Maglite Runtime Sorcery (ML300L 6D) and 4D Version

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Terry Oregon
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Maglite Runtime Sorcery (ML300L 6D) and 4D Version
 
Update July 15th, 2019: I've added runtime graphs on the 4D version in post #21
 
Over the last couple of years, I've performed run-time tests on most of my other Maglites, and have always been able to validate their listed run-times using rechargeable NiMH batteries. The 6D ML300L was a notable exception.
 
 
A couple of months ago, I purchased the 6 D-cell version of the ML300L and noticed that Maglite's listed runtimes seem a bit unusual . . .
 
  High - 71hrs
  Low - 73hrs
 
Can that be correct? Perhaps a typo? High is only two hours less than low? This model has been in production for at least four years, but I couldn't find any runtime graphs for the 6 D-cell version.
 
Having done runtime tests on my other Maglites, I had to find out for myself what sorcery Maglite was using on the ML300L that allows "high" to be only two hours less than "low".
 
First, for high, I tried using six fully charged (and relatively new) Powerex NiMH D cells for a runtime test on high.  
As you can see, I only got about 15hrs of runtime - nowhere near 71hrs. Is my light defective?
 
I'm aware that Maglite bases their runtimes on alkaline batteries. From their website:
Quote:
All of our published ANSI-standard performance data (Light Output, Beam Distance, Peak Beam Candlepower and Run Time) are based on testing with alkaline batteries
 
OK fine, I will spend a little money in alkaline batteries to verify how much difference it might make. The next test is with six Duracell Quantum D batteries. As you can see, alkalines do in fact make a profound difference in runtime. The ML300L throttles down to about 12.5% brightness and stays there for over two days. It now becomes evident that Maglite is milking ANSI for all its worth - hovering just above the minimum ANSI 10% brightness level. Yes, technically Maglite's listed runtime are correct, assuming you use one of the better alkalines. My runtime was 17min longer than Maglite's.
 
 
The next runtime is for low - again using six Duracell Quantum D cells. Once again, my runtime was only minutes longer than Maglite (7 minutes). 

 
In conclusion, we now see why high and low have similar runtimes. Low stays stable at approx 167 lumens, while high eventually throttles down much lower (to about 87 lumens).  Note this was a learning experience for me, in understanding how some manufacturers achieve their listed runtimes. At one point, I considered requesting an RMA (return merchandise authorization) from Maglite, before I was able to confirm their runtimes.
 
Runtime tests were done using a Reed Instruments SD-1128 light meter data logger.

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Edited by: Terry Oregon on 07/15/2019 - 22:56
argi
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Thank you for this. Where can I found the others maglites runtime test made by you?
I was thinking about a ML300L 2D or 3D, but now I’m not so sure.

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Nice Investigation. That sure seems like hardcore gaming the system by Maglite. Sad

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Those spex are only valid when the light’s sitting still. Once you start moving the light around, it goes into higher-current mode and runtime drops to 34.5hrs, but it’s lots brighter! LOL

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Lightbringer wrote:
Those spex are only valid when the light’s sitting still. Once you start moving the light around, it goes into higher-current mode and runtime drops to 34.5hrs, but it’s lots brighter! LOL

Ahmmm, sorry for the dumb question, but how the flashlight know that is moving? Some kind of buil-tin move detector?

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argi wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Those spex are only valid when the light's sitting still. Once you start moving the light around, it goes into higher-current mode and runtime drops to 34.5hrs, but it's lots brighter! :))
Ahmmm, sorry for the dumb question, but how the flashlight know that is moving? Some kind of buil-tin move detector?

I think he means that moving the light around would allow for better cooling - the assumption would then be - that thermal regulation would affect the outcome.

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argi wrote:
Thank you for this. Where can I found the others maglites runtime test made by you? I was thinking about a ML300L 2D or 3D, but now I'm not so sure.

I'll pull up some other runtime tests, and post them later.

 

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I see. Thank you.

