FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight - SST-20 available, coupon codes public

All current firmware options include a variety of discrete mode levels, and also some strobes. The UI I’ve been using lets you set the floor level, ceiling level, and number of steps, and then spaces those steps evenly… so the “mode group” can be whatever you want — as long as you want two or more evenly-spaced levels in order.

It also lets you set the strobe to whatever speed you want, remembers which blinky you last used, and has a shortcut to access that blinky directly from off. Three clicks, but hold the third click for a moment. There is a bit of a pre-flash though, because the first click turns on regular output first. It prioritizes immediate-feedback-on-the-first-click over delaying-until-clicks-finish.

The tactical strobes presently use a 25% or 33% duty cycle, depending on which firmware and mode is used. BLF lights have been that way for years and I haven’t heard any complaints about it. It’s long enough to be very disorienting, but is trimmed back a bit to increase runtime and reduce heat.

My opinion is that Muggle mode should be as much as possible “training wheels” for using the flashlight in its normal mode. The inverse of the “ludicrous mode” in Teslas. Teaching new users how the interface works with ramping, while keeping them from causing damage.

I think Cut is sufficient, especially given that your testing shows that you actually have to drain the driver for it to take effect. It’s not like a drop is going to reset it.

It sounds like you can even swap a battery and the driver will retain enough power to stay in Muggle mode, as long as you don’t click the switch.

Hi TK,

I like the concept of a "dumb" light, where it's either on or off. Not for Muggles per se, just as a clean option to run the light at a fixed output at the click of a button, without the inherent risk of ramping up to max, etc. The output in the case would be settable, then locked.

If the purpose of such an arrangement is indeed for Muggles, then a fixed output (decent runtime while still bright enough to be useful), unmodifiable, is what I like. And of course with the "dumb" switch arrangement.

And having both options in the UI would be great! :)

Also, I'm with Lazy-r-us on using the Cut method, just my preference.

Yes, lots of generalities here, but I defer to all those BLFers with (much, much!) more knowledge and experience than I :)



On the D4 I’m using for development, at least, yes. I can take off the tailcap, remove the battery, have a conversation, then put it back together… and it doesn’t even notice the power was gone. Standby power is ridiculously low. But I don’t know if the FW3A will behave the same way.

Add me to the D4 incident list. Forgot to lock it out (Maybe a few too many beers).

Now I have a cheap pair of polyester running shorts with large hole in the bottom of a pocket.

I’ll chime in with a “Nay” for a simple ‘cut’ to exit muggle mode.

When I hand a light to a muggle, they immediately open it to look at the cell, then try their best to cross-thread it back together. :person_facepalming:


  • - likely to be performed inadvertently
  • - muggles can’t learn about and use mechanical lockout
  • - muggles can’t change cells


  • + unlikely to be perfomed inadvertently
  • + simple for non-muggle to remember


  • + great for gifting a light with the potential to be ‘unlocked’ after muggle is certified :smiley:
  • - forgetful non-muggle could be locked out of their own light

I’m using TK’s amazing Andúril on several lights. Muggles (young and old) quickly understand its ramping UI.

I hand them a light and say, “Click for on and off. Hold to change brightness.” Andúril is so intuitive that they figure out reversing on their own.

I’d like muggle mode to have a ramp with a customizable floor and ceiling, with no access to turbo or blinkies.

Single-mode lights are boring, and even muggles deserve ramping! :partying_face:

Perhaps a ‘single output mode’ could be a separate feature?

Is there a decision which firmware is used?
I guess it will be the programmer with time for it. I have no preference for NarsilM or Andúril.
It would be nice when the two use the same commands.

NarsilM v1.2 beta uses 5 clicks for its tactical mode. Is 6 clicks in Andúril free?

Maybe Tom can move tac. mode to 6 clicks?

EDIT: forget it, just read TKs comments


25% to 33% is fine for “tactical use”, but no good for light painting (with various tools attached to the light) where 50% is the sweet spot for visual effects. I have a comparison photo in my S2+ review. It is a rapidly increasing market segment.

what about an extra firmware for light painting?
Some wishes are verry special and you can tweak it to your need.

Right. This is unrelated to the FW3A, but I have an entirely different firmware in progress which will probably be a lot more interesting for light painting. It uses a RAGB quad-color setup and lets the user configure a reasonably wide variety of lighting patterns in a manner similar to how analog synthesizers let people sculpt sounds. It’s, um, simpler than an analog synth, but the general concepts are basically the same. If you want to oscillate suddenly between two different states with a 50% duty cycle (like a strobe), simple, tell it what those two states are and configure it to do a square wave between them. You can also overlay another waveform simultaneously, with a different shape/frequency/intensity, if you like. For example, it’s easy to make a police flasher this way — slow square wave between red and blue plus a fast square wave between dim and bright. But plenty of less-jarring combinations are possible too.

The intent is for use in a lightsaber, to paint neat-looking patterns in the air while swinging it around. I’d imagine it should work pretty well for more general light painting too.

The cut-and-hold thing can be done, though it’ll cost a little extra space. It also uses up a UI action which might be useful for other things. Holding the button while connecting power might be a good way to reset to factory defaults, for example. That’s a thing which isn’t implemented at all right now, and hold-at-boot is probably the easiest way to do it. But I don’t know what would be the best UI choice for hold-at-boot.

Please add me in for 1.


Please put me down for 2!

Thank you.

Sounds cool!

im in for 2

Yeah a list update is overdue, will do it soon :wink:

I’m in for 1.

Welcome to BLF, will do tomorrow!

Please put me down for one. Thanks!

I don’t want to miss out, please add me to the list! Thanks for all the work and effort going into this!