Flashlight recommendations for grandma

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madcrow
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Flashlight recommendations for grandma

Hi Everyone,

I hope you like challenges Big Smile
I am looking for a flashlight for my 80+ grandma. With a fittingly weird combination of requirements. I hope you can help me by recommending some specific models.

In short, I am looking for a simple, compact flashlight with easy-to-press button and foolproof design

More specifically:

  • The #1 requirement is that the operating control(s) (button, switch, whatever), can be manipulated with minimal physical strength, and with a single hand.
  • It is likely going to be dropped, knocked over, splashed by the contents of the occasional knocked-over cup.
    => So it has to be either dirt cheap, (so it can be thrown out when broken), or pretty durable (if more expensive.)
  • It is going to be used indoors, at a dim output level, in the magnitude of ~ 10lm.
    => It’s OK, if that is the only supported light output.
    => If supporting multiple output levels, the low-output mode has to be directly accessible (e.g. via mode memory), without tapping magic morse codes on the button every time.
  • Battery: either: Li-ion / Li-po cell with built in charger (It’s OK, if the cell is not user replaceable), OR AAA / AA NiMH cell(s) with or without a built in charger.
    Runtime is not really a factor. (The battery should last at least two weeks, but considering that it is used about 5min total per night, I am pretty sure every LED light today can achieve that at 10lm.)

Thanks for your input!

Edited by: madcrow on 01/05/2022 - 12:44
Bort
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I have been meaning to get back to my thread about creating one (Wurkkos says they are interested), i should do that today.

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madcrow
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To give you a reference point of what constitutes a too hard-to-press button:
When she complained about her current (noname) light being difficult to turn on/off, I offered her my gen1 Nitecore Tube, but she found its button even more difficult to operate.

Ryzbor
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Tint ramping Emisar D4S V2 with Osram W2, SST-20 deep red and a 26800 tube.

Nah, just a low power 4-mode Convoy S2+ with a protected battery or the new 2xAA model (don’t know how it’s called.

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Don’t forget high CRI led! Grandma’s only deserve the best.

Bort
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MoreHiCRILumens wrote:
Don’t forget high CRI led! Grandma’s only deserve the best.

Your username checks out Big Smile

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"

 

 

 

Yokiamy
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D4v2 or KR4 with 219B or E21a (or tint ramping?)

I have no idea how hard to press a nitecore tube is.
Otherwise i would recommend a Reylight 14500 (pineapple or something)

Dropping is suboptimal for all lights, maybe you can get a potted light?

MoreHiCRILumens
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Bort wrote:
MoreHiCRILumens wrote:
Don’t forget high CRI led! Grandma’s only deserve the best.
Your username checks out Big Smile

Just couldn’t help myself.

But yes some AA Convoy would be perfect. Also comes in nice bright colors.

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It’s really a shame that all the hall-effect switches are on dive lights. Those rings and switches are perfect for grandma. But they don’t have built-in charging, and unscrewing the cap to charge the battery is a real biotch because of all the o-rings for water sealing.

But a Sofirn IF25A might work for her. The e-switch button is really light. Set the floor and ceiling so close together that she’ll never notice the ramping if she accidentally holds the switch down, and it’s a click-on click-off one mode UI. Or just leave it locked and in tactical moonlight mode. The head is small enough that it seems unlikely to break. I’ve dropped mine numerous times. In my experience, the bigger the glass (think C8 or old MagLite), the more likely they are to break. Nice tail-stand for nightstand duty, also.

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Go to AliExpress, search Manta Ray S1.
Single mode AA flashlight, tailswitch, in a host similar to the Convoy T2. Can be operated with 1xAA or 1×14500 Li-Ion cell.

madcrow
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manithree wrote:
It’s really a shame that all the hall-effect switches are on dive lights. Those rings and switches are perfect for grandma.

Yes, you read my mind Smile

manithree wrote:
But a Sofirn IF25A might work for her.

Thanks for the tip, it looks very promising!
TBH, I was leaning towards Sofirn anyways (I was looking at the SC21 when you wrote) as I own an LT1 which also has a rather light button, so I was secretly hoping every Sofirn light had that quality.
I checked the specs on the IF25A , and it actually looks more suitable than the SC21: due to its larger form-factor, it would definitely be easier for her to handle. And still it is not lagre enough to break with a high likelihood when dropped. You are also totally right about the UI: Anduril is advanced enough to be able to believably mimic a dumb on-off switch, when configured that way Big Smile
The only downside I could find is the price: $30-40 + our lovely 27% VAT on top of that.
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I gave my 70+ year old mom a ThruNite Neutron 2c v3 for Christmas and it seems like it will work out well. I picked up a couple on sale a while back. Switch is easy to press but maybe hard to find. I set the ramp about half way and hopefully it will stay there unless she holds down the switch.

