Flashlight recommendations for grandma


I’ve never measured it, becuase I regularly twist the tail cap and hardware lock it. If I get a chance, I’ll try to measure it, but no promises.

ETA: I agree that it’s a valid concern for grandma. Nobody but an enthusiast is going to manually lock it consistently. And it’s not easy.

I think HJK’s 4000mAh Lishen review is a different cell, but likely comparable to whichever Sofirn is using. All of my Sofirn 4000s have the bottom disc vent whereas what he tested is a plain can end. Could be they just changed cans, could be a different cell altogether, but probably of no consequence here.

Interesting that Nick at 1lumen found only 17uA parasitic drain. Their light was the XHP50 with a 30T cell but I can’t see where that would make any difference if it’s the same driver…not sure if a well used cell that might have higher IR could affect that? I’m using a very good DMM, just probes with the tailcap removed. As my check showed, though, with the switch light off the drain should fluctuate every few seconds within a range (wide enough not to settle on a single number) as the chip wakes up to check & maintain.

Interesting. In their webshop, they are referring to the exact same cell type. Now at least… But like you said, it is easily possible that they keep changing OEMs depending on availability, price, etc.

Nah, the IR should play a negligible role at so low currents. BTW, I consider your results a lot more realistic than the one at 1lumen.
In theory the IF25A should be comparable: Sofirn states idle drain <50uA in the spec sheet. (I would be more relieved if I saw some actual measurements of it, but the fact that I came across no complaints when I googled “IF25A drain” makes me optimistic).

Well when you get the IF25A, pull out your meter. :slight_smile: I just now noticed that you are in Hungary, too…sorry, was doing the US-centric perception thing here again.

Haha, don’t worry about it, I’ll take it as a compliment (that bad grammar did not give me away sooner) :smiley:

Well, for now, I posted the question in the IF25A thread. Maybe someone over there already did so at some point. Or maybe manithree can find the time to test it on his unit. I’d prefer to be certain before pulling the trigger on the purchase… So I’ll give it a couple more days… there is no rush.
But of course I’ll make the measurements on my unit, too, no matter what. And I’ll make sure to share them.

Gotcha! I’ve found a comment showing the idle drains of the IF25A:

  • LED low: ~80 µA with regular jumps to to 200-300 µA
  • LED high: 1.5 mA
  • LED off: ~40 µA with regular (but less frequent) jumps to to 300 µA

As expected, it looks comparable. More efficient button LED used though in the WT3M. Or similar LED driven more weakly.

Not exactly what you wanted, but I got my mother a Sofirn SD05 after trying several other lights. That's the only one she had the hand strength to work with.

Does somebody else remove and charge the battery for her? Charging is the only issue I had with handing my SD05 over to an older person.

My mother is 93: she still lives alone in her home in the forest and even still drives her car, does her own small shopping and I come around regularly to buy the bulk and heavier stuff.

That age doesn’t come without it’s problems and her hands are getting very weak and are loosing the fine movements. Some years ago I bought her an Olight S15R, she had seen my S15 and wanted one too but there’s no way she’s going to unscrew a light and charge a 14500 herself so the charging-station seemed an ideal solution. The S15’s have a very light and easy button but she still has trouble operating it so uses it as a single mode light, just on or off.

So we went to look for the ideal light for her and came to the Varta Lipstick Light, a 1AA light with one mode about 20lm, easy to find bright colors and a big soft easy to press knob at the back-end. She loves these lights, she has a bunch of them and when the battery is spent she lays them aside and I give them a fresh one the next visit.

Honestly, unscrewing the light and putting the battery into the charger is easier for her to do than to work most light's switches.

In that case, maybe something with a magnetic (stick-on) charger would be good.

Keep it plugged in, but on one “home base” spot, say, a kitchen table or nightstand.

