Crazy Idea. BLF Moonlight Special Flashlight.

I had a LF5XT years ago. Really liked it. The lowest level was low, but not as low at todays lows.

I liked that you could be on any level and had momentary to high by pressing the switch.
Double clicks to change modes.
One click on , one click off.
Up to 5 levels set by you.
Little long for AA light.
Didn’t have the run time of the Fenix lights of that time.

I completely understand. I live out in the middle of nowhere. No street lights, no city lights, nothing except what you have on you for the most part. Now I have a few motion activated LED lights in the front and out back. On a clear night I can work my way around outside just fine without a flashlight. I do keep one on me but don’t need it most of the time. I really don’t need it at night around the house either. I’ve lived here long enough to know the layout and where everything is, light or dark. Now if someone breaks in and moves my furniture or bathroom on me then I might need more than a flashlight. I mainly use the moon modes on my lights for looking for something in the bedroom or one of the kids room when they are sleeping and I don’t know where the item is exactly. Not to mention I don’t want to wake them up, yelling at me. I normally use the moon mode on my Thrunite T10 or the Reylight Pineapple AA. They seem to work great for me.

I will take a look at the zebralights. Never really gave them a fair shake. They seem a little pricey but not too awfully bad.

This wasn’t a light I was really looking for, just an idea for a lot of other guys who take their moon modes something serious. I think a custom light would be real nice. Something in copper, brass, stainless, or maybe even blue steel. Blue steel would look better and better with time.

I would love to put together a light like this. I have the knowledge, I just don’t have the ability. My eyes are toast at anything up close and years of abusing my mind and body have left me with slight hand tremors that leave finesse work out of my reach. I’m not complaining though, I can still spot a buck at 200 yards and my etch a sketch drawings are almost amazing.

I would imagine not. I put an extra 0 in there by mistake.

I am probably mistaken, but is 0.001 lumens about the brightness of an indicator light?

The "Engineering mode" that Manker puts on some of their lights is pretty nice, IMHO.

On my E03H (actually just "E03" because I am not using the headband, lol), it has 21 moonlight levels to choose from in "engineering mode".

On the lowest level, the LED is emitting about as much light as one of those dim indicator lights you find on various electronics. Or maybe one of those hidden leds in backlit keyboards. Very much dimmer than "Firefly", I think it needs a new name. ;) So dim that the light reflecting off the steel bezel in daytime(on a dark cloudy day) is more noticeable. :o

On the highest level, its about 1 or 2 lumens.

I think a light with only three modes, of which all three are programmable from a super low firefly level up to the highest level of the flashlight’s ability, is a worthy goal for a BLF special. If you think about it, it wouldn’t be just a moonlight special. It would be almost infinitely customizable within those three modes. Some of the possibilities:

  • Moon-1, Moon-2, Moon-3 (the Moonlight Special)
  • Moon-1, Moon-2, Hi
  • Moon, Lo, Hi
  • Moon, Lo, Mid (Muggle Mode?)
  • Hi, Lo, Moon

IMHO, it wouldn’t be a worthy light unless it could reach the limits of technology. So, I’d like it to be unexpectedly bright for its size. Since the levels are programmable, we don’t have to worry about heat too much. Of course, we should make it the best it can be, using a copper pill, DTP MCPCB, and true thermal protection on the driver. But make it so the thermal protection can be disabled. Let the user decide, by setting their modes to the levels they feel comfortable with. Maybe by default, it could ship in muggle mode, in order to be inherently safe at the start.

At the same time, it should be capable of very high efficiency in the lower modes. One of the reasons for Moon mode is to have a minimum usable amount of light that will last for the maximum amount of time, like SB said above.

We have drivers and firmwares that can do these things, but I haven’t seen it all put together just like this. I would definitely save up my pennies to ensure I could buy one of these if someone started a Group Buy. This would be the light to not miss, if it were done right. :crown:

I would love to have one of those lights. :THUMBS-UP:

The main issue with single AA or AAA lights is the MCU. To have a driver with fully adjustable modes you need firmware, and almost every firmware I’ve seen here operates on ATtiny MCUs which require minimum of 1.8V to operate. A single AA or AAA falls a little short of that unless there is a boost circuit.

The H17F lucidrv drivers allow the user to modify the number of modes and mode levels. Not an open source firmware but it might be possible to contact DrJones about a moonlight only version or more moonlight levels.

Just buy a Zebralight with their new user-interface. You can program low, med, and high to be whatever mode you wish, including any of their three moonlight mode levels. So, if you want a light that only has moonlight levels, you can program it that way.

Q-lite Rev. A drivers from Intl-Outdoors offer a pretty decent moonlite, although they’re not very consistent. Some are extremely low, while others seem closer to 0.5 lumens.

My current favourite ‘moonlite’ is the little Astrolux AO1, with the first run of Manker drivers. Combined with that 219b emitter, it’s very merciful on my old retinas at 0300 hrs as I hobble to the biffy. I’d buy a bunch more of those if somebody ever decided to build them.

I was under the impression that the current Manker E01 is the same as the original Astrolux A01 with Manker driver? :)

Excellent! I believe you’re right, I was not aware of that! :+1:

Probably doesn’t directly answer your query, but the Jet-II a) always starts from firefly (ie, nomem), and b) said firefly mode is pretty dim.

The SP10B also has a pretty dim firefly mode, but has memory, so you always have to reset it to that mode if that’s what you want coming on next.

So a 10440 or 14500 would be a necessity then? Also would the light fail to work at all below that 1.8V threshold?

I won’t say the light will fail to work. The MCU probably will operate lower than 1.8V, but there is no guarantee that it will. 1.8V is the guaranteed threshold according to the datasheet specs. I haven’t tested lower because I don’t use LEDs that can light up with so low voltage.

In terms on moonlight my new drivers might be of interest. They are constant current (no PWM) fully adjustable from 0.02 amps up to 2.8, 4.2 or 5.6 amps. The upper limit depends on weather driver has optional FET for boost (it takes space from constant current regulating components), and which ground ring width for driver retaining ring clearance is selected (fatter GND ring takes space from other components, but I’m done with filing out retaining rings, hence optional width).

For moonlight I can use 16 bit PWM on 0.02 amp constant current. Theoretical lowest brightness is 0.02 amps divided by over 65000. Compare that to 0.35 amps divided by 255 on a AMC7135 (using 8 bit PWM). User can select between 1 to 4 modes, all modes can do all brightness levels with the exception FET drivers. The FET can only be activated on boost mode, and it’s full on without PWM (designed for boost/turbo on triples and quads). The downside is that the CC regulators cost a lot more than AMC7135s. But for a true moonlight only I would not have to populate the driver with full amount of regulators.

Not done with development for a while either. Once I am I’ll be giving a few away for testing. DavidEF has been waiting on a driver from me for ever, he is first in line if he is still interested :blush:

Yes I am! Not gonna be pushy though. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be here. Meanwhile, checking the mail… :stuck_out_tongue:

Consider me very interested if you ever sell these. :)


Hey for regular single lithium cell flashlights, another very easy way is to add an additional (very small) FET with a big series resistor. No need for PWM, and you can get uAs to your LED if you desire .. I would do that if I was making my own single-cell 3V LED driver, but unfortunately I'm not developing one like that right now.