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Seeknite D236 if it comes in stock.

Note: This is a new light that nobody has reviewed, but the design is on point for ‘grandma’ imo.

https://fundrazr.com/osturaband

No affiliation, just a fan.

manithree
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madcrow wrote:
The only downside I could find is the price: $30-40 + our lovely 27% VAT on top of that.

Yeah, if it turns out it can’t handle the abuse, that’s an expensive lesson.

I guess it’s also somewhere within the realm of possibility that she could accidentally 3C, 4C, 10H, 13H, or 15C, but that seems pretty unlikely.

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Maybe the WildTrail WT3M (triple) or WT1M (single). 21700 cell so it has a larger diameter which is more comfortable to grasp while pressing a button for hands that may be weaker or arthritic, and the side switch on this one is very easy to press and in a natural position. It’s compact but still has a traditional look to it, which she’s probably used to. Runs anduril so you can muggle it for her and set the ceiling lower if you like, and she can enjoy the ease of the ramping or stepped light settings. Switch backlight can be off or set at different levels. It has USB-C charging, so no fumbling or damaging the cable or port trying to find the right side of a micro-usb. The only quibble might be that the rubber port cover is a tight fit and not the easiest to pop open, but it’s easily removed or she could use a fork tine or whatever to pop it out. I don’t think a protected cell will fit in there but with a 21700 and low level use it should last way longer than a couple weeks even with the switch light set to high. The wider head will make it easier for her to set it on a countertop or whatever without tipping over so easily, but this one will roll easily if laid on its side.

Another idea is the Wurkkos FC11, single emitter 18650. It uses the simple UI like many Sofirn lights where you can choose ramping or stepped, but it’s not so feature-laden or potentially confusing like anduril. They have a smaller diameter of course, a bit more length, and an easy to press side switch. Also USB-C and the cover is easy to pop open but stays put in use.

I’d probably vote for the WildTrail unless her hands prefer longer/thinner of the 18650 tube lights. Since she grew up with dim halogen lights, maybe ask her if she likes that warmer color temp more than neutral white or ugly-cold-blue white of the cheapie flashlights and pick the emitter accordingly.

manithree
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JaredM wrote:
Seeknite D236 if it comes in stock.

It sure looks that way. My only concern would be the usb port access. That’s perfect for me, but if the threads are tight to get to the charging port due to water-proofing O-rings, that could be hard for old hands. I may have to order one of those when it becomes available.

ETA: probably not a replaceable battery. I guess grandma won’t care, but kinda eww, anyway.

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MoreHiCRILumens wrote:
Don’t forget high CRI led! Grandma’s only deserve the best.

Facepalm

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Acebeam EC50 with diffusion film, preset it to its lowest setting if you want low.

Big enough to get a good grip (26650 inside).

Soft-touch button that’s fairly big and silver-on-black so is easy to find.

USB charging.

Diffusion film widens the hotspot for a much better view, and “dilutes” the beam if its low is too low.

Click on, click off.

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madcrow
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Correllux wrote:
Maybe the WT1M (single). Another idea is the Wurkkos FC11, single emitter 18650.

Those two also look intriguing, thanks.

madcrow
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80s Fan wrote:
ThruNite Neutron 2c v3

Sounds like a good option, thanks.
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Ryzbor wrote:
Tint ramping Emisar D4S V2 with Osram W2, SST-20 deep red and a 26800 tube.

Nah, just a low power 4-mode Convoy S2+ with a protected battery or the new 2xAA model (don’t know how it’s called.

What is the model of Convoy with 2xAA, does anyone know? Smile

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CheapThrills wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
Tint ramping Emisar D4S V2 with Osram W2, SST-20 deep red and a 26800 tube.

Nah, just a low power 4-mode Convoy S2+ with a protected battery or the new 2xAA model (don’t know how it’s called.