Yeah, I was looking at the Vartas, too. They are pretty ubiquitous around here. I was most interested in the MultiLed F10 also a 1xAA light but has a chunkier form-factor, than the Lipstick.
I tried to get my hands on a demo unit to check out its button, but funnily enough all nearby stores seem to have run out of stock. However I was able to try an F20 (which I assume has the same button construction) and I was disappointed to see that it was very difficult to press. That was the point when I discarded the whole Varta project, and opened this thread :slight_smile:
Thanks for mentioning the Lipstick, though! I admit I excluded it right at the start, because for some reason I thought it had a basic “twist on/off” switch mechanism. Knowing that it has an actual button makes it a viable candidate, although I am not sure how much she would like it, bc she’s never had a tailswitch light before. And I also have some reservations about its small size. (Her current unit is an ancient 2AA halogen with heavy rubberized grip, about 30mm tube diameter, and a button-style on-off sideswitch which she nowadays finds increasingly difficult to handle.)

Just heard back from someone who owns both the Sofirn SC31 Pro and the IF25A.
He says the e-switch actuation forces of the two are indistinguishable. Which in turn means that between the IF25A and the WildTrail, the latter has the lighter button.

Skilhunt M300 is an interesting option here as well. It begs for a B35AR + medium TIR, imo.

I was obsessed with switches earlier tonight. One of those things that I never pay a whole lot of attention to other than having a vague notion of what I like when I feel it. Now I’ve felt all of the nuances and it may start to bother me as I take various lights out for a spin. lol. The flashlight that comes the closest to the WT (in my collection anyway) is the first-batch Astrolux FT03…if you have one of those around. It’s interesting how the level of “springiness” in addition to any mechanical click can make them feel so different even though they might have about the same amount of force activation. Makes me want to buy some kind of force gauge to measure them or rig up a scale somehow.

Good news on the drain with the IF25A…a tad higher but no concern there.

The mag charging would be a nice idea really. The only lights I have with that are a little Rofis and an unfortunate Olight and both have switches that aren’t suitable here I think.

Haha, sorry for pushing you down the rabbit hole with my own obsession on switch quality. :smiley: It is an interesting topic, because one could assume it is something that can be easily adjusted by exchanging the tact switch on the e-switch PCB assembly. The problem is, the overall “feel” of the button depends on more factors than just the properties of that single component: flexibility and thickness of the rubber dome over it, how much friction is there between the button cover and its cutout, etc. This is why I am aiming for having the right overall actuation force out-of-the-box. I can easily change a tact switch, but depending on how the whole button assembly is constructed, it might not even matter much in terms of the overall feel.

I don’t have that one unfortunately. I am not a die-hard flashaholic, I don’t have a huge collection, just an old 1st-gen Nitecore Tube and the LT1. Of course, that does not stop me from admiring flashlights - like all things electronics. (I am an electronics engineer, so I guess it comes with the territory.)

Last night I finally made up my mind and ordered an IF25A 4000k + 5000mAh bundle + a pocket clip (because why not) from Sofirn’s webshop.
So fingers crossed :slight_smile:
I’ll report back when it arrives. (Should be ~2 weeks.)

The plan is to set it up to mimic a single-mode light: “Simple UI”, stepped ramp, number of steps = 1, and a reasonably low floor and ceiling.
(Based on TK’s hint in the A2 changelog: “Reduced the minimum number of stepped ramp steps to 1, so you can configure it as a 1-mode light if you want. (brightness is halfway between floor and ceiling)”)

Built in charger … hmmm. Is she comfortable charging her phone? And is her phone Micro USB or USB-C?

As to the “when to charge it” topic, I might just let her run it until “the beam becomes too dim” or if that fails, until LVP shuts it off completely.

I am also considering making a custom Anduril build for her, with a more muggle-friendly low-voltage indication. E.g. blinking the main emitters 3 times shortly after entering the ON state, or blinking the button led for a couple of seconds after the light has been turned OFF, or something like that.
But that might take more effort than it is worth. I’ll have to look at the source code to get a sense of how deep those changes would have to go…
Do you know where I can find the source used for this specific light?
In the official repo, I cannot even find a config.h for the IF25A… The only Sofirn lights listed there are the Q8, LT1, SP10s and SP36 :S

Yes, she can handle Type-C connectors just fine. That’s why I am comfortable with the built-in charger.