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argi wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Those spex are only valid when the light’s sitting still. Once you start moving the light around, it goes into higher-current mode and runtime drops to 34.5hrs, but it’s lots brighter! LOL

Ahmmm, sorry for the dumb question, but how the flashlight know that is moving? Some kind of buil-tin move detector?

Nobody remembers the Volkswagen “scandal”? The car runs in “clean” mode when on a treadmill and not moving (ie, it knows it’s being tested), but in Real Life™ it just runs nicer.

 

It was a joke. Like the funny kind, only different.

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Ammo expansion tests can be games too. Conditions have to be just right.

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Lightbringer wrote:
It was a joke. Like the funny kind, only different.

Oh, I’m sorry but english is not my first or second language Blushing . I do remember the Volkswagen incident, now I get it Big Smile . I thought the flashlight had some kind of integrated motion sensor like there was or there is a maglite. I have always thought that motion sensors should be integrated into the flashlights for several purposes:

- If you have an accident in the mountain (or other distant place) and the flashlight know that is not moving then it would change to a beacon mode and very low consumption.
- If you forget to turn off a flashlight, she alone would go into saving mode.
- If an elderly person falls, the flashlight could switch to an alert mode or call for help.
- You can turn on or turn off a flashlight by shaking it, baby!

There are many applications that I can think off, and with tiny accelerometers is even more easy for manufacturers or even hobbyist to integrated it in the drivers. But somehow motion sensors are not a “thing” in the flashlight world.

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LarryLumens wrote:
Ammo expansion tests can be games too. Conditions have to be just right.

Yep. I just remembered the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle history.

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Per request, here is a dump of five other runtime graphs from five of my other Maglites. Note that these were done over the last two years, and the format is not always the same. Some of the graph's notes were meant for my own knowledge, and not necessarily for posting (keep that in mind). Some of the graph's lumens values are based on Maglite's spec, some are based on the Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube.  None-the-less, this is a great snapshot of how Maglite handles runtimes. One of Maglite's tricks that you'll see on some of their lights - is to have this initial spike at 40 sec (not 30 sec per ANSI) right after turn-on that only lasts a few seconds, which then becomes their basis for lumens output on high.

 

The first is my foliage green ML50LX, a 2C LED light (HIGH).

Here's the ML50LX on LOW:

 

=================================================================

 

Next is my foliage green ML300LX - a 2D LED light (HIGH).

The ML300LX on LOW:

 

==================================================================

 

Next is the ML150LR rechargeable (LiFeP04 battery).

ML150LR on LOW:

 

=======================================================================

 

Next is my Rose Gold 2X AAA Mini Mag (HIGH) (no graph for low):

 

===================================================================

 

Last is my 2X AA SP+P01H (also known as the Maglite Min Pro+). Amazon LINK. Here is HIGH (no graph for low):

 

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argi wrote:
I thought the flashlight had some kind of integrated motion sensor like there was or there is a maglite.

Yeah, I think there is a Mag that does that, an XL something? 500?

argi wrote:
- If you forget to turn off a flashlight, she alone would go into saving mode.

I could use that for mum. She leaves flashlights turned on overnight, etc., and claims she doesn’t. Crappy 3×AAA lights, but still. I burn down those “dead” cells in dumb lights that wring ‘em dry, and I can’t even keep up, not even “wasting” them as nightlights.

Something that’d turn off the light after 5min of non-use would be ideal.

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Terry Oregon wrote:

 


Per request, here is a dump of five other runtime graphs from five of my other Maglites. Note that these were done over the last two years, and the format is not always the same. Some of the graph’s notes were meant for my own knowledge, and not necessarily for posting (keep that in mind). Some of the graph’s lumens values are based on Maglite’s spec, some are based on the Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube.  None-the-less, this is a great snapshot of how Maglite handles runtimes. One of Maglite’s tricks that you’ll see on some of their lights – is to have this initial spike at 40 sec (not 30 sec per ANSI) right after turn-on that only lasts a few seconds, which then becomes their basis for lumens output on high.