What is the model of Convoy with 2xAA, does anyone know? Smile


It is the T4 model, first introduced by Simon here: https://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1829541#comment-1829541

I am not sure if it is available yet Oops

madcrow
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What I am wondering about right now is: If I choose an Anduril-powered light (like the IF25A or WT3M), how is she going to be able to tell when to charge it (without letting the LVP fully shut it off)?
Having it blink out the battery voltage is obviously not an option Smile
At the very low brightness levels she is likely going to use it, do you think the LVP step-downs will be noticeable enough to be used as low-battery indication? Is it possible there are no intermediate steps in that case, and the LVP just shuts the light down completely as soon as it kicks in? (Sorry if it is a stupid question. I have not really studied how LVP is implemented on Anduril, yet.)

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madcrow wrote:
What I am wondering about right now is: If I choose an Anduril-powered light (like the IF25A or WT3M), how is she going to be able to tell when to charge it (without letting the LVP fully shut it off)?
Having it blink out the battery voltage is obviously not an option Smile
At the very low brightness levels she is likely going to use it, do you think the LVP step-downs will be noticeable enough to be used as low-battery indication? Is it possible there are no intermediate steps in that case, and the LVP just shuts the light down completely as soon as it kicks in? (Sorry if it is a stupid question. I have not really studied how LVP is implemented on Anduril, yet.)

Very good insight, i was thinking of the switch going red when needing charging but light blinking is not a bad idea.

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"

 

 

 

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Even my old old old Convoys with the dreaded 3/5 drivers would start blinking when running low.

My plumber’s light had a slow-blink every few seconds, which I assume was that the light’s about drained.

And what I suggested elsewhere about a blink every 5-10sec when running low, to every 2sec or so when about to crap out, would be best. Can’t possibly miss that.

And my Tacklife that I use around the house, when you’re using the light, you don’t really notice that the ‘T’ in the tailcap went from green to red unless it’s by pure chance that you’re looking at it while using the light. So if I can miss it, granma is gonna end up in the dark when she needs the light most.

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GBE
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Sofirn CO1 is a great ~7 lumen 1 mode AAA light with very nice 3400K hi-cri led. Inexpensive & durable (black & green models are potted for extra durability).
Twist on/off.
Very long runtime for AAA battery. Great little lights!

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madcrow wrote:
What I am wondering about right now is: If I choose an Anduril-powered light (like the IF25A or WT3M), how is she going to be able to tell when to charge it (without letting the LVP fully shut it off)? Having it blink out the battery voltage is obviously not an option Smile At the very low brightness levels she is likely going to use it, do you think the LVP step-downs will be noticeable enough to be used as low-battery indication? Is it possible there are no intermediate steps in that case, and the LVP just shuts the light down completely as soon as it kicks in? (Sorry if it is a stupid question. I have not really studied how LVP is implemented on Anduril, yet.)

I guess that’s one drawback here. I don’t know about the IF25A but the WT3M doesn’t have any indication other than stepping down. Probably will not see stepdowns until the very end and/or if she’s using it for longer periods at that point. The switch light is configurable for brightness/off, but it doesn’t do anything else except turn red when connected to a charging cable (green when charged). I’ve not tested it but 2.8v is supposed to be the cutoff…not ideal but with low current and occasional use I don’t think draining that low will affect battery cycle life. Even if it did a decent 21700 cell used like this is going to last her several-to-many years.

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GBE wrote:
Sofirn CO1 is a great ~7 lumen 1 mode AAA light with very nice 3400K hi-cri led. Inexpensive & durable (black & green models are potted for extra durability). Twist on/off. Very long runtime for AAA battery. Great little lights!

As long as granny doesn’t have arthritic hands…

This is why there’s a burgeoning market for things like those sticky rubber sleeves to stretch over doorknobs, or replacement lever-type door-handles vs shiny slippery round knobs.

Everybody… put yourself in the place of poor ol’ granny, with failing eyesight, arthritic hands, limited mobility and strength, etc.

That’s why even tailswitch lights might be a Bad Idea, despite a mechanical cut-off being superior as far as zero battery-drain when off, or even a “lightweight” AA-based light might be too skinny to hold comfortably, and so on.

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Lightbringer wrote:
As long as granny doesn’t have arthritic hands…

This is why there’s a burgeoning market for things like those sticky rubber sleeves to stretch over doorknobs, or replacement lever-type door-handles vs shiny slippery round knobs.

Everybody… put yourself in the place of poor ol’ granny, with failing eyesight, arthritic hands, limited mobility and strength, etc.

