Hexbright, An open source flash light.


We are Hexbright and we wanted to say hello to the flash light comunity! We are in the process of grass roots funding through Kickstarter to produce an truely open source flashlight. This flash light will be both usb rechargable and completely reprogramable. Why reprogrammable, because everyone has an opinion on what makes a great flash light and flexibility means a better light. The open source nature of the light will also allow the comunity to work together to optimise every aspect of the light!

I am posting on this fourm to poll the group on what makes a turely great flash light. We have been getting some pretty good response so far and would love to hear your ideas and opinions.

Thanks for your time,

Terry Cooke

Electrical and Mechainal Engineer


Welcome to BLF, Terry! Looking forward to hearing more about your project. You may know already about the BLF-VLD software that can be loaded to Atmel chips. I'm hoping that what you are going to do will be similar to that, but easier to do. I am hoping to modify BLF-VLD to make a two mode light where one mode is fixed on High and the other can be programmed by the user to one of maybe 8 different modes or so including a Low of less than 1 lumen. One disadvantage of some of the NANJG drivers we've been using is they do not have built-in brown out detection and therefore can only memorize a mode after the light is on for some amount of time instead of off for some amount of time.

Aloha and welcome to BLF hexbright!

Welcome to BLF. So, this seems to be just like what Nextorch introduced at the SHOT show earlier this year?

Seems to be this guy.

Self-pleasuring item comes to mind? Or am I the only one who is just that dirty?

Do something for the looks for heavens sake.

Just leave it hex... looks way better and may be cheaper.

Good idea, but why cripple the XM-L with 1.6A max? Or even 1A with the Prime?

Also, I think current regulation is much better than PWM.

Another thing - is 96lm@250mA the lowest low you allow? This seems rather high.

Just seems like he's selling fixed-mode flashlights. I like the bare aluminum one more than the party colors.

I'd love to see an Xm-L with a 3 mode user selectable driver driven to 3A at the highest and .1A at the low side. Would be nice to be able to select what I want for low, medium and high instead of the factory pre-selected 10,45,100. It would probably require a larger light but wouldn't you love to see a driver with a microUSB connection for programming it without going through all the extra hardware?

The other question I have for the Hexbright is why stay married to the P60 Format if you are going to design your own components? I'd do something with a larger deeper reflector for better throw. Even something slightly larger with a reflector 1.5-2 times the depth of the P60 would make it more interesting than another standard P60 host with a different dress on.

Sounds promising!

Is the tail switch an electronic momentary switch? If it is then I'm interested...

Ditto. First thing I thought... female pleasuring device... I'd lose the "ergonomics" and do some nice knurling instead. And the XM-L only driven at 1.6A is a waste. Just the reason I don't buy production lights-none are driven hard enough.


An interesting concept. I have written my own programs for the off-the-shelf drivers using assembly if any help with that is needed. I like that all of the non crucial stuff is built to a price minimum without looking cheap.

Reprogramming via usb was something I thought of, but it always ended up looking like too much hastle. I'd be interested to see how you implement this.

Although I'm not affiliated with the project, I can give you my opinion on your questions.

Running the XM-L at less than its rated max current makes a lot of sense. Efficiency, low forward vltage, low heat build-up, volume pricing etc. would all make me choose an XM-L run below its absolute maximum for this sort of project.

Not too sure what you mean by current regulation being better than PWM. All LED drivers work off current regulation. A lot also then use PWM to decrease the power seen by the LED for different modes. It might be you are unsure of how most drivers work.

By the sounds of it, the idea is to allow the end user to set their own light levels so there will be the oppertunity to set your own minimum level.

Hey, thanks Sub! That's about the gist of it.

You can run the XM-L super low. And it is crazy effeciant. At 25 deg C, 60 lumens, it runs at about 150 lumens/watt.

A XP-G Q5 at 60 lumens is about 100 lumens/watt.

So it makes sense to run the XM-L below the max, and a lot of sense to run it at 50 and 100 lm if you want. It's just the XM-L is too expensive for most mainstream light manufacturers.


Hey, I can make both you guys a built in vibration motor so now you can see what you are doing.

No, you can go down to a few lumen.

My FLUKE turned the XM-L on when I checked continuity!

I will update that chart. It is misleading. Thanks!!

Hi, it's not a P60 drop in. I was interested in making an everyday use light that was compact. I didn't design it for a real tight focus. I like the overall light pattern it makes- medium hot spot that doesn't blind you, not too much spill over.... It really illuminates a good area!

I need to get more pictures up...

"Current regulation" means the light has constant current (no PWM) and the output is controlled only by current change. I don't like PWM - at low frequencies it flickers or looks like a strobe for fast moving objects, and at high frequencies there's sometimes a high pitched whine (like with my 4kHz iTP A3) which some people (like me) are sensitive to. Maybe if it is more than 20kHz it should be fine for all.

Limiting the maximum output may appeal to normal users, but flashaholics really want to make the most out of their lights, even if only for a few minutes (because of the heat), and it's programmable so I can limit myself if I want to, but a max level of 1.6A isn't really appealing (to me, at least).

I don't like it, or let's say, I wouldn't buy it for that price. For 75 bucks I expect a bit more. That body consists out of one piece only and is probably cheaper to make than a traditional one, which consists out of two several parts. The innards alone cannot make up the value so much. For that money, I rather get the equipment to programm the driver myself.

You need to post beamshots against some known hosts.