my left front jeans pocket) and one fast blind click away from light.
My girlfriend very regularly asks for my light even though she has a phone (ok, could be laziness, the light comes flying towards her while she has to fetch the phone herself)

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X3 wrote:
We need a single emitter 14500 version of the FW3A

To feed this thread I can also confess that I like twisty (because shorter than clicky) AA & AAA flashlights, 1, 2 or 3 fixed modes with cycling UI. Boost driver only as i’m fine to not be tempted to generate too much heat for such small formats and degrade runtime too quickly. There are larger formats for more brightness.
I never own 14500 battery and never be tempted so far.
My 2x sofirn C01 and 2x jetusolis have plenty of use. Excellent CRI, small enough to be carried everywhere, all the time.

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X3 wrote:
kuzuna wrote:
99% of what the average office-dweller is likely to need a flashlight for could be taken care of with the built-in flashlight app on any modern smartphone. Most people in the flashlight community don’t carry a flashlight because they truly need it, but because they want to. At least I can admit it. Most people here wouldn’t, because they’re so fixated on the idea of these toys being for real practical uses. Sure, you can drive a Lambo to work every day, but that’s not why you bought it. Just be honest with yourself.

While I agree with you (I’m very well self conscious about my addiction, and carry my bright toys just to have an excuse to play with them), you talk like you come from an other well known place that I don’t like at all.
Unpopular opinion doesn’t need to be judgmental.

Exactly. No need to be a knob.

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kuzuna wrote:
99% of what the average office-dweller is likely to need a flashlight for could be taken care of with the built-in flashlight app on any modern smartphone.

Kudos for the unpopular opinion, well found, I pretty like it but :
In europe, more and more office dwellers are commuting with a bike. Do you think that they are using their smartphone as a bike light ? Or as a headlamp ?
A smartphone can do a lot of things but never as well as a more dedicated tool. Recording live music with the built-in mic, in portrait mode… Ughh
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In winter I have a dedicated 18650 light (currently a modded Folomov 18650S) for bike use to work (30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening) that lives in my coat pocket, but I also regularly use my EDC light on my bike (on a simple clamp on the handlebar).

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On summer DST and now with the days getting shorter, it’s dark at around 5:40 AM when I leave to work, so I carry an 18650 torch as a bike light. The best I have for this is the Convoy S2 OP on around 400lm mode.

In the same vein, I have to turn on all the lamps and AC units in the library I work at, and you’d be surprised at how the smartphone’s LED doesn’t reach far enough through the aisles to be comfortable. A light with a reflector is indispensable, if only for peace of mind when I hear a strange noise.

And lest we forget, the ergonomics of smartphones are utter dogshit.

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Also, what happens if your phone is low on battery?

Don’t want to waste additional power.

And what happens when you drop it?
Or you want an actual beam of light?
Or continuous output

There are unpopular opinions, and there are facts.

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Jack Kellar wrote:
In the same vein, I have to turn on all the lamps and AC units in the library I work at, and you’d be surprised at how the smartphone’s LED doesn’t reach far enough through the aisles to be comfortable. A light with a reflector is indispensable, if only for peace of mind when I hear a strange noise.

Especially when one of the Lizard People jumps out from between the racks, you’d be thankful for a real light.

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Lightbringer wrote:
Jack Kellar wrote:
In the same vein, I have to turn on all the lamps and AC units in the library I work at, and you’d be surprised at how the smartphone’s LED doesn’t reach far enough through the aisles to be comfortable. A light with a reflector is indispensable, if only for peace of mind when I hear a strange noise.

Especially when one of the Lizard People jumps out from between the racks, you’d be thankful for a real light.


You know, there are some very much human-skinned snakes in the grass over there. You’d be surprised at the history my campus has with police cases.

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Mmm. Last summer, basement level (storage), crappy cellphone pic.

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BlueSwordM wrote:
Also, what happens if your phone is low on battery?

Don’t want to waste additional power.


No, you actually want to recharge and keep using as much as normally. That’s usually easy nowadays with USB outlet in any computer, in public places, in most cars, increasingly in public transport. Then – quite a few actually EDC powerbanks.

BlueSwordM wrote:
And what happens when you drop it?

Same things as always. If you’re worried about dropping a phone, get a case or a tough phone. If you’re not the question is irrelevant.

BlueSwordM wrote:
Or you want an actual beam of light?

I believe good majority would be OK with a mule. Maybe not 99% – and the biking example was what made me think so.
But then – maybe the bikers would get a dedicated bike light and carry something else. Like a cell phone.