That’s why even tailswitch lights might be a Bad Idea, despite a mechanical cut-off being superior as far as zero battery-drain when off, or even a “lightweight” AA-based light might be too skinny to hold comfortably, and so on.

This, exactly. Tailswitch could be fine or could feel like murder. I was wondering the same about the rotary switches everyone has been clamoring for…they’d need to be easy to turn but also the size of the light may need to be larger/longer to use those comfortably in weakened hands. Before I recommended the WT3M I was wondering if it might be too heavy, but almost everything else checks nicely.

It’s not always the stiffness/difficulty of activating a switch but the position that arthritic joints may need to be in to use it.

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Correllux wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
…even a “lightweight” AA-based light might be too skinny to hold comfortably, and so on.

…the size of the light may need to be larger/longer to use those comfortably in weakened hands.

I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the reason I am leaning towards the chunkier (21700) IF25A and WTxM. The others would be way too skinny to be comfortable for her. Especially the tiny Manta Ray S1 and CO1.
The D4S V2 could be nice option, but is too expensive and lacks both a built-in charger and AA NiMH support. Having to buy a standalone charger would drive the total cost even higher (about 2x the IF25A and WTxM), not to mention the extra hassle for her when recharging.
Correllux wrote:

Before I recommended the WT3M I was wondering if it might be too heavy, but almost everything else checks nicely.

I appreciate you putting this much thought into it Smile IMO, the ~200g total weight of the 21700 form factor should not be a problem. Remember, she is going to use the light only a couple of minutes at a time. And she is used to carrying things of similar weight.
Correllux wrote:

Tailswitch could be fine or could feel like murder.

“Twist on-off” is also a “no-no” in my mind. She – like many elderly people – has restricted mobility, and an impaired sense of balance. So she either walks with a cane or holds on to the nearby furniture, doorhandles, walls etc. Therefore two-handed operation is a deal breaker. Tailswitches might be a slightly better option, but they cannot beat a good side-button in terms of overall ergonomics. It is also an important factor of course, that a side-switch is what she is used to.
Correllux wrote:

I don’t know about the IF25A but the WT3M doesn’t have any indication other than stepping down. Probably will not see stepdowns until the very end and/or if she’s using it for longer periods at that point

Shame. I really like the low-battery indication (via the button light) feature of the Wurkkos FC11. Too bad it is 18650… and its UI is not Anduril-based => long presses could cause confusion.
As far as I can see, the new 21700 TS21 has the same feature + Anduril v2. But reviews seem to indicate its button is of the higher actuation force variety, which is an instant deal breaker (unless modded, of course). Unfortunately I’ve also seen multiple reports of excessive parasitic drain with the current revision of the TS21. Plus it seems to be the general consensus among users that in comparison with the IF25A, the latter is the better product overall.

****************************************************************************************************************************
That leaves the IF25A and WT3M. Between those two, it is a tough choice. I read up on both, and man, do I love the WT3M! Especially its capable thermal design, ease of disassembly, accessible flashing pads. It’s a true enthusiast light. If I was looking for a compact torch for my personal use, I would definitely go with it. For grandma though… the IF25A might be the safer option. It just seems… more refined and also more rugged somehow.
Based on what I’ve read, the WT3M looks like a very respectable first(ish) effort from the manufacturer which needs some extra care(*) to reach its true potential, while the IF25A is available as a complete package and is pretty much “plug-and-play”. Plus it is available with warmer color temperature and higher CRI LEDs than the WT3M. And it has Anduril v2, i.e. the config menus are hidden deeper.
(*) Fixing potential connection issues (supposedly only affecting the clear-coated silver versions), replacing the bad-batch 7135, buying a battery separately while keeping in mind not all 21700 batteries will fit, smoothing the occasional sharp tail spring, modding the USB cover flap so it is easier to remove, etc.

manithree
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madcrow wrote:
For grandma though… the IF25A might be the safer option. It just seems… more refined and also more rugged somehow.

I just got my Wurkkos TS21 on Christmas Eve, and I was planning to do a side-by-side comparison video of it with my trusty IF25A. For a number of reasons, I probably won’t do that now, but the IF25A just feels solid. It’s shorter and thicker than the Wurkkos, but the perceived ruggedness is amazing. It’s probably purely subjective, but the squat, dense feel, plus the fact that I’ve carried it for months, dropped it multiple times and only have one ding in the ano, makes it “feel” invincible. As Kondo Marie would say, it sparks joy.

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