 

Thank you so much for this. So, they are cheating about the high mode, but no the low mode.
Still a lie, but at least they have the expected performance in low mode, sometimes is what you are looking for in a flashlight, low lumens but very long runtime.

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What’s the purpose of the “spike” after initial turn-on, whether at 30sec or 40sec?

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Lightbringer wrote:
What's the purpose of the "spike" after initial turn-on, whether at 30sec or 40sec?

 

Just guessing - to make their output claims technically legitimate - even if a bit manipulative.

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Yup, I have a mom too Big Smile . Totally agree with you. I mean how hard can be to have a flashlight turn off after x time?

Found a handful but look like they work backwards or an a different way.

Motion detection flashlights.

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Quote:

Just guessing – to make their output claims technically legitimate – even if a bit manipulative.

This, +1.

Someone is avoiding a legal mess Big Smile Big Smile Big Smile

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Lightbringer wrote:
argi wrote:
I thought the flashlight had some kind of integrated motion sensor like there was or there is a maglite.
Yeah, I think there is a Mag that does that, an XL something? 500?

My Maglite SP+P01H has that feature.  Point the light straight down (within a 5 deg angle) and it turns on to low.

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Maglite ML300L 4D

This thread is primarily about the 6D version of this light. However, having just purchased the 4D version of this light, I'll post the runtime graphs here, rather than making a separate thread.

The 4D version of this light is fairly new. Maglite makes an interesting claim (here) on the 4D version, which would imply that you'll get 1000 lumens continuously. I have not seen this type of claim on their other lights.  From Maglite add (snip):

Quote:
You know what the problem is with flashlights these days? They all brag about high lumens and how bright they are, but they only run for a short time before the brightness dims down. Well, not this one. Not the ML300L 4D LED Flashlight by Maglite. It's got 1002 lumens and our patented LED Heat-Sink Technology allows for longer performance. On HIGH setting, it can run for more than 5 hours.

The runtime graphs will tell us if the above is true . . . .

We'll start with 4 NiMH Powerex D cells. Note the common characteristic I've seen with other Maglites when first turned on. The output ramps up to peak brightness during the first minute, before throttling way down. Note also, I could not get the claimed 1000 lumens with the Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube (although we're within 10%).

 

Here's the same graph zoomed in to the first 15 minutes:

 

 

The 2nd test is with 4 Duracell Quantum D cells.  Note Maglite uses alkalines on their runtime tests. Note again, the initial ramp-up to peak value in the first minute.

 

Here's the same graph zoomed in on the first hour:

 

Conclusion: The above graphs seriously contradicts Maglite's statement . . .

" . . . but they only run for a short time before the brightness dims down. Well, not this one. Not the ML300L 4D LED Flashlight by Maglite"

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hi,

I have to tell you thank you!

I have a ML300L 3D 625lumen LED which works perfectly.

I wanted a 1000 lumen, as I live near to a forest.

and I was 1 click distance from purchasing the ML300L 4D long lasting 1025 Lumen.

but I stopped after I saw your post.

have a nice day!

 

just me,
robert

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Lightbringer wrote:
argi wrote:
I thought the flashlight had some kind of integrated motion sensor like there was or there is a maglite.

Yeah, I think there is a Mag that does that, an XL something? 500?

argi wrote:
- If you forget to turn off a flashlight, she alone would go into saving mode.

I could use that for mum. She leaves flashlights turned on overnight, etc., and claims she doesn’t. Crappy 3×AAA lights, but still. I burn down those “dead” cells in dumb lights that wring ‘em dry, and I can’t even keep up, not even “wasting” them as nightlights.

Something that’d turn off the light after 5min of non-use would be ideal.

What about Energizer touch tech? Only lights when in your hand. https://www.ruralking.com/energizer-touch-tech-led-flashlight-50-lumens-...

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Hmmm, looks interesting, but she’ll turn on a light and leave it lying on the countertop, etc., for “extra” light.

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Lightbringer wrote:
Hmmm, looks interesting, but she’ll turn on a light and leave it lying on the countertop, etc., for “extra” light.

Yes, it’s a conundrum to be certain.

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