BlueSwordM wrote:
Or continuous output

Do you have a phone that can’t produce continuous LED light?

BlueSwordM wrote:
There are unpopular opinions, and there are facts.

You presented 4 questions and 0 facts. I suppose the questions were meant to be rhetorical with obvious answers. And they were not.
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djozz wrote:

I have two clones of that SupFire S1. Not quite as nice as yours, but as close as I could get. It’s a pretty good host for custom lights. One has a red XP-E2 and acts as the tail light on my bike, while the other has a Nichia 219B 4500K and resides in the shower. Both are, incidentally, not good places for a smartphone flashlight.

X3 wrote:
We need a single emitter 14500 version of the FW3A

A single-emitter FW3A would be nice (FW1A), and a 14500 version would be nice… but I think I’m even more interested in something a little smaller. I still want an 18350 aluminum version of the Olight S-Mini, modified to have a good neutral white emitter and run Anduril.

Tally-ho wrote:
I like twisty (because shorter than clicky) AA & AAA flashlights, 1, 2 or 3 fixed modes with cycling UI. Boost driver only… I never own 14500 battery and never be tempted so far.

This is a bit old, but I still haven’t found a better 1xAA light than the L3 L10-219.

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Well, a powerbank would require an additional USB cable to be plugged in constantly, which isn’t practical at all.
And it can fall, killing the port. Didn’t happen to me, but happened to some of my friends.

A dropped phone, even in a case, can sustain damage or fall in water, or even fall in a sewer…
I would be sad if my light dropped, but my phone that is much more expensive and has a lot of data? I’d be extremely worried and anxious.

Phones have a lot of glare due to having a flashlight, which can be detrimental when you want to do work with other people, and the unfocused beam makes it hard to have a significant amount of light close by.

That was in relation to the phone. If your phone’s battery pack is dead, even a powerbank won’t be able to recharge it instantly, and you’ll be left without light.

The main reasons phones will never replace flashlights are because of physics.

If we could fit a 1mm2 95CRI LED consuming 1W of power, and outputting 1000 lumens with a tiny lens, then maybe most of us wouldn’t need, or even want a flashlight.

For now however, flashlights will never be replaced by a phone’s light by a long shot.

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I and the other night workers must be in the 1% of people who truly need lights better than those on a phone. I use multiple lights every night. Some for the outdoors, some for large buildings, some for miscreants. I came to this forum not to feed a hobby but out of necessity. The funny thing is that I did get hooked and went for the lambo, but I could have gotten by with the jeep. A cell phone light is more like a scooter by comparison.

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BlueSwordM wrote:
Well, a powerbank would require an additional USB cable to be plugged in constantly, which isn’t practical at all.
And it can fall, killing the port. Didn’t happen to me, but happened to some of my friends.

Constantly? Recharge and unplug.

BlueSwordM wrote:
A dropped phone, even in a case, can sustain damage or fall in water, or even fall in a sewer…
I would be sad if my light dropped, but my phone that is much more expensive and has a lot of data? I’d be extremely worried and anxious.

Well, people nowadays tend to use phones everywhere while doin everything. Literally. I’m yet to hear anyone saying “sorry, I didn’t pick up the phone because I was near water and was afraid of dropping it”. Or anything close.

BlueSwordM wrote:
Phones have a lot of glare due to having a flashlight, which can be detrimental when you want to do work with other people, and the unfocused beam makes it hard to have a significant amount of light close by.

I’m not a fan of mule lights. Or extremely floody in general. And glare is the major reason. But then – I like powerful lights only. A powerful mule has serious glare issues. A phone light? I’m yet to feel bothered by one.

BlueSwordM wrote:
That was in relation to the phone. If your phone’s battery pack is dead, even a powerbank won’t be able to recharge it instantly, and you’ll be left without light.

So recharge before it happens.

BlueSwordM wrote:
The main reasons phones will never replace flashlights are because of physics.

If we could fit a 1mm2 95CRI LED consuming 1W of power, and outputting 1000 lumens with a tiny lens, then maybe most of us wouldn’t need, or even want a flashlight.

For now however, flashlights will never be replaced by a phone’s light by a long shot.


1000 lm/W is impossible for a flashlight as well and I fail to see how it’s relevant to the original statement.

But…no way, phones stand no chance against a good flashlight. The original opinion however was

Quote:
99% of what the average office-dweller is likely to need a flashlight for could be taken care of with the built-in flashlight app on any modern smartphone. Most people in the flashlight community don’t carry a flashlight because they truly need it, but because they want to. At least I can admit it. Most people here wouldn’t, because they’re so fixated on the idea of these toys being for real practical uses. Sure, you can drive a Lambo to work every day, but that’s not why you bought it. Just be honest with yourself.

