What I’m looking for probably doesn’t exist, but there must be something closer than what I already have.
Ideally these are the features that I’d like in a dog walking torch:-
Compact size - Q8 is too bulky
Side switch - Tail switch only is just too awkward for changing setting
Ramping - Need to be able to ramp power up and down
Throw - At least as good as a HPL-HI C8
Some spill - So I can see where I’m putting my feet.
I’ve seen the Sofirn IF25A and the Astrolux EC01 and they look like they might work, but the throw of these is a bit of an unknown quantity.
What would really be ideal would be a torch with a central throw reflector/LED surounded by a few flood LEDs all working together. I don’t know if anything like this exists.
I’m not going to be too helpful probably but I just got an Astrolux ft03 and it has/does everything you want except size I guess. If you’re wearing a coat with pockets maybe this still works?
It is a thrower but it has enough flood to see where you are walking. It has a side switch. It’s a ramping switch but if you need max throw quickly, two rapid clicks goes there directly. It has a big(ish) head but the light is comfortable to hold.
If size really is an issue, look at the Ultrafire T-50. That’s a really nice light as well, not much bigger than a 18650 battery with a head that is only slightly bigger. It has a smooth ramping side switch. It’s not really going to put any kind of concentrated beam on a dog that is 100 meters away but it might be usable for your purposes.
If you really need to tract an off-lease dog that far away I’d go with the Astrolux but if you’re just kind of keeping track/control of fairly well-behaved dogs the Ultrafire is great. It’s my most commonly used light and it’s really not much bigger than a roll of quarters (coins).
Not sure you need ramping do you? Ok it might be a preference. But ultimately you are only wanting a way to brighten or dim the light.
Do you change modes much or often?
Side switches will limit options a bit. But then I’ve never found an issue with tail switches myself.
I’ve bought some new lights recently. I think for dog walking the Astrolux C8 XHP50.2 would be my pick. Hugely impressive little light.
It is a tail switch and no ramping but it has the superb BLF A6 driver, which I really like. I have it set to come on in High. And you can can via a long or short press go up and down the brightness settings.
The XHP50 puts out a ton of light too and has enough lumens to give it very good beam distance too. Plus it doesn’t over heat and is still compact enough for a pocket.
The other light I’ve bought recently is the FT03 with the same XHP50.2 emitter. This makes for a much more throwier beam profile and clearly has more distance ability. But the C8 is more than good enough IMO, at least for dog walking. The FT03 does have ramping and a side switch. But it is physically quite a bit bigger and heavier. And is unlikely to really fit in a coat pocket with ease. Meaning you’ll have to keep hold of it the entire time. I also find that the intense hotspot isn’t as nice for walking as it is a bit too bright on closer objects, like the ground infront of you.
Hence why the C8 would be my choice. Plus the C8 was only about £20-25 delivered. Making it super value for money IMO.
Review here (skip to 6m 30s for the XHP50):
BTW I have the MF01 Mini also. It too is impressive, but the light is very floody, you’ll light up a big area with it. On turbo it has impressive beam distance for a floody light. But it does run hot on turbo, so not really viable for any period of time. I think the C8 has a more balanced beam with bright spill, but still a hot spot for some throw.
Absolutely need ramping. I’m change power levels frequently and a tail switch is a pain.
My current favourite dog walking light is the Sofirn SP31T. It has a side switch but it scrolls through the settings rather than being able to go up and down. It’s just about thowy enough, but could do with a bit more spill.
Certainly not built like Dwayne Johnson, in these kind of situations I prefer my Sofirn Q8 with a lanyard. Feels a but clumsy when in the pocket of my jack, not in my hands. Good flooder, good thrower (XP-L).
My next light will probably be a XHP 50.2 3 volt light. I’m thinking the SP 33 V3. It has the choice of ramping or steps, charging, small enough for a jacket pocket, feels good in the hand and long run time with 26650. While Anduril is nice, there is something to be said for a simpler UI. I already have the SD05 with this emitter and it throws well with plenty of spill. Nice for country walks. I also have the regulated SP 33 V2 6 volt dedomed XHP 50.2 that I like. I guess what I’m saying for walking your pooch, a XHP 50.2 would be great.
Looks similar concept to the Astrolux MF01 Mini. Just with slightly larger TIR optics and fewer emitters. I’d expect slightly more throwy beam profile, but narrower.
My concern, which is the same for the Mini. Is the only way to get the beam distance is to run it on turbo. Which means huge current draw and loads of heat. On the regular ‘high’ output (top of the ramp). The beam distance is unlikely to be that great.
Fine for walking and lighting up the immediate area in front of you. But less ideal for longer distances across open fields.