So…for a certain group of people phone light is almost always good enough.
There was no statement of it being better. There was no statement of it replacing flashlights.
Though then – some time ago my mum asked me to find her an EDC light. After learning what she needed it for and what she used before I adviced her to use a phone light. And she’s happy with it. For her a phone light actually replaced a dedicated (but poor) flashlight.
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Nah.

A cellphone light would be like walking/running on foot to go somewhere far. Doable, but not practical at all.

A run of the mill 1000 lumen light would be an “average” electric bike.

An Emisar D4 would be a 3kW overdriven 1,5kW e-Bike.

A BLF Q8 would be the same as the Emisar D4, but with a 4kW overdriven 3k cargo e-Bike.

A Haikelite MT09R would be a super powered electric motorcycle.

A BLF GT would be a super long range 1,5kW e-Bike with a 10kWh battery pack.

A DX80 would a Tesla Model S75.

An Acebeam X70 would be a Tesla Model S P100D.

The MS18 would be a Tesla Roadster P200D.

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But in this analogy – some just don’t go farther than a block away. They never need to. Or hardly ever.

Want to read a sign at night? Want to light up the back of your computer? You dropped something and it rolled under a car?
A high end light won’t improve much over phone in such uses.

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I’m not sure this counts as an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like smartphones. Or non-smart phones either. The hardware is okay, but the software is pretty bad… and they have largely become just another way to receive spam.

Here is what I use a smartphone for:

  • Text messages (SMS)
  • Voice calls (infrequently)
  • Reading books
  • As a clock when I’m not at home
  • Measuring flashlight runtimes with zak.wilson’s “ceilingbounce” app
  • Guitar tuner (infrequently)
  • Navigating on roads (very infrequently)
  • Alarm clock while travelling (very infrequently)

… and things I don’t use a smartphone for:

  • Flashlight
  • Music player
  • Video player
  • Social media
  • Chat client
  • Web browser
  • Calendar
  • Todo list
  • Grocery list
  • Taking notes
  • Taking pictures

… because it’s bad at all of these things and I’d rather use something less-bad.

Many of these are things I would like to use it for, but smart phone OSes really hold back the potential of the hardware. My old Linux PDA from 2001 was a more capable device than an average smartphone, despite its primitive hardware, because the OS didn’t get in the way of what I wanted it to do.

I’ve been involved in portable device OS development several times, and can say from first-hand experience that many of the problems with smart phones are caused by corporate businessmen making high-level decisions which are not in the user’s interests. It’s (mostly) not bad for technological reasons; it’s for profit.

But in the case of phone flashlights, those are bad for tech reasons. It’s only there so people can take pictures indoors and at night. It’s not even trying to be good as a flashlight; it’s trying to be a camera flash.

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Quote:
99% of what the average office-dweller is likely to need a flashlight for could be taken care of with the built-in flashlight app on any modern smartphone. Most people in the flashlight community don’t carry a flashlight because they truly need it, but because they want to. At least I can admit it. Most people here wouldn’t, because they’re so fixated on the idea of these toys being for real practical uses. Sure, you can drive a Lambo to work every day, but that’s not why you bought it. Just be honest with yourself.
Quote:
So…for a certain group of people phone light is almost always good enough. There was no statement of it being better. There was no statement of it replacing flashlights. Though then – some time ago my mum asked me to find her an EDC light. After learning what she needed it for and what she used before I adviced her to use a phone light. And she’s happy with it. For her a phone light actually replaced a dedicated (but poor) flashlight.

I think the problem with the original statement is the author’s projection of his personal justification for indulging in this “hobby”. Its arrogant to claim enthusiasts are in denial, and to do it with such a blanket statement is dismissive and rude. It’s not an unpopular opinion, its someone wrestling with their own psychological determinations about these expenditures. Its far too negative, using terms like “toys”, “fixation” and “impractical “. To some, these lights demonstrate craftsmanship, to others they can be art. You have to ask, why so belittling?

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
― George Carlin

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This thread invites people to make bold statements and that is the fun of this thread. So sounding a bit arrogant about your opinion is specifically in this thread, welcome and invites counter-opinion.

IMO of course Smile

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To be fair, if I could drive a supercar to work every day, I’d do it. What’s the fun in keeping it in a garage? It’s bad enough I can’t respect the local speed limits.

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
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Mmm. Last summer, basement level (storage), crappy cellphone pic.

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I find that a phone is useless 99% of the time when I need a light

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